Gold Rush Doc (455)

Gold Rush is the sixth episode of a series produced by the History Channel in 2006 titled Ten Days That Unexpectedly Changed America. Directed by Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman, the documentary is 45 minutes long and features a relatively standard array of film documentary techniques in depicting its subject, including the so-called Ken Burns effect of panning across still images such as daguerrotypes and paintings. A more recent innovation employing post-production software creates a parallax effect which renders the elements of two-dimensional images such as different figures and objects as though they were the components of a paper theater. The combination of these two techniques confers a sense of depth and dynamism which is visually stimulating and adds a degree of drama to the voice-over narration.

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Lines of Sight (425)

Here’s a fan video of Iggy and the Stooges’s “TV Eye”:

I want everybody to think outside the classroom about the ideas we discuss. Ideally, you’ll talk about the course materials with other people.

Upon reflection, the clip from Velvet Goldmine will resonate with Berger’s discussion of the nude painting and “publicity.” One issue here has to do with lines of sight– with where the seeing subject is positioned in space in relation to visible objects. An audience member watching Curt Wild and The Rats might have to strain to see everything. Her perspective is situated and thus partial, something that the camera work attempts to give form to by using rough panning shots. This technique effectively communicates the experience of being in the crowd viewing the performance on stage without descending into a fetishizing, obsessive gaze. The true voyeur’s looks linger; insistent and probing, vision becomes touch.

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