IMA Number: 783.06 | 1 credits

Professor: Lynne Sachs

This class meets Saturday, April 18 and 25, 2015, 10am- 5:30pm in HN 544.

Full Course Description:

As documentary filmmakers, we grapple with the natural, social, cultural and political phenomena we witness through the lens of our cameras. In “Taking a Documentary Detour”, we will explore an associative, non-literal approach to images in the process of mixing fiction and non-fiction modes of production. Recently, after 25 years of making experimental documentaries, Sachs learned something that turned all her ideas about filmmaking upside down.  She was working on Your Day is My Night , her film about Chinese immigrants in New York, when she came to see that every time she asked a person to talk in front of her camera, they were performing for her rather than revealing something completely honest about their lives. The very process of recording guaranteed that some aspect of the project would be artificial.  She had to think of a way to subvert the rigidity of both the documentary and the narrative model, so she decided to invite the people in her film to work with her to make the film, to become her collaborators. In this two weekend workshop, IMA students will watch work by Ariane Mnouchkine, Christoph Schlingensief, Claude Lanzmann, and Jia Zhangke and as well as Sachs herself. In addition, each participant will shoot a series of short, single shot performative documentaries.

Permissions: Contact Instructor with interest in course based on your background for approval. Cleared after advisement with IMA Director and Program Coordinator.