Saturday, September 19, 2009

Documentaries in the News

John Cage once told this story:
Artists talk a lot about freedom. So, recalling the expression “free as a bird,” Morton Feldman went to a park one day and spent some time watching our feathered friends. When he came back, he said, “You know? They’re not free: they’re fighting over bits of food.”
There's a sense, as the distribution system for documentaries seems to slowly implode, that there's a glut of content. So, a lot of documentarians are fighting over bits of food.

With the wind blowing in that direction, the Los Angeles Times asks:

Ken Burns: Was a backlash inevitable?
"While Burns is one of the best known and most watched documentarian of recent times, he has also acquired his share of detractors. Though he's generally respected by critics and scholars, a backlash has been building, dismissing him as middlebrow, charging that he's repeating himself, that he's too earnest, too dark or naively patriotic."

No comments: