ERIC Number: ED196105
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Nov
Reference Count: 0
Celluloid Rhetoric: The Use of Documentary Film to Teach Rhetorical Theory.
Foss, Karen A.
Three components seem central to the definition of a documentary film: (1) the filmmaker should seek to provide as valid a record as possible of the facts, (2) the filmmaker must not neglect artistry in the portrayal of reality, and (3) a persuasive purpose is inherent to the form. Thus, documentary film provides for the artistic portrayal of reality for purposes of influencing public thought. Given the rhetorical bent of this definition, one is surprised to find that very few film critics have examined the documentary from a rhetorical standpoint. To remedy this lack of attention, Humboldt State University, California, has developed a course in rhetorical theory to study the documentary as a rhetorical phenomenon. Throughout the course, the instructor lectures on a particular theorist, shows a documentary film to illustrate the ideas brought out in the lecture, then leads a discussion exploring the links between the theorist and the film. Some of the films used are, "Sixteen in Webster Groves,""Webster Groves Revisited,""The Strange Case of the English Language," and "The KKK: The Invisible Empire." The classical rhetorical canons as used in a particular film are also discussed. (A syllabus and text suggestions are included.) (HTH)
Publication Type: Guides - Classroom - Teacher; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Humboldt State College CA
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Speech Communication Association (66th, New York, NY, November 13-16, 1980).