|home // store // text
// multimedia // discography // a
Barnouw, Erik. Documentary: A History
of the Non-Fiction Film , 2nd Revised Edition (New York:
Oxford University Press, 1993), p. 24. Ibid. Barnouw, p. 25.
Many mock documentaries do not limit themselves to satirizing
only the documentary form. This Is Spinal Tap, for instance,
has several distinct levels of satire, many of which have parallels
in other films. There is the band, its members, and the genre
of music they play on one level of satire; the genre of the concert
film on another; and even a thinly cloaked attack on a particular
film: Martin Scorsese's The Last Waltz (1978). Rob Reiner's appearance
in the film (as director Marty DiBergi) is more than likely a
reference to Scorsese's occasionally intrusive appearance in
The Last Waltz. For an insightful discussion of the "War
of the Worlds" phenomenon in modern broadcast television,
see Tijani El-Miskin, "Transfictional Disavowal." Jump
Cut, n. 34 (1989): 72-76.
Bjorkman, Stig. Woody Allen on Woody
Allen (New York: Grove Press, 1993), p. 137. As an old joke:
Anthony Perkins and Stephen Sondheim wrote it into the screenplay
of their bizarre murder mystery The Last of Sheila (1973), but
there it takes the form of "Isle of View." For an extensive,
but by no means complete, list of many of Zelig's satirical targets,
see Staiger, p. 196-198.
Eitzen, Dirk. "When Is a Documentary?
Documentary as a Mode of Reception." Cinema Journal, v.35,
n.1 (1995): p. 92. Eitzen, p. 93. Eitzen, p. 94. Eitzen, p. 81.
Edelman, Rob. "Zelig." Magill's
Cinema Annual 1984: p. 476-477.
Lane, Anthony. "Killing Joke." The
New Yorker 24 May 1993, p. 101. Eitzen, p. 93. El-Miskin, p.
73. According to Lane, the scene was so intense that it was initially
excised from the film altogether. Lane, p. 101.
Kennedy, Harlan. "Peter Greenaway: His
Rise and `Falls.'" Film Comment, v.18, n.1 (1982): p.1 We
presume the cameraman, whose reflection we frequently glimpse
in mirrors, to be asking the questions but, interestingly, our
view of his mouth is always obscured. The questions may originate
from an off-camera character.
Plantinga, Carl. "Defining Documentary:
Fiction, Non-Fiction, and Projected Worlds." Persistence
of Vision, n.5 (1987), p. 49. Plantinga does, very briefly, discuss
documentary parodies, quickly mentioning This Is Spinal Tap and
discussing in some detail Mondo Cane in his 1989 Ph.D. dissertation
for the University of Wisconsin-Madison, A Theory of Representation
in the Documentary Film. Plantinga, p. 52. Intriguingly and somewhat
disappointingly, after This Is Spinal Tap's success and achievement
of cult movie status, the actors who portrayed Spinal Tap in
the film went on tour and released at least two albums, one of
which appeared fully seven years after the release of the film.
The fictional heavy metal band became a real-life heavy metal
band, doubtless acquiring along the way some fans who failed
to realize the irony of the music. Life imitates art once more.
The fact that a little-known group, John Cafferty and the Beaver
Brown Band, made a name for themselves by performing all of the
Cruisers' songs blurs the line just a little. A heretofore hard-to-find
Canadian film which has just gotten semi-wide release in the
United States, Hard Core Logo (1996), ranks high, as well, but
I was unable to procure it for careful viewing. The Falls is,
no doubt, equal to or better than any mock documentary for its
incredible detail and unflagging maintenance of its central conceit.
But The Falls is also so vastly complex and multilayered that
it merits a fuller study than I can give it here. I leave that
to Paul Thompson.
Stam, Robert. Subversive Pleasures
(Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1989). Staiger,
Janet. Interpreting Films (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University