Introduction: At Play in the Fields of the Truth. - Post Script

Introduction: At Play in the Fields of the Truth.

By Post Script

  • Release Date - Published: 2009-06-22
  • Book Genre: Business & Personal Finance
  • Author: Post Script
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Introduction: At Play in the Fields of the Truth. Post Script read online review & book description:

If we search out the nexus of social commentary, cultural critique, and the crisis of representation, it is there that we will find the mockumentary. One part humor, two parts transgression, the many forms and variations of the mockumentary genre hold a mirror up to our flaws, poke fun at our assumptions, and refuse to let us look away from our most cherished notions about reality, the "truth," and the taken-for-granteds of everyday life, laying bare the audacities, frailties, and well-guarded fantasies that bring them into being. Mockumentaries play with our inner worlds, as well as our social lives, at times, gently, at others, drawing blood. They make no apologies, they take no prisoners, and they laugh at our discomfort in the process. Ranging from parody, to hoax, to active critique of documentary aesthetics, each with multiple nuances, the mockumentary genre holds that discomfort as central to its mission--for it is through that discomfort that we, as both audience and subject, reflect on our norms, values, ideologies, and ways of being. Mockumentary's cinematic roots run deeper in Western culture than in the cinematic traditions of other nations, with British and American traditions being the most prolific, but recent additions to the genre have originated in Germany, Russia, Sweden, and Iran. While ties can certainly be made to early theatrical social commentary, and other forms of transgressive performance, such as the parodies of class and gender found in turn-of-the-century burlesque, the contemporary mockumentary form is most often traced back to a three-minute April Fool's Day hoax, "The Swiss Spaghetti Harvest," aired on the BBC's current affairs program, Panorama, in 1957. Broadcaster Richard Dimbleby reported that, due to a mild winter and the eradication of the spaghetti weevil, Switzerland was experiencing a bumper crop of spaghetti. The spot, which featured mock-documentary footage of the annual Harvest Festival, elicited hundreds of calls, seeking to verify the story's authenticity, and obtain instructions for cultivating spaghetti trees in England.

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