Documentary Film Analysis

Among the four documentaries, I have chosen “F*ck You Buddy” in “The Power of Nightmares” and “Love and Power” In “All Watched Over By Machines Of Loving Grace” to be the materials for me to analyze In this paper. First, “F*ck You BuddT Is an episode produced by Adam Curtis, who Is an English filmmaker who has been exploring Sigmund Freud’s theories In the aspects of sociology, psychology, philosophy, and political history throughout his career.

In this episode, Curtis mainly examines the rise of game theory during the Cold War to create the USA’s nuclear strategy and the way in which its mathematical odels of human behavior filtered into economic thought. In the very beginning of the documentary, black-and -white footage and the heavy and dull tone of the commentator has been used to countdown. While the black-and- white footage is a rhetorical strategy, the intense tone is a sound persuasive strategy, which this combination Is applied to create a gloomy and depressing effect.

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Freedom Is the future of all humanity. ” This statement appeared in the beginning of the documentary, and the thesis has been clearly addressed by former President of the United States, George W. Bush. It served the purpose of telling the audiences the reason why the producer, Adam Curtis produced this documentary and makes the entire film more convincing.

The shots that were captured on a train all the way on the railway portrayed the idea that it is definitely a continuous and long Journey for humans to strive and pursue their ultimate goal – freedom; The shot that captured the long corridor with no exits depict the consequence if humans do not persist our goal, we could never have the chance to control the economy and protect society from the dangerous self- interest at the heart of capitalism. The usage of images to present ideas is called juxtaposition which Is a technique commonly used in documentaries.

To liberate Britain from all the old class divisions, old structures, old prejudice to liberate the Individual. ” This statement which was addressed by the former British Prime Mlnlster Tony Blair, Is Included In the episode so to stress that ellmlnatlng the danger of self-interest and obtaining freedom are not only the issues of the united States, but also for united Kingdom. It means the entire globe is facing the same problems and is in urgent need to solve this challenge. There are two important people mentioned in this episode and the first individual is Friedrich Won.

He is the one who made an assumption that people pursuing their own individual self-interest would lead to social order. The second major individual, John Nash, who is an American mathematician contributed to game theory, then enhances Friedrich Von Hayeks theory and shows that “rational pursuit of self- interest” leads toa happy equilibrium. Another Important point Curtis mentioned Is that game theory does not sult anyone. It can only be applied on people who act selfishly and would totally neglect others’ Interest to protect his.

Trade unionists, anti-war and antl-poverty campaigners hence post a threat to the ones who adopt game theory, as they will not allow corruption, injustice, and inequality to occur. The intellectual accuracy of “F*ck You Buddy’ is doubtful as Curtis has bias on some controversial arguments. His sharing of Michel Foucault’s fascination with the channels of power, system of social control, and the role in the dominant society in shaping our idea of self cannot be addressed without offending political sensibilities.

In other words, under these argumentative topics, it is very risky for Curtis to express is true standpoints in front of the crowd. In order not to offend the political sensibilities, he must avoid mentioning some sensitive ideas and hence, the episode may be biased, which is a taboo that should not be appearing in any documentaries. The other episode produced by Adam Curtis is “Love and Power”. In this chapter, he explored how humans have been colonized and controlled by the machines they have built for their own convenience.

This thesis of this episode is “Objectivism”, which is a theory expressed by Ayn Rand, who is a Russian-American novelist, philosopher, playwright, and screenwriter. She supports people to pursue individual happiness rather than concern for others; she thinks that this will help to achieve stability in the society. The reason why she came with this idea was that the invention of computers was able to help to monitor investments and the rise and fall of global markets. In other words, the use of computers could help to minimize the chanced of financial collapse and hence, it can help to achieve the societys stability.

Another major person appeared in this episode is Alan Greenspan, the former Chairman of the Federal Reserve of the United States, is a friend of Rand, and he was eeply influenced by Rand’s philosophy of Objectivism which transformed him from a positivist to a supporter of Rand’s philosophy. Although Curtis has been providing all sorts of interviews and information to support Ayn Rand and Alan Greenspan’s ideology, he himself pointed out that the idea of market stability was actually a failure when it came out in practice.

Instead of leading people to become Randian heroes, people would in fact trapped in a rigid and complex system that they would not be able to break out. Adam Curtis, who has many years of experience in making documentaries, own he ability to mix music and images in his films in order to make them more interesting and more persuasive to the audiences. There is a scene when the camera was capturing one or two building, which seemed to have nothing special. Yet, through applying some playful and lively background music, it made the crowd believed the use of computers could make the society stabilize and more prosperous.

It is also very clever of Curtis to make good use of his own voice as it was himself commentating in the episode. His soothing voice puts forward his argument of disagreeing the impact of Objectivism on market stability and his penetrating ritique has made his standpoint more persuasive and believable. Both “Fuck You Buddy’ and ” Love and Power” were regarded as the masterpiece of documentaries. The use of rhetorical and persuasive strategies, the application of different cinematic techniques, the interviews and information provided in these two episodes are all factors leading to the success and popularity of them.