Dead but still/moving the slide show and documentary, a space between photography and cinema

Australian Association of Writing Programs
Publication Type:
Journal article
Text, 2011, (The Creativity and Uncertainty Papers), 15 (11), pp. 1 - 21
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From magic lantern shows to PowerPoint presentations, the slide show has cast a long shadow on documentary film. In the 1880s the New York Police reporter, Jacob Riis, barnstormed America with magic lantern images of urban poverty, hoping to rouse sympathies and eventual relief for the city's underclass. In mid 2006, An Inconvenient Truth, a documentary woven around Al Gore's slide show PowerPoint presentation, screened to audiences around the world. This article examines links between the slide show and documentary. It argues that this connection is illuminating in thinking about the relationship between stillness, movement, cinema and photography. It also argues that a characteristic of slide show documentaries is their preoccupation with time, memory, mortality and death.
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