By Annabelle Honess Roe

Animated Documentary, the 1st e-book to be released in this attention-grabbing subject, considers how animation is used as a representational procedure in nonfiction movie and tv and explores the methods animation expands the diversity and intensity of what documentary can express us in regards to the world.

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So, if the technical creation of the filmed images, with its use of lenses, perspective, framing and so on, means that film does not really show us things as we would have seen them with our own eyes, does this mean animation, which most definitely does not show the world as we see it, is equally as acceptable as a representational strategy for documentary? The reluctance to reduce physical causality and resemblance echoes some of the fundamental claims made by Bazin regarding the ontology of photography, claims that are reinforced in the writings of Roland Barthes on the same subject.

My object here is not a postmodern quest to undermine the strength of documentary’s claim to evidence reality, but rather to observe this claim is far from a simple one. Indeed, as discussed in Chapter 2, perhaps the truth claim is based more on culturally determined aesthetics and style than anything inherent in the means of image production. Representational Strategies 37 However we understand the nature of documentary’s relationship with reality, this relationship is surely severed when animation is used instead of live-action film as the means of visual representation.

This claim is being made via what Rosalind Galt (2008: 63), in her Bazanian analysis of the Dutch experimental fantasy film Forbidden Quest (1993), has termed ‘indexical affect’. In that film, problems with the footage such as graininess, blurring, missing sections and damaged film become markers of its authenticity. In Galt’s example, indexical affect is put to the service of reinforcing the fictional narrative in which the deteriorated documentary footage is placed. In Battle 360, the faked markers of indexicality, such as graininess and other imperfections of celluloid exacerbated by the passage of time, are used to authenticate the digitally created images, and the text in which they are placed, as documentary.

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