The BFI’s national film archive provides the primary context for The film document and its veracity. A practice-based and written analysis, this artist-filmmaking research project engages with and questions the existing language, grammar and truth-making of archival films.
The research proposes that editorial grammar or meter – with its definitive or categorical status - can be scrutinised and reworked,introducing broader, contemporary perspectives whilst revealing embedded, propogandised agendas. Working with an ‘extended’ film grammar to test the veracity of film: exploring how - for example - silence,breath, interval, pause and stanza can impact on the believability of primary source material, the project takes a new approach, reworking aspects of archive film in conjunction with digital copy and newly generated material. It offers new knowledge concerning how digitisation provides an opening towards a culture ofnew materialism, surmising how film has come closer to language than ever before; whereas its earlier existence as a ‘analogue image’ was the consequence of how physical material holds concrete, opaque narratives in celluloid form.
Loosened from these historical limitations, a readiness to work on the dispensable and endless copy produces an immaterial format, engendering a shift, or freer psychology. This new pliancy of images necessitates a fluid approach in contemporary film making, commonly experienced inthe acquisition and reworking of digital media. The culture of the copy will be foregrounded and paralleled with film’s ‘corpus’ - motioning towards the sphere of writing, body and speech.
Viewing these as a conceptual framework, the research will view risk-taking, hypotheses and incursions as acting upon thestatus of the film document. It will consider how an analogue, historical film tradition have been supplemented by contemporary, digital culture of reproducibility, arguing that veracity in the film document is at a peculiardis juncture, caught between false-fiction and ‘fake news’.