Counterculture and Its Impact upon American Rock Music Documentaries in 1960-1970s

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The author focuses on the most significant documentaries and TV-movies employing rock music of the 1960s-1970s, and highlights the aesthetic modes of their social correlation with mass culture. Special attention is drawn to the creative synthesis of the aesthetics of direct cinema, exemplified by the group R. Drew (B. Leacock, D. Pennebaker, A. Maizels, D. Maizels, etc.) as well as individual filmmakers and rock music in the intense socio-cultural context associated with it. Rock music greatly differs in its interaction of a performer and audience: there is often a systematic violation of the boundaries between audience space and scene. Direct cinema uses different strategies for presenting the character in the frame. Long-term observation, usage of atypical size and angles in the established television and cinematic tradition of documentary in many ways made the traditional essays and reports specifically spectacular. Within this strategy fans become being represented and perceived as a collective character, that is, public with all the features of its ethos becomes an integral part of the image of the artist, inseparable from it. The general decline of the artistic diversity of documentaries about rock music is largely the result of the active integration of this subgenre into the commercial sphere of TV and film industry, characteristic for the style emerged within the television. Creative pursuits of the group drew were directed not so much against the revolution in screen arts, but for modernization of the outdated artistic approaches to documentary filmmaking. Anyhow rock music as well as rock culture expressed through the means of direct cinema testify to the efficiency of the basic methodological goals.

Kazyuchits Maxim F

PhD (Philosophy), senior researcher, Institute of Film Art, VGIK


Author for correspondence.


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Copyright (c) 2017 Kazyuchits M.F.

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