Documentary Now! - Netflix

From the minds of Fred Armisen, Bill Hader and Seth Meyers comes a new series Documentary Now! that looks back on 50 years of excellence and integrity in documentary filmmaking. See Fred and Bill investigate drug cartels, join an indifferent ‘70s rock band, reenact Iceland's annual Al Capone Festival, take part in a dramatic exposé of the world's first documentary about the Inuit and much more.

Documentary Now! - Netflix

Type: Scripted

Languages: English

Status: Running

Runtime: 30 minutes

Premier: 2015-08-20

Documentary Now! - Mockumentary - Netflix

A mockumentary (a portmanteau of mock and documentary) or docucomedy is a type of movie or television show depicting fictional events but presented as a documentary. These productions are often used to analyze or comment on current events and issues by using a fictional setting, or to parody the documentary form itself. While mockumentaries are usually comedic, pseudo-documentaries are their dramatic equivalents. However, pseudo-documentary should not be confused with docudrama, a fictional genre in which dramatic techniques are combined with documentary elements to depict real events. Also, docudrama is different from docufiction; a genre in which documentaries are contaminated with fictional elements. Mockumentaries are often presented as historical documentaries, with B roll and talking heads discussing past events, or as cinéma vérité pieces following people as they go through various events. Examples emerged during the 1950s when archival film footage became relatively easy to locate. A very early example was a short piece on the “Swiss Spaghetti Harvest” that appeared as an April fools' joke on the British television program Panorama in 1957. The term “mockumentary”, which originated in the 1960s, was popularized in the mid-1980s when This Is Spinal Tap director Rob Reiner used it in interviews to describe that film. Mockumentaries are often partly or wholly improvised, as an unscripted style of acting helps to maintain the pretense of reality. Comedic mockumentaries rarely have laugh tracks, also to sustain the atmosphere, although exceptions exist.

Documentary Now! - Early examples - Netflix

Early work, including Luis Buñuel's 1933 Land Without Bread, Orson Welles's 1938 radio broadcast of The War of the Worlds, various April Fools' Day news reports, and vérité-style film and television during the 1960s and '70s, served as precursor to the genre. Early examples of mock-documentaries include The Connection (1961), A Hard Day's Night, 1964, (written by Alun Owen, purporting to describe several days in the lives of The Beatles, that would be the first feature-length mockumentary), David Holzman's Diary, 1967, Pat Paulsen for President, 1968, Take the Money and Run, 1969, The Clowns, 1970, by Federico Fellini (a peculiar hybrid of documentary and fiction, a docufiction), and All You Need Is Cash, 1978. Albert Brooks was also an early popularizer of the mockumentary style with his film Real Life, 1979, a spoof of a PBS documentary. Woody Allen's Take the Money and Run is presented in documentary-style with Allen playing a fictional criminal, Virgil Starkwell, whose crime exploits are “explored” throughout the film. Jackson Beck, who used to narrate documentaries in the 1940s, provides the voice-over narration. Fictional interviews are interspliced throughout, especially those of Starkwell's parents who wear Groucho Marx noses and mustaches. The style of this film was widely appropriated by others and revisited by Allen himself in films such as Zelig (1983) and Sweet and Lowdown (1999). Early use of the mockumentary format in television comedy may be seen in several sketches from Monty Python's Flying Circus (1969–1974), such as “Hell's Grannies”, “Piranha Brothers”, and “The Funniest Joke in the World”. The Hart and Lorne Terrific Hour (1970–1971) also featured mockumentary pieces which interspersed both scripted and real-life man-in-the-street interviews, the most famous likely being “The Puck Crisis” in which hockey pucks were claimed to have become infected with a form of Dutch elm disease.

Documentary Now! - References - Netflix