1) Octopus vs. The Volcano
Werner Herzog is one of the most famous working documentary filmmakers in the world.
Let’s check out his film, Into the Inferno (2016), as a way to compare/contrast with MY OCTOPUS TEACHER and understand the unique documentary approach(es) of films in the early 21st Century.
Take as your starting point Herzog’s claim that–
“There was a scientific side to our journey… but what we were chasing was the magic…”
In what ways do you see both science AND magic in MY OCTOPUS TEACHER and INTO THE INFERNO… ? Why do you think films like this are being made in the 21st century when we’ve all become so advanced? fast-paced? and technological (haven’t we?)….
Your paper should
1) COMPARE/CONTRAST how these documentaries approach their material…
Are their styles similar or different?
Speak to shots, voice over/narration, but also the way the films communicate to us…
are these in search of scientific realities or something more? Make sure to emphasize specific scenes from both works.
2) COMPARE/CONTRAST style of storytelling
We think of documentaries as “objective,” but in fact they are stories… with beginnings, middles and ends, conflicts, complications, and resolutions.
Considering them both as stories, which is most effective in speaking to the audience and why?
What are the most effective parts of both stories? In what ways do you see them reflecting our age as a kind of mirror screen?