Thursday, 13 December 2012

Documentary: The Apology Line

The Apology Line is another documentary created by James Lees. This documentary takes a different approach to ‘Pockets’, by using sound bites, but no shots of the interviewees getting interviewed whatsoever. This documentary is about a phone line called ‘The Apology Line,' where members of the public can anonymously confess anything and everything. It was inspired and based on the original apology line project in New York. The apologies used within the film were all really different concerning emotions — uncomfortable, rude or comical.

I did enjoy watching this documentary again, I found it really different to the standard style of documentary editing – on television documentaries, I’m used to set ups such as ‘Project Nim’ where we’re shown the interviewees and shown corresponding shots – however we’re shown shots of a city/tower block at night almost setting the scene for the different apologies. I like that the edit includes completely different apologies instead of focusing on one emotion – it broadens the audience more and makes it more interesting to watch throughout. The fact they’re so different keeps the audience watching to find out what other people may have done, it may even give you the fear of your own apologies or also give you confidence in your own experiences to feel that you are sorry for something. – I believe this  a nice strong message to present and think that it has been approached well and creatively.

A feature I liked within the film (which weren’t used that often) was the juxtaposing shots that matched the sound bite used. For example, when a girl rings the apology line and says she cheated on her boyfriend and didn’t care, it shows this shot (an unfocused shot for the lack of the apology?) – allows the audience to know she isn’t sincere about what she’s done.

This edit actually plays with the audience’s emotion. When I watched it as an audience member, this apology almost made me angry, because it wasn’t a real apology for something she did wrong – she doesn’t care.

The edit of sound is also thought about well. The sound is edited to create a phone-call style atmosphere; with this, the audience can clearly understand that these people are ringing up a ‘help-line’ to confess things they’ve done wrong.

I also love that you don't see any faces in the piece. Usually any form of line, whether it is a helpline or the apology line, it's anonymous, so you don't know whom the information is coming from. The film has reflected this in showing its anonymity and reflecting the idea of sound to it's visual. I love this fact, it's cleverly created to stay unknown, even the actions aren't shown it's that secret. 

The lack of sound works well in this piece. It's good because it's set in a night scene (shots of the city at night) throughout the piece. It's usually when you'd expect people to ring this type of line, which I think has cleverly been thought about to create the realism of the piece. The sound is silent under the phone calls because realistically, that's what would happen. No music makes you tenser, makes the calls centre of attention, therefore the apologies the centre of attention. It's cleverly made eerie/disturbing sometimes, but the change in apologies makes the mood change throughout the piece, so no music is used to distract you from the moods the calls are creating. 

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