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On the Maysles, journalism, and the objective law

April 23 2015 · by Travis Bird

Image for 'On the Maysles, journalism, and the objective law'An image from CITIZENFOUR.

One of the central innovations the Maysles brothers had on direct cinema was shooting on location with unobtrusive equipment, which allowed them to shoot previously inaccessible scenes. But while shooting Gimme Shelter – screening April 27 during Sync Up Cinema – they got a bit more than they bargained for when they discovered they had captured a killing on film. Nowadays, access to stories through new media, along with more concealable equipment, has empowered more people to gather images and tell stories in innovative ways. Citizen journalists can also “figure out the truth” to a higher degree than ever before, commenting on or even influencing the course of justice. But, more and more often, they come face to face with another institution doing similar work: the legal system...