Many of the genre characteristics of the documentary, whether intentionally or not, serve to reassure the viewer that the people and actions depicted are true and sincere. When a documentary strays from certain conventions, viewers question the actuality of the content. Such is the case in GodboutÃÂs The Fate of America, where the heavy staging and scripting cause the viewer to question the validity of the filmmakerÃÂs ÃÂ«chanceÃÂ meeting of RenÃÂ Dubois. However, when a fiction film adopts the genre conventions of a documentary, the reverse occurs. Whereas the viewer of a documentary may question whether the supposed non-fiction is actually fiction, the viewer of a mocumentary is presented with the possibility that fiction is actually true.
The mocumentary is a fiction film which presents its content in the form of a documentary. Many mocumentaries adopt the form of the documentary in order to present a fictional person or incidence in a humorous way.
In This is Spinal Tap, the band is ridiculed by offering ludicrous answers to simple questions asked by the ÃÂ«documentarianÃÂ. Although many mocumentaries, such as This is Spinal Tap, Waiting for Guffman, and Burn Hollywood, Burn, adopt the conventions of the documentary in order to parody their content, other mocumentaries, such as Man Bites Dog and Hard Core Logo, take this form in an attempt to convince the viewer that what he is watching is true. These mock documentaries mock, as in imitate, the form of the documentary, while attempting to establish the actuality of their fictional content. Whereas humorous mocumentaries rely on elements of fiction, such as humor and exaggeration, in order to indicate the sarcastic nature of the film, any deterrence from realism in the real mocumentary pulls the viewer away from entertaining the possibility of actuality.
Both This is Spinal...