In 2004, documentary theorist Michael Renov described ‘the recent turn to filmic autobiography’ as ‘the defining trend of “post-verite” documentary practice...’ In 2008 Renov went further still, suggesting that ‘the very idea of autobiography challenges/reinvents the VERY IDEA of documentary.’ Archive based autobiographical filmmaking, meanwhile, is even more problematic for documentary theory. Indeed, a number of recent documentaries, because of their status somewhere in the spectrum between biography and autobiography, have prompted the construction of an entirely new conceptual category, deploying archival film, often in the form of home movies, to document the lives of their human subjects in Renov’s formulation ‘shared textual authority’.  In this article I examine one of ‘my’ own archive based documentaries, ‘Marilyn on Marilyn’ (BBC2 2001), as a way of asking questions not just about biographical and autobiographical documentary but also - and perhaps more urgently - about attributions of authorship in archive-based documentary.

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Keywords shared textual authority, found footage, archive, autobiographical filmmaking, first person films, authorship.
Publisher Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision
Journal VIEW Journal
Rights Each article is copyrighted © by its author(s) and is published under license from the author(s).When a paper is accepted for publication, authors will be requested to agree with the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Netherlands License
Note VIEW Journal of European Television History and Culture; Vol 4, No 8 (2015): Archive-Based Productions; 67-79
Citation
Kerr, Paul. (2015). Authorship, Autobiography and the Archive: Marilyn on Marilyn, Television and Documentary Theory. VIEW Journal, 4(8), 67–79.

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