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.

shared textual authority, found footage, archive, autobiographical filmmaking, first person films, authorship
Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision
VIEW Journal
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY-SA 4.0) that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).
VIEW Journal of European Television History and Culture; Vol 4, No 8 (2015): Archive-Based Productions; 67-79

Kerr, Paul. (2015). Authorship, Autobiography and the Archive: Marilyn on Marilyn, Television and Documentary Theory. VIEW Journal, 4(8), 67–79. doi:10.18146/2213-0969.2015.jethc094