James Blue, Buffalo and the complex urban documentary
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James Blue, Buffalo and the Complex Urban Documentary is a study of the life and achievements of the documentary filmmaker James Blue, particularly during his years in Buffalo, where he taught at the State University of New York at Buffalo. Using video, audio and e-mail interviews, along with research into printed materials and studies of Blue's film, this study examines Blue's work in developing the idea of the complex urban documentary, an idea that combines reflexivity in the film's making with involvement of those being filmed. While Blue's influence waned after his death in 1980, this study shows that he was at the forefront of documentary thinking during his lifetime and many of his ideas---particularly about filmmakers' transparency to the audience, interactivity in media and the possibilities of small cameras in the hands of the masses---are still being worked out in the media world today.