Film Analysis: Catfish Vs. The Imposter

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Catfish V The Imposter: Documentary style Documentaries are created to challenge or endorse social and cultural values; this is done by the use of codes and conventions. Bart Layton, the director of The Imposter (2012) and the directors of Catfish (2010), Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman, effectively use codes and conventions to express these values. The Imposter (2012) and Catfish (2010) both look into the importance of wanting to belong and the false identities people will take on to feel as though they do belong. Both documentaries value truth and the examination of definitive truth, hearing both sides of the story and deciding what is real. A documentary consists of real events to provide a factual report on a particular subject. The purpose…show more content…
Layton and, Joost and Schulam endorse the audience’s opinion on being truthful about identity through the effective use of interviews. The audience of The Imposter (2012) was influenced to value identity because of the hurt the Barclay family conveyed through their interviews. At the start of the documentary Carey Barclay expressed the emotions she went through after Nicholas had gone missing; she was very emotional about the situation. When it was believed they had found Nicholas she talked about how relieved she held felt. Later on however when she found out that the person she had believed to be Nicholas was not Nicholas, she expresses that, ‘her first emotion was sadness’, (Layton, 2012) but she then went on to say, ‘how could I be so fucking stupid’, (Layton, 2012). Layton’s notion to reveal the emotions Carey was feeling about everything, was so that the audience would understand the pain she had been through, and that had Frederic not stolen Nicholas’ identity she would have gone through a lot less. Similarly in Catfish (2010), Joost and Schulman included a brief interview they attempted to have with Nev about how he felt knowing that Angela was the person behind these 15 new acquaintances he had made. Nev when asked if he wanted to talk ‘didn’t really feel like it,’ (Joost and Schulman, 2010) the expression on his face was sorrow and…show more content…
The Imposter (2012) uses re-enactments to show what the interviewee was talking about in their interview. They were created as they had not been recorded at the time, and may possibly have not happened at all. The use of the re-enactment of Frederic’s movements are particularly effective, especially when he is talking about, ‘living the American dream’ (Layton, 2012) in his interview. The audience has been positioned to see that Frederic has fitted into the Barclay family and is safe going by Nicholas’ identity. Frederic is content with being able to catch the bus to school like a normal kid, feeling the love from the Barclay’s and having people respect. Showing Frederic as he waits at the bus stop and walking down the school corridor is creating the image in the audience’s head that Frederic belongs there, similarly it looked like he belonged in the orphanage at the start of the documentary. Layton conveys the message that Frederic was just attempting to find that sense of belonging. Catfish (2010) endorses the importance of belonging through Joost’s and Schulman’s use of interviews and actuality. Vince, Angela’s husband, is interviewed about Angela and he begins to talk about how she had the chance to follow her dreams of being a dancer yet she stayed with her family and how at

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