Week 5: Jarratt Taylor

I had such a participatory moment while viewing the Love Lunch Community films. While watching the film about the cooking class, I got very excited to share the piece with my friend Alex. He works at a middle school in NE Portland and runs a cooking class on Friday afternoons. He definitely spends a lot of the time getting kids to cook and eat things they don’t normally encounter, such as brussel sprouts. I wonder if seeing these films might inspire him to expand his program. Even if he doesn’t, hopefully he will feel supported in his efforts knowing that other people are out there trying to bring better nutrition to food in schools.

This sense of shareability that I got from watching the different movies connected to Lunch Love Community really drove home in a new way what we have been talking about this quarter. All the sites we have viewed have been filled with shareable material, but it took experiencing what could have been a singular feature length film in a form made up of multiple short pieces to drive home concepts like mobility and migration. These pieces can be easily shared. And as the filmmakers point out their purpose is to avoid telling a single story as though it were the only one. There are the stories of the parents, the cooks in the kitchens, the teachers in the classrooms, and the administrators handling the budgets and the complaints. Something speaks to everyone who is involved. This allows the pieces to circulate easily. Different groups will be able to connect to them, find the issue in there that speaks to them, and share the video(s) amongst their network. I think of the ways that different networks were able to connect with different aspects of the Susan Boyle clip.

In my midterm, I look forward to exploring this idea of the singular documentary dismantled and broken up into shorter clips so that there is a rich diversity of voices and experiences. Through being digitized and made into discrete elements there is also a stronger possibility of circulation and migration. Love Lunch Community and The Interview Project stand out to me when I think of this process. I would love to hear everyone’s thoughts and insights on this!

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2 comments to Week 5: Jarratt Taylor

  • lpaters5@uoregon.edu

    I’m glad you are focusing on Lunch Love Community because I am too, and I didn’t know how many people were going to. I chose Witness as my other comparative source, and I am interested in their similarities as well as their differences. I think both of my choices are also comprised of shorter pieces, but while Witness is definitely more user-generated, the production of video for Lunch Love Community relies more on an outside influence versus the children themselves. That I think is a similarity between your two choices – that they are both media sites and projects that are carefully curated and controlled by the administrator versus the subjects – the children and the interviewees.

    Hopefully we can chit-chat more about this Saturday. Maybe we can help inspire a direction for each other’s papers. 🙂

  • amandae@uoregon.edu

    Jarratt: I think your idea about the singular documentary is an interesting one. You mention you think it enables it to be more clearly circulated and shared. One of the questions I hope you’ll consider in your essay is whether or not this deepens or cheapens the potential power of a documentary. The modus operand of today’s world seems to revolve around us consuming media that we already agree with. A documentary has the power to juxtapose a variety of viewpoints and expose the deeper truth. Is this power lost if we can separate out and just share the sections we agree with or like?

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