mockumentary

film genre in which fictional events are presented in documentary style to create a parody

A mockumentary (a portmanteau of mock and documentary) or docucomedy is a type of movie or television show depicting fictional events but presented as a documentary.These productions are often used to analyze or comment on current events and issues by using a fictional setting, or to parody the documentary form itself. While mockumentaries are usually comedic, pseudo-documentaries are their dramatic equivalents. However, pseudo-documentary should not be confused with docudrama, a fictional genre in which dramatic techniques are combined with documentary elements to depict real events. Also, docudrama is different from docufiction; a genre in which documentaries are contaminated with fictional elements. Mockumentaries are often presented as historical documentaries, with B roll and talking heads discussing past events, or as cinéma vérité pieces following people as they go through various events. Examples emerged during the 1950s when archival film footage became available. A very early example was a short piece on the "Swiss Spaghetti Harvest" that appeared as an April Fools' prank on the British television program Panorama in 1957. The term "mockumentary", which originated in the 1960s, was popularized in the mid-1980s when This Is Spinal Tap director Rob Reiner used it in interviews to describe that film.Mockumentaries are often partly or wholly improvised, as an unscripted style of acting helps to maintain the pretense of reality. Comedic mockumentaries rarely have laugh tracks, also to sustain the atmosphere, although exceptions exist. Music "is often employed to expose the ambiguities and fallacies of conventional storytelling; for instance by pointing at the paradoxes of the distinction between diegetic and extradiegetic music".
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