dir. Boris Poljak, 2013, Croatia
genre: observational short
not currently in distribution
Autofocus is an observational documentary but with more of a candid-camera approach. Rather than having close interaction between camera and social actor, director Poljak places fixed cameras on a landmark church (St. Nicholas at Nin) and records the tourists who come to visit the sight. The tight framing and distanciation are somewhat reminiscent of Scott Stark's Posers, but rather than comment ironically on its subjects, Autofocus gives a humanizing portrait of the various anonymous visitors.
This is not an earth-shattering strategy, but it is one shared with more poetic docs (Abendland comes to mind) and suggests how observational doc is not reducible to naive realism.