Table of Contents 1. What is Realism and what is Formalism? 2. The Lumiére Brothers Workers Leaving the Factory and George Méliès A Trip to the Moon 3. Realism vs. Formalism 4. Problems of Realism and Formalism
What is Realism? Dictionary definition (a) a style of painting and sculpture that seeks to represent the familiar or typical in real life, rather than an idealized, formalized, or romantic interpretation of it Collins English Dictionary (b) … the style of art and literature in which everything is shown or described as it really is in life. Longman American Dictionary
What is Realism? (c)… in the arts, the accurate, detailed, unembellished depiction of nature or of contemporary life. Realism rejects imaginative idealization in favour of a close observation of outward appearances. Encyclopaedia Britannica
What is Realism? (a) Subject and material (content) -- the familiar or typical in our daily life (b) The way in which such a subject and material is represented (method) -- mimesis (Gk. the imitative representation of nature and human behaviour) The representation of the familiar or typical in mimetic manners in literature and visual arts.
Boxer of Quirinal, Bronze copy of a Hellenistic Greek scuture
What is Formalism? Definition in film studies A style of filmmaking in which aesthetic forms take precedence over the subject matter as content. Time and space as ordinarily perceived are often distorted. For Formalism, film is an art because its properties are exploited to express filmmakers own vision
Lumières Films Workers Leaving the Factory (1895) Actualités (actualities) - Recording an everyday event with a stationary camera placed at eye level without any editing
Lumières Films Arrival of a Train at the Ciotat station (1985) - filmed records of the arrival of a train http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1dgLEDdFddk
Lumières Films Auguste and Louis Lumière Representation of the look of reality as it is commonly perceived
Georges Méliès Films A Trip to the Moon (Le Voyage dans la lune: 1902) A fantasy about a rocket journey to the moon
Georges Méliès Films Georges Méliès A stage magician at Theatre Robert-Houdin turned filmmaker. The first innovator in filmmaking. The inventor of seminal film tricks
Meliés Formalism Visual cinematic tricks Jump cut - a scene is cut in the middle of action Double exposure - two images are superimposed on the same piece of film Multiple images - the screen divided into several separate images Priority given to the display of aesthetic forms and visual effects over the representation faithful to reality. Expression of the filmmakers own vision disregarding what it may be in reality.
Realism and Formalism Film realism - the Lumière tendencies Recording reality without changing it Film formalism - the Méliès tendencies Recreating reality or presenting a new, different reality
Lumiére-Melies Chart (Realism) (Formalism) LUMIERE MELIES The Blair Witch Project Spiderman Full Monty The Gold Rush Documentary Fantasy
Realism / Lumière Tendencies The Blair Witch Project (1999) - a low-budget horror film made as if amateur documentary footage were pieced together. Three students who is making a documentary film on a legend locally known as Blair Witch go missing.
Realism / Lumière Tendencies The viewer is told that they were never found but one year later their camera and films were discovered. The viewer watch the discovered footage. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eAkKyDfEUnU&feature=PlayLis t&p=30083A55CA7FD332&index=0&playnext=1http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eAkKyDfEUnU&feature=PlayLis t&p=30083A55CA7FD332&index=0&playnext=1 http://www.veoh.com/browse/videos/category/horror/watch/v189516 00TcMkfftjhttp://www.veoh.com/browse/videos/category/horror/watch/v189516 00TcMkfftj http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x6nkns_the-blair-witch-project- the-movie-p_shortfilmshttp://www.dailymotion.com/video/x6nkns_the-blair-witch-project- the-movie-p_shortfilms
Problems of Film Realism Film as representation of reality What is filmed is not reality itself but its image A person who appears on the screen is not herself but her image. An object who can be seen on the screen is not itself but its image.
Problems of Film Realism René Magrittes painting of Ceci nest pas une pipe (This is not a pipe) The picture is not the pine itself, though it is life- like, but its image.
Problems of Film Realism A film re-presents objects and people Or re-traces (an event); re-calls (an event); re- produce (reality), re-enact (an event/reality); re- fer to (an event / reality), re-build (reality); re- construct (reality): re-stage (reality / an event) Film is realization in second-time around; thus actions are suffixed with -re; spatially and temporally different from what it shows.
Problems of Film Formalism Even fantasy is constructed on our perception of reality. It is impossible to create a world totally detached from reality.
Problems of Film Formalism Even a creature from Mars have two eyes, a nose, a mouth, two arms, fingers, and two legs.
Coexistence and Interaction Realism and formalism coexist and interact Every film is constructed by a dialectic process of film realism and film formalism: of mimicking and changing reality
Blade Runner Ridley Scotts SF film, Blade Runner was inspired by futuristic or postmodern city- scape of Osaka