2 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 Moon3. Realism vs. Formalism4. Problems of Realism and Formalism
3 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
4 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
5 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 inmimetic manners in literature and visual arts.
6 Boxer of Quirinal, Bronze copy of a Hellenistic Greek scuture
18 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’
19 Lumière’s Films Workers Leaving the Factory (1895) Actualités (actualities) - Recording an everydayevent with a stationary camera placed at eye levelwithout any editing
20 Lumière’s Films Arrival of a Train at the Ciotat station (1985) - filmed records of the arrival of a train
21 Lumière’s Films Auguste and Louis Lumière Representation of the look of realityas it is commonlyperceived
22 Georges Méliès’ FilmsA Trip to the Moon (Le Voyage dans la lune: 1902)A fantasy about arocket journey to themoon
23 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
24 Meliés’ Formalism Visual cinematic tricks Jump cut - a scene is cut in the middle of actionDouble exposure - two images are superimposed on the same piece of filmMultiple images - the screen divided into several separate imagesPriority given to the display of aesthetic forms andvisual effects over the representation faithful toreality. Expression of the filmmaker’s own visiondisregarding what it may be in reality.
25 Realism and Formalism Film realism - the Lumière tendencies Recording reality without changing itFilm formalism - the Méliès tendenciesRecreating reality or presenting a new, different reality
26 Lumiére-Melies Chart (Realism) (Formalism) LUMIERE MELIES The Blair Witch Project SpidermanFull Monty The Gold RushDocumentary Fantasy
27 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.
28 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.
29 Problems of Film Realism Film as representation of realityWhat is filmed is not reality itself but its imageA 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.
30 Problems of Film Realism René Magritte’s painting of Ceci n’est pas une pipe (This is not a pipe)The picture is not the pine itself, though it is life-like, but its image.
31 Problems of Film Realism A film re-presents objects and peopleOr 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.
32 Problems of Film Formalism Even fantasy is constructed on our perception of reality.It is impossible to create a world totally detached from reality.
33 Problems of Film Formalism Even a creature from Mars have two eyes, a nose, a mouth, two arms, fingers, and two legs.
34 Coexistence and Interaction Realism and formalism coexist and interactEvery film is constructed by a dialectic process of film realism and film formalism: of mimicking and changing reality
35 Blade RunnerRidley Scott’s SF film, Blade Runner was inspired by futuristic or postmodern city- scape of Osaka