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Realism in Popular Cinema Real-ization of True Stories.

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Presentation on theme: "Realism in Popular Cinema Real-ization of True Stories."— Presentation transcript:

1 Realism in Popular Cinema Real-ization of True Stories

2 Table of Contents 1) Realism and Popular Film Genres 2) Film Real-ization

3 Realism and Popular Film Genres Realist filming strategies used in various cinematic genres. Techniques and styles associated with film realism -- natural ingredients of certain genres: Historical drama, biographical film, political thriller, e.g.

4 Realism and Popular Film Genres Realist techniques and styles are also employed in other genres: Melodrama, gangster film, and Western Especially when they are in need of renovation and rejuvenation.

5 Realism and Popular Film Genres Revisionist Westerns Sam Pekinpah’s Patt Garrett and Billy the Kid (1973) Graphic reality Arthur Penn’s Missouri Breaks (1976) All (cowboy/ sheriff) mannerisms are stripped off in characterization.

6 Realism and Popular Film Genres Kevin Costner’s Dances with Wolves (1990) Better understanding of Indians, the Sioux tribe, and diatribe against the white self-righteousness. Clint Eastwood’s Unforgiven (1992) Retired ‘killer’ fails to reform himself. Blurring the lines between heroism and villainy, and good and evil.

7 Realism and Popular Film Genres To regenerate the cultural status of the genre in their realistic treatment of the subject in their own way Pat Garrett and Missouri Breaks draw on realist techniques associated with European art cinema. Dances with Wolves and Unforgiven refer to the aspects of the historical past that the genre ignored or distorted.

8 Film Real-ization Real-ization of a true story, a past event, and a historical fact. Naturally, relist filming techniques and realist narrative techniques are the most often used for such real-ization films. Historical drama, bio-pic (biographical pictures), political thrillers REALIST AND TRUTH EFFECTS THAT THEY ACHIEVE VARY A GREAT DEAL from film to film.

9 Film Real-lization Spectacular real-ization of the sinking of a cruise liner in James Cameron’s Titanic (1998) An ‘authentic’ mise-en-scène based on contemporary and historical verisimilitude. The opening sequence of the film has the appearance of a glossy documentary until flashback sequences Discovery Channel Documentary opening

10 Exact replica of the Titanic used in the film

11 Titanic’s Grand Staircase meticulously reconstructed for the film.

12 1st class bedroom recreated for the film

13 Film Real-ization The story of this epic disaster is retold using the ostensibly ‘true’ story of a (fictionalized) survivor. It is dissolved into a conventional narrative of romance, disruption, heroic action and resolution.

14 Film Real- ization Real-ization of an fiction written based on thorough historical research and featuring real people and situation. Fred Zinneman’s The Day of the Jackal (1973) A British assassin hired to kill President Charles De Gaulle. Complete historical accuracy

15 Film Real-ization Totally convincing recreation of France in the 1960s and the military parade of President Charles de Gaulle, combining actual newsreel and restaged images. Documentary-like observation of the assassin and the assassination attempt in grainy photography.

16 Film Real-ization The film is adapted from Frederic Forsyth thriller fiction based on a thorough research on the political situation in France in the 1960s. The film managed to make a fiction look as if it were a historical event.

17 Film Real-ization Timely and topical real- ization in Alan J. Pakura’s All the President’s Men (1976) The most meticulous re- enacting of the Watergate investigation by the two Washington Post journalists.

18 Film Real-ization The film focuses not on the scandal itself but the two journalists, with many omissions. It touches only on a part of the entire reality called ‘Watergate scandal.’

19 Real Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward in WP office and Dustin Hoffman and Robert Redford

20 The office set is almost exact replica.



23 The film is based on the non-fiction book of the same name by Bernstein and Woodward, an account of their investigation of the Watergate scandal.

24 Film Realization Oliver Stone’s JFK (1991) The film recreates the investigation instigated by the officially discredited New Orleans district attorney Jim Garrison.

25 Film Real-ization A range of realist forms of depiction News footage and photographs culled from newspaper and TV reports Recreated and restaged documentary - docudrama

26 Film Real-ization Both real and recreated TV news and documentary footage shot on 16 mm, home movies shot on 8 mm., models, diagrams, press photos, and reconstructed photos woven together. They are displayed in a courtroom.

27 Film Real-ization Controversies Fictionalization rather than real-ization of history Distortion of the past [to a certain extent] Mixing of factual materials with re- enactment sequences Rapid editing style Aggressive delivering of messages → MANIPULATION OF SPECTATORS

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