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. Film Theory & Movements FIVE DIFFERENT VIEWS OF REALITY.

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Presentation on theme: ". Film Theory & Movements FIVE DIFFERENT VIEWS OF REALITY."— Presentation transcript:

1 . Film Theory & Movements FIVE DIFFERENT VIEWS OF REALITY

2 . Naturalist / Empiricists Non-Christian existentialist Nihilist Rationalist

3 . Idealist/ Romanticist Idealist Romanticist Mystic Transcendentalist Phenomenologist Noumenalist Magical realist Realist (Bazin)

4 . Marxist Social realists

5 . Psychoanalytical Freud Lacan

6 . Postmodern Poststructural Postcolonial Feminist / queer

7 . Two Overriding Traditions (Aitken) INTUITIONIST / MODERNIST n Rooted in romanticism n Phenomenology n Irrational & intuitive n Symbolism & expressionism n Imagery conveys “meaning” n Theme of alienation n Often ambiguous REALIST / NATURALIST n Documentary style n Vehicle for social reform n Rational, cognitive analysis of information and issues n Carefully controlled images that manipulate audience reaction n Utilitarian, often with a political agenda

8 . Two Approaches to Editing MONTAGE A + B = C Apple blossoms + young girls in field = hope One interpretation (no ambiguity) Editor (director) manipulates meaning Not “realistic” Focus on image (soft background)

9 . Two Approaches to Editing MONTAGE A + B = C Apple blossoms + young girls in field = hope One interpretation (no ambiguity) Editor (director) manipulates meaning Not “realistic” Focus on image (soft background)

10 . Two Approaches to Editing MONTAGE A + B = C Apple blossoms + young girls in field = hope One interpretation (no ambiguity) Editor (director) manipulates meaning Not “realistic” Focus on image (soft background)

11 . Two Approaches to Editing MONTAGE A + B = C Apple blossoms + young girls in field = hope One interpretation (no ambiguity) Editor (director) manipulates meaning Not “realistic” Focus on image (soft background)

12 . Two Approaches to Editing CINEMATIC REALISM Long takes Capture “reality” as it is Deep focus, depth of field Less directorial control of what the viewer should focus upon Ambiguity More real

13 . Two Approaches to Editing CINEMATIC REALISM SOCIAL REALISM Italian Neorealism New British Cinema METAPHYSICAL “REALISM” Andrei Tarkovsky

14 . Two Approaches to Editing CINEMATIC REALISM SOCIAL REALISM Italian Neorealism New British Cinema METAPHYSICAL “REALISM” Andrei Tarkovsky

15 . Two Approaches to Editing

16 .

17 . Impact of Hollywood n Worldwide dominance of the Hollywood machine: Production-distribution-TV F 65-80% of films shown in Europe are US. F US: 37,000 screens F UK: “Secrets & Lies” screens n Transnational productions n Emigration of directors and actors n Commercial producers copy Hollywood n Few auteurs took aesthetic stance against Hollywood mis en scene n Death of national cinemas/identity?

18 . The Hollywood Aesthetic n The aesthetic of pretense n Studio system n Star-centric n Formula approach to narrative F Hero - Problem - Overcome- Happy Ending n Shot-reverse-shot F Camera followed the order of the text F Alternate characters speaking

19 . Major Film Theorists 1. John Grierson 2. Siegfried Kracauer 3. Andre Bazin 4. Georg Lucas 5. Christian Metz

20 . Perception Representation Signification Narrative Structure Adaptation Evaluation Identification Figuration Interpretation Film Theory

21 . Gestalt Psychology Russian Formalism Neo-Kantianism Phenomonology Existentialism Postmodernism Intellectual / Historical Context

22 . John Grierson ( ) MODERN DOCUMENTARY REALISM n Father of the documentary film n Film as an effective means of communications between individual and the state n Purpose is to create social unity and reform n Focused on poverty, hunger, unemployment, and other social problems n Intuitive/experiential films can enable people to understand social issues better than rational, cognitive analysis n Use of realistic and naturalistic images to signify abstract realities

23 . Siefried Kracauer ( ) CINEMATIC REALISM n Critic of “modernity” (Frankfurt School) n Human condition characterized by alienation n Mass culture/society manipulates individuals n Materialistic values have replaced religion, metaphysical, romantic convictions, resulting in disenchantment n People live distracted lives n Film as a “redemptive” experience that can show man damaged condition of modernity and help him transcend materialism

24 . Siefried Kracauer ( ) CINEMATIC REALISM n Foreshadowed and predicted dehumanizing power of mass media n “Mass ornaments”--film, military parades and sporting events n “Real” world of the individual desubstantiated by spectacle and empty rituals n Film must “reengage” individual with nature and the Kantian real world

25 . Andre Bazin ( ) CINEMATIC REALISM n Shared Kracauer’s view of modernity n Also saw film as redemptive n Kracauer: German classical philosophy n Bazin: Catholicism, Bergson, Sartre, French n Phenomenological influence n Bergson: Flux and flow of existence n Modern life and ideologies obscure the “base of life”

26 . Andre Bazin ( ) Bergson’s concept of “creative evolution” n Evolution of the “vital spirit” in man n Close experiential scrutiny reveals deep structures/meanings behind phenomena n Under scrutiny of inquiry [artistic analysis] these deep structures are brought into the light n Cinema and photography are media that an artist can utilize to review the deeper meanings behind the phenomena of existence

27 . Andre Bazin ( ) Existentialism n I am, therefore I think, feel, perceive, etc. n Intuitive understanding, versus rational. n Sartre: Absence of inner fulfillment n Individual defined him or her self through action, free choice and the very quest for meaning n Lacan: I am the search for myself

28 . Andre Bazin ( ) Christian Existentialism n Rejected nihilistic strains of existentialism n Personalist movement of French intellectuals n Marxist, utopian view of society’s potential n Tielhard de Chardin: Metaphysical theory of geological formation F Noosphere--Consciousness of the earth F Close obsveration of natural phenomena could reveal planetary consciousness

29 . Andre Bazin ( ) “Divining the real” n Mystical n Metaphysical n Creative evolution n Spiritual renewal n Social reform n Metaphysical

30 . Andre Bazin ( ) n Christian view of man as fallen n Seeking redemption and atonement n The role of cinema is to help man in his search for truth and understanding in an ambiguous and uncertain world n Man can transcend alienation and modernity n Film can be a religious experience n “Love” and “state of grace”

31 . Andre Bazin ( ) n Film image “embalms” time & wrenches phenomena from the flux of life n Symbolic power of cinematic imagery combined with empirical density of cinematic realism n The spirit behind the “real” object n The “long hard gaze” n Disliked over-expressive, over-ornamental, or overuse of montage F (More like Tarkovsky than Eisenstein)

32 . Andre Bazin ( ) n We know that under the image revealed there is another which is truer to reality and under this image still another and yet again still another under this last one, right down to the true image of reality, absolute, mysterious, which no on will ever see.

33 . Andre Bazin ( ) n Francois Truffaut n Erich von Stroheim n Roberto Rossellini n Vittorio De Sica n Robert Bresson n Jean Renoir n Orson Welles n William Wyler

34 . Andre Bazin ( ) n Liked films that focused on everyday psychological experience F Italian neorealism (The Bicyle Thief) n Disliked modernist, expressionistic n Disliked films that imposed a political ideology on the viewer n Long takes, of surrounding environment n Impact of environment on people (French determinism)

35 . Georg Lukacs ( ) n Marxist philosopher (Western) n History of Class Consciousness n Concrete social totality n Anti-symbolic irrationalism n Anti-naturalism that just showed alienation of individual n Film as a dialectic between the individual and the social within a particular n Must show man’s place in the web of social and political relationships

36 . Christian Metz ( ) n The first academic critic to consider film a language n Structuralist, semiotic approach to film analysis n A systematic reading of film to reveal meaning through film language F Shots, sequencing, mise en scene n Grande syntagmatique F Seven different systems of shots (syntagms) that told the story of a film n Film provides a spectacle of reality which allows the viewer to accomplish a transfer of reality n Anti anti-realist, postmodern cinema


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