Presentation on theme: "Film Studies Reality Effects and Truth Effects. Table of Contents 1. Recap 2. Take a Photograph or Make a Photograph 3. Reality effects and truth effects."— Presentation transcript:
Film Studies Reality Effects and Truth Effects
Table of Contents 1. Recap 2. Take a Photograph or Make a Photograph 3. Reality effects and truth effects
Recap Film Realism - a style of filmmaking in which an attempt is made to represent something familiar or typical without changing it. Realist film - a type of films which are characterized for such a style
Recap Film Formalism - a style of filmmaking whose primary concern is adherence to forms (images and sound) to the extent reality is willingly altered. Formalistic film - a type of films which are characterized for such a style.
Recap PROBLEMS OF FILM REALISM Film is not reality itself but the representation of it. Thus, filmed reality is subject to filmmaker’s alteration and manipulation. Imaginary relationship between the audience and the screen - a relationship in which the audience cannot distinguish the difference between herself and the character on screen. The parody of such a relationship
Recap When the audience takes people on the screen as real. Imaginary relationship: the illusion that screen reality is part of actual reality Jacques Lacan and Christian Metz Imaginary and symbolic relationships Woody Allen’s Play it Again, Sam (1985)
Recap PROBLEMS OF FILM FORMALISM It is impossible to create anything which has nothing to do with the reality we perceive; the filmmaker always rely on what he/she knows, has learned and experienced in real life. Symbolic relationship between the audience and the screen - a relationship in which the audience is well aware of the difference between his/her and the screen realities.
Recap Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner: a SF film about Los Angeles in 2019 is inspired by the cityscape of Osaka around 1980.
cloudland Blade Runner cloudlandBlade Runner
Recap Realism and formalism coexist and interact in every film Our task is: - to identify the extent to which a film is realistic, formalistic or both; - to explore how filmmakers achieve realism or formalism
Take or Make a Photograph Photography is a modern invention which has enabled us to record reality ‘as it really is.’ Question: Is photography an objective reflection and recording of reality?
Take or Make a Photograph? Choices of exposure and shutter speed - reflect photographer’s intention.
Take or Make a Photograph John Constable’s two drawings of the same spot. Dedham from Langham
Take or Make a Photograph Composition Photographer finding an interesting moment Photos by Henri Cartier-Bresson
Take or Make a Photograph The choice of colour or black and white - reflects Aesthetic choice
Take or Make a Sketch John Constable’s series of paintings of the sky
Take or Make a Sketch Constable’s studies on cloud-formation based on Alexander Cozens
Reality Effects and Truth Effects Film (like photography and painting) is not, no matter how realistic it is, the simple, objective recording of reality but the rearrangement of it. ‘Virtual reality, O.K. You know what virtual means? O.K., it is like really real. So virtual reality is practically, totally real. But not. -- Jennifer Jason Leigh as Lois Kaiser in Robert Altman’s Short Cuts
Reality Effects and Truth Effects ‘Realism’ is a relative concept in two senses 1) There is no pure or perfect form of realism. Some films are only more realistic than others. 2) The filmmaker’s and the viewer’s ideas of reality are relative. An alternative way to describe realism To discuss realism in terms of effects which a film create on the audience.
Ivan Shishikin’s Oak Grove Ultimate realism
Camile Pissaro’s The Boulevard Montmartre ‘If you ask me what the world looks like to me, it looks like a painting of Pissaro. E.H. Gombrich
Reality Effects and Truth Effects An alternative way to describe realism (and formalism) To discuss realism (and formalism) in terms of effects which a film (or art and literature) create on the audience.
Reality Effects and Truth Effects ‘Reality Effects’ - they come into being when representations in moving images give the audience the impression that they mimic the ‘facticity’ of the world around us, or surface appearance. Roland Barthes
Reality Effects and Truth Effects ‘Truth Effects’ - they come into being when representations in moving images agree with viewer’s ideas of what is true about the world in a general sense. They have to do with whether texts conform to what she generally believes about experience. Michel Foucault
Reality Effects Richard Attenborough’s biographical film, Gandhi, imitates how Mahatma Ghandi looked, how he spoke, how the world in which he lived looked like and what his life was like - creation of an impression that the film is mimicking facticity, that is, a reality effect.
Reality Effects Jinnah and Ghandi Hunger strike Opening AssassinationJinnah and Ghandi Hunger strike OpeningAssassination
Reality Effects and Truth Effects Moving images have ‘truth-effects’ even when they are ‘objectively’ untrue. They have truth effects as long as they agree to what the audience believes true. Samuel Fuller’s House of Bamboo (US, 1955) display the images of Japan and Japanese women. False for those who know Japan and Japanese women but true for those who believe them true.
Reality Effects and Truth Effects Reality Effects Materialist approach to our cognition Things exist independently of the individual’s knowledge of them. Truth Effects Idealist approach to our cognition Things do not exist in themselves. They exist only as ideas that each of us has of them.
Reality Effects and Truth Effects Materialist conception Idealist conception
Film Realism and Reality/Truth Effects Our impression of moving images being realistic or not depends on both reality and truth effects that they exert on us. Reality and truth effects as alternative to film realism
Reality and Truth Effects Describe reality and truth effects found in Richard Curtis’ Casablanca (1942) Casablanca Opening
Reality and Truth Effects Describe reality and truth effects found in Bernardo Bertolucci’s Sheltering Sky (1990)
Reality Effects and Truth Effects Impression of authenticity for a type of the viewer Gino Pontecorvo’s La Battaglia di Algeri (Italy, 1966) Impression of authenticity for another type of the viewer Richard Curtis’s Casablanca (US, 1942)