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Introduction to film 2 - Essay Example

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Film is not only a sophisticated art but also a very powerful medium – perhaps, the most powerful today that it could either make or break society, as it could strongly influence spectators’ viewpoint, beliefs, behaviour, and even decisions with their unquestioning…
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Introduction to film 2
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Download file to see previous pages Compared with other media, the distinctness of film is verisimilitude (Metz, quoted in Lechte 1994: 78) – creating a definite kind of credible resemblance or similarity to the real world (Kuhn 1985: 269). Unlike theatre, which is too real, film obtains its real power from its ability to produce reality by crossing unreality. Ironically, it is on this basis – creating an illusion of reality – that film achieves its realism, because it is this capacity of film, that the attitude of the spectator of ‘suspension of disbelief’ is achieved and where the power of film depends (Lechte 1994: 78). This “experience of realism in cinema is intricately tied to the impression, that the events and persons depicted are somehow real” (Riis 2002: 93). Here also lies the paradox of films: despite the knowledge that films are only screened, spectators still genuinely felt the portrayed events are genuinely happening (Riis 2002: 93; Kuhn 1985: 268). Also, this ‘impression of reality’ – the film’s defining mark, gives film the privilege to challenge analysis (Lechte 1994: 78).
Films usually use three different styles in screenwriting: narrative/linear – tells the story chronologically, non-linear – defies chronology for example Quentin Tarantino’s “Pulp Fiction” (1994) and documentary – presenting reality in real-time (Niche 2009: 1-2). Fiction usually utilises linear and non-linear, while documentary film the documentary. Although realism principally characterises both fiction and documentary film (Kuhn 1985: 269), they still differ in their notion of representation, verisimilitude, realism, and reality, distinguishing them from each other.
Documentary films are “strictly speaking … non-fictional, ‘slice of life’ factual works of art … [also] known as cinema verite” (Dirks 2009: 1) – in French means ‘cinema truth’ (Niche ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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