Since the beginning of film there have been many styles and genres that have been portrayed on the silver screen. Each style has it’s own distinct qualities, laced with the talented individual who created it. These styles have been evolving and changing according to the technologies and resources available at the time. One of the most prominent styles has always been realism. Realism in films has been around since the beginning of films and is still present and making a huge impact today.
Realistic filming style is very evident in a lot of the movies we watch today; the Amerada is generally kept still or slow panning, and shots are kept long, without cuts, allowing the action to progress like In real life. Scripts are also kept very realistic, with quick dialogue and natural humor. The storyline don necessarily always have happy endings, as the scriptwriters go for more realistic outlooks on life. The last and most prominent technique of realism Is that the sets and costume are all kept realistic and quite easily portray the world around us.
The chief practitioners, and pioneers of film were definitely the Lumpre brothers. The Lumpre’s held their first ever screening of motion picture in 1895 with a series of ten short films, the first of which being “Workers Leaving the Lumpre Factory’. The short films showed exactly that – workers leaving a factory. There were several other films shown including “The Gardener”, and “Horse Trick Riders”. Many believe that this was the birth of realism in film, and the start of what would later become one of the biggest Industries In the world.
Although most of the Lumpre films were established as simple documentary, they also managed to show that stones could be told through realist situations. The short film “The Gardener” tells a story of a little boy who plays a trick on a gardener with his sprinkler. The whole 40 seconds of film is shown in one shot from start to finish, but here we can understand that a story Is being told to us through the events we are seeing on the screen. On the other end of the timeline of film we have Kathy Besieges “The Hurt Locker” _ This is a real life insight into the lives of the men in Iraq risking their lives every day.
The film centers on an army unit that Is constantly kept on their toes by the fear that anyone could be an enemy, and any place could be rigged with a bomb. The movie Is told from a real point of view, and is meant to be portraying real events in Iraq (don’t get me wrong, it’s not a documentary). Camera wise this movie is seen mostly from the lens of a shaky cameraman who appears to be in the action at all times. This reminded me a lot of the Jason Bourne films (The Bourne Identity etc. ) where to show that the action Is real, the camera must be running behind them as if a cast member is chasing the action with it.
This is a classic technique used in a huge amount of action movies and It works, but after a “Hold the camera still! The movie is another realist portrayal of American heroes doing what they do best – saving the world. The major disappointment I had with this film from a technical point of view was how inaccurate it ended up being. This is a story about the US Army, a real organization, and yet there are scenes that are almost laughable. “Realism” means exactly that, and yet in this movie we see are vehicle explode in flames after being shot once.
There are also many things that weren’t explained on screen – for instance to where are the soldiers reporting? I think if the characters know then we should too. For all the details that Biggest put into the vehicles, weaponry, and uniforms it was disappointing to see that these little details let the film down. “The Grand Illusion” directed by Jean Renoir in 1937 is a classic realist film. It tells a story of two men captured during World War 1, and placed in a prisoner of war camp. The film follows the two men (De Bloodied, and Marcella) as they meet other prisoners and form relationships with them.
There are hierarchal issues surrounding the two men especially when they come into contact with Captain von Refastening (a German soldier). This wartime story is realist in every way, showing the action of World War 1, and what it was like inside the prisoner of war camps during that time. The film gave major insight into Democratic policy and caused uproar in later years. During the time of Nazi Germany, Hitter’s Ministry of Propaganda banned the film, at the same time, Mussolini also banned the film in Italy. The film was hated by both Hitler, and Mussolini because of its “pacifist” anti-war theme, as the movie show no actual combat.
The actors in the film are sincere to their roles, and play their parts thou over traumatizing them. “The Grand Illusion” is a much watch for any war buff or lover of history, not because of the action that takes place in the film, but because of the stir it caused during World War 2. It is a very significant film in regards to history, and it was its realist nature that caused its infamy during the sass’s. On the same note, I believe that “The Grand Illusion” has left its mark on contemporary film today. In the last ten years there have been multiple recreations of wartime movies of a number of different wars.
However there are no films that focus n the wars as a whole, but certain groups of people within each war. World War 2 film “Pearl Harbor” centers around the Air Force “fly boys” with extreme focus on two characters. The traits are in all new war films and I believe that among a few others, Rennin’s “The Grand Illusion” is where they have drawn their inspiration. Lee Daniels film “Precious: Based on the novel Push by Sapphire” is one of the most inspiring movies I have ever had the pleasure of viewing. The movie is hard to watch, not because it is bad, but because it is so real and true to life.
The film centers on manage girl “Precious” who is overweight, illiterate, and pregnant with her second child. At the start we see her heart-wrenching struggle with day-to-day life in Harlem, and her inability to change. As the film progresses we see her attempt to turn her life you can’t believe that it could be real. The fact of the matter is that what you see in the film happens to hundreds of thousands of people every single day. The acting in this movie is brilliant. Saboteur Subside as Precious, and Minute as Mary perform outstandingly in their roles.
The camera shots and angles are real to life, with long scenes films in only one or two shots. The one thing I can’t stress enough about this film is how inspiring it is. There is no happy beginning, there is no happy ending, but you still manage to find hope in the love she has for her children, and I would hope that people watching this film realize the message that this movie so blatantly puts out there. Life is hard, but life is precious; this film will be remembered through time. If we look at all the films we have watched in Screen Studies over the past twelve weeks, we see much more expressionism than realism.
The movies viewed at the enema have much the same trend too. I believe that in today’s contemporary society that the general audience isn’t as interested in realist films as they once used to be. Anyone can write a fantasy screenplay (without it necessarily being a success) and call it expressionism. I think this is also the reason we don’t see as many realist films being produced in our modern time. The number one reason being that it is much harder to make a successful realist film that people can remain interested in for the two hours they are watching it.
To have this success you need to find something real, hat is interesting enough, and hold viewers to it for long enough to get your message across. The number two reason I believe is that we are living in the technological generation. Younger kids would rather see unrealistic sic-if action than a story of an African American woman struggling with her two children. I feel there is a very small scope for realist films in this generation, but at the same time I know that there will always be the creative genius in the industry to develop a film that is truly wonderful about an everyday person.
This is the beauty of realism, and a reason I am so passionate bout it. The minds of director’s like Danny Bayle (“Slumlord Millionaire”), and Lee Daniels with “Precious” give us hope that in ten years time every single film we see wont be about blue people running around a pretty planet trying to save a tree. Another great example is the last film we were assigned to see entitled “A Single Man” directed by Tom Ford. The movie is based in 1962, where we see a man who’s wife has Just passed away, and is now trying to get on with his everyday life. It follows him throughout his day as he prepares to commit suicide in the evening.
He encounters a few people on the way including a Spanish man; and his best friend who he knew in London. The movie was successful to me because it was so simple, yet enticing the whole way through. Along the way you are wondering if he will commit suicide at the end, but towards the end before you know, you feel content that he could do so knowing that he had somewhat of a flourishing “last day’. The camera follows him around through his day with long drawn out sequences with only one or two shots, and real to life shot sizes and angles. This movie gives you a