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Realism or Neo-realism.docx

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Film Studies
Film Studies 1020E
Gregg Redner

Realism/Neo-Realism: Andre Bazin (1918 – 1958): - Was an eminent French film critic - He is the single most influential writer in film studies and is in the words of Andrew Sarris’ as central to film studies as Feud is psychology - Although he had predecessors Bazin’s uniqueness comes from his willingness to combine rigorous film analysis, militant pedagogical vocation and popularising journalism - Working for Travail et culture, he took cinema to factories, trade union halls, and the cine-clubs which he did much to develop, tirelessly commenting and stimulating discussion - Some of his best essays are the result of these activities such as his celebrated analysis of Le jour se Leve (1939) - Authorship ( a pioneering study of Orson Welles, a defence of Chaplin, ,writings on Jean Renoir, and new independent filmmakers such as Jean-Pierre Melville and Jacques Tati, (which led Bazin’s disciples to develop the politique des auteurs) - Realism (sparked by an interest in documentary and realism) - Stars (Humphrey Bogart, Jean Gabin) - The notion of ‘Classic Hollywood Cinema’ - His idea of cinema as a ‘window on the world’ and his defence of long takes and deep- focus cinematography against the wiles of Soviet montage are his best known and most controversial views Realism in Film: - The term’s general use Implicitly compares a filmic representation of something with an external reality: a film is realistic because it accurately reproduces that part of the real world which it refers - Much critical energy has been spent disputing that such an idea has any validity at all - The simplest way to challenge the notion of realism in the cinema is to raise the issue of mediation: any act of pointing a camera involves choice and selection, creating a version of the world, not the world itself - Moreover, it is a world that is framed, lit and dressed in ways that impose creative choices on an audience’s impression of external reality th - More complex are the different ways in which late 20 century thought has sought to
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