Monday, May 18, 2015

Cinematic Reality: What is real? PART TEN


Often, when directors want to inject their movies with a dose of realism, they imitate media that is assumed to convey reality and truth.  

Sometimes it's obvious, as in the genre of Found Footage.

Sometimes, the imitations are more subtle, and more associative.

Steven Spielberg, for instance, associates shaky hand-held camerawork with realism.  He has used this technique consistently throughout his career, perhaps most notably in his depiction of the invasion of Normandy in the opening of "Saving Private Ryan" (1998).

Christopher Nolan associates quick cuts, and dissociative editing with reality.  He uses these techniques frequently in his Batman movies to intensify the action sequences and to give Batman the appearance of being too quick to be seen fully by his enemies.

Whether or not these choices have the desired effect on audiences is up to debate.

What's important is how Spielberg and Nolan associate these techniques with reality, so that it becomes part of their personal film language.

As mentioned before, these aesthetic choices are partially derived from their use in documentary filmmaking - a type of filmmaking frequently having less funding than feature films and, therefore, less polish.  All the technical "mistakes" one would try to avoid in features become "glorified" as signposts of greater reality.

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