Sunday, 9 December 2012

Week 7 (Tues 20 Nov)

In today's seminar, we returned to the subject of genre, which we had began to discuss the previous week (with elements such as style, Location, Conventiom/cliches, Character types. sound/music and its effect on the audience). Springboarding from this, we were divided into groups and asked to come up with an idea for a film within a specific genre. My group pitched a horror film set in an old dark house, dealing with a group of teenagers (complete with the requiste blonde, black character, older macho and innocent youngster) who decide to have a party, unaware of the sinister and murderous Housekeeper, who makes sure that those who come to stay, never, never leave.

Then, in the lecture, we watched the Dogma 95 (a code of film making that ditches a lot of the polish of more conventional film making, and goes for a more realisitic, gritty style and tone) Danish film Festen, centering on a rich family with a dark history of abuse, unravelled during a birthday party, and after, discussed the subject of realism in film: What is makes a film realistic (form, style, subject matter and tone) and how it differs from the formative (fictitious/made up). To delve a little deeper, how a film's 'realism' can be presented/percievecd can also include these details (some of which, Festen and other Dogma films utilise):
  • Appearance (grounded in something we know/truth)
  • Documentary aesthetic
  • Accuracy/true to life
  • Location shooting
  • Honesty
  • Subject matter
  • Psychological realism
  • Critical construct (opinions)
Also, we breifly touched on major movements in realist film making, like the French Poetic (1930s, centers on the working class and utilised long takes), Italian Neo (1945-1952, used non-professionals as actors and had low production values, mainly using location shooting), British Social (often known as 'Kitchen Sink', focusing on the working classes and having  a very strong regional element) and Latin American Third Cinema, as well as questioning Reality TV and if it does portray a believeable reality, or if it devolves into caricature and is more for entertainment value than a genuine representation (like Big Brother, Jersey Shore or I'm a Celebrity, when we see some of the challenges the contestants are given ot some of their behaviour, and if that has a rehearsed/scripted feel to them at times).

In closing, today we covered quite a bit of ground, and the highlight was discussing realism and seeing how many different elements can make up that up, and the many forms it took over the years. Also, Festen was a very interesting and different film experience, being funny and disturbing in turn.

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