Realism Of Film And Film Of The 1950s And 40s Through The Italian Neorealism Movement

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Realism’s relationship with cinema and film form is one which has been debated since the beginnings of film theory. There are many different arguments on how best to capture realism on film. It came to the forefront of film theory in the 1930s and 40s through the Italian neorealism movement. Andre Bazin was a french film critic and theorist who is best known for his writing on realism in film. He argued that cinema is fundamentally realistic and that filmmakers should not alter what an audience views, with exception. He favours the long deep focus shot such as those used in Orson Well’s Citizen Kane. Sergei Eisenstein, a soviet director and theorist, favoured the opposite approach to achieving realism in film. Basing his theory around early work by Kuleshov and Pudovkin, Eisenstein championed montage as the only way to capture realism in film. His theory is based around the idea that reality is dialectical, with much of his work stemming from the politics of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. He argues that as reality is dialectical, then the filmmaking that seeks to capture this reality must also be dialectical. On the face of it these methods are polar opposites however they both attempt to solve the question of how best to capture realism in the cinema. Through this shared goal there is similarity in the two different theorists approaches that hint at neither method necessarily being more effective in capturing reality. Despite the debate on how best to capture realism,

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