Week 8 - Formalism - Clash By Night and Loving

Week 8 - Formalism - Clash By Night and Loving - Week 8...

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Week 8 – Realism and Formalism – Clash By Night and  Loving 02/03/2009 03:53:00 REALISM Realism attempts to create a 1:1 correspondence between the way things are  and the way they are depicted However, subjectivity must enter into the equation Latin phrase: “Whatever is received is received in the manner of the one  receiving it.” In evaluating film as either realist or formalist, it is important to remember that  rarely do films fit nicely into one or the other categories Examples from “Clash By Night” and “Loving” In general, “Loving” has much more self-reflexivity than does “Clash” Two scenes take place in a movie projection room in “Clash,” but only because  Earl works there. In contrast, “Loving” depicts Brooks as a commercial artist and brings details of  the film process up front and center (fictionalized photograph scene with his wife as the  model, where he talks about costume, acting emotion, takes multiple shots because  some aren’t good, etc.) The opening sequence of “Clash” is abstracted waves representing the clash of  the characters, but is quickly changed to a documentary realist sequence illustrating the  inner workings of a fish cannery in Monterey; this gives the effect of regional  consistency and specificity Marilyn Monroe is seen wearing jeans and a dirty sweatshirt, telling us about her  occupation and class (in contrast with using her star persona) In contrast, the opening of “Loving” uses actual location footage, but the sound  design highlights the formalist intrusions of the director. We see the two characters  having a dialogue, but we can’t hear it because of the music; it is expressive stylization,  which calls attention to the artistic interventions of the filmmaker. It becomes even more  pronounced when the street noises come in, and we only hear the last part of their  dialogue, revealing Kershner’s control of story information and use of formal techniques  in revealing plot details. FORMALISM Formalism does not want to give the audience reality.  
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Recreates reality based on ideas. Focus is on the person who makes the movie and his vision of reality and ability  to express it. Formalism is form over content Mode of representation that sees reality and gives it to the audience in the way  the person displaying it sees it—very subjective—not how it is in nature and reality The recreation of reality as dependent on the interplay between the subjective 
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