Week Four: What Is Real, Anyway?

Kracauer’s approach to film is that it exists to really show everyone what reality is. His theory is naïve, as apposed to Bazin who is much more thoughtful. Bazin said, “Cinema attains its fullness in being the art of the real.” Kracauer actually defines the meaning of reality. Kracauer had this theory that creating reality within a film is created through the elements used to create it. He believes that not creating it helps bring out the natural realism. He believes that without all this is makes it look not believable. Bazin welcomed the introduction of sound, since it was a step toward practicality, pleasing to the eye, saving, and fulfilling his idealism of realist films. He believed that actors no longer had to overstress acting as much, moving from theatre to film. Citizen Kane for Bazin, was “liberated viewing”, having so much information that the viewer could contribute or interpret the film in various ways, with a fuller picture of reality. Bazin favored Citizen Kane because “it abandoned the usual invisible style of editing in favor of what at times was an elaborate reliance on extremely long held shots with… entire scenes constructed out of a few such shots” (Lehman 338). Bazin said editing in Nanook of the North would have ruined the impact of the seal-hunting scene. Which is ironic because Nanook was a documentary. Bazin said that film was an art form, almost like a work of fiction.

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