We are proud to announce the first issue of our on-line journal *Photogénie*:
"Just the Facts – A New Realist Cinema?"
It is freely available and can be found through this
*Photogénie* (www.photogenie.be) wants to combine a sense of wonderment
with keen analyses. The connecting principle is the intense perception of
cinema. The articles that are published on the website – on films old and
new, cinema past and present – will not try and force this perception to
fit preconceived frameworks, but will endeavour to make the viewer
receptive to what films can make us see, in an attempt to put the allure of
cinema into words.
In a 1977 essay on Lumet’s *Dog Day Afternoon*, Fredric Jameson addressed a
perceived appetite for documentary fact in American culture, a distinct
longing for “the anecdotal, the *vécu*, the *fait divers*, the true story
in all its sociological freshness and unpredictability.” This appetite he
saw expressed in the rise and prominence of non-fiction and historical
novels, the primacy of non-fiction over fiction on the best-seller lists,
the prominence of fictional documentaries or ‘docudramas’ [drama based on
real events but re-enacted] on television, and the popularity of both
procedural cop drama and political-conspiracy thrillers on the big screen.
Over the years, this appetite has become only more pronounced:
reality-based TV is complemented by both HBO realism and Youtube *vérité*,
while docudrama has dominated the Oscars (if not the box office).
Filmmakers like Steven Soderbergh and David Fincher have shown a particular
fondness not only for fact-based narrative but for absolute fidelity to
historical fact in their dramaturgy and *mise en scène*.
The aim of this issue is to look at these films and the perceived return of
realism from a variety of angles, which are discussed in the
editor Tom Paulus.
The issue includes articles by Adrian Martin, Tom, Paulus, Pieter-Jan
Decoster, Stefaan Decostere, Michael Guarneri, David Gunzburg, Drehli
Robnik, Nancy Vansieleghem and Christophe Van Eecke.
We are grateful to all authors for having contributed these excellent
papers and we hope you will enjoy reading them as much as we did.
Bart Versteirt / VDFC vzw
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bank account number FORTIS 210-0079616-31 / BIC GEBABEBB / IBAN BE
04 2100 0796 1631
Screen-L is sponsored by the Telecommunication & Film Dept., the
University of Alabama: http://www.tcf.ua.edu