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October 1998, Week 2


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Jean-Pierre Geuens <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 8 Oct 1998 16:20:36 -0700
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Jason Lapeyere writes:
>a film is defined by popular critics as "realistic" if it
>shows an audience what they believe to be true about themselves at the
>time that they see it.  The recent trend in Hollywood cinema of showing
>the President of the U.S. as incompetent and ineffective in films like
>"Absolute Power", "Primary Colours" and "Armageddon" - this representation
>is acceptable to American audiences of the late '90s but probably wouldn't
>have washed in the late '50s.  Why?  I think a simplistic answer would
>look at the disillusionment of American culture with big government and
>the perception of politicians as cut off from the public.  In that sense,
>it is "realistic", but bear in mind it's a constantly shifting definition.
True enough: any work that plays the game (form or content) can be called
realistic nowadays.  This is however quite the opposite of Courbet and his
Stonebreakers (not a rock group).  *Realism* then introduced the other as a
subject for art in a way that terrified the painting world.  At that time
*realism* was a revolutionary tool: no wonder it got quickly domesticated
into a parody of its former self!
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