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October 1998, Week 2


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Damian Peter Sutton <[log in to unmask]>
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Fri, 9 Oct 1998 18:24:50 +0100
TEXT/PLAIN (31 lines)
Some thoughts on the answers to the realism query which I started:
> all these indicate that Realism can be seen as what an
> audience perceives to be the real world at the time that a text is
> produced.
I'm not so sure, I think true 'psychologogical realism', which I
think is the most important factor here, is when the signifier of the
cinema promotes transcendence of the audience, and this can only be
achieved if the audience susoends their disbelief. If the audience at
any time is reminded of the spectacle process which they are involved
in, this is broken, and true 'realism' is lost. Surely a true realism
in cinema is that which 'tricks' or 'enchants' the audience. I think
that it's less about believable characters or events, such as a
pathetically duplicitous President or a hysterical
robbery-gone-wrong, as audiences are aware that these 'unbelieveable'
things do actually exist. It's more a question of believable
mise-en-scene. Can the mise-en-scene engage the action of memory and
imagination on the part of the spectator enough for them to believe
what they are shown. Perhaps the best example of this is the effect
the horror film since the 70s has had on realism. In this case, the
more realistic the effects used to present the human form in trauma,
the more believeable the effects used to present the supernatural
become. I think the _Hellraiser_ films are a good case in point.
Damian Peter Sutton
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