The topics of Real and Imaginary in film making are vastly different, especially in terms of how they are approached by film makers. Capturing the ‘Real’ is relatively easy, it could just be capturing the world around you. Capturing the imaginary is more difficult, for example poetry is known to not be reality. It is an invention, a reflection on the authors experiences in life. Capturing images is easy, imagination is distant and far away. Vertov once commented on the language of film, saying how film is an imaginative construct dealing with a new visual language. Repetitions, rhythm, montage, and intention are all key when attempting to avoid capturing the real. The mark of a good film maker, is how they make the audience see things from a different perspective to their own.
Two typical styles of film making that involve the creator are:
Mimesis – Describes a presentation in which the creator’s presence is ignored or disguised and the audience, viewer or reader is addressed by someone other than the maker.
Diegesis – Describes the structure in a play or any other artistic form in which the creator of the work does not ignore or disguise their own presence, and addresses the reader, viewer or audience directly.
In a recent lecture we viewed scenes from various inspirational films, and commented on the message the clips are trying to get across, and the style in which they are created in. One of these clips was from the filmed Sans Soleil (Sunless):
The voiceover in this clip is reflective, and works with the images as a direct address from someone’s thoughts. The clip discusses the placement of images and the constructive elements of film. The spaces of black in between create a visual contrast, and forces the viewer to listen rather than watch, which can be a powerful tool. Another clip we viewed was this one from Jean Rouch’s; “Chronique d’un été”:
In this clip the people know each other very well, and aren’t pretend the camera doesn’t exist as it’s a documentary/interview style piece. Jean Rouch actually appears in the clip too, giving his view on the comments expressed. This is a good example of Diegetic film making, with the subject matter being stated immediately and the sequence of shots relating to the conversation that’s happening.
I did some of my own research surrounding pieces that use an abnormal construction and structure. Here is a few clips from the film Bronson, which is based on the story of Britain’s most violent criminal, Charles Bronson.
Directed by Nicholas Winding Refn, this film uses imagery and lighting to exceptional levels which is expected from a Winding Refn film. There are elements of monologue, in which the main character Bronson is talking to an audience as if taking part in a play. These scenes are mixed into the wider story, which follows Bronson in his life as a prisoner. The monologue scenes are very surreal, and sometimes appear almost dreamlike. Tom Hardy does an excellent job of blurring the lines between sanity and insanity, and sometimes the viewer is left to wonder about the mental state of the character. I really like the style of filmmaking that this film shows, and may use something similar in my final piece, as I believe it is a brilliant way of telling a narrative. Its use of imagery, sound, music and performance really make it a unique piece of artwork, as with most of Winding Refn’s films.