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Cool Videos: Realism, how much does it really matter?

06.19.2017

The idea of using film to depict reality or fantasy has been a sticking point in film theory for a long time (since at least the days of the Lumiere brothers and George Milliez). And lately, many fantasy, comic, sci-fi, and action films (like ARRIVAL, the DCEU, GAME OF THRONES, and the recent JAMES BOND series) have been trying to make things more "gritty", "grounded", and "realistic". Now, while that is indeed a valid approach, should it be the only one? Is there a place for more formalist takes on material?

That's the question posted in the following video essay from Patrick (H) Willems. He talks about the tendency towards "realism" - especially in terms of genre films - and explains what that means (in terms of tangible qualities), and if it's even something we should try to attempt. Whether you agree or not, valid points are made about our current film landscape, and the reasons why certain trends happen, and also how there's room for more than one approach.

Either way, see for yourself!

So what do you Schmoes think? You prefer realism or formalism? Either way, sound off below!

Extra Tidbit: SPEED RACER is definitely a favorite of mine, despite its flaws.
Source: YouTube

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