Naturalist Styles

András Bálint Kovács

in Screening Modernism

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print January 2008 | ISBN: 9780226451633
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226451664 | DOI:
Naturalist Styles

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The appearance of a certain naturalism in film style was the most general phenomenon characterizing the transition to modern art cinema from the classical expressive style that dominated the 1940s and much of the 1950s. Most of the European “new cinemas” debuted to some extent with a return to the representation of real-life experience, even if stylistically this did not mesh well with stylistic changes, such as in the case of new British cinema at least until 1962. While the emergence of “new cinemas” can definitely be associated with a more realistic film form, modernism proper is not to be identified with this realism. This chapter looks at films using the style in which documentary, or to use the French terminology, cinéma vérité (direct cinema), is predominant. It prefers to use the term “naturalist” rather than “documentary” as it is more evocative of a style than a genre, and because it wants to avoid discussing the problem of documentary and fiction. The chapter examines the emergence of post-neorealism, cinéma vérité, and the “new wave” style.

Keywords: naturalism; modernism; documentary; cinéma vérité; new wave style; post-neorealism; art cinema; new cinemas; realism

Chapter.  2320 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies

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