Chapter

Realism, reality and authenticity

Richard Rushton

in The Reality of Film

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print November 2010 | ISBN: 9780719082689
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781702994 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7228/manchester/9780719082689.003.0013
Realism, reality and authenticity

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Filmic reality is dependent on the attitude of an individual to see the film as a part of reality instead of its representations. This chapter focuses on the works of André Bazin who goes beyond political modernism and its logic of illusion versus reality in the cinema. His writings on the ‘Ontology of the photographic image’ and the ‘Myth of total cinema’ appear fundamentally to cement his approach to cinema as one that is unflinchingly representational. For him, cinema has the capacity to create reality in a specific way, one that conceives of modes of life in an ‘authentic’ manner. The kind of authenticity Bazin envisages is explicitly non-representational—it has nothing to do with reflecting, representing or capturing reality, and instead is about creating modes of life that are to be considered ‘real’.

Keywords: filmic reality; André Bazin; Ontology of the photographic image; Myth of total cinema; capturing reality

Chapter.  16548 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Film

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