Films will always have a special place in the heart of many individuals. This is true not only for filmmakers but also for many avid and loyal movie goers. More often than not the audience tends to identify themselves with the characters that are shown on the big screen. Films create a cathartic effect wherein the public can readily relate to the events and scenarios that are presented. Indeed, films can be best described as a reflection not only of society’s happenings but also the individualistic experiences of each and every enthusiastic film aficionado.
Given this situation at hand, films go beyond entertainment purposes. It mirrors and depicts different facets of reality that are otherwise taken for granted or ignored. Speaking of reality, various film makers have attempted and experimented on how to capture reality with their most trusted weapon—the camera. There is the aim for each and every filmmaker to lessen, if not totally eliminate the artificiality or technological mediation that are present in film production. This situation paved the way for the rise and development of a film movement in the 1960s more popularly known as Cinema Verite (“Cinema Verite”).
This kind of approach originated from various French film directors who were bold enough to deviate from the commercialism of mainstream filmmaking (McConnell). According to Rothman, Cinema Verite is a form of a documentary film (281). The striking characteristic of Cinema Verite is that it readily records natural events such as ongoing conversations, for example. Like documentaries, it does not rely on famous actors and actresses to portray specific tasks and roles. Recording of natural sound is also very apparent.
It seems that the main philosophy embedded in Cinema Verite is the aim to achieve spontaneity (Reisz & Millar 297). This would not come as a surprise since the movement is highly influenced by the process of making documentaries. However, Cinema Verite stands out in the sense that the events recorded are not staged and scripted. It tries to bring out the natural form and substance of the scenario that is being captured. Afterwards, these shots shall be incorporated in the whole film that is produced. Take for example the case of F for Fake which was directed by Orson Welles.
It can be seen that the film incorporated several footages of Elmer De Hory. De Hory was shown in his most natural state—the artificiality of the film is reduced compared to scripted ones. This is also true as for the case of Eroll Morris’ The Thin Blue Line, wherein interviews were incorporated into the whole film. The ending of Morris’ masterpiece, wherein the tape recorder was the only one shown, readily captured reality in its purest form. In this case, Morris’ allowed the object to speak for the true events of what really happened during the murderous event.
It turned out that Adams, who was pressed for all the charges was actually innocent of the crime. One of the good things about Cinema Verite is that it allows it’s subjects to talk for themselves. True emotions and feelings are captured in the film. Pretensions are minimized and even the reenactment of some events—as for the case of The Thin Blue Line does not really affected the way reality is handled and presented in the audience. Although, Cinema Verite does not heavily rely on sophisticated visual effects, it does not devaluate its aesthetical concerns and artistic integrity.
As a matter of fact, these aspects are even highlighted. On the other hand, with regards to the question on whether docudrama is truer than fictionalized depiction of the same event, the simple answer would be a big YES. First and foremost, the characters that are shown in docudrama do exist in real life. In addition to that, since their images and actions are shown in their natural state, the public is not left to wonder whether the events and individuals presented are fiction or film.
This is in stark contrast to mainstream films that have been proliferating in several movie-houses. This is even true as for the case of films which are actually based on true stories. The depiction and portrayal of reality is not that articulated compared to docudramas. First of all, as for the case of commercial films, the actors and actresses that portray a specific role or task cannot really matched the true nature of the characters that they depict. They are simply mimicking or imitating some of the gestures and mannerisms of the characters that they play.
However, if this is performed by the actual individual per se, the artificiality is reduced and almost not felt upon watching the whole docudrama. Take for example, the case of F For Fake wherein De Homyr was seen interacting with other individuals and attending different affairs—this can be reenacted by a renown actor, however, the pure and natural way of how De Homyr deals with other people cannot be copied. In the meantime, as for the case of Thin Blue Line, the end part is highly capable of generating chilling effects.
The actual confession of the convicted criminal was recorded on tape and at the same time shown into the public. These events are rarely experienced by the audience. This is something that they do not really encounter in their everyday lives, therefore, once this scene was shown, it has the capacity to project reality in its unaltered form. Lastly, it cannot be denied that every film is a fiction film. The same thing applies to Cinema Verite and docudrama. However, this assertion does not mean that the works of Welles and Morris are all made-up and scripted.
The fiction side of films stems from the actual production of film—that in order for one to produce a film, he or she must rely on imagination first—imagination of what the whole movie would portray and depict. The things and events that are represented in films are based on stories that are imagined and therefore unreal (Aumont 77). In addition to that, there is the director and other staff members which readily develops the focus and emphasis of the involved films.
The fact that it is still under the supervision of someone—thus make “every film a fiction film. ” Works Cited Aumont, Jacques. Aesthetics of Film. USA: University of Texas Press, 1983 “Cinema Verite” Film Education. Retrieved 16 April 2008 from http://www. filmeducation. org/secondary/cinverite. html McConnell, Robert. “French Realism and Cinema Verite. ” Parlez-Vous. Retrieved 16 April 2008 from http://www. parlez-vous. com/misc/realism. htm Reisz, Karen and Gavin Millar. The Technique of Film Editing. Oxford: Focal Press, 1968Sample Essay of Custom-Writing