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Week Four: What is Real, Anyway?

December 12th, 2010 by dcastillo100

“Nanook of the North was the first successful feature length documentary film and pivotal movie in the history of cinema.” This documentary was a black and white film that followed the daily lives of eskimos. Compared to contemporary documentary films, its significant structure is discrete. At first, I was skeptic of this presentation, me being accustomed to color films and fast paced story telling, but because I am very easily intrigued with culture my attention span elongated and is now a film I would recommend for anyone to see. This documentary seems to be a good example of realism in films and two theorist that can differ their ways of defining realism are Sigfried Kracauer and Andre Bazin.  Kracauer theory on reality seems to be making a scene real to its full potential with staging, camera effects, camera movements, and lighting, physical but fantasy reality. Bazin’s view on reality is more of the informative aspect, wanting spectators to see the actual length and struggles of a scenario. In Nanook of the North, the scene where the director captures the hunt for seals. The purpose to capture this scene is to let viewers know the simple tactic that eskimos use to hunt for their dinner but once it’s caught it becomes a strenuous labor, off course they don’t have a choice. The realism here is following the life of an eskimo, but how real is it for one to follow a family and they being directed to do certain tasks.

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