How people study art…• Professional/Criticism: what works, from an aesthetic or persuasive point, in visual communication, what doesn’t?• Audience-Oriented: what does the audience see/believe when they see a particular image?• Semiotic: what metaphors are used and to what effect?• Cultural Studies: What do the images tell us about ourselves and our worldview?
• Realism and formalism are 2 main styles a movie falls under in filming technique.• Realism strives for an objective view and makes use of actual locations, authentic costumes, and handheld documentary style shots to add a sense of reality to film.• Formalism uses techniques that express the filmmaker’s artistic view (even distorting images) and aim for the emotional symbolism in style.
Formalism vs. Realism• Open Form: window on the world; random composition in the frame; candid effect; suggests freedom of choice in the filmic world• Closed Form: planned and elaborate composition; formalistic and expressive; suggests entrapment in the filmic world
• The camps are opposed aesthetically: a formalist might argue that realism is too plain to be great art, where a realist might argue that artistic value lies in the story itself, and formalism damages that by drawing too much attention to the way the story is told.
Romanticism/ Formalism/ Closed Comp Julia Ma osition rgaret Camer on• 1815-1879• English photographer known for her portraits of eminent people of the day, and for her romantic pictures which, despite their technical imperfections, stand the test of time
• Not a great technician.• Some negatives show uneven coating of collodion, and dust particles that lend a dream quality.• Many prints are faded.• But Cameron had tremendous capacity to visualize a mythic drama--her portraits show vitality that the work of her peers did not.• Exposures lasting between one & seven minutes.
Realism Walker EvansAmerican photographer of the GreatDepression era. A sensibility that ischaracterized by isolation, melancholy,and loneliness.
• Scenes with sparse qualities—city streets, half-empty theaters, gas stations, railroad tracks, rooming houses.
• Chilling, alienating, and often vacuous places. People may appear terribly alone.
• According to Irving Singer, there are two kinds of film theorists as well as makers - formalists and realists - and since the formative years of film theory their differences have been at the core of controversies in film criticism.• Basically, formalists adhere to the idea that film is art and not a recording of reality• Realists believe that film is meant to be a more or less direct reproduction of reality.
“Every act ofseeing is also anact of NOT seeing”(~Shirato and Webb/Roland Barthes)
Types of Visual MessagesDirect/Pure—what we see in the worldMediated/Interpreted —what we see onphotography, TV, in film, magazines, onsigns and billboards, on the Internet…