This is a small introduction that we dedicated to Understanding Movies book and to the great Louis Giannetti, a Proffessor of English and Film at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. He has written about movies for such scholarly journals as Literature/Film Quarterly, The Western Humanities Review and Film Criticism. He is the author several books in Cinema theory: Godard and Others: Essays on Film Form, Masters of the American Cinema, Flashback: A Brief History of Film and Understanding Movies.
“Even before the turn of the last century, movies began to develop in two major directions: the realistic and the formalistic. In the mid-1890’s, in France, the Luimière brothers delighted audiences with their short movies dealing with everyday ocurrences. Such films as The Arrival of a Train, fascinated viewers precisely because they seemed to captured the flux and spontaneity of events as they were viewed in real life. At about the same time, Georges Méliès was creating a number of fantasy films that emphasized purely imagined events. Such movies as A Trip To The Moon were typical mixtures of whimsical narrative and trick photography…
Realism and formalism are general rather than absolute terms. When used to suggest a tendency toward either polarity, such levels can be helpful, but in the end they are just labels. Few movies are exclusively formalist in style, and fewer yet are completely realist”…
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Short Films & Future Films, INCORTO.com