Perception Is Reality

What in the World Does it Mean?

Posted on: January 22, 2008

Sorry for the delay in last week’s instalment. As a result, I’m going to put up another term on Thursday. So two for you guys!

This weeks term is…*Drumrolls* 

Cinema Truth

This is also called cinema verite, or direct cinema. According to the lectures, it is essentially a documentary style filmmaking that tries to get closest to the truth of a situation. It challenges the Greirsonian style of filmmaking, aligning with the subjects we see on these films.  This sort of documentary is mainly related to the television and development of technology of lightweight cameras and tape recorders.

In Film and television, cinema truth is used in different contexts according to the school of thought. In the European school, the filmmaker makes himself and his equipment known to be present to the viewer and the filmmaker partakes in the process, acting as a catalyst to get to the truth that may not be known otherwise. In the American school, the filmmaker takes a completely observational approach, staying as disconnected as possible, not mediating, nor making his presence known.

“What is Cinema Verite,” written by Issari and Paul talks about the emergence of the cinema verite era and the confusion of the term even today. The reading attempts to clarify the meaning, talking about the controversy of the term in a historical context.

Examples of Cinema Truth may be Don’t Look Back (starring Bob Dylan). This film was made by the American school of cinema truth, advocating an observational approach to film where the camera just observes, there being fairly long sequences. This is not the usual portraiture of a musical icon where he is arguing, swearing and fighting.


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About the Author…

Born in Karachi, Pakistan in an Adventist hospital, I grew up in a city where on one side I experienced poverty and oppression, while on the other I had the good fortune of Tabish Bhimani being a member of an upper middle-class business family...more...

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