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The nineteenth-century Lukácsian and intuitionist realist traditions
Author: Ian Aitken

This book embraces studies of cinematic realism and nineteenth-century tradition; the realist film theories of Lukács, Grierson, Bazin and Kracauer; and the relationship of realist film theory to the general field of film theory and philosophy. It attempts a rigorous and systematic application of realist film theory to the analysis of particular films, suggesting new ways forward for a new series of studies in cinematic realism, and for a new form of film theory based on realism. The book stresses the importance of the question of realism both in film studies and in contemporary life.

Ian Aitken

This chapter discusses the influence of the naturalist tradition on early French cinema, covering the pictorialist naturalist school of the 1920s, the cycles of Zola adaptations that appeared between 1902 and 1938, and the ‘social-realist’ cinema of Renoir. The categorical map of the significant realist French film production of the 1930–8 period is meant to be neither exhaustive nor definitive. The chapter emphasizes that La Bête humaine focuses on a disturbing and morally corrupt social order, which conforms closely to one of the most important features of the critical realist/naturalist tradition in its employment of an indeterminate aesthetic style. It concludes by accounting for Renoir's La Bête humaine in terms of the model of critical realism.

in Realist film theory and cinema
Cinematic realism, philosophical realism and film theory
Ian Aitken

which they adopt. Following this, the chapter will relate these realist traditions to two different theoretical contexts. First, cinematic realism will be placed within the context of philosophical realism, and an attempt will be made to establish the extent to which the realist film theories explored here can be defined in philosophical terms, and what the value of such an enterprise might be. Second, cinematic realism will be compared to a

in Realist film theory and cinema
Abstract only
Ian Aitken

involving realism might it be possible to imagine within the field of film studies, which might help to achieve redress? The first book in this series, European Film Theory and Cinema , explored relationships between intuitionist cinematic modernism and intuitionist cinematic realism. Realist Film Theory and Cinema attempts an overview of nineteenth-century Lukácsian and intuitionist realist film theory. The third planned book

in Realist film theory and cinema
Abstract only
Ian Aitken

Kracauer’s Theory of Film and Lukács’ The Specificity of the Aesthetic and Toward the Ontology of Social Being were written, then these works, and the concerns they confront, remain compelling. This study has also attempted to develop a reconstructed model of Lukácsian cinematic realism. The model which appears here as a consequence draws on all four periods of

in Lukácsian film theory and cinema
Ian Aitken

This chapter will explore the model of aesthetic realism developed by the Hungarian theorist György (Georg) Lukács (1885–1971), and will then proceed to set out the parameters of a Lukácsian theory of cinematic realism. Lukács’ literary and philosophical writings constitute perhaps the most important attempt to establish a comprehensive Marxist theory of aesthetic representation, and his theory of literary realism has

in Realist film theory and cinema
Ian Aitken

’ explanatory model. The insistent inclusion of the work of Grierson, Bazin and Kracauer within this category also reflects the fact that this body of work was regarded as relatively passé until quite recently, and the object of little critical analysis. This situation is now changing, as it should, because the models of cinematic realism developed by Grierson, Bazin and Kracauer make up one of the most sophisticated bodies of theory

in Realist film theory and cinema
Lukácsian cinematic realism in Danton (1990) and Senso (1954)
Ian Aitken

Although, as we have seen, Lukács’ developed standpoint on cinematic realism entails a predominantly naturalist model, his overall stance on aesthetic realism indicates that a number of diverse and conflicting categories of film are potentially equally definable as Lukácsian in some respect. Despite such an apparent compass of interpretation, however, it is possible to argue that a Lukácsian cinema

in Realist film theory and cinema
Abstract only
Colin Gardner

themselves outside the prevailing Zeitgeist . More importantly, Reisz was able to sustain this enquiry by radically transforming the nature of cinematic realism as a viable critical medium. Although many critics have cited the important legacy of Reisz and Lindsay Anderson’s kitchen sink films on the subsequent generation of British realist film-makers – most notably Ken Loach, Mike Leigh, Alan Clarke and

in Karel Reisz
The body, sex and Mexico
Peter Buse, Núria Triana Toribio and Andy Willis

contains three to four times as many cuts per reel than the average film made in Spain (Fortea 1997, 5). Perdita Durango may not tell us anything empirically valuable about social relations along the US–Mexico border, but it does once again confirm that the cinema of Álex de la Iglesia, even when it is a película de encargo, is firmly on the side of spectacle and against the traditions of cinematic realism. Notes 1 Depending on the report, Perdita cost between 1,200 million and 1,400 million pesetas to make. According to ICAA figures, its takings at the box office were

in The cinema of Álex de la Iglesia