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Cinema Verite Essay

1077 words - 5 pages

The nineteenth-century was an explosion of industry and technology. Evidence of how these advances made an impact on people's lives and how they viewed the world was prevalent in the art of the time. The influence of the Freudian revolution, having given artists insight into the human psyche, would give birth to movements in art such as Expressionism and Surrealism. As the nineteenth-century came to a close, an entirely novel mixture of art and technology found its inception, cinema. Beginning with French filmmaker Georges Melies' fourteen-minute silent film, A Trip to the Moon, released to the public in 1902 and based on a Jules Verne novel, the art of motion pictures would become the ...view middle of the document...

Throughout the film, however, references are made again and again of the turmoil of the time; there is a scene in which a mother and child, traveling on the same bus as Ellie and Peter, are shown weak from hunger yet unwilling to accept money, reflecting the desperate situations many faced during the Depression era. Do to new techniques and styles in editing, the director is able to bring a sense of reality to this fiction based work.
American director, D.W. Griffith, was a pioneer in what would come to be termed “Hollywood Editing.” Hollywood editing would be built on the principle of continuity; films should be edited in a way that action flows smoothly from scene to scene without jarring, visual inconsistencies so that it establishes a sense of story for the viewer. This style employed the use of such techniques as multiple camera angles, close-ups, fade out and fade in, and flashbacks. As a way of enhancing the drama while adding a realistic feel to the story being told on screen, many directors would use these tools to add social commentary to this particular form of art.
Emerging in the 1950's and 1960's, Cinema Verite, “verite” meaning “truth”, allowed many artists of the time to make some very bold statements. Taking inspiration from Direct Cinema, a form of documentary that utilized a fly-on-the-wall technique, cinema verite would take the biopic to a different level. As in typical documentaries, real places, people and events are filmed, hours of actual conversations, interviews, and opinions. However, where Direct Cinema involves long, panning shots with primarily very little editing, the verite style makes use of Hollywood editing; the film maker chooses the best material from the footage and splices it together with music to make a film of real impact. With the power of editing, the director's opinion on the content is voiced.
In the 2010 Sundance Film Festival, Restrepo won the The Grand Jury Prize for best documentary. Directed by American journalist Sebastian Junger and British/American photojournalist Tim Hetherington, Restrepo is a documentary about the Afghanistan war. On assignment for Vanity Fair, Junger and Heatherington spent a year with Second Platoon, B Company, 2nd Battalion, 503rd...

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