abril 08, 2005

Conventions, Realism and Illusion

The way an actor smiles in films of the XXI century is different of the way an actor smiles in the classic cinema period. People accepted the accentuate characterization of simulated emotions as normal, because they were seeing a movie, a play or an opera.

After Stanislavsky and then Strasberg, characterization started to become more and more real like, because emotions in characters were depicted through true actor emotions. Actors should recall emotional situations in mind that could permit him to behave as expected in that moment. This was a shock in Hollywood (it stills not well accepted in some Europeans film and theatre schools). This type of characterization was seen as a distraction of drama, was seen as suspension of the dramatic moment, because it was so real that people would stand looking and feeling for the actor, forgetting the action in drama.

So for this to have a well effect wide accepted and formed in an overall film experience reception, we had to change also the way we direct, we edit, the scenarios, etc. Today we have a machine that produces a "type of reality", that we accept as true, so real as real. However, more than ever, films are not as real as real. We?ve developed a so good transparency structure, based in developed conventions, that viewer is never aware of that.
Stories are depicted through a filter, which maintains viewer interested through the constant development of emotional moments and spectacle sequences that manipulates the overall sensation of the viewer. A true tragic event is depicted in a movie enveloped by such an amount of dramatic characterization, that takes the viewer to a fulfilled experience of entertainment, and so that makes him feel as rewarded by the 2 hours he "lost" seeing that movie.

French Nouvelle Vague, tried to broke this transparency, without success. We can develop interesting points, however they are interesting by their uniqueness. This is a challenge for the developing of original artworks, breaking the accepted rules, the accepted conventions and looking for new visions. If these visions become to be wide accepted they are integrated in the old conventions, and that's how film language becomes to evolve.

The "Dogma Manifest" has also tried to broke completely these Hollywood conventions, however even following these rules, we come to understand that this is only a different type of depicting reality, and that this is so real as Hollywood in the end.

Film reality experience is an illusion.

Games that use storytelling, are still looking for these conventions, lots of what we have now is "remediated" from film/tv language. Players are still looking for experiencing innovation in gameplaying, because we have not arrived at a period where we can use a set of conventions wide accepted to tell a story. When we arrive at a point where the gameplay will be as transparent as film mechanics, stories will become the center of the experience.

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