Bazin And Eisenstein: Film Analysis

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Dividing film theory into the dichotomy of two very broad categories, realism and formalism, does have it merit but only in the simplification of information. By stating that Andre Bazin is a realist and Sergei Eisenstein is a formalist on who is largely unfamiliar with their works is able to compile a rough list of attributes and beliefs that may relate to each theorist; however, these label can act as a subterfuge, masking the beliefs of Bazin and Eisenstein that do not fit into these categories and creating an often unnecessary tension between their theories. Bazin and Eisenstein agreed, to an extent, on several important aspect or issues in cinema. For example, like all of the theorists that we have read this semester, they both understand …show more content…
They do unite in opinion on the fact that Thomas Edison’s choice of 35mm film was completely arbitrary and that it has set an unchangeable precedent that may have hindered the evolution of true cinema to achieve its fullest capabilities. They both believe that the size and shape of the cinema screen should be a choice left up to the director and that it should be based on what best suits the subject of the film. In his Essay, The Dynamic Square Eisenstein explains that the screen would be most effective if it was vertical instead of horizontal, as it is. Though he is willing to compromise because of the difficulties in exhibition transitioning to a vertical screen, and people’s aversion to it, suggesting that the screen be square instead. He also makes an almost identical argument, in Eisenstein: A Soviet Artist to that of Bazin by suggesting that subject dictate the screen shape through his praise of Japanese cinema which composed the frame to the subject instead of the traditional way of composing the subject and setting for the frame. Bazin reflects this view in his writing, William Wyler, or the …show more content…
This melodrama by definition contains larger than life characters, expressive music and a grandiose setting that are necessary not only for the genre but for fostering the narrative. Melodrama is all about excess, in acting, setting, music, and in this case in even screen dimension. Therefore, the subjects and the dramatic nature of the film require a screen size and shape that are able to encompass them. Furthermore, the overly dramatic acting requires the screen space in which to fulfill their full potential. Take, for example, the scene in which Mary Lee dances throughout her room, using up the entirety of the widescreens space and, in the same scene the widescreen’s dimensions are completely filled when the father dramatically falls down the stairs. It think that Bazin and Eisenstein would both agree that this scene and the move as a whole would not share the same physiological effect that they both believe is necessary in cinema, if the film was produced under different dimensions or if the exhibition cut it down to the square shape they also both suggest as a compromise to the screen shape debate. This scene may also suggest that Bazin and Eisenstein were wrong in their belief that montage would be eliminated by the widescreen. In this example, Bazin

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