The Myth of Total Cinema, 50 Years On: Was Andre Bazin Right?
In this essay, I will look at the great French Film Critic Andre Bazin, and his ideas on realism in film, and evaluate the authenticity of his prediction that he made 50 years back at the time of his death. Half a century after his death, I will explain Bazin’s ideas and predictions, give a summary of his two famous essays, give a standard definition of realism from three different aspects of film, select three recent films each from the three parts of the spectrum of realism, classicism, and formalism, and evaluate if Bazin’s ideas proved true to films today.
Bazin’s prediction, that film is moving toward a myth that has guided cinema since its birth in the late 19th century, will be tested in this essay. Bazin predicted that film will one day fulfill the dream to succeed in representing the physical world completely; that film will continue to become more and more realistic as time passes to achieve the myth that the inventers of cinema had dreamt of since the birth of cinema.
In this essay, we see that Bazin’s predictions were in fact correct, and are closer today than ever before in achieving the myth: the myth of total cinema.