The Finer Limits of the Film as the Medium

The film is the leading medium of our time. In the world of moving images, the respective framework conditions of a society are reflected not least because the medium of film has been misused more than once for propaganda purposes. Films are an expression of a time-related self-image and indirectly tell us a lot about us, the audience.

Movies are always subjective

You cannot represent the society objectively, because already every camera setting and every angle of view filters the reality. The cinematic reality is always staged. But sometimes some directors manage this staging so well that their imagery seems to be in no way inferior to the real world. As you watch free movies you can explore the best results there.

Cinema is wonderful, but rarely has anything to do with reality

This is at least claimed again and again. The dream factory Hollywood, but also films and stories told ever has been known so-called escapism: escape from reality. Clever illusion salesmen, it is said with suspicion, supplied us with healing-world places where we escape for a while the impositions of real life.

Cinema as a narrative opium for the people

But something is lazy about this thesis. Cinema and literature are by no means merely beautiful worlds and do not supply the audience exclusively with edifying feelings. What is narrated is as much about people as it is about real life – even though they know that everything is just made up and not real. Gradually, researchers are exploring how to explain the fascination of people for movies and stories.

US communication researchers Jane Ebert of Brandeis University and Tom Meyvis of New York University, for example, gave their subjects a tragic story, such as a young man dying from cancer. Then they asked the participants if they would feel sadder or less sad if they knew that the story was true and not just invented. Almost everyone was convinced that a true story would take them more. This turned out to be a fallacy. Because now the researchers presented the same story to other subjects and sold them to some as fictitious, others as true. The result, it made no difference, the story made the participants equally sad, whether they thought it was real or invented.

It does not matter if it’s real or invented

This is how it was when Ebert and Meyvis changed media and presented a moving film, which they in turn announced as either documentary or drama. If the film ran without interruption, it did not matter if the participants considered the plot to be real or invented: The story captured them so much that they could not help but get emotional. Only if the researchers incorporated small interruptions in the demonstration, the supposedly fictional film was rated as less disturbing than the supposedly real – probably because the audience had the opportunity in the breaks to refrain from internally according to the motto “no reason, yourself everything is just imagined, no one really had to suffer! “Without this deliberate distancing, stories are first experienced reality for us.