5 pages/≈1375 words
Communications & Media
Aesthetics of Realism in Bigger, Stronger, Better* (Movie Review Sample)
this paper required an analysis of Christopher Bell's 2008 film, Bigger, Stronger Faster* to illustrate how the movie uses different elements of aesthetic realism . the paper mainly looked at four main aspects of aesthetics of realism namely, omniscient voiceover, the use of on-camera interviews, real mise-en-scene, and the use of real characters. source..
Aesthetics of Realism in Bigger, Stronger, Better* Name Institution Aesthetics of Realism in Bigger, Stronger, Better* Christopher Bell's 2008 film, Bigger, Stronger Faster* explores the extent to which people in the US can go to achieve their desire for success and living the American dream. Specifically, the documentary film examines how sportsmen use anabolic steroids to enhance their performance in bodybuilding. The director, Christopher Bell follows through the experiences of his two brothers Mark â€˜Smelly' and Mike â€˜Mad Dog,' who are users of anabolic steroids. Bell and his two brothers grew up idolizing professional bodybuilding legends such as Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, and Hulk Hogan. However, their quest for success drove them towards using performance enhancing drugs as they discovered that most of the successful body builders, including their idols, used steroids. In the film, Bell also interviews several other athletes, congressmen, fitness center members, and medical experts in discussing the perceptions, effects, and the frequency of using performance enhancement drugs. One theme that comes out vividly from the documentary is the inconsistency through which the Americans view issues such as cheating, drug abuse, and various ways of achieving success. From a general perspective, the film is critical of the health supplements industry as well as presenting a skeptical view of the health implications of steroids. Nevertheless, the documentary is considered as an artistic masterpiece in terms of presenting some of the core elements of nonfiction films. Christopher Bells uses many different elements of aesthetic realism to help the viewer understand the truth about their world. Some of the aspects of aesthetic realism that stand out in the movie include omniscient voiceover, the use of on-camera interviews, real mise-en-scene, and the use of real characters. Omniscient Voiceover Christopher Bell makes use of his narration to provide the viewers with useful insights and facts in the documentary. This is one of the standout elements in the film because it gives the audience an in-depth exploration of the events going on in the movie. Bell uses first person narration in the documentary. Therefore, he is able to explain his views, feelings, and experience with the issues discussed in the film. This narration style brings out the movie as an honest, entertaining and informative film. Also, the fact that the narrator interviewed his two brothers, who were ardent uses of steroids, also enabled him to bring out his emotions regarding the subject. However, his first person narration in the film does not dilute the objectiveness of the facts in the movie. The film manages to present a balanced analysis of the issues and arguments through interviews with people from both sides of the argument. The omniscient voice narration in the film services different purposes in enhancing the ability of the viewers to get the truth about the subject matter of the film, the use of performance enhancement drugs. Firstly, the narration given by Bell is important because it provides viewers with objective truth. Objectivity is important in understanding reality. Bell's narration enhances objectivity by not letting his emotions and perceptions of the topic overshadow the main facts provided by specialists interviewed in the film. Furthermore, the narration by Bell also very informative because it's well researched. Bell presents his facts carefully in a manner that is consistent throughout the film. The omniscient narration also facilitates delivery if truth to the followers because it enables the narrator to link the video images on screen with other facts and content from footage that was not included in the final film after editing. The narration plays the role of filling in content gaps that may have been left out during the editing process. As such, narration ensures consistency and continuity in the delivery of information in the documentary. Onscreen Interviews Chris Bell makes extensive use of on-screen interviews throughout the documentary. Interviews are very useful sources of getting information in research. In nonfiction documentaries, interviews give the film a heightened sense of realism because they indicate that other people mutually share the views of the maker of the film. Nevertheless, it is the credibility of the people interviewed onscreen that matters in terms of creating a picture of realism. In Bigger, stronger, faster, Bell conducts interviews with very credible sources. For instance, he interviews his two brothers who have a firsthand experience in using steroids. He also interviews other sportsmen and athletes who have confessed to using performance enhancement drugs in their different industries. Also, he also conducts interviews with medical specialists, body builders, and politicians, all of whom give different opinions on the subject. Onscreen interviews in the film are very crucial in enhancing the film's realism. Since the film is nonfiction, it is essential that it depicts the facts accurately for them to be believed by the audience. The truthfulness of the facts in the film is enhanced by the onscreen interviews with different people who present their expert views. Onscreen interviews make it easier for the audience to believe the information because they can see the film's makers interact with the interviewees. However, the most important aspect of the onscreen interviews is the fact that they provide firsthand facts. The audience gets the information and the key facts directly from the experts. This is likely to increase the believability and realness of the content presented in the film. Real Mise-en-scene Mise-en-scene is a term used to describe the appearance and arrangement of different scenes in a film. It is used to describe the most recognizable elements of a film. The term is derived from a French theatrical expression that means â€˜placing on stage.' Essentially, the term is used to describe different elements of the film including the setting, lighting, space, costumes, special effects, staging, and presentation of the actors. All these aspects of mise-en-scene are meant to enhance the artistic presentation of a film. Different genres of movies present the elements of mise-en-scene in various ways. In fiction movies, most of the attributes of the film encompassed in mise-en-scene are often fabricated and edited in studios. However, in nonfiction movies, most of these elements are presented raw and real to enhance the film's aesthetic realism. Christopher Bell uses real mise-en-scene extensively in the film. This has had the effect of improving the movie in terms of its aesthetic realism. For instance, the film is shot on location, presenting a real setting of the available mise-en-scene. Furthermore, the characters in the film do not have any specific costumes or makeup as in most fiction movies. In a...
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