Realism has become one of the most contested terms in the history of cinema. Cinematic realism is neither a genre nor a movement, and it has neither rigid formal criteria nor specific subject matter. But does this mean that realism is simply an illusion, and that, as Werner Herzog has declared: “the so called Cinema Verite i?rite?” Probably not, as realism has been an extremely useful concept for asking questions about the nature of cinematographic images, the relation of film to reality, the credibility of images, and the role cinema plays in the organization and understanding of the world.

Realism, at the very least, has been a productive illusion. In film history, realism has designated two distinct modes of filmmaking and two approaches to the cinematographic image. In the first instance, cinematic realism refers to the verisimilitude of a film to the believability of its characters and events. This realism is most evident in the classical Hollywood cinema. The second instance of cinematic realism takes as its starting point the camera’s mechanical reproduction of reality, and often ends up challenging the rules of Hollywood movie making.

Kane is by no means a conventional, run-of-the-mill movie. Its keynote is realism. When you compare any of these films they all have their own significance. When comparing a realist film to “Citizen Kane” it really is a lot to compare and a lot that differentiates. When comparing any film to this that is a realist film you have to look at the storyline to the film.

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Selma was a film based off of actual events and actual events that affected lives. When you think of Citizen Kane the first thing that may come to your mind is the tramp. His movies were more drama than realism. Where as Selma was about the Civil Rights Act of 1964 legally desegregated the South, discrimination was still rampant in certain areas, making it very difficult for blacks to register to vote. In 1965, an Alabama city be…

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Cinematic Realism. (2019, Dec 05). Retrieved from

Cinematic Realism
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