Theory Response: Similarities & Differences


Also, in spite of not mentioning the boundary between scriptwriter and director, I still believe that Vertov will support Astruc’s argument that scriptwriters are disappearing. For the genre as the newsreel, the reality weighs more than the editing. What’s more, snapshot means the quick seeking and capturing of eyes, so writing the script is not only pointless but also impossible. But the question is coming later: can the reality cover all the subjects, all the contents to the extent that we don’t need the melodrama, fiction film, and the works filled with pure imagination? Here comes their second divergence. Vertov excludes any genre except the newsreel while Astruc claims that cinema can handle any subject and any genre, which implies his open opinion on not only what but how these themes are woven into the film. It is two directions of one thing: replacing all the other things (turning into a monopolist), or coexisting with anything (turning into a language).

Beyond the simple relationship of similarity and differences, there are some more far-reaching connections between these two theories — there is a historical evolution involved. Looking at their schools of thoughts, the camera work in “Kino-Pravda” series, which perfectly illustrates Vertov’s combining theory with practice, inspires the filmmaking of Cinéma vérité. Cinéma vérité, also called observational cinema, sometimes is classified as a part of the French New Wave, for which Astruc’s this article is regarded as the first proclamation.



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