Digital image processing technologies are swiftly transforming the perception and appearance of reality as shown in various movies. For instance, Forrest Gump (1994) shows the general public how the application of visual technologies using computer-generated images can create a perception of realism during the movie making process. In this blog, the concept of realism will be explored in the film Forrest Gump.
According to Edwards (2013), the theory of cinema as exemplified by Siegfried Kracauer falls under the tradition of artistic Realism. However, a movie like Forrest Gump is inherently considered as part of artistic realism. While analyzing ontology of cinema that was postulated by Andre Bazin, Edwards noted that a film can be regarded as means of actual recording as well as a revelation of physical reality. As such, this means that just like in the case of a photograph, movies such as Forrest Gump are realistic since they are a reproduction of the real world. Notably, the main inclinations or themes that are recurrent in the film include realistic and formative elements.
Due to digital image processing technologies, views of the movie are treated to gory photographic pictures of Gary Sinise, an actor playing Gump’s amputee friend and fellow Vietnam War veteran being moved by a nurse from a hospital bed while appearing legless in a digitally altered 3D space. At that point, viewers realize that the digital representation was not achieved via an old-fashioned technique of tucking the limbs of the actors behind their bodies and then concealing the tucked leg with a loose fitting garment.
All in all, one can realize that realism is very much in play in everyday cinema. Forrest Gump is an excellent exemplification of this application of realism to movie production.
Edwards, T.J., 2013. Realism, really?: A closer look at theories of realism in cinema. Kino: The Western Undergraduate Journal of Film Studies, 4 (1), p.10.