Realism in Film

22 January – 14 May, 2014

To complement and counterpoint the themes of Realism and social engagement in the Gallery’s winter exhibitions, Capture: Nova Scotian Realismand Beat Nation: Art, Hip Hop and Aboriginal Culture, the Dalhousie Art Gallery is proud to present a film program surveying Realism in Film from 1930-2013.

From Realism to Neorealism to Kitchen Sink Drama and beyond, the capturing of reality in the cinema has been an ideal that has fascinated filmmakers and audiences alike since the Lumière Brothers recorded their employees leaving the Lumière Factory in the late 19th Century. And while film as a mass entertainment is often considered an escape from reality, the long thread of reflecting the real world as it is on the big screen can lead to powerful imagery that both reveals the world and issues a call for change.

In this survey, dramas from the 1930s onward from three continents will touch on some of the major concerns of Cinematic Realism, from class to poverty to race to urban issues. The final selections, the documentaries An American Family: Anniversary Edition and 56 UP, reveal non-fiction approaches to portraying reality that remain cinematic touchstones that continue to resonate.