Artificiality of Cinema vs. Reality of Production

The title of Truffaut’s “La Nui Americaine”, meaning Day of night, originates from an American film technique in which a scene is filmed during the day, and then in post production made to look like it was shot at night. The significance of the title represents the artificiality of cinema. Throughout the film, various illusions are created such as the use of the stunt double, the candle light trick and much more. Film is a revolutionary medium because of its ability to create deceptions that would otherwise be realistically impossible. In Munsterberg’s “Why we go to the Movies,” he highlights the same principal; film surpasses the limits of reality, which is why they are so entertaining and why they differ greatly from theater productions.

While special effects and grand illusions can be simulated in a film, hard work and devotion off screen, can not be. One theme that was presented throughout the piece was the overwhelming amount of effort and dedication required in the filmmaking industry. Issues such as time constraints, uncooperative casts, and restless nights only scratch the surface in the grand realm of practical issues that arise during filmmaking. At various points, it felt as though, for some characters, the film they were working on, “Meet Pamela,” was more important than real life. One lady on set even stated “I’d drop a man for a film but I’d never drop a film for a man” indicating that films are more of a priority than aspects of her own personal life. For Ferrand, the director, his devotion is unprecedented and even conflicts with his sleep. Having had personal experience with film production on a much smaller scale, I was always aware of the daunting amount of innovation and commitment required in this field; however, it is always shocking to be reminded of how much work is poured into a full-length feature.


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