Reality in Fiction

Watching and Making: A specific question of cinema which allows the discovery of the different parameters of cinema on every encounter: mise en scène, sound, light, acting, editing… Featuring resources to explore the topic in an educational setting. An examination of the place of reality in fiction: Scenes mixing actors and non-actors, chance encounters, fictional characters set amongst the real, everyday world. What happens, when, by way of these films, do reality and fiction come face to face?

Presentation of challenges

Michaël Dacheux is a film-maker and a speaker in this the Cinéma, cent ans de jeunesse’s workshops since 2010. Relying on film extracts, he questions the irruption of reality within fiction which operates through different parameters: choice of natural setting, non-professional actors, unforeseen events when filming, attention given to weather…

A question / a sequence

Michael Dacheux analyses the first sequence of Four Adventures of Reinette and Mirabelle by Eric Rohmer, which opens up on the two young girls’ encounter. Rohmer delays the entrance in fiction – the beginning of their friendship – taking the time to film carefully the places where this encounter happens, the actresses’ moves facing a technical problem (changing an inner tube). The reality of the world in which they evolve, their bodies, their moves are at the very heart of the film and the story can start to unfold.

Film Extracts

Character in the world

Through its simple recording capacity, cinema enables the documentation of a space, of an era. Passers-by, shop windows, traffic…: the world in which the character and the fiction evolve necessarily carry the mark of a reality in a specific place and time.

Play with chance and uncontrolled

Weather changes, animals around, guided improvisation: film-makers may decide to welcome, or even provoke certain unforeseen events. It’s a way of giving life to films, less corseted in their scenario.

Actor’s or character’s gestures

The actor’s concentration, in a precise action about to be completed, enables to pay attention to real gestures. These gestures, truly done by the actor, in association with a dialogue, move the scene to a livelier and less psychological challenge. Sometimes, the actor is forced to live the actions through physical effort, for real, no possibility of faking it.