Realism as a third film practice


  • Birger Langkjær Department of Media, Cognition and Communication at University of Copenhagen



Realism, Genre, European Cinema


The concept of realism may owe much of its success to its vague definition. This article suggests that it can be useful as a term that covers a central, mainstream film practice in European and other national cinemas, located somewhere in between genre films and art films. The concept refers to a serious kind of film that does not obey classical genre rules, but nevertheless tells its stories in an accessible and often engaging form that, generally speaking, creates a more popular (yet serious) film than the art film. As a film practice, it cuts across well known but often vaguely defined sub-categories, such as social realism and psychological realism. Finally, it is argued that the dichotomy between Hollywood genre films and European art cinema ignores both national variants of basic genres and a tradition of realism as a mainstream film practice.




How to Cite

Langkjær, B. (2011). Realism as a third film practice. MedieKultur: Journal of Media and Communication Research, 27(51), 15 p.