Realism as a third film practice

Birger Langkjær


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.


Realism, Genre, European Cinema

Full Text:



Comments on this article

View all comments

This website uses cookies to allow us to see how the site is used. The cookies cannot identify you or any content at your own computer.

ISSN: 1901-9726

Hosted by the Royal Danish Library