• Pavlos Tsiampartas
Historiography cannot be a science. It can only be an industry, an art, and a philosophy--an industry by ferreting out the facts, an art by establishing a meaningful order in the chaos of materials, a philosophy by seeking perspective and enlightenment"

- Will & Ariel Durant in the book "The Lessons of History"


From many centuries' history has been projected in a written form. Later, the art of photography took place and now it evolved into motion pictures (both Fiction and Non-Fiction). Just like any other art, Film now is a "new" way of expression which brings diversity of opinions with facts, viewpoints and by converting chaos to order.


Facts

People around the world can synthesise information about a country's actions during war. What happened, how and why. Facts in films are very selective due to the expansion of the film's duration, which forces the creators to be selective and show just the key events. This can be good because people can focus on the important stuff. However, this can be very misleading to an uneducated audience.


Viewpoints

The whole world can see your perspective on a particular war that included your country or your people. Although this is a good way to put audience in your shoes, it can also turn into propaganda.


Converting Chaos to Order

War is a very complex event that can be very difficult to follow, a film can take those facts and viewpoints and place them in an order that is compelling to watch.


Think about how many war films you've watched and which were the ones that stood out. Were those films about your country? And ask people the same question. The results will speak for themselves.








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  • Pavlos Tsiampartas

It's all about Point-Of-View.

The term point of view has many meanings. Most of the time it refers to the angle of the camera, but what about the author's point-of view?


If the writer wants you to feel a certain way about the subject or story, he/she creates a world that is best suited to the emotional outcome he/she wants you to feel. For example, if a writer creates a firefighter as the main character, the movie will be made in a particular P.O.V in mind. It might be an organized, family oriented, male character. While it may be very different for someone else; she may be a female firefighter with career-oriented goals.


In a film or a series, the story of that character will have to be extended in order to keep the story interesting, but what about a 30 sec to 1 min commercial?


Commercials demand a different approach. If the product wants to show that it is fun, low fat, and tasty in 30 seconds, the creator has to come up with a way to make you feel that the particular product is fun, low fat, and tasty in 30 seconds. Hence, the point-of-view is way more obvious.




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According to Aristotle, writers of tragic poetry “should produce the pleasure which comes from pity and fear, and should do so by means of imitation.”


Definition: A tragedy, then, is the imitation of an action that is and also, as having magnitude, complete in itself; in language with pleasurable accessories, each kind brought in separately in the parts of the work; in a dramatic, not in a narrative form; with incidents arousing pity and fear; and accomplishing its catharsis of such emotions"


"It's Fear and Pity working towards Catharsis". This would be the simplest way to explain Aristotle's writings about tragedy. However, this might be an oversimplification.



Think of a main character. Why do we follow his/her journey? I'm sure it's not just because of the great cinematography, production design, great cast, etc. Firstly, It's because when the storyteller applies certain events to the character, we are afraid that something bad will happen to them, and secondly we pity them because of the choice and the way he/she chooses to deal with these events. Hence, we are trying to justify them. This justification is why we are sticking to the story until the end. An ever ending cycle of pity, fear and catharsis.


We are waiting for the moment of catharsis. Even if that takes 3 hours in the cinema or 15 seasons of episodes on TV.

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