Before moving on to our list, let’s look for the answer to the question of what is minimalist cinema. The Turkish dictionary means “minimalism”, which is equivalent to “simplification”, and given its place in artistic terminology, we can explain it as “a style that uses the smallest possible material, the smallest color range, only very simple shapes or forms”. However, the use of minimalism in cinema, as we will show with an example; completely different from the appearance of this concept in other forms of art. Contrary to what one might think, minimal cinema works; What is important is not what technologies and techniques are used in the film, but what is shown to the viewer. To remove the complexity created by this general structure, we can compare the minimalist cinema to a photograph or a painting.
minimalistic movie elements
We can calculate a set of criteria by which to determine whether a film is a minimalist production. These criteria include visuals, sound, story, and plot.
These elements determine how much information is conveyed to the viewer or how much it stimulates the viewer’s imagination. Films where the intensity of this element is sufficiently reduced means that they are one step closer to a minimalist cinematic work. According to minimalist cinematography, abstraction is often stronger than detail. Because films can activate the imagination of the audience; This provides a far more lively and authentic viewing experience than can be created with a big budget movie.
Minimalist cinema and sound
Among the four criteria that we just mentioned, the first to be considered is “sound”, the sound elements delivered to the audience in the cinema are voice-overs, music and dialogue. Dialogue in minimalist films should be clear and restrained. Compound words are used only when it is necessary for the audience to have the desired perception or intentions of the character. Descriptive words are used only if the audience needs to know this feature of the story. Unnecessary comments are definitely left. Adopting a style that doesn’t directly say something in the film, but “shows” usually leads directors to minimalism.
In minimalist films, the soundstage must also be kept to a minimum, but it should be noted that elements such as voice-overs are still required in moderation to create a competent cinematic work.
Minimalist cinema and visual effects
In visuality, which is another factor in minimalist film work, the main problem is to reduce what the public sees. Imagine that you are a minimalist filmmaker. What should you do? Remove distracting pictures from the wall. Narrow down the film. Defocus the scene or hide in the shadows instead of cluttering up the movie frame with details.
Dress the actor in one color rather than jeans and a silk T-shirt, which you think speaks more of his character. Keep the number of characters to the minimum possible. Maybe you can make the stills from the movie in black and white. As soon as an element or characteristic element in a scene causes the audience to perceive something; remove all other details that support the same perception. Otherwise, cramming a density of detail into a single scene can create an atmosphere that suffocates the audience or distracts the audience from other messages.
Part of the visual experience is camera movement and editing. Modern representatives of minimalist cinema generally prefer to take static shots from a tripod. Minimalist directors; They only use camera movements for the benefit of the story, not to make the visuals appealing. Minimalist filmmakers rely on the core purpose of the film to keep the audience’s attention and avoid guesswork, variations, or prophecies about how things will turn out in their films.
Minimalist cinema and plot/plot
In minimalist films, the story is different from the plot. While history tells what happened; The plot is how the story is conveyed to the viewer. History can be complex. There can be many details in a story. Some of these details may actually be important to the film. But the story itself is not important in the film. What really matters is what is delivered to the audience.
If you can tell your 10 page story in 5 pages, if the short version has the same impact or message as the original; maybe even more effective, then you should use the 5-page version of the story on minimalism. Because the 10-page version creates a much more favorable environment for distracting or losing audience interest.
A minimalist plot can also tell a story from beginning to end, but this is usually not the case. Again, minimalism draws on the viewer’s imagination and often tells viewers what’s really going on. Instead of showing a child destroying the house with toilet paper, the child holds a roll of toilet paper and walks around the house grinning; later, the sight of a child punished and locked in his room is more instructive and keeps the audience’s attention in the film.
Minimalist manufacturing processes, if done right, can create great pieces. However, each concept discussed requires additional thought and in some way carries a potential risk. Today we will briefly present 13 minimalist films, each more valuable than the other, that have taken their place in the history of cinema because they carry every element that we have written.
You can also view this article: From “Saving Ralph” to “Outlaws”: 12 award-winning short films, each more valuable than the other
1. Csendesek / Silent Ones (2013) – IMDB: 5.9
A car accident survivor wakes up some time after the accident to find that her little brother has disappeared. As promised, he boards a cargo ship to find a new life. Breaking off here, he embarks on a surreal journey on the fragile line between life and death.
2. Howya – Dreamland (2014) – IMDB: 6.3
The film is a journey of a father and daughter from Denmark to an unknown desert that exists in a country beyond civilization.
3. Los Muertos – The Dead (2004) – IMDB: 6.7
Vargas, a 54-year-old man, was released from prison in the Argentinean province of Corrientes; He wants to find his already adult daughter, who lives in a swampy and remote area. To get there, he has to go deep into the forest, overcoming great distances in a small boat along the rivers. Vargas is a quiet and self-sufficient man. Has limitations those who live close to nature. A deep mystery surrounds him, the people he meets and the places he passes through, an unchanging world that he finds almost unchanged after many years of imprisonment.
4th time (2017) – IMDB: 6.7
This film, based on the 1956 novel of the same name by Antonio Di Benedetto, follows the life of Don Diego de Zama, a Spanish officer who settled in Asunción in the seventeenth century and awaited an appointment in Buenos Aires. Don Diego de Zama, who is ready for anything so that nothing overshadows this appointment, is forced to submit to all sorts of dirty duties and humiliations from his superiors for this.
5. Stray Dogs – Stray Dogs (2013) – IMDB: 6.9
In Taipei, an alcoholic man and his two young children barely survive. Everything starts to change when their paths cross with a lone salesman who can help them make their lives better.
6. Tropical disease / Sud Pralad (2004) – IMDB: 7.1
Tropical Illness explores a passionate relationship between two men with unusual consequences. The first half of the film, divided into two parts; An emotional attraction develops between the two men in a sunny and relaxing countryside, while the other half shows confusion and horror at an unknown threat lurking deep in the shadows of the forest.
7. 71 Chronology Fragments of Chance – 71 Chronology Fragments (1994) – IMDB: 7.2
Film, as its title; It consists of 71 scenes revolving around a recently immigrated immigrant, a couple who have just adopted their daughter, a college student and a lonely old man.
8. What time is it now? – What time is it? (2001) – IMDB: 7.3
Soon, on his way to Paris, a watch salesman meets a girl and falls in love with her, so he decides to change all the clocks in Taipei to Parisian time.
9. Son / Le Fils – Son (2002) – IMDB: 7.5
Olivier, a carpentry instructor working at a rehab center, refuses to teach and teach new apprentice Francis, but then begins to follow the boy through the corridors and streets. Later that day, his ex-wife Magali visits him and tells him that she is pregnant and that they should remarry. Having established a strange connection between the two events, Olivier will continue to ask questions while his perception of reality blurs.
10. Red Desert – Red Desert (1964) – IMDB: 7.5
In a dreary and decrepit industrial area, young Juliana struggles to cope with life. She is married to Hugo, a local factory manager, but is also in a relationship with one of her colleagues, Corrado Zeller, who comes to visit her. Juliana is indecisive; She cannot fully answer the question of whether her role in life is a wife, a mother, or someone else in the world. Some question marks in Juliana’s head will lead to certain questions. The poignancy of what they discover and understand in the process; shows him that his escape from life will not be as long as he thought.
11. Turin horse / A Torinói Ló – Turin horse (2011) – IMDB: 7.7
German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche witnessed a horse being whipped while traveling in Turin, Italy. He wrapped his arms around the horse’s neck to protect it, then fell to the ground. Less than a month later, Nietzsche would be diagnosed with a serious mental illness that would leave him bedridden and speechless for the eleven years leading up to his death. But overlooked is what happened to the horse for whose protection Nietzsche gave his life? Béla Tarr, chief director of the 7.5-hour feature film Satantango, takes up this issue in Turin Horse.
12. Taste of Cherry – Taste of Cherry (1997) – IMDB: 7.7
A middle-aged Mr. Badi plans to commit suicide. However, he is in a desperate situation in search of someone to help him along the way. Mr. Badii, who has already dug his grave in the mountain, cannot find the person who will have to bury him on the side of the mountain immediately after his suicide; Everyone rejects his offer. Finally, someone who can fulfill this duty properly; He reaches an elderly Turkish taxidermist who has a sick child and had previously attempted suicide. But is everything so simple? Sometimes even a cherry can distract a person from the thought of death…
13. Cleo 5 to 7 – Cleo Five to Seven (1962) – IMDB: 7.9
This film allows us to watch the French singer Cleo for several hours, who was afraid to receive a test result from a doctor in a hospital. We follow Cleo for two hours as she wanders the streets of Paris, who believes she has cancer and will die from the disease. After these two hours, Cleo first met a soldier who went to war in Algeria and then met a doctor who diagnosed him; Throughout this process, we will be witnesses to their thoughts and feelings.
We have come to the end of the list that we have compiled for you, and therefore our article, of 13 minimalist films, one more competent than the other. Hope to see you in more articles in the coming weeks until…
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