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Reflexivity In Film Awareness of film as a process and not just a finished product seems to have been around since the very beginnings of film Buster Keaton for example used this idea in his films therefore making the audience aware of the illusion of film His somewhat unconventional methods included looking directly in the camera playing with the two dimensionality of the screen etc However most Hollywood features didnt use such methods but would rather stick to creating a complete illusion whose purpose was just the opposite of Keatons to keep the viewer completely involved in a film so all the work and the technology behind it stays hidden This Hollywood style is still in practice today in most commercial cinema while the style associated with Keaton which is termed reflexive is used rarely in experimental films and off-beat comedies still One of these comedies that use reflexivity is Ferris Bueller Day Off a typical 80s film by content but very original by style The films style becomes obvious early on when as soon as the other characters are off screen Ferris addresses the camera The viewer is drawn in and spoken to so as to feel as one of the characters and not a mere spectator This technique which is used through out the film also makes the audience aware that these are not events from real life but rather scenes form a movie meant to entertain not show a slice of life The understanding of the illusion is enhanced very early on with the use of titles to compliment Ferris words on Faking out Parents As he gives his tips to the viewers they are typed on the screen as in an educational video once again reminding the audience that this is just a movie that had to be made just like we are aware that an educational program had to be made Similar
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