I was thinking about our discussion yesterday in class about the diegetic and mimetic styles. The way that I understand it diegetic is when the film makers make it clear to the audience that they are being told a story, either through a narrator or the way they shoot the and edit the movie. Mimetic is a considered a more “authentic” way to shoot a movie where film makers try to tell the story without making it clear to the audience that they are telling them a story. Is this about right? or am I still confusing something?

Either way, I started to think about different types of movies and I began to wonder how certain movies would be categorized. What about Goodfellas? This is a movie that is certainly trying to be “authentic” (it is based on a true story – setting and costumes fit the time period, ect…) but it is also a movie that is lets the viewer know that he or she is being told a story (it uses a narrator, the plot doesn’t always follow a strict chronological order, it has inter-titles). I think that Goodfellas is both diegetic and mimetic and i think that most movies would have to be a combination of the two. Does anyone know of any movies out there that are only diegetic or only mimetic? Are they any good?

One comments

  1. I would venture a guess that there is no such thing as a solely diegetic or solely mimetic film. The act of pointing a camera and framing a shot involves making a choice to show the world in a certain way. Even lifecasting, the constant streaming of events in a person’s life, is an imperfect mimetic “film” because we simply cannot see everything the person does. Every choice bears diegetic consequences, the same way that a movie shot by different directors would tell a completely different story on the macro level. Imagine if George Lucas directed Legally Blond. The key to style seems to be finding a balance between the diegetic and mimetic elements in film narrative.

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