Realist aesthetics makes the attitude of a person to the entire world the most important thing in their life. It asserts that ethics starts with the obligation of a human being to see everything, living or non-living, as well as they can. Where humans do not see this obligation or get away from it or diminish what it means, it is clear that contempt is not just winning, but it also shows its strength. On the other hand, formalist aesthetics has traditionally been taken to refer to the philosophy view of art that the properties in virtue in which art is an art – and in virtue which we determine its value – are formal in the sense of being accessed by direct sensation (normally hearing or sight) alone. In the film Gaga Five Foot Two, the director brings into the limelight on-camera interview, limited editing, and the long take as realist aesthetics. Simultaneously, in the Black Mirror: Rachel, Jack and Ashley Too, there is subjective narration, expressive editing including montage and collision sequences, and expressive sound, including collision and non-diegetic. In the essay at hand, I will compare three realist aesthetics of the film “Gaga: Five Foot Two” to three formalist aesthetics of “Black Mirror: Rachel, Jack and Ashley Too.”
In “Gaga: Five Foot Two,” the director Chris Moukarbel uses camera interviews to make a film that took eight months. The film places a single lens on Lady Gaga and follows her within eight months. There may be other people around her. However, the camera does not require leaving her side; it never left her. It films outside viewpoints simply by capturing them with Gaga. Most docs on the pop star are at least closely aware of the line between private and public. Still, the film at hand goes beyond that line allowing the audience in the room while she wrestles through a bad moment with her chronic pain and the home of her grandmother as she shows her the song her late daughter, Joanne, had written. The director uses the unique approach of the camera interview to allow the audience to get a genuinely personal look into one of the celebrated artists of our time. In other words, the director managed to work with Lady Gaga in some of the surprising moments of the film in the mission of making the eye-opening film come to life.
With “Gaga: Five Foot Two,” Lady Gaga found herself witnessing herself in a manner she was unable to see on her own. The film was characterized with limited editing to show the audience its authenticity in the manner in which the director, Chris, decided to bring out Lady Gaga’s highest highs, lowest lows, and the close link with her family that she clung to fiercely while writing the album “Joanne.” She wrote the album to show her audience the emotional and physical pain that her family experienced following the death of her aunt at a young age after suffering from the disease Lupus. She wrote the album with the mission of trying to heal and find strength with the determination she had learned from her Italian immigrant family. The limited editing aimed to show how hard, happy, and surreal the experience was (William 65). However, Lady Gaga was most touched by the fact that the veil behind the aura of being a pop star shows that fame is not all it is cracked up to be. It is psychologically challenging, isolating, and lonely since it changes how the outside world sees one. For Lady Gaga, fame feels very unnatural but complex. Still yet she wanted to feel the side of fame that comes with love from her fans across the globe, the voice that her fans had given to spread the messages of equality and empowerment, the fortunate life it had brought to her and her family.
In the film “Gaga: Five Foot Two,” Lady Gaga aimed at showing all of herself to her audience. Directed by Chris Moukarbel and filmed over a long take throughout the filming of Joanne, her 5th studio album (Moukarbel 5). She tells the audience how she broke up with Taylor Kinney, her ex-fiancé. She tells her audience that her insecurities are now gone, and she does not have one anymore, which makes her feel better. Gaga says that it is hard when love is not working out as intended, and one has to walk down the street and allow somebody to move on with their life. On top of that, she tells us the aftermath of her broken hip and dealing with fibromyalgia. She says that her body goes into full-body spasms when she is depressed. Her fight with chronic body pain appears severally throughout the film. Gaga tells the audience that she feels for anybody else who might be going through such suffering and does not have somebody to turn to. Additionally, she brings out her true feelings as far as Madonna is concerned. She is disturbed by the fact that Madonna has never opened up on the issues she has with her.
On the other hand, directed by Anne Sewitsky and written by Charlie Brooker is “Black Mirror: Rachel, Jack and Ashley Too,” which uses subjective narration to tell the story through the lens of one character at a time. The third and final episode of Black Mirror tells the story of a pop singer, Ashley O (Miley Cyrus), who is productively delimited by her management team. It then tells the story of teenage sisters Jack Goggins (Madison Davenport) and Rachel (Angourie Rice), who struggle with their mother’s recent death. Rachel receives “Ashley Too,” a new AI robot, on her 15th birthday, which she starts to treat as a friend instead of a toy. Ashley convinces Rachel Too to dance at a school talent contest which ends badly when she falls.
Expressive editing is another formalist aesthetic used in the Black Mirror episode “Rachel, Jack and Ashley Too,” an intermittently fascinating and bizarre bit of pop-music stage show. As technology becomes more sophisticated, film-makers have pondered the idea of producing extraordinary films that are at pondering the entire mind of the viewers and maybe the very “self” of individuals to a computer. Like other episodes of Black Mirror, the director takes advantage of expressive editing to avoid worrying about ad breaks or fitting the film into a time slot. Additionally, the episode would have used tighter editing and other concepts to make the theme develop or dominate completely. Still, the episode has sufficient engaging material of making it among the most successful outing of the latest season of the show. The episode follows the two teenage sisters and Ashley as they struggle to figure out what freedom means to them.
Besides, the film director uses expressive sound, including the non-diegetic sound that is not part of the film’s arena. Although the episode does not emerge as number one amongst the episodes of Black Mirror, it comes close, which is attributable to its use of expressive sound (Johnson et al. 5). The subject matter, in this case, is bleak, and yet it was able to maintain the sense of humor and fun throughout. The latest marketing stunt of the management is the Robot, Ashley Too, that replicates the expressive sound. The robot might perhaps be a kind of Alexa-style computer-generated subordinate that comes precisely at the right time for Rachel, who has not come into terms with her mother’s death in addition to struggling to make new friends in her new school. Their dad does not seem to pay the required attention to the kids and has notably turned out to be aloof since the death of their mother. As a result, the robot might appear as a “stupid toy” in the eyes of Jack. However, Ashley Too is a friend who does not just listen to Rachel but makes her feel confident at the end of the day.
In summing up, realist aesthetics and formalist aesthetics in “Gaga: Five Foot Two” and “respectively are mostly used in passing the intended message to the audience. Realist aesthetics makes the attitude of a person to the entire world the most important thing in their life. It asserts that ethics starts with the obligation of a human being to see everything, living or non-living, as well as they can. On the other hand, formalist aesthetics has traditionally been taken to refer to the philosophy view of art that the properties in virtue in which art is an art – and in virtue which we determine its value – are formal in the sense of being accessed by direct sensation (normally hearing or sight) alone.
Johnson, David Kyle, Leander P. Marquez, and Sergio Urueña. “Black Mirror: What science fiction does best.” Black Mirror and philosophy: Dark reflections (2019): 1-8.
Moukarbel, Chris. “director. Gaga; Five Foot Two.” (2017).
Williams, Michael C. “Aesthetic Realism.” Historiographical Investigations in International Relations. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham, 2019. 51-78.