My experience with Magical Realism has not been extensive. I have read Song of Solomon and watched Birdman. This is probably the most material I have been exposed to that relates to the genre. However, I want to understand the definition of it. I will not quote a source, because I do not want someone’s idea spoon fed to me. It makes me feel like I would be hindering scholarly growth. Therefore, I find Magic Realism to be a branch of Realism but with a small inclusion of fantasy. The few elements of fantasy also need to be presented as realistic, and not overly unbelievable. When both Milkman (Song) and Riggan (Birdman) grow wings and fly, not only do the characters respond with a lack of bewilderment but both incidents occur very close to the ending. Until then the stories stuck with Realism but after the reader/audience has invested a great deal of time learning about these people and settings, the realistic is suspended. An act which is incredibly unrealistic happens from no where, just at random. Yet by this point, the spectator does not question it.
I have difficulty getting behind this idea, because for years I have subscribed to Realism and sometimes Naturalism. The film maker Robert Altman comes to mind. He is known for cinematography which is meant to be less than perfect, characters are sometimes out of frame and the camera drifts off away from the action of story. Dialogue is sometimes overlapped making it difficult to understand who and what the audience to supposed to be paying attention to.
(Unfortunately, I was unable to find more clips supporting my argument.) It is not just the narrative presentation to impresses my, but the execution in bringing the audience into the world of the story. Subsequently, the world of the story comes from the world we inhabit. With examples such as less than perfect camera angles and overlapping dialogue, the viewer is put into the story, a sort of silent observer. In life our vision and auditory stimuli do not perceive the same way a perfectly shot film perceives. Our own frames of vision do not use lighting equipment, high resolution lenses, or complicated cranes. What we hear in our day to day lives is jumbled, at least in a situation such as a party, bar, or even walking down the street. Realism imitates these perceptions and remains constant throughout. It just comes off as more suitable to me, where Magical violates the real. If Realism tries to express itself as “life and art go hand and hand, and they are found everywhere.” Magical tries to slightly change it, suggesting that Realism needs an improvement.