Def.: A cinematic state defined by a fairly real-life scene and characters, but over-saturated, selectively saturated, intentionally desaturated, sharp, soft, and/or otherwise somehow “more than” just regular filming. The film does not have to be fantastical itself, though there is often a storytelling “more than” involved as well. Interestingly, it is rarely a full-on fantasy film that uses hyperrealism; it’s the stories that are real life except for one or two things that often use it. Sometimes, it’s found in flashback or dream sequences; other times, it’s used to show the difference between one world and another. Hyperreality is often so real it’s not real.
Usage: Hyperreality can look like this:
Repo! The Genetic Opera, 2008 (Terrance Zdunich) – an interesting cross of over-saturation, desaturation, sharpening, and softening.
Dollhouse, “The Target,” 2009 (Amy Acker, Harry Lennix, Olivia Williams) – used in a flashback context. Interestingly, later episodes chose to show flashbacks in different ways (“Getting Closer,” for example, desaturated somewhat, then lightly screened cyan over the frame) but this way remains my favorite.
Sucker Punch, 2011 (Emily Browning) – here using sharpening/softening and intentional desaturation. Though the “real world” of this film was less so, the different subrealities were all, to an extent, hyperreal, allowing for their dreamlike qualities.
Hugo, 2011 (Asa Butterfield) – over-saturation, especially of yellows (as above) and blues (other places in the film), as well as sharpening/softening and a glow effect.
–your fangirl heroine.