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What is Absurdism in Film?

Absurdism is a philosophical ideology that basically falls somewhere between humorous and absolutely pointless. Meaning nothing and everything at the same time. Absurdist fiction represents little judgment of characters or the actions they’re a part of. But what is absurdism in film? And how is the absurdist aesthetic studied? 

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Film Set Team Beverly Boy

Absurdism represents a unique connection to humor, but can also be deconstructed in various ways. Likewise, in film, absurdism is represented by aesthetic philosophy.

In which a realized imagery that comes from the mind of the creator directly to the screen is represented in a way in which no rules apply. 

What is Absurdism in Film?

Absurdism or absurdity in film and cinema is often categorized or characterized as being completely ridiculous and widely unreasonable. Many absurdist films are illogical.

So, they tend to relate to some kind of ancient element. In which characters, traditions, and the situations they are involved in appear to have no inherent purpose, are represented by meaningless concepts. And have neither any truth nor value.

Characteristics of Absurdism in Film

The absurdist movement in film is an extension of the existentialist movement. In which the focus was on mankind. And the pointlessness of angst and anxiety among humans.

Absurdist fiction may have any of the following characteristics:

  • Comedy that relies on unpredictable juxtapositions.
  • Nonsense.
  • Purposeless human examples of behavior.
  • Little or no judgment of characters or their actions.
  • Lack of a moral or explicit purpose to the story.


Absurdist films are typically left for the viewer to define. They are ambiguous in nature and essentially lack a traditional plot structure. Moreover, the conventional elements of plot and characterization are completely amiss.

To a point in which there is question as to whether this sort of film is even able to be categorized as “fiction” for it doesn’t follow the basic rules of such.

Furthermore, absurdism in film represents some of the most oversimplified situations, dark humor, and meaningless actions. Many times, these types of films break down the walls of social constructs that are “common.”

They attempt to recreate fiction that strives simply to motivate the viewer into thinking about nothing more than the excitement that comes from the film. And not about the meaning or underlying connections. Some might call it a crapshoot, others call it a masterpiece.