Describe at least one important technique used in the text.
Explain how the technique created an emotional response in you, supporting your points with visual and/or oral language features.
The film pleasantville directed by Gary Ross follows the journey of two twins Jenifer (Reese Witherspoon) and David (Toby Maguire) after they are transported into the black and white 1950s TV sitcom world of Pleasantville. An important technique in the film pleasantville is Music, music creates an emotional response through making the audience question themselves and conveying the importance of music to change and how change is how a necessary part of life so that we can grow and become the best versions of ourselves. Another technique is Colour. Colour conveys how new experiences create new life, we unlock parts of ourselves that weren’t there before and stray away from who we thought we once were to become better and through conveying this it creates an emotional response in the audience to understand this and be inspired. The last important technique in the film pleasantville is symbolism. An important symbol in the film is the book burnings which creates and emotional response by getting through the message of knowledge is power so people who want control will always oppose knowledge and change because it takes power from them and gives it to the people who rightly deserve it.
Music is a very important part of life. We listen to music almost everywhere we go and it is always around us, our taste in music is often linked to the way we perceive the world. In pleasantville music is a very important technique. At the start of the movie the music is very happy but unimaginative. It has no originality and is dull and boring. An example of this is the song Be-bop-a-lula by Gene Vincent. This song uses a steady beat and pitch to create a light tone of the song so it comes across as pleasant and happy but at the same time it is still boring and repetitive, it really represents the town at this time as everything is black and white, there is no originality it is as if everyone is a carbon copy. As the town starts to turn more to colour and people realise who they want to be and that it’s not who they were before that life has more than just being ‘pleasant’ the music starts to change and more genres come in such as rock n roll and jazz. Two examples of this are the songs “At Last” by Etta James and “Teddy Bear” by Elvis. Both of these songs are very original and unique. They use changes in pitch and beat to create a new and different and unpredictable sound. Something new and exciting. The change in music symbolizes the change in the town, it was once happy but unimaginative, dull and boring and is now unpredictable unique and exciting. The director uses this to help the audience understand the impact of music. Music is often linked to the way we perceive the world and if we change our taste in music we could perceive the world in a whole new way. Ross uses this to create an emotional response in the audience of curiosity. The audience will question themselves and their taste in music, is it really what we want or should we step out of our comfort zone and take risks, because taking risks lead to change and change is so important for us to become our authentic selves and the best version of who we can be.
Colour is one of the most important film techniques used in the movie Pleasantville. It creates an emotional response of inspiration in the audience though the message that experiencing new things, creates new life and unlocks a part of ourselves that wasn’t there before enabling us to grow as people. At the start of the film everything is balck and white this is to convey that everyone and everything is the same. They have no knowledge of anything better, there is a social standard they must fit into and they conform to do so. Everyone is a carbon copy of each other there is no originality. As the movie progresses people start to turn colour as they experience a new thing and stray away from their society depicted stereotype. An example of this is Jenifer. She is seen very much as the dumb, popular blonde girl who only cares about sex, people liking her and the opinions of others. She has never read a full book and one day she decides to stay home and read a book over going on a date with Skip. The next day she wakes up and she is in colour. Jenifer experienced a new thing, she finished a book and did something that was out of the ordinary for her, she strayed away from the stereotype she hid behind to try something new and take a risk in life. The director’s purpose in using colour was to create an emotional response of inspiration within the audience. Seeing people stray away from their stereotype and becoming who they truly are inspires us to want to do the same and showing it in a real relatable way makes it easy to understand just how easy it is for us. W feel motivation to get up and try something new. The director created this emotional response through showing the nature of change in a relatable, easy to understand way and motivates us and inspires us to do the same so we can become who we are, individuals who are all different that shouldnt hide behind society’s stereotypes as there is so much more to us that we need to grow within ourselves or unlock to become who we were meant to be.
The last important technique utilized in the film Pleasantville is the symbolism of the book burnings. In this scene the town has recently obtained new books and knowledge and everyone is loving the new library but the leaders of the town are not. The books are making people informed of things they could have and life they could obtain outside the world of pleasantville and the leaders of the town see this as power taken away from them, so they gather all the books one night and burn them all to take away the knowledge that the people and civilians have obtained and used to grow and become new people. This symbol alludes to the book burnings of Nazi Germany during World War Two. Knowledge is often seen as power. It makes people informed of things that people who aim to control don’t want them knowing. Things that make them change and become harder to conform into their version of society or oppress so that they can control. In world war two they did it to make sure that people would never have the knowledge of anything other than hitler’s views so they could be easy to brainwash into believing everything the Nazi regime said and in Pleasntvolle the leaders and the Mayor do it to make sure they will also neevr have the knowldge that they can grow and change as people so they are easier to brainwash into the idea that everything should stay ‘pleasant’ in the town. The director uses this symbolism to create an emotional response of anger towards the leaders, they are depicted as the evil ones as they are showing an act of violence and danger for power so the audience can easily gather that they want complete control of the people and this is used by Ross to cause a spark of anger within the audience towards the people doing it as they can put themselves in the shoes of the people being oppressed and realise they would never want that to happen. So the technique of symbolism within the book burnings creates an emotional response of anger within the audience towards the leaders of the town by conveying the message of that people will always want to have control and power and knowledge takes away that power so they will try to oppress and get rid of it because knowledge creates change and growth which makes you harder to control.
The three techniques of symbolism, colour and music create emotional responses of anger, inspiration and curiosity within the audience by conveying the message that people will always try to oppress knowledge because it causes change but change is a necessary part of life and is important for us to grow and become who we truly are and meant to be and we should always question the comfort zone that we are in all the time to unlock new life through experiencing risks because that is how we grow as people into the best possible versions our ourselves that we can be.
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