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Crash Film Essay. The principal job of any film should be to please its viewers. To what extent do you agree with this view?

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________________ Characters in films should be recognisable versions of ourselves. ________________ ________________ ________________ ________________ FOR ________________ ________________ Must be relatable ________________ ________________ Under the right circumstances we could develop attributes of the characters but in films the stereotypes tend to be taken to the extreme. ________________ ________________ Situations need to be realistic in some way. ________________ ________________ ________________ ________________ ________________ ________________ AGAINST ________________ ________________ Characters in films are often in extra-ordinary situations ________________ ________________ Learning through viewing other cultures or experiences ________________ ________________ ________________ ________________ While it at first glance does appear that characters should be recognisable versions of ourselves, when the proposition is looked at more closely it becomes clear that if the only type of films viewed are mirror images of ourselves then we would never learn about people outside of our experience. In Paul Haggis?s ?Crash? I can recognise parts of myself in some of the characters such as Officer Hanson, or Jean Cabot, I learnt about the experiences of immigrants in America through Farhad and what it is to be racist through Officer Ryan. If all of the characters were homogeneous then this film would not be worth watching. ________________ ________________ ________________ ________________ ENGAGE: This film held my interest because I can relate to the way that some of the characters react in certain situations. Examples?.. ________________ ________________ ________________ ________________ ________________ ________________ ________________ ________________ ________________ ________________ ________________ ________________ Final sentence relates back to the question: I was engaged in this film because of the recognisable actions and qualities of the characters?. In part this goes to prove that we prefer watching things that we can relate to. ________________ ________________ ________________ ________________ Techniques: Haggis uses a variety of film techniques to make the characters relatable? ________________ ________________ ________________ ________________ ________________ ________________ ________________ ________________ ________________ ________________ Evaluate: These recognisable characters work to draw in the audience because? ________________ ________________ ________________ ________________ The film becomes memorable because? ________________ ________________ ________________ ________________ Does anything not work with the characters? ...read more.


That horrible feeling of uncomfortable voyeurism returns in the crash scene when Christine realises it is Ryan that is in the car with her and trying to save her. She panics and even though the camera is at a canted angle and handheld, because we are positioned to see her from Ryan?s point of view we can see the terror on her face. The shock is that the terror is over Ryan, not the prospect of dying. The feeling of displeasure intensifies after Christine and Ryan are out of the car and on their way to safety. We are again positioned from Ryan?s point of view as the camera action slows down and we get a lingering shot of Christine?s face as she is leaning on an ambulance officer. She looks hurt and confused. To end the scene there is a ?hero shot? of Ryan on his knees. The use of this shot is trying to position us to believe that Ryan is redeemed but the lack of verbal discussion leaves the incident unresolved and unfinished. The director leaves us to make up our own minds about Ryan?s guilt or innocence and this is not a pleasurable feeling ? it is thought provoking and open to interpretation. This relationship is a very powerful one but it is not pleasing. The director trusts the audience to come to their own conclusion which is very intelligent on his part but does not make for easy viewing. It is this intense but brief snapshots of people?s foibles and the search into their inner workings that make the film worth viewing but it is uncomfortable when our own prejudices are held up for scrutiny. Ryan?s partner, Hansen is set up to be the opposite of Ryan. Not only does he look like the stereotypical hero, with his blonde hair, impressive physique and big blue eyes (compared to Ryan?s darkness) ...read more.


When she is still scared that bullets may get her he tells her about his invisible cloak that will protect her from all harm. He ceremonially takes the invisible cloak off himself puts the cloak on her and tells her that she is now protected. The cloak is a symbol of not just how much he loves her but that he is wrapping her in the love that they share. It holds them together and makes us feel secure and warm ourselves. The only time his warm relationship and our pleased reaction to it is tested is when Farhad goes to shoot Daniel but because his daughter believes she is invulnerable she throws herself in front of her father to protect him. But again we are left feeling pleased because there is no injury to either of them. This reinforces our faith in the idea that harm shouldn?t come to good people. Even though his life is hard the love he has for his daughter and the fact they magically don?t get shot and killed is like the spoonful of sugar that makes the other home truths more palatable. While movies should not focus merely on pleasing their audience it is true that if a film is in no way pleasing then people will not watch it. Our own lives have enough darkness in them that we need some relief along the way and films should be uplifting in some way. But the flip side is also true. There are films purely for mindless entertainment and they certainly have their place in our world, but film is a medium that can reach so many and show us so much. It is a very powerful medium that combines the pictures meaning more than a thousand words and the dialogue and expression that also takes place in real life. I believe that films should have a meaning and a message if we want to progress as a society and any storylines or characters that are pleasing are only there to make the message more palatable. ...read more.

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