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The Truman Show

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Matthew Watson GCSE English Coursework Film Study: The Truman Show The Truman Show is a film directed by Peter Weir. It is all about how the public spend too much of their time watching television and how we also like the idea of voyeurism. The film has two main characters Christof and Truman Burbank, the latter being the star of the show, which charters Truman's life, twenty four hours a day, seven days a week, all year round. Christof has been filming Truman ever since conception. Truman doesn't know this, and in fact he knows nothing about his real family. Everything around him has been scripted and he is on a film set all the time. He is like Christof's pet, he controls everything Truman does. He controls whom Truman meets and talks to e.g. when Truman sees his father again in the streets and from out of nowhere some people come and take him away, preventing Truman from talking to him. Even the weather is controlled in the Truman Show when Truman attempts to leave the island a storm conveniently starts and only affects his boat and not the island, but when he reaches the end of the shows set the storm comes to a sudden end. The set in question is the second only manmade structure completely visible from space. ...read more.


There is even a mother who leaves her baby crying in the back room just so she doesn't miss out on any of the programmes. Also, the Truman Show cut to various Truman Show bars around the world, bars that are covered in Truman memorabilia and were Truman Show fans can socialise with other Truman Show fans. These people appear to spend all their time watching the Truman Show, there is a certain sense of privileged voyeurism. They can watch other peoples lives on television without having their lives watched and interfered with, they also may be a little nosey and like to know all about other people's lives. But with all this technology and overheads you may wonder how the Truman Show manages to cover their finances the answer to this question is answered throughout the film. At the start of the film the director informs us that the show generates the Gross National Product of a small country. You have to remember the show has no breaks for adverts so therefore there are product placements throughout the film. For example every morning Truman is always pushed against a billboard for a few seconds by the two twins - advertising Kaiser chicken, etc, Mococoa drinking chocolate, the Chef's Pal, etc. Even though the show has a very retro feel to it, the cars in the programme are always the latest models and are always the top brands of car. ...read more.


But what does this say about us; the viewer's do we enjoy privileged voyeurism - Do we like the fact that we can pry on other peoples lives without them seeing in to ours. Is reality television the modern equivalent of the Roman gladiator games - where we often saw innocent members of the public being pitted against warriors and wild beasts just because it gave the audience a thrill. And maybe today's T.V. corporations are doing exactly the same thing in a bid for their precious ratings we are already seeing these corporations going in head to head battles with other corporations billing their programmes at the same time as the other corporations programme in a battle just to see who comes off the winner of the 'ratings war.' Maybe Weir's warnings were right, maybe television does have the effect to kill off a nation, well we do tend to have to video some programme in our live s for some reason as can't afford to miss out, maybe this could be the reason for the Sunday afternoon omnibus's who knows? That's something we'll have to think about for ourselves, do we spend too much time watching television? What would do if our favourite television programme was axed, would there be riots who knows. ...read more.

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