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Throw Away The Clich

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Throw Away The Clich� Have we as a society come to expect perfection and beauty at every level of our lives? Are these expectations reinforced by the media? Some recently released films have taken a significant step away from this clich�. Kate Barnett investigates... These days, society is bombarded by images of perfection. Whether it be images of flawless bodies, idealistic friends, or perfect families, these images inundate our television sets, our magazines, and especially our movie screens. Images of perfection on the big screen are increasingly evident lately, providing us with unrealistic images of the clich�d family - the perfect father, mother, son and daughter and, of course, the white picket fence. It is very refreshing, and rare, to see films that step away from the unrealistic clich� and show families that we ourselves are part of. They have everyday problems and are often messy, chaotic, and unsolved. Films such as Looking for Alibrandi (2000), Stepmom (1998) and Where the Heart Is (2000) have been released recently, and it really is a pleasure to see them portray life as we see it. Each one deals with real issues, and real problems, ranging from disease, to ethnicity, to teenage pregnancy. ...read more.


Josie is troubled by the music, and she attempts to turn on her modern rock music. This emphasises her dislike of her culture. At the end of the movie, she does the opposite; she is the one turning on the Italian music and this emphasises her acceptance of her identity. Stepmom, directed by Chris Columbus, also provides viewers with more issues that we ourselves can relate to. The movie deals with issues such as divorce, cancer, and remarriage; three issues that are very common in today's society. "This film is a drama, and my goal was to keep everything as real as possible." Says director, Chris Columbus. Similar to Looking for Alibrandi, Stepmom starts with an establishment of characters, introducing us to the stepmother, Isabel (Julia Roberts), and her stepchildren, Anna (Jena Malone) and Ben (Liam Aiken). The children, and especially their mother Jackie (Susan Sarandon), resent Isabel and are bitter about her intrusion on the family. When Jackie's cancer reappears, and she must undertake Chemotherapy, she eventually realises that she must allow Isabel to mother her children when she is no longer around for them, and she accepts Isabel as part of the family. Jackie and Isabel In the chilling scene where Jackie is told she has cancer, the producer skilfully uses a circular pan around her. ...read more.


For the first half of the film, the camera uses mid shots and long shots so the viewer can clearly see that Novalee is still pregnant. After she has given birth, the director focuses more on mid shots and close ups, techniques incorporated in the previous two movies. Novalee, standing outside Wal-Mart When Novalee finds out her boyfriend has left her, the camera pans around her to signifies the shock she is feeling, which is a technique also used in Stepmom. Looking for Alibrandi, Stepmom and Where the Heart Is have set a good example over the past few years as they attempt to present issues that we can relate to. As can be seen in the three movies, there is no perfect ending - no miracle cure for cancer, no magical potion that can make you fit in, no mystical spell that can stop loved ones from leaving - just the harsh reality of life. And so, these movies take a significant step away from the clich�, and show us what we ourselves are subjected to. The majority of people these days have gone through the pain of death, disease, and ethnical differences, the joys of birth, and the joy of marriage. These issues are so apparent in society; it really is great to see movies throw away the clich�. ...read more.

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