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A media study comparing two cinematic interpretations of Golding's "Lord of the Flies" the Peter Brooke version (1960) and the Harry Hook version (1990).

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Alex Holmes 10 Red 20th May 2003 A media study comparing two cinematic interpretations of Golding's "Lord of the Flies" the Peter Brooke version (1960) and the Harry Hook version (1990). These two interpretations of William Golding's "The Lord of the Flies" have been directed by Peter Brooke in 1960's and then Harry Hook's version in the 1990's. The original, black and white, version stays far closer to the book storyline altering only the slightest things. Peter Brooke keeps the boys from a public English school with strict rules about behaviour and uniform. The main idea behind the story is to see, just how long these boys will keep rules and order now that they have no one to enforce them upon them. It's to see, just how long they will live with this civilised and orderly world, before they turn to the savage and more primitive world. In Harry Hook's version, the story has been changed a great deal. The main difference is the boys themselves are now Americans from an American military school. Harry Hook has brought the film right up to date and more modern. The main reason for changing the boys to American, I believe, is because of tickets sales. Far more people would want to see these boys than English boys, partly because many people wouldn't understand the English boys' accent. Another major change Harry Hook has added is the role of the pilot. In the book and Peter Brooke's version, the pilot is dead upon encountering the island on top of the mountain in the middle of the island with the tangled parachute, rapped around him, to make him look more like a beast. However, in Harry Hook's Colour version, he has kept the pilot alive, with Ralph, one of the main boys, saving him from drowning at the start. Later on, he then dies up in a cave on the mountain, making him appear to be a beast. ...read more.


This soon becomes a nightmare and a burning hell. Piggy is the first boy to realise this and what will happen, so he goes back to the water, in hope to find someway of brings back the old world and what he finds is the conch. This allows them to keep some rules and order with the other boys but this doesn't last very long and it not long, before a lot of the boys start to rebel against all these rules and start to realise they aren't going to be rescued so make the most of it. When Ralph and Piggy are first introduced in to Peter Brooke's version, they are frantically struggling through the undergrowth of the forest floor, in an attempt to gain access to the sea once again and the old world. I don't think this scene is capture very well, not because of camera angles or soundtrack because I feel they worked very well, having all the bugs and animal noises in the background, but because of Hugh Edwards, the boy who played Piggy. I feel he didn't relate into the character as well as the new Piggy, Daniel Pipoly. This has let the film down but it was still a very good film, putting across all the main points. Soon the fire is introduced which is a huge symbol of power and nature. As the film progresses the fire's symbol changes. First off it starts off as power of nature and stands for rescue but later on it is used for cooking and hunting. The first fire the boys set goes horrible wrong and out of control very rapidly. The directors here are trying to give us a glimpse of things to come like disaster. All the boys are still together at this pint and work together to put the fire out, except Piggy who is isolated and alone. ...read more.


They also both do panning shots of Ralph, running past the camera. In Harry Hook's version, because of the 30years of advances in technology, he is able to use pyrotechnics at the end on the burning island, which I believe, gives the film more suspense, it shows the island burning, resembling the island has now become this hell. Peter Brooke wasn't able to do this in his interpretation of the lord of the flies because they didn't have the technology so they just used smoke which didn't work as well for me. After scrambling through the forest, Ralph eventually stumbles upon the beach and in front of a navel officer. Both films jump from images of the hunters, all in these rags and paints, then to the naval officer, all in uniform, all perfect and orderly. Both directors are trying to sum up, just how far the boys had finally gone and strayed away from civilisation. Peter Brooke has done this exceptionally well. He picks out one boy who, at the beginning of the film could remember his name, address and telephone number but now can't even speak. He just walks up to the officer and is speechless; he opens his mouth to talk but can't remember anything. This again underlines have far the boys have gone. The final images you get in Peter Brookes version is the burning island, which has now become this burning hellish nightmare. He also gives you images of Ralph's face. The camera shot is a close up to see the emotion this ordeal has put him through. Overall, I feel Harry Hook's version was better, purely because of the advances in technology like colour. Also the use of language and swearing makes it easier for a modern viewer to interpret it. I believe the script editor has done a great job and fits the story in well and keeps it up to date with technology, which in turn make the whole film more believable and interesting. ...read more.

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