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Compare and Contrast the 1963 and 1990 film versions of Lord of the Flies. Which was the most helpful for students of the text?

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Introduction

Compare and Contrast the 1963 and 1990 film versions of Lord of the Flies. Which was the most helpful for students of the text? The coloured 1990 film is mainly aimed at an American audience. The Actors are all American meaning that the language was different to the book. It was also based in a modern period that also effects how the characters talk and act. They make it appealing to the American audience by showing the good characters as perfect American citizens, so none of the characters have a good or a bad side to them; they either have one or the other and no in-between. They also have the American Navy saving the boys at the end to make the audience feel proud of their country. Another thing that makes it appealing to the audience is that the Russians are portrayed as the enemy, like they are in real life. The black and white 1963 film is aimed at English, upper/middle class viewers. The time period isn't so clear in this film, and so like the book the moral applies to anytime. It would appeal to these viewers because of the upper/middle class language used, and the fact that it was the less posh working class boy, Piggy, that was the outcast. This film sticks closely to the novels story line and the characters in it. The main characters in the book are still present in both films (Ralph, Piggy, Jack, Simon, Rodger, Sam'n'Eric). The 1963 film stayed faithful to the amount of boys in the story and their characters personality. There is no extra characters added on; but the physical appearance to some had changed. The characters are represented like they are in the book; Ralph is the leader and who brought them all together by blowing the conch. His main aim is to create a civilised society and to get rescued as quickly as possible. ...read more.

Middle

Instead of the mask the 1963 film has them smearing pigs blood on their faces so they miss the point that the savages want something to hide behind. In the book and the 1963 film the island has a good and bad side to it. In the 1990 film the while of the island looks the same and there is no contrast between the habitat, colour of the sea and atmosphere between the good and bad side of the island. In the 1963 film camera angels are used effectively to make the audience feel part of what's going on; this creates an atmosphere of emotion, tension and excitement for the audience. In the exiting bits like when they are going to confront the beast the camera is following the boys close behind, and the movements of the camera is like someone walking up the rocky mountain; so someone watching it feels like they are with the boys, and they are also going to search for the beast, so they can relate to the boys emotions at this time. When they run back down the mountain the cameraman does the same and it has the same effect of making the audience feel part of what's going on. Another point where the camera was used to create tension for the watcher was at a feast after the hunting. The boys started to re-enact the hunt that had just taken place. Instead of the camera staying in one place just watching the boys, it was close up. The camera zooms in on their faces and you could see their savage expressions, so it felt like you were part of it watching what they were doing. Zooming onto Simon's facial expressions was very effective when he was getting killed. As before the camera was part of what's going on. All through this bit the camera was focused on Simons face so you could see his reactions as he was getting stabbed, which showed the panic and fear on ...read more.

Conclusion

The appearance of the boys changes as they spend more time on the island. They get dirtier, there hair grows longer and their clothes get torn and worn out. In the 1990 film music is also used effectively through most of it other then the part when he is running so you expect to hear music that fits with this but the music doesn't really go. When the boys first arrive on the island they are all dressed in their cadet uniforms, so none of them are different to each other, and there are no separate groups that differ from the book. The form of masks that they use are made out of pigs blood which doesn't cover the whole of the face so it's not like they are trying to hide behind it. The appearance of the boys doesn't alter much. Their hair doesn't grow and they don't seem to be all that dirty, but their clothes do seem to get scruffier. I think that the 1963 film is the best to use for students studying the story. The characters have the same personalities and are represented in the same way as in the book. The plot is the same, and the themes and symbols are represented in the same way as in the book. The camerawork, lighting, music and costumes prove effective in creating scenes that are similar to those described in the book. The Lord of the Flies is a difficult film to make because it's very important to make the audience see things that are important. There are also some bits like the pigs head talking that are hard to create without it seeming fake or stupid. The island also has to match the one described in the book to create the right atmosphere, so different bits would probably have to be shot in different places because the island described has lots of different bit like jungle, a beach, and a cliff. ...read more.

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