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analysis of film North by North west

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Consider the use of visual, narrative and technical codes in the film North by Northwest; what features might attract an audience to this film in 1960? There is very good use of visual, narrative and technical codes in the film North by Northwest. In terms of genre, North by North west is labeled as thriller but it also has some aspects of other genre like comedy (Cary grant's humors) and romance (with Eve candell). Roger's character in the beginning of the movie character is presented as manipulative, charismatic, confident, comic, and suave person but as the narrative proceeds he is the one who is under control and falls under conspiracy of villains. Being an advertising executive, he sells lies but now that he is telling the truth, no one believes him even his mother. ...read more.


This refers to narrative generic convention of thriller consists of isolation and vulnerability of main hero .The diegetic sound in the sequence is silent and having that makes his loneliness even more effective. Straight lines have been featured extensively in the opening of the sequence where the roads and sky appear in straight form. The fields which appear in double crossed form represent deception. Audience already having foreknowledge of previous plot can experience the order and suspense that is created by the straight lines. This implies Todorov's equilibrium where everything seemed balanced (in order) in the beginning but is disrupted by some sort of source. The equilibrium here is disrupted by a plane attempts to kill roger breaking the straight lines. This builds up tension and suspense until the end of the sequence as it crashes and the equilibrium is restored temporarily. ...read more.


to kill Roger. In a way the audience's expectation is shattered and there is a mystery code (Roland Barthes) in it makes audience to question themselves whether roger is really dead or not and engages audience to watch the rest of the film to know the answer. His technique of creating suspense and making the audience guessing by having mystery codes is also one of the reasons that audiences hold on to the movie and also Cary Grant's humor also boost the whole movie. Even in serious situation like near death on the cliff hanging moment at Mt. Rushmore he makes humorous comment like "That wasn't very sporting, using real bullets'' talking about the previous fake bullets. In over all, the movie has all the qualities and factor of a genuine thriller and Hitchcock's ways of presenting the narrative is gripping. ...read more.

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