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Compare how the construction of your chosen scenes illustrates different approaches to screen violence. What conclusions can you draw about this issue?

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Introduction

Compare how the construction of your chosen scenes illustrates different approaches to screen violence. What conclusions can you draw about this issue? Violence is a strong issue in society. In a world that is surrounded by terrorism, aggression and crime, the way violence is represented in the media can be crucial. Most viewers define violence as an act that breaks out of a personal comfort zone and therefore opinions of how violent a scene is can differ. Arguments for the link between violence in the media and real life focus on the perpetrator of violence being unable to acknowledge the difference between reality and the fiction portrayed in film. These opinions however, are frequently the results of a public who use violent films as a scapegoat for physical aspects that shape people's lives. Social issues such as divorce, unemployment, stress, homelessness and other factors have a prevalent role in people's lives. The two films that I am going to discuss are "Fight Club", directed by David Fincher and "The Legend of the Drunken Master" directed by Chia-Liang Liu. First and foremost these two films have both been rated '18' for disturbing and graphic depiction of violent anti-social behaviour, sexuality and explicit language. ...read more.

Middle

There is a major contrast between whom they are when they are fighting and their real lives. Drunken Master has also been edited at a fast pace. Lots of quick editing to varied angles and distances help to increase this throughout. It is very rhythmic and synchronous to the martial arts, this makes the fighting easy to watch and therefore less realistic. The scene inter-cuts to a man coming up behind Jackie with a flaming pole. This gives us an insight in to what is going to happen, so it makes the violence less effective when it happens. The only piece of real violence, which is "out of the comfort zone", is shown in slow motion. This is where Jackie is thrown on to some burning coal and ash. It is shown in slow motion to make the violent act being performed seem less severe. The fast pace shown in both scenes, involves the audience in the action, whilst at the same time draws them away from the actual physical violence. Fight Club is set in a dark and dingy basement under an American trucker bar in the suburbs. ...read more.

Conclusion

During the fight scenes, the camera uses mid shots and close ups, to show the action and emotion. This emphasises the violence intensely. The camera sometimes shows low shots, and shots from the eyes of the crowd and from different perspectives. This makes the shot seem slightly slow motioned and surreal. The cinematography is similar to The Legend of the Drunken Master and most fight scenes. There are lots of varied shots from different angles and distances that increase the pace of the scene. The camera is usually at a fixed position and follows the action. There are no reaction shots so we don't see much emotion during the scene. This distances us from the violence and helps to make it seem less real because we don't see the pain being caused. Overall Fight Club is the more realistic of the two. We can relate to the characters and the violence, whereas with Drunken Master, because of the Asian influences and the style of fighting, we simply cannot relate to it. We portray martial arts as a kind of sport and art these days, so it instantly takes away from the violence. Also the different aspects of film language, which I have discussed, show this. Drunken Master is shown as more light-hearted and visually impressive, therefore we see Fight Club as the more violent film. Matt Ford ...read more.

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