American thought, Opposing values, Robert Ray
In a world where movie directors and filmmakers are building a name for themselves Robert Ray in A Tendency of the Hollywood Cinema(1930-1980) tries to show the need for filmmakers to produce movies that every person can relate. Ray emphasizes on the need for commitment in both plot and technique. Traditional American mythology dictates that there should be opposing forces in the film in order to capture the viewers' attention. I will focus on three films namely, Scarface (1932), shadow of the doubt (1943) and Waterfront (1954).My essence is to show how the various films through the magnificent directing have brought out the theme of opposing values of the worldly success versus the ordinary life.
The films bring to light the fact that most people get into the world of crime with the notion that they will achieve success be it fame or money and other material gains. However, it is crucial to understand that worldly success does not only mean hunger for money and other luxuries, rather it can something psychological as is the case some of the films that I am going to analyze. In essence, the individuals in the films are motivated by a desire to accomplish something. The heroes in the films depict any ordinary viewer.
[...] There is symbolism in the film, for instance, the pigeons depict the dockworkers as press at the mercy of the mob. By wearing Joey's jacket Terry, symbolizes a new dawn whereby he is now an advocator of justice. In the entire directing of the waterfront, transformation is evident. Terry grows from a fearful and submissive man with no dignity in the first scene to a courageous man who is ready to defend himself and others in the face of evil in the last scene. [...]
[...] While some people try to gain worldly success in their lives others are motivated to lead normal and ordinary lives. This is the case in the waterfront as Terry's ambition for worldly success changes to need for ordinary life when he falls in love with Eddie. His initial desire for power is replaced by the need to provide each dockworker with freedom. Terry shuns the mobsters whose aim is to deprive the workers of their hard- earned money. Johnny Friendly, the leader of the mob, is the power hungry, and he does everything in his power to harass those who do not belong to the mob. [...]
[...] This setting gives the film a feeling of realism. In the directing of the movie, in one scene Kazan uses close up shots of Terry biting his nails while deep in thought, and this depicts the dilemma he is facing and the conscience that should guide him. In the same scene, Kazan uses a high camera angle where the dockworkers are at the lowest part of the ship with Friendly and his gang above, and this depicts the power and authority that the mob holds over the dockworkers. [...]
[...] The setting of Scarface is in Miami the city associated with flamboyance. The desire for money and power is evident for the characters in Scarface. Self-interest and greed are the driving forces of the characters. There is no ordinary life as relationships are based on the benefits accrued. Even the bond between Tony and his sister Cesca is based on the fact he has incestuous feelings towards her. Tony's aspiration to climb the power ladder drifts him away from leading an ordinary life. [...]
[...] Tony's lavish clothes also depict wealth and affluence. The weapons and protection he enjoys showing his power and social status. A close up of Tony's face is given on several occasions to show how fearless he is, and this is meant to appeal to those who share in his ideology of getting rich or die trying. A long shot of Tony in his mansion is used to stress his power and wealth, the camera zooms around the house to capture all the assets and properties within the house. [...]
using our reader.