Film Or Life Essay

1638 words - 7 pages

Film or Life The reader of a book has a certain connection with the author and the text. This has been known for a long time, but what some people take for granted is the links they receive from watching a film. The link when people watch a movie they really don't think to in depth as they would if they were reading a book. However a film can serve as a mirror for the viewer who is watching it. In, The Imaginary Signifier, Christian Metz states, Thus film is like the mirror. But it differs from the primordial mirror in one essential point: although, as in the latter, everything may come to be projected, there is one thing and one thing only that is never reflected in it: the spectator's own body. In a certain emplacement, the mirror suddenly becomes clear glass (802).Metz declares how a film can reflect who watches it and whoever does can envision themselves in the characters role, except in a different body. In David Fincher's Fight Club, the narrator brings you through a symbolic order which is the second step in developing a new identity. The first step is shown in Anthony Minghella's film The Talented Mr. Ripley, by having Tom Ripley enter a mirror stage that constructs and destructs his identity. The building and destroying of this new identity affects the viewer by sending them tumbling into mirror stage. This happens due to the dialogues of the characters and the way that the viewer can relate to them. The way a viewer relates to the characters is unique to oneself and can be in anyway, you may agree or be in conflict with the character; you may sympathize with them or feel whatever emotion that they bring out of you, the viewer. The fictional use of the character Tom Ripley entering a mirror stage can incite the viewer's entrance into the mirror stage. By using the art of film and all of its aspects it can be easy to put the viewer in the place of the character. Many different camera angles and shots can be used to add affect to the importance of a scene and to even get the viewer to play out the role in his or her seat. In the film The Talented Mr. Ripley the director uses a certain camera shot to introduce the film as well as end it. We begin the film by seeing Tom Ripley's face in shattered pieces like a broken mirror, when they come together the movie starts and shows Tom by himself looking into a mirror. This is what starts the mirror stage and makes the viewer really feel as if he was looking into the mirror and staring at himself. At the end of the film it is practically the same shot except the mirror is complete and starts to break off slowly into pieces with Tom in the background. The significance of this usage of special effects is to show the final destruction of identity and leaves the viewers in the closet. The next shot where the viewer really gets into the mirror stage is when Tom is in Europe looking through the binoculars at Dickey. This is significant because the...

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