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In The Film Rabbit Proof Fence, We, As The Viewer, Are Positioned To See Mr Neville As A Mostly Unsympathetic Character. How Has The Director, Phillip Noyce Used Various Techniques To Achieve This?

1266 words - 5 pages

In the film "Rabbit Proof Fence", the character A.O. Neville is portrayed as a mostly unsympathetic character. The director, Phillip Noyce used the technique of camera angles to develop Neville's character as very authoritative and controlling of the other characters in the movie. The soundtrack, particularly the sound effects, are also used to develop Neville's character. He is shown to be very isolated from the suffering of Aborigines and only concerned for rules and regulations. The lighting and colour in both his office (where he is seen most of the time) and whilst making a presentation, are used in the film to demonstrate Neville's attitudes and beliefs. Finally, the editing of scenes contrasts Neville's actions and orders with those that he affects, creating a controlling, heartless character. However, despite all of this, he is not entirely unsympathetic. Neville believes that he is doing the right thing for the Aboriginal people. He is well-meaning and simply doesn't understand. It is the way he acts upon these beliefs that make him an unsympathetic character.Noyce makes Neville appear very powerful and authoritative through his use of close-up and tilted-up camera angles. In the scenes where the viewers are introduced to Neville, he is shown sitting at his desk, going over paperwork with a very stern expression on his face. The camera is tilted up towards him, giving and impression of being very tall and imposing. As he reads through papers in a very serious manner, the camera is a very close to his face. His face fills the screen as he reads, making him appear very officious and dominating. Through these shots, the viewer is positioned to see Neville as a very harsh, cold and controlling person.Furthermore, at the Moore River settlement, Neville is depicted checking the colour of the skin of the half-caste children to see if they are 'worthy' to attend school and live in white society. When Molly is called, the camera shows Neville from her point of view, and he appears to tower menacingly over her. From the viewpoint of a child, Neville is a very powerful and threatening. By seeing Neville from this angle, the viewers feels compassion for Molly as she faces Neville, and in turn see Neville as a cruel and oppressive character.The sound effects in the movie develop Neville's character as authoritative and bureaucratic. When finalising paperwork to authorise the removal of the three children Molly, Daisy and Gracie, he stamps the paper. The loud thud of the stamp brings a sense of officiousness and finality. Concerned only with rules, money and bureaucracy, the viewer perceive Neville's character as cold, emotionless and unlikeable.Before being introduced to Neville, the viewer is first shown the streets of Perth, where Neville's Office is located. Completely contrasted to the serene, fertile bush shown previously, the city appears noisy and busy; a whole other world. Neville, who resides in Perth, is completely separated from the...

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