King Kong 1933 Monstrosity Essay

1608 words - 6 pages

Assignment 3Taken from an exotic land, terrified and in love, King Kong (1933) features a creature that makes us fall into sympathy despite his barbaric monstrosity. O'Brien's Stop-Motion of Kong, Steiner's three note motive, and the story of Kong's transportation are constructively shaped to help audiences identify with Kong as a sensitive monster instead of a terrifying animal. Directors Ernest B. Schoedsack and Merian C. Cooper bring forth the deconstruction of barriers between man and animal, the frightening reality of returning to monstrosity, and recognising Kong in relation to the 'black' past.Firstly, it is important to recognise the way in which Schoedsack and Cooper recreated the relationship between animal and human and the effect this gives on the viewers. By giving Kong the ability to love, feel pain and have a sense of heroic self-less devotion to Ann, Kong seems much less like an animal monster, and more like a thoughtful human hero. Creed states culture assumes animals without communications or emotion, and instead inferior and hopeless (61). She instead argues that we should read Kong with Darwin's view "there is no fundamental difference between man and the higher mammals in their mental faculties" (quoted in Erb 86). In relation to Kong, it is soon discovered he is not this assumed animal or this objectified monster, but he is capable of emotions and our sympathy. Through O'Briens creation of stop-motion work, Erb highlights the scene where Kong destroys the camera crew and reaches to capture Jack but gets stabbed in the finger. She explains that upon this horrific scene is the point where Kong is powerful and erotic, he is also susceptible and sympathetic, a combination of human and animal (Erb 111). Kong's face reacts to pain in his hands with emotion, captured by the stop-motion animators in cinematography. Haraway suggests that this hand is a link to what makes him humanized and the repeated moulding of his facial features gives Kong dimension and character (quoted in Erb 110-111). This is exactly what Cooper wanted, as the way to obtain optimum sympathy for the beastly Kong was to give him human features (Morton 55). When Kong is tied up like an animal in New York, the long shot of him in chains critiques human society of zoos, animal imprisonment, and presentation of the monster (Creed 62). The audience applauds, and is entertained by Kong's capture, finding pleasure in his monstrosity and his exoticness. In the scene with Kong hanging on to the top of the Empire State Building, Kong is helplessly shot down by the aeroplanes and plummets to his death. The music is more dramatically melancholy of Kong's famous three note motive. Steiner uses this motive to show deeper personality of Kong, and in a way gives Kong a voice of emotion. As Kong picks up Ann for the last time, we are reminded of his humanized hands and his lost desire for Ann. Kong is no longer perceived as this passive monstrous animal that does whatever her...

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