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Suspense And Suspision In Episode 1 Of Season 2 Of The Tv Show "24"

1297 words - 6 pages

Media directs the thought processes of society. Daya Kishan Thussa says, “US popular culture… is steeped in Hollywood spectacles on war, battles and conflict, as evidenced by the international success of films about war, conflict, and battles between good and evil,” (p.265 reader). Hollywood –the media—portrays war as a conflict between good and evil, redefining war and conflict to be something that is black and white, with a sure winning side. The show 24, produced after 9/11, at the start of the War on Terror, represents a conflict between the good and the evil by paralleling the distrust and suspicion of the real world with the distrust and suspicion of the world in the show. By using elements such as windowing, zooming and panning into faces, dark lighting, and slow, eerie music, Season 2, Episode 1 of 24, creates an atmosphere of suspicion and distrust similar to post 9/11 United States that explains why officials tried to resolve conflicts even without all relevant information present.
The camera zooms into the faces of the characters speaking, directing the audience’s attention to what they are saying making this information seem important and true. In the scene where David Palmer finds out about the nuclear bomb in Los Angeles, the camera first focuses on Eric Rayburn who is telling Palmer about the bomb but then zooms into Palmer’s face to show his expression at receiving this information. When Palmer is told the bomb will go off today, he asks, “How do we know this?” Rayburn replies with a computer image of Mahmoud and the camera zooms into the suspected terrorist’s face. The camera in this scene moves quickly from face-to-face, following the conversation visually. Additionally, the camera captures the expressions of the speakers, indirectly telling the audience how to react. This method of zooming in and moving quickly, makes the audience lean forward to follow the conversation. Since the conversation is moving quickly, but is also focused on specific speakers, the audience does not want to miss a single word. In addition, when the scene jumps quickly to the bomber’s face on the screen, the audience has no time to doubt whether the suspected terrorist is the right person. The camera pans into the bomber’s face, who looks Middle Eastern which was a cause for suspicion post 9/11, and with the facts being recited in the background, the audience and the characters in the show no longer consider him a “suspected” terrorist but as “the” terrorist. The level of doubt has been removed, even though, in actuality, the terrorist was only a suspected terrorist.
The music in the scenes is slow, eerie, and low emphasizing the importance of the focus of the words of the characters. In the scene where David Palmer is talking to the Prime Minister, the music is barely audible, but playing in a pattern. The fact that the music is has a specific pattern, familiarizes the scene for the audience and also does not distract them from what is going to...

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