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Modern World Cinema, Research Paper Example

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Research Paper

The Contemporary World of Cinema in America

Introduction

Movies have the power to affect the lives of individuals in the society as they serve as mirrors of real life. Notably, these particular forms of visual art has introduced several points of understanding to the human society more than just the entertainment that it is expected to provide the society with. This is perhaps the reason why the movie industry has been deemed to be the fastest growing industry in the world at present. Question is, what makes the industry such a well-developed field that is noted for its impact on the society and its operative course of preferably affecting the thinking of the people more than just giving them what they need and responding to their expectations? In the discussion that follows, two particular feature movies shall be examined so as to define the said aspect of the modern American cinematic culture. From these movies, outlining the craft’s developments in line with its themes and the presentations used by the directors alongside the film’s writers, this discussion and comparison approach shall provide a more referential indication on what movies are expected to be and how the modern system of cinematic media has provided such requirement the fulfillment it needs. The movies to be reviewed and analyzed in accordance with the topic being discussed herein are that of “Being John Malkovich” and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”. From these films, particular options of understanding modern cinematography shall be derived and identified.

Being John Malkovich

Directed by Jonze and written by Kaufman, this film about a puppeteer presents more than just the usual dealings in the life of a supposed artist. Instead, it does take a viewer into the realms of the realities behind living a life behind the mascara of another. While the main character, Schwartz, played by John Cussack was supposedly portrayed as contented with his life, his wife Lotte, played by Cameron Diaz, helps him realize that he can earn more from doing other jobs than just that of his craft. At this point, his acceptance of a new but meager job in downtown New York seemed to be the most comprehensive solution to the issue. This option however gave him more than just a job. It allowed him to experience another life in another person’s being, John Malkovich. Entering through a secret passage-way, Schwartz was able to enter into the mind of Malkovich and specifically control the ways he deals with his everyday life. This opportunity was also given to Lotte, Schwartz’ s wife.

In a way, allowing these characters move forwards with their lives as they give meaning to their being. This part of the movie gives an ideal indication on how humans tend to feel secure living a life as they cover themselves behind another individual. It represents how one person becomes duly comfortable in living another’s life especially in relative connection to how one feels satisfied in controlling another. Beyond the laughter and the humor that the movie is presented with, it could be analyzed that living alongside another being provided the movie an in depth value that made it more than just another comedy-based movie. After all, who would not want to be famous like Malkovich even just for a day? The possession of Schwartz over Malkovich gave the puppeteer a chance to become what he has never been. At times, human individuals present the same desires. Most often than not, they do impose on sacrificing so much just so to be able to live a life in another person’s shoe.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Directed by Gondry and written by Kaufman, this movie represents how humans intend to forget matters due to particular emotional bearings of the memories that the said instances create. It could be analyzed that the movie on the “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” tackles one of the most insidious topic that most people want to move away from, the contemplating question of whether or not one could move away from the past and live away from the pressures of living with people with whom one had specifically strong emotional connections with. Jim Carrey’s performance as Joel, the love interest of Clementine played by Kate Winslet was a good combination that served challenge to both actors. While Jim Carrey was noted for his obvious humor in his other movies, he needed to level down his laughter-defined acting in this film as he needed to be both serious yet naturally humorous as part of the need to portray the character of Joel.

Involving themselves in a serious relationship, both characters tried to live alongside each other, covering up the differences they have and specifically hoping to gain better options of living life in a more romantic environment. However, things changed when an invention on erasing memories have been introduced which Clementine first tried, when she asked for her memories of Joel to be erased from her mind. Joel, learning about this, felt frustrated and decided to undergo the same procedure.

Although both were promised to have an erased memory of each other, the heart apparently does not recognize such process and tries to rekindle the past as Joel and Clementine met each other again in the latter part of the movie. During the process of removing the memories though, there were particular issues that were imposed as part of the critical issues that serve the depth of the film. One is that of the attention that Patrick (one of the operators of the machine for erasing memories) has grown towards Clementine and decides to take over his position and make particular changes in the pattern of the memory of Clementine and having her realize that he is the one for her.

In the movie, the presentation on the most controversial issue of “living the past behind” that is desired by almost every individual who has had a bitter past, has been presented in the film. Although satirical in approach, it could be analyzed how Kaufman’s writing tries to explore the realities of life in a much vague approach that would insist the audience to rethink the situation and create a more responsive consideration on the different situations that the characters had to live with. Not only that, it also shows that no matter how human individuals desire to forget the past and leave everything behind, time just do not heal everything, because the capability of the mind to remember could be halted but can never be reversed. Hence, with Joel and Clementine having that past, it was shown how they had to battle with recurring memories even at the height of the supposed “best form of brain controlling process” that they have undergone.

Narrative Comparison of Screenplay Evaluation

Being that the writer for both films was Kaufman, it is important to first note how his writing style and narrative approach affected the movies’ plot and presentation. Kaufman is often noted for his desire to present the controversial issues in life that humans often choose to set aside. One is that of the theme on identity and another is that of the issue on moving on from the past experiences one has encountered. There are instances when humans just tend to settle down and not confront these issues hence putting themselves in a state of make-believe that pushes them to identify their course of living alongside their desires.

In a rather satiric manner, Kaufman challenges such issues through putting his characters in uncanny situations that are often times unimaginable for humans. Tickling the imagination of the viewers, Kaufman specifically desires to make a responsive attention from the viewers as they seek to question themselves in their decisions in a less compromising position. They are given the chance to laugh at their mistakes and still search themselves as they go through live.

While both movies were represented in an uncanny plot, the director’s response to the written form of the film and how the characters are supposed to be portrayed has made a difference on the flow of the stories. While Gondry utilized a rather modern approach to the story, setting it in an urban space, Jonze also uses the same setting although putting the primary character of the movie embedded within another. This option of presentation has been taken into consideration by the directors as a form of relative connection to the viewers that they target.

Conclusion

From this point of understanding, modern American cinema contends with two primary issues, the idea on presenting a good story and making good profit from such operation. Notably, from this point, the films presented in this review and discussion imposes a more relative consideration on how the stories are created how they are outlined and laid out for the viewers. Looking through the eyes of the writer and responding to the demands of the viewers, these films represent more than just the actual story, but also provide a better vision on what life is all about. With this modern form of the American cinema, mirroring life becomes much easier to contend with.

References

Belton, John. American Cinema/American Culture. McGraw/Hill, New York, 1993, p.290.

James, David E.  Allegories of Cinema, American film in the Sixties. Princeton University Press, New York, 1989, pp. 1–42

Schatz, Thomas. “The New Hollywood”, in Film Theory goes to the Movies, by Jim Collins et al (eds.) Routledge, New York, 1993, pp.15-20.

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