Pleasantville Analysis of Film Techniques against the Theme of "Change"

2162 Words Apr 30th, 2009 9 Pages
How are we made aware of the filmmaker's attitude towards change? Refer to three specific episodes from the film. (excl. concl. stages)In Pleasantville, the filmmaker, Gary Ross, conveys his attitude towards change through the characters of David and Jennifer who are transported into the 1950s sitcom "Pleasantville". He doesn't necessarily demonstrate change to bear a positive result; rather, he addresses that change is essential to the development of society and self and that it is important to understand and accept change. Ross contrasts the ignorance and mindlessness of the unchanged people of Pleasantville with the hunger for knowledge that the changed (or coloured) people possess, communicating to the viewer that change and knowledge …show more content…
It was conventionally used in Noir films to represent the dark overtones of the society. It is used as a motif in Pleasantville for the majority of the beginning of Jennifer and David's adventure (until things start to change, that is). This is especially significant with all the subtle implications and allusions to a Nazi-style dictatorship. For example, the burning of books is reminiscent of that in 1936 when the German government burnt all books which would oppose its rule, in fear that the society it governed would think of rebelling.

Big Bob is the obvious ruler, as he is almost always seen with a low shot, making him look big and powerful to the audience. Bob's situation is similar, burning books to stop changes occurring. Books are seen as works of art which are derived from the imagination of thinking people. Bob's censorship practices extend to the prohibition of Mr Johnson from using colours to paint (that is, from using the full extent of his imagination) in his Code of Conduct. In this way, he is much like the German government in the 30s. However, he wants to continue his rule without any violent opposition; only 'pleasantness'. There is irony however, as there is vandalism and disruption when the Milk Bar is broken into and sabotaged because of his encouragement, which is the exact opposite of 'pleasant'. The fact that people submitted to this way of
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