Witness by Peter Weir Notes

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NOTES ON MODULE B, WITNESS BY PETER WEIR, 1985

Introduction: * Engage in a detailed analysis of a text * Understanding of how the ideas, forms and language of a text interact within the text and may affect those responding to it. * Students will need an understanding of film techniques and of the police drama genre.
Important aspects to know: * Visual techniquesenhance understanding of characters * Editing techniquescreate suspense, establish characters, create atmosphere, position viewers to respond in a particular way * Narrative structureplot points and conventions of story telling * Mise en scene elementsconvey directors purpose * Themestolerance; good and evil; isolation; nature of love; conflict;
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then I have done a bad job”
Sound:
* Diegeticsound within the actual scene e.g. the image of waves and you hear waves crashing on the sand. * Non-diegeticmusic used to create moods or affects such as background music.
Setting:
* Witness is an American film made in 1985 by Australian filmmaker Peter Weir. * Filmed entirely on location in Lancaster county and Philadelphia, Witness popularized Pennsylvania as a tourist location, many people wanting to view first-hand, the Amish culture. * The film gives the audience a chance to compare two different levels of American society, the culture and the world of the modern city and the culture and world of the Amish. * In writing about Witness, Marie Saeli states that the film hoes that the ‘two cultures meet, but never merge.” It is this contrast of the two worlds, conveyed to the audience mainly in visual terms that is one of the most important and memorable aspects for the spectator. * Amish Is established as peaceful and idyllic.
Plot:
* Set in 1984, Lancaster, Philadelphia * Amish members Rachel and Samuel Lapp are visiting the city after the death of her husband. * Samuel goes to the bathroom by himself and witnesses the murder of a policeman. * As he is a witness, he is needed to stay with the police in the city to help the investigation, forcing the conservative family out of their
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