August 23, 2020 in Research

The Discreet Charm of Bourgeoisie by Luis Buñuel

The first work of art under consideration is a film directed by Luis Buñuel Le Charme Discret de la Bourgeoisie (Eng. The Discreet Charm of Bourgeoisie). The film was released in 1972. The script was written by Luis Buñuel and Jean-Claude Carrière. In the work of art being discussed, reality stands opposed to the violation of the basic principles of the formal logics and common sense. The first part of the film portrays a group of friends (three couples) trying to get together, visiting one another, going to cafes and restaurants. Basically, the first part of the film is a sequence of episodes portraying the friends’ gatherings. There is a slightly discernible demarcation line in the film between the string of events that happen in real life and the world of the characters’ dreams.

The second part of the film being analyzed is a sequence of four episodes portraying the dreams of the main characters. The goal that the makers pursue in this particular part of the film is to give insight into the inner world of people who are corrupted morally, greedy, and whose intellectual abilities and aesthetic views are dictated by consumerism and satiety. With regard to this, it has to be mentioned that some of the main characters are involved in drug dealing. In order to satirize the Bourgeoisie, the director employs the technique of surreal dream sequences. Perhaps, one of the brightest examples of surreal dream sequence in the film is the torture scene where the insects crawl out from a piano. The episode in particular shows the greatest fear of one of the film’s characters. The movie may also be regarded as a vivid illustration of how surrealism has manifested itself in cinematography.

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Woody Allen’s Purple Rose of Cairo

The second work of art to be analyzed is a film named Purple Rose of Cairo which was released in 1985 and directed by Woody Allen. The events of the film take place at some time in the 1930s, the years of Great Depression. The problem of Appearance and Reality is the nucleolus of the film, one of its primary conflicts that manifest itself through the protagonists of the film itself. Cecilia is the heroine of the film being discussed. All that the audience knows about her at the beginning of the film is that she has been reputed as a poor waitress. Cecilia’s poor waitressing skills can be viewed as one of the primary consequences of her clumsiness. In addition to that, Cecilia is unhappily married. To feel a sense of accomplishment, Cecilia goes to the cinema every day and then loses herself in the fictional universes. Hence, Purple Rose of Cairo is a film within the actual film where Cecilia falls for one of the main characters of the film she saw. A few moments later, she gets attracted to an actor who played the character she has grown so fond of. Thus, the performance comes the point at which Cecilia has to decide whom to follow: the actor or the character. She chooses to commit herself to the actor. As cynical as it sounds, it is just the matter of time when Cecilia discovers that she has been deceived. The conflict of the film is resolved once the protagonist of the film is portrayed sitting in a theater watching another film.

All things considered, actuality and surrealism are intertwined in Woody Allen’s Purple Rose of Cairo. In other words, in the work of art being analyzed, it is difficult to separate a fact from fiction. The film portrays a person who attempts to escape from reality into the fictional worlds because only parallel universes bring peace and comfort to Cecilia. The philosophical problem of Appearance and Reality is resolved in favor of Appearance as the film ends with Cecilia’s another visit to the cinema.

Chocolat by Lasse Hallström

Chocolat is a film adaptation of the eponymous novel by Joanne Harris. The movie was directed by Lasse Hallström and released in 2000. The film portrays a community, a group of people whose lives are shaped by religious superstitions. Vianne and her daughter Anouk, the central figures in the film, try hard to fit in with the scheme of things of the people they meet as they move to this rural area, presumably, somewhere in France. Vianne is a talented chocolatier, a real expert. She has her daughter helping her. As Vianne and Anouk become familiar with the people’s customs and traditions, they decide to start the business and establish a small confectionary. The store was opened in the time of the Lent; that’s why many people perceive Vianne with a great deal of caution. Vianne is openly confronted by the Mayor Comte de Reynaud who disapproves the opening the chocolate shop in the time of the Lent. Thus, chocolate becomes a bone of contention in the movie. For the makers of the film, chocolate is the symbol of temptation and an example of how the meaning of ordinary things can be twisted. Perhaps, even more importantly, through chocolate as a symbol Lasse Hallström’s film conclusively proves that there are double standards in politics and religion, and both are renowned as the social institutions. In addition, the film draws no strict demarcation line between the sacred (the spiritual and clerical) and the secular categories. The only cleric in the film supports neither Mayor nor Vianne. Therefore, it is possible to assume that Pere Henri as a character plays no role in the outcome of the story. Finally, goodwill, kindness, experience, and skill set earn Vianne love and respect of the community. The village becomes a new home to Vianne and Anouk.

Garry Ross’s Pleasantville

Pleasantville is a film by Gary Ross. The film was released in 1998. The movie is a story of two siblings who find themselves in the fictional world of a popular TV show, the events of which take place in the 1950s. Color is a tool that the film directors use to distinguish between the real and fictional worlds.

Color in the film Pleasantville is associated mostly with people becoming more willing to express their emotions and feelings. The fictional world of Pleasantville the TV program starts to fill up with color as the community portrayed in this show is introduced to emotions. By and large, Pleasantville the film shows how the notions of morale, humanity, and decency have changed over decades. In other words, the work of art under consideration can be viewed as the comparison of two different social conventions and cultural paradigms that dictated people’s behaviors in the 1950s and the 1990s respectively. Furthermore, the film shows that the notions of morale, humanity, and decency have changed considerably over the centuries and were redefined in the 1990s. Particularly, the film shows that people have become more open in the 1990s than they were in 1950s. As the experience shows, being open requires a lot of talent, mental strengths, and responsibility. At some point, Gary Ross’s Pleasantville supports the aforementioned statement.

As the film itself comes to end, each of the two siblings have to decide which of the two worlds is the one that they belong in. Thus, Pleasantville is also a film that gives insight into different systems of values and people’s priorities. All things considered, it is color that the makers of the film use to express and stress upon the major differences between the 1950s and 1990s from cultural and social perspectives.


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