Sunday, September 29, 2013

Tom Cruise half man, half... drug addict? What's up with that Mr. Cruise?

 I am doing the 22nd shot in the Minority Report shot examination!

1. Here we see Cruise actually going to his drug dealer at night, and the light is hitting half his face as he is looking at his dealer in a dark, sketchy hallway. The brilliance of Spielberg here is, that Anderton (Cruise) is "two-faced." That he has two different sides, on one we see him as this glorious, prestigious PreCrime officer, who is the best in his field. Yet, the darker side of Anderton is this drug addicted father, who has lost his son and has turned to drugs. So its trying to show that Anderton, like so many others, might seem like a great guy on one side, but when we see his other side, he becomes the true person he is.

2. The shot here is obviously a close up on Anderton's face. The angle is a fairly medium angle, pretty much even with cruise. It is a single take, and besides his face there is nothing else in the picture so nothing to say about mise-en-scene.

3. Three interesting details:

1. Well, even though this happens later in this scene, when the drug dealer, who is without both of his eyes, says, "In a blind world, the one eyed man is king," we see in this picture, only one of Anderton's eyes showing, alluding to the fact that Anderton is this extremely powerful man. Also, how appropriate is it that the right side of Anderton's face is in darkness, and when we think of blindness, we think of dark, bleakness, and emptiness, which is what Anderton's face displays
2. When I look at Andeton's face up close like this, I can see a man who actually is fairly "dirty" per se, like his beard is all over the place, he's got some black marks on his face, it is certainly far from the perfect, clean officer we came to see at PreCrime. It is like the closer we are getting to Anderton himself, the more we are seeing his "true colors."
3. Looking at his two sides of his face in this shot, the yin and yang symbol comes to mind. Its the two opposite personas he has, and how they interact to keep him whole and perfect to the outside world. Clearly, one side is this drug addict and the other is the powerful, crime fighting officer. 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Where art thou Oedipus?

1. Well, when it comes to his own fate, Oedipus knew from very early on what is own fate was. The Oracle told him very clearly what he would do, he would kill his father and marry his mother. And it is no coincidence that both things occurred. Also, even though he is very intelligent he himself, forgets and dismisses the fact that he could of killed Laius, he brings his own downfall by choosing to ignore the possibility of him doing it. He goes mildly insane and starts blaming others because he never thought of himself as the murderer.

 2. First things first, he is an excellent, excellent leader. He is extremely intelligent, hes caring for his people and has a very good sense of the cause and effect of all his actions. Noticeably, during the plague, while snooping around trying to find the murderer, he consistently shows that the needs and wants of his people are not ignored by the search for the murderer. He is thoughtful and willing to listen to the citizens of Thebes. Where he falls short is his ignorance when it came to the Oracle and he being the murderer. He never listened to the Oracle, he could not put two and two together when he married Jocasta, and he goes crazy and starts accusing his best friend Creon. Overall he is a very good leader, but his few flaws proved to be fatal. 

 3. When the prophet Tiresias is brought it, Oedipus demands that he tell the truth but the prophet is unwilling and Oedipus is driven mad until the prophet tells him that he is the one who killed Laius. Oedipus' impatience is his downfall because he is filled with rage once he hears he did it and immediately disregards the information and begins his accusations of Creon and Tiresias. Tiresias is brought it from no where and forced to stand before this king, all the while he knows that he information he has would insult and infuriate the king, even though it was true. One can see this lack of patience again when Oedipus brutally tortures the Shepard until he tells him who his birth parents are. Oedipus does not want to wait on such topics, understandably, but he needed to understand these people's perspective about the gravity of the situation. 

4. At the end, when Burgess and Anderton confront each other, after Anderton shows the vision of Burgess committing the murder, Burgess runs into an impasse. He either kills Anderton, and goes to jail for life or does not kill him and the PreCrime division would be shut down. Burgess then explains that if one knows his or her future or "destiny" then he or she can change it. So in Minority Report and Oedipus, Oedipus knows what his fate will be, and does everything in his power to prevent it, and similarly the PreCrime division wants to know exactly what will happen, when and where, so they can stop it to help the greater good. Where they differ is that Oedipus wants to know his fate for his own good and sanity, while PreCrime wants to help out the world by putting criminals in jail before they can do harmful things.

5. The PreCogs: They are the actual ones who can see into the future, so their eyes represent, seeing into the future quite literally. They have the ability to see every event in the future before it happens, and they are the ones who are the key to PreCrime's success. John Anderton: His eyes are like the link between the PreCogs and real life. He cannot see into the future, but he acts out and stops events before they happen. He sees what will happen, then acts upon those visions and stops the crime. The culture: Society at this point seems to value eyes, because it has unquestionably made the area a safer place, evidence by the six year without crime.

6. Technology is advancing faster than anyone could of predicted. We've made mobile computers, electric cars, glasses with phones, etc. We've advanced in so many areas that many thought would take decades, like bending light to make items essentially invisible, cloning, guns, computers etc. Now a days, the things portrayed in the movie are not too far off, no longer are we making films about this crazy future that lies ahead, because most know that anything within the realm of possibilities could be reached by humans. In 44 years, I expect us to still be growing exponentially, and where we will have too many people with too few resources. And if we continue at this rate within the next 100 years or so, we will become extinct, or by 44 years we will have some sort of cataclysmic event that will drastically wipes out the population, because the human population always seems to have some sort of mass death event when we have a problem with population i.e. Black Death. Yet, on the bright side, seemingly after a massive event like a plague, comes a period of great innovation and culture i.e. Italian Renaissance. So in 44 years, I fully expect us all to be flying with cars, and taking trains that are as fast at light, but with the presence of a mass death lurking or starting already.