Changing Perspectives Essay

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Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveller, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

“Changing one’s perspective can be confronting and enriching.”

The Encarta Concise English Dictionary defines perspective as “A particular evaluation of a situation or facts, especially from one person’s point of view.”

This perspective is shaped by events in a person’s life.
These may be decisions they make, or knowledge and change
thrust upon them. No matter which circumstances that cause
this change in perspective, the effect will be a growth of
character in the person.

A change in perspective is therefore a change in a person’s evaluation of a situation. The effect of this change can be confronting or enriching to a person.

Change in perspective can impact on a person in one of
three ways, attitudinally, intellectually and emotionally.

By analysing the film, Looking For Alibrandi and my
other related text, The Road Not Taken I will show how
changing one’s perspective can be both confronting and
enriching.

The film, Looking for Alibrandi by Katie Woods is a
bildungsroman, which explores changing perspectives
in the life of the protagonist Josephine Alibrandi. The
events which occur in the film, give an insight into Josie’s life and create a change of perspective on her plight in the film. The Director uses a variety of film techniques to present this change of perspective and growth of character.

Josie is presented as a character who is conflicted in her
situation. She is a fatherless child in a highly patriarchal society and rejects and freely clashes with her Italian culture and heritage.

In the first scene of the film a sepia wash is used, but
Josie is presented in bright colour. This shows her
character in conflict with the world surrounding her.
She furthers this notion in a voiceover where she says
“this may be where I am from, but do I really belong
here?” This emphasises the difference between Josie’s
concept of herself and her place in the world. The
voice over positions the audience to sympathise with
Josie’s situation.

Josie has a confronting change of perspective when
she discovers that her father Michael Andretti, has
come back from Adelaide and she is faced with
meeting him for the first time. In this scene the slow
tracking of the camera in to frame the faces of Josie
and her mother, emphasises the gravity of Michael’s
reappearance and how possibly explosive this could be.

Josie has another confronting change of perspective
when John Barton, the boy that she likes, commits
suicide. Josie questions how she can possibly
continue when John, who seemingly had everything,
felt he had to end his own life.

When Josie tears up the note he gave her and
throws it out the window, this gesture is coupled
with the use of the mournful non-diagetic music
“with or without you”, to symbolise her loss of
innocence, perspective and understanding.
“Why can’t anyone see, if John Barton couldn’t
be alright, no-ones going to be alright?” This
heartfelt questioning by Josie further demonstrates
the depth of her confusion and struggle with her
perception of her situation in life.

Josie is enriched by her final change of perspective
when she accepts who she is despite her faults and
embraces her Italian heritage. This is symbolised
by how she invites her boyfriend and friends to
celebrate “tomato day” with herself and her family.

And also by her choice to enjoy the song Tintarella de
Luna, instead of changing as she had prior to her
change in perspective. In the credits this song
changes to a punk version which highlights the
generational and cultural change. The words stay
the same, but the tune changes, this is a conflation of culture.

The final line of dialogue in the movie, a voiceover
delivered by Josie, demonstrates just how
comfortable she...
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