“It’s the sense of touch… We’re always behind this metal and glass. I think we miss that touch so much, that we crash into each other, just so we can feel something.” Paul haggis portrayal of American society uses this “sense of touch” to leave a distinct mark on his film. I agree that to a large extent Paul Haggis’ mark is seen in his films, his mark is most widely seen in Crash and In The Valley Of Elah. Haggis uses film techniques such as lighting and camera angles as well as symbolism and the idea of racial discrimination, to put his mark on his films.
Haggis’ mark on the film Crash is shown through the use of symbolism. In Crash we are shown the directors portrayal of American society. Racism is a universal issue, brought out by separations in society. Haggis uses symbols to bring out the main idea of the film, which is the idea of racial discrimination. Christian symbolism can be seen within Crash and also in In The Valley Of Elah. In Crash the crucifix symbolizes the idea of the conscience, doing what is right or wrong. This is seen when Graham has just spoke with Flanagan and has to make a decision if he will do the right thing or not, “all I need to do to make this all disappear is to frame a potentially innocent man?” The film technique of lighting is used at this point, the light is behind him slightly shadowing his figure, and over his right shoulder through the light we see a crucifix appear. This scene also shows the idea of good and evil, with the light trying to creep in whilst casting a shadow on half of his face. Christian symbolism is shown in In The Valley Of Elah when Hank the main protagonist of the story talks to a young boy about the bible story, David and Goliath. The story told symbolizes over coming adversity and fear, Hank talks about facing “your inner monsters” if you’re not afraid and show courage anything can be accomplished.
The idea of racial discrimination is used, with a combination of film techniques such as lighting...
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