August 1, 2012
Dances with Wolves
There was a time when the western theme was one of the most popular movie genres. Crowds would flock to the theatre to see John Wayne or Clint Eastwood on the big screen, expecting them to fulfill the role of the hero as they took on the villains. This was in the 1950’s and 1960’s, since that time the public had lost interest in the well-known western genre. Kevin Costner directed and starred in the all-time classic movie “Dances with Wolves”. With the making of this film, Costner re-introduced the western theme and captured the attention of those audiences who preferred this genre of film. This film was nominated for nine awards in the 63rd Academy Awards, and won in seven of those categories, including cinematography, editing, and sound. Critics and audiences were captivated by the way this film captured the forgotten feel of the old west, and pronounced “Dances with Wolves” one of the best films ever made. Mise En Scene
This film won a number of awards, and it is easy to see why. The actors captured the essence of the characters they portrayed, making the story line believable. Kevin Costner played the part of Lieutenant Dunbar, an inadvertent hero in the Union army, who finds his true identity with a band of Sioux Indians. Through the eyes of Dunbar, the audience comes to know the old west and the frontier of the time (Ebert, 1990). Costner cast Native Americans in the role of the Sioux Indians in the film, and through the use of subtitles, the Lakota language added to the feeling of authenticity. Kicking Bird comes to life through the acting of Graham Greene. Kicking Bird is a peaceful man, and through this character, we come to understand the Native American’s feelings of unease brought about by the westward movement of the whites. Mary McDonnell portrays Stands With a Fist, a white woman who grew up in the Sioux village after her family is attacked and killed by the Pawnee....