Dead Poet's Society Essay

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“Neil Perry, with the possible exception of Charlie Dalton, is the most ardent disciple of Keating’s “Carpe Diem” philosophy. This sets him up for a confrontation with the conservative forces in the film. Show how the conflict between Neil, his father and the establishment is developed from a filmic perspective.”

Dead Poets Society repeatedly shows relational conflict, often between the boys and authority. Perhaps the most obvious example within the film is that of Neil’s relationship with his father. This conflict mainly results ofrom bad a lack of communication and misunderstanding due to Neil’s inability to express himself to his father. The director constantly makes use of filmic techniques to highlight this tension and its affect on Neil’s life of it. This tension is first observed, even if only slightly,The first glimpse we see of this is when Neil and his father greet the headmaster as they leave after the welcoming ceremony. The composition of this mid shot places Neil in the edge of the shot, with the lighting focused on his father’s face. Framing is used as we see the doors in the background creating a frame around Neil’s father which emphasizes him. Already we are givenget the impression that Neil is submissive towards him. The director uses the scene where Neil’s father confronts him about giving up the school annual to confirm this. The mise-en-scene has been specifically used to emphasize the tension between father and son. The numerous low angle shots show Mr. Perry’s dominance over Neil. Close up shots of Neil’s face reveal his emotions and the pain his father’s lack of understanding causes him.

On the day before the play, Neil’s father arrives to tell him to give the idea up. Again low angle shots are used to show how Neil fearfully respects his father, and high angle shots show Neil in a vulnerable and weak position, which is appropriate as he continually fails to stand up to his father. Cutting is used at the scene of Neil’s play to...
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