Forrest Gump - Mise-En-Scene

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Forrest Gump
For over a century now, individuals have been flocking to witness the magic of motion pictures. It is a world made possible by a director and a dream. Unbeknownst to many, the making of a motion picture is a tedious event, involving scripts, takes, re-takes, and an abundance of post-production editing. Many people sit and enjoy a movie without realizing the complexities and the amount of individuals involved in creating the film. These individuals create the landscapes and backboards for us, the ultimate image also known as the mise-en-scene. My favorite film of all time is Forrest Gump. Forrest Gump will go down in history as one of the greatest films ever made. This film was nominated for thirteen Academy Awards, and took home six of them. This is in part because of the phenomenal cast and crew members involved in the production of this film; individuals such as the director, cinematographer, and art director, to the actors, sound people, and most importantly the editor, who pulled everything together and created the final cut. All of these plus additional elements such as sound, style, societal impact, genre, and film criticism make the film such a masterpiece. In this paper I will go into detail about these elements and as to why they add character and zest to the overall success of the film. Forrest Gump is a film that draws out every emotion that is available to the viewer; at times it draws empathy, as well as sympathy and sadness because of the real-life elements that are a part of the plot. The film is also loaded with irony and many opportunities to laugh at the naivety of the main character, Forrest Gump. Forrest Gump is a story about an “Unusual man doing unusual things” (Groom, 1996, pg. iv). As a result of how fantastic the film was, and how great the crew and cast were, Forrest Gump was nominated for thirteen Oscars at the Academy; which is a highly prestigious honor. Almost all elements of this film were up to be recognized. The list of elements that won an Oscar: best actor, best director, best effects (visual effects), best film editing, best picture, and best writing. However, the list goes on even further when mentioning the additional ones that were nominated but did not win. This would include: best supporting actor, best art direction-set decoration, best cinematography, best effects (sound effects), best make-up, best music, and best sound (Dirks, 2010). Every one of these elements is crucial to the popularity and overall success of this film. What I plan to take notice of first is the director, Robert Zemeckis. Robert has led a successful career of directing many blockbuster hit movies. Movies such as the Back to the Future trilogy, Cast Away, Contact, and Who Framed Roger Rabbit, just to name a few. It is no wonder why Robert is such a successful and well-known name in Hollywood. Robert is a director that continually makes great films that have recurring actors, Tom Hanks being one of these actors. The style of storyline that Robert chose to use in this film is mostly in chronological order; however, the story is narrated by Forrest in the future, so the story also has moments of incongruous editing. The text states that incongruous editing is when a film jumps around in time (Goodykontz & Jacobs, 2011). You see ’future’ Forrest is telling the story of his life to numerous people who are sitting next to him at the bus stop. The story that he tells is in chronological order, basically catching up to where he is at that moment, at the bus stop. I highly enjoyed this approach that the director used; the story would continually flip back to ‘future’ Forrest as the movie went on. I believe that the movie would have been dull, had it not been from the perspective of Forrest in the future. Excitement is added by the way that he remembers the events in his life, and how even today he is still excited about them. This movie was adapted...
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