Peter Weir's Gallipoli

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Analyze how at least two of the following were used to help you understand the main idea or message.

*Camera Work *Editing *Special Effects *Music * Lighting *Acting *Sound Effects

Peter Weir’s 1981 film, ‘Gallipoli’ is based on the view point of ANZACs (mainly the Australian Infantry) on the disastrous assault upon Turkish forces during the Dardanelles campaign in the First World War (ANZAC Day, 25 April 1915). The main story revolves around two men, Frank Dunne and Archie Hamilton who are both sprinters, and their friendship leading up to that fateful day on Turkish soil. The character Archie is based on Private Wilfred Harper of the 10th Light Horse during the attack at the Nek. Portrayed in this film are ideas and messages such as sacrifice, comradeship and patriotism (‘war as a game’ is also portrayed in this movie, this can be seen when troops take a swim). Acting, Music, and camera work helped me understand these ideas and messages.

Music helped me understand the idea of “war as a game” in that the use of Oxygène (by Jean Michel Jarre) was played during many of Archie’s sprinting scenes, including that of his final sprint. This hinted a comparison between Archie’s runs on the athletic field with that of his run on the battle field as the electronic music sounds resemble gunfire as he sprints. Alluding to his final moments where he is shot in a freeze frame resembling Robert Capa's famous photograph, ‘Death of a Loyalist Soldier’, Spain, 1936. The whole campaign resulted in the death and destruction of Australia’s, then, most promising generation. This can be reflected in the dirge music playing during the scenes leading to the failed Australian charges, concluding with the troops being mercilessly slaughtered under a barrage of machine gun fire. The mournful music hints at the idea that these men who had died for their nation (Patriotism for Western Australia), will indeed be missed by the ones they fought for.

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