Satire is defined as biting wit, irony or sarcasm used to expose vice or folly. Many literary or theatrical and cinematic works have these qualities. They make ridicule of any fault or foolish act in society, often in the form of comedy. In the films The Truman Show and Pleasantville, satire is used to portray many faults as well as different aspects of modern society. Cinematography is the art or technique of movie photography, including both the shooting and development of the film. Cinematography has been utilized in both Pleasantville and The Truman Show to satirise and ridicule modern society.
Pleasantville and The Truman Show’s story lines build on many similarities: David and Jennifer are both transported into a “perfect” world within a black and white television show where there is no fighting, no questioning of authority, there are no convictions and no fires. Truman, similarly, lives within his own “perfect” world. He has the ideal job, the blonde haired, blue- eyed slim wife, a neat home, friendly neighbours and a world where he would be safe for the rest of his life. In both shows the protagonists, Truman and the people of Pleasantville, had absolutely no worries.
In an early sequence of Pleasantville, there is a medium shot of the Parker’s sitting in the kitchen together as a family. This scene is followed by a low angle shot of school children walking to school whilst the American flag waves above their heads. These two scenes symbolise the interpretation of the American dream. Family life is “perfect”, education is “perfect” and there is great patriotism. Life in this scene is described as perfect and absolute bliss. The movie builds up on these scenes to show the audience exactly what Pleasantville should be interpreted as. These scenes describe Pleasantville as a perfect life where nothing goes wrong. They describe life in Pleasantville as bliss just as the American Dream is described to be “blissful”.
As the film progresses, the audience’s perceptions of “The American Dream” change. Towards the middle sequence of Pleasantville, there is an eye level, medium close up on George Parker. Mary-Sue has gone out with her boyfriend and George is assuring Bud that Mary-Sue is a good girl and would do nothing wrong. During this time, Jennifer is at Lovers lane making love to her boyfriend. This scene describes the ignorance of people within a “perfect” society, one described by “The American Dream.” This scene shows how people can be exploited and cheated from the truth in a “perfect” society as real life incidents are hidden away from them. The media, such as twenty-four hour news channels, hide many truths from modern society. Many bias news channels purposely conceal “the second side of the story” in order to give viewers a one-dimensional outlook on the story. This in turn brings upon ignorant support towards the cause the news channels are bias towards. In this film there is no place other than the place in which they live in-Pleasantville. This symbolizes the close-minded view of people who have been brought up in secluded places or even people who haven’t got a broader view of the outside world. Children in school are greatly protected from the outside world, by their teachers and their parents. They are ignorant towards many happenings in the world because these happenings simply have been hidden away from them. Pleasantville is trying to send a message to the audience that a perfect life with ignorance is no way to live. Otherwise known as “ignorant bliss”. Ignorant bliss is great for unwanted worries and stress, however ignorance is greatly detrimental towards a society. Ignorance has the power to aid many wrongs in a society. One because of ignorance may hate a nation because one was brought up in a racist family and knows no better other than to hate. Even one may vote a government in to power just because the leader of that particular government...