May 14, 2010
An Artistic Representation of the Sixties Through Across The Universe
Many historical fiction films that we watch fail to depict history in an accurate way due to the emphasis on entertainment and revenue instead of keeping the integrity of its historical events. However, some motion pictures stay true to history while providing entertainment through fictional stories. Although the stories are fictional, movie writers can craft stories that represent the history, attitudes, and personalities of a time period in a historically accurate way. A prime example of a movie that is entertaining and represents history accurately is Across The Universe, directed by Julie Taymor in 2007. This film succeeds in creating a historically accurate film by keeping the integrity of American history during the late sixties and early seventies, and provides entertainment through a story based on the music of the Beatles. What sets this movie apart is that it represents history accurately and captures the messages the Beatles were portraying through their songs. The film embodies the personality of the hippie movement during the sixties and seventies, and successfully portrays the events that were happening in America during the Vietnam War in an artistic fashion with a liberal point of view. Across The Universe is a story about love, war, and music told through Beatles songs. The main characters names are based of off characters in Beatles music. Jude, the main character, falls in love with Lucy who is Max’s sister, Jude’s best friend. The movie creates a parallel between adolescent America and adolescent Britain. Jude leaves Brittan and travels to Princeton in search of his biological father. Jude embodies the adventurous and rebellious attitudes of the youth in the sixties and leaves his home in search of answers of his father. When he meets his father he is surprised to find he is a janitor that works at Princeton, not the Professor he was expecting, and does not want anything to do with Jude. Lost and confused Jude meets Max, and decides to leave with him to explore America. From this point on the story starts to evolve, and Jude and Max move to New York while Lucy visits them for the summer, fueling a relationship between Jude and Lucy. Along the way Jude creates an entourage of friends who end up being representations of famous influential people of the sixties and seventies. Sadie, Jude and Max’s landlady in New York and aspiring singer, is a character that represents Janice Joplin and portrays her spirit and influence on music through Sadie. Janice Joplin was a one of a kind singer and songwriter that ranks 28th in Rolling Stones top singers, her representation through Sadie shows the rebellious spirit of the sixties and her impact on the evolution of music. Another influential character is Jojo, a guitarist that represents Jimmy Hendrix and his contribution to music. Jimmy is among the elite guitarists of the world, and his experimentation with effects and peddle boards made his guitar playing world renown and easily distinguishable. He resides in the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame and is an inspiration to guitarists around the world. In essence all of the characters play double roles in the fact that they play their characters roles in the movie, but also serve as allusions to the influential people that shaped the sixties and seventies through music. All the characters in the movie are specifically placed to represent a person or group of people. For example, the character Prudence represents a lesbian living in a time period of social change where homosexuals were becoming open about their sexuality and becoming a community in society. All these characters play specific parts in the story, but their roles stretch farther then the screen and are representations of real life people and groups of the time period. At the same time though, all the main characters allude to characters in Beatles songs....
Cited: Across the Universe. Dir. Julie Taymor. Perf. Jim Sturgess, Evan Rachel Wood. 2007. DVD.
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