Marion North 08/04/14
2.10 – Close analysis of film
Heavenly Creatures is based on a true story about two teenage girls who murder one of their mothers in Christchurch, New Zealand. The film, directed by Sir Peter Jackson, uses many techniques in the opening scene to efficiently show how vital this scene is to the film. These techniques include a documentary clip, costume, cinematography and sound. In the beginning of the opening scene, a documentary clip is used to introduce us to the town of Christchurch, New Zealand. The director uses this to show us how seemingly perfect the town of Christchurch was. In the clip it includes appealing imagery of flowers, gardens, lakes and schools. Accompanied with joyful music, Christchurch is presented to be the idyllic town. Described as a “quiet haven,” the audience become aware of how unlikely and implausible it would have been at the time for two teenage girls to commit a brutal murder against one of their mothers. The clip is used to create juxtaposition and shock the audience and to illustrate how alarming it would have been in the 1950’s for a murder of this nature to have occurred. Jackson wanted us to see the situation through the eyes of the people of Christchurch in the 1950’s – it would have been completely out of character for their town, causing quite a scandal. Therefore the media, at the time, would have had a field day. The media were quick to accuse the girls of being “lesbian school girl killers,” the girls became far more outcast than they already were. They were essentially the villains of the town. Jackson said up until the murder, he had tried to portray the girls from a sympathetic point of view. They were misunderstood creatures, exiled from their peers. The cinematography is used very effectively in the opening scene of “Heavenly Creatures.” An example of cinematography in the scene is when we see shots of the girls’ legs running up a path. They are covered in blood and screaming. This is...
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