Unit 1 Essay: Pleasantville
October 5, 2005
The visual medium in motion picture films is the core ingredient that makes cinematography so fascinating to its audiences. Through the film mechanisms such as composition, camera work, and color, a story is brought to life on screen. The components of a single scene can reveal the films intended message whether it is obvious to the viewer or hidden in its visual details. The 1998 film Pleasantville is a prime example. The scene when the citizens of Pleasantville encounter their first rainstorm at lovers lane visually portrays the films main point that change is needed in order for a society to grow. Directed by Gary Ross, Pleasantville is the story of two siblings, David and Jennifer, who after fighting over a strange remote given to them by a strange TV repairman, get transformed into David's favorite TV sitcom Pleasantville. Pleasantville is a 1950's black and white soap opera where life is perfect. David becomes Bud Parker and Jennifer becomes Mary-Sue parker. David and Jennifer come to find themselves dressed in 50's style clothing, having new "pleasant" parents, and that they and their new surroundings have changed to black and white. After attempting to fit into their new environment, David and Jennifer's knowledge of "reality" begins to change the community and is represented with the town's introduction to color. The citizens of Pleasantville begin to attempt understanding whether their "black and white" world is more accurate than their new "colored" world. One scene in particular that expresses this change is the town's first rainstorm at lover's lane. The scene begins with David and his girlfriend Margaret date at lover's lane. The couple sits on the green grass by the lake staring at the vivid colors. Margaret begins to question David about the "real" world, offers him some red, blue and purple berries that she picked herself, and then runs to a tree, picks...
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