Pleasantville setting essay

Topics: Pleasantville, Change, Poodle skirt Pages: 2 (1163 words) Published: September 10, 2014
Describe at least ONE important setting in the text(s).
Explain how the setting helped to show the author / creator’s idea(s), supporting your points with visual and / or oral language features.

The film Pleasantville written, directed and produced by Gary Ross shows a time period in American History where life was more comfortable, stable and ‘perfect’ if you would generalise it. However, as the film ironically shows, this was a time when people were more ignorant, racist and most certainly sexist. Ross demolishes this illusion of the great 1950s American society by showing how its defects are gradually changed from black and white to colour. Ross uses various settings to help show the viewer the imperfect aspects of Pleasantville’s demeanour and the idea of ‘The importance of change’. Ross users signifiers like costumes and music to signal to the viewer what time period or place the film is taking place in and he also uses contrast in setting. These all help portray the idea throughout the film.

Costumes are important signifier of setting.Everything in the setting of “Pleasantville” was clearly understood; everything was either black or white no shades of grey, no doubts. Our first introduction into Pleasantville the mise en scene shows us that Gary Ross has dressed the residents of Pleasantville in old fashioned 1950’s clothing. Big poodle skirts, tight sweaters, rigid bras all emphasised the figure of the ladies in pleasantville.They all sported similar hairstyles like the typical hair in a ponytail or flipped bobs and for the boys, short brylcreamed hair,or crew cuts. As for clothing they wore letterman sweaters;plaid shirts or sleeveless sweaters. The introduction of colour within the film is an obvious technique used to signify the idea of ‘The importance of change’ within the town of ‘‘Pleasantville’’. The introduction of colour signifies that the ‘normality’ or the ‘pleasantness’( as the mayor quotes ) in ‘‘Pleasantville’’ has been broken. As...
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