The Cove - Worth an Oscar
This paper will comment on an article called “Town upset over 'The Cove'”. Drawing upon the scenes from the film, some lines from the article Bill Nichol’s “Introduction to Documentary” this paper will begin by telling the audience why the film was made very well and why it deserved an Oscar. It will then enlist specific scenes in the movie that show the reasons it is a good movie. This paper will argue that it is right for the cove to win an Oscar. It will raise a larger question about how the combination of documentaries and thriller or non-fiction can be better than just making a documentary.
An Oscar award is given to many movies in different categories every year and every year one or two movies are put in the spotlight on whether they deserved it or not. For example, the Cove, an Oscar winning film by Louie Psihoyos talks about the issue of dolphin slaughter in Japan. The movie is made like a thriller movie where the fishermen are portrayed as the villans and Ric O’Barry and his team are portrayed as the heroes. The movie gained a lot of criticism. One local fisherman said that "The way it was filmed was wrong, and the scenes it contains are inaccurate. It shouldn't win an Oscar" When the movie was released the Japanese people tried to stop the screening of the film in Japan by saying that it is their tradition and they shouldn’t be criticized for it. The film definitely deserved an Oscar not only because it highlighted a very sensitive but because how well it highlighted the issue and kept the audience entertained through the whole movie which is the primary aim of any movie.
What makes a movie an Oscar winning movie? There are many things that an Oscar winning movie should have. Firstly an Oscar winning movie should be able to capture the audience’s attention really well and not only capture it but should also make sure that the audience doesn’t sway away. This is one of the most difficult things to do. Also an Oscar winning movie is supposed to appeal to the emotional side of the audience. The movie should leave a deep impact on the minds of the audience. Another thing that the movie should have is a combination of different camera techniques and filming techniques that appeal to the audience; the techniques which makes the audience feel like they are a part of the movie.
The music used, the camera techniques used and the characters used all combine and contribute to the capturing the attention of the audience. The music in the movie plays a very key role. The music in every scene very subtly tells the audience what to feel in that particular scene. For example, the music used in the starting very is secretive and very mischievous. The music itself captures the attention of audience really well. It makes them believe that this movie will show something really interesting. Also, the music used when Ric O’Barry is telling the audience how the fisherman get the dolphins towards the island is very low and mellow and it makes the audience feel bad for the dolphins without even knowing how brutally they are murdered. This approach of using music is very different from documentarians like Fredrick Wiseman who don’t “use music to manipulate the spectator’s feelings” (537). But what he doesn’t realize that it helps the audience get a better understanding of the movie.
The camera techniques used in the movie also contribute greatly. The movie starts with the movie being shot with a normal camera and then it suddenly shifts to a thermal camera. The use of thermal camera has always intrigued the audience. In this movie the thermal camera played an important role as it made the audience feel like they were showing us something that the audience is not supposed to watch. Even a simple shot of butchers cutting up the meat is made to look as if it is a top secret video that would not be available anywhere else. It appeals to the audience’s “epistaphilia (desire to know)” (40)....
Cited: Atkins ,Thomas R. “ Fredrick Wisemans America: Titicut Follies to Primate” . The Documentary Tradition. 2nd edition. Ed Lewis Jacobs. New York.
Drew, Robert. “Narration Can Be a Killer.” Imaging Reality: The Faber Book of Documentary. Eds Kevin Macdonald and Mark Cosins. Boston: Faber and Faber.1998.Print
Nichols, Bill. Introduction to Documentary . 2nd Edition. Bloomington: Indiana University. Press. 2010. Print.
Psihoyos, Louie. The Cove. Toronto: Maple Pictures, 2009. Web. 5th December 2012
"Town Upset Over 'The Cove. '" AsiaOne News. The Yomiuri Shinbun, 27 February 2010. Web. 21 Oct. 2012.
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