Monday, February 3, 2014

Planet Trumania of the Burbank Galaxy

The Truman Show is a film that exploits the life of one man, Truman Burbank played by Jim Carrey. The film itself has two worlds within it; our world, or the world that is “real”, and Truman’s world, the world that was created by Ed Harris’s character Christof. Christof feels that by creating this alternate world for Truman he is bypassing poor acting. Christof says that “While the world he inhabits is, in some respects, counterfeit, there's nothing fake about Truman himself. No scripts, no cue cards. It isn't always Shakespeare, but it's genuine. It's a life.” He feels that watching a man live his life simply and purely will be great entertainment and even instructive to those who struggle to live their own lives.
While Christof is the director of "The Truman Show" within the film, Peter Weir is the director of the actual film. Peter Weir and his production team did something amazing with the beginning of this film. They made viewers believe that Truman’s World was the “real” world for the purposes of the film. By not showing the audience anything but the world that Truman inhabits the audience begins to feel comfortable with the idyllic small town world. The narrative by Christoff that frames the film is quickly forgotten until well timed camera tricks begin to make the audience question this reality.

The camera work is what really stands out in this film.
 There are awkwardly high and low angles that seemingly have no purpose or symbolism. 

There are iris shots that occur at strange time, some with a black edges, and others with blurry.

 Also there are the strange shots that look through another object, for example through the radio.  

Commonly these bizarre shots take place when Truman is alone, and all the focus is on him. These different types of shots slowly start to make the audience feel as though something about this world is not right, and not everything fits or makes sense.

By slowly drawing attention to this Director Peter Weir eases his audience into understanding the Truman’s world is fake. By doing this slowly Weir is able to make the audience feel the way Truman does. Betrayed. This promised perfect world is a fake, and nothing is this perfect or simple. Cleverly used as a tagline for the film “How’s it going to end?” is something that Weir has the audience asking and even Christof asking. Which world will Truman choose?  The world created for him, or the “real” world outside? In the end Christof admits his world is not real when Truman asks “Was nothing real?” and Christof respond with “You were real. That’s what made you so good to watch”. Truman chooses for himself and not for his audience, he chooses his idea of what is real

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for reminding me of the rest of that quote. I always remember that Christoph says "YOU were real," but I forget that he adds, "That was what made you so good to watch." Baudrillard would question whether something watched on TV can be "real" at all-- mediated as it is. And thus the thing that makes you worthy of being watched-- that you are "real"-- is the thing that is undone by the watching. And this really does explain the Catch-22 of Truman's existence. Worth watching because he's real. Made unreal by that fact. [head explodes]


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