McGinnis, author of “The Power of Film,” explores the interesting correlation of dreams and movies. The goal of the average filmmaker is to target a set audience and emotionally connect them to the film like that of a dream. To accomplish this, he/she should appeal to the peculiar logic of creating a dream while watching a movie. The everyday movie-gore experiences the irony of being on the edge of his seat while going through the same actions and emotions as someone sleeping peacefully in their bed. Our subconscious responds positively to a film by encouraging the creation of an illusion similar to that of a dream.
This Is specific evidence of the presence of peculiar logic in this regard. The western Is a great example of the kind of film that does provide an opening of fantasy from which film- goers can create a personalized world. Maybe it’s the general theme of an out-of- town guy, dealing with the plight of the town and that of his own, becoming a hero and succeeding in bringing Justice. This model fits the classic western produced and directed by George Stevens, Shame, perfectly. Westerns are tailored perfectly to the general audience’s minds and are conducive for dream states.
Andre Banana, author or What is Cinema? ‘ delves deep Into how the western genre can emotionally entice the audience due to their striking characteristics. More generally, Rudolf Earner, author of “The Context of Film as Art,” analyzes the techniques used In film that seduces an audience and causes them to succumb to the dream state. The correlation between a film and a dream Is their unique and potent ability to blow up the Imagination creating a dream state for movie-goers and dreamers. The peculiar logic Is that the dream state become so real for movie-goers that It ends up being parallel to dreaming Itself.
Inanimate objects In essence are some of the most Important parts of a film. They symbolize significant aspects of a film and stimulate the dream state of a viewer. Depending on the type of film, the objects take on a peculiar logic of their own. All this means Is that these objects have extra significance regarding the film- goers. For example, In a Western, a gun always has a significant part to play In the movie and always represents something deeper. The film, Shame, utilizes this ability to Its fullest by placing plenty of seemingly Inconsequential objects throughout the film.
For that reason, “Film has the power to endow Inanimate objects with a brooding Inwardness, a life of their own” (McGinnis 150). Viewers may look at the tree stump In the film and simply assume Its purpose to bring Shame and Joe closer together as friends. Others may even say that there was no purpose – that the director Just Included an Inconsequential obstacle for no reason. The reasoning behind the stump from the ground and sort of paralleled the bane of Joey’s existence- it reflected all the old struggles, moving around from place to place and work he could not keep up with in the farm.
In the film, he clearly states that he has been fighting that stump for about two years. As the stump is uprooted, the object symbolizes the power of the combined efforts of Shame and Joe. Rancher suggests, “In film inanimate properties are Just as useful as the human actor to show psychic states” (Rancher 143). This theory perfectly reflects the most significant object in Shame, which is the gun. The object is essentially a symbol of ugly power and violence. Shame is the ‘real man’ in the movie and tends to not keep the gun on him as noticed by little Joey on a number of occasions in the film.
Joey consistently questioned Shame regarding this and it seems as though Shame associates carrying a gun with a lack of honorable manhood. Although he is skilled at shooting, as seen when he began to teach Joey how to shoot, he tried to never use this object. In this instance, the peculiar logic reflects how Shame, the main protagonist and hero of the film, is most heroic when he is not using a weapon. Only when it was completely necessary did Shame utilize his skill and unwillingly call on his 6-shooter. To further provide evidence to the powerful symbolization of the gun was what Shame did in the ending scene.
He accepted that he broke the law and regretted the conflicted position in which he was placed. Therefore, he needed to move on as he would not feel in the right state of mind if he had stayed in the valley. Upon leaving, he even told Joey to convey a message to his mother, Marina, that “there aren’t any more guns in the valley. ” Inanimate objects create part of the essence of the dream state. It is the peculiar logic of these objects, as well as movement, that encourages the film-gore to view movie images like dream images.
A significant aspect of both films and dreams, movement, is generally associated with corresponding emotion. Are we, the dreamers, not always on the move as the action unfolds? I can speak from experience when I say that if the dreamer is not directly in the dream, we move with it. Film would lack one of its fundamentals without movement and what it conveys to the audience. The landscape, also an inanimate object, is a big motif throughout the film. The camera work that this particular film opened with focused on the valley and its beauty.
McGinnis believes, “The movie art is largely the science of converting feeling into action, making movement the bearer of emotion. But then the analogy with dreaming is obvious: both strongly stress the sensation of movement. ” (McGinnis 127). The valley and surrounding range in this film are portrayed as beautiful. The setting is an object that represents the purity of the west and is subsequently upset by the violence of Rockery and his group. The power and meaning of the landscape cannot be fully understood without watching the movie.
Viewers need to follow their own peculiar logic whilst in the dream state to comprehend the landscape’s meaning. The freedom of human imagination is most certainly required in this case. Basin states “One might just as well define the western by its set-the frontier town and its landscapes; but other genres and schools of film-making have made use of the dramatic poetry of the landscape, for example the silent Swedish film, but although it contributed to their greatness it did not insure their survival” (Basin 141). The landscape instantly transfers viewer into a world of possibilities.
The fact that this film turn the here. It is something that would connect with anyone and allows for their minds to drift into a ‘dream. ‘ This object simply reiterates the importance of the landscape in the film. The entire idea of the film would not be as powerful without the landscape and the variety of important object mentioned prior. The importance of landscape is similar to that of the actual characters and the “pure” acting in which they are involved. This peculiar logic considers the landscape Just like a person, with both being instrumental in achieving the ‘dream state. An individual’s actions and corresponding core values are unique to everyone. This directly applies to film as the “pure acting” of the characters represent the principles of the movie. Viewers may wonder, “Why does the ‘pure’ acting of the movies not seem unnatural to the audience, who, after all, are accustomed in real life to people whose expression is more or less indistinct? ” (Rancher 136). It is that very exaggeration that makes film unique and allows it to connect with audiences on a different level. In the case of Shame, one of the core values is love of a different name.
There’s almost something seemingly abnormal about the type of love displayed between Shame and the Starlets. The love is synonymous with the adoration exhibited within a close-knit family. In everyday life this concept may seem completely foreign but in a successful film, the concept is simply another component of the dream state. McGinnis states, “The ability of cinema to imitate the sensory/affective fusion of dreams is a large part of its power over the viewer’s mind – its power to engage and penetrate the viewer’s consciousness. Dreams reach to our deepest emotions by means of sensory representations; and so do movies” (McGinnis 105).
Emotions generated from influential films connect with people in their individual ways. It’s the viewer’s unique and peculiar logic that creates different experiences with different films and within the same film as well. To generalize the statement, we as the audience objectively understand what we see on screen yet, subjectively, we interpret the film in our own particular way. We are able to find what within the film makes it unique to us. For example, someone may consider the scene during which Shame and Marina dance to be one of the most compelling moments of the film.
At the same time others would consider the last fight scene in the bar to be most enticing. One scene that is unanimously engaging is the ending. Shame leaves Joey and a place he could temporarily call home and rides off, outside the valley. Actor Alan Lad’s ‘pure acting’ as Shame invokes all kinds of emotion within the viewers. Basin considers how “in the world of the western, it is the women who are good and the men who are bad, so bad that the best of them must redeem themselves from the original sin of their sex by undergoing various trails” (Basin 144).
Utilizing this opinion, we can consider Shame as the character who always believes he needs to ‘redeem’ himself even though we, as an audience recognize his nobility and honor. Once he has killed in the valley, he believes there is no place left for him there. We feel the pain he experiences as he is forced to leave the valley by his own standards. He is essentially a western hero who achieves in our eyes but fails his trails in his eyes. With no home he is destined to wander from place to place for the remainder of his life while helping others in the process.
The emotions conveyed onto the audience through Alan Lad’s ‘pure acting’ pushes the buttons of each film-gore differently according to their core-values. Any Fantasy in the sense that it does not have to be something improbable but something out of reach at the moment. This concept also suggests that “A movie, too, is essentially a hybrid form, a mix of reality and fantasy, fact and fiction” (McGinnis 117). This point of this statement is blatant in that movies contain the same elements as a dream. The amount of fantasy and fiction included in a movie does help the dream state of a viewer get lost in the film.
I could argue that Western films identify with current generations more than they would have had movies been along during the 19th century. This is not to say that people from those times could not relate to films like Shame, a western film directed by George Stevens. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Americans of the 19th century would relate so much so that there would not be as much of a fantastical emotional connection to the film. The reality of it is that fantasy in a film can breed the addiction that we as humans feel towards dreams.
Fantasy in this case is, of course, reality during another time period. As long as all the right ingredients are there, a film full of fantasy can feel more real than the common romantic comedy. Westerns are one of the few genres that have an easier Job of forcing viewers to slip into a dream state. Basin backs this claim by stating that, “Those formal attributes by which one normally recognizes the western are simply signs or symbols of its profound reality, namely the myth” (Basin 143). The mythology resented in a common western is the films means of expression.
This is the primary way a Western seduces its audience and pulls them into the dream state. The peculiar logic of Westerns is that their fantastical ideology and screenplay affects film-goers on a greater level than the everyday film. The power a films holds to engage the viewer completely can be acknowledged in Shame. The substance of a film is essential in this regard as an average comedy such as Grown Ups will not affect film-goers as an iconic Western would. Particular nuances of the movie, such as the inanimate objects, provide a strong foundation in inducing the dream state onto the audience.
Furthermore, the emotion invoked in the viewer as a result of the film is important in this respect. Films such as Shame connect to us individually with the common goal of penetrating our consciousness and reaching our deepest emotions to promote the dream state. Their ability to do so is boosted by the amount of fantasy suggested in the film. A fantastical film experience makes for more of a subjective and subconscious interpretation of the film by the audience. There is a peculiar logic in that compelling films are able to emulate dreams and create a pseudo dream for the film-gore.