Gort’s dominance is connoted in this extract through SFX in two ways. Firstly, Gort’s might is shown when he annihilates two soldiers and their weapons; they are brushed away as though they don’t exist. Secondly, Gort burns a whole in a brick wall showing his strength against one of Earth’s strongest materials. Gort’s power and the fear the audience should feel about it is further demonstrated by the dialogue and acting. For example, Helen screams hysterically when she is alone with Gort. This is the only time in the film that hysteria is shown in any way and this informs the audience to show a fearful response.Order now
Gort’s power over people is denoted in his height as he is much taller than any of the human characters, and therefore looks down on all humans. This is further emphasised by the camera positions that show Gort in relation to other characters. For example in the scene where Gort annihilates the two soldiers the camera is tilted over Gort’s shoulder showing an aerial view of them coming towards him, this connotes that the soldiers are much smaller than Gort, and it also denotes how much power Gort has over the Earth.
Vladimir Prop’s theory can be seen clearly in this extract. He suggested that every film and book consists of eight character types, a villain, a hero, a donor, a helper, a princess, a father, a dispatcher, and a false hero. The hero isn’t always good, he is just the character the plot is set around, the helper gives something of magical content to the hero, the father congratulates the hero, and the dispatcher sends the hero on their way. The villain in this film is not a character but the conflict the hero is trying to stop, i. e. the cold war.
The hero is obviously Klaatu, the princess is Helen, and the donor is Gort as he restores Klaatu back to life. The helpers in this extract are Helen and the professor as they help Klaatu call the meeting together. The professor is also the father, and, finally the dispatchers are the other planets Klaatu mentions in his speech. In the extract of the film I am reading the audience do not see the false hero, however from the rest of the film we know him to be Tom as it is he who starts the doubt in everyone’s mind that Carpenter (Klaatu) is a bank robber.
Levi-Strauss suggested that every film and story is centred on binary opposites, two things that are completely opposite to each other, – for example the homesteaders and natives in Westerns. In this film, the binary opposites can be seen to be war and peace. Representation and symbolism are extremely important in this film. These techniques can be seen not only in the negative and radical representations of war, but also in the religious representations. There are many connections between Klaatu and Jesus, and Gort and God. Firstly, Klaatu refers to Jesus by adopting the symbolic name of Carpenter.
Gort also brings Klaatu back to life in this extract, as God resurrected Jesus. Klaatu protects the world from Gort’s power, in the New Testament Jesus comes to Earth not only to spread a message of peace but also to protect the world from God’s wrath. This technique gives the message that there are no good guys in war a heavier impact. As the film is trying to give an important plea for peace, there are no hysterics from the characters. However, there is tension in this extract and, at one point Helen screams when she is frightened by Gort, but she controls herself and manages to talk to Gort sensibly.
The rationality of the characters emphasises the importance of the film’s message. I like this film in that I feel it has universal meaning made by the message of peace and war and therefore will be respected for many years to come. I think the special effects are very good for the year this was made, especially the scene in the extract I studied, when Gort burns the brick wall down to save Klaatu. I feel tension is still created in the extract I studied, and the acting mainly does this. I found it interesting to see the film was used again to inspire many new films, and this built up my respect for the film as a piece of Art.
However, there are two things I found very poor, and would have probably put me off watching this film for leisure. Firstly, the language Klaatu and Helen use to speak to Gort is strange and slightly comic for 21’st century viewers. Secondly, I found the non-diegetic sound dated and too mechanical. In conclusion, in The Day The Earth Stood Still, Robert Wise uses camera angles, sound, mise-en-scene, representation and narrative conventions to create a popular science-fiction movie that puts forward an anti-war message.
The futuristic feeling of The Day The Earth Stood Still is mainly given by the non-diegetic sound, and the innovative look of the spaceship and the robot, i. e. the mise-en-scene. Religious symbolism and a rational tone of the dialogue are used to highlight the anti-war message. I need a conclusion need help with this! Is there any places I can cut? Need to change to Klaatu is there a quick way I can do this?