The Ties That Do Not Bind: The Theme of Disconnect in the Interwoven Plot of “Babel”

Paper by Christina Hicks.

Introduction

The film Babel (Alejandro González Iñárritu, 2006) is a drama written by Alejandro González Iñárritu and directed by Guillermo Arriaga Jordán. It was filmed from May 2, 2005 to December 1, 2005 in numerous locations around the world including Tochigi and Tokyo, Japan, Sonora, Tecate, and Tijuana, Mexico, Ouarzazate and Casablanca, Morocco, and San Diego, California, USA. (IMDb). Given that it’s action takes place all over the world, it is following the current trend in US Film History in that it is trying to appeal to more foreign audiences. It involved collaboration with international film studios and used foreign actors.

Some will see the casting of Cate Blanchett as the wounded tourist and Brad Pitt as her husband as evidence that it aspires to be a major motion picture. Others will note the anonymity of the other players and see it as a lengthy, overambitious art-house entry (Schickel).

I would argue that Babel is a successful mixture of influences. Influence of “New American Cinema” can be seen in its non-traditional, non-linear narrative organization and the use of big name stars as well as

Posted at 9am on 08/09/17 | no comments | Filed Under: Academic Papers, Films read on

Demystifying the Samurai

Paper by Audrey Carganilla.

To put it simply, Akira Kurosawa is a director with a far East style with the spirit of the Wild West. He is one of the most recognizable Japanese filmmakers to not only American audiences, but globally. His style consists of masterfully shot compositions that add depth and character to every frame, and manages to use up the negative space with movement artfully and purposefully. When a person hears “Akira Kurosawa”, immediately they would correlate the name to “samurai” because given a career that spanned almost 60 years with 30 films under his belt, his most well known works gravitated around these formidable soldiers. Kurosawa tends to intertwine three common themes in his films: the representation of men, social structures, and violence. In Rashomon (1950), Seven Samurai (1954), and Yojimbo (1961), these themes are used to examine the role the concept of masculinity plays into Japanese cinema with the help of Akira Kurosawa’s expertise in storytelling through composition and characterization. This is relevant because of Kurosawa’s permeating inspiration and ability to create a bridge between the East and the West through film, and we see that

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