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How Fear Can Control one's Existence If We Are OverCome By Its Power Is Explored in Watt's Visual Text - Look Both Ways

Essay by   •  September 6, 2011  •  Case Study  •  966 Words (4 Pages)  •  1,725 Views

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Many of life's on going questions and how fear can control one's existence if we are overcome by its power is explored in Watt's visual text Look Both Ways. The juxtaposition of tragedy and happiness in the lives of the protagonists allows the viewer to ponder the different lives of Nick, Meryl, Phil and Andy. Watt also uses a variety of techniques such as camera angles, lighting, sounds, photomontages, colour, and animations to convey the key ideas of the text. Throughout my essay, the scene from six to ten minutes will be examined, by focusing on the different techniques used by the Director to explore the characters' plights in the text.

Following the news bulletin about a train crash and scorching hot weekend ahead and a series of animations, the scene between six and ten minutes examines the moments after a man is hit by a train and the first of many meetings between Nick and Meryl. Nick is dealing with the heartbreaking news of being diagnosed with testicular cancer, which has also spread to his lungs and is also visibly shaken by the prospects of a bleak future. Andy (a reporter) and Nick (photographer) attend the scene of the accident, where police are interviewing Meryl, who was an eyewitness to the incident. After the police finish questioning Meryl, Andy asks his own set of questions related to the incident. Andy laughs at Meryl's answer of: "It kept going, just like a freight train!" which depicts to the audience that Andy comes off as somewhat an arrogant figure throughout the film. At this time, Nick is photographing different shots from around the scene, including the devastated train driver, and inadvertently the victim's new widow - Julia. Meryl again has one of her visions, of a heavy freight train passing by very quickly, similar to the one that hit the man.

Watt uses many techniques throughout the scene from six to ten minutes, but one of the most important was the subtle portrayal of the colour red - which was used extensively in almost every shot of the scene. Watt chose the colour red, as it epitomizes the anger and sadness of the protagonists. Julia - the train victim's wife wears a red dress to the scene, expressing this idea, which was the beginning of her seven stages of grief throughout the film. This is also portrayed in the oncoming scenes of Nick and Meryl meeting and walking down the road together, with Meryl's bright red suitcase a sign of her grief from the recent passing of her father. Following the police's interview of Meryl, we view an extreme close up of Nick capturing many images with his camera of an obviously heartbroken train driver. The camera effects and shutter sounds in this scene symbolize the media's 'harassment' of identities and the guilty verdict that the viewer associates with these images. Nick's camera then continues to take shots of the oncoming victim's wife Julia, which again

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