Being john malkovich thesis

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Being John Malkovich (video essay)

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Please re-enter recipient e-mail address es. To contrast his protagonist from this abstract world, Wong Kar-wai dresses his lead character in a black dress with stockings; devoid of color, obviously sticking out from the world she lives in.

Also worn is a pinkish purple dress, with a hue that complements the rest of the film. Wong Kar-wai and his DP Philippe Le Sourd experimented with light leaks in their frames; giving incidental, innocent and completely natural additional boosts in color that celebrate the canvas they chose to paint their picture on. On one side of the screen, memories fade. On the other, they glow forever.

Being John Malkovich – Marty28blogs

Worldwide, the protagonists of our lives fight for power and dominance in their quest for leadership, status and wealth. Similarly, the characters within the worlds of the films by Quentin Tarantino struggle with these very same things; and Tarantino masterfully uses the consumption of food and drink within his stories for his characters to assert their power and dominance. How do these characters declare themselves as top dog in Inglourious Basterds? By luxuriously indulging in culinary pleasures to establish their position on the social totem pole, spoiling themselves to these simple and exquisite hallmarks of nutrition, Tarantino is able to further convey to the audience who these characters are on the inside, where they stand, and how they utilize sustenance to establish their power and dominance over others.

The answer can be found as quickly as the first six minutes into the film. The farmer greets the Nazi colonel with dignity and respectful resilience, although trembling on the inside once its revealed to the audience he is really hiding Jews underneath his floorboards.

Tarantino even amplifies the sounds of his gulping to further isolate this silence, only adding to the uneasiness of an already tense predicament. Later in the conversation, Landa asks La Padite to excuse his daughters so that the interrogation can begin. The simple questioning gives way to who has more power in the room.

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Landa goes into an analogy between Jews and rats, in hopes to procure a reaction from La Padite. Then, Landa asks to smoke his pipe—pulling out a rather large, impressive Meerschaum Calabash pipe. The inner Sherlock Holmes is revealed in Landa; a cunning detective at heart, able to traverse a range of human emotions and pinpoint the very information he was looking for in the first place.

Another moment of silence as Landa fetches the matches to light his pipe. An astute eye would notice La Padite has stopped smoking his pipe; perhaps his system cannot handle the hardship thrown at him. Perhaps Landa is making him sick. Landa was successful in determining that La Padite had sheltered enemies of the state. Meanwhile, a rogue troupe of elite Jewish-American commando soldiers makes their way on a glorious warpath against the Nazi machine. While eating a bagel, Lt. Bagel in mouth, Lt. Raine claps for the Bear Jew, knowing exactly what is about to take place. Raine remained the high-ranking officer of the victorious army, but the bagel gives the audience insight into the character of Lt.

Aldo Raine. Chances are, watching a man get his brains bashed in by a baseball bat would make a viewer sick to their stomach.

Not Lt. Through this small detail, we can understand and qualify the kind of violence Lt. Aldo Raine is capable of. The real tension does not yet take place; the last person to the party has not arrived yet. But the assertion of power and dominance is prevalent throughout. Mimieux is offered champagne from an expensive bottle; poured into a gold-rimmed champagne glass, all indications of the bountiful wealth around her—of the power she could attain by simply abandoning her faith and her dead family, and courting the war-hero as her own.

Following the explanation of the plan, Colonel Hans Landa arrives and it is revealed Landa would supply the security for the event. While Goebbels and the war-hero get up to leave, Mimieux is politely held down by Landa: she is now trapped at the dinner table and an assertion of power, reveal of character and an exchange due to circumstance is about to commence. As Landa asks Mimieux his first question as the detective, the waiter interrupts. And not just the ordering for her, but Landa administers his first test: a glass of milk.


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He will see if she observes the Jewish law to not consume dairy after meat. Mimieux answers his questions with a frog in her throat, very clearly anxious. A crisp strudel is served, and Landa forces Mimieux to wait for the cream on top before digging in. He pours sugar into his espresso, taking his time just as he did in chugging the milk in the first act. The sequencing of these events is far from coincidental.

With a deep breath, Mimieux cuts into her strudel and goes in for her first bite.

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The tension created by such a simple, luxurious treat is so palpable on screen. While Landa consumes gorgeous mouthfuls of strudel, Mimieux cannot bring herself to have a second bite. During the shooting of the scene, Tarantino directed Christoph Waltz to understand one thing about the scene. Do you not know? Concentrate on eating the strudel.

In the same way Landa speaks between smoking his pipe in the first act, he speaks in between mouthfuls of strudel. Like the screenwriter who writes himself into his film, Craig has broken the chains of metaphor to inhabit his own artistic identity. On the other hand, the dance of the sexes certainly goes both ways. Consider the reason Craig-as-Malkovich is with Maxine in the first place. By the time Craig completes his performance, her initial teasing curiosity has morphed into astonished approval—in other words, a green light for Craig to take his craft to a wider audience.

Surely Maxine is the true master puppeteer in the room. Art, gender—what else is mixed into the identity milkshake that Being John Malkovich consumes so voraciously?

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