running away hence showing natural expectations H u m a n i t i e s

running away hence showing natural expectations H u m a n i t i e s

The purpose of writing a comparison or contrast essay is to critically think about the subtle differences and/or unexpected similarities between two films.

For example, you could compare and contrast the film, The Hurt Locker, (Kathryn Bigelow, 2009) with 1917  (Sam Mendes, 2019)

or you could compare and contrast,   Bicycle Thieves, (Vittorio DeSica, 1948) and The 400 Blows (François Truffaut, 1959).

or you consider these pairs – Double Indemnity (Billy Wilder, 1944) and The Big Sleep (Howard Hawks, 1946).  

Questions to consider (not necessarily in this order):

How is the film form (mise-en-scène) similar?  Different? Be specific. 

Review our discussions covering mise-en-scène.

How is the narrative/story similar?  Different?

Place each film in an historical context. What was going on historically/culturally/politically/technologically that may have influenced each film?

And reply to this:

The Hurt Locker, (Kathryn Bigelow, 2009) and 1917 (Sam Mendes, 2019) are both war movies from different generations in human history. The directors of both of these films use creativity to build the quality of their story and explain the genre effectively. The cinematography, sound, and editing of the films both differ to tell their story in a unique manner which sets them apart from one another. the wartime settings feature the gritty and harsh reality of war and its impact on the soldiers who have to live through it. Hence, neither of the film is pro or anti-war, but rather offer a skeptical and challenging look into how events happen in war. The action-packed events combined with the risks, bonding, and action found in war make them a satisfactory outlook into a war where other secondary points of view can still be analyzed.

1917 is creatively shot where visually-gripping camera angles capture the tension for the two soldiers tasked with saving more than 1600 soldiers at the frontline. The continuous shots hence follow the two protagonists as they navigate the dangerous mission that is all too impossible for them to succeed. The sound used in this film employs eerie silence at specific points which enhances the imminent danger and fear of the war within the characters. Thus, there is always the feeling of comfort but a reality of death all around them. The camera serves as the eye of the audience in this film. Hence, it uses the single-shot to add to the purpose of the film. Time thus becomes an important element with the urgency of their mission. The audience has a chance to focus on every detail with its storyboarding meant to enhance the feeling of real-life experience. The audience gets to be a part of every scene as it evolves.

Even though The Hurt Locker is told in a linear form, it employs flashbacks to further enhance the story. The mise-en-scène is critical in constructing the overall meaning of the film. The specific scenes are used to foreshadow the nature of their job going forward. One of the important foreshadowing elements is with Thompson at the beginning of the film. He is pictured to run in slow motion with the butcher in the back keen on exploding the bomb. The film sets its precedence by showing that there is always a constant danger. It combines well with the sound that adds to the intensity of the situation. Non-diegetic sound is employed together with the film’s music sequence. The scene where the bomb explodes, in the beginning, starts with a low sound. It is combined with the diegetic sounds of the conversation and the immediate surrounding. Even the heavy breathing is captured when Thompson is running away hence showing natural expectations in a field of war. Thus, this film appears to be more of a documentary where the camera follows the characters to tell their story. It does not appear focused on a scene with jerky movements at different points.

The Hurt Locker is set in Iraq at the height of the Iraq War where the visual settings capture a realistic view. The lighting, space combined with the frame of the film brings out the action happening around. The scenes exemplify the challenges faced by soldiers and citizens of this region at this point in history. In comparison, 1917 is set at the height of the 1st World War with the Germans and British on opposite sides of the war. This is the basis for the thrilling mission for the protagonist tasked with handling a dire situation. 

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