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This paper is about pantomime, about it"s origin, it"s people, how it has evolved, and how wonderful it is. Pantomime is a dramatic performance in which a story is told or a theme developed through expressive bodily or facial movement. The origin of pantomime can be traced back to classical farce and the Italian Commedia Dell"arte. Not all pantomime is silent. The completely silent performance of pantomime was invented in Rome. Pantomime is sometimes used to worship. Mime is a short way of saying pantomime and also means someone who performs pantomime. A mime, if performing on the streets, will...
heart that lights up like a neon sign when he sees a pretty girl, another could drive a really small sportscar, or one may wear a trick costume which enables him to change from an old lady to a midget, and back again. One clown may run away from a stuffed tiger that is attached to him by a thin wire.

As you can probably see, pantomime has changed over the years and there have been ups and downs during the change. There were also some performers who saved, or played a big part in the history of pantomime.

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In Romeo and Juliet, love is...In Romeo and Juliet, love is depicted in several ways. Both Luhrman and Shakespeare represent love in different ways in different contexts to both the Elizabethan era and the contemporary audience. Both the original and later manifestations of the text are valued because they both communicate to the audience on the values of love and society by employing a variety of devices. The central subject dealt within Romeo and Juliet is the subject of love. William Shakespeare and Baz Luhrman thus represent love to their audience beyond the distinct ideas of love as simple sentiments. In the play, there are 2 basic levels "“ the real world of Verona and the private, intimate sphere of Romeo and Juliet's love. The fulfillment of Romeo and Juliet's love in the social life of Verona is hindered by external influences; the most obvious of which is the feud between the Capulets and the Montagues. The "ancient grudge" is one of many conditions and incidents, which together can be, considered an influence counter-acting the relationship between Romeo and Juliet. Despite the obvious obstacles of conflict and hate, the love of Romeo and Juliet is born and subsists. When Romeo meets Juliet for the first time during the Capulets' feast I.v, the language and form of the dialogue shared by Romeo and Juliet shows that heir private sphere is totally different from public life. Shakespeare thus presents their fist conversation via a sonnet, a poetic convention very popular in the Elizabethan age. A sonnet's expression of the lyrical "I" allows Shakespeare to break the limits of dramatic performance and to involve his audience emotionally as if they were recipients to a poem. This therefore means that Shakespeare represents Romeo and Juliet's love by making the audience of the two different levels "“ one where all forms of social order break down, and the other, where Romeo and Juliet are the centre of the universe. Luhrman also presents this concept of two opposing levels as a representation of love via the use of cinematic techniques. In the aquarium scene, camera distances vary from medium close-shot to close-up and back again. The idea of social and physical barriers is presented by having the fish tank between the two of them, keeping them apart "“ thus visualizing to the audience the opposing level of Romeo and Juliet's love. When the two lovers kiss, the cameras encircle them, thus suggesting that Romeo and Juliet are at the centre of their own universe, in total disregard or lack of awareness of the social chaos as suggested by the blurred images around them. The language of Shakespeare also helps to create this intimate and different sphere of love. When Romeo catches the sight of Juliet, he imagines "touching her, make blessed my rude hand". To "touch her hand" is a linguistic representation of touch, a tactile sign. In the pilgrim sonnet, the focus of attention is touch, by semantic means. The words "hands" and "lips" appear four times each, "kiss" and "touch" twice each, and besides which, there are expressions with physical implications like "tender", "mannerly" and "palm". This is also alluded to by Luhrman for the cameras keep on encircling them, focusing on her hands on his back and vice versa, thus presenting to the audience the physicality of their love. When Romeo and Juliet first together in a sonnet, its syntactical structure and semantic means create an intimate sphere of love, whereby which the private emotional experiences of the lovers in intently explored in isolation and in relation to the ideas of love, destiny and death. However, while Shakespeare implies as to the physicality of their love, Luhrman shows it the touching "“ not only to show what Shakespeare was suggesting, but also to meet the expectations of a contemporary audience which prefers action to implication. In the sonnet, Romeo and Juliet take it in turns to speak the lines. This shows how in tune they are with each other, much as Romeo and Mercutio's sharing of lines in Act 1, scene 4 reflects their good relationship. This also reveals to the audience an empathy that the two "star-crossed" lovers were made fore each other. Luhrman achieves this via the use of smitten, longing looks, the close-up shots, and the music of Des'ree Kissing You. Through Scene 5, Romeo continues to show himself as a hopeless romantic besotted with beautiful girls. His language indicates that he thinks of love and commitment in terms of sight: "Did my heart love till now? Forswear it sight! For I ne'er saw true beauty till this night", as he says at his first glimpse of Juliet. This statement recalls Scene 2, in which he spoke of " the devout religion of mine eye" and said that if his eyes were heretical enough o consider another girl more beautiful than his Rosaline, his tears would turn to fire and burn at stake. However, as soon as he lays his eyes on Juliet, his devotion to the apparently less beautiful Rosaline disappears "“ and a new religion is found for Romeo. Shakespeare thus portrays Romeo and his love as an infatuation. This infatuation is evident in how instantaneously Romeo falls out of love with Rosaline and into love with Juliet. At one stage, Rosaline was the "precious treasure of his eyesight", yet Romeo's embodiment of perfection was, a few scenes later, his notion of defectiveness. This therefore reveals to the audience the instantaneous and reckless path of the two lovers, as well as the fickleness of adolescent "love", diminishing at the sight of something ameliorate and more impressive. Luhrman supplements this image by showing Romeo and Juliet as innocent, beautiful and youthful. This is achieved by the continuous focus of the cameras on the freshness of their skin, the sparkling eyes, flushed cheeks and pink lips in addition to the words of Shakespeare. This image is employed because a modern, youthful audience is more likely to be attracted to watching a movie starring Leonardo Di Caprio and Claire Danes because they can easily relate to them. The message behind the text is also supplemented by the costumes. In this scene, Romeo is dressed as a knight and Juliet as an angel. This visualizes what Shakespeare is implying - that Romeo sees himself as a knight in shining armour, and that for now, Juliet is his pedestal for perfection. Not only does this attract a contemporary audience attracted to the notion of Leonardo Di Caprio dressed as a knight and Claire Danes as an angel, but it also shows an older audience the irony of Shakespeare's implications by elaborating it into images, supplemented by costumes, lighting and music. In Romeo and Juliet, the spoken word gets more attention than in any other film, due mostly to the fact that the film keeps to the original text, dated 1597. This creates an effect of alienation and contributes to the 'other-world' atmosphere of Verona Beach. Another type of sound employed by Luhrman in the film is music. Music is even more direct than images, and thus contributes to the atmosphere of the film in a significant way. By using the music of young, new artists, the film gets its nineties, film status, thus making it appealing to a wider scale of audience. Music in this film is used to support the images "“ such as Des'ree's Kissing You, which is used to supplement the lover's first kiss. It is also used to unify images. For example, Kym Mazelle's Young Hearts Run Free is ironic to the impending dramatic tension when Romeo and Juliet fall in love as well as in contrast to the love song that is to follow. Another representation of love in the play is light. When Romeo initially sees Juliet, he compares her immediately to the brilliant light of the torches and tapers that illuminate the Capulets" great hall: "O, she doth teach the torches to burn bright!" I.V.46, whereby which Juliet is the light that frees him from his perpetual melancholia. In his contemporised version, Luhrman uses the blue colours reflecting form the fish tank as his source of light. Not only does this make the setting romantic, but also makes it more appealing to a modern audience. In his play, Shakespeare represents the love of Romeo and Juliet as a religion. This is evident in the religious imagery employed in the sonnet, whereby which Romeo's feelings for Juliet is compared to that of a religion where Juliet's hand is the "holy shrine" and his own lips "two blushing pilgrims". When the tow lovers kiss in the film, Luhrman uses music to create an intimate, romantic atmosphere for the audience. However, the words of Des'ree's Kissing You are a slow and melodious "“ almost lethargically, and religious and holy. This is in contrast to the blurred images of people drinking and using drugs in the background, and again the music creates a feeling of alienation where Romeo and Juliet are at the centre of their own universe. Luhrman thus uses the technique of 'mis en scene' to depict the religion of love as well as to the innocence and youth of the two lovers. Religion was thus portrayed by the holy music, the cross around Juliet's neck, her costume "“ and all supplemented by Shakespeare's religious imagery. Luhrman also uses beauty to sell the film to the audience by making them aware of the purity of Juliet. This is evident to her long hair, her white costume, the cross around her neck as well as the innocence and youthfulness of her character. Another technique used by Luhrman in his film is the iterative motif of water. The aquarium serves as a physical barrier between the two lovers, even though there are also a lot of emotional barriers. Moreover, love also serves as a symbol of their love. Even though Romeo is dazed from the XTC pill and his infatuation with Rosaline, it is the water that purifies and cleanses his mind "“ and it the free, flowing nature of water that Luhrman uses as a representation of love. It is thus plausible to see that Luhrman portrays Romeo and Juliet as an allegory for the late 20th century, whereby Verona Beach is a caricature of the violent atmosphere of our time as well as serving as a representation of love and conflict. The major difference however between Shakespeare and Luhrman's portrayal is that 100 years ago, violence and hedonism was a fashion phase, whereas today it is a part of our society. Due to the lack of technology in society in the 19th century, the art of plays, and the conventions of the Elizabethan theatre had more focus on the words with minimal costuming and cinematic techniques. Yet among other things, the art of theatre is or was a reflection on society, and Luhrman criticizes the present time by setting Shakespeare's tale in another time, with the same tragedy of death. Thus both Shakespeare and Luhrman portray conflict and the representations of love in two different levels "“ two different levels that shape and reflects the values of both the Elizabethan and contemporary society.   

In Romeo and Juliet, love is depicted in several ways. Both Luhrman and Shakespeare represent love in different ways in different contexts to both the Elizabethan era and the contemporary audience. Both the original and later manifestations of the text are valued because they both communicate to the audience on...

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American History X "“ A Hero's...American History X "“ A Hero's Journey Contents Page 1. Cover Page 2. Contents Page 3. Introduction 4. The Film with Synopsis, A Hero's Journey 5. Separation "“ 'The Ordinary World', Departure "“ 'The Call to Adventure' 6. 'Refusal of Call' 7. 'The Crossing of the Threshold', 'The Belly of the Whale' 8. Initiation "“ 'The Road to Trails', 'The Meeting with the Goddess' 9. 'Women as the Temptress' 10. 'Atonement with the father', 'Apotheosis', The Ultimate Boon' 11. Return "“ 'Refusal of the Return', 'The Magic Flight' 12. 'Rescue from Without', 'Freedom to live' 13. Archetypes "“ The Seven Journey Archetypes of American History X 15. Symbolism, mise-en-scene and use of sound, narrative, colour and lighting 17. Myths related to American History X 20. Conclusion 21. Bibliography and Word Count Myths, Meanings and Movies Explore the Concept of the Hero's Journey. "The Greek word mythos refers to the spoken word or speech, but it also denotes a tale, story or narrative, different from the historic tale which is called logos and is regarded as verifiable." What is it about films that makes them link into ancient mythical ideologies, is it something that in buried into our subconscious? Films, as a medium, are the equivalent of one of the world's oldest art forms, the oral epic story that was told as myths in ancient civilisations such as Greece and Rome, Egypt and India. The morals of these 'stories' where used in myths throughout time, now in modern era films and television provide the latest fact and fiction. The myth, oral epic, is traditional and formulaic. Films today give the audio-visual experience that is a form of entertainment and educational, just as myths were when they were the norm for information and morals. In this essay I hope to explore the concept of Joseph Campbell's 'Hero's Journey' in the modern-day film 'American History X'. I will describe how archetypes and symbolisms are used to portray a message within the modern 'film', as well as how the hero's journey that was first produced in original myth stories is still part of modern myths, film, today. Also I will compare these concept of myths are used in modern day films. The layout of this essay will be the in second optional format. The Film with Synopsis 'American History X' was released in 1998 by Director Tony Kaye Directed other controversial films such as 'Spun' and 'Snowblind'. This Crime-Drama genre film is a story about a neo-nazi skinhead, named Derek Vineyard Edward Norton who goes to jail for three years after committing a murder of two black men. In the meanwhile, his younger brother, Danny Vineyard Edward Furlong, who narrates the story throughout the film, goes in the same way and makes the same mistakes that Derek had. While Derek is in jail he realize that he choose the wrong path and after coming back from jail, Derek try to convince his brother not to go in his own way. American History X starts, time wise, with the release of Derek from prison, and the scenes that are in black and white represent Derek or Danny recollecting the past, and the coloured scenes represent present day. The Hero's Journey The Hero's Journey was first used in ancient myths, these stories such as the Greek myths, 'The Odyssey' and 'The Golden Fleece' were part of the first hero journey's and, if they did not know it, became the basis for the format for epic stories for hero's throughout time. Using resources such as Joseph Campbell's 'Hero Journey' I will transcribe Derek's Hero Journey to take his brother and family away from the world he has created, the neo-nazi gang. The theoretical quest takes four routes to the completion of the journey, Separation, Departure, Initiation and Return. This theory has a linear narrative structure design but one of the difficulties with analysing American history X is that the narrative structure is non linear, with this in mind I have decided to rearrange the film into a linear narrative structure so to suitably explain Dereks hero's journey. The story is narrated as the recent story of Danny, the brother, and his experiences, with his family and social life. Separation Ordinary World "“ this is the hero's Derek's normal life and his story up to the start of the adventure. Derek's father, Dennis William Russ was a fireman that was shot and killed in putting out a fire in a predominantly black neighbourhood. With the influence of his fathers 'nationalist' views, Derek became psychologically scared and with loss of a 'father figure' he look for a way to channel his anger. Cameron Alexander Stacy Keach, who was the head of a nazi faction in 'long beach', California, recognised the potential within Derek and developed his views to extremity with the help that he was a father figure to replace his late father. Derek soon became the military leader of the nazi organisation and began to lead other mislead youths into battle against anyone not 'white protestant'. He soon becomes a well known racist criminal using his rhetoric to entice racist violence. His mother tried to date a teacher from the children's school, and the night of the 'call to adventure' they had an intellectual argument, around the dinner table, about the reasons for the number of 'blacks' in prison when Derek became aggressive towards his family and the teacher, who was Jewish. Departure The Call to Adventure "“ "The first stage of the mythological journey"¦signifies that destiny has summoned the hero and transferred his spiritual centre of gravity from within the pale of his society to a zone unknown." Campbell, 1993:58 The action that starts Derek's mythological journey is when two black men, who Derek had a previous run-in with about a racial basketball game White vs. Black, tried to steal Derek's car. Derek then kills the two men in a rage of racial anger. He is then sent to prison for three years. Refusal of Call- Here the Hero is committed to his quest, he is in jail and there is no escape from his situation. So with no one left, no more protected by the gang that supported him and acted as his family. Ironically he became the minority, as in American prison black men completely out number white men, "You're the nigga now" Lamont black inmate."the subject loses the power of significant affirmative action and becomes a victim to be saved." Campbell, 1993:59. Derek was forced to worked opposite the black man, Lamot, whilst cleaning prison linen. This was a refusal of his calling because he looked at Lamont with disgust, even now when they are regarded as equals because they are both in prison. He soon found 'family' to help him, there were other white males with similar political views as Derek, the difference with this gang was that he would not be the authoritative leader like he was before. Supernatural Aid- Derek is visited by his mother, Doris, to bring him the news of his brother's demise into the same 'life' as Derek. She wants Derek to help her handle the situation with Danny and to show Derek that she still needs Derek in her life. This 'magical helper', Doris, is trying to show Derek the error of his ways. "The hero who has come under the protection of the cosmic mother and cannot be harmed." Campbell, 1993:71. The effects of his supernatural aids visit, unconsciously, changes Derek's outlook on 'his' life and the lives of his family. So when Derek begins questioning the ideals and goals of the white gang that he is 'protected' by, and then begins to 'shun' his group because the leader of the gang is in business for drugs with Mexicans in the prison, Derek does not realise the effects of his mothers visit. i.e. he still believes he is a racist but removes himself from his prison 'family' because he actually wants to separate himself from racist groups. Derek also begins a friendship with Lamont, this is because he starts to realise that he has similarities with Lamont. Also Derek finds out that Lamont was unjustly put in prison by 'white' police, as he stole a television he ran into some police and dropped the television onto the officers foot, they charged him with attacking a policeman. This reminded him of how he argued that the 'black' where dregs of society because most black males have served in prison. The Crossing of the First Threshold "“ Here the hero starts by crossing the fields of adventure, even if the threat of violence will incur, into "the regions of the unknown". The rules and limits of this threshold are not known and dangerous. Derek starts to play interracial basketball, which his old 'racist' self would never do. Also he extends his friendship with Lamont by talking about personal events, such as sexual references with girlfriends. The Belly of the Whale "“ This is where the hero finally separates himself from his known world, the white racist world, to the 'questual' world that he wants to be. But for this to happen the hero has to reach his own lowest point, Campbell described this as "hear instead of passing outward, beyond the confines of the visible world, the hero goes inward, to be born again" Campbell, 1993:91. Derek's ordeal that finalises his unconscious emotional state of mind is the horrific scene of being raped by his previous 'family', the racist prison gang. The passage through this 'magical' threshold symbolises the global image of the belly of the whale. Derek has been violently forced back into normal society, emotionally, and this represents Derek's re-birth. Initiation The Road to Trails "“ these are a series of tasks, test and ordeals that the hero must take on to begin the transformation. Derek receives his task when he meets his mentor for the first time, as his mentor. History teacher, Murray Elliot Gould , comes to meet Derek in prison to try and persuade him to help his brother. Upon finding out of Derek's misfortunes Murray decides to guide Derek to his ultimate quest, freedom for him and his family from the racist world. Murray starts Derek on metal battle with himself where it is his anger versus his of sense of self, all with the question "Has anything you have done made a difference" Murray. Murray helps Derek by using his influence to help try have Derek released early. Before Derek can be released from prison, he his tested by the responses to his actions of crossing his threshold. He now for the first time has no protection from a form of family, a test in its self, but now he has threats from all of the races in the prison. His rejection to the racist white gang means that they are a threat to him; also, his previous racism makes him a target to all other races inside the prison.. Campbell talks about the early generations being "guided by the symbols and spiritual exercises of their mythological and spiritual inheritance" Campbell, 1993:100, but Derek, being in a modern era where gods and devils have been rationalised out of modern existence, has to face his 'enlightenment' he was wrong about his beliefs by himself. Derek goes into solitude to dwell on his actions, as well as hiding from his threats of more violence. Derek's use of his 'inner most cave', gives him time to prepare himself, mentally and physically, how to approach his ultimate quest. The Meeting with the Goddess "“ the meeting with the Goddess represents the section of the quest where the hero experiences the love he needs to gain power for his quest. This "hieros gamos", union of opposites is described by Campbell as a "mystical marriage with the queen goddess of the world represents the hero's mastery of life, for the woman is life". Campbell, 1993:136 Derek is released from prison and goes to meet his goddess, his mother, his supernatural aid, he goes to seek her for approval, for Derek to have the love of his mother after all the wrongs he has despond upon her would give him the strength to carry to his battle. She tells him that everything is alright and Derek being at home is what she wants, for them all to be together. His meeting with his mother is a the Vinard's new home, which is a small unclean flat, a major step down from their previous classic American home, this also gives Derek more motivation. Woman as the Temptress "“ This section of the quest is the temptation to abandon the quest from allures from the hero's past or present. The temptress will test the hero's commitment to his quest. Campbell has described the temptress as a woman but that is not always true. This part pushes the hero through more tests when he has to distinguish his enemies and allies. As Derek is back home he is tempted by the symbols of his past, his best friend 'Seth' Ethan Suplee comes to the house to temp Derek back to the gang, although Seth does not know he is doing this as he thinks Derek is the same, with a party in Derek's honour. His mentor, Murray, reassures Derek through a phone call about Danny's total misguidance as he handed in a essay paper on 'Mien Camp', the famous 'Adolf Hitler' propaganda novel. Derek tries to stabilise his allies by asking Danny not to attend the party and to think about the life he is in. Derek goes to the party to complete his quest but is tempted again from his girlfriend, Stacy Fairuza Balk, with the louring of sex, Derek tries to convert, save, his girlfriend with his new ideologies but with no success. The party is occupied with young 'brothers' that idolise Derek as a martyr, the complements of the youth do not entice him from his quest. Atonement with the Father "“ This step in the hero's quest is the hero's confrontation with his ultimate power in his life, in most myths is the father figure. This battle requires the hero to have a radical readjustment of his emotional relationship with the Father. This usually results in the death or the conquer of his father figure. Derek's father figure that he has to confront is Cameron, the leader of the neo-nazi gang. This happens at the party when Derek and Cameron have a intellectual argument about the abuse Cameron has afflicted upon him, and others, emotionally and physically. Cameron pushes Derek to violence when he insults Derek when he said the he was Danny's father figure and Derek can leave the culture but Danny is old enough to make his own mind up. Derek's quest insures that all his family is free from this life so he hits Cameron, killing all ties to the organisation. This is Derek's abandonment of his self generated monster, his 'dragon god', father figure, Cameron and his 'dragon sin', his racist views and connections. Apotheosis "“ this state of the hero's period of rest, peace and fulfilment before he has to return, or as Campbell states "state to which the human hero attains who has gone beyond the last terrors of ignorance" Campbell, 1993:151. Derek's apotheosis is after he leaves the party and is confronted with Danny who is shocked by his actions. Derek reaches a 'divine state of bliss' after he tells Danny what had happen to him in prison and why the life they were living was a lost path. The Ultimate Boon "“ the hero's achievement of his quest, the whole reason for the journey. The hero often feels a transcendent nirvana state when he realises what he has achieved. Derek ultimate boon is connection with Danny when he realises what his brother has been through, in prison, and now agreeing with Derek's choices, Derek now knows that his family will never go back to that life, no matter the consequences. Return The return to normality is where American History X differs from other Hollywood epic films. A Hollywood film can be compared with myths and the hero's journey because of its 'happy ending'. 'Classic Hollywood' "“ 'Classic Myths'. American History X is a modern film that, through its unorthodox ending, shows the evolution from the hero's journey of myths that is based around the belief of 'Gods' that will save them, to modern day, where 'modern' myths, films, can reflect society "“ where science has questioned 'gods' and self-determing individuals. American History X uses today's world, realism, with moral story telling. "everyone knows the tale; it has been retold a thousand ways" Campbell, 1993: Hero Today. It does use some of the 'return' journey and these are; Refusal of the Return "“ this is the hero's dilemma of whether normality will even come back into his life? Also whether his actions may have not finished the quest. "His boon may redound to the renewing of the community, the nation, the planet," Campbell, 1993:193 He discusses with Danny the problems of his actions will have on them and tells him that they have to be wary of dangers ahead. The Magic Flight "“ The hero must escapes with the 'boon', which the 'gods' maybe guarding. The hero wins the blessing of the goddess and a part of elixir is returned for the restoration of society. Derek returns home with Danny and has a blessed welcome by the goddess, Doris. Derek and Danny then take down the symbols of their conquest, flags, pictures etc. Rescue from Without "“ "the hero may have to be brought back from his supernatural adventure by assistance from without."Campbell, 1993:207. The guides can bring the hero back to everyday life if they need assistance or are weakened by the quest experience. Derek's mentor Murray calls Derek the next morning for a meeting, Murray tells Derek that Seth, and some contemporaries, were attacked in a suspected 'racial' gang war attack, and that after he has helped Derek escape the gang world, he now need Derek's help to bring the 'boon' back to many others in the same situation by asking around about the attack, so the police can diffuse the situation. Derek goes off to consider his options, he brings Danny to school, as protector, his journey is not over. This is the point in the film where the hero's journey is interrupted. Usually the hero 'crosses the return threshold' and then becomes 'master of the two worlds', but this journey cannot be taken because of the following events: Derek walks Danny into school, Danny goes to the toilet and is shot dead by the black boy who he has had a confrontation with. The next scene is Danny's conclusion essay, of how his death should not be in vain and freedom as equals is every human's right, no matter what race. Freedom to Live "“ The hero leads to freedom and a return to normality. Because of Danny's death resulted in part of Derek's quest failed and but he does have the freedom to take the rest of his family away from the situation. The film finishes her, which is fitting because the film is about people having the freedom to live as equals in a peaceful world. Archetypes Archetypes have are used American History X, archetypes have been used as part of the hero journey format, as I will explain through book Christopher Vogle, 'The writer's Journey', which is an extension to Campbell's work. Here he writes of seven journey archetypes. An archetype links the viewer into the story with familiarity with traditional stories that they relate to, "Carl G. Jung, who terms the "archetypes of the collective unconscious," as pertaining to those structures of the psyche that are not the products of merely individual experience but are common to all mankind" Campbell, 1995:210 The Seven Journey Archetypes of Derek in American History X "“ Hero "“ the character that has taken on the quest, and Edliade has stated "every hero repeated the archetypical gesture, every war rehearsed the struggle between good and evil, every fresh injustice was identified with the saviour"Edliade, 1989: 151. The Hero in American History X is Derek as he tries to fight the 'evil' of his mental state and the racism within society, Mentor "“ this is the motivator within the journey, the person that inspires the hero to start his path towards righteousness. Sweeney, the school teacher is the Mentor in American History X because when he visits Derek in prison, he tells him that he must change his ways and help Danny. Threshold Guardian "“ this is the person who protects the Special World and also tests the hero's commitment and worth. Sweeney is also the Threshold guardian because he is looking over Danny, trying to help him. Also Sweeney has the power to have Derek released early from prison. He tests Derek in prison with Derek's emotions and beliefs, racism. Herald "“ the person that issues the challenge of the quest. Doris, the mother, is the herald because she asks Derek to help Danny, and her, which is Derek's hero quest. Shapeshifter "“ the person who misleads the hero by hiding a characters intentions and/or loyalties. A white racist gang member in prison is the shapeshifter, he starts the ordeal of Derek's rape, by telling the head leader of Derek's new views and tells Derek's that he should be ok with the leader. Shadow "“ "the character that represents our darkest desires, or untapped resources or rejected qualities" In American History X, Cameron is the shadow, the evil character that the hero has to challenge. He represents everything that Derek hates in his life. Trickster "“ a character that turns ordinary life upside down with their actions. Seth is the trickster in American History X, During the first basketball game Seth was being racist towards opposite black players and started aggravation, this resulted in a bet black vs. white game, that Derek had to come in and win. Derek then had serious aggravation with this black character and Derek won the game, this invoked the black character to steal Derek's car, Derek then kills the black character and this event starts his 'call'. These characters, unconsciously, are familiar to us, "Every ritual has a divine model, an archetype; this fact is well enough known for us to confine ourselves to recalling few examples"Edliade 1989:21. Symbolism, Mise-en-scene and use of Sound, Narrative, Colour and Lighting A film uses audio and visual aids to add meaning, sign, to a character, situation or scene. Jung said, the symbol, in contrast to the sign, is "the best possible designation or formula for something relatively unknown, yet recognized to be present, or required"Gander,Campbell, 1990: 169, therefore symbols can direct the viewer to which way the film is going and what is the intention of characters or situations. This symbol creates a thought process for the viewer to distinguish the meaning of the symbol, "we may say that a symbol, like everything else, shows a double aspect. We must distinguish, therefore, between the 'sense' and the 'meaning' of the symbol." Campbell, 1990: 188. Now I will explain a few of the symbols within American History X and how they are suppose to be interpreted; American History X uses colour as one of its main symbolic themes, has a non-linear narrative structure; the past is in black and white, which is reminiscent of old films and the past. Also the black and white part of the film is when Derek was racist, before he was enlightened, when he left prison and was enlightened completely the film change to colour, also present day, this could show the evolution of Derek through the evolution of film. In the scene when the neo-nazi gang attack the supermarket, because it was hiring blacks and Mexicans, three of the gang hold down the black cashier and pour 'white' milk over her face saying "that's a better colour" and "now you can get a white woman's job", this symbolises that if she was white she would be 'better' and that she'd be able to get better job. The attire of the neo-nazi's, made the viewer make judgements of their ideologies through their dress, such things as skinheads, army boots, trousers, vest tops etc. Also they had tattoos of images that are the linked to the Nazi party, e.g. swastikas, Hitler, eagles. The narrative of the characters also showed there racism, the use of racist derogatory words, the colloquialism of a group of people can help show where they are from and what there views are for example the white racist names for other nations or races; 'nigga', 'coon', 'spik', 'monkey' etc. The American and congressional flags is used, in front of the house, in the car, beginning scene with Danny, spinning the American flag in front of black receptionist; The flag is, nationalist, for these people is reminiscent of a time when the white protestant race in America was a superior race, the flag represents a want to go back to 'the good old days'. The first basketball game was black vs. white, in black and white, this colouring usually represents good vs. evil, the racists prejudices wanted a good vs. evil battle, their white superiority, masculinity, complexes meant that they wanted to win in a battle of 'survival of the fittest'. Lighting is used in some scenes, such as Derek killing the black man scene, to make the character, neo-nazi, look more menacing and evil. And if the character looks evil he must be evil? The use of guns in this film is a symbolism of power and violence, the gang uses guns to enforce their power over 'lesser' races. Rebirth is another major symbolic theme in American History X, Twice the film uses water as a symbol of the rebirth of Derek through the hero's journey, first, after he has been rape in the showers in prison, the shot of the blood violence, pain "“ his racism is washed away by water. "The act of water baptism being immersed in water in response to receiving salvation "¦In Matthew 3:13-17, we see the Lord Jesus Himself coming to His cousin John to be baptized, in order to fulfill all righteousness."See Matthew 28:19. The second scene of Derek's rebirth into righteousness is in his 'return' part of his journey, he has broken away from the world of 'evil' and representing his return to the 'ordinary world' by showering, washing of the evil. After this shower seen one of the most memorable symbolic scenes occur, Derek looks at himself in the mirror and covers up his tattoo, a swastika the size of a-half chest, but then removes his hand, his body language and tattoo symbolism shows us what he is feeling. He has a everlasting symbol of what he used to represent and how he used to act, the covering up of the symbol is a sign that he wants to forget his previous life and start new. The end of the film is a shot of the sunset, with Danny's end, moral, narrative dialog. The sunset is the end of the day and this shot represent the end of the story and film. "A symbol "¦ is an energy-evoking and directing agent" Gander,Campbell, 1990: 178 Myth that relates to American History X Like all modern films, American History X has similarities to ancient myths, the same 'moral of the story' is the underlining meaning behind ancient myths and modern films, and I will now relate some myths to American History X; first see myth of 'the baptism' in paragraph before this section. American History X uses the myth of 'Oedipus' Derek, this myth, written by 'Sophocles' around 500BC, is a story about fate, how men do not control their won fate, no matter how much they try. This will relate to the 'rape', cleansing, of Derek in prison. Laius and Jocasta, king and queen of 'Thebes', had a baby, 'Oedipus' not named yet, when he was born the king saw an oracle and asked of the future, the oracle told him that his son would murder him and marry his mother. Laius ordered Oedipus away and he was adopted by the king and queen of 'Conrinth'. When Oedipus grew up he also asked the oracle of his future, he received the same damming answer, so he ran away in horror. Derek Oedipus also had a confused and tragdic upbringing, his bad news was the death of his father, and that was start of his 'run', emotional journey, away from home. Oedipus travelled down the road in his chariot and came to a crossroads, where another chariot came at the same time but did not let Oedipus pass, he got so angry that he got out and killed the man. Derek's road that he travelled down was the 'road' of his choices in life, violence, racism etc. the crossroads that Derek encountered was when the black man was stealing his car, and his decision to kill the man who angered him is, like in Oedipus, the start of his loss of the control of his fate. "Men such as Oedipus are venerable and flawed since they are victims of the unpredictability of events" Grant, 1995 :199. Oedipus came to Thebes where there was a Sphinx, he had to answer a riddle or face the consequences of death. He answered correctly and the Sphinx was so ashamed that it killed itself. Derek went to his Thebes, his threshold of prison and ordeal, and met with his Sphinx question, "has anything he has done meant anything?", relating to how racism has been the wrong path for him. If Derek does not come out with the correct answer, if he continuous with his 'bad' lifestyle, then he will be killed mentally and connections with his family. Derek did answer his Sphinx and killed his 'demon' of hate, racism, and then carried on his journey. Oedipus went into Thebes, where the Thebans were upset of the death of their king, LaiusOedipus' real father, who Oedipus killed on his journey. But they were so happy to see that Oedipus had defeated the Sphinx, that they made him the new king of Thebes, his wife to be the widowed queen Jocasta Oedipus' mother. They had four children. One day a plague came over Thebes and the people were dieing, so Oedipus sent a messenger to see the Oracle in Delphi to find out why the gods had forsaken them. The Oracle told the messenger there was a bad man in Thebes and the plague would go if he goes. Oedipus works out with the help of the blind seer, 'Tiresias' that it was himself, because he killed his father and married his mother. Derek was in his prison, Thebes, and the prisoners, Thebans, where being plagued with Derek's conquer of the Sphinx, the killing of his demons. Derek became 'married' to the acceptance of the Queen, his mother. But when Derek questioned his prisoners, Thebans, and sent a messenger to the Oracle fate sent news that the 'gods', racist gang inmates, were upset by a bad man, Derek because he killed his 'father', hate through racism, and married his 'mother', the acceptance of his mother started his journey to his quest. The Oracle is the fate that Derek cannot control, the future and his rape in prison is the Gods plague on Thebes. The act rape of the gods inmates is Derek's realisation of his own actions. "The supreme moment of tension is the passage from ignorance to 'recognition' and knowledge, from success to despair"¦.tragedy's function"¦ is to display, and link with all that's gone on before, the unendurable moment of truth in which the king knows what he has done" Grant, 1995:197 King being Derek. Conclusion "Myths define enemies and aliens and in conjuring them up they say who we are and what we want, they tell stories to impose structure and order." Warner 1994:19 This statement shows how films today are modern myths and, the story's format and function, are easy to recognised because of the history of myths. These themes, of a story/quest/moral, can be found in both myths and films. American History X shows us that the modern myth, films, has evolved with time, although traditional myths are still popular. But the basis of a myth has stayed true through time with new tellers of the stories. Jameson states clearly that "Every telling of a myth is a part of that myth; there is no Ur-verson, no authentic prototype, no true account" Coupe analysis's her work and states that "she does not believe that myth is something that happens behind our backs, as it were: she insists that we have the capcity , as tellers and retellers, interpreters and reinterpreters, to maintain the interaction myth and history" Coupe, 1997:189 Myth films have a unbreakable link to the myths of the past and will continue to.   

American History X – A Hero's Journey Contents Page 1. Cover Page 2. Contents Page 3. Introduction 4. The Film with Synopsis, A Hero's Journey 5. Separation – 'The Ordinary World', Departure – 'The Call to Adventure' 6. 'Refusal of Call' 7. 'The Crossing of the Threshold', 'The Belly of...

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Ours is a world that is...Ours is a world that is both everywhere and nowhere, but it is not where our bodies live. Barlow, 1996 You've been living in a dream world Neo. This, is the world, as it exists today: Welcome to the desert "“ of the real. Morpheus to Neo in The Matrix From Plato's "Charmides" to the Wachowski brothers' "The Matrix" 1999, there is a tradition of writing in Western literature, which thinks about and imagines the city as either a utopia or a dystopia, or both. I believe that what such imagining allows us is to do is locate ourselves within a type of dialectic of the best possible or worst possible outcomes that our own historical conditions may lead us to. By imagining utopian and dystopic cities we are alerted to the ethical and moral implications that constantly changing social structures, always under continual sway by developments in technology, hold for communities in cities. Visions of dystopia and utopia function as allegories of contemporary society "“ of the particular historical moment of society in which a particular utopian or dystopic vision is produced. They historicise given moments by alerting us to and imagining the possible implications caused by technological change. Most of all, they historicise by reminding us of the fact that ours is just a given moment "“ things do not stay the same. Jameson 1992: 11 notes that, "If everything means something else, then so does technology." Particularly in an era where technological change is so very rapid, and where traditionally accepted notions about the position and function of the subject in a community or society have come under sustained attack, visions of dystopia and utopia ask just what technology might come to mean for us, in an age where living in diverse city communities challenges the dominance of any single meaning. "The Matrix", like a number of contemporary science-fiction films eg "Bladerunner", "The Terminator" deals with themes of conspiracy, paranoia, the loss of privacy and the dissolution of human society in favour of a technology that has become supreme in its own right. Their space of action is within the city. In both "The Terminator" and "The Matrix" humans have lost out to artificial intelligence, which, soon after having been invented, quickly becomes malevolent and takes control of itself at the expense of human society. The implication seems to be that two different sentient, intelligent types of beings cannot possibly share this world together "“ one has to go, and it is inevitably the carbon-based humans which end up as the inferior life form. Where "The Matrix" really fascinates though is in its rupturing of what we know as reality. In "The Matrix", the artificial intelligence AI has devised the ultimate conspiracy theory "“ where reality itself is nothing but a collectively dreamt conspiracy set in contemporary urban society. The story goes that when AI went bad, humans "scorched the sky" in order to deprive the AI of its power source, ie, the sun. Deprived of its power, the AI then came across the very novel idea of using humans themselves as its power source. In order to get almost perfect compliance, the AI constructed a virtual reality: a perfect replica or simulacrum of life in the city in 1999, put the humans to sleep and plugged them in. In the 'real' world it is actually the late twenty-first century. Humans lie peacefully unaware of their actual condition in endless rows of artificial wombs, digesting the liquefied remains of the dead, functioning as so many billions of Duracell batteries for the AI it's fascinating to consider the types of images and ideas corporations will desire to have their product placed with!, in a landscape that looks like it was taken right out of an H. R. Giger painting. This wholly computer generated simulation of reality, functioning to pull the wool over the eyes of the human race, is what is referred to as The Matrix. It is in a way the ultimate dystopia and the ultimate conspiracy "“ as no one submerged within the matrix is even aware of it. Having not the space for detail here, I will limit myself to making a few comments as to themes in "The Matrix", and how it figures and allegorises the modern city, tying these in with ideas I have encountered in the reading for this essay. The world of the matrix and that of historical reality beyond the matrix is exclusively the world of the city. Within the matrix all the action is played out within the western city of the late twentieth century. In the 'real' world it is played out in the remaining sewer systems of the once existent cities. Nowhere in the film is any space beyond the city alluded to. By this I conclude that "The Matrix" is commenting upon city life as we experience it now. It is warning against a 'dehistoricisation' of reality in the city and an uncritical acceptance of and attitude to technological progress and its ethical implications. It is of note that "The Matrix" conserves the domain of an actual historical reality "“ the plot revolves around those few who have managed to escape the matrix back into reality and are waging war with 'agents' "“ sentient computer programs existing only within the matrix which serve as a kind of police force for the matrix. David Levery 2001, 158 has contrasted this conservation with Cronenberg's film "eXistenZ" 1999, noting that In The Matrix we know very well where the "real" world is. The real world exists [and]...can tell a heroic tale of its recovery. In contrast, Cronenberg's eXistenZ...has no such faith. For even they [the characters] cannot escape from the ever-recursive game of eXistenZ and TransCendenZ. Unlike the world of eXistenZ, this retaining of a sharp distinction between the real and the simulation allows for the possibility of resistance. As much as "The Matrix" may, in a critical sense, fail by its Hollywood style reliance on an individual hero Neo, played by Keanu Reeves, who is almost messianic in his functions he even 'rises' from the dead and its somewhat unconvincing resort to mystical notions of the Oracle and prophecy in the 'real' world, the fact that there is some type of social movement of resistance is made possible only by an awareness of the 'real' world, by liberation from the suffocating 'false consciousness' of the matrix. Miller 2000, 60 focuses on this theme in the film in his article 'The Matrix and the Medium's Message', noting that The Matrix flirts with showing how an organized, multicultural movement can sustain resistance to a system run by "suits". This sets it apart from much recent Hollywood fare [where]...aberrance from the norm is usually punished within the film. We can see the simulated city that is the matrix also as a powerful allegorical figure of Capital [which has]...completed, without resistance or remainder, the "real subsumption" of society, without the need to pass through any cumbersome entanglements with producers and consumers, except that they are pure "terminals" or "switching points" to use Baudrillard's terms [compare the figure of humans as battery cells] in the parthenogenetic intercourse of capital with itself. It is precisely at this moment, when capital appears as the quasi source of all social life as such...that capitalism seems increasingly invisible and unnameable as a distinct entity. Beyond posing questions about reality, "The Matrix" may be read as asking what the fundamental motive for the existence of the city is. Does the modern city blind us to the 'real' potential of social action and interaction by overwhelming us with the images and rhetoric of the movement of capital within the city, as if that were all there is to life? In "The Matrix" there is the last 'real' city named Zion, which we never see, but which seems to be the communal source of the efforts of the resistance and the place where hope for the future of the human race lies. This is the sort of city, which the film appears to legitimate as 'real' in opposition to the city life we as viewers know and experience as real. Jameson 1992: 45 writes that, In principle, indeed, the here-and-now ought to suffice unto itself, and need no further meaning; but that would only be the case in Utopia, in a landscape of sheer immanence, in which social life coincided fully with itself... The extent of the dystopia in the way "The Matrix" figures the culmination of technology's influence on life in the city, is such that there is no longer even a 'here-and-now' to speak of "“ history has stopped. The Matrix looks to a restoration of 'real' meaning by making people aware of their situation. Interestingly, in the final scene we are not outside of the matrix, but back in it, in control of it. "The Matrix" doesn't seem to propose a nostalgic return to the real world, but hints that besides allowing for a sequel, after all, the simulation may be negotiable and even acceptable as long as human beings are ultimately the ones in control.   

Ours is a world that is both everywhere and nowhere, but it is not where our bodies live. Barlow, 1996 You've been living in a dream world Neo. This, is the world, as it exists today: Welcome to the desert – of the real. Morpheus to Neo in The Matrix...

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