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Pantomime
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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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"The Truman Show" is a profoundly..."The Truman Show" is a profoundly disturbing movie. On the surface, it deals with the worn out issue of the intermingling of life and the media. Examples for such incestuous relationships abound: Ronald Reagan, the cinematic president was also a presidential movie star. In another movie "The Philadelphia Experiment" a defrosted Rip Van Winkle exclaims upon seeing Reagan on television 40 years after his forced hibernation started: "I know this guy, he used to play Cowboys in the movies". Candid cameras monitor the lives of webmasters website owners almost 24 hours a day. The resulting images are continuously posted on the Web and are available to anyone with a computer. The last decade witnessed a spate of films, all concerned with the confusion between life and the imitations of life, the media. The ingenious "Capitan Fracasse", "Capricorn One", "Sliver", "Wag the Dog" and many lesser films have all tried to tackle this unfortunate state of things and its moral and practical implications. The blurring line between life and its representation in the arts is arguably the main theme of "The Truman Show". The hero, Truman, lives in an artificial world, constructed especially for him. He was born and raised there. He knows no other place. The people around him "“ unbeknownst to him "“ are all actors. His life is monitored by 5000 cameras and broadcast live to the world, 24 hours a day, every day. He is spontaneous and funny because he is unaware of the monstrosity of which he is the main cogwheel. But Peter Weir, the movie's director, takes this issue one step further by perpetrating a massive act of immorality on screen. Truman is lied to, cheated, deprived of his ability to make choices, controlled and manipulated by sinister, half-mad Shylocks. As I said, he is unwittingly the only spontaneous, non-scripted, "actor" in the on-going soaper of his own life. All the other figures in his life, including his parents, are actors. Hundreds of millions of viewers and voyeurs plug in to take a peep, to intrude upon what Truman innocently and honestly believes to be his privacy. They are shown responding to various dramatic or anti-climactic events in Truman's life. That we are the moral equivalent of these viewers-voyeurs, accomplices to the same crimes, comes as a shocking realization to us. We are live viewers and they are celluloid viewers. We both enjoy Truman's inadvertent, non-consenting, exhibitionism. We know the truth about Truman and so do they. Of course, we are in a privileged moral position because we know it is a movie and they know it is a piece of raw life that they are watching. But moviegoers throughout Hollywood's history have willingly and insatiably participated in numerous "Truman Shows". The lives real or concocted of the studio stars were brutally exploited and incorporated in their films. Jean Harlow, Barbara Stanwyck, James Cagney all were forced to spill their guts in cathartic acts of on camera repentance and not so symbolic humiliation. "Truman Shows" is the more common phenomenon in the movie industry. Then there is the question of the director of the movie as God and of God as the director of a movie. The members of his team "“ technical and non-technical alike "“ obey Christoff, the director, almost blindly. They suspend their better moral judgement and succumb to his whims and to the brutal and vulgar aspects of his pervasive dishonesty and sadism. The torturer loves his victims. They define him and infuse his life with meaning. Caught in a narrative, the movie says, people act immorally. INfamous psychological experiments support this assertion. Students were led to administer what they thought were "deadly" electric shocks to their colleagues or to treat them bestially in simulated prisons. They obeyed orders. So did all the hideous genocidal criminals in history. The Director Weir asks: should God be allowed to be immoral or should he be bound by morality and ethics? Should his decisions and actions be constrained by an over-riding code of right and wrong? Should we obey his commandments blindly or should we exercise judgement? If we do exercise judgement are we then being immoral because God and the Director Christoff know more about the world, about us, the viewers and about Truman, know better, are omnipotent? Is the exercise of judgement the usurpation of divine powers and attributes? Isn't this act of rebelliousness bound to lead us down the path of apocalypse? It all boils down to the question of free choice and free will versus the benevolent determinism imposed by an omniscient and omnipotent being. What is better: to have the choice and be damned almost inevitably, as in the biblical narrative of the Garden of Eden "“ or to succumb to the superior wisdom of a supreme being? A choice always involves a dilemma. It is the conflict between two equivalent states, two weighty decisions whose outcomes are equally desirable and two identically-preferable courses of action. Where there is no such equivalence "“ there is no choice, merely the pre-ordained given full knowledge exercise of a preference or inclination. Bees do not choose to make honey. A fan of football does not choose to watch a football game. He is motivated by a clear inequity between the choices that he faces. He can read a book or go to the game. His decision is clear and pre-determined by his predilection and by the inevitable and invariable implementation of the principle of pleasure. There is no choice here. It is all rather automatic. But compare this to the choice some victims had to make between two of their children in the face of Nazi brutality. Which child to sentence to death "“ which one to sentence to life? Now, this is a real choice. It involves conflicting emotions of equal strength. One must not confuse decisions, opportunities and choice. Decisions are the mere selection of courses of action. This selection can be the result of a choice or the result of a tendency conscious, unconscious, or biological-genetic. Opportunities are current states of the world, which allow for a decision to be made and to affect the future state of the world. Choices are our conscious experience of moral or other dilemmas. Christoff finds it strange that Truman "“ having discovered the truth "“ insists upon his right to make choices, i.e., upon his right to experience dilemmas. To the Director, dilemmas are painful, unnecessary, destructive, or at best disruptive. His utopian world "“ the one he constructed for Truman "“ is choice-free and dilemma-free. Truman is programmed not in the sense that his spontaneity is extinguished. Truman is wrong when, in one of the scenes, he keeps shouting: "Be careful, I am spontaneous". The Director and fat-cat capitalistic producers want him to be spontaneous, they want him to make decisions. But they do not want him to make choices. So they influence his preferences and predilections by providing him with an absolutely totalitarian, micro-controlled, repetitive environment. Such an environment reduces the set of possible decisions so that there is only one favourable or acceptable decision outcome at any junction. Truman does decide whether to walk down a certain path or not. But when he does decide to walk "“ only one path is available to him. His world is constrained and limited "“ not his actions. Actually, Truman's only choice in the movie leads to an arguably immoral decision. He abandons ship. He walks out on the whole project. He destroys an investment of billions of dollars, people's lives and careers. He turns his back on some of the actors who seem to really be emotionally attached to him. He ignores the good and pleasure that the show has brought to the lives of millions of people the viewers. He selfishly and vengefully goes away. He knows all this. By the time he makes his decision, he is fully informed. He knows that some people may commit suicide, go bankrupt, endure major depressive episodes, do drugs. But this massive landscape of resulting devastation does not deter him. He prefers his narrow, personal, interest. He walks. But Truman did not ask or choose to be put in his position. He found himself responsible for all these people without being consulted. There was no consent or act of choice involved. How can anyone be responsible for the well-being and lives of other people "“ if he did not CHOOSE to be so responsible? Moreover, Truman had the perfect moral right to think that these people wronged him. Are we morally responsible and accountable for the well-being and lives of those who wrong us? True Christians are, for instance. Moreover, most of us, most of the time, find ourselves in situations which we did not help mould by our decisions. We are unwillingly cast into the world. We do not provide prior consent to being born. This fundamental decision is made for us, forced upon us. This pattern persists throughout our childhood and adolescence: decisions are made elsewhere by others and influence our lives profoundly. As adults we are the objects "“ often the victims "“ of the decisions of corrupt politicians, mad scientists, megalomaniac media barons, gung-ho generals and demented artists. This world is not of our making and our ability to shape and influence it is very limited and rather illusory. We live in our own "Truman Show". Does this mean that we are not morally responsible for others? We are morally responsible even if we did not choose the circumstances and the parameters and characteristics of the universe that we inhabit. The Swedish Count Wallenberg imperilled his life and lost it smuggling hunted Jews out of Nazi occupied Europe. He did not choose, or helped to shape Nazi Europe. It was the brainchild of the deranged Director Hitler. Having found himself an unwilling participant in Hitler's horror show, Wallenberg did not turn his back and opted out. He remained within the bloody and horrific set and did his best. Truman should have done the same. Jesus said that he should have loved his enemies. He should have felt and acted with responsibility towards his fellow human beings, even towards those who wronged him greatly. But this may be an inhuman demand. Such forgiveness and magnanimity are the reserve of God. And the fact that Truman's tormentors did not see themselves as such and believed that they were acting in his best interests and that they were catering to his every need "“ does not absolve them from their crimes. Truman should have maintained a fine balance between his responsibility to the show, its creators and its viewers and his natural drive to get back at his tormentors. The source of the dilemma which led to his act of choosing is that the two groups overlap. Truman found himself in the impossible position of being the sole guarantor of the well-being and lives of his tormentors. To put the question in sharper relief: are we morally obliged to save the life and livelihood of someone who greatly wronged us? Or is vengeance justified in such a case? A very problematic figure in this respect is that of Truman's best and childhood friend. They grew up together, shared secrets, emotions and adventures. Yet he lies to Truman constantly and under the Director's instructions. Everything he says is part of a script. It is this disinformation that convinces us that he is not Truman's true friend. A real friend is expected, above all, to provide us with full and true information and, thereby, to enhance our ability to choose. Truman's true love in the Show tried to do it. She paid the price: she was ousted from the show. But she tried to provide Truman with a choice. It is not sufficient to say the right things and make the right moves. Inner drive and motivation are required and the willingness to take risks such as the risk of providing Truman with full information about his condition. All the actors who played Truman's parents, loving wife, friends and colleagues, miserably failed on this score. It is in this mimicry that the philosophical key to the whole movie rests. A Utopia cannot be faked. Captain Nemo's utopian underwater city was a real Utopia because everyone knew everything about it. People were given a choice though an irreversible and irrevocable one. They chose to become lifetime members of the reclusive Captain's colony and to abide by its overly rational rules. The Utopia came closest to extinction when a group of stray survivors of a maritime accident were imprisoned in it against their expressed will. In the absence of choice, no utopia can exist. In the absence of full, timely and accurate information, no choice can exist. Actually, the availability of choice is so crucial that even when it is prevented by nature itself "“ and not by the designs of more or less sinister or monomaniac people "“ there can be no Utopia. In H.G. Wells' book "The Time Machine", the hero wanders off to the third millennium only to come across a peaceful Utopia. Its members are immortal, don't have to work, or think in order to survive. Sophisticated machines take care of all their needs. No one forbids them to make choices. There simply is no need to make them. So the Utopia is fake and indeed ends badly. Finally, the "Truman Show" encapsulates the most virulent attack on capitalism in a long time. Greedy, thoughtless money machines in the form of billionaire tycoon-producers exploit Truman's life shamelessly and remorselessly in the ugliest display of human vices possible. The Director indulges in his control-mania. The producers indulge in their monetary obsession. The viewers on both sides of the silver screen indulge in voyeurism. The actors vie and compete in the compulsive activity of furthering their petty careers. It is a repulsive canvas of a disintegrating world. Perhaps Christoff is right after al when he warns Truman about the true nature of the world. But Truman chooses. He chooses the exit door leading to the outer darkness over the false sunlight in the Utopia that he leaves behind.   

"The Truman Show" is a profoundly disturbing movie. On the surface, it deals with the worn out issue of the intermingling of life and the media. Examples for such incestuous relationships abound: Ronald Reagan, the cinematic president was also a presidential movie star. In another movie "The Philadelphia Experiment" a...

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