Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Pleasantville Revisit

Surprisingly I haven’t previously watched Pleasantville when it came out in 1998. The television, or the idiot box as Pierre Delacroix from Bamboozled would say, wasn’t a frequent babysitter as I was growing up, in result, I lack movie cultural significantly. Pleasantville was a very enjoyable movie; the soundtrack for the film is excellent. Masterpieces such as “At Last” by Etta James and “Take Five” by Dave Brubeck Quartet, are a few of my all time favorite songs. The way the music score complimented the flow of the movie is brilliant. For example, “Take Five” fits so perfectly during the scene when Tobey Maguire’s character frantically enters the local soda fountain owned by Mr. Johnson to finds everyone to be dead silent looking at him. They all had curious questions of what exists outside of Pleasantville. Tobey’s character attempts to describe the customs of the 1990s, what the true occupation of a firefighter is and roads outside of Pleasantville don’t continue in an infinite circle. He continues to tell stories of classic novels such as The Adventure of Huckleberry Finn to his strongly captivated audience. The soundtrack, “Take Five,” is so fitting for this moment because the distinctly different yet catch tune emphasized what the citizens of Pleasantville were experiencing.
The idea of color in this movie reminds me of the concept of color in the novel Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson. Where black, white and grey represents dull living in contrast to colorful life. There is a social reference in the film about segregation, a shot of a shop or restaurant with a sign stating No Colors. The literally and figurative meaning of this sign is priceless. The impact of color in all these forms of medias helped me realize that I too can utilize color more to invoke an emotion and to relay a deeper meaning in my art. Overall I love this movie, for more than just my love for vintage 1950s lifestyle, but for the historical revisit, the satirical elements and the underlying message of there is no right way to live life. Yes we might live in a dysfunctional world, but the beauty of life is moving and passionate.

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