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Once Were Warriors Essay

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❶Mainstream cinema tends to focus on and relay ideas of our society, which even still today can be seen as patriarchal. Once Were Warriors Lee Tamahori.

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Once Were Warriors Essay Sample

The extension of the walking stick could be seen as a phallic image and therefore an extension of his manhood. The fact that he is trying to balance the stick on his finger and it eventually wobbles and falls relates the idea he has lost his masculinity.

Throughout the scene John is playing with it, using it to illustrate his words and point to things. Freud would argue that this demonstrates an individual who has failed to resolve there phallic stage of psychosexual development and therefore not fully resolved their Oedipus complex.

This symbolic use of the corset, which is an item of clothing that encapsulates a woman, suggests women are not free but are controlled by the stiff wires of patriarchy, much like a puppet. The particular brassier that is referred to within this opening sequence has great significance to this idea. Midge explains that the Bra was based on the concept of a bridge and designed by an aircraft engineer in his spare time. The idea that a man is designing these ways of restricting women and comparing their bodies to inanimate objects such as a bridge could be considered a metaphor for their desire to have control over the elusive woman that they want to contain.

This idea can be related to the rest of the film whereby John is attempting to mould Judy into his ideal form of woman by changing her clothes. Again, like a puppet. Another aspect of mise-en-scene within this scene that comments on John and his loss of manhood is the character positioning throughout. John is always sitting down lower than Midge.

However when demonstrating that he can overcome his fear, and therefore regain his masculinity, he climbs a series of steps that positions him higher than Midge. However, when John reaches the top step his acrophobia get the better of him he faints into Midges arms. This scene has a complete role reversal as far as gender roles are concerned. John is the weakened female that needs catching as he faints and Midge is there to capture him in her strong arms.

This loss within him is something that he replaces when meeting Madeline. Rather than him being in love with her, he simply finds en element in her that makes him feel whole. This is then ripped away from him again when he finds out Judy is Madeline and he was being manipulated, like a woman. This feeling of confusion can be seen as another theme that runs throughout Vertigo.

John ultimately does not know what he wants. He is attracted and repulsed by the same women and he hates himself for loving her. This is very much a feeling that Alfred Hitchcock himself suffered with. This emotion was also displayed in the film through use of filming techniques. It also links to the representation of women that has been mention previously, suggesting they are an object that needs to be controlled. An example of one such instance is where Megan Turner returns home after becoming a police officer.

She walks into her house, chucking her keys on the floor and tapping her answerphone that is messily situated on the floor with her foot, then shifts her trousers up and sits down.

This series of actions and mise-en-scene are associated with stereotypes of being male. She then listens to a message from her mother that clearly upsets her. Her open display of emotion is something considered very effeminate. In being able to own both gender attributes, Turner can be seen as a more powerful person. As the main downfall of a seemingly powerful man, is his inability to deal with emotion. Laura Mulvey writes that….

Traditionally the gaze is male, and the audience can see two main shots; that of the male looking and that of the female he is looking at. Therefore making the audience affiliated with the man, as our view is restricted to what he chooses to look at, enforcing patriarchal power that is impossible to overcome. This is the controlling gaze that Mulvey references above.

Both the protagonist and director are female and therefore we see the world of the film through their eyes. The male gaze is not accounted for within this film as we never see anything from his point of view, however he does talk about what he sees and we see him looking. This particular male is the villain of the film and a psychopath. When the audience is made aware of his gaze, it is seen as voyeuristic and displays signs of fetishism towards the powerful female, Megan Turner.

Such as the perversion that Mulvey mentions. His point of view and objectification of Turner is done in a way that disgusts the viewer, highlighting the true nature of scopophilia within cinema and the objectifying gaze of the man that is taken to be acceptable in the majority of cinema.

In terms of mise-en-scene, aspects of phallic imagery and castration anxiety are evident within this film. The opening sequence documents this as a series of close-up shots that pan around the gun and show the bullets dropping into the chambers. This can be seen as symbolic of intercourse in itself as the bullets penetrate the gun and then the body they are shot at, making the bullets an allegory for a penis.

The fact that Eugene later scribes Megan Turners name onto the bullets he uses, represents his perverse, fetish obsession with the powerful woman able to penetrate as if she had a phallus. In the first stage of sexual development, the child has no sense of its self and therefore no sense of gender. The child remains unaware that its sexual organs are any different from that of its mothers.

He believes this lack of a penis that females have is a punishment and he fears that he will receive the same punishment if he maintains the rivalry with the father during the oedipal stage. Psychoanalytical theory such as this is evident in many forms of cinema since it is through artwork that we are able to express the repressed desires without society disapproving. For example; because of this many films have a father-son rivalry.

This again adds to the concept that Turner has equal masculine and feminine qualities. The threat of castration is very much embodied within Megan as she poses a threat to the male characters of the film. As soon as she is stripped of her gun and uniform she no longer poses this threat, she then has sex with Officer Nick Mann and is raped by Eugene, therefore becoming a victim because of her femininity.

This psychoanalytic explanation that Mulvey favours to explain how representation of women of film is used to re-enforce patriarchy, is however not shared by theorist Steven Shaviro.

For example; we do not feel excitement when Turner is holding a gun because of our latent obsession with sex and the gun that symbolises this fascination. We feel excitement because seeing an image of a gun and the expectation of violence constructed in front of us through the power of film and editing, is exiting. The enjoyment comes through the act of watching not because of desires embedded within us.

In conclusion the representation of gender within cinema as a whole seems to be almost generic. Mainstream cinema tends to focus on and relay ideas of our society, which even still today can be seen as patriarchal. Please, visit "Prices" page for the detailed prices. A good beginning and a brilliant ending are crucial to a successful film. Discuss this statement with detailed reference to a feature film or films you have studied.

New Zealand feature film Once Were Warriors, directed by Lee Tamahori, has a brilliant and captivating beginning that immediately engages the audience's attention. Both the beginning and the ending contribute greatly to the film's popular success and have been made specifically to introduce motifs and symbols, key characters, relationships and conflicts. How is success defined? Once Were Warriors could be considered to have been a success in many ways, not just by it's commercial value. Firstly, there is the academic success of the film.

It portrayed a tragic and violent family cycle to other New Zealanders, of whom many believed that we lived in a violence free country.

The film was very successful in showing that not all people are privy to equal opportunities in life. Secondly, the aesthetic success was prevalent as it was very pleasing and true to the eye. Also, there was a success at a personal judgement level in the way of newspaper and magazine reviews.

However, the film's success, in every aspect, was due to the beginning and ending of the film.

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Once Were Warriors could be considered to have been a success in many ways, not just by it’s commercial value. Firstly, there is the academic success of the film. It portrayed a tragic and violent family cycle to other New Zealanders, of whom many believed that we lived in a violence free country.

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State foster homes should only be a last resort. In conclusion, ‘Once Were Warriors’ left an indelible mark on the psyche of many New Zealanders with its brutal violence and depiction of problems such as binge-drinking and poverty that previously were swept under the carpet.

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"Once Were Warriors" is a movie that is all about the truth in cultures. As we all know, alcohol usually causes negative behavior. For example, in the movie it shows how alcohol causes violence, poverty, and child abuse in a family. Once Were Warriors is the story about a Maori family struggling to survive in a New Zealand that is governed by Whites. The film explores the search for identity by contemporary Maoris, such as warrior violence juxtaposed to a culture stripped of its pride and honour/5(5).