The brief video “The Ninth Girl” we watched in Kirby the other night before the actual movie I thought was very well done. Besides that choice of font in the title opening (it’s a subtle video, why use humongous font sizes) the complete rushing attitude and its brevity of the short made its point very clear. It starts the viewer confused and disoriented, exactly like how the girl felt, and then moved on a rapid pace to the next scene. As she tried to get her thoughts together, she fell prey to the spotlight effect and felt as if everyone around was noticing every move she had done. I felt like the audience was with her every step of the way, as she stumbles to regain her train of thought, as do we. Even the most basic functions such as walking are a struggle. The ending of the short was also worth noting since it had such a large impact on what would happen next. When the girl was faced with the options of calling for help or not to, she actually chose the one with no repercussions on the other side, which is unfortunately what actually happens most of the time in real life situations.
I feel like the entire point of Marjane telling the audience her story, was just to lead up to the ending. There really was no context of why she started the story besides letting us know how she got to America and all the events leading up to it. I felt like that very last scene in which the taxi driver asks her where she is from and she just responds “Iran” that even though she will try to explain where she is from with all her chaotic background, people will just here Iran and feel like that’s something interesting. No one will ever no all the wars and heart breaking trouble that she had to go through just to stay alive and make it to America. The only thing that they will hear is “Iran” and perhaps think about some recent events but would never actually link it to the person that you were talking to. Many people would think how could this person possibly have any involvement with what actually happened in Iran, she was probably away from all the mess. This could prove to be true in some circumstances, but not this one, and a person like Marjane would just be too exhausted to even explain her story. After all, it did take a total of two hours.
After viewing the film I can definitely see how earlier audiences could have believed that this was a documentary and that what they were seeing was truly real. Besides the fact that the camera crew was operating with news reel for filming, everything about the movie looked very real. The fact that they did not concentrate so hard on a single character and rather on a group of people made it seem more realistic because that kept putting the audience in a place where they did not have all the information. There were also many scenes through out the film that were wide general shots and did not focus on a single place but rather a group of people which could easily be mistaken for a camera crew filming regular life in Algiers and not something that was scripted. Most the meetings that Colonel Mathieu held with the rest of his paratroopers looked like a camera placed in the back and filmed the meeting as if the soldiers were being documented, and not a scripted scene. The scene that really must have thrown the audience was surely the entire final scene. In the grand ending, Pontecorvo used actual citizens of Algiers in the riot scenes to reach the maximum realism that could have occurred in the event of an actual riot. The spirit of Algiers that these people portrayed could only be achieved with the effort of actual citizens that have experienced the real event.
During Radio’s tragic death scene, I was struck by how closely Radio physically resembelled the classic image of Jesus on the cross. With his arms held outstretched by police, and his head upturned in a choke-hold, the visual style of the scene clearly depicts Radio as a Christ like character. Similarly the after effects from the other characters in their rightous rebellion against the authority that has killed Radio harkens to the bible and the uprising against Roman authority.
As mentioned in the discussion the class had after watching the movie, there seems to be a lot of foreshadowing throughout the film. One of the more obvious predictions that everybody had made was Sal stating that he was going kill someone at the very beginning of the film. One of the other foreshadows that I picked up on was a more subtle one. When Buggin’ tries to assemble a boycot on Sal’s Famous he struggles to gain members that would join him in doing so. While this made it clear that Buggin’ did not have great leader ship skills, it became apparent when the man wearing the celtics t-shirt stepped on Buggin’s shoe. Buggin’ reacted by chasing the man down and wanting an apology or anything else. When he started yelling at the man a group of people joined Buggin’ and started egging him on and taking his side. But even when Buggin’ had all those people with him he still was not able to lead and could not do anything. This proved that Buggin’ was not a suitable leader for the boycot, and if he wanted to do it he would have to have somebody else more powerful lead him. This is where Radio comes in at the very end and leads Buggin’ into the store. In the end it’s Radio who leads Buggin’ even though Buggin’ had the idea initially.
Throughout the entire film there really is a lack of emotion being shown by Theo from the death of his loved ones to the very end. I believe Clive Owen portrays his character in this way to really emphasize the fact that there is really a lack of hope in the world. Even when Theo is given the responsibility of transporting Key across the most dangerous terrains he consistently shows his lack of emotion. Perhaps this could be seen as character development or just poor character portrayal, that decision is soley up to the viewer. Or it could be that the director wanted it this way and wanted him to resemble the lost cause of the world.