Reveiw American History X And Virgin Suicides

1109 words - 4 pages

Question 3 ?Our experience of watching a film is informed by or social and cultural context (for example, our race, class, gender or sexuality). Do you agree with this? Use any two films of your choice, to back up your argument?. Adam Pillay ? 2276167 When watching a film, the viewer clearly is affected by their social and cultural influences. The viewer carries some cultural and social baggage when entering the cinema or living room that will alter the experience of the film. By this I mean to imply that one?s lifestyle has great influence in how one will view a film. Gender, sexuality, race and class are some characteristics that influence the viewer?s opinion and overall experience of the viewing. This piece will explore this by reviewing two films, The Virgin Suicides, directorial debut of Sophia Coppola, and American History X, directed by Tony Kaye. These are two very different films in subject matter but there are similar issues presented in the films. American History X, starring Edward Norton in his Academy Award Nominated role, is the story of two brothers and how they are drawn in to Neo-Nazism and their path to reformation and loss of race hatred. The Virgin Suicides starring Kirsten Dunst, is the story of the Lisbon family and the strange events that follow the suicide of the youngest of 5 daughters effects the lives of 4 local teenage boys and their neighbourhood. Based on Jeffrey Eugenides? well-received novel, the film is told largely from the point of view of a group of boys enraptured by their mythic womanhood as much in life as in death. Both of these films will be interpreted differently depending on your views on suicide, teenage life, race, sexuality. As both films attracted a MA15+ rating for the adult themes that are approached they are excellent candidates to review the different interpretations that can be found by having a different social and cultural context.The Virgin Suicides is set in the mid 1970s in suburban Michigan, in a neighborhood with the kind of narrow streets that invite neighborly eavesdropping. Mr. and Mrs. Lisbon are strict parents, or rather; Mrs. Lisbon (Kathleen Turner) had the hold over her daughters and her husband (James Woods). The Lisbon sisters inhabit the stuffy household, wanting to get out and about as a cadre of worshipful neighborhood boys watch their every move and try in vain to decipher them. The first suicide of Cecilia, at age 13 the youngest Lisbon, made the fascination of death for the sisters stronger.Cecilia is treated by Dr. Hornicker (Danny DeVito), a psychiatrist who thinks she knows nothing of life?s pain. But Cecilia holds the same view as him. Dr. Hornicker asks the Lisbon parents to loosen the reins on their girls, but this strategy backfires. After getting a taste of teenage adventure, the sisters naturally can?t let it go. Lux (Kirsten Dunst), age 14, is the boldest, as her explosive interlude with suave school stud Trip Fontaine (Josh Hartnett) results in her missing...

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