A detailed comparison between Casablanca(1942) and Memento(2000)

Genre, Social Context, and Auteur are crucial topics that a cinema has been portraying since the making of the first movie. In this paper, I am going to compare Casablanca(1942) and Memento(2000) on following topics. Casablanca is a classic Hollywood movie that was directed by Micheal Curtiz. Casablanca(1942) features the love story of  Rick Blaine intertwined with the social problems created by the World War 2. In process of telling the story in the movie, director Curtiz mixes various genres together making it a classic Hollywood masterpiece despite its low expectation from Warner Bros. Whereas, Memento(2000) is a movie directed by Christopher Nolan which shows the story of Leonard Shelby, who suffers from  short term memory loss and he is looking for the vengeance of his wife’s rape and murder. Nolan uses different narrative style to intrigue audience and portray his artistic capabilities. Casablanca(1942) is an example of successful Hollywood movie that targets large audience through its genre mash up whereas Memento(2000) is an auteur cinema because it includes directors personal creative touch which challenges conventional Hollywood movies with its convoluted plot.

Casablanca(1942) is a result of studio system.  Director himself is known to be conventional Hollywood director and all the actors as well were studio actors.  All most all the shots of the movie were shot in the studio. This might be the reason why director Curtiz himself did not get credited for the success of the movie. Casablanca(1942 ) was produced with business mentality, and this explains why director fused several genre together. As pointed out on the course blog, “It’s important to note that most Hollywood films borrow from multiple genres. This is because Hollywood films are made to appeal to as many people as possible, so adding musical numbers to an action/suspense film (as in Casablanca) entertains those who like action/suspense films and those who like musicals,”  Casablanca(1942) mixes several different genre to create a large audience base and potentially gross lots of profit. Though regular audience are only likely to recognize romance genre shown through the love story of Rick and llsa in the movie, Casablanca(1942) also portrays other genres like comedy, war propaganda, and documentary. At the beginning of  we see the news reel footage which is the example of documentary genre. This footage is also important in the fact that it was not shot by Curtiz himself. It shows the conventional style of film making, in regards that Hollywood is trying to minimize the budget and maximize the profit by doing so. Another genre that can be noticed in the film is comedy. Pick pocket in Casablanca steal from foreigners while confusing them by saying random things. As film takes place during the WW2, it also involves the War propaganda. Rick helping Victor Lazlo to get to the USA shows that the movie is trying to get people of US to fight against Fascism and go to war against axis powers. As film was released during the war, proper time chosen by production committee might have also played role in the wild success of the movie.  Though Casablanca(1942) follows all the conventional style of Hollywood film making it does differ from other Hollywood movie slightly. In regular romantic Hollywood movie conflict between lead characters get resolved and the movie ends but that does not happen in Casablanca(1942). In the movie Rick lets llsa go with the Victor Laszlo to United States even though he really loves her because he choose to sacrifice his personal desire in order to let the Victor fight against the Fascism.  This kind of little twist and change in typical genre is what filmmakers are doing to keep people coming to their movies. Otherwise, audience would stop coming to the genre movies if it had repetitive plot or resolution. Authors of film- a critical introduction also has similar view point , as they state ,“ Genres thrive when filmmakers find ways to modify the conventions. So, while audiences carry a set of expectations with them whenever they attend a genre film, for most audiences, one of these expectations is that the film will surprise them by upsetting some of their expectations. For most critics, the most pronounced criterion for evaluating a film is how much originality it injects into the formula without totally abandoning the conventions of the genre.”

Memento(2000) is a pure auteur movie. Director of the Memento(2000), Christopher Nolan is known for directing artistic film like Prestige(2006), and Inception(2010). Memento(2000) as well shows the artistic touch of Christopher Nolan. Regarding social context Memento(2000) totally goes against conventional commercial Hollywood films. Nolan challenges conventional Hollywood filmmaking by narrating the Memento(2000) in reverse order. Narration on the film is also fragmented and loosely connected which creates special effect for the audience. This kind of Episodic narration puts the audience in the shoes of protagonist who suffers from amnesia or short term memory loss.  Not only that, Memento(2000) has two different scenes, one is black and white and one is color. Black and white sequences are shown in chronological order while color scenes are shown in reverse order. This gives the movie artistic touch and makes the audience think unlike, typical Hollywood movies, which forces audiences to shut off their brain and get emerged in the movie.  The movie also has sub story of Sammy Jenkins, a person who also had medical condition similar to Leonard but unlike Leonard he wasn’t able to learn from conditioning.  This subplot in the story adds even more twist and makes the movie open ended.  Audiences don’t know right away weather Sammy Jenkins is Leonard imagination or a real person.  This shows that audiences shouldn’t trust the protagonist or get emerged in his character because he is unreliable; instead suggest that audience should take critical stance. Nolan is forcing the audience to be self-reflexive while watching the movie, which makes makes Memento(2000) different from a typical Hollywood movie. Though Memento(2000) can be categorized into various genre, it most closely resembles to the film noir. According to  film Journal  Film noir can be defined as a type of genre developed around 1940’s  that are categorized by the use of German expressionist cinematography, paranoia, ambiguity,  female fatale and corruption. In Memento(2000). In the opening scene of the movie, audiences are shown murder but in a reverse slow motion order which adds ambiguity to the movie, as audience are compelled to find out the reason for the murder. Also after the opening scene, audience are taken to a hotel where audiences are shown black and white scene of motel where protagonist is explaining his disorder. This scene along with all other black and white scenes uses shadows and contrast, which belong to German expressionist cinematography. In the movie Natalie and Teddy trick Leonard into killing a wrong person.  As Memento(2000)  portrays all the characteristics of film noir, it can be considered a classic example of film noir as it doesn’t challenge genre convention.

Casablanca(1942) and Memento(2000), vastly differ from each other in topics such as Social context, Genre, and Auteur. Casablanca (1942) is a classic Hollywood movie and differs from Memento(2000) in narrative style. Casablanca(1942) uses three-act structure narrative which is driven by cause and effect logic. All the scenes are continuous and lead to the closure. Three- Act structure are typically associated with Hollywood movies. In the movie characters are goal driven and there is certain conflict, for example: llse does whatever she can to convince Rick to provide her transit letter so that her true love, Victor could leave for America and escape from being captured by Germans. Movie comes to an end when llse and Victor leave for America.  This type of narrative used in Casablanca (1942) is much different from the Episodic narrative used in Memento(2000). In Memento(2000) narrative is fragmented and does not follow cause and effect sequence. This kind of does not provide any closure but leads to an open-ended film which can be subject to the audience interpretation. By narrating in reverse order audience feel the day in a life of patient with Retrograde Amnesia. It puts us audience on the shoes of protagonist and provides artistic viewpoints.  Casablanca(1942) and Memento(2000) also differ on genre and how typical genre is portrayed. Casablanca(1942) is mix of genre but it is strongly dominated by romance genre. Though other genres shown in the movie follow typical genre style, romance genre portrayed in the movie doesn’t follow romance genre convention. It is different from typical romance genre because in typical provides happy ending for the protagonist. This in not the case in Casablanca(1942), protagonist of the movie, Rick Blain sacrifices his love for llsa to keep the fight against the fascism alive. He lets llsa go with Victor Laszlo and they get isolated for the second time which surprises the audience and provides unhappy ending.  Memento(2000) on other hand does not take unconventional way while presenting the film noir genre. It fulfills all the characteristics of  film-noir such as German- expressionist cinematography with the use of shadows and contrast on black and white scenes, Ambiguity through the reverse narrative, corruption through character of Teddy, and femme fatale through the character of Natalie. Auteur is another topic where these two movies differ significantly from each other. Memento(2000) directed by Christopher Nolan is an auteur movie . Christopher Nolan is known for making artistic movie which makes audience think. From the Memento(2000), The Prestige(2006), Inception(2010) there is same consistency of creative style, convoluted narrative , and open- endings. For example in Memento(2000), director does not provide definitive answer to weather Sammy Jenkins was a real person or imaginary person out of Lenny’s head. It is subject to audiences interpretation. Same open ending can be seen in Inception (2010). Casablanca(1942) is not an auteur movie and is a product of Studio system where commercial success and quick production is prioritized over artistic value of the film. Casablanca(1942) does not show any specific artistic style of the director. It is made in a conventional way and there is nothing unique about it that could be related to the director. This might be the reason why Curtiz is not praised for the success of the movie even though he won academy award for the best director.

With the supporting evidence from the above paragraphs we can conclude that Casablanca(1942) is an example of successful Hollywood movie that targets large audience through its genre mash up whereas Memento(2000) is an auteur cinema because it includes directors personal creative touch which challenges conventional Hollywood movies with its convoluted plot. Casablanca(1942)  is a great example of genre mix where different genres such as romance, comedy, war, and drama are put together to produce a successful movie. Even though movie lacks authorship, and is produced in conventional way, it garnered huge critical success. On the other hand, Memento(2000) is great example of artistic film that challenges the conventional film making. With the use of reverse narrative, Nolan gives artistic touch to the movie and makes the audiences think. Memento(2000) too achieved huge critical and commercial success.


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Nthini, Nisha. “Memento (2000) Cinematography, Timeline, and the Neo Noir Genre0.” SG New Wave Memento 2000 Cinematography Timeline and the Neo Noir Genre Comments. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Dec. 2013. <http://sgnewwave.com/main/2011/07/memento2000-cinematography-timeline-and-the-neo-noir-genre/&gt;.

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Torben Schmidt, Torben . “Christopher Nolan’s Memento – Analysis of the narrative structure of a noirish revenge film.” Department of England- and America-Studies Frankfurt am Main 1 (2003): n. pag.Raindance Film Festival. Web. 13 Dec. 2013.                     <http://www.raindance.org/site/picture/upload/image/general/movies/memento_(Analysis).pdf>

Tunc, Tanfer. “Bright Lights Film Journal :: Casablanca.” BLFJ Blog. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Dec. 2013. <http://brightlightsfilm.com/55/casablanca.php#.Uq66tGRDtLF&gt;.


Inception: Writing Assignment.

When I first watched Inception (2010), I could not keep up with the narrative and I didn’t understand the ending too. But now I know for certain that at the end cobb is in reality and not in limbo because we hear the sound of it wobbling and falling. Also towards the end the old man we see is saito and cobb is rescuing him from the limbo. When I first watched, I didn’t notice this but now from a critical stance, it’s easier to sort out the confusing part. 

Chicago 10: Documentary Film

Chicago 10 (2007) is a documentary movie directed by Brett Morgan which is based on the protest of 1968 at the democratic national convention. Through the added animation of court reenactment and powerful music, and archival footage, Chicago10 (2007) delivers the powerful message of non violence and violent militancy. Yippes were mostly radical form of hippes that protested the Vietnam war of 1960’s through there non-violent protest during democratic national convention in the city of Chicago. In doing so they used non-violence technique to provoke violence from government side. This idea is clear in two instance. Non-violence march down to theater and trial of Chicago 8 (not considering the lawyers). When defendants were on trial they protested by wearing black arm bands, dressing up as a judge and a lawyer, and demanding for their rights. This antagonize the judge, and the whole courtroom turned into chaos. In this way non-violence is used to provoke violence and to portray the government and the judge as an evil of the society.

As the director Brett Morgan establishes a character that resembles the character of fictional films, Chicago 10 (2007) clearly falls under category of Narrative Documentaries. In the documentary, characters have certain goals and there is obstacle that they have to overcome to attain to reach their goals. In the movie group of 8 mens are non-violently protesting against the government’s infamous war in Vietnam. In doing so they also promote freedom of speech, counter culture, and use of cannabis. To become successful they have to overcome the police harassment and unfair judicial system. In the end, 8 mens do overcome the obstacle but after being wrongfully incarcerated for number of years.   By doing so director introduces cause and effect element in the documentary where characters need to overcome their obstacle to attain their goal.

Use of animation was very appropriate, given that there was no court room video of the trial. Use of animation just proves that Chicago10 (2007) is in fact a documentary movie and not a narrative film. Had Brett Morgan used real actors to re-enact the court room scenes, many would not consider Chicago 10(2007) as a documentary movie. Director might have done so to make it clear to the audience what footage he had to make the film and what he didn’t. If he had used actors to re-enact the scene it couldn’t fit with the real archival footage and it would also confuse viewers which footage is real and which is not. I think it is also artistic in a manner that it introduces new kind of genre. It mashes up documentary and animation, which not many directors have tried before.

Avant-garde Cinema- Experimental Films.

Super Star:The Karen Carpenter story directed by Todd Haynes portrays the theme of impossible feminine physical ideals. One of the ways Haynes tries to depict this theme is by using the barbie dolls as his characters. By using barbie dolls, Haynes shows the societal pressure that women receive to strive for certain physical image. Through out the movie, Karen receives the pressure from her family to maintain certain attributes to keep her music career successful. She has no control over her life, and when she finally decides to take control of her body, she does it in negative way. She starts using laxatives in order to achieve ideal image of the beautiful women but starves herself to the death in doing so. Haynes also uses barbie dolls to show that Karen life was plasticky and fake which looks good from outside but does not have any true value.

All three experimental films, An Andalusian Dog, Super Star:The Karen Carpenter story, and Meshes of the Afternoon represents an extraordinarily diverse array of filmmaking practices. Meshes of the Afternoon focuses on the surreal approach by blurring the lines between conscious and unconscious mind, An Andalusian Dog focuses on unconventional narrative and Super Star:The Karen Carpenter story makes use of innovative technique by using Barbie dolls. An Andalusian Dog and Meshes of the Afternoon can be categorized as a surrealist avant-grade films because both films have fractured narrative and plot which does not follow conventional Hollywood style narrative which can be followed using cause and effect logic. For example, In  Meshes of the Afternoon it is hard for the audience to realize when the movie is referring to the dream and when it is referring to reality, due to its fractured narrative and the plot. Whereas, Super Star:The Karen Carpenter story takes the compilation approach by inserting footage from Nazi-death camps and anti-Vietnam war protest.

Meshes of the Afternoon can be interpreted as the suicide of a women in process of finding her true identity. This experimental movie has many symbols embedded in it. For example, movie shows the multiple image of the women in the dining table, referring the different aspects or characters that women has to be. The death of the women is suicide, rather than murder because one of her personas must kill herself  to free her and find her true identity that is independent of the men. Though it can’t be confirmed as a suicide due to the fractured style of narrative, it can be certainly be proposed as the suicide with the help of symbolism which suggest the women’s quest for her true identity.


Zero Dark Thirty- Auteur Cinema.

Zero Dark Thirty(2012) is a journalistic war movie directed by Kathryn Bigelow. The movie mostly dwells around post 9/11 war to terminate Al-Queda and its top leader Osama Bin laden. In the course of narrative, Zero Dark Thirty(2012) showed some gruesome torture which are believed to be used by CIA operatives on the suspected terrorist. In the movie Water Boarding, Starvation, and Beating are only few forms of torture portrayed. One of the most degrading form of the torture was when Dan strips the guy naked and puts dog collar on him and puts him in the box. Because of these forms of torture portrayed in the movie, Zero Dark Thirty(2012) is considered controversial as many critics view it as supporting torture. According to the whole idea of the movie, I view it as a directors approach to make the movie as close to reality as possible. Kathryn Bigelow is trying to show what suspects had to go through during the war.

Auteur movie involves particular way  or style of the director which marks as a signature of the director in the movie . Zero Dark Thirty(2012) certainly does have Kathryn Bigelow personal touch in the movie. Kathryn Bigelow is associated with producing successful war movies. Before Zero Dark Thirty(2012), she produced Hurt Locker in 2008 which similarly involves terrorist attack of September 11, 2001 and post war conflict brought by the attack. Hurt Locker (2008) also involves war, violence,and a disturbed character as Zero Dark Thirty(2012). By doing so she has created a category for herself and people often relate her to war movies.   
Zero Dark Thirty (2012) is realistic and  objective about the torture that suspects had to go through at that time, but also shows that it leads to the wrongful information. Zero Dark Thirty( 2012) shows that by torturing you can get information but not necessarily the true information. In the movie, Dan water boards the prisoner to get the email, but fails to receive any information. After different forms of torture, detainee doesn’t break up. Even the information he gets by torturing were misleading and wrong. Only after tricking him, Maya and Dan were able to get any useful information. I think the movie address the moral issue more than the torture. It shows that how low torturer degrades himself to hear what he wants to hear from the detainee.  

Weekend in social context

Weekend(1967) is a dark comedy film written as well as directed by Jean Luc Goddard. In the movie he challenges conventional Hollywood movie by throwing in  violence, music, screen-text all at the same time in the movie which has no definite plot. This kind of experimental approach opened new door in artistic cinema and gave audience a chance to interpret the movie on their own terms. Weekend(1967) takes several stabs on themes such as class conflict, anti-imperial struggle, and violence. However, audience are more prone to seeing violence because it is easy to recognize and relate to. Weekend(1967) presents two different type of violence in the movie. One is more realistic while other one is fake. These two types of violence has very different purpose in the movie. The fake violence done mostly to the people is to alienate the audience from movie and prevent audience to emerge in the movie. It helps the audience to take critical stance and not to get soaked into the movie as in the Hollywood movie. In the other hand we see some real violence done to the animals and it is mainly to symbolize that we humans are more desensitized towards violence done to each other than to violence done to animals. This might be direct challenge to the Hollywood since they tend to show human life as cheap and unworthy through the use of repeated violence.

Weekend(1967) is a classic example of Art Cinema. In the movie, Goddard directly challenges conventional film making by going against it norms. In Weekend(1967) , Godard abandons the plot with definite beginning and end. In the movie everything is mishmash together , and the movie is open ended. Two main character of the movie, Corinne and Roland do not have definite goals. For example: both characters in the movie are cheating to one another and planning each others murder. They both want the Corinne’s father’s property but at the end after Roland dies and Corinne has a chance to escape from the revolutionaries, she stays with them and chooses the cannibal life. Godard also uses music in unconventional fashion. He does so, to prevent his audience to emerge in the film. Most Hollywood films wants their audience to get soaked in into the the movie but Godard wants his audience to realize they are watching movie and to take it from critical stance. For example: When Corinne is explaining her sexual intercourse with the unknown character, Godard interrupts her dialogues with loud obnoxious music which has no real purpose in the movie.

Self-reflexivity is very significant compared to alienation and intertextuality in the movie because Godard uses alienation very often to challenge conventional movie making. Hollywood wants it’s audience to soak into the movie and turn off our brains while watching their movie. Godard does not allow this to happen in his movie, he uses various scenes to yank audience out of their fantasy and take a critical stance. For example when Roland and Corinne meet two philosopher in the jungle, Roland says,”What a rotten film. All we meet are crazy people.” which clearly suggest that characters are in the movie and they are acting. Another scene where Goadard uses self-reflexivity is when Roland stops a car and the man inside a car asks Roland, “Are you in the film, or in Reality” and Roland answers,”In a film”. This pulls audience out of their fantasy and makes them realize they are watching a movie.  This allows audience to analyze thematic material presented in the movie rather than to get emerged with in the character or the plot.

Far from Heaven and Ideology

Far from Heaven(2002) is a drama movie directed and written by Todd Haynes. At the beginning of the movie Whitakers are shown as the perfect American family. Frank is a highly successful businessman with a beautiful wife and two kids.  But as the plot progresses, perfect life of the Whitakers starts to shatter as homosexuality and racism comes into the play. In the movie Hetero sexism and Racism are  very evident. In the movie Frank gets caught by his wife while having sex with another man. Despite accepting who he is, Frank decides to seek treatment in hope that he will get cured of his homosexuality. He does so to save his business from collapsing and to save his reputation which could be hindered by his true sexual identity. This shows that heterosexuality is the only way to go and one cannot prosper or make progress if he or she is homosexual in unenlightened 1950’s society. Movie also takes account of racial issues during 1950’s. As Frank is homosexual and has no to divide time for his wife, Cathy seeks friend to keep her company. As Cathy becomes friend with her African american gardener, she senses the intolerant attitude towards her from her neighbors and even her best friend. This shows that even the place like Connecticut is no different from deep south were there were actual laws that segregated white’s and blacks.

Far from Heaven(2002) recognizes two sexual orientation in the movie. One being heterosexual (straight) and homosexual (gay or lesbian). In the movie heterosexual are depicted as normal and they are not hindered in  their business by the society whereas homosexual are stigmatized in the movie. In Far from Heaven (2002) gays are not represented in the obvious ways as were in the 20th century movie. In the movie Frank is totally normal and heterosexual to the outside world. He functions normally in the society, in fact he happens to be wildly successful businessman. He also has a wife and two kids which does not hint audience that he is a homosexual at the beginning. In this way Far from Heaven (2002) is trying to portray that gay men are as normal as heterosexual men and are able to perform equally as them.  This shows that how depictions of homosexuality in the movie have changed from 20th century to 21st century.

In the movie Todd Haynes gives more precedence to race than class or sexual orientation because of the setting in which the story takes place. The movie takes place in 1950’s which is know for civil rights movements to end the racial segregation and discrimination against African Americans. scene in the movie where Cathy tells her best friend Eleanor that her husband is gay and she has hung out with Raymond though not in the way Mona intended.  Eleanor reacts to this two topics, homosexuality and racism in very different way. In response to Frank homosexuality, she is surprised and suggests Cathy that divorce is the best way to go but when Cathy admits that she has hung out with Raymond she show sudden disgust towards her. She also tells Cathy that her crusade against Mona’s lies made herself look as a fool. This shows that Eleanor slightly approves of homosexuality whereas not at all of racial integration. Haynes gave precedence to race to depict the realism of 1950’s.  In 1950’s African-American community were not welcomed and intermingling of races were not approved by both blacks and whites.

Casablanca and Genre.

Casablanca(1942) directed by Michael Curtis is a movie about WW2 and it’s social impact on the society. One of the most prevalent theme in the movie is Isolationism Vs Intervention. When we look at the bigger picture, Rick in the movie is representing the position of United States in the World War 2, weather to intervene in the war or to stay independent. Though at the first Rick stays independent, Rick gets involved and helps lazlo escape from Casablanca to the United States. This is similar to what United States did in the World War 2. First United States remained independent but later joined allies to defeat Nazis.  This shows that in love and war their will always be involvement and one cannot remain independent and escape from one’s surrounding.

Casablanca(1942) is unique in the fact that it mixes different style and thematic characteristics. Casablanca(1942) includes war, drama, romance, and a dab of comedy to present something for different type of audience. Despite  low expectation from  Warner Bros, Casablanca(1942) received wild success. Some of the credit of its wild success goes to great genre mix. Though most audience think of Casablanca(1942) as a romantic genre, it also involves war propaganda ( Victor Lazlo fighting against fascism despite suffering in concentration camp), drama involving the murder of German major and the escape of Victor Lazlo from the Casablanca to United States, and a little bit of comedy ( Pick pocket stealing from people while confusing people with his words). All this mix of different genre makes Casablanca(1942) a great movie as a whole.

Genre is most important to viewers because it allows audience to carry a set of expectations whenever they go to the movie theater. Because of genre audience get engaged in the movie and get pleasure form the movie they watch. For example: If a person has bought a ticket for horror movie, he or she will be expecting to see some gory and violence. They don’t expect to get bored by movie about romantic life of husband and wife. Genre helps audience to choose the movie in order to get engaged through out the movie. Genre also has some value to film makers because it will help them know when to produce a movie and what kind of audience they will attract through a movie. For example: Most horror movie are produced during October because film producers know that horror will attract larger amount of audience because of Halloween.

Apocalypse Now and The Sound Design

Apocalypse now is 1979 war film directed by Francis Ford Coppola which gives explicit detail about Vietnam War and Barbarism it brought with it. Underlying theme in the movie was Barbarism Vs Civilization.  Though movie is not an anti- war movie, it does show the horror brought in by western civilization to Vietnam in name of freedom and democracy.  During the battle scene in Vin Drin dop, one Vietnamese girl blows a helicopter by throwing a coolie hat inside open helicopter door  which had grenade in it, killing most soldier inside the helicopter.  Kilgore calls them savages which is ironic because they are the ones who are mowing down innocent villagers in name of civilized society, democracy, and freedom. American soldiers themselves turn in barbarism in order to force democracy on others. This is clearly depicted during the shot of village before the helicopters arrive. Everything in the village was clam, tranquil, and peaceful. As soon as the the helicopters arrive everything was turned into dust by powerful artillery, and US soldiers were calling Vietnamese savages while forgetting to realize their own action.

Sound design plays critical role in the movie, and it also helps audience to make sense of the ending and the overall plot. During the opening scene ‘The End’ by the doors is played with the bombing of the forest. The lyrics of the song “This is the end, Beautiful friend” is perfectly synchronized with the bombing of the forest. This might suggest that the bombing shown on the beginning of the movie might be the bombing of the forest where Kurtz and his tribe live. Willard was ordered to call an airstrike once he had found the location of Kurtz and also after Willard kills Kurtz, he sees the word ” Drop the Bomb. Exterminate them all ” on one of the pages of Kurtz book. The bombing we see at the beginning with the song ‘The End’ by doors might be the actual end of the movie.  In this way soundtrack used in the song gives away the crucial information on the plot and shows the cyclic nature of the war.

The use of the popular songs such as ‘the end’, ‘ I can’t get no satisfaction’ ,  and ‘Surfing USA’ helps to reveal the vibe of the scene and to connect multiple scenes together. Song ‘the end’ is used to connect the ending and the beginning scene of the movie. With traditional film score it would be nearly impossible to bridge the relation between these two scene.  Coppola knew what he was doing by choosing the popular songs like ‘the end’ by doors. The music on ‘the end’ is very gloomy and sorrowful. Song starts with calming guitar intro and is supported by ominous lyrics which describes the parts of the  movie Apocalypse Now. For example, “In a desperate land Lost in a Roman wilderness of pain And all the children are insane All the children are insane” is describing the sorrow of the war and the insanity shown by both US soldiers and general Kurtz in the movie. Coppola carefully choose the songs on the movie, so that audience could feel the vibe of the movie. Use of traditional composer wouldn’t have been as good as the use of popular songs in the movie.

Psycho and Editing.

Psycho(1960) directed by Alfred Hitchcock is genuine movie in the fact that it utilizes the elements of the editing in a perfect way to pace the story of the movie. Even though Psycho is a paradigm of good editing, Hitchcock sways audience attention by using MacGuffin in extraordinary fashion. MacGuffin is simply a plot device that has no specific meaning to the overall plot. Alfred Hitchcock was one of the person who popularized this technique and the term MacGuffin itself. In Psycho Marion Crane and the money she stole serves as the MacGuffin. During the first half of the movie Marion Crane is shown as if the whole movie will revolve around her and the $40000 cash she stole but as we proceed through the second half of the movie attention shifts from Marion Crane to Norman Bates. Marion Crane is killed early in the movie and the money she stole is buried in the swamp with her. After Marion’s murder attention  solely shifts to Norman Bates and Marion and her money plays no significant role on the overall plot. By using Marion as the MacGuffin, Hitchcock is challenging cinematic conventions. In psycho protagonist Marion is killed early in the movie which is very unusual. In typical movie protagonist either lives till the end or dies at the end, resolving the plot but in Psycho protagonist doesn’t play important role since the protagonist doesn’t help to reveal about Normans psychotic condition.

Editing is used to raise the intensity and focus viewer’s attention and Psycho does excellent job on it. Since, its release Psycho is highly acclaimed for its editing. Frequent Cuts and timing of the shots plays crucial role in The Psycho. Outstanding scene that portrayed Hitchcock’s skillful editing style is murder scene of detective Arbogast. As the detective starts to go up the stairs Hitchcock uses overview shot to show Arboghast climbing up the stairs and Mother running out to stab him and as the attack begins he uses close up shot of Arbogast’s face which produces an emotional response in audience. Alfred Hitchcock knew that this quick changes in camera position could have dramatic effect on the story and on the audience as well. Another equally emotion evoking scene in the Psycho is the classic shower scene. In this scene Hitchcock makes wonderful use of tempo.  Shower scene is composed of roughly some 45 shots each shot merely lasting a second, which does not allow audiences to fully comprehend the visual information and creates sense of fear among audience.

One of the most famous scene is the psycho is the shower scene where Marion is murdered by mother while taking the shower. When it first came out it was fresh and had specific meaning but now its overdone and there is no more purpose than the give cheap thrill to young male audience.  The original symbolism of the shower scene was to portray the fetal state of the human being where person is naked, defenseless and separated by thin film from outside world. It symbolizes the vulnerability which villain has an easy kill. Nowadays shower scene is different and degraded. In modern horror movies shower scene directors have used the shower scene to just set up for the kill and to make the scene sexual so it would be appealing to younger audience. Through it’s repeated use, Shower scene has lost it’s original meaning.