Tuesday, April 5, 2011

'Legend of the Guardians' - ... On Building a World

by Tristan Mahlow

Hi there,

another movie night, another movie I have to write about. Yesterday we watched 'Legends of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole'. I found it to be rather 'meh' - which is a problem of the story being rather bland and typical. 
But the topic of this blogpost is the building of worlds. Every movie creates a parallel universe with its own set of rules. The story is grounded in this reality and has to adhere to them. In my opinion, the viewer has to know theses rules before any emotional resonance can be achieved. 

One example from the movie: After being kidnapped the protagonist is forced to be a 'Picker' - there is a lot of screaming and the music swells dramaticly and we, the viewers, found ourselves to be wondering what's going on - something bad probably. Of course all characters in the movie might know what exactly a 'Picker' is, but the audience is left hanging and so instead of fearing for the protagonist, we get lost until the next scenes resolve the question why becoming a 'Picker' is so bad. There are a few other examples of this throughout the movie.

The described example is the opposite of 'Dramatic Irony", which creates tension, because the viewer knows more than the character(s) and anticipates the future outcome.

Note to myself: The viewer has to know the rules of the universe the movie is set in - only then he can fear and hope for the characters.

[Apparently, with this and 'Sucker Puncher' Zack Snyder's 'Style over Substance' - Approach comes tumbling down on him. I fear the worst for his Superman reboot.]

Have a nice day,

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