Essay Title: 

Movie report / HIGH NOON

March 22, 2016 | Author: | Posted in art, movies

Soon after its inception the genre of film became perhaps the most dynamically developing form of modern popular art . I suppose that one of the reasons for this may be that cinematography is uniquely capable of capturing on film of not merely some actions , but of actually reflecting and preserving moral and philosophical messages existing during the time of films` production . From this point of view , film is a kind of time machine , and so has not only aesthetic but cultural significance . To illustrate how this function of film works , we may recollect [banner_entry_middle]

the cinematographic genres which created rich cultural niches with numerous dedicated followers . One of the best examples of such a cultural niche in cinematography is the genre of western , the term which relates to the classic American literary and film tradition based on the usually romanticized depiction of the history of the American West . However , by studying the development of cinematographic genres we can also trace the changes of world views and cultural cliches in societies . Let us take a closer look at how cinematography can accomplish this function by the example of the movie High Noon (1952 ) directed by Fred Zinnemann and considered to be perhaps the best western picture ever filmed

First of all , we should mention that the typical classic western is a romanticized story that emphasizes life stories of wanderers of the spectacular American West and intertwines them with straightforward moral tales based on the perception of society organization as stemming from principles of honor instead of the dictatorship of law , so that people have a social hierarchy limited only to their family , close peers , or sometimes even only themselves alone . From the point of view of approaches to visual organization , westerns usually depict harsh wilderness and desert landscapes . But in the mid-twentieth century there emerged a new vision of what western movies of that time were to be like as the result of changes in the general sentiment of the common audience which had become critical of the simplified and all too often too stereotypical opposition between a hero and a villain , and the dominant in westerns morality of employing violence as a proper test of one ‘s character and manhood . In this situation , film makers apparently felt that to keep western movies interesting and relevant for the audience adaptations were to be made to them so that a potential of this cinematographic genre to serve as a medium for a wider criticism of values of American society , and other societies of the Western world for that matter , could be fully realized

Now , speaking about the film High Noon ‘ we can see that its plot and themes directly pertain to the social and political situation of the time when the film was produced . The plot of the film , which in contrast to classical westerns avoids depictions of landscapes and which can be viewed as a kind of a parable or morality tale , revolves around the difficult circumstances that the protagonist of the film , Sheriff Will Kane , faces as he attempts to start a new life by marrying a beautiful young girl on his retirement day . However , an old enemy of Kane named Frank Miller , who is eager to take his revenge on the Sheriff , is released from prison and is waiting for Kane along with his former criminal posse on the noon train . What ensues is the storyline that contains symbolic allusions to the situation in the United States during the film`s production . For example , indecision and cowardice of the townspeople to help Kane , who in his turn had always defended them before , resemble fear before the investigative bodies of the McCarthy period when political persecution was rampant . Kane`s confrontation with criminals in which the sheriff finally vanquishes his enemy may be construed as the salvation of democratic values from the mentioned manifestations of oppression within the American society , and perhaps may as well serve as a symbolic victory over the threat stemming from the Korean War . Finally , by the close of the film Kane throws into the dirt his tin star in this way increasing the film`s mentioned moral tale impression

As we can see , the movie High Noon ‘ carries in it along with its storyline some thematic and symbolic messages that I believe can be understood only if we perceive the genre of film as the artistic tool to preserve in time social and cultural circumstances and experiences of individual people and even the whole nations


Zinnemann , F (1952 . High Noon . Artisan Entertainment



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