A. Place the film:
i. Director’s Work:
The Hurk Locker was directed by Katherine Bigelow and in 2010 she won two of the biggest awards; she became the first woman in Oscar history to win the Best Director award and first woman to win the Director's Guild of America Award.
ii. Time when Made (historical, socio-cultural):
The movie is set during the war between Iraq and the United States. The Unites States invaded Iraq in 2003 because of possible weapons leading to mass destruction.
iii. Relation to other films:
This movie connects to many other soldiers who go through hardships of war. The decisions made in war are a lot more dangerous then choices within a typical family home.
iv. Thematic Threads:
The theme throughout this movie is there are few things that you find enjoyable, but when you do find that one thing, the passion becomes an obsession and the person cannot bear to live without it.War is a drug.
Setting, Acting, Costume
A. Visual Style:
The style is dangerous due to the explosives and guns used throughout the movie. It is very eye catching and vivid because the shots are so clear and there is a variety of shots that give us the feel as if we are there.
The main actors were James, Sanborn, and Eldridge; they came off to be strong, independent, and self-concerned men. Throughout the movie we slowly come to realize that they are more then just arrogant men they have emotional baggage and personal issues within there life's outside the war, as well as within it. Eldridge is scared, he is scared to go out and fight because he doesn't want to die. He feels the emotional connection to Thompson's death. James isn't scared he love the excitement of war the feeling you get while defusing a bomb he loves the rush. The one thing he loves in life is war, his family is not as important. Like he said to his son in the movie "As you get older... some of the things you love might not seem so special anymore...by the time you get to my age, maybe it's only one or two things. With me, I think it's one.
C. Production Design:
The props like bombs, guns, and equipment used for the movie set a sense of realism. Without the props the movie would not make sense. Hurt Locker is about war, the main and most important props are ones that connect to war. The location is Jordan, which is right by the Iraqi border.
Cinematography and Lighting:
A. Style- realistic/formalistic:
The style of the film is realistic because it is portraying an important subject that is happening right now within our world. Men and women are fighting for our country as I write this now; and this film is trying to show us the real life issues. Events show the everyday struggles of each individual and Kathrine thought this subject needed to be shown and praised.
B. Angles, Framing, Lens Choice:
The shots throughout this movie were outstanding. There was a variety of shots like, close ups, long shots, extreme long shot, extreme closeup, over the shoulder, and etc.This just shows that there was a lot of shots used to capture the feeling of each individual. The shot I remember most was the first bomb explosion. The camera work and angles were amazing. The cinematographer got the rust on the cars, the rocks on the ground, Thompson's body flying, and the bomb itself. That was one of the best shots throughout the movie because it really made the audience feel the emotion of the characters; the scared feeling of the loss of their friend.
C. Camera and actor blocking:
This is something the cinematographer did to make the view of the movie seem realistic as if I, the audience, was there within the movie.
D. Dominant Imagery/Icons/Color: The colors in the movie stay consistent and plain. The main colors are white, black, khaki, and brown to give the desert feel to the audience. The dominant imagery in the film was the bombs and how they represent the fighting within the world. The icons are the soldiers, they are the heroes that deserve a great amount of gratitude and praise.
E. Camera Distance/ Proxemics, Territorial Design, Open vs. Closed forms:
The camera is close to the action to capture the suspense. The camera is distant from the actions when the bombs, guns and other weapons are going off because it wants to be able to capture and see every detail of that shot. The film is made up of open forms.
F. Light Design-Key and Contrast:
The lighting used is the sunlight. Most of the scenes were natural lighting so there was no need for extra light. Some scenes were perfect because the light of fires or signs helped to light the shot up but also give it a realistic and dramatic feel.
The style throughout the movie changing according to the scene. In some scenes the music is fast pace so the shots are quick to change and go from extreme close up to extreme long shot. In other scenes the music is a little less dramatic and just takes us through as if it all flows together.
B. Manipulations of time and speed:
The main shot that was obviously slowed down was the first shot when the first explosion happened. The whole shot was slowed down to see all the little details within the shot. The shots shows the rocks slowly rising from the ground, and shows the car being hit by the pressure, every detail is shown throughout these few shots.
C. Length of cuts and pacing:
The lengths of shots and cuts are all determined by the emotion of the scene. Though the pacing is usually slow in some scenes the cuts are fast pace due to the dramatic feel.
D. Narrative techniques such as flashbacks/forwards, parallel action:
Most of the shots weren't flashbacks or flash forewords until the end in the last five minutes of the film where James is talking to his son and he says "As you get older... some of the things you love might not seem so special anymore...by the time you get to my age, maybe it's only one or two things. With me, I think it's one." He doesn't feel that he belongs with his family he likes the rush of the war, that is where he truly belongs.
E. Montage or Visual Metaphor:
When James is in the United States with his family they are at a supper market looking for food. When James is left in font of the isle of cereal with the decision of choosing one, he is left with a tough decision. This is a metaphor because it shows how he can't make a small choices in life but he can make big decisions in war.
Though there wasn't much music the little there was it is fast paced everything seems to be fast paced because war is usually fast.There wasn't anymore score and you could hear a lot of details throughout the movie like the breathing or heart beat of each character. It made the movie more realistic and a comforting movie that made us look and pay attention instead of listening.
B. Repeated Motifs:
The gun noise is repeated to give the sense that the soldiers are tough and leaders due to their guns.
C. Foley or FX:
The guns and explosions are most likely recreated because it is unlikely that those noises would be happening on set.
An example of synchronous includes the sand and rocks rising from the ground during the explosions. The audience hears the crackling of the rocks and dirt, which emphasizes the devastation the bomb created.
Script:A. Narrative Structure/ Style:
There is no narrative just dialogue. I feel this is perfect for the film because instead of feeling like it is a movie I feel as if the audience is part of the war too.
B. Character Driven vs Plot Driven:
I believe the film is character driven because their emotions and actions is what gets the through each day. Though the directors and writer tells them what to feel and what to be determined to do, I feel the director wants us to think it is character driven because it gives the characters a sense of realism.
C. Nature of Dialogue:
The dialogue is open and informal because they use inappropriate words but I feel that adds to their character so it is appropriate for some scenes in the movie.
D. Use of humor, subtext or irony:
The humor helps the men deal with the emotions they are feeling they hide like many others in the world and cover their emotions with other emotions like humor. I feel the title "Hurt Locker" has a deep meaning it relates to the box of stuff each man has when they die. It also relates to the pain and suffering the hide, they each have something that hurts them and they each have there own "hurt lockers" with unexpressed feelings inside.
E. Thematic message/Archetypes/ Myth:
Young men don't realize the hardships of war until they experience it themselves. It is a life changing experience. Though men go into war feeling they are going to make a change, they are the small person within the big change. They don't understand the horrible memories they will never forget.
A. Features determining Genre:
The Hurt Locker is a war/action film.
B. How film meets genre:
It shows the intense actions of when the people are killed, bombs set off, and battles that are fought everyday of these man's lives.
Closing Remarks: This movie helps people in society realize the hardships that the soldiers go through and what they sacrifice for our country. War is a big issue among our society, and within this war there are real people, real stories waiting to be heard. Hurt Locker captures and helps people understand what is really happening with this war, it helps us understand the people, and the scars left on soldiers inside and out. Kathrine Bigelow is an amazing director that helped open peoples eyes to a subject that is not just a movie but real life. A subject that deals with different people within society. It's overall message: "war is a drug."