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Black Rock Essay

Steven vidler, director of Blackrock use a number of cinematic techniques to the theme of risk. Teenagers are notorious for risk tasking behaviour which can have devastating consequence for the future. Blackrock is a 1997 film tells the story of Jared, a teenage boy who witness a rape and murder at a teen party, and must risk his social status (and safety) by coming forward. Vidler explores the theme of risk using film techhiguc such as montage, costuming, dialog, Montage:

A montage in the film’s opening credits shows teenagers surfing and having fun on the beach. Shots of teens surfing successfully are mixed in with scenes of people falling off their boards and ‘wiping out’. Part of the appeal of surfing may be the risk involved; the teenagers are rejecting the safe, over-protective world established for them by their parents.

Costuming: Jade arrives to meet her friends dressed in baggy, conservative clothes, but takes them off to reveal her party, clothes underneath. Jade is defying her mother’s orders, instead choosing to go to the party and have fun with her friends. By ignoring the wishes of her mothers, jade is taking great risk-teenagers often takes risks to be accepted by their peers, at the risk of upsetting their loved ones.

Dialogue: Rachael’s father tells her “you’re not allowed to go (to the party”). Rachel’s father insists that she stay at work, and so she respects his decision (reluctantly). Risks often involve teens ignoring their responsibilities; by doing what she is obliged to do, Rachael avoids risk.

Tracking shot: A series of tracking shots show Ricko ‘surfing’ on the bonnet of a fast car, as a crowed watch on. Ricko is loved by his friends for his willingness to take wild risks like this; being ‘wild’ makes him popular. The greatest the risk a teenagers is willing to take the greater the respect that they often get in return.

Contrast: While the teenagers are seen drinking and partying, the adults including Jared’s mother; are shown at a local pub. The risks taken by Jared and his friends, including violent and sexual behaviour, are contrasted with the financial risk taken by the adults as they gamble their money. While adults discourage teens from risk-taking they too are guilty of taking similarly large risks, only in different ways.

Silence/slow-motion: As Jared watches Tracey being raped, the scene plays in slow motion and the sound fades into the background. This helps the viewer feel Jared’s shock and confusing, as he feels helpless and unsure of what to do. This is the first scene in the film to show that risk-taking behaviour can have severe consequences

Characterization: Jared’s father, Len, abandoned his family and is confronted by Jared’s mother at the gym where he works. Len is an older example of the same kinds of reckless and irresponsible behaviour that can be seen in the film’s teenaged characters. Parent’ attitudes to risk-taking and responsibility can be passed down to subsequent generations.

Alliteration: Jared sees “dobbers die” spray-patting in large capital letters at his school. Obviously, the boys who murder Tracey are threatening anyone who knows about it to stay quiet and not informal the police. Jared now must take another, less enjoyable risk this time to his personal safety if he decides to come forward.

Montage: A later montage shows Jared surfing alone; the scene is slower, quieter and darker than the previous surfing scenes. This reflects Jared’s changing emotional stat, as the rape and murder has changed his feeling about his friends and himself. The negative outcomes of risk-taking are not limited to physical danger, but can also include guilt, stress and regret

Repetition: Talking to his girlfriend, Jared repeats, “I didn’t do anything”. Jared feels guilty about the fact that he did not step in to save Tracey as she was being attacked. The negative outcomes of risk-taking are not limited to physical danger, but can also include guilt, stress and regret.

Flashbacks: Jared has a series of flashbacks to the night of the murder throughout the movie. This shows that Jared continues to feel guilty and conflicted about his role in Tracey’s death. Negative consequences of risks are a main deterrent from fisk taking behaviour.


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