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Heavenly Creatures

Categories: FilmMovie

Great films often hinge on the successful presentation of one or two key scenes, to what degree do you agree with this statement Many great films do hinge on the successful presentation of one or two key scenes, these scenes are normally well crafted establishment scenes that straight away emerse the audience deep into the film and its culture or in most cases the scenes are climatic endings that bring together the central themes in a spectacular way.

It is normally these central themes that a great film is marbled with and is most likely than not what makes a film hinge on being a great film.

A great film is one sends a powerful message, influencing us to think and make great judgments through these central themes. However for these keys scenes to have any effect they must be presented successfully using well thought out visual and/or verbal film techniques that engage the audience. Therefore I agree with this statement to the full extent, as it is clear that the presentation of the key scenes in a film will either make or break a film giving it the title of being a “great” film.

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Will this is exactly why we write a thesis – here you have left the reader in no doubt as to your opinion on the question – good work. A Film that has become a great film through the successful presentation of two key scenes is Peter Jacksons Film Heavenly Creatures. It was a great film because the two key scenes that the movie hinged on, the beginning and end of the film, were successfully presented in such a way that the key ideas were brought together so the audience could freely engage with the movie and be influenced by its powerful messages.

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Heavenly creatures is about two young girls that attend Christchurch Girls High in 1950’s New Zealand. Jackson has presented to us the true story of how these girls committed Matricide. Matricide is the act of murdering your own mother.

This story is compelling as it explores how the girls got to the point where they were able to go through with what was so alien to the rest of the population of Christchurch at the time. The first scene is key as it shows the girls running through Victoria park covered in blood screaming, this scene intercuts between the girls running onto a boat laughing and smiling. However the final scene of the movie shows the girls murdering their mum whilst also intercutting between the boat scene, whoever the difference is one of the girls, Pauline, is being left behind. These two scenes are key because whilst being similar, they had some relevant key differences that convey the key ideas well. Why Jackson was compelled to present this story as a film was because of the powerful message presented.

This powerful message was the consequences of when a friendship becomes an obsession. This is what is conveyed and is what I think drove these girls to commit the act of matricide. Therefore it is the successful presentation of the beginning and the final scene of the movie via the use of well crafted visual techniques that conveyed this key idea making this film a great film. See the benefit of using the key words from the question – clarity.

Firstly, Jackson’s presentation of the key idea of the consequences of when a friendship becomes an obsession is the intercutting of the scenes between the girls at Victoria park in both the beginning and end off the movie. Jackson used the visual technique of manipulated the images of the girls initially running onto the boat to a sepia tone to distinguish between the two scenes but to also distinguish that one is reality and one is fantasy.. This helped me to understand that the girls running onto the ship was a sort of metaphorical fantasy to the dream of how badly they wanted to be together to be happy. The fact that the girls were shown to be laughing told also reinforces this thought.

The relevant point of difference between the two sepia scenes at the beginning and at the end is that in the end scene it is only Juliet running on to the boat and Pauline is getting pushed away by the crowd, not being able to get on the boat. As this scene is being intercut with the girls murdering Paul’s mother, it suggested to me that Pauline had finally come to the conclusion that no matter what the girls could not be together. Paul’s screams in the sepia images blend in with the screams from the murder in a dramatic and chilling way. I gained a sense for the tremendous emotional pain Pauline was feeling which contrasts from the laughing from the initial sepia scene.

This helped me to understand how much of an obsession the girls friendship became and how it seems credible that this could consequently lead these girls to the murder. Therefore this is just one example of how these two key scenes have been successfully presented to powerfully convey the main idea of the film which is the consequences of a friendship becoming an obsession justifying that Heavenly Creatures is a great film. Good, good, good. Another way Jackson presents the key idea of the consequences of when a friendship becomes an obsession is by the use of camera visual techniques.

The first camera technique that he uses that helped me understand this idea was the use of close-ups especially in the final scene. Jackson uses close-ups of the Honora’s terror filled face and both girls wicked blood thirsty faces as they took turns bludgeoning Honora to death. To me this hit home hard, Jackson’s use of close-ups to the audience made the viewing of the murder all the more real as the raw emotion of all the characters is forced upon us. I felt as though I was fully emerged and apart of the murder as much as the girls themselves which upon reflection there expressions helped me to understand the radicalism of the consequences of the girls out of control obsessive relationship.

Including your own reaction is a convincing tactic. Furthermore, another visual technique used by Jackson to further convey the key idea of the film was the use of low angle shots in the final scene of the movie. Jackson used these to explain the shift in power of the relationship from Juliet to Pauline.

This is shown where there are low angle shots of Pauline giving her a dominating stature in contrast to Juliet. This is a clever contrast to the start of the movie where Pauline is a shy low self esteemed girl, however to my understanding, it seems that as the movie has progressed Pauline and Juliet’s roles have reversed. This helped me to understand that the developed obsession between the girls friendship consequently changed Pauline for the worst and therefore had much greater consequences.

Therefore, I believe Jackson’s use of camera visual techniques have helped to successfully present the two key scenes in the film as they have given me greater insight into the key idea of the film of the consequences of when a friendship becomes an obsession. As this theme has been portrayed effectively and compellingly this reiterates that this is a great film. In conclusion, Jackson has been successful in the presenting the key idea of the consequences of when a friendship becomes and obsession through the successful presentation of the two key scenes which are the beginning and end scenes in Victoria park. He has done this through the use of well thought out visual techniques and contrasting differences between the two scenes.

Firstly showing how the friendship has become an obsession through the use of the intercutting between the sepia scenes. Secondly showin through the use of low angle shots how the obsessive relationship has changed paul and finally shown through the use of close-ups the terrible consequences of the girls obsession. The Consequences of when a friendship becomes an obsession has peen portrayed clearly and compellingly to the audience throughout this film.

This was Peter Jacksons aim. He has specifically chosen this story due to its peculiar circumstances and presented his interpretation and exploration as to how two girls could go through with such an insane act, therefore he has developed this key idea and conveyed it successfully therefore making Heavenly Creatures a “great” film. Therefore this confirms that great films often hinge on the successful presentation of one or two key scenes as seen in Heavenly Creatures. William Dunlop

William – a convincing response – using the tips given in class this week is a major contributor to this, such a small thing but highly effective. To move to Excellence, we need to hear about how what Jackson shows you also makes you think about, for example how can you relate to these key themes or who else or what else do they remind you of? (Universal perspective). Merit.

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Heavenly Creatures. (2016, Apr 09). Retrieved from

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