Monday, October 15, 2007

"Oh no, it wasn't the airplanes. It was beauty killed the beast."

Well, it looks as if this is my last journal for this class. *tear* For my last journal I thought I would watch something on the list that I used to love in my childhood. I chose to watch the 1933 version of King Kong.
King Kong had multiple creators. The story was created by Merian C. Cooper and Edgar Wallace (even though Mr. Wallace died before he was able to write any of it). The screenplay was written by Ashmore Creelman and Ruth Rose. One thing about the dialogue was that it was a little sexist. The movie seemed to view women as fragile creatures. I suppose that is because that is how women were viewed at the time, but it is still nonetheless sexist. Some lines were very cheesy as well. An example is when one of the main protagonists Jack Driscoll says to Ann "Hey... I guess I love you. " I mean who says that stuff? Silly people from the 1930's apparently.
The film did not just pop up out of thin air. The ideas of the writer's had to be inspired by something. For this particular crew their inspiration came from the "Lost World" literary genre. The lost world genre is a science fiction narrative that involves the discovery of a new world that is out of time or place. There were two particular books that were the key inspirations of King Kong. The books were The Lost World by Arthur Conan Doyle, and The Land That Time Forgot by Edgar Rice Burroughs. The Lost World is about a group of people journeying to a plateau in South America where dinosaurs and other creatures still live. Most of that story however focuses on a tribe of ape-like people. The Land That Time Forgot also involves people discovering a place that harbors dinosaurs and other now extinct creatures. It is obvious in the film King Kong has been influenced by these novels. Since the main creature of the story is a gigantic ape it is assumed that there was some influence from the ape-like people. A contributor from both books are the use of dinosaurs. On Skull Island other than Kong there are many dinosaurs. It seems that whenever the characters are on the island there is a dinosaur or other extinct creature around. I would say that King Kong would be a part of the lost world genre, because it fits the description of the genre to a T.
When the film first came out it was very highly revered. According to Wikipedia it was an immediate hit and made over four million dollars in the box office. At the time it was most noted for Willis O'Brien's groundbreaking stop-motion animation work. The monsters that were created for the movie were clay-mation. Personally I was not all that impressed with the animation. It was so fake, that it was just plain laughable. I will say though that the reason is because it was the 1930's, and lets face it the stop-motion animation seen in the film was very state of the art, high tech stuff in that time period. Another thing I didn't like is how the film didn't get very deep into the personal aspects of the emotions, and there was little character growth. The main emotion was the monkey loves the girl, and everyone else is afraid. In the beginning Ann was scared to death of the monkey, and even though Kong saved her life on countless occasions her opinion of him never changed. I liked the fact that in the contemporary version of this movie Ann was at first afraid of Kong, but gradually realized that he had feelings too, and even in the end really cared about him. I also liked how in the contemporary version they went way more in depth on the characters, and you were able to better connect with them. One thing I will note that was the same in both movies is the music. They used pretty some of the same music in both. I also liked how the ending was the same in both films. In both of the movies after Kong fell from the Empire State Building and the press was crowded around the body, a police officer says "Well, Denham, the airplanes got him." and Denham says "Oh no, it wasn't the airplanes. It was beauty killed the beast." That is one of my favorite lines from that movie. King Kong was a very interesting movie to say the least. The old version is alright, but I still would say that the more recent version is one of my favorite movies.
If you would like a link to where I got most of my information click here.


Leah said...
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Leah said...

NICE JOB JULIE!!!! HIGH FIVE!!!! I really liked it how not only did you do your topic but you included why the directors were inspired to make this film. The only other thing is that it is like '734' words (or somewhere around there) and from what my opinion is that it could have been little shorter.....