Last Updated 06 Jul 2020

Meet Joe Black Summary

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Essay type Summary
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Imagine if the harsh harvester appeared personally to help dying people settle the little details of life that need to be handled before dying. In Meet Joe Black, a single man, who can take any bodily form, represents death. Rather than take life away for sport, he delights in the experiences that can be shared by those short on time but long on experience. Played by Brad Pitt, Joe Black. He enters into the lives of one family in a way that will change them forever. Anthony Hopkins plays a wealthy dying man of whom Joe Black wishes to understand and learn from.

Black takes the body of a man who moments earlier had met, the daughter of blacks next victim. Black grows closer to her and subsequently learns about the little things in life that being an archetypical grim reaper would not normally be associated with Black.

A compassionate grim reaper is the essence of the film ''Meet Joe Black'', the personification of death wishing to learn from life!

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Death has been presented in the form of a person. When we see Joe at the caf� and then afterwards as death, they are two different souls. When we see Joe at the caf�, he is talking, and doing the right things. He is talking about life and he knows what to do, as well as knowing what to say. Where as Joe, (Spirit), walks incredibly strangely and at first he really doesn't know what to do and say, after a while he gets used to things. He eats peanut butter as if he hasn't eaten it before (which he hasn't.) American's love peanut butter, and it is quite strange to other people that he hasn't tried it before.

The title of the film Meet Joe Black introduces us to someone. It seems welcoming. Joe is such a standard name,

Allison said,

'Joe was a nice name, and that it is strong and sturdy.'

'Black' as in 'Joe Black' seems very deep. The colour it self is likes something hidden. It symbolises something unpleasant. When I think of 'death,' black normally comes to mind. Even to funerals black clothes are donned. It isn't a happy colour, so to funerals, people wear black to symbolise grief and sorrow. It's a painful colour, and to me, I think that is what black symbolises. It has hidden depths, and is very deep.

There is a mixture of genres in this film. The different types of genres are romance and suspense.

The romance scene's are between Joe and Susan. They fall in love. When Joe and Susan are talking, or whenever they are together, we can see that the camera angles are mid-shot so we can see there shoulders and above.

Suspense is created when Joe dies in the car accident.

Joe acts strangely and differently. It may seem strange to Susan who doesn't know that Black Is death.

The genre of this film in my opinion is very mixed. It has romance, and it also has suspense.

Once you figure out the film, and begin to realise what its all about you will definitely enjoy watching it.

At the beginning of the film, when Bill Is having a heart attack, the scene seems scary, and for a moment, I thought Meet Joe Black was a horror film.

Susan senses that there is something different with the Joe's that she meets. She obviously ignores it, and thinks that it's nothing. The reason why I think this is because at the very end of the film, when Joe comes back to life she senses that there is something different because she looks at him in a strange way, she seemed quite confused. It is almost as if she was staring at him.

When Black (death) comes for supper at Bills house and meets Bill for the first time, Black then meets Susan. But it's the second time that Susan meets Black. Susan doesn't know that the two Joe's that she has met, are both totally different people. Black talks differently. This has a slight impact on Susan. I know this because when Susan confronted Black after the meal she said something along the lines of,

"Why are you acting differently now?"

At this moment .I got the idea that Susan may suspect something of Black, and knows that there is something different in him from the first time she had met him.

People go to the cinema to relax, to get away from the house, to have some fun, and to be entertained. The sound, the big screen and the environment is much more pleasant than watching it at home. An excellent way of advertisement is a trailer of the film on the telly. The media also helps by publicising about the film on the television. Like premieres and reviews of the film.

Death is symbolised as a person in this film. It begins from the point when Joe gets knocked over by two cars. The film continues and shows how Joe adapts to life, especially the different expressions in words, which he uses after a while. It's like being born again, because at first he doesn't know many words. But in Blacks case he wasn't really born, well not on this planet.

In the beginning Black also walks strangely, soon he gets into the swing of things. His vocabulary also changes, when at the beginning he always used to say, ''yes" frequently, but soon uses full sentences. Black also gets used to the surroundings for the short while he is with Bill, and day-by-day he learns and experiences new issues. During the course of the film Black falls in love with Susan, and so does Susan, who also feels the same way for Black.

Susan and Joe kiss and also have sex in this film. It is very intimate and after sleeping together I feel that that they are inseparable, they are like one person, they really love each other a lot. At the end of the film, Black and Susan have a very heartbreaking and heartfelt goodbye.

Events start occurring after Joe dies in the beginning of the movie. So Black then comes along in the film in the form of Joe. Death tells Bill that he is going to die. Bill makes a compromise with death. The compromise is that, death allows Bill to remain alive for a few days in order that Bill gives Black a taster of life on earth for a few days. Now Bill is on borrowed time to put his business in order.

The characters in the film have all got something In common.

In a way, all the characters have no sense of direction.

The reason for this is because, at times, the characters do not know where they are going or even what they are going to do.

Black is new to the craze of life on earth, and he doesn't know where things are going and leading too. This is the point for almost all of the characters in the film. They don't know what's going to happen next, and what lies ahead.

It is a little like real life, you never know what is going to happen.

The music used in the film is similar all the way through. Instruments used are, violins and mainly piano. There is a scary feel to the music. When Bill is having a heart attack at the beginning of the film that's when the scary feel to the music is at an extreme, and sudden point with the music being very tense. At times there was silences, during the film.

The cover of Meet Joe Black has many things to consider.

The lighting is on Joe. The colours used on the cover are blue and blacks. The lighting hits on the three key characters on the cover. The beaming light decreases slightly as you move on further from Joe (Black) who is played by Brad Pitt. Next are Bill and Susan. That's the lighting and it decreases in time as you go over in the row, the lighting shows that Joe/Black is the main character.

The positions of the characters, on the front cover are that Joe (Black) is in the front which makes us believe he is the main character and has the lead role, which should really mean that the play i.e. film is based around him.

William parish is behind Joe, in formatting (Position) of the characters on the front cover. Bill is looking at Joe, while Joe is looking straight ahead into the distance. As Bill is behind Joe it shows that Bill is lower than Joe in status, behind Bill is Susan. Susan is Bill's daughter. Susan is also looking at Joe, which leads us to think that everything revolves around Joe, which it does. The arrangements of the characters are in a zigzag form.

The blurb on the cover is definitely useful. The title tries to welcome viewers to read it as well as watch the film. It is similar to a piece of persuasive writing. The title gives the viewer a clue about what the film may be about. But obviously every viewer will think differently, so perhaps this will carry temptation for what the film may be about and perhaps that's how you get high ratings in cinemas as well as the actors and actresses. Various things appeal to different people. The pictures also give of a certain vibe. In a way that the viewer will think 'what's going on here, in this part'?

The words have also been used in a spectacular way, the blurb and also newspapers comments on the film saying something along the lies of

'This is a great film, it is a must see movie'.

It tries to persuade people to watch it. If I was in a video store looking for a video to pick out and watch, and if I had read the blurb on the cover, and had also looked at the pictures, I'd definitely want to watch this film.

I believe that there is life and death, and the last sentence on the blurb,

"Bitter sweet tale of life and death."

Is very touching to me. It's also very catchy and means a lot in many different ways. I think that this film appeals to young people.

The film is very romantic, I find the scene when Joe and Susan were departing from the coffee shop very overwhelming. It was a time of sorrow and shock, and not knowing whether they would get back together. First the two hearts meet and then depart, it was very sad. The reason why I thought it was shocking is because when Joe gets knocked over by the cars.

I know that the both hearts are clenching to speak to each other and there was a sign of love as both Joe and Susan were continuously looking back at each other. Joe and Susan turned around a lot, as they departed, it showed they both liked each other very much.

When Bill went into the library in his house and was going to meet Joe for the first time, I didn't understand because at first Bill was hearing voices and didn't know who it was until Joe came out of the curtains and saw Bill also for the first time, and for an instance I was really confused because Joe had said,

'Bill would have to give Joe a taster of life'

And then Bill would be able to leave his company in a reasonable position. In addition to Bill's business, drew is trying his best to take over the company. The company, that of which, Bill has tried to built from scratch. Death helps Bill near the end by regaining the company instead of losing it.

During the course of the film Bill is going to celebrate his 65th birthday. His daughter Allison is preparing for it by organising a birthday bash. And on Bills birthday that is the day he is going to die.

Marriage and relationships in the film have been symbolised very strangely. It's not like the normal relationships you may know. Susan and Drew are purposively supposed to be engaged and yet they don't show any affection, or some kind of love towards each other, like most couples. You can't tell that they are engaged. In fact I didn't even knew that they were engaged, until my teacher actually told me, it took me by surprise. I really couldn't believe it. The fact that these two people who are supposed to spend the rest of their lives together, aren't even in love. It is supposed to be special. You really should get married once in you're in life. It's supposed to be special. (Like a once in a lifetime opportunity). Which it isn't for them!

It seems as though there is no love. For example, ''Drew comes in from the helicopter and gives Susan a peck on the cheek.'' Neither did he ask if she was ok, but just carried on with things.

I have compiled some information from the Brittanica cd 2000,

The motion picture has been defined as a series of images of space that are arranged in time of film language is quite different from that of reality and that conveyed by other arts, such as drama and literature. Showing the spectacular 24 frames, or still photographs, with dark intervals between them, energy second produces movement on the screen.

Having created large new markets for its industry they decided to do the same abroad. Their objective coincided with the desire of the major American studios to extend their control of the international nation picture industry.


Death symbolises something very deep. Its deep emotions, as it unfolds on us in a very different way. Death comes into the characters lives, and changes everything for them (life). This play really relates to the criteria of the 21st Century. Death plays a very important part as well as death having two different parts. Death touches many lives, as he falls in love with Susan, and has a slight bond with Bill.

Meet Joe Black explores the honourable and material values surrounding and start from the powerful William Parrish (Anthony Hopkins)

Parrish succeeds in seducing more than the viewer. He attracts the personification of his own fate, which quite literally knocks on his door.

Arriving in the Parrish home after securing a body to materialize its presence, this "otherworldly" force, Death (personified as the handsome Joe Black, played by Brad Pitt), confronts his "host" with demands of learning from him those universal qualities the great man projects. Ultimately, Joe meets Susan, an encounter which tempts him to deviate from his mission, and which, ironically, proves to be a much higher lesson than he had bargained for.

Meet Joe Black, is a film that dwells in its own energy, the rare luxury of its sets, and the irresistible charm of its people, all which portray a degree of elegance that pulls the viewer into a simply fantastic world.

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