It was a financially successful film that was popular with audiences.Summing It up for potential audiences, reviewers described It as both a ‘crime film’ and as a ‘romance’.It might be said to fit Into both these genres.
For a short summary of Peter Weir’s films look at The Internet Movie [pick]Database [pick]. This site also contains a complete set of credits for all Peter Weir’s films, including Witness. A film of the same genre refers too film of the same kind or category. By describing audiences of what to expect when they go to see the film.
Some of the best films are often difficult to fit into any particular genre, but nevertheless, this term genre is useful as a starting point for anyone analyzing or evaluating a particular film. For examples of different genres click onto the Internet movie data base mentioned above. Questions: Having viewed the film at least once, you should consider the following: 1 . Identify some examples of crime films. 2. If Witness is a crime film, what sort of characters, actions or events does it have in common with any of these other films? 3.
Where are crime films usually set, or in what sort of environment does the crime occur? 4. Is there anything different about Witness as an example off crime film? 5. What do audiences expect to see in a “romance”? 6. Love stories or romances always have obstacles that stand in the way of the lovers getting together. What obstacles are there in Witness? 7. How does the romance end and are the obstacles overcome? 8. How is the crime story in the film resolved or worked out? In answering the above, you may now have some understanding of the rules or conventions that belong to particular film genres.
Yet, to keep audiences interested, films of the same genre must each have something different or unique about them if they are not to seem all the same. Writing Task Write a critical response to the statement: “As a film, Witness, is no different from other crime films of the same type”. Describe your reaction to this statement. [pick] As you are studying Witness in Module B: Close study of text, some detailed knowledge of the plot and story will be necessary. You will need it to discuss the characters and issues successfully.
Here are twelve questions related to the film’s story that you may find useful as background information for critical discussion of the film. 1. In the film’s opening, what is the purpose of the gathering of the Amiss? 2. Explain how the boy Samuel becomes a ‘witness’ too murder. 3. What upsets Rachel most about John Book’s way of questioning suspects? 4. Under what circumstances does Samuel identify the killer? 5. How and why does John Book become wounded? 6. Why is it necessary for Book to hide out with the Leap family and the other Amiss? 7.
Why is Book so difficult for his corrupt colleagues to trace? 8. Why is Book so angry about Samuel finding his gun? 9. What complication does John Book’s falling in love with Rachel cause for himself? 10. What will Rachel have to sacrifice for a relationship with Book? 11. How do Book’s 12. How does Samuel help to capture Book’s enemies? [pick] To write about this text, you need to be able to identify the characters and show some understanding of their behavior. Know the names of the characters in the film rather than the names of the actors who play them.
Use the cast list at end of the film to identify as many of the minor characters as you can. Major characters John Book, detective, Philadelphia Police, played by Harrison Ford. 1. Describe your first impressions of John Book. 2. View the scene where John Book leaves Rachel and Samuel in the care of Book’s sister Elaine. What does the audience learn about Book from the conversation with his sister in this scene? 3. In the scene where he eats hot dogs with Rachel and Samuel, Book shows himself to be awkward and uncomfortable with the Amiss?
Why? Where else in the film does he show this? 4. Which scenes later in the film show that a change in John’s attitude has occurred? 5. Why does he leave Rachel at the end? Rachel Leap, Amiss woman and mother of Samuel, 6. Describe Earache’s situation at the start of the film. 7. Why is Rachel originally so resentful of Book? 8. What conflict does Rachel have the rest of the Amiss community? Alternative to Book does she have at the end of the film? Samuel Leap, Amiss boy, witness to murder, played by Lukas Has 9. What 10.
How is Samuel shown to be naive and innocent at the start of the film? 11. How does his relationship with Book change throughout the course of the film? 12. With what other male character does Samuel seem to have a strong relationship? How is he different to Book? 13. Where in the film does Samuel show initiative and intelligence? Other characters: Daniel Hostler, Eli Leap, Elaine, Schaeffer and Emcee 14. Identify the roles each of them plays in the film. 15. In what ways are Eli and Daniel different to Book as men? 16. Compare the different lifestyles of Elaine and Rachel. 17.
In what ways are the two corrupt police, Schaeffer and Emcee shown to be different to each other? The film gives the audience a chance to compare two different levels of American society, the culture and world of the modem city and the culture and world of the Amiss. In writing about Witness, Marie Sales states that the film shows that the two cultures meet, but never merge. ‘ It is this contrast of the two worlds, conveyed to the audience mainly in visual terms, that is the one of the most important and memorable aspects for the spectator. Now view again the opening five minutes of the film.