American History X Essays

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(Drive by, Slow Mo)· Breaks Todorov’s Rules of calm, disruption then equilibrium as the film is opened up in a disruptive state.

(Derek kill thugs at the films opening sequence.) (Prop-Gun)· Narrative Structure is focused on redemption and used to make the audience understand how Derek became the way he was and to show that people can redeem themselves.· The Plot is viewed from the POV of Daniel who explains what is occurring through his voice overs as he writes his essay.· Opening Sequences uses enigma codes making the audience ask key questions why did he shoot them dead and what is going on.· The sequences where Derek shoots the black thugs is shown in the opening sequences and later reshown in more detail.· According the Uses and Gratifications, theory of escapism as Derek wants to escape the lifestyle of a skinhead but is constantly drawn into trouble.· Director puts audience into a trance like state using the musical score in combination with slow motion effects to keep control over the mood of the audience.

The non-linear plot is about 2 brothers, the older one Derek a former Neo-Nazi skinhead leader arrested for murdering black robbers and trying to prevent his brother Daniel from walking the same corrupt path as he.

The film is viewed from the point of view of Daniel who takes a backseat protagonist role to Derek the main protagonist.

See that he has reformed and saw the error of his ways.· Anger- Cameron tries to corrupt Derek’s brother.· Anxiety- Derek suffers from losing a father.

He is burdened with being man of the house at a young age baring the responsibility of role model.(When Seth gets violent on Black Man and his white girlfriend.) (When Derek has to flee from the skinhead hideout.) (Lamont shown in his car with his crew driving through neighbourhood.) The lighting effects act as visual signifiers when crime occurs.· Good use of close ups to show who is talking. Characters Derek Vinyard- The protagonist of this film a villain turned good.Conflict Binary Oppositions· The Skinheads vs Blacks. He was once a dominant white supremacist and Neo-Nazi skinhead leader as seen in the black and white film stock flashback sequences.Unfortunately Daniel is shot dead by a black student called Lamont due to previous conflict at school.(“When people look at me they see my brother.”) (“I hate the fact that it’s cool to be black…”)Doris Vinyard- The mother of the Vinyard family who has to live with the nightmare of not one son straying from the path of decency but another. ”)Davina Vinyard- She acts as the character in the family who is the opposite of the old Derek’s reason.He follows his brothers footsteps after he is arrested due to seeing him as a role model and imitating his behaviour.However, when his brother returns he slowly begins to realise the wrongness of his behaviour as he writes an essay on how Derek became the way he was.The racist comments and lack of reason by skinheads.· Shock- Derek skull crushing curb stomp on the black thugs head.“Should have learned your place at the court.”· Empathy- Throughout film, understanding and gaining a rapport of Derek’s attitude.However, he is reformed and sees the error of his ways after spending time in prison.Derek returns home to try and prevent his brother from going forth the same path as he knowing as a role model he should have known better.


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