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  Pacheco 1 University of Costa Rica LM-1477 Prof. Mariana Valverde  Alfonso Pacheco June 7, 2016 Seizing The Day Life and death are intrinsic elements within the human condition. Thus, to understand them and to accept them has been a difficult task for human beings throughout history. Hence, the use of mortality as a means to understand life and death has been used as a common motif in both literature and films over decades. Therefore, by entering a fictional world, the creative mind of human beings is able to overcome its own limitations in order to find meaning to life and death; therefore, to find the meaning of human existence. Furthermore, by contemplating an imminent death, the whole gamut of human conditions can be exploded by someone in order to start living her or his own life. The term “carpe diem” means seizing the day. Thus, to be alive is not the same as to live one’s life. In order to seize the day, a person must appreciate every single detail in her or his life: from waking up on time to saying “I   love you” to a relative , seizing the day is about awareness and appreciation. In Marc Foster’s “ Stranger Than Fiction ,” the director reinforces the concept of seizing the day by unveiling Harold’s takeover of his own life previously governed by a daily routine through the use of imagery and editing. In “ Stranger Than Fiction ,” Harold lives his life in a passive state. He does not go beyond his ongoing monotony previously stablished by the daily routine that governs his life. The movie exposes a series of events, such as Harold’s routine from waking up, brushing his teeth to going to work and filing documents in order to  Pacheco 2 reinforce the concept of monotony in Harold’s life. Thus, by facing the possibility of an imminent death, Harold takes action in order to prevent it; therefore, he starts seizing each single day of his current life in order to gain control over it once and for all. Hence, the film uses imagery in order to highlight Harold’s disruption between his old and new life. In the article, “Adaptation,” Robert Stam remarks : “The cinema is both  synesthetic and synthetic art, synesthetic in its capacity to engage various senses (sight and hearing) and synthetic in its anthropopaghic capacity to absorb, synthesize antecedent arts . . . Cinema has available to it the visuals of photography and painting, the movement of dance, the decor of architecture, and the performance of theater. ”  (80) Therefore, the visual effects on the film aid to extrapolate Harold’s journey from a monotonous person to a person who takes control over his own life. Moreover, the use of musical elements such as Harold playing the guitar and singing “Whole Wide World” by Wreckless Erick  reinforce the importance of imagery as a means to expose Harold’s new attitude towards his  own life. Editing is a fundamental element in film. Through editing, a director can emphasize certain elements or sequences on screen that will serve to unveil the story or even the climax of the film . In “ Stranger Than Fiction ,” the director uses editing to reinforce the concept of seizing the day during Harold’s takeover of his own life. In “How to Analyze a Movie” , Michael Pollick argues , “Action scenes should maintain a steady, exciting pace that builds to a climax. A good film should flow from scene to scene without denying the audience enough information to follow the arc of the story” (2).   Thus, Harold’s scene running through a tunnel with the purpose of finding a phone booth is edited between a mixture of long shots and close shots of Harold’ s desperate face and the tunnel in order to highlight Harold’s determination to  Pacheco 3 gain control over his life and prevent his imminent death. As a consequence, the use of editing overlaps the relevance of the camera angles in order to reinforce Harold’ s new seizing-the-day attitude. According to Poll ick, “Essential parts of the film's storyline may be cut out entirely, or scenes which do nothing to move the plot forward are left in the final cut” (2).  Hence, the sequence of scenes during Harold’s and Ana’s first encounter exposes the current dichotomy within Harold’s character. He is not prepared to have a physical attraction to anyone at the time, but the recent realization of his own mortality opened Harold’s e yes to a whole new world: a world where Ana exists and monotony is not necessary. Therefore, the sequence of scenes exposing Harold’s attraction for Ana and Ana’s physical appearance reinforces Harold’s new way of seeing life, and thus, a disruption betwee n his previous monotonous life and a, soon-to-come more, exciting life. In conclusion, Marc Foster’s “ Stranger Than Fiction ,” reinforces the concept of seizing the day by unveiling Harold’s takeover of his own life previously governed by a daily routine through the use of imagery and editing. The use of mortality as a means to understand life and death has been used as a common motif in both literature and films over decades. Furthermore, life and death are intrinsic elements within the human condition. Thus, to understand them and accept them has been a difficult task for human beings throughout history. Therefore, by entering a fictional world, the creative mind of human beings is able to overcome its own limitations in order to find meaning to life and death; hence, to find the meaning of human existence. Moreover, by contemplating an imminent death, the whole gamut of human conditions can be exploded by someone in order to start living her or his own life. In addition, t he term “carpe diem” means seizing the day. Thus, to be alive is not the same as to live one’s life. In order to seize the day, a person must appreciate  Pacheco 4 every single detail in her or his life: from waking up on time to say “I love you”  to a relative, seizing the day is about awareness and appreciation. To realize that death is inevitable, human beings are able to change their own perception of life, and thus, they are able to start living their own lives without hesitation by understanding that life is only granted once, and to make it count is what makes every experience a memory.

EDC FET

Sep 10, 2019

Programming 1

Sep 10, 2019
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