Perspective and Melancholia

Perspective and Melancholia

The article “Seeing Things” by Anand Pandian talks about how cinematography is used to provide different perspectives. Pandian uses the Apollo 9 mission pictures of Earth as an example of how images can completely change the perspective of something that is very familiar to us. These images made people realize that we are really just riding on a fragile floating ball in space. This really brought me back to the film Melancholia and how it really focused on providing different perspectives for the viewer. This film also makes one realize just how fragile our life here on Earth by showing the Earth getting completely destroyed by another larger planet. Melancholia mainly focuses on providing perspective on depression, both those who experience it and those who care for the one’s experiencing depression. In Melancholia, Justine is the one experiencing depression and as we follow her through her wedding all the way to the end of life on Earth, we learn about Justine’s point of view about life and death. Justine tells her sister, Claire, that the Earth is evil and that there is no need to grieve for it. Justine has accepted and seems to be almost at peace with the world ending towards the end of the film. Claire on the other hand has a different perspective on this matter. She is much more concerned and wants her son to be able to live and grow up. The handheld shaky emphasizes the perspective of instability and uneasiness throughout the film. As the end of the world approaches we see a reversal of roles where Claire, the caretaker of the depressed Justine, is actually taken comforted and taken care of by the depressed. This film gives an interesting perspective on depression during times of extreme hardship and death.

Is there a risk when trying to present a specific perspective that the audience will not see the intended perspective due to each viewer’s own personal perspectives?

Does that last question make any sense at all?



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