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Rebel Without A Cause

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    The movie “REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE” is directed by Nicholas Ray, and is about a teenage boy named Jim Stark. Jim just moved into a new neighborhood, and he seems to be depressed because his family keeps moving from place to place because of Jim. This makes it really hard for Jim to have friends. He starts to a new school, and the kids in his school are mostly as they consider “bad boys”. Their biggest fear is to be called a coward. And they all try to look more brave and manly than they actually are. In this ethos system what teens have to do in order to be considered someone respectable, they keep putting on some challenges and challenge each other.

    These bravery challenges are sometimes so dangerous that sometimes it can be deadly. The movie is about Jim, and how he finds his way in this new life with his new friends Plato and Judy. Color of the costumes of the main characters is used as an indicator that indicates the emotions of the characters sense of rebellion and action that is going to take place. For instance the color red is used in couple different different places, and most of the time indicates a rebellion or a feeling of the character. Judy wears a red dress at the beginning when she argues with her dad leaves the house, later on in the movie the color transfers to Jim in his red jacket that he wears before the race against Buzz which eventually causes the death of Buzz, and towards the end of the movie Jim gives his red jacket to Plato, and Plato shoots one of the gang members wearing that red jacket.

    The color red symbolizes rebellion and the fact that Plato wears the same red jacked when he dies shows us that his rebellion caused his death. The color red had a particular impact, but we can see that throughout the movie the color of the costumes contrast between dreary and bright colors. And most of the time separates the trio from their parents and friends. The main characters are seen as wearing dreary and dull colors most of the time, and whenever there are bold bright colors we know that something interesting is coming. One of the best examples of mise-en-scene in this movie is the usage of colors and costumes in the movie.

    The angle of shots, can make us realize a presence of a hierarchy and difference in power within the movie. Nicholas Ray does a great job of using in different angles, and point of view shots in order to emphasize a hierarchy and weakness of a character from another. One of the examples is when the gang discovers Plato in the mansion. The beginning of the scene is a high angle shot of Plato while he is asleep, and as soon as he wakes up, the camera quickly moves upward to make a low angle shot and shows the faces of the gang members.

    This shows that Plato is the weakest character in the scene, and the gang as being more powerful than Plato. Another shot were the angle of the camera shows power is the part where Plato is at the police station in the begging of the movie. When Plato is i the interview the camera constantly switches to an angle that is behind the interviewing policeman. And creates the effect that h is looking down at Plato. This shot shows the difference in dominance between the policeman and Plato. In both cases these shots establish Plato as a character with little or no power. We can tell by the angle that we see Plato, because he is being looked down on in these shots.

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