Analysis Of The Stanford Prison Experiment

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The Stanford Prison Experiment, directed by Kyle Alvarez, was suspenseful and compelling. In 2015 the film won the Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize and the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award at the Sundance Film Festival ("Awards"). The film is set at Stanford University, where Psychology professor Dr. Philip Zimbardo set up a mock prison experiment. He and his colleagues selected college students to play as guards and prisoners for their prison by conducting interviews. The purpose of the experiment was to “understand the development of norms and the effects of roles, labels, and social expectations in a simulated prison environment” ("The Stanford Prison Experiment"). The film is based off of a true story, and the events that actually took…show more content…
Zimbardo and Dr. Christina Maslach (Olivia Thirlby). Their scenes together felt awkward and forced. The worst of this, was the scene where Dr. Maslach noticed the atrocities the guards were committing and the psychological damage that was being inflicted on the prisoners. She stormed out of the building and Zimbardo followed her to calm her down. They argued back and forth over the experiment until Dr. Maslach gave a monologue on how awful the experiment is and should not allow the young men in the experiment to be subject to the abuse that was occurring. She begged Zimbardo to end the experiment. I watched this scene, hoping he would come to his senses. The confrontation between these two characters finished with Zimbardo replying with a sarcastic remark, and Maslach storming off. This moment felt rushed and did not seem to have an impact on Zimbardo. However, Dr. Maslach’s actions at this moment were very important to the story because she was the only scientist in the film who showed a sense of morality. Whether this incident influenced Dr. Zimbardo to end the experiment or not was not made clear in the film. Altogether, Dr. Maslach was an important character in the film, but her relationship with Zimbardo felt fake and…show more content…
Director Kyle Alvarez did a wonderful job. In fact, I did not have any complaints with the directing of the film. Alvarez seemed to make the most out of every scene. (Give an example)... He filmed with a lack of color, consisting of mainly neutral colors. This fits the film well and emphasized the lack of happiness during the events that occurred. Each shot took place in smaller spaces oozing with a sense of claustrophobia, allowing for every scene to be packed with emotion. As I mentioned before, the acting of the guards and prisoners was excellent in every scene. Alvarez may or may not have influenced that. Every scene was shot in such a way that I could feel the emotions of every character. The sound track provided an extra punch of emotion in every scene with eerie undertones creating a suspenseful atmosphere. I was utterly impressed by Alvarez 's work. His directing through his color scheme, camera angles, and the soundtrack was breathtaking. Kyle Alvarez’s work here has made me excited to see any of his future

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