Cinematic Interpretation of Stepping Razor Red X: the Peter Tosh Story

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Cinematic Interpretation of "Stepping Razor Red X": the Peter Tosh Story

Films are designed for numerous purposes, some entertain, frighten, enlighten, educate, inspire, and most make us think about the world we live in. This paper will be focused on the cinematic interpretation of the film "Stepping Razor Red X", the Peter Tosh Story. The makers of a film from the writer, director, cinematographer and the art director, design, and conceptualize what they want the viewer to see.

Movie makers have agendas. They get their ideas across by using cinematic techniques and styles which make us view a certain subject in the light that they put it in. I will discuss the differing techniques used by the makers of "Stepping Razor" and describe what the overall impression of the movie has on the viewer, and what the agenda of the director is.


"Genre: A group of films having recognizably similar plots, character types, settings, filmic techniques, and themes." (Konigsberg:165) The Genre of this film is difficult to define because it is not composed of a single agenda. The director makes a point of talking about Tosh’s life, but because of the cinematic themes and the film’s style it is not solely a documentary. This film is also a multimedia film because elements of music and concert footage are added to the essential plot. This film is avant-garde in it’s nature. "Avant-garde [refers to films that] deny the traditional narrative structure and techniques of commercial films by seeking to explore new modes of visual and emotional experience." (Konigsberg:25) It could be considered an anthology film, because of the various concert footage that is woven throughout the movie. "An Anthology film is a full length film made up of excerpts from other films which are related by some theme [or] the appearance of the same performer." (Konigsberg:16)

"Stepping Razor" also has elements of Cinema Verite. "Cinema Verite…applies to a series of documentary films which strive for immediacy, spontaneity, and authenticity through the use of portable and unobtrusive equipment and the avoidance of and preconceived narrative line or concepts concerning the material." (Konigsberg:57) "Stepping Razor" may also be put under the category of art film. "Art film [is] a type of film with serious artistic intentions as distinct from the commercial films made in Hollywood."(Konigsberg:20) This film also has elements of a propaganda film. "Propaganda films [are] made with the intention of persuading the audience to a particular point of view concerning the subject…relying on the apparently real and factual nature of the images on the screen and often using an authoritative voice-over to sway.
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