The Film "O brother, where art thou?" Essay

The Film "O brother, where art thou?" Essay

Length: 1035 words (3 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

The Film "O brother, where art thou?"


The film O brother, where art thou? is set in the Great Depression of the 1930’s and emphasizes the struggle between the upper and lower classes by using a variety of cinematic devices. Through the use of these cinematic devices and comedic relief the realities of the Depression are viewed without creating a stark, melancholy, documentary-styled film. Examples in this film of these cinematic devices used to show these realities include:

bleak colors,
contrasting of light and dark colors,
long shots,
high-angle shots, and
spherical camera lenses.

These particular devices provide a glimpse at the realities of the oppression, poverty and despair of many of the American people during this time.

From the start of the film it is apparent what time frame it is taking place in and the differences in the social stratification through the lack of colors. One of the most obvious portrayals of the bleakness and desperation of the era is the overall faded and washed-out look of the whole film, due to manipulation of the film saturation; the heaviness of it almost cries out to the audience. Though the film was shot during the summer, cinematographer Roger Deakins and Cinesite colorist Julias Friede were able to use digital technology to change the appearance of the colors. “Together, they worked on manipulating the [digital] saturation of the images, and in particular selecting the greens of the trees and grass and turning them into dry browns and yellows” (Escaping, 2). These dry brown and yellows enhance the audience’s impression of the desperation of the characters and the time period.

Brown is a prominent color shown not only in the overall appearance but in the sp...


... middle of paper ...


...ts was very distinguishable. This film captures this class distinction without subduing the atmosphere through the use of a variety of cinematic devices, “ A good film is not a bag of cinematic devices but the embodiment, through devices, of a vision, an underlying theme” (Barnett, 274). The audience can see this theme of the realities of the oppression, poverty and despair of this time period through the use of the things mentioned, but also through the character development that is driven by the character’s hopelessness. Each of the characters associated with the lower class is motivated by the conditions, which are viewed through the cinematic devices mentioned above: color, spherical lenses, long shots, and high angle shots.

Sources Cited:

“Escaping From the Chain Gang.” October 2000. 25 July 2002 <http://www.theasc.com/magazine/oct00/brother/pg1.htm>.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Odyssey in Oh Brother, Where Art Thou Essay

- The Odyssey in Oh Brother, Where Art Thou The movie O Brother, Where Art Thou is a wonderful movie that was directed by the Coen brothers. The movie features a cast of talented actors, the movie has also won several awards. The book The Odyssey is a timeless classic and it was written by the mysterious bard Homer. The book tells the tale of our hero Odysseus as he attempts to make it home to his wife. There are many ways to relate the movie plot and characters, to Odysseus's journey in The Odyssey....   [tags: Film Movie O Brother, Where Art Thou]

Strong Essays
858 words (2.5 pages)

How Biblical Principles And Themes Were Displayed Throughout The Film, O Brother, Where Art Thou?

- Christianity is supposed to be practiced. Too often as Christians we separate our faith from our everyday life; this is not Biblical. Christ calls us to take Him into enter every aspect of our lives, and for Him to shape each and every way we view these areas of our lives. A good way to get into the practice of seeing and relating the things we do with God is to make connections between what we see and what we know about God. When looking at the film “O Brother, Where Art Thou?”, I was able to look at how Biblical principles and themes were displayed throughout the film....   [tags: Jesus, Christianity, Film, Religion]

Strong Essays
736 words (2.1 pages)

The Cohen Brothers' O Brother, Where Art Thou Essay examples

- O Brother, Where Art Thou, a film written and directed by the Coen brothers, is a modern day interpretation of Homer’s ancient epic the Odyssey. The opening credits of the movie quote the invocation of the Muse from the first lines of the epic: “Oh Muse sing in me, and through me tell the story of the man skilled in all the ways of contending, A wanderer, harried for years on end”. The film follows Ulysses Everett McGill (portrayed by George Clooney), a depression era Odysseus, and his men Delmar O’Donnell (Tim Nelson), and Pete Hogwallop (John Turturro)....   [tags: film analysis, cinematography]

Strong Essays
1715 words (4.9 pages)

Essay on O Brother, Where Art Thou, by Ethan and Joel Coen

- Written by Ethan and Joel Coen and released on DVD by Touchstone Pictures and Universal Pictures in 2001, O BROTHER, WHERE ART THOU. is supposed to be the first professional film in history to be digitally enhanced, in its entirety. The movie is a loose adaptation of the epic poem The Odyssey in which three escaped convicts; Everett Ulysses McGill (George Clooney,) and his two partners Delmar (Tim Blake Nelson) and Pete (John Turturro) experience the adventures of “Ulysses” (Homer) in varying ways....   [tags: Film Analysis, Digital Modification]

Strong Essays
1410 words (4 pages)

Country Music in O Brother, Where Art Thou? Essay

- Country Music in O Brother, Where Art Thou. Abstract: This essay explores the way white trash identity is performed through country music. In particular, the focus is on the way the film O Brother, Where Art Thou. (Joel Coen, 2001) uses a soundtrack of 'old-timey' country music from the 1920s and 30s to aurally assist the film's white trash aesthetic. Various cultural critics (Barbara Ching) and music historians (Richard Peterson) have already documented the way country music is white trash music....   [tags: White Trash Brother Art Thou Essays]

Strong Essays
3571 words (10.2 pages)

O Brother, Where Art Thou? - From Greek Classic to American Original Essay

- O Brother, Where Art Thou. - From Greek Classic to American Original In the winter of 2001, American audiences initially paid little attention to Joel and Ethan Coen's Depression era, jail-break, musical "buddy" comedy O Brother, Where Art Thou. The film's reputation lingered, however, and over the next seven months O Brother eventually grossed a significant $45.5 million (imdb.com). Loosely adapted from Homer’s The Odyssey, the film focuses on Ulysses Everett McGill’s (George Clooney’s) journey from the jailhouse back to both his home in Ithaca, Mississippi, and to his wife Penny (Holly Hunter)....   [tags: O Brother Where Art Thou? Essays]

Strong Essays
3138 words (9 pages)

O Brother, Where Art Thou?: Modern Adaptation of Homer's Odyssey Essay

- The film O Brother, Where Art Thou. is a reinterpretation of the epic poem The Odyssey. The Coen brothers, writers and directors of the film, did not over analyze their representation. “It just sort of occurred to us after we’d gotten into it somewhat that it was a story about someone going home, and sort of episodic in nature, and it kind of evolved into that,” says Joel Coen in Blood Siblings, “It’s very loosely and very sort of unseriously based on The Odyssey” (Woods 32). O Brother, Where Art Thou....   [tags: films, movies]

Strong Essays
1253 words (3.6 pages)

Essay on Homer’s Odyssey and O Brother, Where Art Thou?

- In both Homer’s The Odyssey and the film O Brother, Where Art Thou. the audience is given an opportunity to experience a spectacular adventure, filled with not only the sense of journey, but also the senses of peril and excitement. A tale about a Greek hero being compared to a film set in Middle America starring three jail-escapees seems rather far-fetched. However, upon closer inspection, both actually share a lot in common. The Odyssey stars Odysseus, a man famous for his heroics in the Trojan War....   [tags: Greek Hero, Middle America, Analysis]

Strong Essays
1047 words (3 pages)

Analysis Of ' O Brother, Where Art Thou Essay

- O Brother, Where Art Thou. was phenomenal, and I found myself laughing an abundance of times throughout the movie. After viewing the film and the video essays, I agree that part of the reason why this story is truly successful is because Joel and Ethan Coen play with morality and in some ways, punish the characters repeatedly. Every time that something good occurred for a character, I was on the edge of my seat waiting for the next bad thing to follow. I feel that their constant play on morality kept the audience 's attention and left them wanting more....   [tags: Seven deadly sins, Pride, Sin, Odyssey]

Strong Essays
1024 words (2.9 pages)

Film Analysis: The Coen Brother's Films Essay

- Speculation and analysis of the Coen brothers’ films has often portrayed them as drivers rather than reflectors of pop culture; NPR wrote earlier this year “The Coen brother's sparked a bluegrass revival with taheir 2000 film O Brother, Where Art Thou. – will they do the same for folk with their latest movie Inside Llewyn Davis?”1 But the posing of this question and the assumption of Inside Llewyn Davis as a top-down culture creator ignores that folk has always maintained a strong presence in American culture, and suggesting that a single film can bring folk ‘back into style’ ignores folk’s ongoing status as a key tenet of American culture and identity; as sociologist Leo Marx writes in his...   [tags: honesty, post nostalgia, american pop culture]

Strong Essays
1809 words (5.2 pages)