HOW AND WHY ‘VAMPYR’ WORKS AGAINST THE CONVENTIONS OF CLASSICAL CINEMA
Vampyr refers to a film that is full of visual effects that are disorienting, unsettling theoretically and conceptually disturbing. It carries a lot of violence and characters that are capable of doing things that the normal humans are unable to do. Attributes such as man eating are likely to be witnessed in such a cinema. This is what brings about the disorientation that is a characteristic of this movie (David Rudkin & British Film Institute, 2005). As a result, it fundamentally goes against the conventions of the classical cinema. The Vampyr tends to break the rules of the classical cinema which for a long time have been seen to be a very important entertainment, as well as, edutainment provider to a vast majority of members of the society (Randle, 2010). This paper examines how and why the Vampyr works against the conventions of the classical cinema. Prudently, it first puts a focus on these conventions, analyzing them critically and clearly thereby making it easy to see how the Vampyr contravenes these conventions.
Conventions of Classical Cinema
The classical cinema has been characterized by a standardized and systematic way that ensures that the movies serve the purpose for which they are intended whether for the provision of education, information, motivation, inspiration, encouragement and any other reason for its existence. While producing what is referred to as the classical cinemas, the basic standards that ensure that the movies are appropriate to the different categories of viewers are adhered to (Bordwell, Staiger, & Thompson, 1995). This is seen to be healthy and very crucial not only to the producers but also the viewers of the cinema.
Moreover, the classical movies have been known to posses distinctive set of narrative and stylistic characteristics. The narrative is mainly aimed at getting the attention of the audience that range from young children, the adolescents to adults. The kind of narrative and the stylistic characteristics adopted are also very dependent on the type of audience. As a result, the cinemas are known to be engaging and very relevant to the people they are meant to. They do serve the aim for which they are produced and are least likely to result into negative impacts on the viewers who at times include children (Eleftheriotis, 2010). In most cases, they capture the emotions of the viewers who often take the video conjured version of reality as the truth. These movies, just like other form of mass media, shape people’s perceptions. They are, therefore, characterized by real life events or those that are very close to reality.
The classical cinemas aim to tell the story in a clear, concise and precise manner as much as possible and serve the needs of the viewers. It is usually composed of characters that are usually of both sexes. There is always a protagonist and an antagonist in such movies. The viewers travel with both the antagonist and the protagonist throughout the journey of the cinema.
Another very fundamental convention of the classical cinema is the plot. The events that take place in such cinemas happen in a chronological order. In some cases, it even becomes possible to predict what is yet to take place. It is especially very easy to predict the impending misfortunes that are likely to befall the antagonists and the possible rewards for the protagonists. Furthermore, the flashbacks are successfully integrated in the movies thereby reminding the viewers of events that may have jumped their attention. This also eliminates gaps in knowledge and voids that are likely to occur as the viewers watch the movies.
The classical cinemas also have the attribute of being technically convincing. This is because they depict events that usually occur in the daily lives of the human characters. They are a reflection of the human existence, the human’s journey, struggles, successes and failures. In most instances, they condemn wrong doing while at the same time encouraging virtues in the society. They are also meant to entertain the intended audience thus increasing their personal happiness and social well being. They are not meant to unsettle the minds of the viewers, neither are they aimed at disorienting and disturbing them.
These cinemas also make use of background sounds and music which create an environment for understanding and emphasizing certain events that are remarkable in the course of the movie. The use of this background music is meant to elicit emotions among the viewers thereby making them effective indeed (Cornea, 2007).
Vampyr Working against the Conventions of Classical Cinema
In many circles, the Vampyr ranks as one of the greatest horror films of all times. From the onset, it is prudent to underline the fact that the classical cinemas are not meant to create the scary, violent and turbulent events that are a feature of the Vampyr. The conventions of the classical films consider this a vice rather than a virtue.
Vampyr features stories of mysterious series of killings that are committed by both males and female characters. This is unlike the conventional classical movies. The events that take place in the Vampyr are far from reality. On the other hand, the classical cinemas are guided by what is considered to be the everyday events that happen on the day-to-day lives of humans or at least near real events.
The vampyr also works against the conventional classical cinemas owing to the fact that there is rarely any moral lesson to be learnt from the movies. The conventional classical movies have a powerful message to pass across, a message that encourages morality. The aim is to shape the perceptions of the members of the society making them better people. The contrast is true with the vampyr which has no moral lesson to encourage. Instead, it encourages violence and instability. The role that these movies play in shaping the behaviors of the viewers cannot be underestimated (Kuhn, 1990). As a result, people who watch these movies are more likely to engage in physical violence against others. Children who are addicted to watching such movies are much more likely to be cruel and throw things at others than those that do not watch them. In the same vein, couples who watch these moves are highly likely to engage in physical wars compared to those who are not constant viewers of the same.
The movies are very noisy, and their practicality is something to be doubted. Murdering and bloodshed are considerable characteristics of the movies. This goes against the expectations and standards of the classical cinema conventions. The constant bloodsheds and murdering witnessed in these movies are considered evil in the conventional classical movies which have stood the test of time as educative and entertaining indeed. More often than not, the viewers experience bad dreams at night preceding the viewing of the ugly killings in the movies. This indeed is very different from what is witnessed in the conventional classical films.
While the conventional classical cinemas present a clear and chronological plot which is quite predictable, the vampyr is not easily predictable. The scenes do not happen in a systematic manner prescribed by the conventions of the classical cinema. The frightening events happen so violently and so randonmly that it becomes absolutely impossible to tell what is to follow. It is very difficult to tell where the movie has come from or where it is headed for. The entertainment that is obtained in the conventional classical cinema is reduced to fear and frights as images of blood pouring like water are seen. These scenes are quite disturbing and unsettling. For the underage children, it is even worse as they can be made to grow up knowing that the turbulence witnessed in the movies are right and should be embraced as a significant part of everyday life.
The conventions of the classical cinema create movies whose themes are real, lively, vivid and technically convincing. This is not the case with the Vampyr. The events happen so randomly and unexpectedly that the viewers are left wondering if such things truly exist. They depict the powers of the supernatural (Holte, 1997). They try to bring out these powers that nobody has really witnessed and try to make them appear real, but this is just as far as imagination can go. In other words, the production of Vampyr can only be limited by the capacity of imagination. On the contrary, the classical cinemas are limited by reality. This makes the Vampyr very difficult to follow hence reduces its capacity to bring out a vivid picture of reality as people know it. It creates the possibility of the existence of another world that humans can only imagine of. However, the classical cinemas portray the picture of the world as we know it. They bring out the events that we experience in our everyday lives as we interact with the world.
A film classic is more than just an excellent movie; it is a very excellent film which attempts to explore the universal truths in a unique way. The vampyr, on the other hand, tries to explore what people are not aware of. It looks at things that do not really exist but which some people think exist. The vampyr is full of falsity and is sort of credibility. There is absolutely no proof of the existence of what is seen in these movies. The unique elements witnessed in the classical cinemas are apparently absent in the Vampyr. These unique rudiments of a classic film might include photography and beautiful design, or even a whole new way of presenting an old genre, for example, the unbelievably suspenseful movies of Alfred Hitchcock (Bordwell, Staiger, & Thompson, 1995). Much of Hitchcock’s success in creating anxiety also involved new and creative uses of the camera. In some cases, a film classic may be as well referred to as a movie which breaks new cultural ground. These attributes are evidently absent in the Vampyr. They cannot give a vision of a possible future. It is just killings and more killings. Female characters who are seen as weak and who indeed in reality are less masculine are given excess and unbelievable powers and energy that is unlike the truth.
While there are instances where miracles or mysterious happenings are permissible in the classical cinemas, such occurrences are limited and can only be performed by certain members of the society. This is in line with the society’s religious beliefs. In the Vampyr, on the other hand, these mysterious, strange and miraculous events happen on a daily basis. This further contravene the classical cinema’s conventions.
The enduring appeal of the classical cinema from generations gone is also lacking in the Vampyr. The classical cinema combines excellence in many respects of the cinema. The vampyr has taken a whole new approach to looking at the world as a shaky, violent and cruel one where there can be no peaceful coexistence of humans. It seems to justify what the society would call wrong doing and rubberstamps evil. The conventional classical movies attempt to eliminate evil while encourage the societal virtues that are seen to breed very useful members of the society.
While the Vampyr makes use of certain stylistic characteristics such as the background sounds, however, these characteristics are not as rich as is the case with the conventional classical cinema. More often than not, the background sound appears more of background noise than a style. They are often too loud and scary that they end up interfering with the message that they ought to convey.
The other convention of the classical cinema is its traditional attribute of possessing the narrative qualities that makes it involving and engaging to the viewer. The viewer feels involved in the happenings of the movie. This is not the case with the Vampyr where characters are almost always violent. The viewer cannot want to identify with characters in the vampire as they would wish to do with the protagonist in the classical movies. The narrative attributes are completely lacking in the Vampire and are replaced by random happenings in the movie.
In conclusion, it is clear that the Vampyr works against the conventions of the classical cinema. Its attributes and prescriptions are totally contradictory to the expectations of a standard classical movie. As such, the vampyr has led to moral degradation among the viewers especially among children and adolescents who watch movies on the internet and via other means. Violence is on the increase due to excess exposure to these movies.
Continued exposure to the Vampyr by the members of the society is likely to come with a lot of repercussions. By breeding members of society who are prone to violence with no fear of shading human blood and no respect to human life and dignity, the crime rates are likely to go high. Movies are very fundamental in providing education. Some of them are very informative and inspirational. The conventions of the classical cinemas, therefore, ought to be safeguarded to ensure that the role played by these movies in the society continues to thrive. The Vampyr should not be viewed by young people owing to its lack of appropriate conventions. Otherwise, the future of the young ones is at stake. The media conjured version of reality is true and should not be ignored since the violence, murdering and evils committed in the vampyr can be translated to reality by the viewers.
Bordwell, D., Staiger, J., & Thompson, K., 1995. The Classical Hollywood Cinema: Film Style
& Mode of Production to 1960. London: Routledge.
Cornea, C., 2007. Science Fiction Cinema: Between Fantasy and Reality. Edinburgh: Edinburgh
David Rudkin & British Film Institute., 2005. Vampyr. Houston: BFI press.
Eleftheriotis, D., 2010. Cinematic Journeys: Film and Movement. Edinburgh: Edinburgh
Holte, J. C., 1997. Dracula in the Dark: The Dracula Film Adaptations. Connecticut:
Greenwood Publishing Group.
Kuhn, A., 1990. The Women’s Companion to International Film. California: University of
Randle, K. D., 2010. Vampyr? Amsterdam: Five Star Publishers.
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