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Distinctively Visual Essay

Comparing and contrasting how Maestro and Beneath Clouds use various techniques to create distinctive experiences.
by

Troy Martin

on 8 August 2010

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Transcript of Distinctively Visual Essay

Maestro Beneath Clouds These visions of our world are portrayed in different ways through Peter Goldsworthy’s narrator’s vivid memories of characters and settings. The honesty and challenging nature of Goldsworthy’s persona brings together visions of Australian the post-war period, combined with touches into the horrors of World War II. Thesis Further, the sojourn of Vaughn and Lena throughout Iven Sen’s operatic ‘Beneath Clouds’ gives us a view into the world that is both ancient and new. First person: Reflective voice, looking back upon formative teenage years

Semi-autobiographical: history clouded by memory

Poetic Prose - provide examples

Metaphor: the two pianos, representing teacher and student.

Simile: 'Like two planets'

Alliteration: 'somehow shrunken'

High modality: diminished, presence, furnishings.

Another effective technique is seen in the long descriptive sentences, followed by a listing technique places emphasis on the piano, on the music rather than the material wealth.
Techniques Thesis As Paul’s memory builds, ‘the short, dark mother’ becomes the Haydn, while the Mozart is from ‘my tall, fair father’. ‘Bach and Handel, Schubert and Schumann, Chopin and Liszt’. The contrasts in tastes and opinions are all led by Paul’s father’s opinions listed first. As Paul’s commentary on his parents draws a picture of tall and short, the importance of music is magnified: ‘Music was…glue. To both parents, music was their true career.’ Music is the backbone of the novel, the tides of emotion are all forged through music. Music is in Keller’s DNA and no matter how hard he tries he cannot pass this passion, this ‘rubato’ on to Paul. The distinguishing features of the school yard and the Swan plays a major part in the building of identity of the town. The schoolyard is a smaller, younger version of the Swan. The same people whistling and not knowing the difference between Chopin and chopping wood, between a dog’s barking and Bach are the same people breathing the humid air of the schoolyard. This is an important point to consider, as Paul retreats from the school yard, from the Swan to the music in Keller’s room. Some of the most vivid images come through Paul’s search for Keller, Paul’s attempt to build a tangible link to the past: ‘I had never set foot in the city before…’. The shocked Paul narrates are acts of ‘rediscovery…things I hadn’t known I know: he familiar features of that dream city of music.’ The most powerful images come from the bonds he finds with music: ‘Through the Staatsoper, the Rathaus, the maze of the Wiener Hofburg…’ Paul admits to himself finally: ‘(I write these placenames, casually, as if I have lived among them all my life- and in many senses I have lived among them all my life)’. This is a vivid honest reminiscence of his trip to Europe. His snapshot brings Paul to one point: what he needs is at home, in Keller. Techniques The Score - composed by Iven Sen is operatic and modern

Semi-autobiographical: Lena and Vaughn are a merging of Sen and people he knows

Extreme Long Shots introduce both characters as products of their environments

Use of fish eye lens in the opening scenes

Characterisation - clever contrast between the characters language, costume, skin colour, perspectives, a narrative plot device

Close up on both characters as the relationship evolves, more frequent and extended close ups as the film nears its conclusion

There is no resolution to the narrative The wide range of panoramic views offered by Iven Sen creates a sense of isolation and extreme pressure. By employing extreme long shots with low angle shots the environment of northern NSW becomes all consuming. The hot dry heat is perfectly displayed, particularly with strong use of the black road contrasting with the two figures walking in the same direction, yet not with each other. As their jaunt builds, so too does Sen’s use of shot size and angle. The pair are also offered a number of companions, this hastens their journey and as the Great Dividing Range comes into view Sen narrows the shot size, often using close ups on Lena’s face with the greener, livelier landscape in the background. This effectively alters the power structure of the relationship. In the beginning the landscape is a major character in the film, whereas later, as the pair escape from their respective pasts, the close ups place the central characters as the focal point, as if they now belong on the land. The harsh earthy colours of the opening scenes combines with the horrid lifestyle of Vaughn and Lena, whilst the greens and clouded with droplets of rain as they drive over the range brings in the ideas of hope and a future for both of the characters. The vital role the changing nature that surrounds the pair gives insight into the influence of settings on plot and character development. Discuss how the distinctively visual conveys distinctive experiences in Maestro and ONE other related text of your own choosing.

Distinctively visual texts give us distinctive experiences. If an experience is vividly recreated, we are more likely to remember and embrace that experience.
In many ways, we think in images, all our experiences become visions that come back to us in times of joy, or when pain or guilt come or when friends or family are suffering. Peter Goldsworthy’s narrator, Paul, exhibits reflective poetic prose that takes us into a world of joy, pain, guilt and suffering. Those vivid recreations of youth come back to haunt Paul, creating experiences that become apart of his vision of his world. Further, these experiences, unique to Keller and Paul, but universal in their scope draw us into sharing their experiences. Keller and Paul’s distinct experiences become ours. Greater insight can be found in Iven Sen’s scenic coming of age film, ‘Beneath Clouds’. The social outcasts Lena and Vaughn begin divided, yet become joined by Sen’s richly layered montages and his operatic score. Sen and Goldsworthy recreate images from their youth, in these semi-autobiographical texts, uniquely visual visions of experiences exist. These characters and settings move and embed themselves in the reader and the viewer. While we all remember visions of our life, how others see these experiences is also important to consider. Throughout Peter Goldsworthy’s ‘Maestro and Iven Sen’s ‘Beneath Clouds’, it is the shared experiences of the characters that embed the ordeals of life into the readers and viewers own experiences. Further, the uniquely portrayed settings control and influence the characters personalities and reactions to human tragedy. Importantly, both Goldsworthy and Sen’s characters and settings are entrenched with the sensual and provocative nature of music. Music becomes the core of the experiences of Paul, Keller, Lena and Vaughn. These often strained relationships form the experiences for the readers and viewers. Through the cleverly crafted and realistic characters of Goldsworthy and Sen, the significance of vivid settings and music is reinforced. The experiences of Paul, Keller, Lena and Vaughn become our experiences, apart of our vision of our world.
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