Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Film Review: King Kong (1933)

fig. 1 King kong poster

King Kong was produced by  Merian C. Cooperand Ernest B. Schoedsack.

The films is about a famous film director who is looking at capturing a new film and wants to go to an island that he has heard of, he is mysterious with telling the location of the island as he wants secrecy  as it may be dangerous and the crew could be put off going.

"The story is not sophisticated. A movie director (Robert Armstrong) hires a ship, recruits his leading lady from off the streets of New York at the last moment, and sails for a mysterious Pacific island he heard about in Singapore. The island contains a legendary giant ape, which he hopes to use as the star of his movie. Fay Wray plays Ann Darrow, Kong's co-star, and Cabot is the sailor who falls in love with her and saves her from Kong. "Ebert(2002)

The film did a very good job at using Matte Paintings for the background of the scenes, this made the environment seem bigger and more like a mysterious, forest island.

The film I believe has a strong base around ethnics and tribal culture. The portrayal of kong may come across as an animal with rape like fanatics, such as the scene were he is feeling the girl and smelling his fingers, this could come across as an attraction towards the women, also in the same scene he starts to rip her clothes off as if she was just an object, and kong was allowed to do what he so pleased.

A particular scene in the opening of the movies, where the white men and women first go to the island, they come across a very deriving scene of tribal worship, the people are presented as animal like with black feathers and bone piercings.

The film portrays the female character more like an object rather than an actual person, this would most likely be because of the era that the film was made ( 1933) this is were women were not seen as equal as men.

The film is set on a mysterious island, were dinosaurs and great creatures exist, King kong seems to be the king of the island hence the name.

Fig.2 Film still

one particular scene in the film is were kong fights a t rex to project the girl he has become fond with, a great fight breaks out and kong beats the T Rex by dippings its jaw.

"Besides Kong in the jungle among other freaks to appear are a triceratops, a brontosaurus, a tyrannosaurus, a pterodactyl and a 60-foot snake. Kong battles three of them, including the snake. His first scrimmage is with the tyrannosaurus, which looks like the better known dinosaurs, and it’s a wrassling match the likes of which is never seen at the Garden. As an illusion it beats anything that follows, and there is plenty following. After Kong breaks them apart he picks up the pieces for a hasty examination and then beats his breast in token of victory. All he does with the serpent is slap it up against a rock a few times. Bigelow" (1933) 

near the end of the film kong is captured and taken the new york, to be used in a show for the public, the paparazzi turn up and start taking pictures of kong, from the flashes kong becomes distressed and breaks free from his chains. King Kong finds the girl and takes here, destroying new york in the process, King seems to be scared as he has been taken from his home and put into a place were he is not the King.
Fig.3 film still of Kong on empire state building

King Kong climbs the Empire state building near the end, were he is attacked by fighter planes, Kong is killed from gun shots and falls off the empire state building, the ending ends with the film director i the films saids

"A monkey, forty feet tall (some fans say forty-five) may have obvious charms, but those charms have not convinced this viewer. King Kong is no full-blooded ape but rather a rusty, desiccated machine whose movements are downright clumsy. His only virtue, his height, did not impress the cinematographer, who persisted in photographing him from above rather than from below — the wrong angle, as it neutralizes and even diminishes the ape’s overpraised stature. He is actually hunchbacked and bowlegged, attributes that serve only to reduce him in the spectator’s eye. To keep him from looking the least bit extraordinary, they make him do battle with far more unusual monsters and have him reside in caves of false cathedral splendor, where his infamous size again loses all proportion. But what finally demolishes both the gorilla and the film is his romantic love — or lust — for Fay Wray" Borges(1933)


Robert Ebert(2002): http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/great-movie-king-kong-1933

Joe Bigelow:(1933)http://variety.com/1933/film/reviews/king-kong-2-1200410783/

Jorge Luis Borges (1933): http://www.openculture.com/2014/08/jorge-luis-borges-reviews-reviews-king-kong.html


Fig.1: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King_Kong_(1933_film)


Fig.3: https://blockbusterchronicles.files.wordpress.com/2015/10/king-kong-1933-594207-2400x1891-hq-dsk-wallpapers.jpg


1 comment:

  1. Hi Sam,
    You have some strange highlighter going on halfway through here...
    Try not to just re-tell the story; you should be discussing the themes, production techniques rather than just recapping what is happening (as you have done where you mention the objectification of women).
    Make sure that you are selective with what you use as a quote... you don't need to include whole big chunks. Just choose the section that backs up what you are discussing.