Tuesday, September 02, 2008
Tom's War on Terror
Directed by Cameron Fay, 2007, approximately 1:29
Source: American University's Library Media Services
As far as narrative goes for this film, although only a minute and a half is very interesting. There is Tom a man waitng fo a bus and spots a middle eastern woman standing with a heavy looking backpack. As a mild-mannered man, who supposedly watches the news and is aware of his surroundings, he decides to be a hero. He tackles the woman and tells everyone to get down. From there all the people fall silent and just stare at him, where introduces himself, apologizes and steps back on the bus.
What I found so intriguing about this film is how much of a narrative is revealed in such a short amount of time. The movie itself runs over a minute and thirty second, while the actual footage is under a minute. We only learn Tom's name from the title and after he introduces himself. And we know nobody else's name. But what is so interesting is how much we actually do know from the information given. Tom is society's every-day average Joe, he wakes up, puts on his suit, buys his coffee and takes the bus to work. But today after watching the new or reading the paper he is on the defensive about suicide bombings and people of middle east descent. From this recent knowledge gained, he goes to his everyday bus stop. At this bus stop he sees a middle eastern woman with a backpack. No dialogue is used but a sense of urgency is in the air, created by the music and the quick cuts.
The girl is another character that develops as the film elapses. She at first gives Tom a "funny look," by staring at him then looking down. Although the viewer already assumes she is not actually a suicide bomber, it's how Tom is seeing hte whole situation. So he see this and panics. Later on in the film after he throws her bag and books spill out. This makes her a innocent character, who becomes a victim of discrimination. Even though Tom becomes the enemy at that point, he still brushes himself off and continues on with his everyday routine. This goes to show how so much narrative and information can be in a film that is so short.