How AMOLAD is an Intertext for the New Film (Soul)

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How AMOLAD is an Intertext for the New Film (Soul)

Directors Pete Docter and Kemp Powers are the masterminds behind Soul (2020), which is animated and can be termed as comedy. The story revolves around Joe Gardner who aspires to rejoin his body and soul after they separate without his approval. A Matter of Life and Death (1946), on the other hand, is a romantic-fantasy film produced during the aftermath of WWII. Reading both texts, one would argue that AMOLAD is an intertext of Soul because of some similarities between the two. The protagonists in both cases strive to remain alive after encountering a life-threatening incident. Peter Carter in AMOLAD, for example, jumps from a damaged bomber without a parachute thereby endangering his life. However, to his amazement, he finds himself on a beach still alive. The same happens in Soul where Joe falls in a deep hole as he heads towards a jazz performance. He moves to an unknown destination where he thinks he is going to die. However, he does not die and manages to come back to earth. The other similar feature between the two movies is that they tend to restore hope at a time when things appear to be falling apart. However, one evident difference between the two productions is that whereas Soul is animated, AMOLAD features real people who address real life issues.   

Whether Soul is a Film Blanc

Soul is a film blanc based on Hellen Powell’s description. Powell, a senior lecturer at the University of East London defines film blanc as an almost indicator of film noir, not only because of their conflicting styles of light and darkness in the lighting mechanisms applied, but also in their view to human psyche. Powell (105) argues that a film can be termed as film blanc when it meets the following features; a the death of a mortal or a shift into a dream, followed by a succeeding acquaintance with a kindhearted demonstration of the world beyond, often referred to as heaven, typically followed by an intense love affair, concluded by the return to the mortal setting or world. Some of the evident factors qualifying the production as film blanc is the contrast between light and dark, especially where Joe falls into the hole. The other factor that qualifies Soul as a film blanc is Joe assumes another life, but ultimately rejoins the mortal life and spends time with the love of his life.

Enjoyable Scenes

I enjoy watching several scenes in the film. One notable scene is where Joe meets 22 when he enters into the new world and the latter starts making a series of dance as a way of impressing Joe. The dances appear to appease Joe who also joins in the dance. The beginning of the scene is also enjoyable to watch from the time Joe says that he has won an opportunity to perform in a forthcoming event, to the time where he falls into a pit. His evident level of confusion from the time he enters the unknown destination also fascinates me.

Comparing AMOLAD and It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

It’s a Wonderful Life (1946) is a fantasy film by Frank Capra that focuses on the story of George Bailey who contemplates committing suicide for feeling worthless for not being able to join the troop that fought in WWII. It’s a Wonderful Life is a film noir because it is characterized by features such as flashbacks, complex plots, contrasting lighting effect, and pessimistic or optimistic heroes. It is similar to AMOLAD that was released in 1946 in the way they both address issues on post-war, although they end differently. It’s a Wonderful Life displays some features that Powell associates with film blanc. George enters an unknown world after Clarence introduces him to a world in which he never witnessed. He sees new things related to everyone he knows as being different. The vision introduces George to a new perception to life that makes him to return to his senses and change his views about committing suicide. In addition, AMOLAD displays some features of film blanc, which makes it similar to it’s a Wonderful Life. A voice-over in AMOLAD introduces viewers to the universe, allowing them to be conversant with various scientific elements as camera roams through planets and stars (Powell 106). The two films display common features of film blanc because they seek to give reprieve caused by the effects of the War.

Relating Back to the Future II to Gordon’s Reading

Robert Zemeckis directed back to the Future II that was released in 1989. The film focuses on Marty McFly who returns from the past, and Emmett Brown picks and moves him to the future. Marty must behave and conduct himself like his son to avoid being sent to jail once he assumes the future life. However, he returns to the normal life only to learn that his father is now a prosperous person, and the rest of his family members live a happy life. Andrew Gordon conducts a critical analysis of the film through his literacy work, which helps readers to acquire a wider perception of the film. The text helps to understand why the film had a significant impact on the American society and theatric production for so long. Gordon (372) explains that it is because of the appealing music, special effects, fantasies, sentiments, romance, suspense, action, and comedy associated with the production. Moreover, the text helps to acquire a wider view on the aspect of time travel that feature prominently in the film. Back to the Future II differs from Back to the Future I in the way McFly’s family appears to have made significant progress in the latter production. Contrary to part I where the protagonist’s mother is overweight, alcoholic, and depressed, Lorraine (McFly’s mother) is prosperous and happy in part II. Watching the two versions shows that part II is more enjoyable because it exposes the audience to a wider view on how people can overcome their tribulations and become prosperous.

Donnie Darko

Donnie Darko (2001) by Richard Kelly focuses on the story of a young man who experiences disturbing visions after narrowly escaping a harrowing incident. S. Darko (2009) by Chris Fisher, on the other hand, pays attention to Donnie Darko’s sister (Samantha) and how they must make a suitable decision on a crossroad with her close pal, Corey. The original versions is more engaging and leaves viewers more thrilled than the latter version. It is interesting to watch how a man commits a series of crimes under the manipulation of a large rabbit that comes to him on a vision.

The Terminator

Chris Marker is renowned for making short films, as well as long films. However, James Cameron’s The Terminator (1984) diverge from Marker’s moving short films in the way the film lasts for approximately 107 minutes. The Terminator would only fall under the category Marker addresses if it lasted only few minutes.

Works Cited

Cameron, James. The Terminator. Hemdale, 1984.

Capra, Frank. It’s a Wonderful Life. Liberty Films, 1946.

Docter, Pete. Soul. Walt Disney, 2020.

Fisher, Chris. S. Darko. Silver Nitrate, 2009.

Gordon, Andrew. “Back to the Future”: Oedipus as Time Traveller.” Science Fiction Studies,

            vol. 14, no. 3, 1987, pp. 372-385.

Kelly, Richard. Donnie Darko. Pandora Cinema, 2001.

Powell, Helen. Stop the Clocks! Time and Narrative in Cinema. I.B. Tauris, 2012.

Powell, Michael. A Matter of Life and Death. The Archer, 1946.

Zemeckis, Robert. Back to the Future II. Amblin Entertainment, 1989.

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