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West Wing/Mash Analysis

  • Submitted by: janest1983
  • on March 22, 2012
  • Category: Arts and Music
  • Length: 1,117 words

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Below is a free excerpt of "West Wing/Mash Analysis" from Anti Essays, your source for free research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

West Wing

In the episode “Posse Comitatus” of “The West Wing” several production techniques are used to create drama and breathe life into the scene where CJ learns of Simon Donovan’s death.   Prior to the robbery at the corner store, CJ and Simon share a kiss. The use of tight, close framing creates a sense of intimacy between the two actors. The kiss scene is backlit, giving the silhouette of the kissing a couple the feeling of privacy. The light from the president’s motorcade and the flashing bulbs of Broadway gently illuminates their faces, which gives the audience a little glimpse at this budding love. It feels as if we shouldn’t be watching, but we can’t help ourselves.
When Simon enters the corner store his grin tells the audience of his emotions. His excitement is evident in the florescent glow of the store. When he encounters the man who has just robbed the store, he handles the situation almost too easily. Simon comes across as overly confident. Just when it appears he has handled a terrible situation, a second man involved in the robbery shoots him.   The use of slow motion to capture his death is an appropriate production technique, as it emphasizes the severity of the situation.
After the death of Simon, the next scene is a dramatic one on the Broadway stage next door. The parallel between the drama of theater and Simon’s death generates a sad, dark tone. The dark lighting of the theater and the outside world is another production technique that makes this scene have more impact. It is a highly emotional sequence, and only gains more emotional momentum when CJ is told of Simon’s death. The actors’ voices are barely audible, but this adds to the privacy of the details. Again, the scene is backlit and flashing lights continue to shed light on the situation unfolding in CJ’s world. The song “Hallelujah!” with lyrics is dominating the sounds of this scene.  
This choice of music, the close up camera shots make the death of Simon more personal. His...

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