Film Analysis Of Okuribito Departures?

1080 Words 5 Pages
Assessment Task 1: Film Analysis on Okuribito (Departures)
Yojiro Takita’s Departures is an Oscar winning film that challenges the traditional Japanese ideology of death and other socio-cultural implications of the people who survive them. As death is one of the main metaphors and recurring theme of the film, understanding it in context to Japanese culture is paramount to this analysis. Multiple times throughout the film Daigo runs into social prejudice upon other characters learning of his job as an encoffiner; this includes his wife who openly called him filthy/unclean. Okuyama tells of an “ancient myth about death as a source of impurity – a concept that is deeply ingrained in the Japanese psyche” (2013, p11). The use of cinematic devices
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The film score was developed by Joe Hisaishi and is s compelling contrast to the pure diegetic silence, ambient sound, and object sound effects. “Music acts roughly like a linguistic modifier, helping to clarify the particular mood, character, or emotive significance of a scene or visual action” (Fiscoff 2005, p24). This unification between the different sound elements can be heard during Daigo’s first encounter with a decomposing body. Noting that “the sound track can clarify image events, contradict them, or render them ambiguous” (Bordwell and Thompson, 1985, p184); the scene starts with the sound of flies and the sight of maggots eating decomposing food, the atmospheric and diegetic sound make a discomforting audio landscape. However, since it is contrasted by the score “First Contact”, the scenes tone would shift to one that is jovial and humorous despite the visual representation of disgust. Individually, the score plays a large part in the overarching themes of the film. This is highlighted in the audio track where there are 3 versions of the score named Okuribito: “On Record”, “Memory”, and “Ending” respectively. Each suggesting “the prevailing mood of a scene, and prompt of an appropriate emotional response from spectators.” (Fiscoff 2005, …show more content…
When no score is present, other diegetic sounds add to the overall audio-visual environment of the film. The usage of the alternate versions of Okuribito at different points of the film coincide with research by Boltz, Shulkind, and Kantra, (1991, pp593-606) stating background music has a profound effect on retention of filmed events. This is further solidified by “opening credit and end title music…as recurring musical themes that come to represent characters or situations within the film” (Libscomb & Tilchinsky, 2005, p10). With such complex usage of sound and music, the film is able to foreground its dialogue and visual aesthetic without saturating the scene with too much music, instead opting for ambient sounds while only allowing the score to play when attempting to elicit and emotional response. The control of sound was a main theme that most likely earned the film an

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