Now Gary, how do you explore the theme of change throughout your movie?
That’s a very good question. Change is explored through the movie through the use of colour where the changing from black and white to colour shows the progression of the characters as they experience new ideas and break free of constraints. This can be seen when Skip the basketball captain drives home after making out with Jennifer, he is confused and excitedly delirious because he is experiencing something new; he stops his car at an intersection and sees a red rose among the black and white bush. The bold red, represents lust or intense desire; I used this colour to show that Skip wants to be with Jennifer and is now breaking long-held moral conventions in Pleasantville. I hope it shows that by letting the characters experience new things, in this case normal human emotions as well as emotions involving sexuality, they will experience the excitement of change and develop genuine emotions. In the movie I also show the power of change using colour when Bud stands up for his mother. David is a guy who is pushed around a lot before he is transported to Pleasantville and he isn’t the most confident guy when it comes to talking to women. In the moment when he sees that his mum is vulnerable from the taunting of the others, he realises that he needs to be protect his mother and in doing so he becomes a changed person; because his personality changes he changes colour to reflect that. When he has this character change I use a high angle camera close up shot looking down at the aggressive guy’s face to reinforce the idea that Bud is finally standing up for himself. By stepping out of his comfort zone, his new way of behaving is noted in the colour he develops. Everyone must remember the gorgeous Betty, whose ignorance about her own body is almost tragic. I use close-ups of betty’s face as she moans in the new found pleasure that she has found, every time she moans the music increases its ferocity and becomes extremely present in the scene. The colour appearing on the walls and ceiling, creating that sense of change again and the final touch is the tree exploding into fire which is colour. I use this scene to show that the community of Pleasantville is about to change completely and it will create an extreme rift in the community as well.
How do you deal with the theme of race in the film?
In Pleasantville, change causes people to become very racist in the terms of colour. It is best seen in the courtroom when the coloured or enlightened people are upstairs out of the way while the black and white people are all downstairs. The mayor is the same; he always looks down on coloured people. His judgemental and narrow-minded attitude is communicated with a high angle camera shot over the mayor’s shoulder towards the coloured people. In the film I tried to show the desire to be same through the use of Betty. Betty let Bud cover his mother’s colour using makeup as a veil. When the makeup was being applied; there were close-up camera shots of both Bud and Betty’s face and an extreme close up of the makeup being applied to the skin. The close-ups allow the change of colour to be seen and how it allows Betty to pretend to be the same as she was. This shows the audience the importance of hiding difference…