Chapter 11. Mending endings

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Closing images of films are used to maintain a status quo. Thus images of a happy ending ‘mend’ our critical experience of the world by washing audiences in the escapist glow of cinema light, hiding the chains with flowers. I Am Legend (2008) is an example of how a happy ending sanitises the cinema exit, neutralising subversive images before the audience leaves. Contrasting the Hollywood tradition with the critical tradition, this chapter lists ways in which a young scriptwriter can consciously choose his/her own use of images. Most Hollywood scriptwriting gurus encourage film students to use techniques which ‘hypnotise’ the audience with emotional catharsis. Instead, this chapter helps film students to break the mould of this canon.


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