Saturday, October 23, 2010

Black or White

Michael Jackson's "Black or White"

Lyrics can be found here.


1. ARGUMENT - Race does not matter.
2. AUDIENCE - The people in the United States and the world, especially those who listen to popular music.
3. GOAL - To make the people who hear this song think about their own prejudices and change them.
4. HOW - Ethos: By establishing himself as actually having gone to all the different places and cultures--India, Africa, North America, etc.--Michael Jackson gains credibility as a preacher of tolerance.
Pathos: The images of war, fire, and destruction make it clear how much suffering is caused by intolerance. Even though no victims are shown, it inspires pathos for the pain and conflict caused by apathy and prejudice.
Logos: As the people at the end morph into one another, the transition is so smooth that it is obvious how similar the people are, even though they are very different.
5. EFFECTIVE? I thought the music video was very effective at getting across its message. Most popular songs don't undertake as hefty a subject, especially with a catchy tune clearly intended for a wide audience. The arguments included were mostly visual, and therefore rather abstract, but the power of the imagery--of the morphing world surrounding MJ and especially the morphing faces at the end--combined with the message in the lyrics made the argument clear, concise, and effective.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Movie Trailer

Squeakin' it in on Friday, thought I'd use this trailer for City of Ember:

Word Count: 309

1. Argument - This movie is full of excitement and mystery and is worth watching.

2. Audience - Movie-goers and whoever else will see this trailer. Families, teenagers, pre-teens, especially.

3. Goal - To get as many people as possible to pay to see the movie (in theaters, on DVD, etc.)

4. How -
Ethos - The lack of narrator makes the text seem polite instead of patronizing. The production value is another indicator of ethos, though it's got a more subconscious effect. The thought-over design, the size of the sets, and the quality of the effects and editing and cinematography all serve to tell you that this movie means business.
Pathos - The commercial tries to draw you into the story very quickly by giving you the premise up front and then introducing the characters as they try to deal with this conflict--hopefully, you feel sympathetic and want to know how they will manage to escape and what they are running from. The very last few shots are a good example--there are noises and the quick cutting and nervousness of the characters should make you feel the peril they are in and draw you to their side.
Logos - It's harder to pin this one down in a movie trailer, but by giving the premise they prompt you to start wondering how they can get out. Other pieces of the puzzle, like the box and paper fragments, should intrigue your intellectual side as well as your emotions.

5. Effective or not? I thought it was fairly effective as trailers go--the look of the movie is very engaging, in terms of design. Some of the actors did not seem as compelling as they might have, like the older man who says, "Show me." However, overall it looks very inviting as a movie experience, with action, suspense, and really nice visual qualities (design, color, etc.).