Assignment: Response to video

Assignment: Response to video

Assignment: Response to video

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Assignment: Response to video
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Watch the video: An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge by clicking on the link Media Gallery on the left side of the Home Page.

Then respond in brief, well-written sentences.

1. What is significant about the long establishing shots at the beginning and end?  How do they differ?

2. How does Enrico (director) get you into the skin of Peyton Farquar?

3. How does Enrico get you to sympathize with his dilemma?

4. Which film techniques dramatize his predicament after he surfaces?

5. How did Robert Enrico manage to trick you into thinking Farquar had actually escaped?

6. What clues did he offer that he hadn’t escaped?

7. What does the sand/beach/flower sequence tell us about the message of the film?

8. What is significant about his wife’s caress at the end?

9. What is the film’s central message?

10. What is significant about the title in terms of the message?

Plot

Peyton Farquhar, a civilian and plantation owner, is being prepared for execution by  from an  railroad bridge during the . Six military men and a company of infantrymen are present, guarding the bridge and carrying out the sentence. Farquhar thinks of his wife and children and is then distracted by a noise that, to him, sounds like an unbearably loud clanging; it is actually the ticking of his watch. He considers the possibility of jumping off the bridge and swimming to safety if he can free his tied hands, but the soldiers drop him from the bridge before he can act on the idea.

In a flashback, Farquhar and his wife are relaxing at home one evening when a soldier rides up to the gate. Farquhar, a supporter of the , learns from him that  troops have seized the Owl Creek railroad bridge and repaired it. The soldier suggests that Farquhar might be able to burn the bridge down if he can slip past its guards. He then leaves, but doubles back after nightfall to return north the way he came. The soldier is actually a disguised Union scout who has lured Farquhar into a trap as any civilian caught interfering with the railroads will be hanged.

The story returns to the present, and the rope around Farquhar’s neck breaks when he falls from the bridge into the creek. He frees his hands, pulls the noose away, and rises to the surface to begin his escape. His senses now greatly sharpened, he dives and swims downstream to avoid rifle and cannon fire. Once he is out of range, he leaves the creek to begin the journey to his home, 30 miles away. Farquhar walks all day long through a seemingly endless forest, and that night he begins to hallucinate, seeing strange constellations and hearing whispered voices in an unknown language. He travels on, urged by the thought of his wife and children despite the pains caused by his ordeal. The next morning, after having apparently fallen asleep while walking, he finds himself at the gate to his plantation. He rushes to embrace his wife, but before he can do so, he feels a heavy blow upon the back of his neck; there is a loud noise and a flash of white, and “then all is darkness and silence”. It is revealed that Farquhar never escaped at all; he imagined the entire third part of the story during the time between falling through the bridge and the noose breaking his neck.

Assignment: Response to video

 

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