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The movie "Planet of the Apes" (1968), as the best ideological adaptation of the novel by Pierre Boulle
The 1968 has forever changed the history of cinema. In that year there was a brilliant sci-fi picture presented by Franklin Schaffner - "Planet of the Apes". This film, much affected both the development of the film industry in general, and also individual genre of science fiction in particular. The events in the film and its main idea reflected the lie of the land of that time. 1968 is one of the most significant in the history of mankind and especially for the american society. The plot of the film is completely symbolic and indicates the most pressing problems of the time in which it was shot. Now, after more than 45 years since it`s been released, Schaffner`s picture becomes more prophetic, its relevance and importance in the context of history is increasing. "Planet of the Apes" was created on the adapted script for the movie, based on a novel by Pierre Boulle, who had also produced some revolution in society of 60s, turned the idea of the model of the future progress of humanity. Maybe, Schaffner`s film is not verbatim screen adaptation of the Boulle`s cult novel, but without a doubt it contains the main essence and meaning of a social and political satire of the author.
Taylor, Landon, Dodge and Stewart are the astronauts from Earth, being in a deep creo-sleep their spaceship falls into a lake on the planet inhabited by apes. The ship begins to sink and the crew decides to reach the land with the help of an inflatable raft. The astronauts soon found out that the current year on the planet they landed was about 4000, it`s almost 2000 years after they left the planet in the ' 70s. Mr. Dodge, the bioengineer checked the soil and said that it was unable to support any life. The sudden appearance of armed apes led to a panic, people began to rush in different directions, fleeing from the attacks of throwing nets. They took about 10 prisoners and the rest were killed. Dodge died from a shot and Landon was injured and lost his consciousness. Taylor was captured and transported to the main town of the apes by gorillas, where he was subjected to an operation and remained alive.Because of the neck injury, the main character couldn't speak because his vocal chords were severely damaged so the apes thought he was primitive as the rest of the humans. Taylor, the protagonist, learns that the world is ruled by various kinds of apes, who can speak and be in strict control of the communal system. The monkeys developed primitive society based on the principles of human early urban era. They have guns, they can ride horses, build trucks, even make primitive photography. Monkeys believe that people belong to an inferior race, which you can only hunt in order to conduct scientific experiments, or kill on the spot. After a long captivity in apes` residence being tortured and abused, Taylor was judged for being an inferior form of life who has no any rights. A little later, towards the end he escapes with Nova, the woman from the tribe of primitive people. They are on the beach, near the sea, where they see a visible part of the Statue of Liberty. Taylor realizes that this is the planet that once belonged to the people. Humanity has ruined it with its endless wars and nuclear weapons. The main character gets on his knees and condemns humanity in despair (Planet Of The Apes, 1968).
"Planet of the apes" the 1968 reflection
The plot of the film shows the brutal conflict between the two types of life (monkeys vs men). It's not a coincidence that the film was released in 1968 because it directly reflects the social problems of that period; as a symbolic argument in the proof of inhumanity relationships between different people. In 1968, there were large number of events that associated with the idea of the movie. The Vietnam War mass killing of between 400 and 500 unarmed civilians in South Vietnam on March 1968, committed by US Army. The Vietnam War in general is reflected in some details of Schaffner`s film. In April 1968 in the US city of Memphis was killed the leader of African-American Civil Rights Movement, Martin Luther King. The film demonstrates the inequality and lack of morality. The most significant events of 1968 showed the beginning of humanity degradation, killing their own kind. At some point, the humans have forgotten what are the humanism and moral standards. This moment is forever imprinted in the movie "Planet of the Apes" (Balaschak, 2012).
The movie is represented as the science fiction, but in reality it is a brilliant study of human history and its natural essence. In the beginning, the spectator is shocked by the world in which the protagonist starts his adventure. People are just wild animals who have neither voice nor culture in the society of apes. However, during this awareness the author leads the spectator to unpleasant conclusion. Everyone can see something different in this picture, as for me it's a great model of our possible future, based on the deepest analysis of the history, culture and biological nature.At the beginning of "Planet of the Apes", there are clearly visible class inequality and savagery society, but in the end of the same picture we can see very familiar and incredibly similar characteristics of the modern human civilization. The society which allows the existance of the same injustice and social discrimination. The author carried out a painful parallel, showing the unconditional religious blindness of the apish society, where the rule of paramount dogmatic prescriptions of ancestors are accepted for unproven truth, and all who disagree with this dogmas are called heretics (HIATT, 2014).
The excellent directing and acting work perfectly capture the spirit of the Boulle`s book, his entire philosophical essence and satire. Charlton Heston showed the madness and despair of a last man "of his time." Gorgeous soundtrack, camera work and special make-up created a stunning atmosphere showing the alien planet and keep the audience in suspense from the first to the last minute of the picture. Along with the Heston`s hero, we will go the way of the violent denial of the "terrible reality" to the awareness of the horror of the "past" (Nichols, 1998).
The film is very beautifully built in composition and structural terms. It absolutely does not seem boring or prolonged. The picture gives a lot of materials to think about yourself and about the others, even about much more global issues related to the ecology of the planet. Anyway, "Planet of the Apes" is not lost and will not lose its relevance for a long time. One of the most remarkable film episodes is the scene of Taylor`s trial. Monkeys are all the same people. This film is able to impress the spectator and make to rethink the basic principles of living on Earth.
The subtext of the story is simply genius. On the one hand, it is a dystopia - the viewer can easily analyze the alternative forms of human development and social structure. And, on the other hand, we see an elegant retouch criticism of modern social order - the most absurd forms of which can be easily seen in the world of apes. The protagonist of the film was Taylor, the commander of a space mission. He represented humanity. The antagonist was a group of radical monkeys, whose interests were the total destruction of the human species. Whether it was a genocide of people? According to the elders apes opinion the people were a very cruel creatures that needed to be totally destroyed for the sins of their past. In this issue it can be clearly seen echoes of the World War II tragedy, associated with the genocide of the Jews (Balaschak, 2012). J. Franklin`s "Planet of the Apes" is nothing more than a sharp and fervent critic of mankind. In fact, all the basic ideas were told us by Cornelius (Roddy McDowall) at the end of the movie, reading a chapter of the Bible simian analogue dedicated human characteristic. I must admit it is hard-hitting, but it's true.
Thus, "Planet of the Apes" is not only a great fantastic movie, which in the best traditions of the genre primarily seeks to examine the phenomenon of "humanity". It is the socio-political satire on the modern, progressive civilization. The movie which was ahead of its time, causing a real cultural response in spectators` minds. "Planet of the Apes" is a cultural phenomenon and though its visual effects level is lower, compared with the modern fantastic movies but ideologically it outperforms each of them. Franklin Schaffner`s film is a frighteningly authentic prophecy which applies to all individuals who lived in the past, are living now and those who will live in the near or distant future.
There are many adaptations of the novel by Pierre Boulle. There are also films in which directors had tried to develop the idea of the book: Beneath the Planet of the Apes, 1970; Escape from the Planet of the Apes, 1971. The adaptation of Franklin J. Schaffner can be considered the most successful and comprehensive. "Planet of the Apes" is not just another film adaptation of the popular novel, this is a very "loud" remark to every person decided to watch a movie and understand the hidden meaning.
Planet Of The Apes (1968). Dir. Franklin Schaffner. Perf. Charlton Heston.
Comtois, David, and Kevin Burns, and Shelley Lyons, and Brian Anthony, and Roddy McDowall. Behind The planet of the apes. Beverly Hills, Calif: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, 2015
HIATT, BRIAN. "The King Of Post-Human Acting." Rolling Stone 752 (2014): 36. Academic Search Premier. Web. 10 Mar. 2015.
Wagner, Cynthia G., and Patrick Tucker. "Sci-Fi And The Trans-Simian Future." Futurist 47.3 (2013): 64-62. Academic Search Premier. Web. 10 Mar. 2015.
Nichols, Peter M. "In a social mirror, the faces of apes." New York Times 30 Aug. 1998: 22. Academic Search Premier. Web. 10 Mar. 2015.
Balaschak, Chris. "Planet Of The Apes: John Szarkowski, My Lai, And The Animals." Art Journal 71.3 (2012): 6-25. Academic Search Premier. Web. 27 Mar. 2015.
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