Thursday, August 30, 2012


Our Nation, Our Future
              The trailer for the movie, 2016, is a political piece, sponsored by the Republican Party, but the trailer targets both democratic and republican audiences.  With the use of rhetoric, it invites one to dive into the debate and contribute to the future of our nation by going and seeing the movie. This is done with ethos, pathos and logos.
             The trailer uses both bold and subtle visual arguments to ignite the viewer’s pathos. Louis Giannetti, in his book, Understanding Movies, elaborates on the use of color in movies. He notes that red can represent sexuality, danger, death and blood (23). The color of red flooding the statue of liberty with the rapidly growing numbers of debt links our nation’s debt to danger, death and blood. We also see the use of black and white to denote significant moments in history, as if what’s going on today is equally as important. The viewer also gets a sense that Obama’s history will be revealed because there are pictures of his ancestral past displayed and images from his book, entitled Dreams from My Father. Muted and gray-scale coloring is used for the scene of young Obama visiting his father’s grave, suggesting he has a dark past that we do not know about. The emblems of the flag and eagle are used recurrently to ignite a patriotic response, as if to remind us to unite as Americans.  
            Ethos is played on when we see the face of Barak Obama, who is the face of our nation. At first loved by many, then hated by many, Obama is a face that draws in an audience because of the star quality. As stated in Gianetti’s book, “A star must have enormous personal magnetism that commands our attention” (16).  Viewers can be intrigued to see the movie because this star’s credibility. Not only is he visible but we also hear his voice, speaking about his personal life.  We see at one point a pro-Obama poster turn into a white question mark, as if to say we actually do not know the face we though we knew. This creates mystery and is a positive point for the preview because both republican and democratic interest is caught in this unbiased approach.
            Ethos is also evident when we see, “Based on New York Times Bestseller by Dinesh D’ Souza”.  That plug convinces us this must be a reputable and worth-while movie. The preview also inserts, “Academy award winning best picture Schindler’s List”, which argues that this movie may be a brutally revealing and honest representation of governmental and historical issues, like Schindler’s List. This draws in an audience that likes dramatic and realistic portrayals of moments in history. The political / drama genre pulls mostly from college age men and up. Some political women may want to see, or maybe wives will accompany their husbands just for company, but women are not the target.        
            Logos is also ignited with the use of numbers and facts in all capital letters and business-like font. The inserted texts and most writing are in all capital letters. Here, the written capital represents the governmental capital, as well as emphasizing importance. We see images of “STOCK EXCHANGE” that represents the suffering economy and for some pull at pathos as well. Convincing images of maps, dates in history, typical American cities, an America family, and ordinary faces encourages the audience to align personal issues with government fallacies. Abraham Lincoln’s statue and the Washington monument are both representations of logic and accomplishment that we revere. We also see images of monopoly pieces and the jail stop on the board game. Showing the jail on monopoly reflects our nation being stuck in an economical jail, so to speak. These flashes of economical symbols help the argument for the movie because poverty and unemployment vex our current nation, and no one can deny that these are important issues. People who are affected from the suffering economy may want to see what possible causes or solutions the movie offers. However, it is not reaching people who are unaware or unconcerned about the current political and economic status.
            I think this preview does a good job at making an unbiased preview, though it is republican in ideology. I am republican and recently passionate about politics and Obama in particular, so this definatley got me out to see the movie.

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