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"The Hypocrites" Weber, Lois, 1915


Lois Weber's 1915 film "The Hypocrites" was shown to teach viewers that cinema can involve real symbolic characters and issues. The film contained a lot of humanistic plots, which entailed hypocrisy where the main character, Gabriel the Acetic, a priest went on a quest for truth.

The film had the characters demonstrating apathy in church very well by using jump cuts and close up shots of church congregants not participating in church and being apathetic about church. The use of facial expressions and jump cuts demonstrated various congregants laughing, talking, zoning out and disrupting the service. At the end of church, Gabriel sat in a chair reading a newspaper about the truth startling Paris. Then, Gabriel transforms through the use of fade into a dark room and then it faded into a road near the woods (which symbolizes the entry to heaven).

The next scenes were not entirely clear to viewers. The "Naked Truth" was a symbolic image for Gabriel and it was illustrated in the film in two different ways. The first way was a ghost naked woman that followed Gabriel around throughout his journey through the woods. Then, the "Naked Truth" showed a mirror to viewers that showed the hypocrisy of the characters. Weber was unsuccessful with incorporating intertitles that involved transitions throughout the film. The intertitles that were incorporated seemed unnecessary for viewers because most of the visual cues were present and obvious, but many did of the more confusing aspects of the film did not have intertitles. For example, it was not obvious that Gabriel died in the chair until the end of the movie where the hypocrites found him.

There was an unveiling also was no intertitle for that action. On the other hand, the gathering for the symbolic image "The Naked Truth" was illustrated visually successfully, but Weber still included an intertitle about the gathering, not the unveiling. Weber illustrated this by using fade ins. Gabriel and the Naked Truth would observe several circumstances of observing people behaving appropriately, but then truth would show Gabriel instances of hypocrisy. This was accomplished successfully by using fade ins to contrast the two scenes.

Weber also made the exposition, climax and resolution very clear in the film, but the rising and falling actions were unclear in the film. The exposition was obvious that Gabriel wanted truth, but it was unclear why Gabriel ended up in the woods for truth.

Overall, the film had some aspects that were clear for viewers and others that were not so clear for viewers. It was easily noticeable for viewers to contrast what they could or could not understand what was going on in the film. The use of fade ins and jump cuts were used very effectively because the transitions helped viewers follow the movie more easily back in 1915. This time period was when movies began to have a purpose, and this film is a perfect example to describe what the intentions were back in 1915.

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