Dehumanizing and Rehumanizing of Dexter
When most people think of cinema today, the immediate overall picture that comes to mind is that of moving images, audio-visual effects and gimmickry of an unprecedented magnitude in human history. Missing, however, is the coherence of storytelling, of vital emotional output — genuine sentiment — and the essences that inform, that regulate human existence. Even so, a great number of people enjoy cinema for its escapist quality, their sole demand being to become at once removed from the Herculean task of having to bear too much reality. As a result, the average film operates on an entertainment level, one that is more accessible to a mass audience than perhaps any other medium. This is important; however, if cinema pretends to communicate any worthwhile truths about the human condition.
One of the more interesting aspects of civilizations as a whole, but cinema for our purposes, is the ability to dehumanize individuals or in some cases entire groups of people. We’ve seen it multiple times during our screening so far. In Strike we saw mass dehumanization toward the end of the film when a stampede of people was gunned down and it was visually likened to the slaughter of animals by the intercuts of the killing of a cow.
The TV show Dexter also serves to dehumanize but on a more individual level and in a somewhat different style. The opening theme of Dexter (which can be seen below) is unlike any other sequence on television; it's just Dexter making breakfast, a mundane, human task that should be of little interest to the audience. However, the producers make the one minute and forty second clip much more than just a morning meal.
The introduction begins, like most shows, with music. It is a "curious" kind of melody, with a dramatic bass line. The function of which appears to be to grab the viewer and place them in Dexter's position, curious about day to day life and the way he perceives it compared to others....