Centrism In Films

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Centrism in Films Though times have changed a bit, some basic themes in movies have not. First we read Peter Biskind’s description on centrism and how he believed men and women to be portrayed. According to Biskind, “centrist films [are] often defined and negated the extremes, the limits of behavior, leaving it to the audience to negotiate an acceptable compromise within those limits” (133). Movies of a centrist nature “tend to dramatize consensus” (Gomes). Though Phillip Gomes’ paper focuses on science-fiction films he makes a good point with his view on consensus. Consensus is the way in which society as a whole believes things should be. Those who choose not to take part in what society believes is the correct way to act they are considered outsiders and non-conformists. In both Bell, Book, and Candle and Practical Magic marriage as a way of conforming are a major part of their plots. In Peter Biskind’s mind the ultimate form of conformity was to get married. Marriage took different forms in each of the films. In Practical Magic if any of the Owens women were to actually fall truly in love the husband was destined to die because of a curse set on the family. In a way this was a way of preventing the Owens women from conforming to the desires of the society in which they lived. In Bell, Book, and Candle Gillian, a witch, was unable to fall in love unless she was willing to give up her magical powers. In order to get the man she wanted she cast a spell over Shepherd to make him leave his fiance and fall in love with her. Gillian did all of this in hope of not joining the consensus. In the film Bell, Book, and Candle we watched how Gillian and Shepherd’s lives changed as they got to know each other and grew to love one another. Though Shepherd was under a spell and his love was not real at first it became more apparent that Gillian was actually falling in
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