30 films to watch before you die, #28
I've already written detailed posts about "King Kong" in the past, so I'll just point out one thing here. When you watch a film, always be on the lookout for books used as props. I don't mean in a bookcase, I mean individual books seen lying on a table or a chair, anywhere in the picture. This is a common method for a director to let the audience know what influenced him when he made a film. It's a not so subtle hint about a film's meaning. If a character is seen reading a book this makes knowing the book essential to understanding the film.
Here we see young Jimmy reading Joseph Conrad's "Heart of Darkness" as the ship approaches Skull Island. The main theme of the book is the comparison of savages in the jungle with urban savages. Neither is less primitive than the other. We saw that yesterday at the annual Black Friday sales. People were rolling on the floor punching one another because they wanted a cheap flatscreen TV. Mankind hasn't evolved since leaving the jungle, has it? We're all still the same.
Here is Ann Darrow after returning to the ship's crew on Skull Island. The giant monkey, Kong, has been risking his life to save her. Now she realises that Carl Denham and the others want to capture Kong. Her shocked expression as she looks at Carl and the others say everything, especially in the context of "Heart of Darkness". She realises just how primitive the men around her are. Back in New York she's offered large sums of money to appear on stage with the chained monkey, but she refuses.
If you want to watch other films directed by Peter Jackson, I can recommend
- Braindead (1992)
- Heavenly Creatures (1994)
- The Lovely Bones (2009)