1)Identify the two characters that
“provide” a form of communication, and how they serve in the context
of communication to others an ability to enable communication among many
In the beginning of the The Piano, Ada McGrath and Flora, her daughter, are waiting with
their stuff near the shoreline. Upon Alisdair Stewart, a New Zealand
frontiersman, and with his team from the Maori culture arriving at the beach,
they realize that Ada is a mute piano player and thus the two characters that
provide a form of communication that is most notable is that which exists
between Ada and her daughter Flora. For example, Ada uses sign language and
writing small notes as her main form of communication during this scene. This
serves as an ability to enable communication among many characters because how
noticeable those two acts are in and of itself. It attracts a lot of attention
among characters. If one person were two just communicate by writing small
notes and/or using sign language, it is intriguing to see and interpret was is
going on. Additionally, from the perspective of the Maori people they seem to
communicate mostly only through their language meaning they are likely
unfamiliar with the forms of communication Ada uses.
(2) Describe scenes in support of your two
chosen characters, be sure to consider if your choices match the above. Give a
reason why you think the two you choose “provide” communication.
Ada uses her two forms of communication, writing small
notes and sign language, interchangeably. In a way this provides communication
more effectively and concise. Yes, Ada is not able to speak, but she is using
two ways to get her message across. Whereas, the typical person gets there
point usually just by speaking in articulated words. Moreover, they are small
notes ultimately expressed vocally by Flora, and it is very interesting how she
does so. If we take a step back, and perceive of how the atmosphere is between
Ada and Flora with/against Stewart and his team, you can tell there is
naturally some tension represented as if they are all ready not on good terms.
Continuing with how Flora expresses Ada’s messages, Flora’s tone in voice is
relatively aggressive compared to anyone else. The audience is able to tell
there is a connecting bridge in between the way Ada feels protective for her
piano. Secondly, the way Flora quickly looks back and forth between Ada and
Stewart, but giving more attention and priority to what Ada has to say and less
priority to what Stewart says about the piano and her belongings.
(3)Identify and describe 5 ways Ada communicates
Ada communicates in the beginning and ending of the film.
We are able to hear her voice in her head narrating the story line. Sign
language and writing small notes is primarily significant as well with the help
of Flora. And lastly, Ada loves and enjoys expressing the way she feels by
playing her piano.
(4) Describe the scene when animation is used, what
effect does that have in the scene?
was describing a moment of her past during the time when her “real father” and
mom were married together in the mountains from where they came from. Flora is
telling a story of how they were singing so “passionately” in the mountains
when a storm was coming inbound. Despite the falling rain, they continued to
sing, sing, and sing, but sadly, her father got struck by lightening. This is
what animation exactly shows – how he lit up as torch on fire. There is even
sound of the fire crippling sound. This animation really gives you effect of
the hardship that Flora and Ada face from the past. It gives the audience a
more emotional and impactful feel of the tragic event. This animation scene
allows it to serve as a key point in the film that is easy to remember and
reflect back to. Essentially, it gets “stamped” into the minds of the audience.
(5)How does Director Jane Campion communicate in
her choices as a filmmaker? What images, sounds and themes are present in the
film? (Consider similar use of sound as heard in Hell in the Pacific)
Water and wind are both common sounds in
both movies. In Hell in the Pacific those sounds are very prevalent because
they are stranded on an island so water and wind is very prevalent. However,
Campion mostly used the sounds of water in the beginning and ending, with wind
being in both beginning and ending, with some wind sounds spread throughout the
movie. The piano musical piece to the film was absolutely amazing, and sounded
so beautiful. It really gives life to movie, despite the movies’ dull and
gray-scale-like colors. I found it interesting how the only time the piano was
played in disorder was by the Maori people and that was when Stewart figured
out she was cheating on him with Baines and chased Ada down in the forest.
(6)What is the condition of the communication
between the Maori people and the colonial settlers? – How does the play scene
factor in to Campion’s concept for the film?
You can there is a lack of understanding between the
colonial people and the local Maori people solely based upon the play scene.
The Maori people thought someone was actually being killed in the play, meaning
there was not an understanding of the concept of what a play actually entails.
Moreover, I believe it shows somewhat a barbarian and uncivilized side to the
Maori culture in comparison. This is actually also showed in the very beginning
of the move when the Maori people just started playing around in the beach
water when Stewart was trying to implement a way to being Ada’s belongings back
to the house.