Entertainment Industry and other works

by Ellen Gillingham

Watchmen

Watchmen


1

Watchmen is a graphic novel written by Alan Moore and illustrated by Dave Gibbons in 1986.  Moore adds many aspects to his novelistic comic strips and graphic novels to make them unfilmable art forms, such as interior stories and complicated writings of characters.  The theme relies on the context of an alternative history involving nuclear war and masked heroes.  The story has a universal theme that is considered anti-superhero because it reveals the dysfunctional characteristics of the protagonists.


2

Watchmen was produced by Warner Brothers, in conjunction with Paramount and DC Comics and released in 2009.  The film is a superhero film with an alternate history context.  One theme is shown through characters, such as Rorschach and Dr. Manhattan.  The way their origin stories are displayed, the film illuminates themes of humanity and the causes and effects of dehumanization.  It also contains the theme of world peace and what is necessary to achieve it.


3

Watchmen faced many challenges in becoming a film adaption.  Alan Moore is critical of film and does not believe that comics should be used as storyboards for movies.  Additionally, graphic novels and comic strips have a unique placement of panels on a page, which cannot be captured on film.  Pacing is also a challenge due to the timing of film.  Film is primarily linear, while comic book readers can read at whatever pace they desire.  The film is also criticized for being overly violent, which defeats the purpose of Moore’s ironic message about superheroes.


4

http://www.filmmakermagazine.com/news/2009/01/watching-the-watchmen/

This is an article about why Watchmen was made and how it stands as an artistic endeavor.

http://www.ejumpcut.org/trialsite/ckSuckerPunch/index.html

This is a blog about Zack Snyder’s Sucker Punch.  It is compared to Watchmen proving a trend in graphic novel adaptations.

http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/01/30/how-zack-snyder-just-barely-got-watchmen-to-the-screen/

This is an interview with Zack Snyder about how his adaptation had a hard time turning the comic book into a film.

This interview is important to understanding Watchmen because it gives incites on the director’s fears in filming the movie while Fox was suing Warner Brothers.  Additionally, it informs the reader of many criticisms for the film.  I found it interesting that Synder compared the adaptation to another film from class, No Country for Old Men.  Finally, Synder provides an explanation for why he changed the ending of Watchmen.


5

What do you think of the music soundtrack in Watchmen? Does it faithfully represent the themes of the film? How about the themes of the book?

The music soundtrack in Watchmen represents the themes of the film exactly.  The songs played throughout the film have pessimistic and depressing tones.  This faithfully represents the themes of the Cold War against the Soviet Union.  Additionally, the soundtrack supports the theme that the superheroes return from retirement due to a global nuclear threat.  Many of the songs represent time in either the lyrics or pacing.  For example, the opening song Bob Dylan’s “The Times They Are a-Changin” shows depression and hopelessness of the political themes along with the idea that times are changing.  The reference to time and change along with the pessimistic tone reflect the Watchmen’s retirement.  Additionally, Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” was played very slowly; there are many versions of this song.  Some sound sad, some are more upbeat, but this one sounds long and drawn out.  This pacing effect reflects the looming threat of a future without world peace, mirroring themes in the film and graphic novel.  Throughout the graphic novel of the Watchmen, many of these songs are referenced.  Some songs are playing in the background of some of the comic panels, while others have lyrics that are titles and ending quotes in chapters.  Overall, the film’s soundtrack is representative of the film and book because it carries the same tone and themes.

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One comment on “Watchmen

  1. lordbyrne
    July 9, 2012

    Insightful analysis and research. Glad you took on the music in the film. You did a good job showing its importance. Snyder did a great job with Times They Are A’ Changin’. Not so sure about his use of Hallelujah. 10/10. JB.

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This entry was posted on July 8, 2012 by in Adaptation, Film and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , .
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