Books and Movies Reviews

Coney Island Film Critique

In the documentary "Coney Island" produced by Ric Burns illustrates Coney Island's transformation over its existence. Basically the film is a reflection of America at the time and as America changed so did Coney Island. The over all message that Ric Burns was conveying through the film was that Coney Island was a place that offered the future to all its visitors a playful happy atmosphere with roller coasters, rides and cultural attractions. A few examples of these attractions described were the Ferris wheel, Sea Lion Park, horse races, the Blow Hole Theater, an infant incubator site and the Steeplechase. All of those attractions redefine leisure, entertainment, and, above all else, imagination for the modern era. With all of that said the directors don't just glorify Coney Island, its hardships and set backs were also documented. Through out Coney Islands history there were many set backs that almost ended its existence but some how the Island always seemed to survive and still provide a happy haven for city dwellers. I am not sure if that was Ric Burns's intent but I feel it was very well documented.
A way that Ric Burns added to the dynamic of Coney Island's peaks and hardships was with the use of sound and music. Ric Burns used people laughing often to show the underlying emotion felt at Coney Island; freedom. To contrast that feeling whenever the dialogue referred to one of the parks at Coney Island that fell victim to a fire the same gloomy music was played. During those depressing times depicted at Coney Island often there was less dialogue and more pictures to illustrate the horrible aftermath the fires had on Coney Island. The director used images to convey his message, feelings and transformations of Coney Island.
Often when still images were used there was an accompanying mysterious voice usually talking about the atmosphere of Coney Island. An example of this is a voice other then the


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