Books and Movies Reviews

Time and Space in Kalifornia

Choose a film and undertake an analysis of that film by exploring how space, time, movement and other designs create meaning.

Kalifornia, Dominic Sena's 1993 film is one that utilises the concepts of space, time and movement to an effective degree as a journey into the serial killer psyche. The film is of the road genre and as such movement plays an important role, as do the exploration of spaces and the use of time.'Kalifornia' follows Brian, a struggling writer who is researching a book on serial killers and his girlfriend, Carrie, a photographer. The two hatch a plan to travel to California visiting the sites of famous murders along the way. As they are unable to afford the petrol expenses they decide to place an ad on a college bulletin board for someone to travel cross country with them. They are joined by Early Grayce and his child-like girlfriend Adele Corners.

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Movement in this film can be considered in the context of a journey. However, this journey takes place not only in a physical sense but also, as is usually the case with journeys, in a symbolic sense. As the four characters travel and move together they learn a great deal about themselves and each other. Physical movement within the film is explored throughout as a device which propels the plot forward. The moving car is the tool, even the literal vehicle,which Sena employs to drive the plot and the characters employing wide primarily static shots of the car moving through the frame to show the perpetuity of the journey. As the characters of Brian and Carrie move toward their physical destination, California, so too, do they move towards their own misfortunes. This is particularly evident in the fact that each time the car moves onto its next destination, a little bit more of Early's character is revealed to them until it finally becomes clear just what they have got themselves into. The moment of realisation occurs when, upon Carrie'…


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