- May 26, 2020
Planet of the Apes
PLANET OF THE APES 1
Planetof the Apes
is an Americanscience fiction movie that was produced in 1968 (Handley, 2008).After that, several films have been produced by the same title(Begun, 2016). The initial film was based on the 1963 French noveltitled La Planète des Singes which had been written by PierreBoulle. It was directed by Franklin J, Schaffner whereas thegroundbreaking avant-scorecard was composed by Jerry Goldsmith(Begun, 2016). Since the production of the 1968 film, a series offive other movies were released by 1973. These included Beneath the, Escape from the , Conquest ofthe , and Battle for the (Handley, 2008). 1974 and 1975 also saw the release of televisionseries titled and the Return to the Planet of Apesrespectively (Begun, 2016). The latter was an animation (Handley,2008). Other sequels that have been since been released include Riseof the Planet of Apes and Dawn of the in 2011 and2014 respectively. From all the versions of the planet of the apes,subsequent merchandising tie-ins have been developed (Begun, 2016).They include comic, video games, books, and toys.
Thesis statement:The Planet of Apes (1968) uses science fiction and effectivecommunicative strategy to highlight the upturn in the society.
The nature of integration of sciencefiction in the 1968 film can only be compared to2001: A Space of Odyssey that also featured the actors dressed asmonkeys (Handley, 2008). The film is analyzed based on a quicktransition that has been necessitated by a lighter-than-lightmovement that has led to the future by 2000 years (Begun, 2016).However, there is an existing protagonist that has been on aspaceship. However, due to mechanical breakdown, three individualscrash land on a planet that is occupied by English-speaking ape-likecreatures and mute humanoids (Handley, 2008). The protagonist,Charles Heston, and three other persons are forced to find their wayout of their new surroundings that are filled with the evil races ofmonkeys (Handley, 2008). From the plot of the film, it is evidentthat the rulers of the new planet are intelligent and civilianssimians. In a hunt of the human savages, the astronauts lose track ofone another (Spicer, 2013).
Later on, Cornelius (Roddy McDowall)discovers that his fiancée, Taylor, can speak and reason. This is anexception to all other individuals that he has encountered on the newplanet. They are therefore forced to defend the species from theMinister of Science and Chief Defender of the Faith, Dr. Zaius who isbelieved to despise humans (Handley, 2008). The isregarded as one of the leading science fiction movies due to avariety of factors. The journey of the Taylor throughout the movie isportrayed in an artistic way (Handley, 2008).
The fascinating journey begins withhim as a hater of humanity and ends with him as the last defender ofthe species (Muir, 2006). The screenplay which was developed byMichael Wilson and Rod Serling provides an equal nemesis in Dr. Zaius(Handley, 2008). The latter is also divided by two thoughts. Hisprofessional and religious positions are conflicting. In oneinstance, he is the expected to facilitate the advancement of scienceby his position (Begun, 2016). However, he has the position of theChief Defender of Faith, and as such, is supposed to ensure that theapes maintain their belief in their superiority (Muir, 2006). Thedifferent needs of his job title make it relatively difficult for thecast member to discharge his duties effectively.
Though Dr. Zaius is considered to bean “inverted” one in the film, he is the unlikely hero. He hasvalid reasons to advocate for the extinction of humankind (Spicer,2013). He is moved by his hatred of men and performs lobotomies tofacilitate the extermination of humans (Begun, 2016). This purehatred towards people is driven by the actions of humans that led tothe formation of deserts through the use of nuclear bombs (Muir,2006). Therefore, according to him, his actions are valid as he istrying to save the planet Earth by controlling the existence of humanbeings. He believes that humankind is destructive and provides thegreatest threat to the survival of the planet (Begun, 2016).
The Planet of Apes can, therefore,be considered to provide two characters in effective opposition. Thetwo are sent on a journey to test their faiths, and ultimately, theirprejudices are reinforced (Begun, 2016). Dr. Zaius has reasons tobelieve that humans are the greatest destroyers. His interactionswith Taylor further magnify this assumption (Muir, 2006). When thelatter leaves Earth, he has every reason to believe that the world isa cruel place in which an individual would terminate his brother inan attempt to have his land and other possessions (Muir, 2006). Theworld is driven by hunger for territory and war. It was for thisreason that the apes were able to rein supreme and the turn the world“upside down” (Handley, 2008).
The film is also able to carry itsaudience to a diverse and fantastic reality (Spicer, 2013). Thedirector, Schaffner was also able to develop a multi-layereddepiction of the ape culture. He has a clever way of introducing theextensive breadth of the “alien.” He strategically reveals theturn of events that have led to the “upside down” nature of theworld. This is highlighted by the introduction to an ape funeral inwhich a eulogy is being read, and then a visit to a monkey medicineat the hospital (Spicer, 2013). It is in this instance that the filmdiscusses an ape affirmative action that declares “affirmativeaction was abolished.” The museum also examines the massive changesin scenarios since it is the human beings that have been stuffed inthe structures (Muir, 2006). These people, including astronaut Dodge,are posed in little dioramas that depict their natural system.Finally, there is a Byzantine Ape legal system that governsindividuals during all scenarios (Muir, 2006).
The film provides a funnydramatization of the ape tribunal that has the first notion of “seeno evil, hear no evil, speak no evil.” Three orangutans form theteam of judges. Additionally, there are ape maps, markets, andbuildings to highlight the massive levels of civilizations that havebeen attained by the apes. To further perpetuate the hilariousdramatization of the lifestyle of the apes, an animal rights grouphas been formed "An Anti-Vivisectionist Society" (Spicer,2013). The ape culture has therefore been twisted and an invertedreflection of the standard human life.
John Chambers has been able toprovide an exquisite production design that depicts the ape and theirsociety as glorious and believable (Spicer, 2013). Coupled with thegreat makeup, the ape culture is considered to be an actualreflection of the average human life. Additionally, a certain levelof arrogance is depicted in the hilarious ape proverb that states“humans see, humans do.” This is attributed to the superioritythat is associated with the apes over people (Muir, 2006). Later onin some scenes of the film, the apes are considered to be righteousenough to question the self-righteousness of the humans. Inquiriessuch as to why men have no souls as well as the proof of divine sparkwithin the simian minds are an indication of the extensive belief ofthe apes that they are indeed God’s chosen ones.
Taking a step back, however, anindividual should be able to ask themselves several questionsregarding their belief in God and whether indeed they have beencreated in God’s image and likeness as has been told (Spicer,2013). What are the differences between human beings and otheranimals such as dogs that are believed to have no souls? In the end,people realize how misguided they have been all along aboutself-righteousness. In the end, it is evident that the misgivings ofthe human beings are similar to those of the apes.
According to Zira, most men resemblethe apes. Not only does the statement touch on racism, but it alsoperpetuates the social commentary. From the details and storyline ofthe , one can identify how upside down the apesociety has been structured. It also discusses the changing religiouspractices in the community (Spicer, 2013). The common belief that allare made in the image and likeness of God has been the primary driverof arrogance and egoistic notions due to the belief of being thechosen ones. This in the real sense, has led to the destruction ofproperty and arguments that support violence and control over otherspecies (Muir, 2006).
Despite Zaius being portrayed as aheartless creature, he has a good motive for his fellow species. Hismain is to preserve his people by all means. On the other hand, he isa scripture-quoting racist who assumes that his kind is supreme andtherefore deserve to be treated as such without due consideration tothe well-being of others. He also considers himself to be the solekeeper of the terrible secret about a man (Koban, 2010). The twodifferent traits exhibited by Zaius portray him as a hypocrite. Thisis further perpetuated by his ability to offer religious platitudesat the expense of science by continuously asking whether one hasforgotten his scriptures (Spicer, 2013). Moreover, Zaius attempts tohide the truth from his culture. The latter is concerning thesupremacy of the species. He fails to remind his own of the fact thatall species are endangered (Muir, 2006). Some of the factors that hefails to inform simians are that the apes never ruled the world,human beings were never cursed, and at some point, the tables mightchange, and the people may become superior species once more (Koban,2010).
The movie also goes beyond thesci-fi themes as it can be related to real life scenarios. Havingbeen released at the height of the “police action” in Vietnam,the film turns out to be fervently against war. Based on the ongoingissues, the screenwriters imagine the world in which one individualwas able to do anything to have other people’s possessions (Muir,2006). They would even go to greater lengths and kill those who theybelieved to stand in their way. The final outcomes of such forms ofconfrontation would be the ultimate destruction of civilization.
The Forbidden Zone that is left ofNew York at the end of the deadly nuclear is a further indication ofthe problems that are associated with the aftermath of conflicts. Thehalf-buried Statue of Liberty further serves to highlight thechanging face of the earth should individuals perpetuate war at theexpense of peace in the society. The final image in the movie is,therefore, an indication that humanity has gone against the words ofpeace as preached by Zaius and instead has ventured into warfare dueto their huge love for conquest (Muir, 2006). It is at this momentthat the conflicting ideologies between capitalism and communism areintroduced into the film. In the end, it is evident that Zaius commonbeliefs on freedom, liberty and God’s will have failed in achievingthe desirable outcomes and instead has resulted in ruined artifactsthat future geologists will have to ponder for a substantial amountof time to come (Koban, 2010).
The has also beenacknowledged for its new sense of authenticity born out the exemplaryfilming (Koban, 2010). Considering that the film was crafted waybefore the days of CGI, the concept was based more on the actualabilities of the filmmakers and not other factors (Spicer, 2013). Atthe moment of making the film, the digital imagery techniques had notbeen integrated into the film production process and as such, theintelligence and creativity of the filmmakers determined the successof the movies (Koban, 2010). The opening crash sequence of the movieis an example of the originality and uniqueness that was integratedinto the making of . Despite the non-existence ofmodern special effects, the film adopts a dizzying POV camerawork todepict individuals riding on the nose of a rocket (Koban, 2010). Byspeeding up the scene and changing the angles of the camerasconcurrently, the outcome is a fatal crash (Spicer, 2013). Even withthe lack of contemporary visuals, the terror of the accident ispalpable.
Another factor that is considered tocontribute to the effectiveness of the film is the location work. Thecorollary is used to provide a stunning backdrop of the venue of theshoot (Muir, 2006). Most of the movie appeals to individuals havingbeen made through a dramatic long shot by using both the unique rockoutcroppings found in Death Valley as well as the expansive sky ofArizona to depict the Forbidden Zone (Koban, 2010).
Rod Serling should be credited forthe “surprising” end to the movie with the Statue of Libertycoming into view. This is used to discuss the changing world as wellas the alteration of tasks and abilities between human beings and thesimians (Koban, 2010). It indicates that man’s ideals have beenburied. There are additional cases of powerful symbols that have beenused in the movie (Koban, 2010). They include a human toy from thepast that cries out, a small buried American flag within theForbidden Zone, humongous “X’s” scarring the background, andbizarre scarecrows positioned in the barren regions. The shoreline ofthe ocean is also used as a symbol to show how the waves continuousrolling in the sea. It is used to represent how everything is beingwashed away (Koban, 2010). Moreover, the waves are considered to becleansing in some instances and impartial on the other. In spite ofthe efforts of man, the tides keep on coming and ages pass (Koban,2010).
Despite being released in 1968, thefilm has a sense of timelessness just like science. One can identifywith various cases that have been highlighted in the storyline. Atthe time of its production, the world was being rocked by theVietnamese war. Later on, there have been cases of war in Iraq, andcurrently Syria. In 1968, there was fear of nuclear exchange betweenthe United States and the Soviet Union (Spicer, 2013). Currently, thesame issue is being perpetrated by North Korea and Iran. The film wasalso able to aim shots at the American religious rights and used thedramatization of the ape culture to discuss the perpetuation of“faith.” Zira and Cornelius are utilized in the film to advancethe insidious theory (Koban, 2010). Most of the factors that werehighlighted in the Planet of Apes in 1968 can still be deemed asrelevant today. Other factors include the war on science, protractedwar between individuals for worldly possessions. It can, therefore,be concluded that the apes were able to predict the next generations.
The is consideredto be ruthless in its communicative mechanisms and does not mince itswords in highlighting the changing face of the world. The filmreveals an upturn in the world to the level whereby arrogance andhypocrisy has taken over the management of affairs. It is because ofsuch scenarios that the apes now consider themselves to be therighteous species and go to the extent of questioning the role ofhuman beings in destroying the world. The play uses chilling humor tohighlight the changing beliefs and superiority among world creatures.The conclusion of the film also sticks to the science fiction themethereby enlightening and educating at the same time.
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Begun, D. R.(2016). The Real : A New Story of HumanOrigins. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Handley, R. (2008). Timeline of the Planet of the apes: Thedefinitive [unauthorized] chronology. New York: Hasslein Books.
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Koban, J. (2010). “It’s a madhouse!  A madhouse!”-Taylor (Charlton Heston) in PLANET OF THE APES. Retrieved fromhttp://www.craigerscinemacorner.com/Reviews/planet_of_the_apes.htm
Muir, K. (2006). The Best Science Fiction Movie Ever Made: Planetof the Apes (1968). Retrieved fromhttp://reflectionsonfilmandtelevision.blogspot.co.ke/2006/10/best-science-fiction-movie-ever-made.html
Spicer, D. (2013). (analysis). Retrieved fromhttp://www.screeningnotes.com/2013/12/planet-of-apes-analysis.html