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The Truman Show ((BETTER))

Truman Burbank is the unsuspecting star of The Truman Show, a reality television program filmed 24/7 through thousands of hidden cameras and broadcast to a worldwide audience. Christof, the show's creator and executive producer, seeks to capture Truman's authentic emotions and give audiences a relatable everyman. Truman has been the star of the show since he was born and the studio officially adopted him.

The Truman Show

As Truman was selected from birth following an unwanted pregnancy, Christof claims that Truman came to be adopted not just by the show, but by the whole "world". Truman's hometown of Seahaven Island is a complete set built within an enormous dome, populated by crew members and actors who highlight the product placements that generate revenue for the show. The elaborate set allows Christof to control almost every aspect of Truman's life, including the weather.

Although Sylvia was quickly removed from the show before she could disclose its nature to Truman, he continues to remember her, and secretly dreams of a life with Sylvia outside of his marriage to Meryl. To this end, he seeks to travel to Fiji, where he was told Sylvia's family moved. In the real world, Sylvia is a part of "Free Truman", an activist group that seeks to cancel the show and have Truman released.

As the show approaches its 30th anniversary, Truman begins discovering unusual elements, such as a spotlight falling out of the sky in front of his house and a radio channel that precisely describes his movements. These events are punctuated by the reappearance of his father, who had infiltrated the set, with the crew believing the actor was somehow recast. Truman begins questioning his life and realizes that the city somehow revolves around him. Meryl's stress from attempting to uphold the charade in the face of Truman's growing skepticism and hostility causes their marriage to deteriorate.

One day, Truman takes Meryl by surprise by going on an impromptu road trip, but increasingly implausible emergencies block their way. During an argument ignited by Meryl attempting to advertise a product, Truman determines that Meryl is a part of the conspiracy and holds her at knife-point; she breaks character and is taken off the show. Hoping to bring Truman back to a controllable state, Christof re-introduces Truman's father to the show properly, under the guise of having lost his memory after the boating accident. This helps the show regain the ratings lead with audiences, and Truman seems to return to his routines, except he begins sleeping in his basement. One night, Truman secretly disappears through a makeshift tunnel in his basement, forcing Christof to temporarily suspend the broadcast for the first time in its history. Audiences around the world are captivated by this unexpected event, and record numbers tune in.

Weir wanted the film to be funnier, feeling that Niccol's script was too dark, and declaring, "where [Niccol] had it depressing, I could make it light. It could convince audiences they could watch a show in this scope 24/7." Niccol wrote sixteen drafts of the script before Weir considered the script ready for filming. Later in 1995, Jim Carrey signed to star,[10] but because of commitments with The Cable Guy and Liar Liar, he would not be ready to start filming for at least another year.[5] Weir felt Carrey was perfect for the role and opted to wait for another year rather than recast the role.[10] Niccol rewrote the script twelve times,[5] while Weir created a fictionalized book about the show's history. He envisioned backstories for the characters and encouraged actors to do the same.[10]

In 2008, Popular Mechanics named The Truman Show as one of the 10 most prophetic science fiction films. Journalist Erik Sofge argued that the story reflects the falseness of reality television. "Truman simply lives, and the show's popularity is its straightforward voyeurism. And, like Big Brother, Survivor, and every other reality show on the air, none of his environment is actually real." He deemed it an eerie coincidence that Big Brother made its debut a year after the film's release, and he also compared the film to the 2003 program The Joe Schmo Show: "Unlike Truman, Matt Gould could see the cameras, but all of the other contestants were paid actors, playing the part of various reality-show stereotypes. While Matt eventually got all of the prizes in the rigged contest, the show's central running joke was in the same existential ballpark as The Truman Show."[24] Weir declared, "There has always been this question: Is the audience getting dumber? Or are we filmmakers patronizing them? Is this what they want? Or is this what we're giving them? But the public went to my film in large numbers. And that has to be encouraging."[13]

Ronald Bishop's paper in the Journal of Communication Enquiry suggests The Truman Show showcased the power of the media. Truman's life inspires audiences around the world, meaning their lives are controlled by his. Bishop commented, "In the end, the power of the media is affirmed rather than challenged. In the spirit of Antonio Gramsci's concept of hegemony, these films and television programs co-opt our enchantment (and disenchantment) with the media and sell it back to us."[25][26]

In her essay "Reading The Truman Show inside out" Simone Knox argues that the film itself tries to blur the objective perspective and the show-within-the-film. Knox also draws a floor plan of the camera angles of the first scene.[27]

Parallels can be drawn from Thomas More's 1516 book Utopia, in which More describes an island with only one entrance and only one exit. Only those who belonged to this island knew how to navigate their way through the treacherous openings safely and unharmed. This situation is similar to The Truman Show because there are limited entryways into the world that Truman knows. Truman does not belong to this utopia into which he has been implanted, and childhood trauma rendered him frightened of the prospect of ever leaving this small community. Utopian models of the past tended to be full of like-minded individuals who shared much in common, comparable to More's Utopia and real-life groups such as the Shakers and the Oneida Community.[33] It is clear that the people in Truman's world are like-minded in their common effort to keep him oblivious to reality. The suburban "picket fence" appearance of the show's set is reminiscent of the "American Dream" of the 1950s. The "American Dream" concept in Truman's world serves as an attempt to keep him happy and ignorant.[33]

Realizing that he is caught like a butterfly in a jar, Truman determines that his single aim must now be to escape Seahaven no matter what the cost. But he has not yet reckoned with the power of Christof (Ed Harris), who conceived the show and has produced, directed and supervised it throughout its entire run. Nor has he faced up to his greatest fears, which may be even more effective than the God-like Christof in keeping him a prisoner in Seahaven.

Truman's world is controlled by a TV producer named Christof (Ed Harris), whose control room is high in the artificial dome that provides the sky and horizon of Seahaven. He discusses his programming on talk shows, and dismisses the protests of those (including Sylvia) who believe Truman is the victim of a cruel deception. Meanwhile, the whole world watches Truman's every move, and some viewers even leave the TV on all night, as he sleeps.

Ed Harris also finds the right notes as Christof, the TV svengali. He uses the technospeak by which we distance ourselves from the real meanings of our words. (If TV producers ever spoke frankly about what they were really doing, they'd come across like Bulworth.) For Harris, the demands of the show take precedence over any other values, and if you think that's an exaggeration, tell it to the TV news people who broadcast that Los Angeles suicide.

Truman Burbank is the star of The Truman Show, a 24-hour-a-day reality TV show that broadcasts every aspect of his life without his knowledge. His entire life has been an unending soap opera for consumption by the rest of the world. And everyone he knows, including his wife and his best friend is really an actor, paid to be part of his life.

Parents need to know that The Truman Show is a 1998 movie in which Jim Carrey plays an orphan who from the moment of his birth has had his life televised 24/7 for the delight and entertainment of billions. The satirical qualities of the film should provoke thought and discussion on topics such as how product placement is used in movies and TV shows, as well as how our society's insatiable appetite for entertainment leads to our own "mediated" existences -- lives lived vicariously through characters on-screen. There is some peril, including a "flashback" scene in which Truman as a young boy watches his father drown while on a boat with him during a thunderstorm, and a series of natural or man-made disasters that befall Truman whenever he strays too far from the "setting" of his "show." Expect some alcohol and cigarettes, and profanity includes "s--t" and "bitch."

In THE TRUMAN SHOW, Truman Burbank (Jim Carrey) is an insurance salesman who gradually realizes that everyone around him is part of an elaborate "show" and that every aspect of his life has been orchestrated and broadcast throughout the world. Truman's "ideal" suburban community is an elaborate set, and his wife and best friend are actors. Sponsors pay for the show by having the participants praise their products. And all of it is presided over by Christof (Ed Harris), who leans into his microphone to give direction: "Cue the sun!" 041b061a72


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