Cinema Language


After watching the film adaptation of “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” and then reading the short story by Ambrose Bierce I noticed a few differences between the two works. The biggest and most noticeable difference between these two is in the beginning, specifically with the background. In the film, there isn’t really any background information. All we see is a sign on a tree that says anyone who messes with the railroads or bridges will be hanged and then the film goes straight to the bridge where we see the soldiers setting up for the hanging. But, in the short story, there is a large section of the story devoted to Peyton’s background telling us what happened leading up to the hanging so we understand why he is being hanged. However, we did not necessarily need all of the background information in the film because we are able to tell a lot about him and his situation based on everything that we are able to see, specifically the way that he dresses.

There were a lot of techniques used in the film that helped to successfully translate the effects in the short story. At the beginning of the film, they do a great job of setting the scene. Everything is moving slowly making us feel anxious about what is about to happen. Additionally, the way that the clips were filmed made us feel like we were seeing what Peyton is seeing, which also added to the anticipation and anxiety.

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