M50_W3 - Kim 1 Su Kim Two Faces of Los Angeles Los Angeles,...

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Kim 1 Su Kim Two Faces of Los Angeles Los Angeles, California and Nakatomi Tower as settings in Die Hard function as a source of anxiety for protagonist McClane. Die Hard employs a familiar fish-out-of water premise – *A New York cop must attend a company party in the new high-rise Nakatomi Tower located in California. To get there, McClane endures his discomfort of air travel, which is evident in the way the way the film first reveals the protagonist. After seeing a wide-angle shot of a plane landing, the scene moves directly to the inside of the plane, focusing on a hand clutched to a shaking armrest. The scene cuts to the amused smirk on a man’s face; he eyes his uncomfortable seat partner with implied condescension. Only then does the scene cut to McClane’s face. The hero’s weaknesses are presented before the hero himself, stressing the implication that California is a source of distress for McClane. The film also emphasizes the sunny Christmas of California that contradicts McClane’s perception of the holiday season. As McClane walks through the airport, he avoids a near collision with a blonde girl in a midriff top who runs to hug a blonde male dressed in a short-sleeve teal shirt. McClane glances down at his own seasonal, but out-of- place attire, muttering “California” before moving on. Additionally, a violent terrorist takeover is not what McClane expects on what is traditionally a joyous holiday celebration. His conversation with Argyle reveals a six-month long separation from his wife because of her “great career” and his inability to “just pick up and go that easy.” California, for McClane reminds him of his guilt and deep-rooted marital problems. Right after the camera leaves McClane and Argyle, the shot tilts upwards to reveal Nakatomi Plaza, the central source of discomfort for McClane. *The building’s strong vertical height conquers the screen from top to bottom. After his arrival, a high angle shot above
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Kim 2 McClane shows him critically surveying the brand new building. Both the light reflecting off the
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This note was uploaded on 01/29/2012 for the course GE CLUSTER HOMT taught by Professor Cooper during the Fall '11 term at UCLA.

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M50_W3 - Kim 1 Su Kim Two Faces of Los Angeles Los Angeles,...

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