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Lucy Walker Waste Land Research Paper

The eye of the camera Lucy Walker, the director of Waste Land, focuses on the perspective of Vik Muniz using the camera lens as an artistic and metaphorical eye to represent his distance, understanding, and ignorance on the Wasteland. Scenes within this documentary, especially in the beginning and middle, the camera view is often mimicking the changes in perspective of what Waste Land has within Vik’s point of view. Often the camera shows Vik glancing at an object, immediately the camera switches to his perspective in the same position he is viewing that said object or person.

As an artistic trope, Lucy Walker focuses the camera as an eye that leads the viewer to have the same line of sight and view point as Vik did experiencing Waste Land and Jardim Gramacho. This expresses the contrast of obliviousness and empathy Vik Muniz had amongst the Waste Land and its inseparable inhabitants. Nevertheless, there is the rising knowledge of what the Waste Land really represented to Vik as the camera pans to a closer perceptions, light, and darkness on different subjects in the Waste Land.

In a specific scene in Waste Land, Before Vik Muniz flies to Brazil, there is a certain scene that presents clever placement of the camera. First the scene has the lens placed to view Vik Muniz and his wife glancing at the Mac monitor at the artistic low frame rate in the heart of the Wasteland. Then the camera switches right to the view point of Vik in the same position. The camera views the specks of black within the trash artistically unfolding into lively birds as Vik did in that position giving proof for the camera acting as an eye in the film.

Not only as an eye, but the eye of Vik Muniz. When he is in Brazil, the first scenes incorporate him in the beach paradise of Rio, but in his view, shadow stalks nearly every part of the beach in the scene as well as the natives. As Muniz grows in knowledge of the Waste Land and its unheard beauty, light is increasingly on or around Muniz and the camera. In the aerial view scene, the camera is shooting towards Muniz and specifically his profile, the contrast of lights that overtakes the shadows and the lit foreground.

Next, An Arial view of the Waste Land is shown to project the assessment from that light that Vik perceives from the shot before it. It is not until towards the end, that camera shows the perspective of Vik with Tiao beside him taking in the bliss of his newly auctioned art piece after it has been placed within the gallery. The camera is angled to only perceive the light around them, or in the sense of what Vik metaphorically sees around him and Tiao. The metaphorical message that the first scene analyzed plays is distance and looking at Jardim Gramacho from a closed perspective in terms of a dim room.

The camera switching standpoints in the dim setting plays the role of Vik’s ignorance as well as being a factor of distance. Even from visiting the beach in Rio when Vik first landed in Brazil, the camera has his perspective of unawareness that consumes him as well as well as the facade of paradise around him. After communicating with the trash pickers plus Tiao about their daily lives at a further intimate juxtaposition, the steady involvement of light produces in the forthcoming scenes. Examining the helicopter scene, light is the symbolic definition of knowledge and involvement even from miles of a distance.

After encountering the true nature of Jardim Gramacho, the light that is always with him signifies the fragments of knowledge he has gained. Which from inside the helicopter he is facing the entirety of knowledge, and away from the shadowed ignorance yet some still consuming a portion of his face. The camera metaphorically and physically throughout the film show that the peril of ignorance in Vik is gradually shrinking and is becoming accustomed to the demonstrative and practically melancholy splendor of the Waste Land.

In the last scene examined, the camera shows the enlightenment around Vik and Tiao. This is amongst all camera shots the most progressive as well as the emotionally close proximity to the true beauty and human nature that Vik sees in the wasteland. Ultimately this is part of the conclusion to his journey. Lucy Walker carefully directs the camera as the eye of Vik Muniz in some aspects metaphysically and physically with clear intentions to show his transformation to be paralleled with the viewers.

This gives a deeper meaning to the documentary with the emotional relatability throughout Waste Land. The camera pans and peers into Vik’s perspective to give the clearer image of his transformation and connection with the Waste Land. The beauty of his views morphing through artistic distance, light, shadow, and contrasts are the strongest evidence that the camera is not only for the viewer’s eye but the view of Vik himself in his eyes.

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