22nd May 2017

Minority Report

In the film “Minority Report”, a key scene showing the extent of humans’ faith in technology is the “spider scene”. The scene begins with the “pre-cop” unit arriving at the ground floor of the shabby apartment building where the currently blind John Amberton waits for his new surgically implemented eyes to heal. Two pre-cops release a small fleet of small, robotic creatures called “spiders”, clearly named for their resemblance to actual spiders. The “spiders” then almost instinctively crawl up the stairs of the building and begin their search for John. The pre-cops seem very calm upon entering the building, making small talk and one even talking of his next meal. When they release the spiders they seem just as calm, having no problem in letting the spiders begin to open up in their hands then calmly letting them drop to the ground in a very controlled fashion. This shows how humans can feel far too secure about letting technology perform tasks that humans would otherwise perform, as the pre-cops could have sent a man from their unit to investigate, which would still have been a substantial and practical method. Also, when the spiders searched the building for their suspect, they seemed to completely disregard the privacy of the many innocent civilians, shown with a bird’s-eye-view through the broken ceilings, which allowed the camera to rapidly cut from room to room, showing the angst of the citizens, cleverly combined with cut shots, the broken ceilings allowing the camera to cut from room to room in one shot, making the cuts more smooth and allowing the camera to show as many of the scenarios of which the spiders intrude on as possible. For example, there is a couple fighting and they turn silent and still as soon as they notice the spiders. The spiders then disrespectfully crawl up their bodies and read their eyes. Once the spiders finish their readings and begin to crawl away, the couple resume their argument as if nothing had happened. This shows how integrated the spiders have become into people’s regular lives and how completely submissive to the spiders regular citizens are. The director’s intention is to show how reliant and numb we may become to technology if we continue with and evolve the mentality we currently possess. Using the spiders proves to fail the pre-cops, as the only method of identification the spiders use on their suspects is scanning suspects’ eyes. Being a pre-cop himself, John is clearly familiar with how the spiders function and has already taken the precaution of having his own eyes surgically removed and replaced with different ones, his intention being to cheat the system. This precaution proves to pay off, as once one of the spiders has read John’s new eye, the reading comes back negative, causing the pre-cops to come to the conclusion that it wasn’t him and call off the spiders. If one of the pre-cops had gone into the scene to investigate in the flesh, the outcome would have been entirely different. This shows the director’s intention to make the audience understand that human nature can be far more valuable than we realise, as the mind of a machine can be far too set in it’s ways of thinking, meaning people who are familiar with how the machines work can often figure out ways of cheating them, meaning a world based on the reliance of machines without the errors humanity can posses rather than a world based on carefully planned and discussed work with the diversity of human nature may not be as efficient and reliable as we seem to currently perceive.

Join the conversation! 2 Comments

  1. – There’s some nice analysis in here, Tyler. However, what are the 2 cinematography techniques you’re covering??? This is a key part of the task and without mentioning it, you won’t pass.

    Hi Tyler,

    You raised some good points in here. I want you to now consider:
    – a societal response – how does the text reflect society? Give specifics from our world
    – Give more Y moments throughout, particularly how the cinematography techniques positioned the viewer
    – Be more pointed in the use of the TWO TECHNIQUES TOGETHER to demonstrate the director’s purpose.

    Keep this in mind when you actually attack your 3.9.



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About Tyler

I am 17 and attend Mount Aspiring College in Wanaka, New Zealand. I have been playing rock and metal drums since the age of eight.