Barry Levinson's Use Of Satire In Wag The Dog

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Good morning year 10 and invited guests to this year’s satire forum. Today were going to be analysing two satirical texts. Both texts look at deliberate inaccuracies and misinterpretations of facts in the media, the first texts focus on the process of how the media is manipulated and the second text satirises the public’s vulnerability and believing in these manipulations. Wag the Dog is a feature film and our first text today, is directed by Barry Levinson, was released in 1998 and follows the story of a political spin-doctor and a Hollywood producer who work to divert the attention of the American public away from sexual misconduct allegations involving the President to ensure he is re-elected as President in 11 days time. Wag the dog satirises …show more content…

The over the shoulder shot of the President, and Motss sitting in his chair, as if he were the President, is highly satirical of the little influence the President has as he is overruled on many decisions, told what to say and how to act as if he were an actor. Lighting is used to draw attention to Motss, and leave the President in the dark and unseen, a recurring motif throughout the film inferring the President’s insignificancy, as his looks and opinions are irrelevant and never mentioned. This shows the audience that the politics, or lack of, is all coming from behind the scenes, where this story is being concocted. The lighting differences show the accurate power balance and Motss’ superior position as he explains to the President demeaningly, how the speech should be delivered. Shortly after, Motss states what were all thinking, “Its all a change of wardrobe” he says, the analogy depicts how he could have easily taken the position of President, and the lack of discrepancies nowadays between political and theatrical perspectives. Even in a Presidential role ethics and morality are disregarded as the President grossly misuses his power and status over a minor, but is merely a figurehead, impotent and unable to fulfil his job and Presidency without being told specific actions and profusely manipulating the media.

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