Film as a Formal System in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

Essay by pameluftCollege, UndergraduateA, October 2012

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Film as a Formal System in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

The concept of film form centers around the idea of effectively engaging an audience. Motion pictures that properly adhere to form are abundant in sensory, emotive, and thought-provoking elements. While form in any creative medium is made up of a vast number of different components, basic understanding can be met by following five general principles: function, similarity and repetition, difference and variation, development, and unity. In addition, this formal system categorizes a films' elements as either narrative or stylistic. The film Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is exemplary in its effective use of film form by not only involving its audience, but catering to each of the five principles of form.

To begin with, the principle of function simply implies that with every element that is introduced in a film, there is always a reason- or in this case, a function, attributed to its presence.

The narrative and stylistic elements of Scott Pilgrim all have their own functions. From the get go, the title itself, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, gives the impression that the film centers around a battle or altercation between its protagonist, Scott, and essentially the 'world', or in this case, Ramona's seven evil exes. The title essentially functions by setting the tone for the entire film, establishing to its audience that they should expect fighting, and lots of it.

Another example of function from the stylistic aspect would be within the film's odd cuts and editing style. Scott Pilgrim is certainly fast in its pacing and rather rapid in transitioning from scene to scene. There can be two functions attributed to this stylistic element. First, there is the purpose of creating a semblance of style to a comic book, where the story of Scott...