Zodiac

Zodiac: On the Margins

How does this film show how some individuals and groups can be both centered and also marginalized socially and culturally? In particular, how do the law enforcement and media figures in the film demonstrate how wielding significant social power may or may not mean that someone is centered in other contexts? Is there a character or characters who are particularly shown to be caught in this tension?

On the other side of the story, how does the film show how marginalization (of people, of places) creates space for someone like "the Zodiac" to practice their violent compulsions and exercise power over others from those margins?


Topics for M 10/28

Here are points of discussion about Zodiac for M. Feel free to suggest other topics and to start the conversation in comments.

  • Use of sound, especially music, and how those choices affect our reading of mise-en-scène.
  • Use of lighting.
  • The choice to keep the killer out of frame or obscured in the m-e-s.
  • Parallels between the police, Toschi (Mark Ruffalo) and Armstrong (Anthony Ewards), and the journalists, Avery (Robert Downey, Jr.) and Graysmith (Jake Gyllenhall), investigating the killer.
  • The use of setting to show character, e.g., Leigh Allen's (John Carroll Lynch) trailer and Paul Avery's houseboat.
  • The effects of casting choices, especially for the actors playing the suspected or implied killer. Carroll Lynch and Bob Vaughn (Charles Fleischer). How do these choices play on stereotypes people may have about what a serial killer like the Zodiac would look like?