Sunday, September 30, 2007

Super Size Stomach Stapling

To me, one of the most important scenes in the movie SuperSize Me is the stomach stapling scene. Bruce Howlett, the man who drank around two gallons of soda a day, began to lose his eyesight due to his body's inability to cope with the large amounts of sugar he ingested. So he undergoes a stomach stapling surgery, which is the only known cure for diabetes, and is also accompanied by classical music. I covered my eyes through half of this scene, but I don't think I really have to describe the parts I did open them for, because everyone reading this is most likely picturing it right now. I think this scene could be summed up using only the word "gore."

However, the context of this scene is just as important as the shock value. Throughout the whole film thus far, Morgan Spurlock gave facts, showed interviews, and generally made the problem and its cultural context very clear. I believe this scene is the turning point of the entire movie. Not only does the long stretch of classical music contrast sharply with the rapid dispensing of information in the rest of the film, after the stomach stapling the mood of the movie is much darker. There is no comic relief or cartoons, and the health risks become not only serious, but immediate. I think this is very intelligent directing because Morgan Spurlock permanently associates this image with McDonalds and the negative mood in the film after the surgery, just as children associate McDonalds food with playplaces and fun. Although I am a chicken when it comes to surgery, I really appreciate how Morgan Spurlock used this scene as a way to persuade his viewers permanently.


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