Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Skins Series 1 Episode 1 Opening

1. The extract is set in a terraced house, in a middle class suburban area. We find ourselves in a typical teenagers bedroom

2. Tony is represented as the stereotypical teenage boy. As we see him gazing at the naked woman across the street, out of his bedroom window, he's transfixed, exposing and feeding his perverted mind. It seems he follows a morning routine to get the desired look the girls will love. Like many teenage boys of his age, he seems focussed on his image and sex life.

3. The genre of Skins is a Teenage Comedy. Tom, the character featured in the clip, fits this genre well. By his comedic scheme to sneak his sister back into the house, we see he has a good sense of humour, going to great lengths to embarrass and annoy his father.

5. The clip opened with Tom lying in his bed, covered only by his underwear. The close up shows him waking up, and starting a new morning, potentially trying to build the will power to get out of bed. It seems like De Ja Vu for Tony, starting off another school morning.

6. Tony's bedroom is plastered with posters, which relate to the modern teenagers lifestyle. His bed duvet is also shows nudity, something which we see takes a large part of the extract. He picks up the weights to work on his masculinity and soon looks in the mirror to check out his image

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

The Wire & A Touch of Frost

The following video is analysing the openings from tv programmes 'The Wire' and 'A Touch of Frost'. Links for the extracts can be found below:

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Representation of Class - Spooks

I will be looking at the clip below from 0:00 to 4:28

Discuss the ways in which representations of class and status are constructed in the extract through the 4 micro-elements.

Right from the beginning we see the leader of 'The British Way', Sampson, practicing his upcoming speech in the  bathroom mirror. We see a close up of his face through an the over the shoulder shot, looking very stern and serious. The dim lighting in the scene cats shadows around his face and creates a dark thee to the scene. From this setting we already get a sense that Sampson is playing the villain. He slightly grits his teeth while emphasising the word 'anger'. This shows that he is obviously passionate and infuriated about what he is about to talk about, and that it is not laughing matter.

The soundtrack played in the background is very eary and dark. It creates tension throughout the dialogue, and sets a dangerous and evil setting for the following events. During Sampson's practice, we cut to 'The good guy', Harry, in the back of a vehicle being driven around by presumably his chauffeur. He frantically calls around his team ordering them to get down to the scene. This shows that he is clear a very powerful man, and that he has an entire team of specialists at his fingertips. The classy vehicle he is being driven around him accentuates his importance and significance in the clip.

We also cut to a scene of a white woman marking a large cross on an apartments door, followed by a group of thugs, who drag the black woman out of her accommodation along with many of her possessions. This shows us that not only are the regime of people selectively evicting unwanted neighbours ruthless, but they also have some kind of established plan of action, as the lady marks who is the next to be targeted. The camera tilts upward to reveal the onlooking children, watching the events seeming relatively unfazed and relaxed, suggesting this is definitely not the first time this has happened, rather one of many. The diegetic sound of a baby and other residents of the apartment screaming in terror, as they watch the masked men destroy their possessions as a sign of there dislike of them being there.

The camera follows Harry, walking purposefully into the board room, where his fellow colleagues are situated. We notice there workforce is intact ethnically diverse, proving that they are strongly against racial discrimination. Harry looks down to his workforce, asserting his authoritative powers over them, again making apparent his high status within the scene. Soon after there is a cut to female spy, wearing a hidden camera in order to film the controversial event. We see a view through her hidden device as she waits for the arrival of Sampson.

As William Sampson walks up to the stage, we get a view of his shaking the general publics hands, associating with them as he is the one man who is representing the entire nation. His increasingly aggressive and extreme speech on the peoples feelings toward ethnic minorities is reinforced with shaky footage of residents wearing balaclavas targeting people with other ethnic backgrounds other than white. The then goes on to justify his own anger toward these people, touching on a very harsh stereotype of other races intent of terrorism in the UK. This gives us a deep understanding into how this middle class man has been brought up, and his lack of ethnic integration during his life time.

His entire speech is viewed from a low angle shot, proving Sampson is a respected figure in the room, and that he is a clear representative for everyone attending the speech, also shown by the audiences agreement throughout. It is also noteworthy to recognise the progressively loud tone of voice used by William Sampson, telling us his underlying hatred toward the ethnic diversity in the area, almost bragging bout being called islamophobic.

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Representation of Social Class - Shameless

I will be looking at how working class people are represented in the Channel 4 programme, Shameless. For this question I used the clip extract below from 0:00 to 1:56.

How is social class represented in the clip through the 4 micro elements?

From the very start we notice that the scene is set in and around a housing estate, which turns out to be located in Manchester. Various cuts of ariel views around the area establishes the setting of the programme and the characters lifestyle. The 'Jackwood Estate' Council flats are a cliché setting for lower class people. The unappealing sight of the towering tenements is typical of the rough area the show is set in and reminds the audience of the rough life stereotypes related to the working class people. The voiceover is of the main character, explaining in his rough mancunian, how he in fact enjoys his life living in the estate. This contrasts with the audiences view, as the life he is describing is some peoples idea of hell. His comically inaccurate portrayal of his life in the estate attempts to prove to us that life as lower class people is in fact how life should be. Through this we can sympathise with Frank Gallagher as we watch clips of his unorthodox approach to parenthood.

Frank, the main character, goes on to describe each of his kids, in which he cares for as a single parent.There mischevious behaviour allow Frank to see a bit of him in each of his children. Despite there chaotic life, he explains each of his children in a good light and quite comical, trying to pick out the positives rather than meantioning the quite obvious concerns. This show us that he manages to find positives despite his typically rough life. It can also tell us that he may have always lived in a flat, hence he doesnt know of the life he is potentially missing out on. Its also significant that he is a single parent. This gives the viewer an insight into Franks equally as tough past, and expands on the undesirable life he portrays from the viewers point of view. Its not hard to see that Frank does not seem a fit parent to bring up his four children, stumbling around the kitchen drunk, and a birds eye view of him lying on the floor surrounded by his mischievous children.

As the kids scatter out of the front door, we see a motorhome parked on the drive. This follows the stereotype of 'the rough family' that the mise en scene is trying to portray. Motorhomes are essentially a cheap alternative to a holiday abroad. This tells us that the Gallager family cannot affort such holidays, having to make do with the Great British holiday destinations.

As the voiceover continues to explain how great life is in the Jackwood estate, we see the entire community huddled around a fire, only to later find out it is in fact a car that is alight. This promotes the extreme views of the anarchy and chaotic lifestyle of lower class people, throwing empty beer cans to fuel the fire. Standing by the fire is Frank Gallager. He is shown in an eye-level shot to take a puff of his ciggarrette before gulping down the cheap booze in his other hand. This is yet more proof of his poor status, as ciggarette smoking is seem to be a conciquence of the lack of education about its affects, and drinking the only beer he can afford. He is seen behind the blaze from the fire in the foreground, portraying him as some kind of devilish and mischevious man.

The music throughout the opening scene is played by a flute, sounding like a tribal anthem. We get the sense that the people of the Jackwood estate are 'the tribe', gathering around the fire in typical tribal fashion. The neighbourhood seem collectively against the authority of the police, and may be seen as outsiders when compared to the majority of the population in the surrounding areas.

The police arrive later to the pleasure of Frank and his neighbours, their whaling sirens only adding to the mayhem  The sense of authority from the arriving policemen seem to pose no threat to the residents of the estate, as all traces of order seem to be lost. This gives us the sense that this is one of many times that the authorities have arrived, of which the working class have become a custom to. They seem unphazed about getting into trouble and the conciquences it may bring. Although quite extreme examples, this can reflect the nature of the minority of lower and less well-off people in Britain. The opening sequence finishes by a wide angled shot showing the scattering neighborhood as the police move in, concluding the chaotic and riot like scene.

As shown, this scene can tell us a lot about the representation of social class especially that of the lower, working class.

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Gender Representation & Feminism

A video looking at how much impact feminists have made on how women in particular are portrayed in media.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Ideas of Feminism in the 'Cutting it' Extract

From the 'Cutting it' extract, we can decipher some interesting examples of how different genders are represented in media. Throughout the beginning of the scene we see a simple, back and forth conversation between man and woman at the back of a taxi. Five lines into the scene, Allie (the woman) takes Gavin's (the man) hand, showing her affection toward her newly married husband. Allie continuously apologizes to Gavin, asking for his forgiveness, suggesting the man, as so often, has more power than her. She is almost trying to 'butter Gavin up' by showing her love an affection toward him.

Later on in the scene, Gavin interrupts Allie, not once, but twice, another hint of Gavin's dominance. Despite his clear discomfort with the subject, Allie is stubborn in getting him to talk about the matter. Gavin is seemingly appalled at her perseverance, and responds angrily when she continues talking against his wishes.

It soon becomes clear that Gavin does not know what Allie has planned, and became increasingly annoyed at her independence. He then invites himself to Allies consultation before she objects to his wishes once again, making it all better with a kiss. This tells us that Gavin is scared of Allies power through independence, and would prefer her to come to him for approval before taking any action. Gavin almost likes to supervise his wife but seems easily pleased with a sign of how much she loves him.

The scene comes to an end where Allie walks crosses the road unaware of an oncoming bus, which knocks her to the ground. Gavin runs to her side 'Heartbroken', showing the viewer how much Allie meant to him, and he in fact how much he depends on her. This can reflect the increasing gender equality in modern society.