Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Christmas 50 - Textual Analysis And Representation

The seven areas of representation notes -

Age -

  • Many sub-categories are involved in age e.g. teens, children, infants, 30-something, middle-aged, elderly/pensioner.
  • Age is most commonly associated with binary opposites, where two opposing categories look at each other very different and are treated with different levels of respect etc. 
  • Consider Non-diegetic sound when analysing age as it can help to reflect and portray a certain age or group of people. 

Gender -

  • A patriarchal society is a key element of this area, where the male gender are seen to be more dominant than the female.
  • We are looking for binary opposites of strengths and weakness's, domestic / professional, emotional / unemotional.

Sexuality -

  • Oppositional gender attributes (a female male, masculine female)
  • Look at if a gay character is being stereotypically represented in day to day life as normal, or if they are given more power or are presented in an unusual way, weather that be how they dress, speak, act, or where they live and work.
  • Gay characters - often used for comedy (typical stereotype)
  • Lipstick lesbian - often used to attract the male gaze.

Ethnicity -

  • Religion is a key significance here, look out for religious leaders being negatively represented through the characters, and how non-religious characters are viewed more positively.
  • Look for binary oppositions in this category through the different believes, when they are in a place of worship etc.
  • Are ethnic groups viewed as having more in common than they do differences?

Physical Ability / Disability -

  • key significance is their invisibility.
  • dependence vs. independence - how are they portrayed, as weak and confused? or as a normal accepted character in the drama.
  • Sexuality is often ignored for disabled characters. - as in not important to know.

Social Class & Status -

  • This looks closely at urban vs. rural, clothing codes are also very important.
  • Comedy can be used a lot through the use of backwards class where they are looked down upon by their binary opposites, the more wealthy and educated.
  • Accents & language is another key feature of this category which is used to present specific groups in relation to others.

Regional Identity -

  • Mostly looking again at urban vs. rural and advanced vs. backwards.
  • Accents often signify backwards through the use of comedy.
  • The clothing code also is an important feature which can show a more sophisticated character or someone who is more tracksuit urban style.
  • Regional identity is often associated with class & status as they share similar characteristics.
Luther Representation Essay -

The male characters in the clip are seen predominantly through the use of close ups of their face, especially Luther and the victim on the floor who’s emotions can be seen as you see tears forming in their eyes and anger build up inside of them. The male gender is seen to have binary opposites at the start of the clip as Luther is seen holding a shotgun to the victim’s head who is seen through low angled camera shots which contrasts with high angled shots which are used to show Luther. The typical representation of the male gender is seen through the use of hand held camera work especially when the two males are fighting each other. This shows the typical chaotic brave male who tries to stand up for themselves when they feel like their status is being challenged. However when Luther is stabbed by the opposing male his dominance is lost which can be seen through the transition of angles as Luther is now viewed through high angled shots whilst the other male is seen through low angled shots. An over the shoulder two shot is used when the female appears looking from behind the white male’s back. This is repeatedly used to resemble the male feeling scared and uncomfortable, where in contrast no over the shoulder shots are used to show the female looking at the male; this reinforces the unusual representation of females which we see in the clip. She challenges the typical representation of a female as she is holding a gun which resembles power and dominance which is usually controlled by the male; however Luther has lost that control which the female seems to keep hold of. A slow panning to the right is used when Alice the female character is on screen which could resemble her calm controlled attitude towards the situation in contrast to how the male gender is seen through frantic movement of the camera which zooms in on the action between the male characters.

Fast paced cutting between the faces of the male characters is used to capture the build of tension between the characters. In contrast to this when ‘Alice’ the female character appears and the other male ‘mark’ a cut away is to used to take the focal point away from the distress of Luther who is on the floor bleeding out and to introduce the female character who seems to have a large presence when she enters which suggests her authority and dominance over the other characters, especially Luther who is rescued by her which symbolises an unusual representation. The continuity of the clip is not clear from the start however becomes apparent as the situation unravels between the two male characters at the start. A clear cut from shot to shot is seen throughout as the tension reaches a climax and Luther strangles the white male victim. This is followed by the slow entrance of the female which brings the fast paced action to a short pause whilst she begins to speak.

The clip begins with non-diegetic sound where a slow instrumental soundtrack is played which starts to build suspense between the two male genders. This is then enhanced by the addition of a loud drumming beat which begins to start to increase after the line ‘Come on John’, this represents a typical representation of the male gender as they are seen to fight and want to try to assert their power wherever possible. Every time there is a sudden movement in combat between the two males, a loud non-diegetic drum sound is played to add to the suspense and climax. For example where Luther puts his hands around the white male and strangles him and when Luther is stabbed through the stomach.
The calm non- diegetic instrumental music is re-introduced when Alice the female character enters, this suggests she has authority and power as she remains calm and draws the attention of the male
characters. A non-diegetic soundtrack of a song with lyrics which is relaxed and loud then starts to play when the male is shot by the female character, this releases the tension between the characters slightly and suggest the female has chosen what to do in the situation and has the moral high ground over the male gender. Diegetic sound of the male characters conversation is constantly heard throughout the clip, where they are shouting in much distress, when they are in trouble or when one becomes frustrated by the other male. This suggests the male gender is not inferior or more powerful than the female gender as both males can’t control one another.

The location of the clip is unclear until one quarter of the way through when Luther raises a gun to the white males head. The location is a quite train station where there are no trains or people except the four characters which suggests it is closed or has abandoned. It could be a secret location which the three detectives have arranged to interrogate a suspect. The three detectives all are wearing long coats and look smartly dressed in warm outdoor clothes, this includes the female gender. In contrast the suspect on the floor at the start is wearing a grey jacket, a blue shirt and a grey tie who doesn’t seem as smartly dressed as the other characters. There is a shotgun in the clip which originally is held by Luther the black male however is then picked up by Alice the female character who uses it to kill the suspect. This is a countertype against the typical representation of females as she holds the final decision and the power in the group. The three detectives all have very smart tidy haircuts whilst the suspect has long untidy hair which looks less maintained. This suggests his status amongst the group is lower and less powerful. The female character is the clip wears black gloves however neither of the males do and are all seen with their bare hands, this follows a typical representation of the male gender they are seen to the brave gender which want to seem stronger and more dominant in a situation than the female gender. However this is not the case in this situation as Alice becomes the holder of the gun which could be used to symbolise control.


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