Please post a short film review of approximately 250 – 500 words in length. You are welcome to upload or make use of the framework provided in Rupert’s class.
Laps Directed By Charlotte Wells, USA, (2017)
On a routine morning, a woman on a crowded New York City subway is sexually assaulted in plain sight. Genre is Drama
The short film is set on a crowded public transport in New York, the subway. The story starts when the main character enters the train after a swimming session. In the beginning of the film, the subway portrays the absence of conversation and antisocial behaviour of the passengers is emphasised by the only diegetic sound of the train moving.
The major conflict is set up when the close of the main character’s ear shows her earphone fall off. The dramatic effect is built here with the rising diegetic sound of the train tracks.
Underwater setting in a pool reveals the main character swimming through a close up of her head movement. It appears unclear and blurry as the protagonist causes waves upon the camera. Taking the audience straight to distorted visuals indirectly relates to the protagonist’s emotions after facing the conflict of the story later on.
The short film shows a series of close up and dirty shots of other passengers on the subway. The passengers glare into the camera lens which gives the protagonist’s point of view. This intrigues the audience as the audience see the witnesses of the sexual assault.
Throughout the film, diegetic voices of the scene become more apparent meaning the main character is trying to distract herself from her current situation by listening to others routinely, casual conversations.
The short film has a blue hue to the screen which adds a depressing atmosphere to the work.
Focus pulling is a camera technique noticeable throughout the film. It helps highlight the uncomfortable and disturbed facial expressions of the passengers.
Please post a review of a feature film production of your choice (British or World cinema). Make sure to comment on the narrative structure, as well as sound, camera, lighting and editing choices.
I, Daniel Blake Directed By Ken Loach, UK (2016)
The Social Realist Drama Film brings the harsh reality of unprivileged working class citizens like Daniel Blake and the characters around him, facing Britain’s unfair job centre system.
The story is set in a working class environment in Newcastle. Cinematography wise, a blue tinted filter accentuates the bleakness and seriousness of the film. The film starts with a black screen with the protagonist Daniel speaking in a work capability assessment. Daniel’s cardiologist has not allowed him to work but the assessment confirms he is deemed fit for work and denied employment and support allowance.
A close up shot of Daniel holding his medication tells the audience that he is a sick man. The assessment scene has similarities to tropes of interrogation scenes. This subliminally tells the viewer that Daniel may not be behind bars by the end of the scene; however the rest of the story shall unfold the journey of him being trapped by the unjust system.
He is later accompanied by friends after he decides to help after seeing them struggling because of the same situation with the job centre rules. The character he befriends is a single mother of two who moved from London. Her hardship is told by the expenses she goes through to put a meal on the table for her kids such as shoplifting and escorting. The climax is built when Daniel discovers Katie’s job. It leads to her humiliation to the point she cuts him off completely until later on. Daniel’s home interior begins with a collection of furniture with a warm colour palette that gives a cosy feel to it. In contrast, the shot of the interior of his house represents the emptiness of it. The house can be seen as a physical embodiment of the true protagonist’s emotions and the psychological effect that the bureaucratic system caused.
The film is aimed at critics and middle class people as propaganda message of unsympathetic jobseekers bureaucracy humiliating claimants and negatively impacting generous people like Daniel Blake.