Thursday, 19 April 2012

Representation of Age - Hustle

This extract presents us with two different age representations, from the older generation, who are more reflective and struggle with keeping up with modern times, and the younger generation which are adapt to using advance technology and are much more fast paced. These idealistic characteristics of the differing ages are presented to the audience in a flattering light due to the positive attributes given.

Viewers are firstly introduced to the older generation, as they quietly dine and celebrate a birthday, their maturity and segregation from the younger generation is explicit in the mise-en-scene with them being seated away from the loud and lively crowds near the bar, as they isolate themselves from them and enjoy a quiet table for two with champagne. The camerawork also emphasises the fact that these two characters have aged from being young and lively to older and more reserved, as the first tracking shot is backwards from the background of the bar of young people to the foreground of a two shot. The editing of the conversation is the steady and stable shot reverse shot, rarely altering or challenging the conventions of filming a conversation,  which may exemplify the nature of the older and more experienced generation who stick to what they know, not venturing into the new and unconventional lifestyle.This is also mirrored within the soundtrack as the dialogue reveals their inability to keep up with modern technology, the background diagetic sound of laughter and joy represents the past lives they may have had, a faint memory of theirs.

The younger generation is then portrayed separately, as much faster and adept, this is emphasises by the editing which includes the transmission, from the scene of the two older men to the scene of the younger group, as it quickly and smoothly slides across the screen to reveal the same man from the previous scene. The mise-en-scene shows their knowledge of technology, particularly projectors, and the modern sleek furnishings support the notion of them being younger and unconventional. The soundtrack consists of quick and focused dialogue, which again portrays their quick understanding and ability to keep up with change. The camerawork also conveys the young characters inexorability to find information and learn new things through a focused attitude as the shots are mostly focused close ups of the characters faces, with editing quickly cutting from one character to the next to synchronize with the sharp and snappy dialogue.

However although these portrayals are flattering towards young people as well as the older characters, the representation is not realistic as there are many other subcultural groups which can be presented at both of those ages, which are very different in terms of all aspects. The audience position however should identify with the younger social group, and the creators intentions to exhibit the young and elite as advanced, modern and agile is supported through showing their binary opposition in the form of the older, gentler and less adept to technology generation is achieved.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Character representation in Skins.

The extract is from the begining of the pilot episode of teen-drama Skins, the series revolves around the lives of several teenagers, focusing on character Tony. The very first shot introduces him through a close up shot, which tracks backwards, revealing the rest of his room from a birds eye angle. This encapsulates Tony as the central character and presents the viewers with an equilibrium.

As the sequence continues, we are shown Tony in his room undertaking various of his morning rituals which include excercising and dressing, as well as looking out of his window into his neighbours house to observe her whilst she gets dressed in the morning. He is portrayed as an average teenage boy, who is particular about his appearance, whilst having that cheeky side to him as he lusts after the forbidden, more mature woman who lives across the street. He dresses himself stylishly, and casualy, without appearing like he belongs to a particular or rebellious social group.

His cheeky nature is exhibited as he fools his father by playing his rock music at full volume, and his father reveals that he does this every morning. The father is percieved to be a comical character as he is in a costume which ridicules his physique in comparison to his son and places him in a lower position. The loud music is merely a ploy to cover up for his sister who arrives after what is percieved to be a night of partying, she sneaks into the house and is shown changing from her revealing nightclub outfit into her school uniform. This representation of her is rebellious as she goes behind her parents backs to partake in behaviour they do not approve of. Both children show how they undermine their parents authority and do not take them seriously. The relationship between the siblings is stronger than between parent and child which is reinforced by Tony who supports his sister in sneaking into the house.

The representation of his sister shows her in a much more sexualised way in comparison to the way her brother was portrayed. The camera lingers over her body which is highlighted from the rest of the dimly lit bedroom. This contrasts with her appearance at the breakfast table where she is completely covered by her modest uniform, has no make up on and wears her hair in a pony brewi

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Shameless Deconstruction

Exam practice task; analyse how the producers construct representations of working class in the first 5 or 6 minutes.

The image of the working class in Shameless has been represented by the setting and characters. From the opening I can infer that the main character is Frank and he's also a lone parent as he claims his partner has 'disappeared into thin air'
 In this opening shot we can see that the setting is located in a normal city like setting, with parks, bulidings, offices and houses.

While the scene is being set, the voiceover by Frank is describing his family and his life and where he residees.

 This screengrab shows that they live in a sort of council type of estate as there is a park which in between the house which may signal that the children play on it. This may give the representation on the working class that they may not be able to afford a better or bigger house especially with the number of people in the family and is therefore giving a negative representation of the working class.

 From this scene the representation on the children is portrayed unflatteringly, as one of the children hits their own father and he is knocked to the floor, showing the children as disrespectful. The clothes that the characters wear make them look slightly 'chavvy' and this can also portray a negative image for the working class.

 From this shot, I believe that the children and the father have a really strong relationship as they are all looking down on him to see if he's okay and when Frank does move slightly the rest of the children run away. This shows that there is an element of fear between the relationships.

 Negative representations on the working class may be extracted from this shot as it's showing the 'community' vandalising a car by burning it and everybody drinking alcohol, throwing cans at the car with police having to intervene. This definitely builds on the stereotypical "anti-social" image for the working class as the scene shows behaviour of an aggressive nature.

 The police having to intervene makes it look like the act the 'community' which Frank prides in are committing illegal acts, and this can understandably cause negative representations of the working class as it may be seen as 'trashy' and not very welcoming.

The title appears when the camera is focussing on the whole scene of havoc. The title 'Shameless' is quite important itself as it may refer to Frank's family and community have no shame, and do things which may not be seen as 'classy'. Due to this the show 'Shameless' can't really give the working class a positive representation if this is the sort of stuff that goes on in the community. The camera is looking down, establishing the scene and this emphasises the chaos caused by the community.

The sound in the whole opening is just a rock and roll themed instrumental to emphasise the madness of the plot and characters. The sound also is quite fast paced and makes the opening quite enjoyable to watch too. The mise-en-scene of the opening show people wearing casual clothing, nothing formal or smart; so we wouldn't expect any one to have well-paid, corporate jobs. The editing is very quick and there are some fading transitions used in some shots while the characters are being described to maybe show how each character has similar attributes all relating to Frank the dad. When considering camera work in this sequence, the characters in-your-face qualities are mirrored when the close up shots of each family member.

Overall the show 'Shameless' has negative representations on the working class due to the title itself, the type of things the community gets up to which needs intervention from the police and the setting of what looks like a council estate which some may refer to as 'rough' or 'intimidating'. However many may argue against this and feel that the light and rythmic music takes away from the serious of the imagery, along with a voiceover which describes the characters with pride and affection, showing the working class community as fun and supportive. Many working class people who watch this may feel that it is a slightly patronisinig adaptation of their lifestyle and is unrealistic.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

How do the 2 extracts construct representations of social class?

Characters and Performance;
The characters in the Eastenders extract all speak with a strong cockney accent, this suggests that they are working class because stereo-typically the working class speak in slang and use short, simple sentences. Whereas in Outnumbered the accent is less 'common', indicating that they are from a working class home.
The way the characters are dressed are also indicators of representation of social class, with those in Eastenders wearing clothes that are in style or belonging to some sub-cultures, even the adults are dressed stereo-typically according to the social class they are representing, which would be the working class. There is a young girl with her hair scraped back into a "Croydon Facelift", a hairstyle assimilated with working class girls. There is also a large number of young characters in this scene, none of which are seen in some type of school uniform, this contrasts to the young boy in Outnumbered. The young girl is also seen doing her homework and appears to be very bright and insightful despite her young age.

The location of each extract is a key factor determining the representations of social class in both t.v dramas. In eastenders the setting changes several times, from some sort of garage, to a house, to outside, to a launderette, finally ending at a cafe. This can portray the lifestyle which these characters lead. Their lives are not family centered as the action does not revolve around a home or house. A strong sense of community is build as they find support between friends and others who live nearby. This is considered to represent a working class culture, as there is a lack of a private sphere in which there is a comforting, united and supportive family. Conversely the 'typical' middle class family are shown in the small vicinity of a family home, where all member of the family are interacting with each other.

The setting in Eastenders doesnt look like there is a lot of money had by the characters, it looks very standard, in stark contrast to the lavish furnishings and tasteful art displayed in the Outnumbered home. The family also had a popular games console associated with the middle class that is the wii. The house in which they live is fairly large for terraced housing, notably with a light and airy atmosphere, with an extended kitchen which helps to convey the family as not extremely rich, but wealthy enough to live comfortably and have a life that is financially stress free.

The editing in Outnumbered is quite fast and unique, it is something identifiable with more modern programs suggesting that this family is modern and trendy with the parents taking a less strictly authoritative nature and being able to humor their children. It also shows how they are quite a close knit family as the editing shows them altogether in several frames.