‘skirt’ textual analysis

I recently watched a short film called ‘Skirt’ by Amanda Boyle.

Narrative:

The narrative is rather ambiguous, as even after a few viewings the intended storyline seems somewhat unclear to the audience, and it has an extremely simplistic style in terms of mise-en-scene and the lack of dialogue. However, I rather enjoyed this short film; I loved the simplicity and felt that it didn’t need much dialogue in order to be effective. I personally liked how the film portrayed the many difficulties and awkwardness of living together – especially through the intended silences throughout.

What I liked:

What I also found engaging about this short film was the numerous jumps in time, and how one action effected another later on in time. The change in time is easily seen by the audience as it is portrayed especially through the sudden change in lighting/change of the character’s actions.

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The female character drops the mug from the cupboard.

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Seconds later the man is shown looking for the same mug. The mise-en-scene is noticeably darker to portray the jump in time.

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The female character is shown to be the other side of the apartment.

Narrative structure:

What I also liked about ‘Skirt’ was the jump cuts and the rather disjointed narrative structure. I personally find disjointed narrative structures far more compelling to watch and overall separate the film from any others. One of my favourite films, Pulp Fiction probably has various jumps in time, it keeps the audience on their toes – plus I find it fascinating how the storyline seems to unravel at the end as the disjointed narrative is placed together. In my opinion, these features (mastered by Tarantino) make it far more interesting and engaging for an audience member such as myself. I absolutely love it when you physically cannot take your eyes off the screen as you may miss something important in the narrative.

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And finally, how will it inspire me?

These aspects may possibly inspire me to use jumps in time in my short film, however I feel they may have to be rather short jumps, as the film is only five minutes and may not make sense to my audience. Plus, if I do choose to use these features I must ensure it makes sense to a focus group of my intended audience before I finalise the production.

’30 seconds 2 late’ textual analysis

I watched ’30 seconds 2 late’ from the Virgin Media Shorts website.

Narrative:

This short film begins with fade from black to a man, explaining his frequent lateness, and how he simply cannot be late on this particular day. At only 2 minutes and 20 seconds, it is extremely short, however I feel the narrative was condensed rather successfully, and does not feel rushed. I found that enigma codes are immediately raised from the very beginning; why is he running, why is he wearing a suit, and most importantly, who is he running to?

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It is then revealed he is running to a love interest, or perhaps ex-girlfriend. After a brief encounter with a moving car which the protagonist narrowly avoids, he finds the girl who he then pleads to. It is evident she chooses not to forgive the male character, and flees in a car. An extreme close up is then revealed of his devastated facial expressions – exposing his feelings towards this female character. The female character, Kira, evidently changes her mind and stops the car. After shouting his name the couple run to what they think will be a warm embrace, however it appears the male character somewhat ‘disappears’ during this encounter, leaving Kira dumbfounded.

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Vivid sound effects of a car horn and tyres skidding soon reveal a alternative story, portraying that infact the male character had possibly been seriously injured/died in a car accident earlier on.  Perhaps this is why the director chose to put emphasis on the near death experience previously in the short film. The voiceover of the protagonist then states he was simply “30 seconds too late”, linking back to the title. A fade to white transition is utilised, perhaps to represent his death or the quickness of the accident.

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Sound:

What I particularly liked about this short film was the music, I feel it synchronised perfectly with narrative and the visuals on screen. The song was an emotional, heartfelt piece, linking back to the male characters emotions and the utter distraught felt by both characters during this film. I quite liked how the lyric “you’re losing me” was sung as Kira decided to walk away from the male character. As Kira changes her mind, the tempo of the music picks up and is very upbeat, representing the male characters elation at her return, this quicker tempo continues as the couple rush to embrace one another.

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Editing:

Another feature I also liked about this film was the super fast cross-cutting from Kira standing alone, to the male protagonist lying injured on the pavement, these images linked really nicely together, as it represents their separation from one another. The jerky cross-cutting could also portrays the abrupt nature of the collision, and the severe mental and physical impact it would have on both characters.