I recently watched a short film called ‘Skirt’ by Amanda Boyle.
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.
The female character drops the mug from the cupboard.
Seconds later the man is shown looking for the same mug. The mise-en-scene is noticeably darker to portray the jump in time.
The female character is shown to be the other side of the apartment.
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.
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.