X: Short Film Analysis (Theories)

I decided to look at how my short film, X, related to film theories.

I do not think that it fits Todorov’s narrative theory of the plot being a sequence, as there the film ends the third part of the sequence (“a recognition/ realisation that there has been disruption”) and the audience do not see the fourth and fifth stages (“an attempt to repair this disruption” and “a new equilibrium is reached”). It is common in many short films for there to be a cliffhanger, for the film to end on the pinnacle point of action, and not show the audience what happens next – this keeps them interested and hooked.
Claude Levi-Strauss’ idea of binary opposites can come into play here. The audience see the main character, Gina, as the “good”, whilst they see the girl hiding in her house and stealing her things “bad”. These are binary opposites, however, the audience are in the dark as to why Olivia is hiding in her house – this key detail may change their opinion of her drastically.
Ronald Bathes suggests that ‘codes’ are used throughout films to give them deeper meanings, and also to make them more relatable for those watching. In my film, I purposefully used “the symbolic code” – I used a red rug in the living room to symbolise danger, right before the girl is disobeyed by the main character.
Vladimir Propp’s idea of the seven different character types does not fit into my film, as I only have two characters. Perhaps this theory is aimed more towards feature length films, as it would be hard to fit seven characters into around five minutes, and still make them all important, significant, and play specific roles in the films plot.
Similar can be said for Erving Goffman’s character theory; he suggests there are four main character types. Despite me not having four characters, I think that my two characters do fit into this theory. My short film includes a protagonist (Gina) and a deuteragonist (Olivia).

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