Textual Analysis – Flowers

How is the mood created in the TV programme, ‘Flowers’?

In order to analyse programmes and films efficiently, I need to do a textual analysis. A textual analysis involves looking at the camerawork, sound design, editing and miss-en-scene. To have a go at this process of textual analysis, I watched a programme from Channel 4 called ‘Flowers’.

Sound design : everything I can hear in the film/tv programme

  • The emphasised heavy breathing of the main character at the very start creates a tense atmosphere as well as a serious mood.
  • The narrator throughout the start of the programme sats the scene but, also contrasts with what is going on. Most films and programmes with narration are almost “fairy tale like”. This juxtaposes with the theme of suicide which then makes this seem like a comedy. But in this case, a dark comedy.
  • There was a soundtrack after about half way into the programme. The cheerful and uplifting non diegetic sound played whilst the parents were arguing created, a sense and mood of silliness and pointlessness. This is because, the argument wasn’t a very serious one therefore, the happy music juxtaposed this and made the mood seem silly and hectic for the audience.
  • Towards the end of the programme there was a scene where all of the people in the room starting talking all at once whilst the piano was beginning to be played very quickly. The diegetic sound of the piano was emphasised as well as the people talking. The mood created here was a feel of commotion and the environment wasn’t under control. This made the audience feel like things were beginning to go wrong.

Camerawork : things which are done by the camera/cameraman

  • At the part of the programme where the neighbour is running and the son is shouting, there is a wide shot of the trees in the field. This shows the isolation of the family to everyone else. In the shot, you cannot see the son who is shouting . This shows his “relevance” to the girl running.
  • In the kitchen where the son and the foreign boy are talking, camerawork is used to create a sense of separation between the two. There is a shot where the son has his back turned to the other. This shows the distance between the two.
  • Throughout the programme, there are close up and extreme close up shots of rope. Even though this rope is just a simple object, it has many negative connotations to it. Since the rope is shown so many times, it shows the importance of it and because of the negative connotations, there is an eery and depressive mood.

Mise-en-scene : things that are seen in the film/programme which are not camerawork, editing and sound design

  • The main character who attempted suicide smokes a cigarette at the start of the programme. Since cigarettes shorten the life of someone, this adds to the fact that the character wants to end his life so desperately. This creates a very depressing mood.
  • The girl, Amy, has a very gloomy appearance to her. Her hair is a jet black colour (black can relate to the theme of death) and her expression is usually the same: miserable. Since she is shown many times, it can be argued that she is the centre of the family and she represents what is actually going on. This creates a feel and mood that the family is going through a very distressing. This shows a melancholy mood throughout the programme. This is also a theme which is juxtaposed. The family is having a gathering and Amy is playing upbeat and jolly music. The music is representing the family’s real situation where as Amy, is showing what underlines the family and what is really happening.

Editing : what is done in order to put the film/programme together

  • At the start when the man is walking, the cuts between the shots become quicker. There are quick shots between the man’s feet, surroundings and his hands holding the rope. This shows and increase in tension and also creates a mysterious mood.
  • At the very end of the programme (where the talking all happens at once and the piano music intensifies), there is rapid cutting between the shots. This quick cutting creates and increase in tension. This creates a very dark and tense mood.

2 thoughts on “Textual Analysis – Flowers

  1. Here’s a bit of a to-do list with regards to your overall blog. Don’t worry, everyone’s got one…

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