Textual Analysis : Fingersmith

Discuss the ways in which the extract constructs the representation of sexuality using the following: Camera shots, angle, movement and composition, editing, sound design and mise-en-scene.

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The extract begins with the protagonist fitting a white dress, the colour white has connotations to the feeling of innocence – this can link to her innocence and vulnerability of her hiding her sexuality from everyone. Later on in this scene, shots change through the editing effect of dissolving. The shows the how the time is passing and Miss Maud is still feeling the same way about the servant. This is also shown when a wide shot of Maud’s hand hovering down the servant’s body clearly shows her desire for the woman. The non diegetic narrative of Maud runs through her thoughts and feelings about her feelings towards the lady.

The next scene is in the outside. Maud is painting her servant, which features many cross close cutting shots. Close ups of Maud painting the woman and close ups of the model’s  body shows Maud admiring the lady’s physical aspects. As soon as the male appears, the tension of the non diegetic score increases and the atmosphere becomes quite melancholy. The idea of the man appearing and the mood changing into something quite tense shows her vulnerability around dislike around the male character in the scene. The wide shot showing the man and Maud far away from the servant shows how distant the servant is away from the two of them; almost like she is unaware of the man’s desire for Maud. Maud then proceeds to drop red paint onto her skirt and as soon as she does that, the score stings and a reaction shot shows the man realisations for Maud’s love for the servant. The colour red is also associated with temptation and passion and as the red paint drops onto her white (this represents innocence) skirt, it shows that Maud’s innocence has now gone.

The man then drags Maud to the tree and a wide shot displays the male’s shadow overcasting maud. This arguably shows that the man is dominating her at this point; this could also show that the woman’s sexual desires for the servant are forgotten about at this point as the man and his desires are the main focus. The camera pans down her body as the man moves down her body which also relates to his desires. The tension is then cut as the diegetic sound of the servant calling for Miss Maud relaxes Maud. This can show that Maud is relaxed and feels most clam around the servant whom she loves.

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Stranger Things

There has been so much hype around ‘Stranger Things’ and I thought it was time for me to finally watch it. If I’m honest, I was a bit skeptical about watching this; mainly because, I watched ‘Orange is the New Black’ (another one of Netflix’s own programmes) and I began to get very bored with it. The series were very long and the programmes itself were quite long too so, I was looking for a show with a small amount of episodes in a series. I was so happy to find out that ST only has eight episodes in a series and the episodes were just under an hour long – if I watched one every day, I’d be done in a week so, I was very keen to watch this series everyone and their mothers have recommended to me.

I usually find it really difficult to get into TV programmes but, instantly I was hooked. The programme is set in the 80’s and if I could live in any decade it would probably be the 80’s so, I love watching the “80’s culture” I guess you could say. The acting is amazing. Usually you would get a bit skeptical about most of the main characters being kids however, they are incredibly talented. Millie Bobby Brown who plays Eleven is also amazing – for someone who is so young and doesn’t have an American accent, she pulls it off so well and she sounds so real. I was also a bit nervous about watching this because, loads of people have told me its scary and full of jump scares. However, I find it more creepy and eery than jumpy – if you are put off by this by what people have told you, I find the programme perfectly fine in terms of scariness and I’m usually quite bad with stuff like this.

Overall, ‘Stranger Things’ is a must see programme on Netflix. If you don’t want something which is too long to watch and has an interesting and gripping plot, this programme is perfect.

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Oh, the theme tune is really catchy too.

Why Louis Theroux Documentaries Are My Favourite

I sometimes find documentaries quite tiring and boring to watch. I find it difficult to watch and find a documentary that is very original and worth my time. However, I always watch the documentaries of a wonderful man named Louis Theroux. He has been making documentaries for many years and, almost all of them are on Netflix which I find very convenient. His documentaries range from a variety of subjects like the hip hop music culture, transgender kids, infomercials and even swingers. His most recent documentaries have touched on very serious subjects like alcoholism and even, the impact Jimmy Savile’s horrible crimes have had on the people he once knew. Even though those topics may not be the most light hearted, Louis Theroux delivers information, facts and other’s personal stories in such and interesting and though provoking way. In the past few years, the controversial “religious” group, the Scientologists, have been in the headlines quite a few times. Theroux has made a film all about it which will be coming out very soon which, I am looking forward to. In the mean time though, here is my list of my top three Louis Theroux documentaries.

1. Louis Theroux’s Weird Weekends – Swingers

In terms of many documentaries shown on the TV, it is evident that this isn’t the most serious. However, even though I knew that there was a thing and people who did “swing”, I never really knew what it was all about. My favourite thing about this documentary is Louis’ english humour and sarcasm. He is not only finding out about the lifestyle for himself but, when put into the weirder situations, he handles it with subtle humour. I therouxly enjoyed this documentary.

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2. Louis Theroux – Drinking to Oblivion 

This is one of Theroux’s most recent documentaries all about alcoholism. I always knew that alcoholism was a very serious issue but, I never knew how serious. This documentary highlighted all the strong impacts it has on the alcoholics and the people themselves. Some parts I found very emotional because, in all honesty, I felt that alcoholics were the ones to blame for them becoming like this; they could have easily prevented it if they just didn’t drink at all in the first place. However, you soon realise that there is much more to their stories and their lives – they never wanted to get to that place in the first place and they never really had anyone they could talk to. Alcohol was the only way to go. I highly recommend this documentary as, it will change your opinion on such serious things like it did mine.

In this interview, Louis Theroux briefly talks about why he made the documentary. It also features a clip from ‘Drinking to Oblivion’.

3. Louis Theroux – The Most Hated Family in America

This is without a doubt one of Louis Theroux’s most well known documentary. I remember watching this briefly in RS when I was around in Year 9. The documentary explores the hatred this American family has towards other religions as well as sexualities (apart from heterosexual relationships). It opened my eyes up to how far people will go to show how they feel at such a young age; some of the family members were younger than me and they were using strong, derogatory language towards gay people. I found it simply shocking. I did however, also find it very interesting as it made me find more out about the family and realise that they quite possibly have more people against their views than people actually following them.

Here are a few clips from the programme.