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Short film analysis - The Shift By Francesco Calabrese (shortoftheweek.


In the short film extract The Shift it uses a wide range of
camera angles to show powers of the characters and what is
happening. Firstly, shortly into the film it is uncovered that
the wife has her husband tied up and is in control of him and
the situation, this is seen by the use of a low camera angle on
the woman to show her power. This is effective as it makes
her seem larger and important showing her power. It also
brings a sense of fear to the audience, as the woman appears
to be dominating the situation. Be using a low angle shot it
also gives a sense of her importance in the film (the main character).

In addition, visa-versa to this, high camera angles are used on
the husband to show he has no power in the situation. By the
camera being elevated over him it makes him look smaller
and insignificant- perhaps reflecting how he feels in the
situation. Also a close up shot is used on the husband in his
chair to perhaps show the audience his fear and emotions. By
concentrating on his face, we see the fear in his eyes, by using
a close up shot is also allows the audience to just focus on
him, as he is the importance in the frame, while the
background behind him is blurred and insignificant. This
close-up takes us into the mind of his character and what he is thinking.

Moreover, in this short film sound is also used to show and enhance the tension
and emotions of what is happening. The music, which is enigmatic and
mysterious, creates a creepy tone even right at the start of the film when he
enters the house and is calling her name and getting no response. It has a
classical tone to it with a monotone drone where it is one deep continuous pitch.
The music portrays the feeling to the audience of something not being right or
that something abnormal is going to happen, and the music is also parallel to the
mood of the film (a downbeat tone). In addition, at the end part of the film when
the man is trying to get the attention of the neighbour that something is wrong
by screaming run, the musics pace is made faster to match the panic of the
situation and is also foregrounded (made louder). Lastly, at the end of the film
when the man and neighbour are on the floor injured/dead the music saddens to
match the mood of what is going on. Classical violins and music you connect with
death and tragedy is played to show this. When the man is arched over the dead
woman on the floor, a sound bridge happens, whereby you can hear the sound of
the evil wifes heels on the ground before she appears on the screen to show her
Millie Price
presence of authority is back. The heel noise is a diegetic sound as it is part of the
film world and props.

Likewise, I think the ideology of this short film is that of feminism and how in the
1950s-60s women were typically housewives and that was there only role. In
the clip the wife says I will never have sex with you, or cook you dinner, or
clean after you again. Almost showing us an opposite of them times of being a
housewife and being a good wife, where the woman rebels against male
authority and her jobs. It feels for a minute at the start of the film as if the
director might be presenting us with a social drama about a stereotypical 1960s
housewife but we later see that she is looking to break free from the chains of
domestic life.

Also, the film uses mise-en-scene to almost confuse the
audience at the start by using a picture-perfect house,
complete with white picket fence and rose bushes out-
front. Making it look like a normal family home with
perfect connotations of the man going out to work and
the woman being the housewife. The wife is seen in what
seems the typical dress of the time the film is meant to be
set (50s-60s), wearing an immaculate dress with a full face
of makeup and done up hair, also with an apron on to show
the role of a housewife of this time. The husband is seen
wearing an immaculate suit, tie and a hat also carrying a
briefcase to show his authority and role of the breadwinner
and businessman. These connotations of mise-en-scene
portray an ordinary family until the film unravels it self to
show the complete opposite is going on.

Lastly, the short film also uses a range of transitions and camera shots. Firstly, a
tracking shot is used of the man as he firstly lies on the floor hurt to then
following him getting up and cradling the dead woman. This is effective as it
involves and participates the audience with the story and enforces more drama
with it by moving with the action (the man). Also as the wifes face is just seen
quickly in an extreme close up, it suddenly cuts to black. Lastly, quick edits are
used when the tension is building (when the neighbour spots the husband
shouting run). The edits switch between the wife and husband. This increases
the drama and makes it more exciting and fast-paced for the audience, giving a
sense of thrill and excitement.

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