Sunday, 11 October 2015

Gender Ideologies - Luther Essay

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Luther Analysis

In this clip, we see a confrontation between a man and a women (Alice Morgan and John Luther), in the TV Drama : 'Luther'. We can get a lot of information about the representation of gender in this short scene.

Camera Work and Editing: This clip is a linear narrative edit. We see a process happening that involves resolution (in a way) at the end. Although it is a clip from an episode (that would be more of a linear narrative story), it is a linear narrative in itself. At the very start of this clip, we get given an establishing shot to set the location. Then we see more clearly, that the two characters are Luther and Alice as a long shot is shown of the two of them (so also a two shot). Then a mid shot is presented as the characters begin the conversation. The camera angles move frequently between the two characters, whilst cross-cutting, to show they're having a flowing conversation with each other. The shot/reverse shot is used to prove the differences between males and females. At 0.19 seconds into the clip, an over the shoulder angle is used when Alice gets closer to Luther. She changes the subject from the crime, to Luther's condition. She states; "you look exhausted", (which is on a more personal topic of conversation). The fact that it is Alice that is moving closer to John, proves that the women typically have to go to the man and greet them and ask them how their feeling. They'll never get that respect back as women. When Alice asks Luther if he would like to 'come in', he looks at her up and down and the camera focuses on him for a couple of seconds, before there is a huge shift in location and the camera cuts from one shot to the other. This part of the clip is the longest take out of the two different cuts/ locations. There is another establishing shot, this time to set the scene of Alice's' apartment. It shows a more personal, intimate connection between the two character, which again, Alice has led on. As all female characters are stereotypically proven to do. What they're best at... leading the male protagonist in the right direction. There is then another repeated pattern of close up shots of the two characters having a conversation. They take it in turns to speak, without interrupting each-other.  A lot of cross cutting and over the shoulder angled shots happen here, in this quick amount of time. Then Alice moves to the picture on her wall and the camera follows her to it. As Alice is talking, she is gaining more power and we can tell this, because the focus stays on her for a longer amount of time. The camera angle zooms in on her and she has dominance - right up until Luther mimics her and the camera pattern starts again. This doesn't only prove that men have more power over women - but men like to think they're more important than women and they think it is alright to judge them. At 1.57 Luther and Alice become close again, after Luther integrates her. The camera tilts up at Luther and down at Alice. Luther is also looking down on Alice. This shows he owns dominance over her. Then there is a close-up/over the shoulder shot of Alice moving in closer to Luther and she asks him if he came for 'sex'. This again, is Alice taking the conversation to an even more personal level. When Luther reacts with the answer Alice was probably expecting, she walks quickly away from Luther and we are presented with another long shot / two shot. We are shown this is to reminded of the location they are in and also, because Alice was reacting with the mise en scene in the living room (she takes off her jumper). As the subject of the conversation become more professional the couple become more spaced out. It is clear from there proxemics and their relationships with the camera angles reflect the topic of conversation e.g. when speaking about relationships (and there's in particular they become more close to each other).  We then, for the first time see a close up of Alice when John is talking. This is to show her reaction of what he is saying. It proves what men say can effect women - but not the other way round. As Luther begins to gain power over Alice he walks over to her again and tries his hardest to be the one in control. Alice is shown in a mid-close up looking up at Luther and as she interrupts him the camera focuses on her and stays on her. At 3.27, once Alice has gained her 'equal' power, a two shot / mid shot is shown and Alice moves closer into Luther and goes to touch his chin, to which he reacts quickly to and moves away. The scene then becomes too much for Luther and he decides to walk away. He is either a cowardly man and masculinity has gone against him - or he is sticking up for his male dominant role and moving away, because he can or he has the power.

Sound: At the start of this clip, there's no extra apparent sound, other than the cars in the background of the scene (diegetic sound). John and Alice's audio/ dialogue is only noted. At 0.50  seconds, Alice mentions the begging part of 'evil' and walks up to the photo of the 'black hole'. As she starts talking, a piece of dark, threatening music starts to play. This is the only bit of non-diegetic sound that is put in, to create tension for the viewers. This is used, because it goes well with the first mention of 'evil'. The music fades out when Luther says; 'I'm not here to discuss that'. This shows he has the control over the conversation. He brings it back to his reality and his terms. The music then becomes louder when Luther begins to really threaten Alice. He (the male gender), still holds control over Alice. The music is loudest, when Alice goes in to touch Luther on his face. This adds to the tension and climax of the scene.

Mise en Scene: Luther is wearing a suit, which suggests he is in a professional occupation. Compared to Alice, he looks the most smart and organised. This shows the difference between men and women already. However, Alice isn't badly dressed. She is wearing smart clothes, but not a specific uniform or outfit. Her apartment and clothes suggest she is sophisticated and well mannered. Also by the way she speak. Both characters speak in standard English, which proves they aren't so different in class and status. Alice is wearing makeup and has her hair curled, which implies she is trying to attract men. The stereotypical image for a woman, would be to impress the mle genders by wearing makeup. Even more so, Alice has put on red lipstick, red having connotations of murder, danger, love and lust. It could communicate things about her as a person. The audience may see her as a tart who only wants the sex from Luther and that with her blunt personality makes her a bad character compared to John, who is the good guy. The setting that the two characters are in proves they have a close (in a good or bad way) relationship. However, it was Alice who invited Luther in. She is presented as a female who is deceiving and manipulative.

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