Sunday, 22 February 2015

Jan 2012 clip + report

The representation theme was SEXUALITY:


You can read that at
I've copied/pasted a bit of this to give you a taste below...
sexuality in past Victorian times and contemporary society. There was plenty of evidence that candidates understood the representation of sexuality with a variety of interpretations, for example: homosexuality as taboo, as stereotypical/counter stereotypical and how the character Sue had desire for Maud as opposed to rejection of the heterosexual male Richard.
Those candidates that did less well with the analysis of representation focussed on a discussion of gender and power, rather than sexuality, or at times had basic or minimal understanding of the concept of sexuality, as if they were not fully prepared for the topic. Lesser achieving candidates used sweeping generalisations such as ‘most lesbians are usually quite masculine, but this lesbian was feminine’ or ‘men are dominant over women’ rather than entering into any deeper discussions about the representations presented to the audience.
Camera Shot, Angle and Composition
Most candidates used the correct terminology and could identify shot composition, movement, framing, and angles in relation to each of the characters and their situations and link these to the construction of sexuality. Better responses identified the use close up shots and framed composition of Sue’s desire for Maud, taking place in the country home and on location with the held shots of Maud in an artistic pose. Candidates could also discuss the oppositions constructed between Sue and Richard; for example, in discussion of the shot composition of Richard’s aggressive advances towards Sue, which strengthened their analysis. Common errors made by candidates with terminology included the use of the term ‘twin shot’ instead of two shot.
Lesser able candidates were able to describe key shots used in exemplification, but they tended to lack explicit links to how these shots assisted in the construction of the representation of
sexuality. These candidates would also tend to focus on just identifying the narrative flow of the extract through the naming of the shots. There was also a common tendency to discuss the camera zooming when in fact it is tracking or cutting closer to a particular action.
Mise en scene
The majority of candidates discussed this area with confidence. Location, character appearance and body language were all handled well. Some analysis of colour symbolism was less successful because it tended to be based on assumptions, which could not be substantiated from the sequence. There is still a tendency for candidates to treat colour palettes and lighting deterministically as if whites, reds, blacks and shadows always carry the same meanings irrespective of context. Stronger responses offered analysis in the context of the extract, for example, with the symbolism of the glove and the hovering of Sue’s hand over Maud’s body suggesting that the act itself was taboo or forbidden.
The analysis of sound is continuing to improve with candidates attempting to link music with the representation of the characters. Music was generally well recognised and analysed with better
candidates linking the slow paced, stringed music to heighten the sense of desire that existed within the female character Sue, whilst painting the portrait of Maud. There seemed to be more confident use of terminology in relation to soundtrack this session. Many candidates were proficient in analysing diegetic/non diegetic sound (although at times there was a common error by candidates in getting this correct). The importance of the ambient sounds and soundbridges were analysed by candidates, in relation to how meaning is constructed, particularly in the use of change of tempo upon Richard’s dramatic actions in the rural scene where he forces Sue into declaring her love for him. Candidates made frequent reference to the dialogue in the extract, especially the use of the voiceover at the beginning of the extract. Candidates understood the voiceover technique and it’s dual function of illustrating the forbidden nature of sexuality and its use to position the audience sympathetically in relation to the protagonist defying social convention. Most candidates used this voiceover to establish the relations between the two women in the Victorian country house.
Editing remains the most challenging area for analysis, although there were some encouraging signs in that fewer candidates this session seemed to leave this area out altogether. There were some strong analyses of the ways in which the editing created perspective within the sequence, helping us to understand the privileging of the gay relationship or the contrast between the editing style depicting the softer, more romantic relationship between the women and the coercive nature of heterosexuality on show. Many candidates misnamed the dissolves used in the sequence as fades or wipes, but were able to discuss how they implied connections between the various scenes shown.
Candidates often engaged well with the nuances of editing and the ways in which the use of long and short takes represented power and how eye line matches were used to reinforce a sense of dominance, for example between Richard as dominant heterosexual male and Sue’s rejection of him. There was consistent reference to the editing transitions and the use of ellipsis editing for the narrative sequence, which unravels, and links made to soundbridges and pacing in the extract.

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