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Textual Analysis- Afterlife short film

Textual Analysis- Afterlife short filmEsme Roberts

SoundThe opening of the short film begins with tense non-diegetic sound that gets increasingly louder. The music contains a gradual heart beat that goes to a stop, indicating that the man has died and is now in the after life. After this, the receptionist for the waiting room, uses a fire extinguisher to stop someone from setting alight again, with a very loud extinguisher sound. Fire has religious connotations of hell, which symbolises the whole concept of paradise and punishment, within the short piece. As the man then continues to walk through hallways to have his meeting, there is diegetic sounds of scary whispers that sound like ghosts, and quiet atmospheric music. This indicates that the man is on his way to punishment, due to the dark nature of the sound. The dialogue when the man says my heart feels as if its beating out of my chest, foreshadows the ending of the short filming, when the two ladies have realised that the man is in fact still alive, however it is too late.

Camera Angles/MovementsThe beginning establishing shot of the hallway isn't still and moves a lot, this indicates to the audience that something isnt quite right, that being that Martin has died. Also the fact that the shot is on the screen for a very short time, highlights that Martin actually shouldnt be in the after life, due to him still being alive. After this there is a very blurred pan of the room, this portrays that Martin doesnt know where he is, and also shows that the audience at this point doesnt know whats going on. The mid shot between one of the dead men and the after life worker, establishes authority within the scene. The lady is leaning over the man, highlighting her power over the man, due to her being able to decide his future of going to paradise and punishment. At the ending, the mid shot that gradually zooms out symbolises Martin intensely leaving the world forever. As the camera zooms out, the audience get a representation of Martin going down into Punishment.

EditingThe establishing shot is presented for a very short time and after this there is a jump cut to a very blurred mid shot with Martin walking closer to the camera. As Martin is walking closer, the shot is still blurred to suggest to the audience that he is in a place unknown to living people. The short-reverse-shot between the receptionist and Martin also has relevance. Martin is placed about the receptionist looking down on her, this foreshadows that he was actually correct and the workers in the afterlife made the mistake. Throughout the scene between Ellis and Martin, Martin has a lot more significant amount of screen time between the two characters. This could indicate that Martin is the protagonist in the piece, causing Martin to have the most screen time to allow the audience to understand his character.

Mise-en-sceneThe lady workers for Afterlife are actually the same person. She has blonde hair which stereotypically indicates that she is unintelligent and delusional. This stereotype is then proved when both workers make a mistake by sending Martin to punishment. Furthermore, the receptionist is seen to be more feminine than the other work Ellis. The receptionist is wearing brighter colour and files her nails and reads magazines throughout the piece. This reinforces the stereotypes that receptionists tend to be pointless and irrelevant at a place of work, due to them only doing internal work. However, Ellis on the other hand, is wearing dark clothes, less make up, and also her hair is tied up. This indicates that Ellis defeminises herself for her work due to her being in more authority and power compared to the receptionists. This highlights the stereotype that females tend to have less power than men within society. However, if females do have a job with power, women are forced to defeminise themselves due to pressures within society.