In my A2 short film, Screen Three, the old man and the youths who appear in the piece could be argued to adhere to contrasting stereotypes. The old man in the film’s establishing shot appears low in the frame, out in the open and is positioned to look smaller and below the youths as they enter the scene. These things arguably appeal to the yulneralbe characteristic many elderly members of the society are stereotyped to posses. Similarly, his white hair and old-fashioned jacket likens him to the older community. Barthes’ action code theory involving the youths acting bashfully and abusively by throwing popcorn, kicking the old man’s chair and yelling contrast with the old man’s representation. These action codes and their dark hoodies suggest them to adhere to the stereotypical anti-social youths of today in Britain, which is where the film is set as suggested by their British accents. In this way, our film adheres to Strauss’ theory of binary opposition. The conflict between these opposites, he argues, form the base for narratives and this is presented through the conflict of young and old. Propp’s theory of characters is adhered in a high majority of films. He argues that all characters in any film fall into a certain category from a list he has created. The list involves the hero, villain, donor, princess, dispatcher, false hero and the helper. While our film subverts his theory by not including the majority of those characters listed, it could be argued the hero and villain is portrayed within the old man and the youths. The hero of a film is the character who the audience is most focused upon. The first shot of our film is a close up of our main character, Peter, the old man, and so having this close up straight away quickly helps the audience identify who the hero is in our film. A convention of drama films is having a character that audiences can empathise and sympathise with. Establishing this focus on a certain character, and showing his emotional troubles through close ups, direct viewers’ empathy and acts as audience gratification. While this focus suggests Peter as the hero, his actions, arguably, do not. I directed the actor who plays the old man to appear distressed and anxious and while he did this, he also remains still and inactive throughout the whole film until he finally gets up and leaves the cinema. His vulnerability and inaction conflicts with the conventional hero who is brave and fights back at those causing harm. In this way, he subverts with the stereotypical hero and assumes the stereotype of a helpless old man. On the other hand we have the youths. They are continually suggested as evil, a characteristic possessed by many villains, through there abusive nature. They confront the old man and act aggressively towards him by coming closer to him and kicking his chair violently. Also, darkness is also associated with evil characters and my youths adhere to this by being dressed in dark clothes and in an absence of  strong light, unlike the old man. According to Todorov, every narrative begins an equilibrium which is distorted by an antagonist force that leads to the disequilibrium. By being with the old man comfortably watching his film and then being disrupted by the youths, Screen Three adheres to this theory. The introduction of the youths soon leads to the disequilibrium to occur and so in this way they are presented as villains who come in the way of our protagonist.



  1. Another promising answer, but the reader has to get quite far into the essay to determine whether you understand the concept of representation. You really need to demonstrate your competence in your opening paragraph…

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