Friday, 2 October 2009

Lost Highway Opening Scene

Applying Todorov to David Lynch's LOST HIGHWAY

This opening sequence remains quite enigmatic about the equilibrium, but has a very effective disruption to the lives of the married couple. The dialogue contains the words "Dick Laurent is dead".


Applying Todorov's Theory of Equilibrium and Levi-Strauss' Theory of Binary Opposites

SET TASK A: Choose one opening sequence from a film that you know well and analyse according to Todorov' theory. You should link your clip to your individual blogs and then post notes on the following:
1. Who are the agents: the protogonist (the main hero who propels the narrative forward) and antagonist (opposing agent).
2. Describe the Equilibrium. How is it represented? What kind of camera shots can you identify? (e.g establishing shots to create a sense of space or use of CUs/cutaways to emphasise particular objects/characters faces). Pick out 2 or 3 examples. Describe the mise-en-scene: what meanings to the props/costumes/lighting/framing carry?
3. Is the Disruption or Disequilibrium introduced or hinted at? (e.g the serial killer in "Seven" is introduced in the title sequence).
4. Are there any visual/verbal/aural clues that hint at what the hero's journey might be? (e.g having to solve the murders within a time-limit of seven days in "Seven")
5. From your knowledge of the film, how will the equilibrium be restored and what will be the new equilibrium?

SET TASK B: Choose another opening that you know well and analyse according to Levi-Strauss's theory of binary opposites.  Again, link your film clip and then post answers to the following questions:
1. What is the genre of the film? How are the genre signifiers introduced?
2. Who are the main characters and how are they opposed?
3.What are the main themes of the film and how are they introduced?
4.  How is the narrative organised to show conflict?
YOU MUST illustrate your answers with clips from the sequence.

Deadline for this work for both groups: Friday's lesson (8th October).