3rd short film analysis: The Lady in Number 6

This is my 3rd documentary analysis, again to help me decide how I want to structure my documentary and what type I want to use, to make sure I’m following the generic conventions.

The Lady in Number 6 is an Academy Award- winning documentary short film which was released in 2013. This was directed, written and produced by Malcom Clarke. The documentary tells the story of Alice Herz-Sommer, a German, Jewish pianist who was the world’s oldest Holocaust survivor.  In the documentary she discusses the importance of music, laughter and how to have an good outlook on life. She died at the age of 110 in 2014, one week before the 86th Academy Awards.

Textual Analysis:

The documentary begins with an editing effect of sparkles on the screen against a black screen, which is coupled with a non-diegetic score in which it gets louder, preparing the viewers for something to happen. This changes to gold typography labelled: ‘ShortHD presents’. The effect of the gold typography emphasises that the short film is famous, and well-known, this is quite grand which makes the audience expect something good/special out of this documentary. The shot transverses from glitter into the typography ‘The Oscar nominated short film 2014’. This entices the audience as to why it was nominated and what for. The cuts to a black screen with glitter then displayed with the typography ‘Documentary’, this is again to guide the audience as to what to expect through this genre.

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A medium shot of the protagonists walking on the stage is coupled with a monochrome effect of bright colours as the men are introduced. The footage begins with them doing something natural before the clapper board cuts. The effect of this is typical in documentaries, were ‘behind the scenes’ are normally shown. By using a clapper board suggests professionalism in the filming of the documentary. This cuts away to the protagonists dialogue- diegetic score of them introducing themselves and what their contribution is to do with the documentary (one is a director and one a producer). Along with this is typography at the bottom on the shot to establish what they are. This is conventional in documentaries where their names are shown and what they do. This is informative and gives a sense of direction/knowledge to the viewers. Additionally, the men are presented in suits to appear presentable and important as they stand behind a black back drop to draw attention to the protagonists.

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The shot cuts away to a tracking shot of a piano where tyopgrpahy is written over in a white, animated looking font: ‘The Lady in N06’. The piano is significant as the audience establish later in the documenatry, which is clearly centimantal in the womens life. The title is displayed at 30 seconds into the documentary, to establish what the film is. The protagonists talking to the camera continues into the next scene, making it a voiceover. This is typical in documentaires to either show a series of events, or could be describing a topic with a footage shown to be symmertrical: in this case the women is the topic for the documentary. This shot fades into a medium shot of the famous women that has been the title of the film. The elderly women is sitting on the chair, with grey hair; appearing as weak and frail. This is conventional, and typical by emphsising her age which is significant for the documentary. Her facial expression is happy and content, which reinforces that the documentary is going to be positive. During the voiceover, the camera converts back to the scene of the director and producer talking as they continue to talk about the lady. The caption under the protganists aren’t visible, as the viewer have already been introduced, which is again typical.

shot 1.png

The close up shot of the elderly womens hand, suggests to be the person in the title. The shot is evidently hand-held, which empahsises the realism and mimics the weakness of the lady as she grows old. The continous medium/close ups and tracking shots of the women further reinforce her signficance in the documenatry. With her using her zimmaframe and walking slow, again conveys her old age. The several cut aways to the director and producer throughout inform the viewer, and give it a documentary feel to it. During her screen time non-diegtic calming, peaceful music begins to play as the elderly women first begins to speak 1 minute into the documentary. From the clip its clear that the women is carefree and delighted. Her dialogue: ‘I’m full of joy’. This is clear that happiness is a theme in the documentary, which gives insight into the ladies personality. After the audience have been introudced to the lady ( who is addressed in the title) the shot cuts back to the director and producer scene, to give a sense of direction and narrative. Overall the clip cuts from the director/producer to the lady 4 times. The camera is out of foucs for the next shot, which begins with prominent, loud non- diegtic music. Vilons and orchestral music is played, which is symmterical to the footage on the screen. This is relatable to the elderly womens hobbies; music. The music continues as the shot cuts to the elderly women sitting on the chair; expressing that ‘music is her dream’, which reinforces her topic of the documentary.

The documenatry ends as how it begins, with the director and producer, summarising a key message to the short film.

 

 

 

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