Week 7: Representation in the Media: Unit 4

In this post I am going to look into the ways that different groups of people are portrayed in film and also look into positive representations of some of these groups.


How people are portrayed in the media:

  • Stereotypes
  • Positive or negative


Hegemonic principle

Examples of positive representations of different groups in film.

Race – Jurassic World, East Enders, Coronation street, Skins, The Avengers

Sexual orientation – Skins, Coronation street, Emmerdale, Brooklyn nine nine, Glee

Disability – Breaking Bad, Glee, Bad Education, Covert Affairs

Age – Glee, Taken, RED


In Brooklyn nine nine the Captain of the team is both gay and black, this shows a positive representation of both race and sexual orientation. A big racial stereotype is that black people tend to be the bad guy which isn’t true and isn’t the case in this programme as he is in the Captain of a police station.



In Forrest Gump (1994) there is a debate whether Tom Hanks’s character Forrest Gump actually has a disability, however he is said to be slow as he has a lower than average IQ. His disability doesn’t effect the story apart from making his character silly as the genre of a film is comedy. Overall it is a positive representation as it shows that he is a nice person and it doesn’t make a difference whether he has a disability or not by not making it clear.

aaron twd

In the programme The Walking Dead there is a character called Aaron who is gay, it has no relevance to the story and isn’t revealed until a while after the character is introduced. It shows a good representation of them as no one is offended by this or discriminating him for it.


This work was interesting because as a class we found it surprisingly difficult to find a positive representation of minorities such as race, disability etc. but once I found a few it was clear there are a lot of examples. 





Week 7: Representation in the Media: Unit 4

Week 6: Introduction to Narrative: Unit 4

For this blog I am going to choose scenes from films and explain how they use certain techniques to tell the story.

The techniques that some may use are below:

Narrative – The Story/How it is told (conveys meaning) =

  • Semiology (props, locations, body language)
  • Genre (expectations)
  • Mise-en-scene
  • Technology (lighting, camera work, audio, special effects)
  • Narrative techniques (voiceover, idents)
  • Narrative techniques (Structures) = Open narrative: finished on cliff hanger, Closed narrative: finished with the end, Single stranded: one main story, multi stranded: lots of stories, Realistic: feels normal, non-realistic: everything else, linear: chronological a-b-c, non-linear: not in order c-b-a, flashbacks

– The Usual Suspects (1995)

This is the ending scene from The Usual Suspects, it has an amazing plot twist where the character we believed to be the victim actually turns out to be villain we were looking for the whole time. The use of Semiology incredibly clever, the main character Rodger ‘Verbal’ Kint is believed to have a physical disability throughout the whole film. All the other characters refer to him as the cripple and this shows he is powerless and not feared. But it begins to click that he is the villain all along once he is released from custody then begins to stretch and walk away perfectly. Another thing that adds to this is the voiceover, it a police officer thinking over everything that Roger told him and realizing that all it was lies.



– Pulp Fiction (1994)

This scene is from Pulp Fiction it uses both the structure multi stranded and the use of flash forward. During this scene the character Butch kills another main character in the story who is Vince, however they show this in the middle of the film and we continue to see Vince throughout the rest of the film. This is because there are two sub stories within the main story, one that follows Butch and one that follows Vince and his partner Jules. During this scene we are following Butch so this explains why we continue to see Vince after his death as we then switch to his story.


There are reasons the film is made the way they are an I found this interesting to research, I feel that I have a better understanding of all the techniques such as voice overs and how to use them for my own productions in the future.

Week 6: Introduction to Narrative: Unit 4

Week 5: Sound and meaning; an analysis: Unit 4

For this post I’m going to pick a scene from a film were the sound used conveys meaning, I’m going to explain why and how they have used that certain techniques over anything else. I’m also going to describe the use of Semiology, Genre, and mise-on-scene in the scene and how the sound relates to all three techniques.



The film scene I have chose for this post is the amputation scene from 127 hours (07 Jan 2011). This film follows a man after a boulder falls onto his arm trapping him in a canyon in Utah, there is no civilisation near by and he’s been trapped for almost five days and is forced to take action in order to survive.

It starts fairly quiet apart from some low music. By having no background noise it shows that he is isolated from any kind of civilisation, he is alone and relying on himself to survive. The character is quiet and calm which could suggest he is concentrating and you as a viewer can understand what he is thinking and what he is about to do. The mise-en-scene also supports this idea as the character is staring back and forth between his knife and his trapped arm, he also seems skeptical over what he’s about to do however understands that this is the only thing he can do to escape.

The music fits the theme of the film which is Thriller, however it is also slow paced which fits perfectly with what’s on screen as the character may be starting to get drowsy because of the pain and the loss of blood. I also think the music represents determination as he’s gone this far and there’s no going back, he needs to do this if he is going to survive and he understands that.

Then when he tries to cut something in his arm a sound plays every time he touches it, it’s an intense, alarming screech which suggests its a nerve as that is a very painful and sensitive thing. It is similar to the game operation as when you touch something wrong it makes a really horrific sound. Once he cuts the nerve the noise plays for longer and is the only thing we can hear, this shows he is in unimaginable pain and could be on the verge of passing out.

Towards the end the determined music starts playing louder, this suggest he is at the end of the fight and has got to continue for a little longer. As well as the music playing louder the mise-en-scene also plays a big part in showing determination as we see a hallucination of what could be the characters son which drives the character to complete his task. Then once he is free the music cuts quickly which could show relief that the hard part is over and that he is going home. As a viewer this is a horrific scene to watch, but what makes it worse is the genre which is that its a Biography which makes people feel bad for the person who went through it who was Aron Ralston.

The sound in this scene does a really good job of describing what it would have been like to be in that situation and works well with the Mise-en-scene to create a immersive scene. 

Week 5: Sound and meaning; an analysis: Unit 4