Film Clip Analysis - an Ideal Husband

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Film Clip Analysis
An Ideal Husband - 1947

This scene depicts what appears to be lovers preparing for bed and discussing the political unrest within the mans life, set in an extravagant house the couple appear to have returned from a party as they are wearing tuxedo and ball gown. The upper class setting is then further exemplified when the woman calls the maid to post a letter for her (shot 24). This kind of setting represents clearly the wealth that the couple bear, further exemplifying the prestigious role that the man holds within politics. The highly decorated set provides plenty of visual texture in turn making the environment in which the scene is set look lavish to the viewer.

The establishing shot (1) is a great chandelier in which the candles are being extinguished, the scene darkens leaving a silhouette over what is symbolised to be a sky, the smoke over the sky may be a synonym for turbulent times to follow. The lighting plays quite a strong part in establishing metaphors, with each candle that is snubbed the set becomes darker, this ties in with the man becoming further persuaded by the woman round to what she wants, the darkening of the room suggests that this is a mistake due to the symbolic cliché of good being represented by light and darkness with evil. Due to the political prowess in the conversation the silhouetting of the actors face showing now features suggests sinister undertones.

The staging of the scene within a house which appears to be large and lavish provides the director with interesting shots and frames. At one point within the clip the woman is framed against a mirror, providing connotations of a reflection of self. At the same time the man is silhouetted against a large paned window, the crosses between the panes of glass could represent a jail cell as the characters are discussing a "dishonest". The woman is pushing the man throughout the scene, so the ‘jail cell' could also be representational of how the man feels...
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