[26] SHORT FILM ANALYSIS 4: A Slice of Life

This is my analysis of the short film entitled ‘A Slice of Life’, it was directed by Alex James, a musician from the band Blur, and was his first film of any kind that he is credited for directing. I found this film on vimeo.com under the Virgin Media Shorts page, they try to help undiscovered talent in the film industry showcase there ability. This film was the Virgin Media Shorts 2013 launch film. This film follows a day in the life of a man who was told that he should live every day like its his last, it finishes with him being hit by a vehicle when a passer-by picks up his headphones and carries on his journey.

In this short film miss-en-scene was used very effectively, the main character was given a very ‘hipster’ look, this was done to appeal to the youths in society, he wears golden earphones with sunglasses and shorts telling the audience that he will be a lively character, many people who are familiar with him from the band Blur will be expecting this as that is how he comes across in reality. Shorts have connotations of youthfulness and children which tells the audience that despite his age he is still young at heart, a theme which is reflected in the narrative of this piece. The sound used in this piece first looks to be non-diegetic as it seems to be cheery music to go in the background but when the main character removes his headphones it becomes obvious that it is in fact diegetic sound.Screen Shot 2015-11-05 at 14.20.27

The narrative of this piece seems to be all over the place, it doesn’t as much tell a story as it does put lots of clips together, this means that it is an example of jump-cut editing put into a linear narrative… this is a very common technique used in music videos and is probably to be expected considering his history in the music industry. The narrative of this piece is closed, this can be seen as the main character is very clearly hit by a vehicle at the end of the piece putting meaning to the phrase “live each day like its your last”.  It is clear to see from this film that the narrative at least follows few of the conventions of short films and looks more at the conventions of music videos.

Screen Shot 2015-11-05 at 14.27.26

This piece could be seen as being an example of a hybrid genre, it seems to have features of the comedy genre as well as of music videos, because the same soundtrack is played throughout it could be seen as a music video. The comedy theme can be seen throughout as this piece features lots of funny moments as well as the comical clothing that he seems to be wearing. Postmodernism can also be related to this piece, it seems to have a very surreal, artistic feeling to it which can be seen especially in the scene where he gets the message from the fortune-telling machine.

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The main character in this short is represented as being very child-like, I believe that this is done for two main reasons, firstly because it allows for a comedy interpretation of this short film to be made as well as to warn people of the dangers of going about there lives without thinking about the consequences, firstly the comedy aspect is very clear, this is definitely a funny short film which uses very simple themes effectively in order to do this, secondly the more dangerous view is looked at as if to say that if you live your life all for fun it may be enjoyable for the short term but eventually something will go wrong and it is not a sustainable lifestyle.

To conclude this piece is a very different short film to the others that I have seen, I especially like the way that it has brought in a comedy element, something that is rarely seen and is not really a convention of the short film genre but I personally really enjoyed it, it was different which is in my opinion what a short film should be, something: edgy, artistic and experimental. Despite how much I enjoyed the comedy element of this piece, I don’t feel as if I will be able to successfully replicate this in my own work, comedy is very hard to put into a media text as it is very hard to match everybody’s sense of humour, that said the jump-cut editing used may be a very useful tool for me to use, I will definitely look at putting this into my piece at one stage or another.

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