[29] SHORT FILM ANALYSIS 6: Spy Glass

Spy Glass is a James Bond themed short film directed by Luke Robson & Ryan Burnham, it follows a man who witnesses a man being shot on top of a building, as he goes to help he discovers a telescope which whenever looked through shows James Bond doing his trademark walk as attached in the video below.

As he does the walk he turns and fires killing the main character in the short film, afterwards another man, meant to represent the classic bond villain ‘Oddjob’ from Goldfinger (1964) falls victim to the same fait. This film uses a closed narrative, there are no interpretations of this film that can be made as the main character is killed. The narrative of this piece follows a linear narrative structure, it never veers of of its line and features no flashbacks or other similar techniques.

Mise-En-Scene is used effectively in this piece, the surrounding area is very dark and gloomy which gives us a sense of death, this is heightened by the crow which flies across the set, crows are often associated with death as are the connotations of its black colour. The ‘James Bond like’ character in this piece is dressed in a tuxedo which is something that is not only associated to the James Bond film franchise but also to death and the organised crime due to the portrayal of spies and the mafia. The sounding in this film is very effective, this is because it uses diegetic sound in a way that makes this piece very much like reality, the way that you can hear the main characters breathing and all of the natural ambience makes you feel as if you are really there. The non-diegetic sound in this piece only comes into play in the second half of this short film with music very closely related to the James Bond film franchise being played, it has a very mysterious feel to it which helps to build tension as to what could happen next.

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This piece is an example of an action-comedy hybrid genre, the action sense can be seen in the way that the conventions of the action genre have been placed into this piece… things such as guns and death, the comedy genre is also used in this piece as it has a parody element to it, it is clear because of this that to the right audience it could be seen as being very funny. There are many postmodern aspects to this short film, most notably the fact that it is a pastiche, it is parodical to the James Bond film franchise however it respects the way that the James Bond films have been done, it is also an example of intertextuality as it not only clearly references the James Bond character but also the villain ‘Oddjob’.

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The main character in this piece is represented as being very curious, even though he thinks someone has been shot on top of the building he still goes up to investigate, which strikes me as a fairly stupid thing to do, it is reminiscent of horror movies in the way that there is always one person who is too brave for their own good. The way that James Bond is represented in this piece is a juxtaposition of how he is in the James Bond film franchise, in the films he is shown as being the good guy who helps to stop people coming into danger but in this short film it is the opposite, Bond is made to look like he is the bad guy who is killing the innocents, the same applies for the character meant to resemble ‘Oddjob’, he is a villain in the actual films but here he is represented as being innocent and as a victim.

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To conclude, I think that this is a good example of how a postmodern short film can be made. Everything in this film is very effective and creates something that I haven’t seen in previous short films that I have looked at, Intertextuality, this is an area that I have wanted to include in my short film since day one, it allows a comedy aspect and is very effective on audience members who have seen the text that is referenced through this. The aspects of this short film that I want to use are firstly intertextuality, I will definitely look to use this, secondly I would like to use the action genre in my piece, this piece is a good example of how it can be integrated into a hybrid genre effectively.

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