Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Representation of Gender in Luther

How are female gender/femininity and male gender/masculinity represented in Luther?

The scene of Luther starts off with an opening shot of Alice. In this shot she is the primary subject as the depth of field puts her in focus and the rule of thirds places her as the subject of the shot. The first thing noticeable about her character is her appearance; she has red hair, red lips light eyes and pale skin. To me her red-themed appearance has sexual connotations and may also connote danger. This represents femininity as sexual/seductive and arguably threatening. This is further bolstered by the non-diegetic mood sound playing in conjunction with the shot of her appearance, which is eery and sinister, connoting that Alice could be a femme fatale. 

The next shot is an establishing long shot, in which Luther and Alice are seen conversing on a bridge with several high-rises in the background. In the conversation between them Alice talks about the cremation of her dog and appears to feel very indifferent towards the loss of her pet. This does not represent femininity in a stereotypical way as stereotypically women are very attached to their pets and cause them to become emotional, Alice however is the opposite. On the contrary masculinity in this shot is represented in a stereotypical way as Luther's body language is laid back which makes him look confident and comfortable with himself. This is stereotypically a masculine trait. 

Later on the conversation continues and takes place in Alice's lounge/office. The mise en scène continues to conform to the anti-feminine representation of Alice as her apartment is stereotypically masculine in appearance. There is no pink, no patterns on the walls and no ornaments; but instead are objects/artefacts of a scientific nature. There is a telescope on her balcony, a framed diagram of the solar system on her wall and there are several book shelves. All of this coupled with the pale/sterile colour scheme and layout of her room represents her character androgynously as she clearly possesses both masculine and feminine qualities.

Within a minute or two after introducing Luther to her apartment, Alice tries to sexually advance upon Luther. As she explains to Luther an artistic representation of a blackhole on her wall she clearly uses it as a metaphor to reference her femme fatale prowess. She describes the blackhole as drawing in matter and destroying it, much like a femme fatale seduces a man and leads him into a dangerous situation. This represents her femininity as sexually exploitive and unusually powerful in comparison to typical male-female power dynamics. In this frame a two shot with a zoom camera movement is used to represent how Alice is seducing Luther.

In this scene Luther is represented un-stereotypically as he is represented as possessing atypical traits for a man. This is evident from he way he never gives in to Alice's sexual advancements and constantly resists her trying to seduce him. In this scene masculinity is also represented in an atypical and submissive fashion as there is a constant power struggle between the male and female character. This is unusual as typically the man is usually the dominant one and the woman is submissive.

1 comment:

  1. Excellent work. Terminology is used very well and your examples are first rate. You will need to write more for each area in the exam though (and to the same high standard). As a preparatory piece of work this is impressive.