Essay, 4 pages (900 words)

Media- gender representation assignment

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How is gender represented in the sequence from Hustle? Refer to camerawork, editing and mise-en-scene. The sequence from Hustle has the storyline of two con artists which have a plan of tricking the sales man for money. The clip begins with the lady entering the shop and the sales man being instantly attracted to go and help her after assisting a poor old lady. After she agrees on buying the dress she says that she has lost her ring which her boyfriend custom made for her. She tells the sales man but because she has many appointments to attend, the sales assistant decides to tell her that e will call her once he finds it.

She agrees and offers E5000 to whoever does find it. Soon, a man (her partner in crime) enters the shop and pretends to find the ring. They argue over the ring and because the sales assistant wants the E5000 for himself and perhaps to be able to talk to her again, he offers the man El 500 in exchange for the ring in false hopes that she will come back for it. This sequence has 3 main characters which represents gender. They are the lady, the sales man and the man who finds the ring. Firstly, the stereotypical female characteristics is represented through the lady.

She is portrayed as the typical, vain woman who loves shopping and cares a lot about her appearance. This is clear through her costume of a tight, figure hugging dress and being heavily made up. The importance of her looks is clear when there is a pan up shot from where she tries on the expensive dress- the viewer is forced to admire her glamourous body which is what women are stereotypically admired for. The view of women being ‘ drama queens’ is also shown in Hustle when the lady realises that she had lost her ring. She panics and runs around frantically trying to look for it.

During this scene the music speeds up and there are a lot of tracking shots which follow the frantic actions of both characters. She states how special it is as it was a custom made ring from her boyfriend; demonstrating the caring and compassionate side of females. This scene of her losing the ring also represents the typical theme of the damsel in distress where the weak and fragile female must be rescued by the male character. On the contrary, the stereotypical view of males are displayed through her partner in crime which is the man who ‘ finds’ the ring.

The sense of being strong and confident is suggested by the suit he wears and his neat hairstyle. The neat appearance represents that he is a professional worker which means that he is the breadwinner for his family- which is what the male gender is normally perceived as, the financial support of families. Moreover, there is a low angle shot of the man, from the sales man’s point of view, when he enters to show the high status he has in terms of the relationship between the two men. The stereotypical idea of hierarchy between genders is also clear he calls his irlfriend a ‘ bird’.

This follows the idea of women being subordinate and second class citizens. Men are usually seen as confident and in control and the man in this sequence is a good example. By the way he casually chews his gum and how he uses many hand gestures during the argument reveals his smug personality and how aggressive he is. Typically men are given the label of being easily sexually attracted to females. There were many scenes that used the 2 shot and the over the shoulder shot between the sales man and the lady. They were used to reveal a sense of intimacy and sexual tension to the audience.

However, not only does this sequence from Hustle support gender stereotypes but also challenges it. The main challenge to male stereotypes is the sales man. Although he IS a man of a tall and broad body frame, he indicates a sense of feminism. This is by the soft tone he speaks to her in or by his tie which is the ladylike colour pink. The sales man shows affection and compassion when the lady loses her ring. This defeats the view of men being insensitive and having no feelings. Furthermore, gender stereotypes are, again, challenged by the real character of the female.

She is not the typical, weak female but in fact a scheming woman who has more power than her partner in crime. This is demonstrated by the way she is sitting when her friend tells her that he managed to con El 500 of the sales man. She is sat side ways, not facing him, leaning on the table with one arm and has a smirk on her face. She then says ‘ You did okay’ as appraisement to her friend. Her body language demonstrates that she does not feel the need o give him her full attention and what she says shows that she has the authority to give appraisement.

She is clearly more powerful which is unusual as she is the female. In conclusion, this sequence from Hustle represents gender by showing the many elements of mise-en-scene. The use of costumes and body language played a huge role as they dictated whether they challenged or supported gender stereotypes. Different camera angles also represented genders as they link to the relationship between characters and the status of a character, therefore explaining the gender.

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