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In the film A Single Man directed by Tom Ford, film techniques were used to help us understand the main character, George Falconer (Colin Firth) and the transformation on his outlook of life, allowing us to sympathise/empathise with him along his journey.

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Introduction

Film Essay A journey through one's life and the many discoveries made along are extremely significant. It can influence another's life or provide them with a powerful message. In the film A Single Man directed by Tom Ford, film techniques were used to help us understand the main character, George Falconer (Colin Firth) and the transformation on his outlook of life, allowing us to sympathise/empathise with him along his journey. These cinematic techniques include cinematography, saturation, and soundtrack. Set in Los Angeles, California 1962 shortly after the Cuban Missile Crisis, the film is based on Christopher Isherwood's novel of the same name, and is depicted around one day in the life of George, as he contemplates suicide after the death of his partner of sixteen years, Jim (Matthew Goode) which occurred eight months ago. Cinematography plays a huge role in A Single Man, as it assists us in understanding George. ...read more.

Middle

It provides us with a message, to never give up hope in life. Ford uses the technique of saturation technicolour to develop our understanding of George, who is finding a reason to live again. In A Single Man, saturation represents the unexpected beauty found in moments of life. When the character of Kenny (a metaphor for George's salvation and redemption) is introduced to us on-screen, George's world is gradually lit up in saturation, an explicit contrast to the film's monotonic, desaturated tones. In the scene when Kenny purchases a pencil sharpener for George is a very accurate potrayal of George's subconscious desire to keep stay alive. The three avaliable coloured pencil sharpeners are: red, yellow and blue, which are all boldly saturated. Kenny picks a red sharpener, which is symbolises "rage" and "lust", whilst George selects yellow - a sterotypical representation of happiness. In the closing sequence of the film, when George is beginning to feel alive again, the shots are glowing with a combination of red and yellow - the colours they chose earlier in the film for their pencil sharpeners. ...read more.

Conclusion

The slow-tempo of the waltz played as George drives through the neighbourhood, helps us understand that he is beginning to take in the beauty of little things in life that seem unexpected. Hope is starting to grow for George, as he realises that reality isn't a dead end for him - seen by the children and their happiness as they play in the backyard. This tells us that he is slowly opening himself up to creating new memories, even if they may not carry the same intensity as the ones he shared with Jim. In conclusion, director Tom Ford successfully used cinematic techniques such as cinematography, saturation and soundtrack to support our knowledge of the main character, George Falconer. Through these techniques, we are able to understand George through his emotional response, allowing us to sympathise/empathise for him. It can be seen that he changes from a feeling of despair to beginning in hoping again as a result of the connections he makes through his day. The film 'A Single Man' conveys a final message of hope and profound insight that makes it all worthwhile. ...read more.

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