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Write a detailed film review of The red room concentrating on how this piece of moving image text conveys its message to an audience.

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Introduction: The Room is a thirteen-minute colour film shot in 1991, on location on the rough suburbs of New York City. The film is directed by Jeff Balsmeyer, produced by William H Watkins and Jeff Balsmeyer and written by Jeff Balsmeyer and Nathaniel Kahn. It is difficult to put this film into one specific genre as it covers a variety of genres. It is a domestic family drama, which explores the lifestyle of a dysfunctional family struggling to cope with violence, poverty, obsessional behaviour and mental illness, however the moving image text concludes in a happy way, but there is a slight amount of taboo language used. This moving image text should be targeted at those who are fifteen and above, for the reason that the serious issues covered in the film may worry the younger audience. Title The title of the film "The Room" is a definite article, which singles the room in question out from any other room. The bluntness of the title grabs attention. The title withholds information leaving the imagination to run free, intensifying the excitement, but creating uncertainty altogether, which builds up the tension. I associate the film with being imprisoned in a small enclosed space for an immense amount of time. The film could be a dream or a nightmare, it could also be telling somebody's thoughts, fears or a memory. It seems to be multi-layered. Brief Storyline The film begins with a small tour of the rough neighbourhood; we are able to hear the everyday atmospheric sounds of the area. We are then shown some "normal" families in contrast to the family in question, there is a woman putting out her washing, a man watching television, but he has to raise the volume to be able to hear the TV, because he can't hear over Marty and Evelyn arguing. We are then shown the family filmed, where Marty (father) ...read more.


The relationship between Johnny and Marty is extremely overprotective, which frightens Johnny. Jeff Balsmeyer also explores the effects of being isolated and the need for social contact with normal people to stay sane. The film also explores the effect of a violent man in a marriage and in a family; it demonstrates the powerful emotions that children feel towards their parents. Moreover The Room is a film that explores a child's need for independence from their parents. Graphics There isn't a vast amount of graphics used in The Room, only at the beginning and end of the film. The film begins with the title "The Room" in white letterings projected against the apartment block; they are unobtrusive, which help us to concentrate on the serious nature of the film, and the images, which are shown. The graphics at the end of the movie are simple, bold, black and white, which suggests a serious film, and it presents the audience with time to think about the next chapter in Johnny's life. Camera Shots, Angles, Movement and Frames The film displays different camera shots at different times; to either intensify tension, portray deep concentration, to show how some things are confined into tiny spaces, for example, at the beginning of the film we are shown the full width of the apartment block, it is depicted as an imprisoned, deprived neighbourhood. It is noticeable there is no sky at the opening of the film, but there is a bright sunny horizon when it ends, this must symbolize that Johnny's life was a dull and fearsome, but it ends on the fact that his life is no longer going to be like that because he is free, and is able to abide by his own rules. It could also signify the fact that Johnny's life must have been one extended nightmare, where the sun would never shine to bring happiness, but now he is free, the sun will always shine. ...read more.


We are also able to hear the sound of news reports that shows there must be a lot of news to report. When Marty and Evelyn are disputing about the fact that Johnny doesn't have interaction with children in his own peer group, you can hear children playing in the background, suggesting isolation. When Marty is walking along the hallway to the room where Johnny is, the click of his brace against the wooden floor creates tension, as well as the scratching of the key against the wood around the keyhole before Johnny places the key in the hole. Upon hearing the walls crack it is actually the sound of Johnny's spirit breaking free. All the sound effects used in the film are used to stress the boy's emotions. Overall Opinion "The Room" was an exceptionally difficult film to view due to the complex issues covered. The first time I watched the film I laughed, but once I started to analyse it, and observe it again, and again, it became clear that what happened to the family filmed can happen to any family, and that we should appreciate what we already have. I felt it was similar to some other films I have previously viewed such as: Matilda, The Sixth Sense and The Pagemaster. Mental illness plays an important role in this film, and I didn't realise how serious the illness could be until I saw this film, which boldly attacks how the family are affected by it. It is possible that Jeff Balsmeyer, the director of the film may have come from or knows a similar family like the one the film is based on, because not only did he direct, but produce and write the script for the film, or he may just feel very strongly about the issues involved. To watch the film, it is best to be in a serious frame of mind, and to be open minded and optimistic, because there is a lot of new themes revealed to you Farrah Hanif 10 Green English Language Media Coursework ...read more.

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