Four Lions(Chris Morris , 2010)
Produced by Warp films, Channel Four films; distribution: Capelight Pictures, Dafthouse Films
Box Office: £2.7 (UK) $4.7m (World) $30.2k (USA)
In the first frame we are presented with a slight tilted shot which could connote that something isn't right within the scenario in which we are presented. The low resolution of the image is denoting that this scene is filmed using a cam corder, this is also signified by the tilted framing. The loosely hanging sheet, unevenly hung shown by the sag lines connotes the amateurish nature of the character/characters. This medium shot, even though clumsily done still fits the rule of thirds. This centred young 20 something Asian male is wearing vaguely militerianistic clothing (boots and combat trousers), signifies that the meaning behind this shot is do do with violence or war. He is also wearing a black bandanna with white Arabic script on it which could connote that religion is a central theme in this film. His shaven head links to the army uniform which anchors the idea of violence due to the multiple signifiers of the military. We associate all these factors to a suicide bombers video which denotes that the genre will be a serious/political drama, except for the small fact of the man's short well kept beard which is not what we expect, as we presume that he would have a long traditional beard. This signifier goes against the idea of a serious drama. The line "sit properly….." signifies the comedy element to this piece. Also the southern and Bradford accents that we hear is not what we would expect as we would suspect this to be set in Afghanistan. This short take of 17 seconds works for a younger audience as it is quick, snappy and emphasises the comedic aspects in this scene.
The idea of a narrative enigma is carried on into the second shot as we see an unidentified man looking into a camera which clearly connotes that he is the one who is filming the original man. The camera then tilts upwards which shifts the focus to a different character this hints that he is the central protagonist. The audiences confusion is mirrored by this new character, through his bewildered facial expression, which also signifies that he could be the protagonist.
Next we see a lot of quick shot changes ranging from a 3 medium shot to a close up to a straight forward medium shot. These snappy fast paced changes adds to the comedy timing as well as the confusion surrounding this scene. We can clearly see that this is an Indie film due to the hand held approach (used as its cheaper and quicker) and that it contains hybridity as it has more than one genre, a comedy also containing social issues.
Again we see a lot of shot variety varying from an over the shoulder shot to a medium two shot and then a high angle over the shoulder medium close up, all of these happen within the space of 3 seconds. These short quick shots contrast with the next long take, this is done to high light the comedy within this scene. The abnormally small gun is used as a comedic aspect as it contradicts the characters serious motive of a suicide bombers video. The line "Guns small as i'v got big hands innit" anchors the fact that this films is a comedy.
Now we have an ellipsis that takes us to the next shot which is an over the shoulder shot of a laptop playing the footage from the cam corder. Next we get a medium long shot of the family, this is anchorage that this character is the main protagonist as the he is now centred again in this scene. These shots are binary opposites due to the contrasting mise-en-scene of the first dull dark small room filled with men dresses in army attire to a bright, glossy, high resolution white family kitchen in which this scene is set. A medium 2 shot re-enforces the idea of a happy family. With in the medium 3 shot we first see the juxta position between the audio and the mise-en-scene of this family home, where a little boy is doing his homework and the mother is dressed in a nurses uniform, to the angry swearing coming from the computer. Then we see a traditional opening establishing shot of a building as the titles start.