Friday, October 28, 2011

Your Turn - Spot the Themes

We've been talking about routine tasks in fiction this week. First we talked about two common errors in the reliance on routine tasks, and then we looked at two example of scenes in which routine tasks are manipulated to highlight theme.

Now it's your turn to apply some of the ideas we've been using. But I'm not going to make it easy for you! This clip is of a scene sequence from the film Pretty Woman, the eponymous shopping scene. This sequence is not without its problems, but it also contains elements which many viewers loved. The trick now is for you to watch the sequence with the concept of deeper story architecture in mind. What are the themes, and how do those themes resonate in this sequence?


Wes said...

I'm back...............sorry for the absence.

I have trouble with themes as both of you know from the workshops I've taken from you. One theme (I hope) is shown initially after her makeover. She is not comfortable in her new image. I see this in how clumsily she walks down the street in her new wardrobe.


Wes said...


Jami Gold said...

I'm late to this post, but I see a few potential themes here.

- Respect, both with him demanding it for her and with her pointing out to the other saleswoman that her lack of respect cost her.
- Power of money, potentially buying happiness and respect, as well as his game playing with his business adversary and all the implications of him buying her.
- Power in general, the ability to make others do what you want with a combination of carrots (obscenely large amount of money) and sticks (implied threats).
- Trust, in that he hands over the power of his credit card to her.

This last one is the most interesting, I think, because he wields the power of his money like club in this scene, and yet, turning over his credit card to her minimizes that power. It's almost like he says money/power is important and then he says that it's not.

The subtext there is that his money and power are so strong that she couldn't spend enough to damage him in any way. That's like a character who's invulnerable handing their enemy a gun and saying, "Go ahead, take your best shot." So we also get the character insight of arrogance and inability to be hurt, which we know will be tested later on in the story.

Wes said...

Test 2

Wes said...

Sorry about the clutter. Trying to relearn how to use Blogger. Test 2