Reading the frame (20 Points)
In the book The Language of Film, more specifically the chapter on Semiotics, Roland Barthes outlines five distinct Systems of Meaning to help us, the viewer, read film and visual culture critically. Additionally, the chapter discusses the significance of signs, in its many forms, as key components in the construction of meaning in a film.
In this exercise, I provide a frame from a film and your task is to read it carefully using your knowledge of semiotics. In order to successfully complete this assignment you must:
1) Identify all of Barthes Five Codes in the image and discuss their respective meaning.
2) Include in your discussion how metaphor differs from metonymy and why is it important to our understanding of synecdoche when reading this frame?
3) Write two whole pages, 12-point font, with proper citation wherever necessary.
After you closely analyze the frame, tell us what you think is happening in the image.
· Every object and person in the frame communicates meaning
· Formal elements (light, shadow, color, position of the camera and others) all tell us something about the story, character’s state of mind, tension and possible resolution
· Cultural and political meaning is communicated in obvious and subtle signs
· Think of cultural and political meaning in terms of gender, ethnicity, race, class, ability, disability and others
· Have fun. This is a detective game–enjoy it.