Saturday, 30 October 2010

Hotel Babylon- How is Ethnicity represented in the clip?

Throughout the short clip many different ethnic stereotypes are presented. It starts off looking at the ethnicity of black people. The scene is set at the hotel's swimming pool area. It opens with a pan, and then the camera moves into a close up which we then begin to see shot reverse shot. The lighting is dimmed and the music appears to be calm, sensual and creates a very relaxed feel. As the two characters are introduced we are able to see that they are in fact binary opposites. One of the men is presented as a casual laid back character, that uses a lot of slang, and seems to prioritise party's, girls and drugs over work. This character is also wearing very little clothing in comparison to the other which may be representing lower status.Whereas the other character is smart and appears to come across quite anxious and nervous as the above character is addressing him. The more casual character states that they haven't met for 7 years and this may lead to assumptions that the other character used to have a past like himself, but got out of that and changed for the best. This looks at the two different sides that blacks are tend to be stereotyped as.

We are the introduced to two french maids as the next stereotypes to ethnicity. The scene opens with a mid-shot and this ables us to recognise their occupations as they have their work trolleys. The camera then goes into a close up onto the room service card which shows two stars which is a code for him 'paying double for double'. The maids have stereotypical French accents and seem to only be able to use vocabulary which relates to their work. As the maids enter the room we become to understand of what the term 'he pays double for double means' the maids begin to dance for extra money. This is very stereotypical as it seems a foreign worker will do anything to make any extra cash. The music at this point is a very cheesy pop song, that also appears to have french lyrics which is in relation to the maids themselves. Whilst they are dancing the camera enters a mid shot and switches from this to a close up of the Japanese characters eyes which are watching them.

The Japanese character portrays a very typical ethnic stereotype. First of all we get a mid shot of the man sitting on his bed in a dressing gown. This automatically gets the audience assuming he may be slightly 'pervy' or waiting to expect something from the maids. The camera then moves into a close up on to the two piles of money for each maid on the table. As the maids begin to dance we then once again experience shot reverse shot. The stereotype that the Japanese are very wealthy is straight away met and made very clear by this shot. Although he is paying workers extra cash for them to strip and dance, which follows a clear stereotype of him being dirty and pervy his room appears to be extremely tidy and well presented. The Japanese are known for keeping their belongings very tidy and clean so we are shown another stereotypical view of this particular ethnicity. The camera focuses on the characters eyes which are focused on the maids body whilst she is undressing this uses a close up. This perfectly represents that he is a character fascinated and thoroughly enjoying something that he should not be looking at.

The next part of the scene we are shown is set in the kitchen of the hotel, which focuses on on two main characters which appear to be the head chefs.The first chef is introduced with a mid shot which switches from him and the British chef gives the impression that they are opponents in the kitchen. The ethnic of this chef is Italian. The typical stereotype of this ethnicity would be that they have a strong accent, very overly friendly and generally well dressed. We then get a mid shot of the two chefs standing next to each other being very pleasant which is clearly an act. From this shot it is easy to identify the two stereotypes. The British chef is overweight, tall, has much paler skin and dressed in white in comparison to this the Italian chef is skinny, relatively small, has a dark skin tone, and dressed in black. The two characters being dressed in black and white may be signifying good and bad between the two ethnics. Later on after we have been introduced to the characters an argument takes place, during this the background music gets faster which builds even more tension between the two characters. The English chef seems rather pathetic and hopeless at this point in time which represents what a typical overweight Brit would be stereotyped as. On the other hand the Italian picks up a knife, and at this point we see a close up from the camera which puts emphasis on the fact that the character is dangerous. This is following the stereotype which plays on men from foreign countries being very sneaky and unreliable.

To conclude,ethnicity is very clearly represented in the clip by using stereotypes which are usually associated with a certain type of ethnic. The clip does not explore any contrasts which may go against a typical stereotype and instead sticks to making each characters role very predictable due to their ethnic.

1 comment:

  1. Well done Abbie. Try to include more references to the theories we've been studying (like binary opposites and Barthes narrative codes).

    An area for development is your use of basic technical vocabulary. Remember to mention what camera shot is being used, you do use camera shots but just not as often as you should. You could also mention editing techniques and transitions etc.

    Overall though this is really encouraging.