Symbolism In The Film Gasman

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The short film Gasman, directed by Lynne Ramsay in the year of 1998, presents a tale of a father balancing a secret life between two families. The double family units have similar aged children, revealing to the viewer that the man started and continued the families simultaneously. Through the Christmas party preparations, the one family is revealed to be middle class or perhaps living in poverty as the mother helps the little eight girl Lynne dress up in new clothing as her brother, Steven, plays with toy car and appears resistant to attending the gathering. Children leave with their affectionate dad and meet up with a second family at the railroad tracks. The second family is unkempt and as Lynne expresses, “Look at the clothes they’re wearing, …show more content…
The most prominent symbolic property is the use of comparison to The Wizard of Oz. Through the innocence of the little girl, the black mary janes versus the Dorothy ruby slippers present opposing ideas about chastity. By comparing the two shoes and the dialogue ‘There’s no place like home’, the contextual reading within this contrast relates to that of the two families. The rich ruby slippers versus the black mary jane’s portray the economic status of the families. Oblivious to the affair, the families live lives that present the father 's emotions towards each woman in different personal preferences. When the children all join together at the Christmas party, the father’s inner emotions are revealed through a variety of symbolic elements. Towards the end of the scene, one of his daughters goes to sit on his knee. When the other daughter sees this she is filled with jealousy and envy. As she yells at the little girl to get off her Da 's lap, the shot cuts to the hand of father reaching for the cigarette inside the packet. When he realizes it is empty, his face drains with regret and anxiety as he is unable to smoke as a relaxation method from his raging daughters. The jealousy of his children push him to feel unable to accept the intensity of the intermingling of the two sibling families. This favoritism and relationship between the two mothers was revealed earlier in the film. …show more content…
Born on 5 December 1969, Lynne graduated from the UK 's National Film and Television School in 1995. The film won a variety of awards including: International Award Best International Short Film or Video in 1998 at the Atlantic Film Festival, BAFTA Scotland Award Best Short Film in 1997 at the BAFTA Awards in Scotland which was shared with Gavin Emerson (producer), Gold Plaque Best Narrative Short Film in 1998 at the Chicago International Film Festival, Leopards of Tomorrow Best Film in 1998 at the Locarno International Film Festival, as well as, many nominations at other festivals. This film overall highlights Lynne’s film style and use of innocence within child actors as a way to portray a deeper story through the experimental film

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