How dose the director of Out of Control portray masculinity in the first fifteen minutes of the film

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Dominic Savage’s third film won the prestigious Michael Powell Award for best Film at the Edinburgh Festival. Part of the cracking crime Day, it is BBC One’s improvised drama and focuses on the lives of three teenagers sent to a young institution. Out of control was originally titled The young Offenders and both titles make complete sense. Out of control is a bold statement and I personally hope that I can view more real, anti-Hollywood type drama’s as these do make you sit back and think and some cases even change. Two separate narratives collide with tragic circumstances in Our of Control.

Sam goes through his days smoking Crack and robbing people of their mobile phones. When he plans an armed robbery his mate Danny goes along for the ride. Bot hare arrested a few days later after the successful raid, the yare both sentenced to 2 years in a young offenders institution. Meanwhile youngster Danny has cleaned up his act and seems to be back on track. Dean’s criminal past re-emerges when his friend Charlie is released from a detention centre. Charlie steals a car and persuades Dean to come along with him Inevitably they get caught, Charlie escapes whilst Dean goes off and gets caught.

Dean gets sentenced to 2 months in the same young offenders institution. Different paths and difficult choices await Dean, Sam and Danny but Dominic Savage bleak vision of Modern Britain remains intact. One of the most significant characteristics a lot of the characters show in the film is that role of being a real man and showing their masculinity, which I believe the director is showing what this attitude can result in. The nature of masculinity is aggressive expressed in combat-ness and a desire to complete for dominance over other males, which is told to of come from the male sex drive.

Masculinity, though, is much more, it is completeness of manhood, it is not just one side of a man, but includes masculine strengths and gentleness, aggression and love, it is all the ways in which a man moves through his life. Out of control concentrates more on the negative side of masculinity showing aggression and dominating. The film shows masculinity and the results in an overdose of it, which gives us a mix of interesting outcomes. Dominic Savage shows what masculinity can do in this realistic drama which makes it important.

Out of control is frightening in its portrayal of British Youth. The sense of hopelessness, smouldering violence and masculinity makes its most notorious character Sam appear particularly disturbing. Sam portrays masculinity in many examples throughout the film and you even catch a decent amount in the first fifteen minutes of the film. We see Sam bop-walk, a walk in which is known as the bad-man walk, he posses a walk in which he conveys an attitude of owning the street and showing dominance towards other residential walkers on the same street.

This walk dose not have to be done but Sam chooses to do so. We also see Sam conveying a lot of masculinity at the start of the film when about to and during the process of robbing the two boys of their mobile phones. The extreme close up of the eyes puts us in mind of a character with no fear and a warrior like person. Throughout human evolution men have always been the hunters, warriors and providers, this has developed in men the ability to shut out all other things and thoughts and to focus exclusively on the hunt by single minded tracking the target until it is met.

We see Sam do this exact thing as he puts on a very aggressive attitude, shouting at them and roughing them up as he robs them of their phones. Sam’s rough appearance also helps project that characteristic of masculinity. He has a clean-shaven skin-head, wears urban clothing, roughly shaved and possesses rough skin. How-ever we do get to see Sam projecting less masculinity as he bumps into his dad and he dad rejects his son and tells him to go away.

Sam wants to know what his done to have his dad reject him like this “Why don’t you invite me around no more? Here we feel sorry for Sam, we also see that he’s projecting low levels of masculinity as he shows a lot of emotion, almost crying by the table as he sulks down. Here he is not dominating his emotions. Another character I am going to comment on is Charl who in respects of Dean the equivalent of Sam in Danny’s life. When we see Charl for the first time, he is walking down the street on his way to Deans house. Jarring electronic music is being played during the walking which reflects the shocking and harsh setting as well as the rough character present, this is all due to the fact that the music is not smooth or gentle.

Charl like Sam also walks with a bad-boy attitude which projects his masculinity. As Charl is talking to Dean’s mum he doesn’t show much respect at all for he thinks he rules the place. Later on when he confronts Dean he also shows dominance over him, this is one of the main elements of masculinity with size as well as attitude, he puts on an angry front as Dean becomes more and more defensive, he backs up towards the wall. When I was watching this I kept expecting Charl to throw a punch by the way he presented himself. When the two boys become friends again Charls asks “What the f**k you doing at school? showing a low opinion of school for Charl believe s he doesn’t need school again an example of how Charl shows masculinity. There is also a lot of masculinity presented in the appearance of Charl, he wars a Parka Jacket which contains a fur hood resembling a lions mane which reflects a lot of masculinity. He also has a skin head with a rough face reflecting an aggressive character. Danny is also another key character in the film who differs from Sam and Charl for he projects a less amount of masculinity and is a bit more humble.

When he and Sam rob the boys, just before that the camera zooms up on Danny’s eyes, this angle reflects almost fearless and focus which is what a hunter dose whilst hunting. He again shows more masculinity as he pushes the boys up against the wall showing dominance. But you can see that Sam’s masculinity level is up a couple of notches for after they get the phones, Danny has a different approach to the situation they are in now, he is more concerned in what phone they have got as he follows Sam up the stairs.

But Sam is caught up in the boys themselves, he appears very angry as he storms off with an almost follower Danny running after him. Also when Danny’s mother interrogates him about his friend Sam, he shows less masculinity as she dominates the conversation and we watch Danny trying to hide information. He claims that they are “just going to have a kick about in the park,” but dose so with guilty expression on his face as he talks quietly. The camera work in this scene also helps reflect the point I am making.

We get a mid shot panning camera view moving from Danny to the Mother with his mother receiving most of the camera time. This shows the scene from a little child’s perspective and gives the feeling that we are seeing someone getting told off and knowing they’re in big trouble, there is no real masculinity in this. Another example of when he shows less masculinity is when his two random friends come up and start talking about crime and guns. If you look carefully Danny is less involved in this conversation and is on the outskirts of the circle, he is more laid back as we see Sam all up in the conversation exposing himself.

When with girls we get to see Danny show a side which is not far from the truth but when we see Sam with girls we see a side which is far from the truth as he lies about his education. They both have different attitudes towards girls, Sam is just looking for pu**y as Danny looks to looking for more than just sex. Danny here is showing a more human side as Sam is showing the opposite. As we see Sam lying down in bed with his girlfriend by his side we see Sam smoking on crack getting high. There are many differences between the two characters.

Dean is what many consider to be the main character in the whole film. He is the character in which shows the least amount of masculinity. At the start of the film we see him with his mum in the park projecting real mummy’s-boy characteristics as he plays a little game with his mum. Also when he gets confronted by Charl he backs up showing less confidence in his situation and talikng with an almost lump in his throat when saying “I haven’t been ignoring you”. He sounds softer as well as looking softer in his facial expression.

But when he gets comfortable in his situation we see him speak more freely and walks with more ease but Charl still dominates him. This showed me that he acts diffrently with mum when with Charl, he shows slightly more Masculinity with Charl. Dean wants to fit in as well as please his mum. Dean’s appearance also helps convey the little amount of masculinity in him in comparison to the other characters in the film. Dean has softer and more chubby skin that all three other characters. He also just wars ordinary cloths and looks the youngest of each of characters I have studied.

Dominic Savage presented us with an uncompromising portrait of both London estate life – where gangs of lads compete to be the toughest, roving the streets like predators for kicks and chicks- and also inside the young offenders institution where some of the loads are destined to end up, where the rules of the street are transposed to the inside. Here the director is shown that this overdose of masculinity is a bad idea and that this equals violent behaviour, bad family lives as well as many other negative ways of life (Sam and Charl).

Savage defiantly portrays it as a bad idea. I believe that showing masculinity is a good idea for it makes a man confident and prepares him for life. But the amount some of the characters show in the film is a bit too much. I believe that Dean show’d a bit too little and that Sam showed way too much. If I had to choose out of the four I would advise people to show as much masculinity as Danny for he seems confident but doesn’t really try to dominate and look for a king of the street position.

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