Thursday, November 14, 2013

Short Film: Margo Lily

After looking at the picture, what do you think this story will be about?  Now, watch the film.

1.     What are these two people doing?  Why do you think they are doing this   activity? (Initiating Event)

Stop the film at 45 seconds and answer the first question.  Continue the film after hearing student responses.

2.     After hearing the steps read by the woman, what do you think has happened?

Skip between 2:30-2:37 continue the film

3.     What has gone wrong with their plan?

4.     What is the climax of the story?

5.     How does the couple solve the problem?

6.     Why do you think they needed to carry through with their original plan?

7.     Write a one sentence summary of "Margo Lily".

8.     What is the universal conflict of the film?

9.     What is the mood of this piece?

10.    What is the theme of this short film?

11.    The tree is a METAPHOR for what?

A couple goes ahead with a placenta burial ceremony in their backyard despite suffering a stillbirth. But with the earth frozen, their conflicting emotions surface when they can't dig a hole. Not willing to give up, they find an unlikely way to help heal their broken hearts.

Further commentary on the short film:
Margo Lily

A couple comes to terms with the loss of their child.

It's not terribly difficult to make a sad film. All you need is a forlorn character and their struggle against either themselves, or some external factor. What's more difficult is to develop a sense of hope in both audience and protagonist after a prolonged period of difficulty. Dave Clark and Linsey Stewart's 'Margo Lily' does that wonderfully.

The film follows the lives of a couple trying to come to terms with the loss of their unborn child. The event itself happened some time before we meet the pair, as they try to commemorate the passing by burying the foetus under a tree. But they have a problem, the ground is frozen. While the man thinks they abandon the project, his partner insists they continue. The fissure in the relationship creates this huge vacuum for tenderness and understanding, which is filled from a seriously unlikely source.

Where 'Margo Lily' succeeds is in its ability to highlight the smaller aspects of what keeps two people together in the face of tragic events. The cinematography maintains a tight focus on both characters at all times, relying purely on facial expression and darkness to give the story its emotional tone. At times 'Margo Lily' is a sombre film, but through a little comic relief, it becomes one of hope and optimism, and not some broken record of pain and suffering.

Written By: Matthew Hussey
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