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Why Angles and Direction Matter: Explanation Stage Left


January 23, 2022 by woodjm


This still is from the sequence in which the factory worker, who was accused of being a thief, hangs himself rather than having to suffer the loss of wages to replace his stolen tool and the blow to his character and dignity. While the man’s death is incredibly sad we know that this moment is meant to be a major catalyst in the worker’s decision to strike. I believe this is made obvious as the shot is set at an extremely low angle forcing the audience to almost look up at the audience which is a strong assertion of its importance. Not only that but as the two living workers enter the scene they happen to enter from the right. Normally the director keeps stage movement left to right in an effort to preserve continuity, however here an entrance from the right breaks from what is generally considered to be the norm and signals that something is a little bit off. What is off becomes immediately clear after the workers read the note left by their fallen comrade and decide that enough is enough. From here they pull the body down and the strike that our fil is named after begins.


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