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Breaking the Fourth Wall to the Audience


February 13, 2022 by muthag


This gif from “Ich bin ein Elefant, Madame” shows one of many instances in which the fourth wall is broken throughout the film. The fourth wall is the implied barrier between the audience and the on-screen world. When it is broken, an actor often looks toward the camera to acknowledge the presence of the audience and address them. In this particular scene, Rull breaks the fourth wall during his conversation with the professor. The professor is questioning why Rull does not have his completed homework. Rull creates multiple different excuses throughout the conversation; claiming it was because of the trams, his pen running out of ink, or bringing the wrong notebook. Rull then interrupts, looks directly at the audience and says “no ending.” He may be referring to the fact that there will be no ending to his rebellion and that he will continue to protest against conformity. When the fourth wall is broken, the line between fiction and reality is blurred by allowing the audience to feel a closer connection to the characters. Rull’s statements are reinforcing and reiterating the goals of his actions to the audience. Throughout the entire film, the fourth wall is broken to pull the audience in and remind them of the protests and what they are trying to achieve. 


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