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Conformity, Confusion, and Candles


February 13, 2022 by kingsk

This gif from “I am an Elephant, Madam” elaborates on the obscurity of this scene in alignment with the rest of the film. This clip is taken from a scene in which the fourth wall is broken and the girl, “Gisela”, is speaking directly to the camera. It is as though no one in the shot can hear her but the viewers. The shot is then pulled away to show she has a platter, she hands it to another character in the room, and proceeds to blow out the birthday candles on the cake that was sitting on the table. The manner in which she blows out the candles looks awkward and uncomfortable. The mood throughout the film is quite unsettling. There are many aspects of this scene that cause confusion to the viewer. One of these is that Gisela blows out her candles and then everyone sings “Happy Birthday”, which is the reverse order of the norm, to blow out the candles after making a wish and being sung to. Another piece of this scene that is odd is after the song is over, Gisela and a man awkwardly walk toward each other, grab hands, and kiss. The screen then flashes to an inter-title announcing the couple’s engagement. It is quite ironic to have a scene within a movie that is celebrating two events that do not exactly tie into the theme of the rest of the film. The film protests conformity and this scene does not conform to how a normal family truly behaves or celebrates.




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