DEC Scan Journal : February 2013
Volume 32, February 2013 34 Contents Editorial Currents Teaching & learning Research Curriculum support Share this Resource reviews Following this scene, the boy proceeds to ask others for help in finding out about the lost thing and where it might belong. As narrator in the movie he says, I asked a few people if they knew anything about it ... As he says this we see a long distance rear view of him, which does not have the same aligning effect as in the previous scene in the movie. At the moment when we see the rear view of the boy we see the whole length of his body taking up only about one third of the frame, so he appears quite far away. The long distance in this case seems to diminish the empathetic impact of the rear view and the boy is seen more as the focalised than the focaliser. There is somewhat more alignment with the boy in the movie as a result of this fleeting rear view, compared with the double page spread in the book where four separate vertical panels of illustration take up the full length of the page accompanying the narrative text, which is positioned below the second panel: I asked a few people if they knew anything about it, but nobody was very helpful. The first panel is a bird’s eye view, from a great height, of the boy and the lost thing on the beach. The remaining three large panels show long distance observe images of the lost thing and the whole body of the boy in profile positioned as interacting with different characters in the distance. These images strongly maintain the more distanced appreciative, rather than empathetic, relationship. The Department of Odds & Ends In their quest for a place where the lost thing might belong, the boy and the lost thing arrive at the Department of Odds & Ends. In the movie, the mid distance rear view of the boy in this scene occurs just before the small creature touches him, warns him not to leave the lost thing in the Department and gives him a card with a sign on it. The narration in the movie at this point recounts, I was looking around for a desk, when suddenly I felt something touch my elbow. The boy is touched on the elbow from behind and, at this mid-distance view, with the upper body of the boy and the rear of his head in view, it is very much the case that the viewer feels some empathy with the boy, knowing he is about to be startled from behind. In the book however, this scene is depicted as an oblique long distance observe view of the full body of the small creature, with the boy and the lost thing all visible, and the creature passing the card to the boy on his right. The narration in the book reads, I was looking around for a pen when I felt something tug the back of my shirt. The narration in the book and the movie are only inconsequentially different. Verbally, there is strong inferred alignment with the character of the boy as the audience empathises with being unexpectedly touched from behind. In the movie, the rear image of the boy intensifies this empathy. In the book, the oblique distance observe view in the image diminishes the empathetic impact of the narration and moves the reader’s stance at this point to one of appreciation. Saying goodbye The parting of the boy and the lost thing is depicted minimally in the book through the one observe image of the boy and the lost thing in profile facing each other and waving goodbye, as shown in Figure 6. Figure 6 The boy and the lost thing say goodbye In the movie, the entire goodbye scene is conveyed only through the images and there is no narration at all, but there is greater visual commitment to the depiction of the actions that occur immediately prior to this scene. There is also greater commitment in the movie to the actions that occur immediately following this common waving scene. This is where we see the full rear view of the boy parallel to the frontal plane of the viewer, with the boy facing the door of the sanctuary as the lost thing departs through it, as shown in Figure 7.