When you work with film analysis, it’s important to be aware of the interactions between the film’s thematics, style (aesthetics) and form. All the filmic means are carefully considered and planned and are of great significance for the viewer’s experience and interpretation of the film. It’s always about feelings and moods.


Emotion on film

Framing creates identification and empathy with the main character. The closer the viewer is to the image, the more emotional the experience becomes. In 'Edge of Seventeen', there is fear and great emotions in play for the tormented main character.


Click on the thumbnails to better understand some of the filmic means of 'Edge of Seventeen'.

The setting

Full shots establish the setting and features the protagonist on her way in and out of the elevator, but otherwise we see her only in close-up or medium shots, which heighten the pressure she’s enduring.

Close framing

The close framing is accompanied by a whispering voice that pushes its way into the soundscape and encourages us to look at the main character: ”Look at her”. In other words, we’re forced to view (spy on) her frightened face from the front, the back and in profile.


We study both her ear and her cheek up close, as well as her hand gripping the shoulder strap of her backpack and the ponytail with the eye-catching elastic.


The school uniform, the red and white dotted bow around her neck and the elastic in her hair (red = sexuality and danger, and white = innocence) are significant props.

Together with the claustrophobic location, the elevator, they sharpen the thematics around the tightly controlled teenager who, as a young girl, has to conform to the strict Korean system – also manifested in the colors red, white, blue and black – the colors of the Korean flag.


The close-up of the hair elastic functions as a set-up for the moment when the invisible force pulls the elastic out of her hair in slow motion, as a pay-off for the whole tense situation.


Right after her mirror image turns towards her, the close framing culminates in an effective ultra-close-up (see the next frame) of the girl’s wide open and terror filled eye.

Classic motif

The eye is a classic motif in thrillers, and works to create fear and emotions, but also to focus on the character’s inner world.


Inspiration for working with filmic tools and film form:

  • Let the students focus on significant film tools (editing, lights, sound) during a viewing of a film.
  • Consider tasks that focus on the effect of the filmic means? Look, for example, at how sound supports or contrasts the soundscape. Consider tasks that focus on the films dramatic progress (film form).
  • Consider assignments that focus on the interaction between tools (aesthetics, film form, narrative and thematics).

How do you approach framing in your teaching? Use the Notepad to collate your thoughts.

My Notepad

Use this notepad feature to write down answers and your thoughts to questions posed throughout this resource.

Open Notepad

Use the Tag option to insert the name of this section as a reference before typing your notes.

You can Copy, Download or Email yourself these notes for future reference.