Wednesday, 3 February 2010

How are hospital staff represented in 'Bodies'?

The establishing shot is a medium-shot of Rob, a new employee on the Gynaecology ward in a hospital. The camera then cuts to a medium-close-up then a close-up, this portrays Rob's professionalism and also adds a sense of action to the character. It subtly mirrors a convict having his photo taken at a police station, however no profile shot was used which makes it seem like he hasn't done anything bad. The camera shots used are to focus on his blank facial expression, which relates to the idea that he is becoming someone - a doctor. His gender, age, ethnicity and status are established in the first clip of him being handed his card and his equipment.
Certain camera shot used in Bodies represent the characters' hierarchy. For example, a three-shot of the ward manager in the foreground, Rob in the mid-ground and the nurse in the background (the nurse is out of focus) suggests that male staff are more important that female staff. This shot implies that the females have less significant jobs and that men have the moral high ground. What this means is that the males have more authority and power over the females, but this is conveyed in a subtle way which informs the audience of class and status in the hospital.
This representation of female staff is shown throughout the episode, for example, when the woman switches the names around on the procedure list but simply forgets to switch around the actual medical procedures. Resulting in a close call of nearly performing a sterilisation on a woman who is craving a baby.
After this disturbance in equilibrium, another female member of staff, in response to the close call, says "shit happens, sorry". -This behaviour is associated people who are tired of their job and don't put any effort in. The exact opposite behaviour, however, is conveyed through the male members of staff. For instance, Rob's determination to keep a woman alive but in the end is overwhelmed with her death. -The audience sympathizes with Rob a times.

The humour amongst the staff is limited and is usually crude, for instance, "You don't half see some freaky fannies 'round here". Then cutting to the reaction of a female doctor who doesn't say anything, keeps to herself. This shows the on-going hierarchy of the men and the representation of female staff (they have a lower status).
This limitation of humour conveys professionalism and stress, stress such as the pregnant female doctor, doctor's patients dying and Rob's on-going search for mate - "Want to go pub? My shout, come on". It also adds to the effect of everyday life, of which the audience are put in a voyeuristic position (CCTV camera) but are simultaneously involved in a lot of the action. Action such as dramatical medical procedure scenes, for example when Rob, while admitting he doesn't know what he's doing, tries to respirate a patient gone into cardiac arrest. These scenes aren't cut short, the audience witnesses the full procedure - this promotes a different perspective on the hospital staff. In these scenes, they are being represented as life-savers, heroes.
When we see the ward manager and his assistants, the men are dressed in black suits and ties, adn the women tend to wear black blouses while looking professional and also attractive.

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