Film Analysis Of The Film 'The Gay Shoe Clerk'

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The Gay Shoe Clerk is a 1903 short film, directed by Edwin S. Porter. With only about a minute and 15 seconds in length, this piece begins to develop an early language of cinema. Specifically, a cut is used to pin the viewer on a particular aspect of the scene, and yet maintains a sense of continuity. Narrative wise, a shoe clerk fits a shoe on a woman, and she begins to be flirtatious toward him, he begins to kiss her, only for another woman to beat him.
It is crucial to note that this film is comprised of only three shots:
Shot #1: (0:00-0:42) It begins with a straight-on full shot of a shoe clerk in a shoe store. Only one wall of this shoe store is visible, the one placed right in front of the camera, running parallel to the frame. This wall has drawers that start from the floor and go up three feet, and then above that are cabinets of shoe boxes. There isn't much space between the camera and this wall of shoes, it appears it may only be 10 feet, with the shoe clerk being close to the wall. The camera remains static throughout. The acting is very clear, but not exaggerated. With his back toward the camera, the clerk is looking through the shoe boxes, and from the screen right emerge two women, who the shoe clerk then welcomes in, as he seats one of them to be fitted. With the clerk in the middle of the screen, the two women are seated on opposite sides of the clerk. The woman on the right who is to be fitted is wearing all black, almost looking like a silhouette. The

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