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Dangle (Phil Traill, 2003)

Out for a walk on an isolated hill, a young man notices a rope dangling from the sky. His initial caution turns to curiosity and he cannot resist pulling it. Immediately, day turns to night - it’s a light switch to his world! Delighted, he pulls the cord repeatedly...but what might happen if he doesn’t stop? The film has no dialogue, which allows the man to act as an everyman, therefore his actions lead to the question: would everyone do what he does?

You will find a complete BGE Second Level Unit on 'Dangle' here.

Classroom Activities

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Questions

  1. What happens in the film?

  2. Where is it set? What kind of place is this?

  3. Who is this man and why is he on the hill?

  4. Where does the light pull come from? What is your reaction when you see it? How does it hang there?

  5. What do we think is happening at the end of the film? Why do we think this?

Watching

PREDICTIONS

  • Watch the first minute of the film with the man walking up the hill. Ask pupils to discuss in pairs what time of day and year it is. What do we learn about the man?

  • Stop at each stage of the film and predict the next event (e.g. after 00:11, 01:23, 02:10, 02:39).

  • At 04:00, listen for 30 seconds to the sound without looking at the pictures: pause and discuss what could be happening, based on the sounds.

SOUND

  • There is very little sound in the film. Count how many sounds you can hear. Where is the sound coming from? What is the last sound you hear? How does this make you feel?

CAMERA

  • Study the use of close up and long shots in the film and discuss how they are used to show how the man is feeling at different points in the story.

  • Look at the different times when the flex is included in the shots. Where is the camera at these times? Why?

EDITING

  • Discuss editing. How have the filmmakers made the cut from day to night so quickly? Count how many cuts there are from day to night.

Analysing

CHARACTER

  • Examine how the man’s feeling and reactions are charted throughout the film. Freeze frame the film at different points and discuss what the man is feeling and we know that from his actions and reactions.

  • We cannot see the man’s face as he walks away at the end. Ask children to describe and/or draw a face that shows what he would be feeling.

SYMBOLISM

  • In many stories, ‘dark’ is used to symbolise something frightening or dangerous. List other stories that use this symbol.

CULTURE AND EXPERIENCE

  • Discuss the meanings of the word ‘power’.

  • Talk about night-time and the coming of darkness. Let children recount their feelings about the night.

  • Discuss what might be happening in other parts of the city/country/world each time the man pulls on the light chord.

Creative

WRITE

  • Write the film as a short story from the man’s point of view.

  • Write a newspaper report about the events in the town after the man breaks the light switch.

DRAW

  • Create a mood-map of the central characters, showing the man’s different feelings. Use words or pictures to depict ‘happy’, ‘surprised’, ‘frightened’, ‘shocked’, etc.

  • Develop artwork around the themes of light, darkness and curiosity.

MUSIC

  • Create or source music to create a soundtrack for the film.

RESEARCH

  • Research the invention and science of electricity. Create a multi-media presentation on the role of electricity in everyday life.

Clip Details

Record Id 007-002-000-021-C
Resource Rights Holder Kurzfilmagentur Hamburg E.V.
Project Ref STST2-06
References Behind the scenes with the filmmaker, The storyboard
Year of Production 2003
Genre Comedy, Drama
Curriculum Areas Expressive Arts, Health and Wellbeing, Literacy and English, Social studies, Religious and moral education, Sciences, Technologies
Who Phil Traill (Director, Writer)
Country of Origin UK
Medium / Content Live Action, Fiction, Colour, Sound
Themes Curiosity, Responsibility, Repercussions, Accident
Clip Length 06:00