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Jus Gaps (Step Up) (2004)

Loud-mouthed Lucy and her friends stop off at a local barbershop on the way to a job interview. Totally lacking in self-awareness, Lucy upsets the customers with her shouting and swearing, and responds aggressively when her friends tell her to be quiet. Later, her interview is a disaster; she’s insensitive, ignorant, even interrupts the interview to take a call. Her day gets worse when her boyfriend dumps her because she’s a failure and can’t control herself. Lucy sees it differently, however: in her eyes she was too over-qualified for the job and the world is out to get her.

Classroom Activities

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Questions

  • Who do you think this film is aimed at?

  • Did you sympathise with the central character? Why?

  • Did you think the film was funny?

  • Did the main character deserve her fate at the end?

  • In a single word or two, how would you describe: the main character, her hairdresser friend, the two interviewers?

Watching

  • Pause the film at 03:54 just before the main character goes in to the interview. Ask the class to predict what is going to happen next. Discuss reasons and justifications, then screen to compare if this was right.

  • Screen the film and ask the class to note all the different sequences of the film. Then ask them to write a sentence or phrase that seems to sum up the ideas of each sequence. Could any parts of the story be re-ordered to make it play differently but keep the same overall meaning?

  • Ask the class to identify (and perhaps storyboard or freeze frame) three shots from each part of the story that captures what it is about.

  • Ask the class to identify what editing techniques are used to show the passage of time in the film.

  • Using freeze frame, discuss the different shot types used in the film (e.g. close ups, long shots and medium shots). Also look for instances of narrative shots (e.g. over-the-shoulder shots). Why are each used at different points in the film?

Analysing

  • In groups, get the class to identify the three parts of the story (e.g beginning in the barber shop; middle in the interview; and end in her bedroom). Use this to discuss typical narrative story structures.

  • Discuss how this film (and others) manipulate the emotions of viewers to make them feel happy or sad or annoyed at a character. What narrative techniques or film techniques are used to achieve this?

  • Explore and discuss the issue of censorship. Discuss how to make this film more suitable for a younger audience.

Creative

  • Edit together a trailer for the film, with new titles, text and voiceover

  • Download the film and edit it to create an instructional video on how to behave in an interview

  • Role-play: students take turns role-playing the part of interviewer and interviewee

  • Hairstyle designs: using images from magazines and the internet, compile a selection of different hairstyles. Using photographs of class members, change their look by superimposing different hairstyles onto their photographs.

  • Write a diary entry for the main character, describing her experience in the interview.

Clip Details

Record Id 007-002-000-053-C
Resource Rights Holder Adrian Browne
Project Ref MVS-10
References Interview with the filmmaker, The script
Year of Production 2004
Genre Comedy
Curriculum Areas subjects
Who Adrian Brown (Director, Writer), Tony Clarke (Producer)
Country of Origin UK
Medium / Content Live Action, Fiction, Colour, Sound
Themes Inappropriate, Communication, Interview
Clip Length 11:00