Honors Capstone Project
Date of Submission
Capstone Prize Winner
Won Capstone Funding
Film and Media Studies | Other Film and Media Studies | Visual Studies
Love is a powerful force, but the inability to give love to the fullest extent can be an influential force as well. For my capstone, Partings—a Short Film, I wrote a short film centered on the theme of unreciprocated love. Within the context of the film, unreciprocated love means not being able to return the sincerity or the full extent of the love felt, and my short film shows the consequences of a friendship that lacks mutually-expressed love.
Partings, depicts the end of a friendship between two characters: Frank and Angie. Frank is an independent, young woman; she acts tough, but she sensitive to what people say and think about her. Angie is an arrogant, 20-something who loves beautiful things and beautiful people. Though he is selfish and overtly superficial with most matters in his life, he always considers Frank before he considers himself in his decision-making. In the film, Angie, must choose between going to New York with his best friend, Frank, or pursuing a job offer in France. His inability to tell her about this job offer reveals his unconscious knowledge of the unequal love in their relationship. Frank wants more than friendship from Angie, which he is unable to give because of his homosexuality.
With that in mind, this idea briefly discusses the possible of fluidity of sexuality. In this situation, Angie’s love is determined by his sexuality; he can only pursue a full adult relationship with someone if the sexual attraction sparks the spiritual attraction. With Frank, however, Angie tries to love her like he would another gay man, but his sexuality does not allow him to love her fully. On the other hand, Frank believes that love determines sexuality; if you love someone enough, it does not matter what you sexual orientation is, you will love that person. She believes that Angie sees love in this manner, which is why she cannot understand why he can overcome his sexuality in order to be with her.
These two diverging thoughts on love make it difficult for Frank and Angie to continue their friendship. Due to Angie’s beliefs about love, he cannot romantically love her; he deeply cares from her and loves her in a platonic way but only to an extent. At the same time, Frank loves Angie with singleness of heart because she thinks that he is perfect for her. Because of their spiritual connection, she thinks that there is a possibility of a relationship between herself and Angie. She hopes to break through his sexuality and love her in the way in which she loves him.
In terms of the look of the film, the French New Wave influenced the style of the piece. I did not strive to make a New Wave film such as le Petit Soldat or le Samourai, but I borrowed elements from that film era. I incorporated the film, Breathless, into the piece as well as other references to Godard and Hitchcock; even Frank and Angie are fans of the New Wave. In terms of camerawork, I had my cinematographer film most of the piece handheld, and I incorporated tracking shots into scenes. Also, I wanted the film to have a saturated look, so we lit most of the scenes with orange gels and used the Cinematone setting on the camera.
With this project, I wanted to show what I learned during my years here at Syracuse. I incorporated the styles and techniques of older filmmakers and put my own creative touches on it. It also served as a way for me to discuss the implications of love as close to reality as possible, instead of through a commercial, romantic comedy setting. Overall, I have truly enjoyed working on this project, and I hope others enjoy it as well.
Atterberry, Alicia, "Partings—a Short Film" (2011). Syracuse University Honors Program Capstone Projects. 207.
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