Messages and Values within the Act of Uniformity Sequence
Explain the way in which a sequence from your chosen close study film demonstrates the messages and values of the film as a whole.
I believe the Act of Uniformity sequence is a particularly good one for us to choose. It comes at a key point in the narrative when Elizabeth’s short reign as Queen has already reached a crisis point. Walsingham has pointed out to her the reason such an inadequate force was sent to Scotland to be slaughtered by the French. It was the undermining of her by the Bishops across England whose allegiance is still to the Pope rather than to a Protestant English Monarch. Elizabeth, and Walsingham, realise that she must act swiftly to reduce the influence of the Bishops or meet the fate that Norfolk eagerly anticipates at the very beginning of the sequence. The action she decides upon is to persuade Parliament to pass an Act of Uniformity whereby the clergy will agree to the use of one common prayer-book and to her position as Supreme Governor of the Church in England.
Opens with a static shot from behind Norfolk as he stands in front of a mirror (vanity?) dressing for the day in Parliament. He is centre-right of a dark frame. He speaks partly to himself and partly to his servant who occupies a position at the very left of the frame. She is dressed in a light see-through fabric and leather belt. Alongside his sinister looking combination of black animal fur and heavy gold jewellery her appearance is suggestive of darkly satanic forms of worship and sexual deviance or even enslavement. She looks on passively as Norfolk says ‘Today I’ll witness the end of that heretic woman’.
We cut to a greatly contrasting mise-en-scene. Norfolk and his surroundings were dark and he was facing away from us into a mirror. Elizabeth’s context is light and she looks directly at us in the audience. Elizabeth appears to be bathed by the natural light from a window...