Significant details about Charles Herman

  • Outgoing, confident, talkative, young, tipsy/drunk, dominant personality, hates to be bored/confined to doing the same thing, skeletal/thin in appearance, English major, intrusive, over the top, charismatic, disheveled, insightful to John’s life, free spirit, educated, vague, honest, sarcastic, casual, extroverted, understanding

Scene: John meets Charles for the first time

What is John doing/what is going on around John when Charles appears?

John is watching people interact/socialize outside. He looks confused, uneasy, envious, concerned. He is facing a problem that he can’t solve easily. He creates solutions and therefore creates Charles to solve his problem.

What film techniques are used in specific scenes to introduce Charles?

 Film techniques that are used are the background music – traditional type that stimulates your brain. Unlike the other graduates, he is inside listening to classical music. He has an acquired taste. Long shot used to show John moving his desk to the window and the light. Light represents mathematical revelation and John moving the desk to work on his ‘original idea’, however, cannot shut himself off from the rest of the world. Close up shot of John looking out the window, his expression is confused, anxious, envious and concerned. Perspective shot showing people socializing outside (couples/relationships introduced). The first signs of schizophrenia are aural then visual. Whenever we see Charles we always hear him before we see him. In this scene we hear his cough first then he states ‘Oh christ’. Next there is always a point of view shot where we always see Charles through John’s eyes – happens in every scene.

What film techniques are used to show Charles’ behaviour?

DialogueCharles states ‘Is my roommate a dick?’. Charles is a vision so John is really asking himself that question. John is continuously questioning himself, his self worth and if he is good enough. John justifies his own rebellious acts by creating Charles. Use of lighting – shown on John’s face. Light shows revelation and in the scene John’s revelation of Charles – he is only seeing Charles. Turns to alcohol for a moment to drown his confused and intense feelings for a bit. Charles becomes an insightful friend, they finish each others sentences – like minded. Charles is a symbol for John’s subconscious. He represents schizophrenia and what it does to people. Good quote: “The truth is, I don’t like people much and they don’t like me”. Charles is light hearted when John is struggling with his purpose in life. He states “Mathematics will never take you to higher truths”.

What does Charles represent in John’s life?

Bringing up issues/concepts that John has subconsciously, but he has created a way to deal with those issues .- Charles. He is understanding and kind, he is there for John. He is a side of John that he wished he was more like – outgoing, rebellious. He is freed by creating Charles – not be perfect all the time.

Scene: Library/Bar

What is John doing/what is going on around John when Charles appears?

John has been in the library for 2 days trying to come up with an idea for his paper. He has been drawing on the windows. He has been watching the outside world and creating mathematical algorithms to show the movement of the outside world. John is playing pool in the pool by himself.

What film techniques are used in specific scenes to introduce Charles and show Charles’ behaviour?

Long shot of the almost empty library, then moving to John sitting on the window seat looking tired, defeated, worn out. John is having a personal crisis, he isn’t achieving his goals. At this time, Charles appears, comforting him, he provides social and emotional support for John. Point of view shot from John’s perspective is when we see Charles. He is so overwhelmed and set into mathematics that he is loosing his sense of touch/reality with the real world after he quotes “And this is a woman who is chasing a man who stole her purse”. Charles is the voice of reason “You watched a mugging, that’s weird”. He introduces another delusional character, Charles niece – to make Charles seem more real, to believe his existence is real. Two person shot of the struggling John and Charles directly looking at John and asking “When did you last eat?”. This shows the support that Charles provides for John who is in need of it in his current crisis. Long shot of John throwing up his arms saying “I have respect for beer!”.

Long shot of John looking to Charles for recognition of his successful shot – John relies on Charles for a confidence boost. Charles is well placed in the scenes, always placed in the background away from people since he’s not real. Martin states to John “Who’s winning? You or you?”. Martin and his friends are laughing at John. Always hear Charles before we see him from John’s point of view. Medium shot of the door opening for Charles and he leaving to go to the bathroom.

What does Charles represent in John’s life?

Charles provides that support for John that nobody is really giving him. When he has been in the library for 2 days, it is Charles that comes and supports him. Charles frees John from his personal crisis and gives him a new perspective to look out of – to be free and let go of mathematics for a moment, to socialise.

More support when John’s attempt with women. Charles actually knows what happened in the convo where the audience dosen’t see him watching – evidence that Charles is inside John’s head.

Scene: John hits the wall

What is John doing/what is going on around John when Charles appears?

John is looking at a window of mathematical problems struggling to solve anything or get anywhere. Charles comes in when John is struggling really bad. The entire window is covered with mathematical problems, hiding the use of the window. He is starting to twitch and show weird mannerisms. “I can’t see it, I can’t see it.”

What film techniques are used in specific scenes to introduce Charles and to show Charles’ behaviour?

Close up shot showing John physically hitting his head against the glass, causing injury. We hear Charles state “Jesus Christ, John” before we see a medium shot of Charles pleading with John to let it go, go outside. “Come on, let’s go out”. Charles is trying to get John out of the cycle of needing to be perfect. The scene shows mental health – not only dealing with his mental condition but life in general. Quote “Got to face the wall, follow the rules, read their books” – dealing with conformity and the fact of when he faces the wall he is facing the window. First time Charles iniates harm with John, (if delusions are not managed, they can become a place for self harm) If issues are not dealt with, they will magnify. Reverse psychology. Dialogue of “Goddam it, Charles! What the hell is your problem?” shows that John can fight it, he can push the delusions away – foreshadowing that John fights against the condition without medication. The answer for John is ‘out there’ in the real world where he has been working.

What does Charles represent in John’s life?

Charles in this scene is a friend, emotional support, social interaction, reassurance, pushing the desk out of the window is pushing out of his boundaries. Charles helps him come to revelations, hence it is hard for John to let Charles again. A big revelation that Charles helps John to realise is his big idea – it is outside in the real world. Charles helps John a lot and helps him grow.

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