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"Love is everything you need"

 © Sputnik Oy 2002
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The contents of a film can be defined by using a so-called main clause or premise. The crucial contents of the film are squeezed into one statement or sentence. Synonyms for premise include main clause, leading idea, main idea and main message.

Using a premise comes from the theater. The main clause is defined as the makers' opinion on the basic conflict. It is the statement that the film attempts to claim. The best premise is simple and clear, and it provokes expressions of opinions.

Some examples of premises in plays:

  • Shakespeare's Macbeth: "Blind ambition leads to destruction".
  • Shakespeare's Othello: "Jealousy kills love."
  • Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House: "Woman's inequality in marriage leads into woman's liberation"
  • Molière's Tartuffe: "What goes around comes around"

Some examples of premises in films:

  • "External splendor and power do not bring inner happiness." (Orson Welles: "Citizen Kane")
  • "Love destroys a girl, if she is ignorant." (Claude Goretta: "The Lacemaker")
  • "Oppressing people leads to rebellion." (Gillo Pontecorvo: "The Battle of Algiers")
  • "Loyal battle against oppression leads to victory." (Akira Kurosawa: "The Seven Samurai")
  • "When a woman leaves a man, he must start thinking and developing." (Robert Redford: "Kramer vs. Kramer")


Gillo Pontecorvo: La Battaglia di Algeri.

Mr. William Shakespeare and the Internet. [daphne.palomar.edu/shakespeare/]

Ibsen plays online. [users.visi.net/~jhlind/playsonline.html]


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