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This essay will focus on the opening sequence of 'Save the Last Dance', the dramatic teen romance movie staring Julia Stiles as the main character, Sarah, and her estranged father played by Terry Kinney.

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Introduction

Mike Davies 10S English Coursework, 1st draft This essay will focus on the opening sequence of 'Save the Last Dance', the dramatic teen romance movie staring Julia Stiles as the main character, Sarah, and her estranged father played by Terry Kinney. It will look particularly at the flashback sequence at the opening of the film, predominantly concentrating on the effect that the flashbacks have on us, the audience. At the start of the film, the barriers are coming down at the road crossing of a railway track as a train comes down the tracks towards the camera, and then past. The camera then cuts to Sarah sitting alone on the train staring out of the window mournfully. A black woman enters the scene, glancing at the book on the seat, the first prop. 'I love ballet', she exclaims, 'You dance?' she asks Sarah happily, she replies meaningfully, 'I used to'. This leads into the first flashback. ...read more.

Middle

We hear Sarah's mother's worried, stressed voice on the train in Sarah's mind. The scene then cuts to the street outside the florist where Sarah's mother works, and quickly cuts inside. Sarah's mother tells Sarah that she may not be able to make it to the audition to watch her daughter dance because she has too much work to do, and can't find the time to be there. Sarah pleads with her to be there because 'this is the hardest, most important day' of Sarah's life and she needs her mother to be there as they look sadly into each others eyes. We then see Sarah again on the train, in a quick flash forward to real time, before going back into Sarah's memory in flashback five. We see a shot of a sign saying, Julliard Dancing School Auditions, as the camera pans around the changing room where Sarah is stretching and warming up ready to dance, looking worried and lonely, she makes no attempt to communicate with any of the other girls in the room with her. ...read more.

Conclusion

The next thing we see of Sarah is on the train, again with a tear in her eyes. From studying all of these flashbacks, one can learn a great deal about Sarah's life. At the beginning of the opening sequence, Sarah's life was happy and simple. Everybody was happy. She and her mother got on very well and Sarah 'danced like an angel', she had a good lifestyle, lived in a rich neighbourhood in a big house and everything was going swimmingly. But towards the end of flashback three, one can detect a hint that things are beginning to go wrong. Sarah begins to doubt herself when talking to her friend, Lindsey, then in flashback four, her mother tells her that she may not be able to make it to the auditions. This is just the beginning of the bad luck for Sarah and her mother. If the flashbacks were shown as they happened (not as flashbacks) they would have been quite different, because when they were written, the writer already new what had happened, so all of the events have a negative prospect to them. ...read more.

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