• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

How does Steven Spielberg make the opening battle scene to Saving Private Ryan both shocking and realistic?

Extracts from this document...


How does Steven Spielberg make the opening battle scene to Saving Private Ryan both shocking and realistic? Saving Private Ryan is an epic war film directed by the world-renowned Steven Spielberg. The movie received several awards including five Academy Awards for best cinematography, best director, best effects, best film editing and best sound, it also picked up other prestigious awards. The first twenty-five minutes are a flashback to the storming of Omaha Beach on D-Day. Through his unique uses of proxemics, camera angles, costumes, special effects, editing, sound, colouring, props, events and characters Spielberg has made a shockingly graphic and unflattering war movie. During the visceral first twenty-five minutes Spielberg does his best to de-glamorise and twist our opinions of war, in order to shock us and make the whole experience realistic. When the movie begins we see Private Ryan, years after D-Day, slowly walking through the memorial graveyards, then the camera zooms in on his eyes and we see the D-Day landing at Omaha Beach. In this battle Spielberg makes it shocking by going into graphic detail of the slaughter of thousands of soldiers. Throughout the battle we follow Captain Miller as he storms the beach, Miller shows signs of extreme courage and leadership qualities; for example when he drags a comrade along the beach, leaving himself more exposed to enemy gunfire. ...read more.


Often the place where the camera is pointing is not accurate, by this I mean that the people running or an explosion happening is not directly in the middle of the shot, this is a very good way of making everything seem random and unrehearsed as the battle would have been in real life. It makes it seem that the explosions and killing is everywhere. When Private Ryan visits the graveyard at the beginning of the movie it is modern day so they are wearing modern clothes, the sort that would be worn in real life. Plus they are bright which symbolises peace. During the war the uniforms are dark and dirty especially the Germans this could be to signify that they are the greater evil and make them look more intimidating like an enemy should. Due to the gruesome nature of the film, special effects play a huge role in making it realistic and shocking, there are constant gun woundings, severed limbs, explosions etc. making the first twenty five minutes very gory, it is also almost impossible to decipher between the special effects and the real thing, it leaves nothing to the imagination. ...read more.


Flapping in the wind in the beginning the American flag seems drained of colour this is probably to symbolise the flags age but maybe it has the deeper meaning such as the transparency of patriotism, the flag which is one of the most patriotic symbols of any country and to see it so unconvincing coincides with the theme that develops in the mind of the viewer which is, it's not worth dying for your country. On D-Day the lighting is done to make the scene look dark and dismal, it may be bright but it also is stormy overhead, which is quite fitting for the situation. After the battle the sea is blood red, which helps to emphasise how much killing and bloodshed has taken place. Also the bodies that litter the beach are another effective method of shock tactics. In the battle the American soldier is presented as very clean cut and well rounded for example none of them smoke and under the circumstances they don't swear very often. By making the American soldiers out to be well behaved, do-gooders we become more engulfed in the story as we want them to succeed in their conquest. To conclude Spielberg has cleverly used cinematography, proxemics etc. to make a realistic yet shocking movie. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level War Poetry section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level War Poetry essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Saving Private Ryan: Film Review

    A lot of Americans would buy this film because it was their country and they may be patriotic and want to know what happened in WWII. Spielberg really makes the audience feel as if they are in the middle of the war.

  2. Saving private ryan analysis WW2

    When Ryan arrives at the rows of graves we see the emotion in his face before seeing the graves his eyes are tearful and filled with emotion and with the close up camera angle we can see his mouth opening gasping with emotion and trembling with feeling.

  1. Analyse the methods used to make the opening battle sequence of 'Saving Private Ryan' ...

    The film opens showing an elderly man walking ahead of a group of people, whom we immediately assume to be his family members. We see both American and French flags at this scene symbolizing a peace between the two. The music accompanying this scene is a calm patriotic melody which would make us, the audience feel calm.

  2. Diary extracts - Private John Howard.

    up a marvellous challenge for us, I have heard that their death rate is only slightly above ours so we have to applaud them, mustn't we. I have heard from a few of the officers that the Germans have dug superior trenches to ours and maybe it will not be as easy as planned.

  1. Comparing The Longest Day with Saving Private Ryan

    He collects soil from Africa, Italy and now France. This is his way o blocking out the horror of the war. War is like a business to Horner, but he is also likeable as he cares about what happens to his men.

  2. Saving Private Ryan

    of soldiers being assailed with bullets killing them and taking there lives. In a matter of seconds boats full of people were dead or seriously wounded due to the shower of bullets fired by the Germans and this implied that the German only had one motive and objective to completely destroy the Americans.

  1. "Saving Private Ryan" was a blockbuster hit when it was unleashed in 1998, by ...

    The close up of soldiers getting shot and bullets shredding the helmets over a long period of time which shows Spielberg's chaotic mind and expresses the sorrow and pain every one suffered in world war two. "I wanted to put chaos up on the screen same as those green recruits

  2. Saving Private Ryan - media review of the opening scenes.

    The effect of this shot is to include most of the scene and show us where the man is walking to and where he actually is. It is a nice shot as it is very symmetrical with the trees both side and the family in the centre.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work