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

The opening credit sequence of 'The Sopranos'.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

The final step in the opening credit sequence is the title screen detailing 'The Sopranos'. The viewer is presented with a black scene in the centre of which is the white block letter spelling out 'The Sopranos'. This title screen itself may semiotically provide much information regarding the themes of the television programme once its layers of meaning are extricated and analysed. Treating firstly the importance of the simple colours of this screen- black and white- the themes of the show are visible. The traditional semiotic meaning that is assigned to these two colours aid in the production of these themes. White is mostly explicitly recognised as the colour of the good, the virginal/pure in contrast to the assigning of the colour black to the evil, the mysterious, danger, death and malice. The assigning of meaning to these two colours can be traced back in anthropological terms to the Western worlds view of white people as being good whilst the 'black' people from the continent of Africa were inherently evil and not to be trusted. This dichotomy was later applied to the notion of the 'goodies' versus the 'baddies' and can be seen in the title of graphics detailing a main theme of the show- the good guys or the police, reflected in the white, battling against the bad guys or Tony Soprano and his mafia family, reflected in the black. These colours can also represent the struggle in Tony's world between right and wrong and his struggle with his morality and religious faith. ...read more.

Middle

It also suggests that he is an actor in his own future, that he directs his life and controls his destiny. This is again emphasised by the continuous close-up shots of Tony's hands and arms. The affluence of Tony's life and his materialism that is shown in the show is reflected in the opening sequences. There is a continual emphasis on Tony's gold jewellery connoting opulence, richness and his carelessness with money. The cigar that Tony smokes is also a symbol with several layers of signification for this opulence but also on another layer of meaning it may be seen as phallic, reflecting Tony's masculinity and raw sexual energy. The theme of money is again reinforced with the shot of the bank reflecting possibly Tony's implicit need for financial security for himself and his family. The religious aspect of Tony's personality is also detailed. The shot of the cathedral/church illustrates Tony's Catholicism but the shot is somewhat obscured by branches of trees. This may signify the crisis of faith that both Tony implicitly and his wife Carmela explicitly have in the show. Tony is religious, he has faith but this faith is obscured by the sins that he has committed and the illegal dealings that he is involved in. the image is almost a black and white image reflecting the clear cut base belief in God that Tony and the Soprano family hold. A red canopy on the front of the church is important as its semiotic analysis reveals that the colour red connotes a raw energy, vigour and spirituality. ...read more.

Conclusion

Music works primarily on the level that it can rely on the spoken word as it is sung to create meaning instead of the visual image. Non-verbal communication is also employed in music to create meaning with the use of certain instruments to evoke emotions and atmosphere. According to Self (1988:116) "title sequences ...together with title music, are instrumental in communicating the mood and themes of the coming production." The show uses the same song at the beginning of each episode. The song is 'Goy yourself a Gun' and its lyrics play on the notion of the 'mob' and the 'gun' which are both themes in a way in the programme. The song plays slowly and quietly at the start of the sequence as Tony leaves the city and gains in speed and audibility, as he gets closer to home. This illustrates that he feels strongly about where he lives and about his family. According to the song, if one is to relate it to Tony, he was 'born under a bad sign with a blue moon in your (his) eyes' (lines 7-8). This provides a hint to Tony's character, that he is immoral and does not follow the rules. Having 'blue moon' in one's eyes is indicative of Tony's upward gazing idea, that one must better themselves regardless of how they do this even if the rules must be broken. The repetition of this song at the beginning of each episode helps to continually create the overall atmosphere of the show as being one of immorality and violence connoted by the 'gun' in the song. ...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 Alice Walker 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 Alice Walker essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Walker's presentation of Sofia and Harpo.

    4 star(s)

    to turn around the appearance of women as being the inferior race. An image is created of the sisters appearing to rescue Sofia from the grasps of an evil husband named Harpo. Even though Sofia is in fact similar to her sisters in terms of physical appearance, she lacks emotional

  2. What are the main themes of Pleasantville and how does the director convey them ...

    Linking to characterisation, the characters of Pleasantville also help to illustrate liberation, as a form of change. This is particularly apparent, for example, in the actions of Bob, the Chamber of Commerce. He apposes the changes and the newly coloured people.

  1. Many would argue that men hold the power in "The Colour Purple". Explore the ...

    We now see that Albert has started to respect Celie and doesn't just look at her as his own property, "took me long enough to notice you such good company". Mary O'Conner says that Alphonso's exhortation towards Celie at the beginning of the novel gave her a way out.

  2. Examine the author's presentation of men, women and gender roles in 'The Color Purple' ...

    To further this argument, after discovering that Jeanette is seven, Pastor Finch (a visiting minister to Jeanette's church) unleashes a fiery sermon about the dangers of being seven to Jeanette. - 'How cursed.' The seriousness of his sermon to the congregation, compared to Jeanette's innocence of age renders him ridiculous.

  1. Alice Walker's novel "The Third Life of Grange Copeland" - review

    play, and these traditions when broken by the women, are commented upon by the men. Margaret's attempt to copy Grange's life style is seen through the eyes of Brownfield. He sees her turn from a devoted mother and homemaker into "...a wild woman looking for frivolous things...

  2. How have the texts you have studied this year effectively shaped your understanding of ...

    and its people change, it's got to be a change from the heart. The camera angles used in Pleasantville help to portray change and the characters, for example in the "honey I'm home" scene there were many camera techniques to help depict how George was feeling after the change of

  1. This report is based on comparing six different documents.

    The other purpose of this prospects is to explain to the reader what Spelthorne collage is about and how good it is compared to other collages in the local area, it also educates people and gives them information on courses so they can check what they want to do and what they will be involved in doing.

  2. How do the stylistic conventions of Pleasantville Help to anchor the ideas suggested by ...

    Bud becomes a hero because he is the only one that knows about fire, nothing normally burns in Pleasantville. Book pages start filling in, then the teens have a thirst for knowledge and go to the library, and they want to learn.

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