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"Analyse, review and comment on the techniques used by the director Ridley Scott to build excitement and capture the attention of the audience in the opening sequence of his film 'Gladiator'."

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Introduction

"Analyse, review and comment on the techniques used by the director Ridley Scott to build excitement and capture the attention of the audience in the opening sequence of his film 'Gladiator'." In the opening sequence of the 'Gladiator', the director, Ridley Scott uses a number of techniques to build excitement and capture the attention of the audience. In this essay I will analyse and review these techniques. The film was released in May of 2000 and had a budget of $100 million (US). This genre of movie is known as 'Sword and Sandal' epics, which were a very popular style preceding World War II, but became less so when people decided that there were too many terrible things taking place in their own world and they did not want to see it in the movies. Other films such as 'Ben Hur' and 'Spartacus' created high standards for any successors, standards which 'Gladiator' has fulfilled and added to. The director begins the movie with a variation on the well known 'Universal' and 'Dreamworks' logos. The normally blue logos have been placed under a yellow filter, giving the immediate impression that the movie must be quite influential in order to exact this change, creating anticipation for the outcome of the film. ...read more.

Middle

The director has emphasised this by the fact that Maximus is walking among his men and greets certain individuals among them whom he has personal experience with, showing that he has shared in their trials. Music plays a vast role in this sequence and there are three major types of music apparent; the use of a Spanish guitar, the lone voice of Lisa Gerrard and the energetic and fast paced music with a full accompaniment. The Spanish guitar is used when we first see Maximus and continues into the battle scene. It is very fast paced and energetic and helps to build up a feeling of expectance. It introduces a very Mediterranean feel to the movie and quickens the pace of the scene at the same time because it is almost a signal for the battle to start. From its slow trickle to the full on force of the orchestra, it provides an immense build up of energy and expectation, which is all spent as it returns to the slowed, blurred scene of the victory and the calming of hearts, taking the audience's expectation with it, giving a sense of melancholy back. ...read more.

Conclusion

The dog that accompanies Maximus into the battle is symbolic of his loyalty to his family and emperor as dogs are widely known for their loyalty and this is noticeable in the fact that he dedicates his whole life to avenge the death of his family and emperor at any personal cost. The dialogue used by Maximus in this scene is also repeated later in the movie when he is a gladiator, and uses his skills to defeat his enemies. There is also the reoccurring event of him rubbing dirt on his hands before each battle, this is symbolic of his farming roots. In conclusion I think that the director did very well building up excitement as the scenes were filed with tension and expectation and this in coupling with the astounding musical abilities of Hans Zimmer brought 'Gladiator' to what it is now. The film was so successful because it reflects a blood and glorious past, which we humans created and grew from, and how the grip of love reaches past all barriers to people. Overall I think that the director was very successful in the creation of this scene and the whole opening sequence entices us to want more. David Fernandes 10 SR English Media Cousework Page 1 of 3 ...read more.

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