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'Analyse the representation of New York in the opening sequences of

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Introduction

Media Coursework 'Analyse the representation of New York in the opening sequences of "Manhattan" and "Sex and the City". What do you think the directors are saying about New York? How are these ideas reflected in the cinematic techniques used?' Manhattan, the city of New York, is often depicted in the media by images of skyscraper buildings and yellow taxis. I am going to analyse the representation of New York by looking at and comparing the opening sequences of the series "Sex and the City" with the film "Manhattan". I will be looking specifically at how the directors achieve their interpretations of New York by the images of New York and the cinematic devices that they use. Both directors have a similar idea of portraying New York as a city of two halves but they both have very different ways of doing this. John Thomas, director of "Sex and the City", uses a range of cinematic devices including camera shots, pace, editing and some images and stereotypes to show Carrie as a metaphor for New York. In the first few frames of the clip Carrie is in a close up shot with the background around her blurred and not in focus. ...read more.

Middle

Her facial expressions had gone from confident and outgoing to being shocked and humiliated representing the intimidating, overpowering and less well known side to New York. "Manhattan" was made in 1979 but it was made in black and white in the style of a 1920's to 1930's Film Noir. To add to this effect an appropriate piece of music "Rhapsody in Blue" by George Gershwin, from around the time of the 1930's is played in the background. At the start of this clip the images of New York are of the backstreets, the industrial chimneys with smoke coming out of them and road works showing Woody Allen's representation of the more realistic side to New York and not the stereotypical skyline and lights. As the sequence goes on the images start to change to the more stereotypical clich�s of brand name shops, art galleries and finally the absolute image of New York - the skyline. The director wants this to represent exactly what it is, the stereotypical clich�d side of New York. In my opinion there is only one ambiguity about "Manhattan"; that is the reason as to why the director has chosen to use very straight-on angles all the time. ...read more.

Conclusion

At the start of "Manhattan" the music is slow and dark but by the end, when there are images of fireworks and New York at night, the music changes and reaches a climatic point and the romantic side of New York is shown. This is the overall impression that Woody Allen wants you to have. On the other hand as "Sex and the City" reaches a climatic point in the music the overall impression that is expressed to the audience shows the reality of New York. I conclude that although "Manhattan" and "Sex and the City" were filmed in completely different decades and in completely different styles they still have a lot in common about the way that they portray New York City. Both directors are portraying the suburban reality and the stereotypical romance as two very different sides of New York. The fact that the directors show these sides of New York in a different order suggests that they are giving hindmost impressions last. "Sex and the City" concludes in reality with Carrie being splashed but everybody carries on regularly with their busy everyday lives. However "Manhattan's" ultimate image is of fireworks over the New York skyline suggesting the romantic and stereotypical view of New York. Word Count: 952 ...read more.

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