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English Coursework # 3 - A Review on the opening sequence of Spielberg's Saving Private Ryan

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English Coursework # 3 - A Review on the opening sequence of Spielberg's Saving Private Ryan Directed by Steven Spielberg Produced by Steven Spielberg Ian Bryce Mark Gordon Gary Levinsohn Written by Robert Rodat Starring Tom Hanks Edward Burns Tom Sizemore Barry Pepper Matt Damon Vin Diesel Music by John Williams Cinematography Janusz Kaminski Distributed by DreamWorks Released July 24, 1998 Running time 170 min. Language English Budget $70,000,000 (estimated) Saving Private Ryan - A movie directed by Spielberg, based upon the true story of the Niland brothers. The movie was released in 1998. Steven Spielberg, born 1946, in Cincinnati, is arguably the most powerful, distinguished and influential figure in the motion picture industry. He is the most financially successful motion picture director of all time, and has produced an astounding number of major box office hits, giving him great influence in Hollywood. Last year, Empire magazine compiled a list of the 50 greatest directors of all time, and Spielberg was #1 on the list. He has been nominated for six Academy Awards for Best Director, winning two of them (Schindler's List and Saving Private Ryan). Spielberg has directed and produced altogether twenty-six movies; a vast majority of the nation and film critics speculate that Schindler's List (1993) (Academy Award, Best Director, Best Picture), Saving Private Ryan (1998) (Academy Award, Best Director), and Jaws (1975) ...read more.


The brass section of the orchestra mainly dominates this opening piece of music; filling in the first twenty seconds with a harmonic introduction. As Ryan turns the corner around the tree, the camera stops and we get a good view of his face (through a close up), and the sorrow that is displayed as he glimpses the crosses. Even at this stage of the film, we feel moved and respectful by the perfect embodiment of the music and the mid-shots of Ryan walking through the ocean of crosses (epitaphs for the US soldiers that fought in France). At this point, the camera gives us a long shot as Ryan starts to walk towards the crosses, there is a low pulse of perhaps a timpani in the orchestra, and this mingles well with the sudden low-key melody on the string instruments, signifying audacity and valiance. The gradual increase in volume of the music here is directly proportional to the camera as it pans across in a long shot to transpire the ocean of crosses; possibly to show respect. When Ryan breaks down crying, overwhelmed with emotion, Williams succeeds in making an effective ending to the calm music, to the transition to the instant chaos. There is an extreme-close-up on Ryan's eyes... We hear the relentless pour of the rain on the agitated sea waves; the soldiers bracing themselves for the fire fight...it is here immediately that we see our protagonist, Miller. ...read more.


The contents of the actual battle scene itself assured me that Spielberg was not prepared to hide much of the sanguinary scenes; and so it made me ready for any further gory details he had decided to include. The realism of the battle scene was shocking; I believe that he has gone through a huge ordeal to produce something with that much authenticity - although I obviously have no account of the real events on Omaha Beach; I do not find it easy to imagine a worse scenario under those circumstances. The extent of Spielberg's creative power has not failed to astound me, and quite plainly, with 5 Oscars and another 51 wins and 52 nominations for awards, it has been recognised with distinction. To think that someone has the ability to put such events on the "big screen" is awe-striking, and as I have mentioned, Spielberg has received many commendations and praise from veterans of the Normandy invasion for the genuineness of his portrayal. In my opinion, Saving Private Ryan is one of the best films I have ever watched; one of the main reasons is because it wasn't just about shooting and death, there was a real exploration of the emotions in the movie that must have been in abundance on that day in history. Hence, this movie would have quite a moving effect on most people, not to mention surprise them with the revelation of the harsh and unforgiving veracity of war. By Haaziq Farook 10o ?? ?? ?? ?? Year 10 Media Assignment Haaziq Farook 10o ...read more.

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