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The Outsiders - How effectively does the director create an atmosphere of tension, fear and drama in the scene at the park?

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The Outsiders How effectively does the director create an atmosphere of tension, fear and drama in the scene at the park? "The Outsiders" was produced 1983 and directed by Frances Ford-Coppola. It is based on the novel of the same name that was written by S. E. Hinton in 1967. The saga is set in the late sixties in Tulsa, Oklahoma, when two conflicting gangs ruled the streets: the Greasers and the Socs. The Socs are the upper class gang, rich and snobbish; the Greasers are depicted as scruffy louts, named 'Greasers' as a result of their long, greasy hair. The film is told from the point of view of Pony-boy, one of the younger Greasers. It details the effects of one tense meeting between the Greasers and the Soc's girlfriends. The scene itself presents a tense and fearful atmosphere, climaxing as Johnny, another Greaser, kills a Soc, in a dramatic attempt to defend his friend Pony-boy. The opening long shot of Pony-boy and Johnny shows them in their own territory, sauntering out of the frame towards the left. They are depicted alone, indicating their powerful influence in the area; they are walking freely, showing they are at ease and don't feel threatened. However the boys are being followed by the Soc's, who intend to provoke a fight in the Greaser's nearby park. ...read more.


He wants them to realize that they're all going to be used later on in the film and will all play an important part. They show that there is going to be a serious fight, someone will get hurt and someone will resolve it using the knife. The next frame shows a Soc who appears in a very relaxed manner; he is taking a swig from his hip flask and does not seam bothered by the prospect of a fight. However the Greasers seem very uptight and worried as they begin to realize that they are outnumbered and do not stand a good chance of winning a fight. As in many films before a big fight, the camera cuts to close-ups of each character's face to show their true emotions; this makes the atmosphere very tense. They stand glaring at each other for a long period of time, until Ponyboy spits at Bob, a Soc. This is taken as the beginning of the fight. The music takes a dramatic turn; it becomes frantic and jumpy, creating an exciting effect. Suddenly drums begin to beat as the pace of the scene rapidly increases. The drums can be inferred to represent the heartbeat; the increasing tempo indicates the increase of the boy's heart rates. ...read more.


At this point the scene seams very surreal. Dogs barking and a passing train bring the boys back to reality; they reflect the normal world - although, since the incident in the park, everything has changed for Ponyboy and Johnny. They know that although the world is the same, nothing will ever be the same for them again. This different frame of mind ends this scene, and the train disappearing, exiting the frame, symbolizes the end. This scene is the main focus for the remainder of the film. Ponyboy and Johnny run away to escape the police, as they know what they have done is wrong; the film follows their time on the run. Overall this scene is very threatening and the lighting reflects this, keeping the scene in darkness. The music is very effective as it follows the characters thoughts and actions closely; increasing the speed when there is a fight and fading out when the fight ends, as if it is a heartbeat. It also keeps the scene moving along when no one is speaking so that the tension is increased. I think that the director has successfully created the correct amount of tension, fear and drama in this scene. He is clearly able to show the characters emotions without the use of words. The camera work is very effective because the director has carefully chosen shots that capture the true emotions this scene provokes. 1712 Words By Katharine Martin 11A ...read more.

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