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Analyse the methods used to make the opening battle sequence of Saving Private Ryan both shocking and realistic, and say how effective you find it as an introduction to the film.

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Introduction

Analyse the methods used to make the opening battle sequence of Saving Private Ryan both shocking and realistic, and say how effective you find it as an introduction to the film. Saving Private Ryan was released on September 11th 1998, and stunned audiences. It was directed by Steven Spielberg and written by Robert Rodat. Spielberg is renowned for many other films including: Jaws (1975), Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), Jurassic Park (1993), Schindler's List (1993) and Minority Report (2002). He states "People have forgotten how to tell a story. Stories don't have a middle or an end any more. They usually have a beginning that never stops beginning." This is shown with Saving Private Ryan, since the film starts off with a 24 minute opening, which never seems to stop. The film is an epic depiction of the realities of war. Rodat was inspired to write such a film after he saw a monument in Putney Corners, New Hampshire dedicated to eight brothers who died during the American Civil War. He became motivated and carried out some research leading him to write a similar story set in World War II. Steven Spielberg agreed to direct this film because he believes "...World War II is the most significant event of the last 100 years; the fate of the Baby Boomers and even Generation X was linked to the outcome ... For years now, I've been looking for the right World War II story to shoot, and when Robert Rodat wrote Saving Private Ryan, I found it ... ...read more.

Middle

As the doors open the characters we were introduced to are mowed down by German machine guns. There are close up shots of the soldiers being killed. Total chaos is shown at the start of this scene because it shows the audience how brutal the war was and how unpredicted the soldiers felt it. A handheld camera follows the soldiers into the water. As the soldiers go below the water everything goes silent and as they go above the surface we can hear the roar of German guns. Then we hear the sound of the bullets hitting the water, they zip underwater and we hear a muffled sound. They eventually hit the soldiers. We see blood in the water as the soldiers get hit; it turns the sea all red with the blood. It is a gory and horrible sight. There is an over the shoulder shot of a German solder. The soldier is faceless which indicates him to be evil. But it also shoes the advantage the Germans had over the Americans and concurrently how vulnerable the Americans were. There were handheld cameras used in the battle. Steven Spielberg said "I wanted to hit the sets much like a newsreel cameraman following the soldiers into war". He wanted to do this and follow the soldiers into war because it would give a realistic feel to the scene. In this scene there is a lot of gunfire and bullets used. Spielberg used a large number to exaggerate how war is about dodging bullets. ...read more.

Conclusion

There is no soundtrack or epic score laid over the battle scenes, just the bloody and deafening roar of war. This is what I think makes the film so realistic. There isn't any sugar coating or censoring, which Spielberg made sure of. He says "There are three movies that I am exceptionally proud of in my life ... and I rarely commit to a list of films that I like, that I've made -- but these are the three films that I was passionately connected to -- the first was E.T., the second Schindler's List and third is Saving Private Ryan." I think this is because Saving Private Ryan shows reality. He continues "Now, with the response to Saving Private Ryan , generations are coming together to understand how fortunate we are today to live in a free world because of what you and the millions of other veterans did for us." I think Steven Spielberg has succeeded in putting "chaos up on the screen". I can understand why some people wouldn't like this film; there are graphic scenes right at the beginning which can put them off. But I think this is an excellent start to an excellent film. The opening sequence introduces main characters and makes the audience aware of what they have gone through. Which further on in the film, answer why they act like and say such things to each other. We know this battle has taken its toll on the surviving soldiers, and so want them to survive the rest of the film. But the harsh reality ignores this. ?? ?? ?? ?? Pavan Aulak Mrs Gerber 10AV English ...read more.

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