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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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The Opening battle scene in 'Saving Private Ryan,' is effective in its shocking nature and appearance of reality. It is as if we are looking through a 'window' into our past and it becomes a 'window' that we want to keep on watching to see where it will lead. In the few moments preceding the landing of the ships at Omaha beach, we see the scene from a subjective Point-of-view high angle shot (POV high) which detaches us from the scene and allows us to see an establishing shot of the action. We also see the scene from a normal subjective POV shot; this includes the audience and allows us to see what is happening as if we are actually there. The only sound we hear is diegetic. The sound of the sea is one that connotes to most people calm and peace; it is cleverly used in this scene to create an instantaneous contrast between this calm and the chaos of battle about to occur. The action, in the first couple of minutes of the film is realistic. We start off with a Close up (CU) of a metal hedgehog (metal cross to stop tanks) and then go straight into seeing the landing boats as if we were a passenger in one ourselves. ...read more.


We see one soldier from Millers subjective POV and the fear that the man is feeling is portrayed through the way that he is cowering behind one of the hedgehogs and crying to himself (in a state of shock.) We return to a medium close up (MCU) of Millers face and can see the confusion as he watches several of his men die. The non-diegetic whistling rises in pitch and stops all of a sudden as a soldier shouts at him 'What do we do now sir?' This question reveals the uncertainty of the soldiers who were involved at the battle of Omaha beach and once again portrays a feeling of realism. Miller recovers from his confusion and orders his men to 'move out and clear the beach.' With this small show of re-assertion, the audience is brought back to the gruesome reality that is taking place around them. As the soldiers are moving out, Miller sees one fallen on the ground and decides to try and drag him to safety. A shell is fired and kills the man who he was dragging, but also triggers the same washed out confused effect that happened before, this time however it represented shell shock. This is a realistic event that would have happened as many soldiers were temporarily deafened by the loud explosions, to add to the realism, the camera lens is sprayed by blood and mud by the explosion just like a normal soldier's eyes would be. ...read more.


of captain Miller's eye and then to all the dead bodies left behind on Omaha Beach. This is covered by both diegetic and non-diegetic sound. The diegetic sound is that of the waves, which connote peace and calm (the lull after battle) and the mournful cries of seagulls. The non-diegetic sound is an emotional, moving 'strings' instrumental piece, this can connote the regret, pain and sadness that the soldiers would have felt for their fallen comrades. The saying 'the sea ran red,' is literally brought to life and makes a final impact of shock on the audience. In conclusion, the opening battle sequence of "Saving Private Ryan" was made both shocking and realistic through the iconic images displayed throughout the scene and the acts of selflessness that are portrayed through the characters actions. The first scene had an impact on me personally. This was: "I strongly feel for the soldiers and their fallen comrades, because this film has shown me what they had to go through to protect my future. The 'jerky' camera movement created a sense of realism and made me feel as if I were with the soldiers at the battle of Omaha Beach. I also feel that the absence of non-diegetic sound aloud me to take in the sounds that make up a fighting soldier's world." 1 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. By Adam Taylor ...read more.

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