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English Media Studies

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Pirates of the Caribbean; 'Comment on the ways that Gore Verbinski creates tension and introduces his narrative in the opening scene' In the opening scene of 'Pirates of the Caribbean', we know that the film has a pirate theme and is of the action genre. We know straight away that the film has a pirate theme; firstly because of the title of the film as it is called 'Pirates of the Caribbean' and secondly the setting reveals the sea and the ship, this is typical of pirate based film and makes the audience think that the film has a pirate theme. The establishing shot in 'Pirates of the Caribbean' reveals Elizabeth stood on top of the navel ship. A lot of shots are used in this scene to make the whole sequence more dramatic. The very first shot of the whole film is a medium pan shot of the ship. The camera moves towards the ship and gives the impression that the shit is moving fast. The shot then pans up into a low angle shot on Elizabeth. The camera looks up at her and gives her a sense of authority and power. ...read more.


Fog is used in this scene as it adds effect and builds tension. It does this because it gives the whole shot a mysterious feel by making it misty so the audience is left on a cliffhanger, wanting to know what is going to happen next. The shit slowly emerges through the fog and the camera pans up and gives us an upward shot of the ship. This shows us the importance of the ships in the film and the intricate wood carvings show the wealth of the owners. The reference to a 'woman on board' creates tension in the audience. This point is put across by Mr Gibbs. He says: 'Its bad luck to have a woman on board too'. This is important because it gives us an idea of what is going to happen in the film and creates a sense of danger. He links it with saying 'its bad luck to sing about pirates in these waters' which instantly links Elizabeth with pirates. This is important because it re-enforces the pirate theme that runs through the film. The shot of the parasol in the water, at first creates mystery and puts a question in the audience's mind: 'Why is that there?'. ...read more.


It also emphasises the problematic relationship between the two sides. When we first see the boy on the ship, our immediate presumptions are that something bad has happened to him. He is lying unconscious on a plank of wood and has dirt all over him. He also has a gold medallion around his neck with a skull and crossbones on it. This medallion is significant because it is the same symbol that we see on the flag of the pirate ship later on in the film. This again, emphasises the narrative of the pirate theme of the film. A link is set up between Elizabeth and the boy. This link is shown through the character reactions and how they are stood. For example; the way Elizabeth stands over the boy and is seen as a 'Guardian'. The British flag is seen from a low angle because it is the superior side in the film. The low angle shot makes the audience look up on the British navy. In juxtaposition to this is the pirate flag, which is always seen from a distance. For instance then the pirate shit disappears into the fog. This reinforces the importance and also the power of the British navy over the pirates in the film. ...read more.

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