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Saving Private Ryan

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Introduction

Analyse how Spielberg communicates the horror of the D Day landings in the opening 30 minutes of Saving Private Ryan Saving Private Ryan takes a documentary approach to war to reflect on the day of the D Day landings. The film is based around World War Two, where the invasion of Normandy had taken place between the Germans and the allied forces, on Omaha beach on the 6th of June 1944. The film tracks a group of soldiers that are commissioned to look for one person who must be sent back home as his three brothers have been KIA, that person is Private Ryan. It was intentionally made for war veterans, to attempt to bring back to life the reality of war. When Steven Spielberg created the film, his objective was to try to portray the terrors and triumphs that occurred during D Day. He wanted to deglamourise the tendency of war, therefore giving the audience an inaccurate image of heroism. Instead, it aims for the truth and shows people dying brutally and painfully. Spielberg tries to capture the realism of war tightly and precisely. He uses different techniques such as camera angles, colour and tracking of Miller throughout the first 30 minutes to try to reveal the horrors and terrors of war, to make it seem realistic to the audience and enable them to identify and make them feel part of the action. ...read more.

Middle

At this point Spielberg has the cameras cutaway from the Americans over to the Germans side. The use of crane shot shows the Germans are higher up than the allied forces down below; this is effective as it shows the Germans power and superiority over them. He also tries to show how remarkable it was for the allied forces to win this battle, as it shows the distance they need to travel up the beach in order to succeed. As the soldiers are suddenly killed one by one with the diagetic sound of the rushing bullets, enforces the horrific on slaughter of the German attack. Spielberg brings on the hand held cameras to follow the soldiers throughout the first 30 minutes to make the audience confused and disorientated and to feel even more involved with the action. On landing, many soldiers fall into the sea below beginning the underwater sequence. As the camera drifts underwater, the audience are given a false sense of safety from the above chaos; it can also add disorientation towards them as the sea appears calmer less chaotic. The sound becomes muted separating the audience from what is happening above, making it seem calmer and safer. The mid shot of man being killed underwater shows that there's no escape from what is above. ...read more.

Conclusion

It reinforces the magnitude of lives and blood lost during the battle to a point that the sea turns red. The diagetic sound of the waves soon begins to become calmer as the fighting has ended; they soon start to fade out as the gentle music takes over. The music is the same as the music from the beginning, giving a patriotic atmosphere. Spielberg deliberately did not put any music in the battle because he wanted to allow the scenes to be more visceral and to have the audience experience the battle in every direct way. In conclusion, Spielberg has skilfully communicated the horrors of the D Day landings during the opening battle scene. He shows the audience the true and respectful side of war. By combining the key techniques of camera angles, sound, dialogue, colour and tracking of Miller, he is able to bring out all the emotions and pain felt by the soldiers and create visceral scenes to impart the horror of the D Day landings. He made it seem realistic and true to the memories of what the battle was really like for the people in it and to help the audience experience the horrors and dangers of what they went through. ...read more.

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