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Saving Private Ryan Media Coursework

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You are a journalist writing a review for a film guide; entitled. "The greatest dramatic opening in cinema". Analyse Spielberg's cinematic style in "Saving Private Ryan" I f you are a complete stranger to the film industry, and were asked to name a few big names you had seen slapped across billboards.(Obviously, only to achieve maximum financial success). I can assure you names that would spring up to mind could include; Harrison Ford, George Lucas, probably Tom Hanks, or maybe even the master of the game; Steven Spielberg? Steven Spielberg has not become critically acclaimed for nothing, but from his catalogue of fascinatingly directed films, since the seventies; there has been success, after success. One of his most popular and unbelievably recreated films is Saving Private Ryan (1998). Renowned for its spellbinding Spielberg commence to the film which lasts around twenty five enthralling minutes. The opening sequence begins with a thread-bare American flag blowing gently in the summer breeze, whilst American military music begins to play subtly in the background. The camera begins to zoom out and a French flag appears on the screen, juxtaposed with the American flag. "Nothing special?!" I hear you cry. But did you consider the amount of thought Spielberg must have put in to create these opening seconds. The faded American flag on its own could be analysed with a five page essay alone. ...read more.


"I will see you on the beach!" The first awaited words are spoken by Captain Miller - (Tom Hanks) these words are very reassuring as he is the hero of the story; but when we see his trembling hand we understand the concept of the "flawed" hero. The idea that we always have to have a touch of sympathy for the hero. We then see a soldier pulling out his crucifix and kissing it for good luck; this brings back the idea of the role of religion in the film. When the ship eventually opens for the soldiers to go out there is great chaos which was already expected but the tension was already building up subconsciously. Many of the soldiers begin to get shot into the water. As they do the camera dips down into the water creating the idea of the continuation of the film underwater. This manipulates the audience as it makes us feel as if we are in the war. The sound effects underwater are exactly how you would imagine hearing it yourself; with the enemies' bullets piercing through the water almost like you were in a vacuum. It really can't get any more realistic than this. Spielberg then brings us to the German point of view, from a machine gunner. This technique is incredibly effective on our way of thinking as we are not sure which side to follow. ...read more.


This of course is a religious joke as he ridicules the Jews. It is interesting to see the American soldiers sinking as low as the Germans soldiers as a result of tough and tedious warfare. As you probably already know; Steven Spielberg is a Jew and in this film it is evident and understandable, that he has tried to expose the horror of Nazism. Since World War Two several generations have grown up and it seems that Spielberg has noticed that people are forgetting the evils of Nazism. As the audience we can see that Spielberg has set out to legitimise the allied invasion. Therefore we understand that he is trying to achieve something seemingly contradictory in Saving Private Ryan; because this is a total war film that seems to justify military action- when Spielberg is obviously Jewish. Obviously when Captain Miller sees all of this, he is disgusted as he portrays the idea of the 'perfect man'. (However the perfect man always has to be flawed in some manner). In all, Saving Private Ryan lives up to its expectation but I believe the plot of the story is lacking something special that Spielberg usually uses. The oncoming DVD will definitely be on my Christmas wish-list but I'm not to sure if it is everybody else's cup of tea. Spielberg obviously achieves his ends in this film in both manipulating the audience and exposing the horror of Nazism. Now we just to wait to see what he holds for the future of film directing. ...read more.

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