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The opening graveyard scene of Charles Dickens ' Great Expectations' has become part of the cinematic canon. In view of this analyse the key elements and comment upon their effectiveness in the film versions you have studied.

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Introduction

The opening graveyard scene of Charles Dickens ' Great Expectations' has become part of the cinematic canon. In view of this analyse the key elements and comment upon their effectiveness in the film versions you have studied. Great Expectations is part of the cinematic canon, the novel by Charles Dickens has been turned into a film many times. We have studied three versions, which are different in many ways due to the developments of film at the time, and the director's intentions. The film versions differ a lot because of the technology the director had at the time and what kind of film was expected when it was made. The three versions we studied were made in 1946, 1981 and 1999, in the time between many new technologies have been produced one main advance in technology was introduction of colour and special effects. In the first scene of Great Expectations a young boy, Pip is in a graveyard where his father, mother, brothers, and sisters are buried when a criminal, Magwitch comes up behind him and grabs him. Magwitch threatens Pip and asked him to get him some food and something to get rid of the shackles. Pip then leaves and goes home. The first scene is very important because in introduces the main characters, Magwitch and Pip and establish how they first meet. It is the start of the novel and gives you an idea of what it would be about and what might happen. David Lean directed the first version of the book in 1946. It was the first versions made of the novel and is normally portrayed as the best as it is the first one made, it is normally the one most like the book because it hasn't got to be different to one before it. It is in black and white because of the limited technology so they didn't have any special effects which is why people watching it today find it not as good as the others because of the limited technology. ...read more.

Middle

Sound in this version is more realistic than the first version but there is less of it so it is less atmospheric and isn't as effective but some people thinks it's better because it sounds more life like. It still has the wind in the background but you cannot hear it as well as you can in the first version. Magwitch in this version has a deep ruff voice and speaks in a whisper to avoid being heard or when he realises what Pip is doing there he speaks in a whisper so he is not as harsh on Pip. Pip's voice is like the voice in the first version, innocent and childish to make him seem vulnerable. This would make the audiences think that Magwitch's wasn't as bad as they first thought, when his voices changes, it makes then feel a bit sorry for Magwitch and they don't think he us as bad. Pip's costume was tidy and he looked well cared for, like the first version his clothes were not very good quality. Magwitch's clothes are completely rags and when you see him you are inclined to feel sorry towards him. The principal of theses clothes are the same as those in the first version. It shows that Pip has poor clothes but is well cared for and Magwitch has rags for clothes and shackles around his feet to show his is a criminal. As mentioned before bland colour was used in this version as technology had advanced further than the first version, although their isn't much of it is still used quite effectively, not using too much colour limited effects they could of had but not every one had colour TV's, So the film was still a bit black and white. The colour may have been used deliberately because it makes it look like it is trying to hide something, like what is happening in the film. ...read more.

Conclusion

Fast paining is used to show the scenery but it's hard to take it in so you don't really know your surroundings making it more melodramatic. When Pip is having the flashbacks it changes angles quickly, which gives a sense of movement to the audiences. In this version the director had to make it different to the other versions so it was less of a direct interpretation than the others that had been true to the novel. To do this the director has approach the first scene for a different angle. Involving Pip's sister and making seem evil has moved some of the evilness from Magwitch and made Pip seem vulnerable in a different way. Involving the blacksmith also makes Pip seem safe because he would be a good protector because he is pleasant it seems that Pip has got someone really kind to look after him. Having the flashbacks of what happens makes it seem really important and that Pips thinking of it so it also suggests that something's going to happen because of it. Out of the three versions we studied, they are all effective in different way, because the 1946 version was done first people portray it as the best, but as film technology develops people prefer the latest one produced. The 1946 version is the most atmospheric and the 1999 version is the one you can get the most involved with, but each version is different to the one made before or after it. Each version involves the audiences different amounts and in different ways. Each director had different intentions, which helped create a different understanding of the novel as a film. Every different part of the films has different colours, sound, costumes, lighting, and camera angles, which is what makes the three versions different, some vary more than others, like the first version and the last versions are very different where as the first and the second versions are quite similar. Gemma Mitchell 04/05/2007 ...read more.

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