• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

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.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

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. Films depicting true stories are often far less factual and realistic than they set out to be. Steven Spielberg took a brave approach towards the war film genre, a genre not receiving too much great press pre-1998. They were said to be only showing the glory of war and having a typical underdog plot-line. Spielberg certainly turned that typicality on its head. The film he directed in 1998, 'Saving Private Ryan' was hugely successful, the highest-grossing film of the year (around $480 million) and critically acclaimed as 'a true classic and all-time great' by many famous reviewers such as The New York Times and the BBC, winning a total of 5 Academy Awards (including Best Director) whilst being nominated for 11. Saving Private Ryan shocked audiences worldwide with the extreme horrors and realism of World War II, portraying the extent of violence during those 6 years yet focusing initially on the D-Day landings at Omaha Beach. The film is mainly remembered for the horrific opening 24-minutes (Omaha Beach Landings), a scene which is regarded as one of the greatest opening scenes to any film of all time. Seen through the eyes of a squad of American soldiers, the story begins with World War II's historic D-Day invasion, and then moves beyond the beach as the men embark on a dangerous special mission. Captain John Miller, played by Tom Hanks, must take his men (Tom Sizemore, Edward Burns, Barry Pepper and Vin Diesel to name a few) behind enemy lines to find Private James Ryan, played by Matt Damon, whose three brothers were killed in combat. This true story revolutionised cinema, the war genre in particular, and provoked realisation of the terrors that the soldiers had to endure. ...read more.

Middle

This sets the mood of the battle and prepares the audience for terror, another realistic aspect Spielberg has considered that war contains, the fear and anxiety violence brings. The dimmed colour enhances the overall experience of the event. The silence of the soldiers emphasises their fear and vulnerability. The appropriately named 'Instant Chaos' scene starts as the boats reach the shores. The boat doors slide open and many of the soldiers you had just become familiar with are immediately splattered with bullets, their blood flying everywhere and body parts start falling off. The noise of bullets erupts over the waves and is almost deafening, a further realistic aspect Spielberg has considered. The soldiers are quickly falling to the ground like rag dolls, unable to get out of the way or find protection. Screams are surrounding you as you watch each person die one by one, the first person perspective making you feel as if you are fighting the battle with them. Spielberg has used handheld cameras throughout this opening sequence to give the audience a more realistic experience. You feel every shake, hear every bullet and every scream, run every metre towards safety. The reason for the usage of these cameras was that he '... wanted to hit sets much like a newsreel cameraman following soldiers into war.' Many men struggle to escape from the boats unharmed and go overboard into the sea. The handheld cameras come into great effect here as well as the sound effects, the sound disappears much like real life and the pace slows right down making you feel as if you are struggling with them to escape to safety. Everything moves in what seems like slow-motion as the bullets ripple through the water, some hitting soldiers, their blood darkening the surrounding water. This increases fear amongst the already terrified audience due to the intense realism of the film. As you crawl out of the water towards the iron hedgehogs, the sound goes in and out of earshot as the camera bobs in and out of the water, the men struggling for energy. ...read more.

Conclusion

We see a close-up of Miller similar to that of Ryan in the graveyard, we become familiar with his emotions and how stressed he has become due to the war. His eyes are dark, he has lost his innocence and an establishing shot is revealed. It's a high angle long shot showing the effects the war had on the coast of France, the battlefield full of bodies and explosives. The sea is blood red, calm waves brushing past the soldiers' bodies, emphasising the price of peace. It's a shocking image that shows the true effects of war, it's destruction of the landscape and the utter loss of life. The music that was in the graveyard earlier in the sequence gently fades in, calming the audience down after such a torrid and exhausting battle. The solemnity of the images is deepened by the melancholy music. The camera tracks one soldier through the countless dead bodies, a man with a backpack on which 'RYAN.S' is written. This now establishes the link between the title of the film and the graveyard scene earlier on, enabling the audience to familiarise themselves with the plot. 'The last thing I wanted to do in this picture was use the war simply as a springboard for action-adventure. I was looking for realism all the time.' Spielberg stated; he undeniably did what he set out to do. His masterpiece's opening sequence is one of the greatest of all-time, capturing the audience's imagination and throwing them right into the action. It shocks, amazes and saddens you with great effect. Your heart pounds through every bullet fired and you feel as nervous as the soldiers. It eclipsed the war genre and has set the next benchmark standard for the genre. It brought so much realism into it, many war veterans thinking they were watching what they had experienced. The intensity of the action is overwhelming, setting it apart from every other film and providing a true insight into the horrors of war. ?? ?? ?? ?? By Tom Spellins - 10S - English essay - Ms. Clee - 1 - ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Audience and Production Analysis section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Audience and Production Analysis essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Analyse an advertisement and discuss the imagery it contains. Evaluate the success of the ...

    4 star(s)

    The target audience is everyone that is considered young. It can be aimed at both genders if you look at them in two different perspective views. It is clearly targeted at the female audience. This is due to the celebrity model and the shape and colour of the model.

  2. Film review of "The Mummy".The opening sequence made me feel terrified. I think after ...

    This was really mysteries and made me feel confused. I wanted to find out what will the pharaoh do to Imhotep? The special effect was when Anak Su Namun's shadow was on the wall when she was killing herself and it was bigger than the person.

  1. How does the director, Ridley Scott, make the audience aware that Maximus is the ...

    When the Romans are preparing for attack, the music starts to rapid and become louder. The sound of the shell arrows piercing through the sky is often heard. One of the longer-lasting tunes is when Maximus and his small group of soldiers barge in at the front-line, the music fades

  2. Baz Luhrmann. How does the director of Romeo and Juliet make the film ...

    These buildings symbolise wealth and power. They are equal in size and this refers to the statement in the prologue ''each household both alike in dignity''. It shows that both Capulets and Montagues are equal in power. The statue of Jesus represents peace and purity, which is a contrast from the violence and hatred between the families.

  1. Why in your opinion has Star Wars: A New Hope become such an iconic ...

    A big change in representation was with women. Until Star Wars: A New Hope women had been typically portrayed as weak and vulnerable. A male also often rescued them. Star Wars: A New Hope changes some of these conventions, but some are the same.

  2. What makes the beginning of the film The Others an effective beginning of a ...

    The building looks rather imposing and unmovable, which introduces the fact that people are very small and vulnerable in comparison to it. Camera angles throughout the film vary greatly, depending on the scene. The opening sequence contains the vast majority of these angles which are used during the film, which

  1. How does the director of Mission Impossible 2 build intrigue and establish genre in ...

    This shows the audience that the syringe is important and dangerous. We know that Woo was trying to create this effect because the syringe was shaped like a gun, which is a dangerous, and contained a red blood-like liquid which is associated with danger because blood leeks from people when they have been shot or injured.

  2. How well does the film "GLORY" portray black people during the American Civil ...

    Also the use of a number of close up camera angles shows the fear on the Black men?s faces, this adds to the weakness that is portrayed in this scene. Yet again to show more weaknesses all of the Black men are too afraid to stand up to the white officer when he is being aggressive and rude towards them!

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work