How does the director create the horror of the missing scene in Sheriff’s’ play “Journeys End?”
‘Journeys End’ by R.C Sherriff was written in 1928, 10 years after the war was over. Therefore the writer is reflecting on what happened in the war, and the feelings and emotions he expresses might be different to the emotions felt at the time. At some points in the play certain characters express anger at what is happening. For example at one point the character Trotter exclaims, “It’s sheer murder!” This is the writer’s way of expressing the way he feels when he is reflecting upon things that happened.
The book is in a way a testament to the dead, a dedication to the memory of unsung heroes.
The ‘missing scene’ from the film was not included in the original play. This is due to the physical restrictions and limitations when acting on the stage. It would have been utterly impossible at the time to stage an action scene like this.
Because the missing scene is an action scene the audience will have certain expectations of what the scene will be like. They would expect it to be quite short and fast-paced with little dialogue. They would also expect there to be lots of action and special effects to be used.
At the beginning of the scene the camera uses lots of close-up shots to show the expressions on peoples’ faces. It does this to show the fear and anxiety of the soldiers before the raid. This is the only point in the film where much attention is given to the privates. Even so the camera only points at each one for about a second- just long enough to capture the emotion on each one’s face.
In No-Mans Land, the camera is always changing position. Sometimes it follows behind the troop; sometimes it leads in front. Both high level and low level shots are used. A high level shot is used when they cross into the German trench, this is to show they are powerful at this point. A low level shot is used when they are crouching behind a tank; this is to show that they are weak and vulnerable. I think that the reason for the variety in camera shots and angles is to add interest to the scene, as it would be very boring visually if the camera stayed in one place. It also emphasises the fact that it is an action scene. The editing patterns used in this scene are different to the rest of the film. The director uses mostly fast editing for this scene, which emphasises the fact that it is an action scene because events take place faster than they normally would. However at some points slower editing is used. For instance there is one shot when a German soldier is captured, the camera focuses on his face for a short time, this enables viewers to see his fear and anxiety. Therefore slow editing is used to show emotions.