Saving Private Ryan

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Laura Patterson                    Media coursework final                    

  • How does Steven Spielberg arouse the interest of the audience of the opening sequences of Saving Private Ryan?
  • How effective do you think this opening is to the film about war?

 In June 1944 American troops were sent to take land from the Nazis to liberate Europe and allow other allies to move in. The fighting was on many Normandy beaches but the worst struck was Omaha beach ’Saving Private Ryan is a film in which explores the events and memories surrounding the D-day landings. Steven Spielberg the director of this film uses many techniques and effects in order to arouse the interest of the audience, convey his own interpretation of the D-day landings and to create a sense of realism to the film.

  The film begins with music; Spielberg immediately shows the audience the genre of the film by using military music. The first shot used is a centre frame focused on an American flag. The stars and stripes on the flag show that it is a patriotic film. The fact that the colours of the flag are faded, suggest that this story is based on the past.

  The next shot is of shuffling feet, this shows that the character is old and rather weak. But as the shot rises to show the old man walking we notice that he comes across as determined.

  As the camera swings round there is a shot of a family group that seem to be supporting the man which is shown as the main character.

  When walking there is a gap between the main character and his family; which shows the audience that it is the old man that is determined to get to where he has set off for.

  A close up of the woman suggests that she is his wife or someone of importance to the main character.

  We know from the characters clothing that this scene is set in the present.

  A shot of the sea in the background illustrates that the setting, being the coast, may have some relevance to the rest of the film.

  The next shot is of the main character in the centre frame. He has stopped walking to show the audience he has got to what he was looking for.

  The close up of the American flag then the French flag suggests that both countries are of importance in this film.

  We immediately know how the old man is feeling by the expressions on his face. His eyes are watering and he repeatedly gulps which shows he is discontented and emotional. The music Spielberg uses differs to the start of the film as it now relates to his emotions by being soft and melodic music which is also orchestral.

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  As he begins to walk the graves block the view of the camera which makes the audience notice the extent amount of graves. We also notice that the old man is looking for a certain grave which illustrates how he may have lost someone close.

The veteran in the background shows the audience that it is a military graveyard.

  The camera follows him as he looks for a certain grave. We know instantly when he has found this grave as he stops and begins to cry. Spielberg shows the audience how the man that the grave belongs ...

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