Essay – English Media Coursework
The Sixth Sense – Through close analysis of two scenes from ‘The Sixth Sense’, discuss how the director makes the audience believe that Dr Crowe is alive.
The film that I have chosen to analyse is ‘The Sixth Sense’. I will analyse two important scenes: scenes 5 and 6. M. Night Shyamalyn directed the film. The film was released in 1999. The movie is about Dr Malcolm Crowe (Willis) who is a distinguished child psychologist haunted by the painful memory of a disturbed young patient he was unable to help. So when he meets Cole Sear (Haley Joel Osment) a frightened, confused eight-year-old with a similar condition. Dr Crowe seeks to redeem himself by doing everything he can. Nevertheless, Malcolm is unprepared to learn the truth of what haunts Cole: terrifying, unwanted visits from dead people.
The scenes that I will be looking at are scenes 5 and 6. I will look at the different types of techniques that are used to portray the fact that Dr Crowe is dead but the director uses different camera angles and shots to make the audience believe he is alive.
In scene 5 the main use of shot is a long shot. The director uses this type of shot to lead the audience to believe that Dr Crowe is a part of the conversations going on between Cole and his mother. When the scene first starts Dr Crowe and Cole’s mother are sitting in a position in the lounge facing each other at an angle, which is towards the door. You only see this for half a second as Cole walks through the door, which then changes Dr Crowe and Cole’s mothers’ position to make it seem as if they have been having a conversation. The way in which they rotate in the chairs that they are sitting in misleads the audience into thinking that they have been in discussion.
Cole’s mother gets up and greets Cole, they have a brief conversation on the day they’ve had, but while in the conversation the camera views cut to Dr Crowe, showing a medium shot. In the medium shot of Dr Crowe you can see his facial expressions and body language. The way in which he is portraying it is showing the audience that he is listening to the conversation, as if he is a part of the conversation going on between Cole and his mother. The medium shot is also used when Cole and his mother are conversing. The way in which they position themselves is in a way which ‘invites’ Dr Crowe to listen in on what they are saying and gather more information, which again miss-leads the audience but Cole’s mother and Cole don’t do this on purpose, the director has manipulated the characters positions to make the audience think that Dr Crowe is alive.