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

The opening credit sequence of 'The Sopranos'.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

The final step in the opening credit sequence is the title screen detailing 'The Sopranos'. The viewer is presented with a black scene in the centre of which is the white block letter spelling out 'The Sopranos'. This title screen itself may semiotically provide much information regarding the themes of the television programme once its layers of meaning are extricated and analysed. Treating firstly the importance of the simple colours of this screen- black and white- the themes of the show are visible. The traditional semiotic meaning that is assigned to these two colours aid in the production of these themes. White is mostly explicitly recognised as the colour of the good, the virginal/pure in contrast to the assigning of the colour black to the evil, the mysterious, danger, death and malice. The assigning of meaning to these two colours can be traced back in anthropological terms to the Western worlds view of white people as being good whilst the 'black' people from the continent of Africa were inherently evil and not to be trusted. This dichotomy was later applied to the notion of the 'goodies' versus the 'baddies' and can be seen in the title of graphics detailing a main theme of the show- the good guys or the police, reflected in the white, battling against the bad guys or Tony Soprano and his mafia family, reflected in the black. These colours can also represent the struggle in Tony's world between right and wrong and his struggle with his morality and religious faith. ...read more.

Middle

It also suggests that he is an actor in his own future, that he directs his life and controls his destiny. This is again emphasised by the continuous close-up shots of Tony's hands and arms. The affluence of Tony's life and his materialism that is shown in the show is reflected in the opening sequences. There is a continual emphasis on Tony's gold jewellery connoting opulence, richness and his carelessness with money. The cigar that Tony smokes is also a symbol with several layers of signification for this opulence but also on another layer of meaning it may be seen as phallic, reflecting Tony's masculinity and raw s****l energy. The theme of money is again reinforced with the shot of the bank reflecting possibly Tony's implicit need for financial security for himself and his family. The religious aspect of Tony's personality is also detailed. The shot of the cathedral/church illustrates Tony's Catholicism but the shot is somewhat obscured by branches of trees. This may signify the crisis of faith that both Tony implicitly and his wife Carmela explicitly have in the show. Tony is religious, he has faith but this faith is obscured by the sins that he has committed and the illegal dealings that he is involved in. the image is almost a black and white image reflecting the clear cut base belief in God that Tony and the Soprano family hold. A red canopy on the front of the church is important as its semiotic analysis reveals that the colour red connotes a raw energy, vigour and spirituality. ...read more.

Conclusion

Music works primarily on the level that it can rely on the spoken word as it is sung to create meaning instead of the visual image. Non-verbal communication is also employed in music to create meaning with the use of certain instruments to evoke emotions and atmosphere. According to Self (1988:116) "title sequences ...together with title music, are instrumental in communicating the mood and themes of the coming production." The show uses the same song at the beginning of each episode. The song is 'Goy yourself a Gun' and its lyrics play on the notion of the 'mob' and the 'gun' which are both themes in a way in the programme. The song plays slowly and quietly at the start of the sequence as Tony leaves the city and gains in speed and audibility, as he gets closer to home. This illustrates that he feels strongly about where he lives and about his family. According to the song, if one is to relate it to Tony, he was 'born under a bad sign with a blue moon in your (his) eyes' (lines 7-8). This provides a hint to Tony's character, that he is immoral and does not follow the rules. Having 'blue moon' in one's eyes is indicative of Tony's upward gazing idea, that one must better themselves regardless of how they do this even if the rules must be broken. The repetition of this song at the beginning of each episode helps to continually create the overall atmosphere of the show as being one of immorality and violence connoted by the 'gun' in the song. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Alice Walker 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 AS and A Level Alice Walker essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Walker's presentation of Sofia and Harpo.

    4 star(s)

    Walker then introduces the idea of Harpo whistling, but his whistle is "nothing compared to the way he usually whistle." This suggests that Harpo has lost confidence in himself. The alliteration on 'way' and 'whistle' reflects the flowing of the tune, the consonance on the 'y' in 'way' and 'usually'

  2. What are the main themes of Pleasantville and how does the director convey them ...

    Linking to characterisation, the characters of Pleasantville also help to illustrate liberation, as a form of change. This is particularly apparent, for example, in the actions of Bob, the Chamber of Commerce. He apposes the changes and the newly coloured people.

  1. Many would argue that men hold the power in "The Colour Purple". Explore the ...

    It can also be said that God's love for this colour made black people in this complexion as in one of Nettie's first letters to Celie when she arrives in Africa she talks about the Senegalese peoples skin, "So and so is blacker than black, he's blueblack".

  2. Examine the author's presentation of men, women and gender roles in 'The Color Purple' ...

    case is a woman, which is similar to the actions of his father, who follows all of Shug Avery's commands. This militant imagery of Sofia and the juxtaposing of Harpo's actions add a sense of comedy to the chapter. Both authors, have reversed the roles of the traditional wife to

  1. Alice Walker's novel "The Third Life of Grange Copeland" - review

    money with an authority that squelched all pity." (XI: Pg41). Becoming a prostitute was an attempt to humiliate her father who rejected her when she broke the behavioural code by becoming an unmarried mother. Josie attempts to extract her revenge upon him by prostituting herself to his friends.

  2. Alice Walker Uses Symbolism to Address Three Issues: Racism, Feminism and the Search for ...

    Hakim's character is shallow and without essence, thus relegating the male to a third class position in the family. This is likely a reflection of Walker's disdain for the superficial actions of black men during the Black Power movement in the 1960's.

  1. How have the texts you have studied this year effectively shaped your understanding of ...

    and vandalism (Bill's caf�). In the beginning we are led to believe that s*x is responsible for the change but Skip only changed at the end so the absence of colour shows and makes you understand that it's not only the s*x, rock'n roll, love etc that's making the town

  2. This report is based on comparing six different documents.

    pages available on these pages there is a brief description of all the facilities to find out more bout the facilities it is better to go down to the collage and see them because the description in the prospectus is to brief.

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