Wednesday, 2 November 2011
The silence of the lambs
This opening sequence starts with a graphical introduction of the company who has worked on & released this movie 'Silence Of The Lambs'. It shows the audience right away that it's a 'Orion Pictures Release'.
The following shot is of a dark dead tree, in the middle of what looks like some sort of wasteland/forest. The shot is very dark and gloomy, this can give the impression that something bad has occurred; as the tree can represent death due to it having no leaves on its branches. This instantly grabs the viewers attention as they may feel fear and alarmed due to the darkness of the shot. The representation of evil also tells the audience that this film is a thriller.
Non diegetic sound track is being played through the introduction and through out some of the first few minutes of the opening sequence, the soundtrack is based on low keys and matches the atmosphere of the forest as it's very creepy; it gives effect to the audience and allows their emotions to interact with the opening sequence.
Text appears on the screen of the creators of the movie 'A strong heart / demme production'. The text size is a average size & appears on the middle of the screen. It appears with a black font with a with outline, the colours clash good together. The black represents the darkness within the shots while the white outline makes the text stand out and clear to see/read.
The shot then loses slight focus and slowly pans down to the bottom of the forest from a high angle. As this happens a character emerges from the bottom of the dark shady forest. The female character is climbing up a hill and seems to be holding onto a rope pushing her self to the top. She gets closer and closer to the camera with every strive forward she takes, this makes the high angle have less of an effect as she gets closer to the camera; this shows the audience that this female actor is gaining power with every strive.
As she reaches the top of the hill she walks into a medium shot, this allowed the audience to see her facial expressions as she reaches the top. The female actor is wearing a light blue top and black trousers, she's panting heavily as if she's struggling to catch her breath. Her hair is tied back and she seems very sweaty; though this is expected after seeing how much effort she put in to climb up the hill using the rope. Her clothing looks very dirty and worn out; this instantly tells the audience that she has been out in this forest for a while, and adds an enigma code by making the audience question 'how long has this female actor been in this forest?' & ' Is she lost or is she running away from something in this dark forest?'
During the chase of this lost, vulnerable female actor impressions suddenly change as she approaches a climbing frame. This gives the impression that she's maybe in a sort of assault course. A panning shot takes place of this female forcefully climbing this climbing frame with very slight struggle. This instantly makes the audience realize she is more powerful then we thought. It also gives the impression that she may have received some form of training due to the way she forcefully pushes her body to climb the climbing frame, finishing with a summersault. It's unusual for film directors to give females this form of power due to the stereotypical thoughts of females being weak. By giving the female actor power it adds uniqueness to the movie and makes it differ from others.
The camera then tracks the female running through the forest until she disappears into the fog within the forest. A straight cut then occurs and mainly focuses on her upper body and her feet as she runs through the forest. This builds of tension as it shows the tension within the situation of the female running through this dark misty forest, as the audience can see her facial expressions clearly and how tense it is to be in the situation she is currently in.
A male actor then comes into the shot running towards the female actor. He is wearing a cap with the letters 'FBI' this instantly tells the audience that this male has a form of authority and power. As soon as he is next to the female actor she goes down to hold her knees to catch a breath; this shows audience that she is in a weaker position as she it looking up at the male actor, giving him the upper hand in power. He is looking down at the female actor stated as 'Sherly', this represents that he has more power then Sherly, maybe due to sterio typical behavior of males being more powerful then females.
Sherly then carries on with her run as she goes towards a building. A long shot from a high angle is taking as it pans her running towards the entrance. Many extras are shown training very hard within the mise-en-scene, this also gives the impression that she is in some form of FBI training camp.
Further down the scene it shows Sherly entering a escalator full of big male extras wearing red. She's physically the smallest out of them all though she stands right in the middle, she isn't intimidated by the men at all. This once again makes the audience feel Sherly is even more powerful by not being fazed by the big male individuals.
In conclusion, the opening sequence begins by building up tension with each frame to show danger, this is done through the shots and angles used. Unsettling situations are set for the characters within this sequence though it may portray the characters current emotions. The audience should start to get a better understanding of the events within the sequence as the film gets deeper. Stereotypical behavior is not used as the directors gave Sherly a lot more power then the everyday female role in a movie. This non-bias behavior gives the female audience a film to enjoy as Sherly can be looked at as a role model due to the power given to her characters role.