Saturday, 9 January 2016

Shutter Island Opening Sequence

The opening begins with a non-diegetic eerie theme tune that is a synchronous sound, it goes along with the dark and creepy shots that are shown helping to immerse the audience instantly, and it also creates a sense of mystery that entices the viewer. Suspense is created by the constantly rising then decreasing volume generating a sense of impending doom that can make the viewer feel frightened.

The use of establishing shots gives the audience a sense of context, because the shots consist of a shady place that looks like a prison it also makes the viewer question the reason for the shots shown keeping them interested in the film, I think that the last establishing shot at 0:51 also creates a sense of no escape. Close up are used on certain areas, in particular at 0:13. Here a hand is shown lifting a tile off the floor. The audience is given a detailed close up of the hand but it raises questions such as “who is this person?” and “Why are they lifting the tile?” it makes the audience think as to why they are only getting close ups and not the full picture, provoking their curiosity.

The opening credits is paced slowly. Each shot changes using a dissolve transition to black, this represents a sense of darkness to the overall film as black is often portrayed as an evil colour, the dissolve transitions create a fluid motion through each shot that makes the sequence feel continuous, this helps to engross the viewer by making them anticipate the next shot.

Mise en Scene
 The colour and lighting is mostly black and white with hints of red shown by the text at the start of the opening (From 0:00 to 0:13), the contrast of the black and white is used to represent a battle between a lawful force and an evil one. The red text may be used to signify blood and can foreshadow murder, a recurring theme in thrillers, by foreshadowing potential death, the audience is kept interested to find out what happens next. Not many props are used in the opening scene but the most noticeable are the gun under the shoe at 0:31 and the lighting of the match at 0:48, I think that the gun may signify that this film is not a physical battle but a mental one, this can be more intriguing to certain audience members as it is a battle of wits that makes the viewer think more often and even question the viewers on morals on decisions made throughout the film. The lighting of the match may be used to again show the battle between the light and darkness that could be a significant theme throughout the film, the lighting of the match may also puzzle the audience and encourages them to watch on to find out any further significance of the match. There is little body language shown in this scene, the most notable is a close up shot of a tile being lifted up by a hand at 0:13, here the hand movement is steady to show that the character knows what they are doing and has a clear goal, this makes the viewer want to find out what their motive is.

the notes in the video are not my own.

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