Sample oral presentation for Children of Men

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A power point or keynote is a great way to prepare for an IB Oral Presentation. Here's an analysis of the use of film language in an extract from Children of Men.

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Sample oral presentation for Children of Men

  1. 1. Starting shot: Children of Men Ending shot:
  2. 2. Why choose this scene? This scene, from the scifi Children of Men, was chosen because it was filmed entirely in one shot with no cuts. Despite the complexity of having to film this action filled scene in one shot, director, Alfonso Cuaron, manages to make the audience feel a widespread of emotions within a short amount of time. At first a sense of nostalgia, and sympathy for the characters is created, then, as soon as the attack starts, Cuaron uses many cinematic devices to create suspense and tension for the audience.
  3. 3. Establishing Shot This extreme wide shot serves as an establishing shot and demonstrates how the characters have left the city. There is a contrast from this setting, to the one the characters were in beforehand. There are no more dark tall buildings with fences and barbed-wire around. Now the character are driving along a country road. This setting is calm and peaceful which will later be juxtaposed by the violent actions of the attack and car chase.
  4. 4. Mis-en-Scene & Symbolism The mis-en-scene of the orange of this scene symbolises the theme of fertility that runs throughout the entire film. The character of Miriam (Pam Ferris) peels the orange and hands a piece to Kee (Calire-Hope Ashitey) who is the only woman in the world who is pregnant. However, at this point in the film, it is unknown that she is pregnant and Theo (Clive Owen), does not yet know why he has to protect her. Therefore the mis-en-scene of the orange foreshadows the fact that Kee is pregnant because fruit is a symbol for fertility.
  5. 5. Contrast through Sound Throughout the scene, Children of Men director, Alfonso Cuaron, creates a contrast between the emotions created at the beginning of the scene with the ones created at the end. At first sympathy and a sense of nostalgia is created for the audience through the use of SOUND DESIGN. As the car is driving along the road, the diagetic sound of the radio saying “The afternoon is looking good here on radio Avalon, and now one for all the nostalgics out there: a blast from the past, all the way back from 2003; that beautiful time where people refused to accept the future was just around the corner”. The dialogue of the radio host about nostalgia is paralleled with the conversation that Theo (Clive Owen) and Julian (Julianne Moore) have about their relationship in the past when they used to be activists. They then play a game with a ping pong ball that they also used to play back when they were together. This makes the audience feel sympathy for both Theo and Julian, and the laughing of the other characters in the background also creates a fun and humorous tone. Furthermore the slow pacing of the diegetic sound coming from the radio adds to the relaxed and happy tone.
  6. 6. Camera Angles & Camera Movement The calm and and peaceful tone of the beginning of the scene is further emphasised through the camera angles and camera movement. In this shot, the camera is angled so that all the characters are in one shot. By placing the camera in this angle, the audience understands how the group of characters are getting united and getting along better. Furthermore, the camera has very little movement, and is very still considering it is filmed in a car. This steadiness of the camera is later contrasted when they are under attack later on in the scene.
  7. 7. Camera Angles All of a sudden, there is a tonal shift when the scene goes from calm and cheerful to panicked and tense. Alfonso Cuaron makes the audience feel suspense as soon as this tonal shift occurs. Cuaron does so by placing the camera facing Miriam as she stops laughing, and points towards the front of the window looking shocked. This creates suspense for the audience because, since the camera stays on Miriam, the audience does not know what she is pointing. Therefore the audience no longer feels cheerful with the rest of the characters but realises that danger is coming ahead. This tonal shift emphasises the severity of the situation of Theo having to protect Kee.
  8. 8. Sound Design There is a contrast in sound compared to the first part of this scene. Although the same diagetic sound is coming from the radio, it starts picking up pace as soon as the car on fire blocks the road. Furthermore, the car starts making a loud, repetitive beeping sound which combined with the fast pacing of the music from the radio makes the audience feel extremely tense. The calmness of the beginning of the scene quickly disappears as there is no more laughter from the characters in the car. Instead, all the audience can hear now, is the sound of the flames from the car on fire, the character’s screams and the screams of the mobs trying to attack the car.
  9. 9. Sound Design After Julian gets shot, the camera pans over to the glass as it shatters on the dashboard. The audience can hear the glass cracking because sound designer, Richard Beggs, chose to make the volume of the sound breaking louder than it would be in real life. This sound of the glass shattering, adds more chaos to the scene and makes the audience feel even more tense.
  10. 10. Camera Angles and Movement The camera movement increases as the tension increases. Cinematographer, Emmanuel Lubezki, uses chooses to increase the camera movement when they are under attack. This makes the audience feel disorientated and parallels the way the characters in the cars feel. Furthermore, Lubezki no longer shoots all five characters together in one angle, but focuses on what is going on outside the car and how it is affecting the characters as individuals. This demonstrates how the characters are no longer as united as they were in the first part of this scene.
  11. 11. Colour Although the lighting has to stay consistent in this scene, Cuaron uses the colour to make the audience feel more tensed and shocked. In the wide shot of the car rolling down the hill on fire, and in the medium shot of Julian dying and bleeding as Theo tries to help, the colour red is dominant compared to the greenery from the beginning of the scene. The colour of Julian’s blood, the fire and the warning signs of the car emphasise the danger occurring in this scene and makes the audience feel on edge.
  12. 12. Characterisation In this scene, Julian is characterised as selfless as she shouts “Cover Kee!” when she sees that the people on the motorcycle have a gun. The audience immediately has sympathy for Julian because she sacrifices herself to warn Kee that they have a fun.
  13. 13. Framing The framing in this shot foreshadows the events that will occur in just a few seconds time. The door frame separates the two policemen and Luke (Chiwetel Ejiofor). This framing demonstrates the conflict between the policemen and the characters in the car and foreshadow the event of Luke killing both of them.
  14. 14. Non-Diagetic Sound As soon as Julian gets shot, all diegetic sound disappears for a few seconds, and all the audience can here is a ringing tone. This lack of diegetic sound makes the audience focus on the violence of the scene of Julian being shot. Furthermore, this ringing tone is a motif that runs throughout Children of Men and symbolises the death of a character. This ringing tone also occurs when Jasper (Michael Cane) dies.
  15. 15. The Car In order to shoot this continuous scene, the crew working on Children of Men built a car was modified to enable seats to tilt and to lower actors out of the way of the camera, and the windshield was also designed to tilt out of the way of the camera as moved around the and slightly outside the car. Furthermore a crew of four had to sit on the roof of the car as it drove along the country road.

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