Director: Doug Liman Born 24 July 1965 in New York City. Graduated from Brown University in 1988. Graduated from USC School of Cinema-Television (1992). As of 2001, Doug Liman is the Vice Chairman of HYPNOTIC, an entertainment production company.Liman’s Trademarks: Use of Steadicam shots. Use of humour in unusual settings. Use of characters doubling as spies or agents.
Film: „The Bourne Identity‟Released on 6th September 2002.Stars:Franka Potente, Matt Damon andChris Cooper.Box Office:Budget:$60,000,000 (estimated)Opening Weekend:$27,118,640 (USA)Gross:$121,468,960 (USA)Production Companies:Universal PicturesKennedy/Marshall CompanyHypnoticKalima Productions GmbH & Co. KGStillking Films
The water is dark and gloomy with shadows adding mystery to theshot. Flashes of lightning reveal a corpse floating in the water. Wepresume it is dead as it isnt swimming. It look as if we are looking atthe corpse from inside the water as if we are a fish (shark) increasingtension as there may be upcoming danger.
The is the establishing shot showing a boat at sea so theaudience can instantly know the setting of the film.The lighting is dark and the audience can just about see therain- the sound of the waves crashing, the rain pouring andlightning striking assures the audience that there is a storm.
This scene adds tension as it looks as if the people in the room arebeing spied on or watched by someone outside of the group. All theaudience can hear are non-diegetic sounds and the sound of cardsbeing placed on the table the silence is eerie and unnerving creatingmore tension and fear to the scene.
A title appears with a flash of lightning stating the whereabouts of the boat(Mediterranean sea) this shot is cold and scary as it is very dark with the sea-thelightning emphasizes the shadows created by the waves making the sea lookmysterious, making the audience think ‘what lurks beneath the waters?’The contrast between the dark sea and the men in the boat is unsettling. We cantell that it is safe inside the boat as the men are happy with no expression of fearas they drink alcohol and smoke while playing cars. There expressions make theaudience think they are having a good time as a man wins at cards- the clearlyaren’t worried by the storm outside. As they are having fun this makes the audience think nothing bad so far hashappened and as they are in ease and laughing ,the audience is in suspense as wehave already seen the floating body in the sea however they haven’t so we areahead of them.
The man stumbled many times whilst walking up the ship proving that the storm isrough. He is wearing a yellow raincoat which contrasts the seriousness of the scene-with a corpse floating in the water and a storm brewing- this is almost comical andadds tension to the scene as his raincoat doesn’t fit in with the setting. Also aslightning flashes it reveals half his face making him look ghost like, mysterious andscary as we can only see his features when the lightning flashes this addsunsettlement to the scene.
The floating corpse seems dead adding fear and suspense to thescene as we whether he is dead or not, and if he is dead, why heis dead- maybe everyone is in danger as there is something in thewater. This makes the audience gripping to find out more.
The blood on the man makes the audience associate with painand therefore fear of what caused the pain. The man says thecorpse is dead so when his hand suddenly moves the audienceis startled as it was unsuspected and surprising. A man says ‘evivo’ in Italian meaning it’s alive leaving the audience shockedand in suspense to find out what happens to the protagonistcharacter when and if he wakes up.
The cut-in-shot of the blade creates tension as we don’t know what isbeing cut apart from a foam like material. Could it be to hurt or savesomeone? Blades are usually associated with pain so this makes theaudience uses the blade as a parallel to oncoming danger.
We see bullet shots in Matt Damon’s back adding horror and a sense ofdanger to the scene. The shots make the audience wonder why someonewants him dead- it was a shot from behind so to disallow him from seeingwho it fired the shot therefore it must have been from an enemy. This shotalso makes the man seem ‘super hero’ like as he is still alive after being shottwice.The shot of the scissors adds fear for the main character to the scene as wedon’t know what the other man is going to do with them. It also makes theman using the scissors seam professional.
The shot confirms that the man is possibly trained in surgery and knows whathe is doing as he uses medical equipment to carefully remove bullets with asteady hand suggesting he has had experience in doing similar work before. Weknow that Matt Damon is in safe hands as the man helps him by taking outbullets.The blood attached to the bit of metal in his back makes the audience feelfearful and queasy which adds horror to the scene.The audience is left in suspense when it is revealed that it was a tracker in hisback- is he a spy? If he is being tracked he must be wanted by someone as witha tracker he can’t escape. Also the light is in red, this could be a connotation fordanger that is to come
This close up of Matt Damon strangling the man shows theother mans fear and Damons violence this scene addstension and suspense to the film as we know the man isinnocent and good but Damon doesn’t.
.The film opens with a low angle shot of what appears to be a body floating at sea. . The establishing shot of the ocean has a flash of lighting, indicating the film is a thriller. . A close up shot of the fishermans face, looking out to sea, and then a POV shot of the fisherman noticing Bourne‟s body, shows us that Bourne is a central character in the film.
. A medium shot of Bourne being pulled out of the water and then a close up of the doctor, who is clutching a first aid kit. The hand held, shaky camera adds realism, as if we were on the boat. The audience is drawn into the film. . A panning shot of Bourne and the close up of the cutting of his wetsuit indicate that Bourne is a mysterious character. . The close up of the bullet removed from Bourne‟s back identifies that he has been attacked and is possibly still in danger . .The 180 degree, shot-reverse shot of the conversation between Bourne and the doctor adds fluency and realism to the scene.
. The close up of Bourne as he faints show that the protagonist is human, hence he is flawed.
The film‟s production company was UNIVERSAL and is introduced at the beginning of the film. The setting for the opening of the film is shown via the use of sub-titles. Jump cuts from the face of the fisherman to Bourne‟s body in the sea increase tension in the film.
The film‟s title, „The Bourne Identity‟ fades in and off screen, with light blue lettering on a black background. The scene cuts from the warm interior of the boat to the stormy sea outside in order to highlight the danger the protagonist is in.
As Bourne and the doctor argue, shot-reverse shots add realism to the scene and, their fast pace, highlight Bourne‟s frantic confusion.
. The title of the film, „The Bourne Identity‟ is coloured blue against a blackbackground, suggesting that the tone of this film may bedark. Also the letters of the title form in a complex manner,implying that the narrative of the film may be complex.. There is a crime at the core of this narrative, the protagonist has been shot in theback. . The narrative begins to establish enigmas, why has the protagonist been shot? Why is there a tracking device within his body? Why has he lost his memory? The audience expects each of these enigmas to be resolved as the film continues.
. The protagonist is disempowered by the person who has shot him; he is leftwith no memory of who he is or what has happened to him and is weak on his feet.. Extraordinary events take place in ordinary situations; a group of fishermen finda body in the sea, the protagonist has been shot and is found to have a trackingdevice concealed within his body. . There are themes of voyeurism. We, the audience, gain a glimpse into the life of the protagonist. We learn that he is being tracked, the connotation of which is that he is working for an intelligence service, a notion reinforced by the subtitle in the next scene, Central Intelligence Agency Langley, Virginia
. We are shown a „flaw‟ of the protagonist, he has been shot and left for dead in thesea. He has lost his memory, replying, when asked what his name is, “I don‟tknow”. He is extremely weak on his feet and requires the help of the doctor on theboat.
Thriller conventions and four technical aspects: mise-en-scene, cameraangles and shots, editing and sound are used to create an effective openingto „The Bourne Identity‟. The crime that has taken place sets a dark tone within the scene. The toneis emphasised by the dark, harsh lighting of the scene. The setting of thescene is secluded and surrounded by a vicious storm, highlighting theterrible situation the protagonist is in. Throughout the scene the protagonist is seen to be vulnerable, highlightedby low angle shots and his dialogue, presenting to us a „flaw‟ of his. Theaudience is drawn in by this and the enigmas that surround the protagonist. An extraordinary event has taken place in an ordinary situation and theaudience become intrigued. The interior of the boat, warm and well lit, iscontrasted brutally with the sea in which the protagonist lies, cold andstormy, as the scene cuts continuously from each setting. The unusualnessof the event is emphasised. The audience also become drawn into the film through themes ofvoyeurism; we are briefly shown glimpses of the protagonist‟s life as itbecomes clear that he is being tracked and that someone has attacked him.