Using the radial analysis research of other film shots, this should help us get a better understanding of opening sequences, and all their conventions. The following slides are three separate radials of the films, The ‘Full Monty’, ‘Kill Bill Vol 1’, ‘East is East’ and ‘Layer Cake’. The final slide summarises all the sequences.
Slide specification Itteshad H – 2, 6, 10, 14 Sam B – 3, 7, 11, 15 Taylor P – 4,8, 12, 16 Written summaries – 5, 9, 13, 17 Summary table - 18
The Full Monty (1997, Peter Cattaneo) Medium long shot – shows all the surroundings, but is still able to show some facial expressions. Casual clothing – The clothing is casual, but definitely not from the last couple of decades. The attire seems to be features of 1970’s wear. Red velvet rope – may connote danger and risk taking in this situation. Hand/ hip manoeuvres – sexual movement of a humorous kind. The lighting is composed by lights of the room, and maybe some notan (courtesy of windows). This may be to give the scene a very realistic feel, which links into verisimilitude. Preferred Meaning – The men are sexually attractive and ready to get into action, shown from hand/hip manoeuvres. Oppositional Reading – They are not attractive, and definitely not capable of arousing women as strippers. They are middle-aged, not muscular men. Aberrant Reading – Waiting for a film premiere
The Full Monty (1997, Peter Cattaneo) This is a high angle Shot to show the vast open area of a seemingly abandoned warehouse to show that it was hard to find a job in the 1970’s Long Establishing Shot to show the audience to where the characters are Two shot signifying companionship and family The mise en scene of the windows allowing the audience to see what time of day it is Shadows here shows that filler lights were used I think the preferred meaning of this shot is that there is an empty warehouse which is full of dangers and that they shouldn’t be in there. An oppositional reading is that the warehouse has nothing dangerous in and its perfectly safe. An aberrant meaning of this shot is that they are checking out party locations for Gaz’ son.
The Full Monty (1997, Peter Cattaneo) In this shot we can see the director has used depth of field because of the way they are slightly diagonal with the child in the background. The director has used rules of 3 to position the actors so that they are evenly split across the screen. Filler lighting was used through the windows to illuminate the stripper. The sound in this scene is that of fast paced action music which coordinates with the strippers dance moves. I think the preferred meaning from this shot is that the strippers are bad but can still pull off a good show with lots of practice, and to show that anything can be done if you put your mind to it. I think that an Aberrant meaning might be, “wannabe Michael Jackson school”.
The Full Monty – Written Summary The mise-en-scene consists of vehicles, a pond, and casual clothing. All of these are to give the sequence a verisimilitude effect. However, the male strippers posters give a rare effect of sexual desire, which contrasts with the other aspects. There is an establishing two shot to show the two men on top of a car, during a flood. This illustrates the danger they are in, but is shown in a comical manner, to compliment the genre of the movie. There is a tracking shot, consisting of the rule of thirds. The camera mainly focuses on Gaz throughout this, illustrating him as the central protagonist. The opening commentary (non-diegetic) to Sheffield is to introduce the setting, but is said in a comical way to give a sense of a satire. There is diegetic sound of police sirens to show that Sheffield is a criminal town, which helps give a sense that illegal business is a continuous occurrence. The editing is straight cut throughout, since the point is to make the sequence in sync with the storyline, which is satirical and fast paced.
Kill Bill: Vol.1 (2003, Quentin Tarantino) Focus pull – camera focuses on “bride” and her motorbike, and takes attention away from surroundings Lots of cars going away from and towards the protagonist. Medium Long shot – shows entire surrounding, and yet details of bike can be seen. The point was to give a visual experience of Tokyo. Lots of lighting to show the city is busy all night Large buildings give sense of the mammoth scale of the city. The yellow is her signature throughout this movie, so the bike is also in this colour. It may connote the rising of something. This would make sense, since she has risen from the brink of death in search of revenge. Preferred Meaning – Protagonist is strong and ready for action Oppositional Reading – She is not powerful, because she is wearing the conventional colour of vomit. Aberrant Reading – Modelling yellow outfit
Kill Bill: Vol.1 (2003, Quentin Tarantino) Rule of thirds, woman in blue, TV and the blonde woman Empty space, first filled up by the taxi, this pulls away, to leave the space for the daughters school bus The mise en scene here shows verisimilitude as it is a typical house with the TV and DVDs for props. Mise en scene is shown through the school bus, as this is extremely important as the daughter who gets off stops the fighting Diegetic sound as the school bus pulls up The preferred meaning of this shot is that these two women dislike each other. An oppositional reading of this shot is that they could be play fighting. An aberrant meaning of this shot is that the they are a advert for the virtual playstation 4.
Kill Bill: Vol.1 (2003, Quentin Tarantino) In the opening sequence of this film we can see the director has used depth of field to create a feeling of close relationships. This is a medium-long shot at a low angle to symbolise the power and authority that these people have. This scene has been editing as to cut quickly to nearby action that occurs. I think that the preferred meaning is to show how strong these people are and the authority they deserve also to strike fear. An aberrant meaning would be “First Japanese waiters to fly to the moon to kill an alien called Bill. Flight captain Quentin Tarantino who has 4 layers of cling film on him”
Kill Bill Vol. 1 – Written Summary The mise-en-scene consists of a wedding dress, however, in the opening only the vale is in show. This may signify she was about to get married before the bloodbath occurred. There is the use of a napkin, which has ‘Bill’ engraved, which may signal the villain is the one cleaning the bride’s face. The blood on the bride’s face implies she was brutally attacked, which gives a sense that revenge is imminent. The high angle shot on the ‘bride’ shows clearly the fear in her face, and makes her seem even more vulnerable. The close enhances the detail further. The tracking shot on the footsteps gives a sense of hostility, further emphasising there’s danger approaching. The sound of the footsteps being clear imply that this is a crucial moment of the plot. The heavy breathing indicates the pain and exhaustion of the protagonist. The editing is straight cuts to keep the experience flowing. The opening is shown in black and white to give a sense of the past fragment in the plot.
East is East (1999, Damien O’Donnell) The slight opening of the door may imply that the characters are eavesdropping, or some other form of mysterious business, since their expressions seem very sinister. Medium shot – shows the facial expressions, but also shows the fact they are peaking out of a door. Focus pull – camera focuses on two characters and pulls attention away from the background. Fingers may represent that the door needs holding, so he can keep a grip on the door. Two shot – Shows both characters in the same position. They are both looking suspicious. Preferred Meaning – They may be in trouble, so they want to know what’s going on by spying. Aberrant Reading – They are advertising a door for B&Q. Oppositional Reading – They are just looking through the door. There is nothing sinister involved.
East is East (1999, Damien O’Donnell) Medium shot The clothes in this shot shows mise en scene, they are wearing old fashioned clothes to show that the time period is different (1980’s) Rule of thirds is used in this shot The mise en scene is also of the bricks. I think that they are very obvious in this shot as this is the ‘background’ to the shot The preferred meaning about this shot is that 4 brothers are in small conversation about how their lives are going (most are wearing formal clothes). An aberrant meaning of this shot is that they are posing for the new Take That album cover.
East is East (1999, Damien O’Donnell) In this shot the couple are sitting down in the cinema, the director has used rules of 3 rd ’s to position the couple directly in the middle of the shot. Both of them are smiling and the camera is at eye height so we feel equal to them and equally as happy. The sound in this shot is that of the Asian movie in the background playing Bhangra music. I think the preferred meaning in this shot is to show the closeness and love this couple share. An aberrant meaning is “NEW LAW: Muslim men able to declare sex where and when they like” we can see this by his out stretched hand and the smiling expression.
East is East – Written Summary The setting of the opening is mainly during a Christian parade. There’s a lot of people involved in this, which signifies the popularity of the parade. The collection of family photos on the wall show them ordered in terms of generation. This shows the unity of an Asian family, as a joint family. There is a dolly crane to show the entire community of houses. This helps the audience to get a better view of the scope of the setting. The rule of thirds on the Asian children is showing who is the most prominent character in the movie. The focus pull when the children are running through an alleyway shows them in focus making the audience realise the significance of their escape to the plot. The diegetic sound of the band give a sense of the atmosphere the parade is creating. The soundtrack of the movie gives the sense of an Indian/English collaboration, since there’s essence of Bhangra music. The movie uses straight cuts in the opening sequence, since the intention is to keep it simple and smooth and not add any over exaggerated special editing.
Layer Cake (2004, Matthew Vaughn) Rule of Thirds – shows XXXX in main focus with two guys behind him. This is to show that two of them are together, in the process of attacking the main man. Notan lighting – To give the atmosphere a more realistic feel. The navy tops are distinctive. They give the impression of the men being aggressive, since navy is a very bold and solid colour The white robe shows he wasn’t fully prepared to be captured. The white represents purity and innocence, which seems to illustrate his predicament at this moment. The background gives the shot and environmental feel, since it is purely outdoor and not on a green screen.
High Angle Shot – Has two different representations:
The two aggressive figures are shown as lethal and superior
XXXX is shown as being submissive, as the two men have got control of him.
Preferred Meaning – XXXX is in serious danger, but will surely find a way out the dilemma. Oppositional Reading – He will not be able to survive this, as it seems far too impossible of a problem. Aberrant Reading – The men are giving him a solid massage
Layer Cake (2004, Matthew Vaughn) Two shot Rule of thirds, 2 men and a gun Key light on the guns, highlighting there importance and power The guns are used as the mise en scene in this shot Dialogue as XXXX states he hates guns Characters backs are turned looking towards the guns, as if to show the importance of them The preferred meaning of this shot is that they are picking guns for their next mission. An aberrant meaning is that they are discussing where to go for lunch, burger king or the harvester.
Layer Cake (2004, Matthew Vaughn) In this shot the director has used rule of 3 rd ’s. XXXX is in the left hand side of the screen with the sniper in the right. Depth of field was used as the sniper is slightly back from XXXX. Diegetic sound we can hear is birds tweeting in the background and the sound of a person at the other end of the line on the phone. Editing was used in the form of matching the eye lines of the characters before important speeches. I think the preferred meaning of this shot is that the audience should feel the seriousness of the event and that this could be potentially dangerous mission. We can see that by the look on their faces and the huge impression of the rifle.
Layer Cake – Written Summary The opening of the movie is quite long, so there’s quite a few different settings. There’s a prison to give a sense of the criminal activity involved in the movie. The secret warehouse where the criminals are testing their drug storage. The estate agents and accountants give a verisimilitude effect, since they are the sort of places ordinary people visit in everyday life. The dolly crane shows the entire setting of where the crimes will happen. The depth of field shows the entire gang and by showing Daniel Craig in more focus it emphasises him as the main man. The shot where the protagonist passes the shelves in supermarket shows the items changing as he moves across to illustrate him moving to a different aisle without changing the shot. The non diegetic sound is important for the opening, since the protagonist is narrating to describe the setting and all the occurrences. The background music is slick and fast paced to give a sense of a fast paced action thriller. The diegetic sound of the ambulance gives a further sense of verisimilitude, since it’s heard on the high street, which is very common in real life. The majority of the opening is with straight cuts to speed up the introduction of the already long sequence. However, during the sex scenes there’s fade used to give a sense of a passionate tone to an otherwise serious opening. There is match on action when the protagonist is leaving the accountants office, while the accountant is closing the door, the protagonist is walking out the building. This makes the movie seem more intense, with the intertwining actions.
Opening Sequence Summary Mise-en-scene Camera shots Sound Editing The Full Monty Car Male Strippers poster Pond casual clothing Verisimilitude Establishing shot – two shot of people on top of car (flood) Tracking on rule of thirds – Main character (Gaz) shown as most important Over the shoulder shot Depth of field Commentary – intro to Sheffield Non diegetic sound – narration Diegetic – police sirens Soundtrack Straight cut Kill Bill: Vol.1 Wedding dress, vale ‘ blood’ – paint Napkin Leather shoes High angle shot on ‘the bride’ Close up on bride – shows her fear and pain Tracking shot – on shoes as man is walking Long shot Footsteps Gunshot Dialogue Breathing Straight cut Black and white edit “ Revenge is a dish best served cold” - editing East is East Lots of people – parade Family photos Focus pull – as family enter alleyway; focus on them Dolly crane – on houses in the community Mid shot Two shot Rule of thirds Handheld Band – drums Non diegetic - soundtrack Straight cut Layer Cake Prison Warehouse room Estate agents Accountants Verisimilitude Pan Push shot – when hero passes shelves Two shot Depth of field Dolly crane Rule of thirds High angle shot Establishing shot Background music Non diegetic – soundtrack Narrative Diegetic - ambulance Straight cut Fade – during sex scene Match on action