The dark knight opening analysis

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The dark knight opening analysis

  1. 1. THE DARK KNIGHT<br />2008<br />
  2. 2. Conventions<br />There is gunfire within the opening sequence.<br />There is a crime committed, breaking and entering and it appears they are about to rob a bank.<br />They wear masks – concealed or mistaken identity is a common theme in thrillers.<br />The music is typical of an action thriller (see sound).<br />
  3. 3. Sound<br />There is a tickaticka sound and then the music begins. It’s typical of action thrillers, fast and there feels like there’s a sound of drilling which with its sense of urgency speeds up the pace yet further.. <br />The glass breaking adds to the feeling of chaos there is, as does the gunfire with sonic exaggeration so the sounds are emphasised in the audience’s hearing – no way that they could miss it.<br />There’s screaming of people in the bank who realise that they may all be about to become hostages in a real life bank robbery, and they sound terrified – not at all ready.<br />
  4. 4. Use of Titles<br />After Warner Bros. shows, the screen is blue with hundreds of searchlights then pop art Andy Warhol style comics show – flashes of a woman’s eye, a punch, a masked man snarling and then it all turns into DC comics.<br /> The screen then turns into a blue explosion like blue molten lava, then it’s fire and then smoke, a large black bat silhouette leaving its outline before all of it disappears – the emblem for the iconic Batman.<br />
  5. 5. Camera Techniques<br />There is an establishing shot of Gotham city, the camera zooming in one building in particular – before the window in the middle shatters.<br />There’s a high angle zooming down of the third man with the bag waiting on the pavement, focusing mid level on the clown’s mask he holds signalling to the audience that he too is involved. He is centre frame, and he will be important.<br />There’s a quick aerial shot of the road to emphasise the danger of the two clowns abseiling down the line from one building to another, building tension as the audience wonders if the line will be able to hold their weight or if they’ll fall into the road and die.<br />In the car, the third man with the bag who we later know to be the Joker is left of the frame. He is sitting in the back of the car but it’s him who is holding the gun now and him who is to the forefront of the shot. He’s lurking in the back, so you are fooled into thinking he’s unimportant for now, effectively maintaining his disguise of just another clown crony. Yet though he doesn’t speak, the camera focuses on him. The other two in the car are only focused on, the driver to the forefront, when they begin speaking about the Joker.<br />Again there is a high angle looking down on the other two clown cronies elsewhere as they try to pry open an entrance while they talk about the Joker.<br />There is a low angle of the bag man (Joker), showing how he surveys the area in his mask as we look up at him as he is the superior one as they all run up the steps to the bank. <br />
  6. 6. Mise en Scene<br />They are all wearing masks, clown masks – this is indicative of the Joker’s black sense of humour, as they all end up shooting each other on his command, because they are his clowns. They’d been saying he wouldn’t get a share himself, but now the joke’s on them – because he is the Joker. <br />They all have guns and are dangerous, legitimising the image of clowns in pop culture from childhood although intended to be for light-hearted entertainment having a strange quality about them that makes many children fear them to the point of phobia. These clowns epitomise that fear, because not only can they hurt you but they can kill you. <br />‘I heard they call him the Joker’ – the dialogue builds up to the dramatic entrance and reveal of the joker, all the talk about him though we have not seen him yet. ‘Because he wears make up – you know, war paint’. Rumours and mystery surround him, building him up.<br />‘He thinks he can sit it out and still take a slice’ – they speak of the Joker as if he were not present, condescendingly. They haven’t thought it out, whether the Joker has planned a trick on them or has made plans for their betrayal never mind his actually being there in the car with them. They are more or less gossiping – not fully focused on their job, relying too much on their guns and the element of surprise.<br />
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