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Atonement Film Opening Analysis

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Atonement Film Opening Analysis

  1. 1. ATONEMENT SHOT-BY- SHOT ANALYSIS OF OPENING SCENE BY ALICE
  2. 2. Credits appear on screen in a typewriting font. Sounds of typewriter in the background heard throughout credits. Title is stamped across the screen; one letter at a time - as if being typed – along with the sounds of it.
  3. 3. Title cuts to shot of elaborate dolls house. Signifies wealth to the audience. May also suggest youth and innocence, as it is obviously a child’s belonging.
  4. 4. Camera tracks a line of toy animals – audience see a child’s bedroom and belongings. Diegetic sounds of type-writer can still be heard. Connotation of the toys may be lost childhood.
  5. 5. Camera tilts up from toy animals to show the rest of the bedroom and the main character. Room is decorated in a wealthy 1930’s style. Natural High- key lighting comes through window.
  6. 6. Extreme close-up of characters face – focusing on her blue eyes. Soft lighting from the right is used – suggesting summer daylight. She is looking at something; presumably her typing. Shallow focus enables audience to concentrate of face.
  7. 7. Eye-line match. Audience finally see the source of the typing noises. Camera pans further up the type writer to reveal what is being written…
  8. 8. Finished ‘play’ reveals the name of the character to the audience.
  9. 9. Briony, dressed in a plain white dress (which could symbolise innocence) walks through the halls of an elaborate house. The camera tracks Briony from across the landing. Non-diegetic sounds of a type- writer are now mixed with piano music, making these shots flow from the last.
  10. 10. The camera sweeps past Briony to focus on another bedroom. A maid in a costume of traditional uniform is seen making the bed. Again this suggests wealth and class.
  11. 11. Again, the camera follows Briony through various corridors – the audience get the idea that this is a very large house. Low-key and back lighting creates silhouette.
  12. 12. More staff are revealed working in a kitchen area. The framing of the shot is fairly tight. Through shot-reverse-shots, the conversation informs the audience that there will be a dinner party that evening. The maids’ body language suggest anticipation. 180° rule applied.
  13. 13. Briony continues on her way through the house. Again we see the size of it. Low -key lighting from a source on the left creates contrasting areas of shadow and light. Shadows could signify secrets?
  14. 14. From a long shot, Briony walks towards the camera but is distracted by something on her left. Diegetic sounds of birdsong can be heard. The next shot leads to an eye-line match.
  15. 15. Eye-line match. As Briony walk out the door, the audience discover who she was looking at. Young man dressed in old, dirty shirt and trousers. He is putting on gloves as he talks, presumably to begin working – this contrasts with his upper-class accent. Large colourful garden seen in background.
  16. 16. Shot-reverse- shot during conversation. Audience realise that, although the young man appears to be another member of staff, he is well educated and obviously friendly with Briony. His facial expressions show is fondness for her.
  17. 17. The camera tracks Briony back into the house as the music gets louder – becoming more intense. Briony walks into a final room, which is lit well and elaborately decorated.
  18. 18. Briony sweeps into the rooms and closes the large double doors behind her – almost as if she is shutting the audience out. The camera zooms in a little further and, once the doors shut, both the camera and music stop; ending the scene suddenly.

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