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The Dark Knight Opening Sequence Analysis

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The Dark Knight Opening Sequence Analysis

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The Dark Knight Opening Sequence Analysis

  1. 1. THE DARK KNIGHT https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Joz-tAsJ6as
  2. 2. At the start of the opening scene, there is a long shot, which acts as an establishing shot of a large building, with others surrounding it showing the setting of a city. The camera zooms into the building suddenly towards the windows of the building. As it gets closer to the building a ticking noise gets louder, which creates tension for the audience as a ticking noise generally something dangerous is about to happen, like a bomb could go off. As we get closer to the windows suddenly one explodes making the audience jump, which that confirms our thoughts about this scene being associated with danger. This also introduces the action genre of the whole film, as danger is a key convention in this genre. It cuts to a shot of the interior of this building and standing inside is two characters wearing a clown mask and one is holding some sort of gun. Clowns are one of the biggest fears to people and so this combined with the fact he is holding a gun tells us that he is an evil character and that he has been placed in the opening scene to create fear upon the audience.
  3. 3. It cuts to a scene that reveals a man standing with his back to the audience and a zoom shot slowly tracks into his back. He is holding a clown mask which tells the audience that he is also one of the bad guys involved with the disruption of this opening. This character’s face is not revealed so the audience have nothing to identify him by therefore we assume this person is a bad guy. There is also a use of non-diegetic sound of a tense tune that begins to start again when the camera zooms in on the character, possibly hinting that this person may be the leader. This music then stops as he gets into the car, which suggests that this character is important and for the audience to recognise this.
  4. 4. The camera cuts to a shot of the previous two clown characters who are seen jumping out of the office building on a zip line. The camera follows the characters along the zip line until they land, showing the street below creating an uneasiness for the audience and also showing the action genre of the film as it is dangerous. It then cuts to the other group of clowns in the car and the first line of dialogue is heard. The audience during this part does still not see any ones face, which shows that they are the bad guys as their identity is unknown. The light outside is very bright but the inside of the car is very dark to again tell the audience that the people in this car are the bad guys of the film.
  5. 5. The characters in the car start talking about the robbery they are about to perform and then talk about a specific character they call and know only as "The Joker". The two clowns that were originally inside the car are the only characters talking in this clip, however in the back of the car slightly in shot, you can see the character that was standing in the street at the beginning, showing that he still remains an important character as he comes across as very mysterious, wanting the audience to carry on watching to find out his part in the film. It then cross-cuts back to the two clowns on the rooftop who immediately start talking about “The Joker” as a continuous conversation from the one in the car. As they continue talking about “The Joker”, it tells the audience more about this character, persuading them to keep watching the film as they are intrigued to know who this person is and looks like.
  6. 6. The three characters in the car get out and enter the bank with the camera following them but focusing mainly on the mysterious character at the back. When the robbers enter the bank they begin to shoot in the air to worry the people inside the bank and as this goes on the camera cuts to a man in a suit who is enclosed in his office. The camera does this frequently throughout this scene, introducing this character, which tells the audience that he has a key role in the film and that he is important in some way. The camera doesn’t stay still during this scene, which keeps up with the speed of the robbery and shows the fast-paced action that films in this genre usually include.
  7. 7. The mysterious character is going around putting grenades into the hostages hands and as he does this the music picks up and this becomes the music that plays whenever “The Joker” is in the scene. This tells the audience that he has a very important part in the whole film and that he could be the villain in the film as the action genre typically has a hero and a villain. It then cuts back to the roof and one of the clowns deals with the alarm and the other clown shoots him. This tells the audience that these clowns are not to be trusted and are slowly killing each other to get a bigger share of the money.
  8. 8. The camera cuts to the bank manager who then shoots the clown and the music has a faster pace as he walks out of his office. The other clowns run in panic and the camera then focuses again on the mysterious clown as the bank manager tries to shoot him. This shows the real fight in the crime and shows the rivalry of the bank manager and the mysterious clown. The leader of the group , or at least who the audience thinks is the leader, asks the mysterious clown whether the bank manager is out of bullets, he nods and so he jumps up to shoot him however the bank manager shoots the clown first. This shows that the theme of the film could be betrayal. The mysterious clown then rises up and shoots the bank manager. The camera then slowly tracks in to the mysterious clown to then possibly suggest that he is in fact the leader of the group and the most important character in this opening scene.
  9. 9. The next scene then shows the clown who went to collect the money from the vault threatening the mysterious clown with a gun, suggesting another theme of betrayal. The music starts creating tension as it repeatedly plays the same notes. The audience then hear the first line from the mysterious clown "No, no, no. I kill the bus driver”, which shocks the audience as he has not yet spoken and probably not what the audience would have thought he would say. This also confused the other clown threatening him, showing vulnerability. The scene concludes with a huge bus loudly crashing through the wall and killing the the other clown, leaving just the mysterious clown which has now confirmed the audience that he is in fact the leader and because he is the only one left, we know that he has planned this all. At the end of this film opening, it cuts to the bank manager lying on the floor and the mysterious clown then goes to speak to him. This still shows their rivalry. He shoves a grenade into the bank managers mouth and then says “I believe whatever doesn't kill you simply makes you…stranger.” During this small conversation, a point of view shot is used for both characters, which make the audience more involved and frightened. The a close-up shot is used on the clown as he takes off his mask to reveal what the characters have previously described as “The Joker”, revealing to the audience that this is the villain the other clowns have been talking about.

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