The Shining


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An analysis of the opening scene from 'The Shining'

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The Shining

  1. 1. The Shining.AKA The best film ever to be made ever by anyone and nothing will ever compare to it and I will never love anything more than I love this film.
  2. 2. The Opening Scene.If that doesn’t work:
  3. 3. The Location.• The opening three minutes of The Shining is almost completely comprised of establishing shots, showing a peaceful countryside, and a car driving along it. This is effective in setting the tone for the film, and establishing the isolation of the hotel and the characters inside it, as the wideness of the shots show that there are no other people around, just the small yellow car. Isolation is a huge theme in The Shining, and this opening sequence hints to that.
  4. 4. The Credits.• There is only one close up in the opening credits, and that is of the back of the car. At this precise moment, “Jack Nicholson” scrolls upwards. This suggests to the audience that he is the person in the car, and thus the main focus of the film, as he is the first person introduced.• The rest of the credits scroll upwards, and use a blue font. There does not appear to be much significance to the colour, other than to make them stand out on the scene. They are in capitals for this reason also.
  5. 5. The Camera Angles vs The Music• The camera angles (the establishing, wide shots) on their own would make these opening credits incredibly boring, but when twinned with the music used, it gives an interesting contrast. The peacefulness of the setting does not immediately lend itself to the sinister music that is used. The music sets the tone for the film, showing that it is a horror, and also makes an otherwise boring opening sequence interesting.
  6. 6. The Car.• The car is the main focus of the opening scene. We can see this because it is the only consistent thing throughout, as the locations changed, but in each of them, the car is driving through.• This does not establish the main character, but it aids the establishment of character later on in the film, as the person getting out of the car would obviously be the character we would expect to be the main character.• The camera moves to follow the car, showing that it is significant, as you might miss it at first.
  7. 7. Transitions.• The cuts are very sharp, and show a completely different location. This symbolises another of the main themes in the film: change. The sharp, jagged cuts to a different location reflect the sharp change in the main character to something completely different.
  8. 8. The use of lighting and reflections here are interestingand capture another of the films main themes: what isreal vs what is not. The actual cliff shows thereality, but the reflection in the sea represents illusionand what is not real. This is important to the film, asthe boy has an imaginary friend, and the maincharacter slowly loses his grip on reality.
  9. 9. Mise-En-Scene.• The only real prop in this scene is the car. This is significant because the main focus of the film is the driver of that car. It is not apparent in this scene, but this scene helps establish that later on.• The colour of the car, yellow, is significant more to the book than to the film, although it is still significant. Yellow is the colour associated with fear (being “yellow-bellied” for example), showing that this is a horror film and possibly that the main character is nervous.• It could also be seen as showing that the main character is quite an abstract character, as yellow cars are not very common, and neither are characters like Jack.• The lighting is natural, signifying that everything is normal at this point in the film.• The lack of actor in this first shot keeps the audience interested, as it makes the wonder why there has been no character introduction, adding to the mystery of the piece.
  10. 10. Compared With Our Film.• Our film does have some establishing shots, but they will not be of the countryside or mountains and whatnot, it’ll be of creepy stuff to show what our films going to be about.• Our opening is very, very different to this one in many ways. We will use a lot more close ups and different types of shots, plus we establish characters in ours.• We also include some speech in ours, which does not occur in this one.