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Saving Private Ryan

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Saving Private Ryan Coursework

Saving Private Ryan starts with a striking image of thousands of pristine white crosses in regimented lines. These evoke the lines of the British regiments that fought and died in their hundreds of thousands, in foreign lands, trying to claim a few feet of land. The slow panning camera view across a graveyard blends extremely well with the graceful, orchestral music. It is composed and cohesive; it's patriotic in the sense that it stirs the emotions and brings out a sense of pride for most Americans, especially when coupled with the American flag.

Immediately the film strays from archetypal classic war films by showing the final result if war which the audience can see is not glamorous but is filled with pain and distress, however it ends with calm after the chaos and fear.

The camera pans from the American flag to an old man amidst the sea of white crosses, presumably searching for a particular grave. The audience are drawn into his eyes and the image fades, to be replaced by a younger man's eyes who when we see is looking onto a battlefield, across a sea of carnage. This jerky realism is known as camera veritй. Camera veritй means true film. It shows the chaotic, bloody nature of battle and is in no way glorified. The images we see are jerky and fast, the point of view rapidly switches between bewildered, scared and horrified soldiers doing their best to stay alive and follow their orders. The style of filming used helps the audience emphasise with the soldiers because they feel see what they see and hear what they hear as if they were with the soldiers themselves.

The discordant sounds of war play a big part in the horror, gunfire scares under trained soldiers, which leads to a chaotic regiment and battlefield. The explosions are terrifyingly loud, ironically the explosions are close to a soldier but far away enough not to kill him, they cause shellshock. This temporarily deafens the soldier. A strange, frightening and shocking scene follows, a soldier, who, deafened by shells and disorientated by the horror and chaos around him, staggers threw the muffled battlefield - alone and scared. This adds to the realism of the film and is in contrast to the usual high volume of the film.

The effects are designed to display realism, by not leaving out anything that happens on the battlefield. Saving Private Ryan shows exploding heads, gore in abundance and horrific burns, caused by flamethrowers. The effect of this is that



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