Monday, 21 March 2011

'Watching' Documentary on Films Openings

  1. What does Thomas Sutcliffe mean when he says “Films need to seduce their audience into long term committed. While there are many types of seduction, the temptation to go for instant arousal is almost irresistible”.
When he mentions that the films need to seduce the audience into long term commitment, he is trying to imply that the beginning of the film needs to make the audience want to know what is going to happen next in the film. Therefore, through out the film the audience would want to watch more to see what happens in the ending. The two ways in which you can do this is to go slowly into the film or go straight into it.

  1. According to Director Jean Jacques Beineix, what are the risks of ‘instant arousal’?
If you start strong at the beginning, then you would have to think what to do next or where to go next. The next scene would have to be stronger than the beginning scene because the audience would want something more special. But if they have already seen that in the beginning of the film, you would have nothing to show them later on. This is the risk of having a strong beginning.

  1. Explain why “a good beginning must make the audience feel that it doesn’t know enough yet, and at the same time make sure that it doesn’t know to little”
At the beginning of the film the audience will be making an adjustment on how the film is going to be and how to react. The audience will be doing this by establishing the tone, characters and environment.

  1. What does critic Stanley Kauffmann describe as the Classical opening? Why does this work?
Stanley Kauffmann describes a New York scene with offices and buildings as the classical opening. This is because the whole setting is controlled, the audience know where it is placed and about the person in the film. By this scene the audience is told the basic details.

  1. Why is Kyle Cooper’s title sequence to the film Seven so effective?
In the sequence it foreshadowed the things that were going to happen and it showed the audience the obsessive and psychotic behaviour of the character (the characteristics of the character).

  1. What did Orson Welles want to achieve with his opening to the film A Touch of Evil? What did Universal Studios do to it? Why?
Orson wanted one long shot for the beginning scene to plunge and seduce the audience into the movie before it starts. But Universal Studios put titles on the sequence when Orson Welles did not want that.

  1. What is meant by “a favourite trick of Film Noir”? What is the trick?
Casino is meant by a favourite trick of film Noir because the film starts of by the ending of the film. Then it moves on to show what happens before and plays the beginning again.

  1. How does the opening of The Shinning create suspense?
The character going in the wrong direction, full of omens, bad connotation and helicopter following the car like a predator: all create suspense in the opening scene.

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