Friday, 22 January 2010

Thriller Film Research - Title and opening sequence analysis

The Interpreter

A film directed by Sydney Pollack, starring Nicole Kidman and Sean Penn.

The opening sequence begins with an air of mystery connoted by the diegetic sound of the wind, we hear this before we see any of the film. A long shot shows what appears to be smoke or dust masking the setting, again creating caution as for what is to come. What looks to be figures of people approach out of the dust, creating an enigma for the various shadows that are shown. The fact that it is broad daylight with glaring sun suggests the opening sequence will be set in a foreign country to the one we assume from the movie cover. This is later established by the use of the title 'Africa'. A long shot then dissolves into the next shot which abruptly cuts to a landrover, connoting a sense of significance in terms of the vehicle and the people inside it. The non diegetic music that accompanies the shots is an importance choice of music as it sounds tribal, which effectively suits the landscape in which the opening of the film is set. A quick shot of a notebook connotes that it may become important as the film unravels. A variety of shots is then used as a shot reverse shot shows to male characters to be conversing, with the focus on them, it appears that they will be dominant in the film, however as later events unveil, this is not to be true. Ambient lighting creates more of a juxtaposition when two of the three male characters enter into what looks like an abandoned stadium, where there is very little low key lighting, and in some places, there is no lighting.
Overall, i think in terms of a thriller, the opening to this film suggests an unforeseen event, with the close up of the notebook, and the killing of two characters leads onto the title sequence which looks to be set in the built up city of New York, away from the setting of Africa which we have just witnessed.

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