How does the director Steven Spielberg create suspense in the opening moments of the film, “Saving Private Ryan”? Essay

Having watched the film ‘saving private Ryan’ and looked in detail at the first half an hour, Steven Spielberg directed a great movie with big names and big awards such as: five academy awards including best director; several Oscars, good reports from more than seventy critics; Spielberg received a uso merit award from the USO metropolitan Washington; he also got the highest public civilian award from the department of the army. Another point to show how good this film is, is to show how it got the highest top grossing motion picture of 1999.this is a perfect example of the achievements this film has made.

I think Steven Spielberg chose this film because of his Jewish origin and his feelings towards world war two; and to educate people around the world on what the war was like and what people endured throughout the war. ‘Saving private Ryan’ has stayed on the footpath and maybe even stepped ahead of great movies such as ‘bridge on the river kwai’ and the ‘dirty dozen’.

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This is not surprising since he has made such good movies in different genres with well known titles, including ‘jaws’, ‘shindlers list’ (which is also about the suffering of Jews in world war two) and ‘Jurassic park’ which are all world wide known titles.

‘Saving private Ryan’ is about fighting the Nazis in Germany and for the first half an hour is pure action of the American army taking a beach on the Normandy front, which is very realistic and shows hoe horrible the war can be.

After taking the beach, a band of men are taken on a suicidal mission

To get a man behind enemy lines who has lost both of his brothers and they want to get him home for his mother so she doesn’t lose all of her sons. This mission turns out to be very hard and almost turns out to be trying to find a needle in a haystack.

In the first 10 minutes of the film there are shots of the hundreds of graves in a line on ground level. After two minutes of four types of camera angles there is a close -up on the old man (private Ryan) asking his elderly wife if, “he has lived a good life?” when he is on his knees, this is an important scene because it gives feeling to the film because the fact that the old man is crying is enough to emotionally involve you in the film because old men do not normally cry so it must be important. This then sets you up for the rest of the movie. The old man ends up crying in front of his grave on his knees and the camera gradually builds up to his eyes and when its just the eyes on the screen it changes to the action on Utah beach which is a very good way to change two very important scenes.

When the movie actually gets to the battle, it is twenty minutes o pure action and also has some very vivid shots of the massacre. The most interesting image is the over the shoulder camera angle of the German machine gunner and when he kills a whole boat load of people in twenty seconds and they fall over like a wind had blasted them done at the sane time; this shows hoe easy it was to lose a life, it gives extra affect because it had just been at he graves with the man crying and a massive contrast takes you by surprise and gives you a great feeling of sorrow for the soldiers fighting in the landing, not even getting a chance to fight for their own life and basically getting sent to their own death on death row.

Sound is a big part of this movie, especially in the first part of the film where the focus of the American flag with the bugles in the background showing great patriotism which shows what the films going to be like, which would attract audiences and keep the audience watching, especially patriotic Americans. Sound also plays a big part in the actual taking of Utah beach where you consistently hear bullets flying past the camera, whistling and either puncturing the ground and flying dirt into the air or puncturing human flesh with a thud and the sound of a man hitting the floor gives a great sense of fear for the men and gives so much to the film other wise it would have been an average film. Lighting also has a big influence in this movie because it is always bright in the film because Steven Spielberg wanted the audience to see every moment and bullets passing on the film and to se everything in detail to a fly passing the camera lens.

A lot of the shots are close ups of soldiers in action with their full uniform on which is a very interesting part of the film because the uniforms actors wear are identical to the actual uniforms worn in world war two. This is another reason why lighting was a big part of the movie because as I said you see everything perfectly

In conclusion to this movie it is one of the best descriptions of world war two in a movie. It grips you to your seat in every second and exhilarates you throughout the film. Its authenticity and shots of the battles in world war two are top class and it is and will always be a top quality movie.

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