Omaha beach was only one of the invasion sites of the American, British and Canadian coalition forces. The special reason why Steven Spielberg chose to direct his movie with Omaha beach as its backdrop was due to the fact that out of all the other landing sites, Omaha beach was the bloodiest battle field and it took 15, lives of young American soldiers to capture the beach.
In the past, war genre films meant hardcore action and a hero waging a one man war against an army, a typical movie would be Rambo 3. Although it is based on a true story, it did not take one American to battle the whole Russian army with a bow and arrow. Saving Private Ryan brings back to life the real heroes that fought in a war, men who were willing to give up their lives just to make a difference, now that ultimate sacrifice is what true heroism is.
In a way Saving Private Ryan was finally able to create a difference between action genre films like Rambo 3 and war genre films like Black Hawk Down, and define completely new conventions of war genre films.
The realism of the movie is what gave the movie its academy awards. A few explosions cannot bring back World War 2 back to life. Steven Spielberg uses a number of camera skills to really put up the chaotic and live firing effect.
When they show American soldiers storming the beach and taking cover from enemy fire, Steven Spielberg uses handheld cameras moving along with the soldiers. The contrasting use of the bright colours against the dull background adds to the realistic nature of the battle scenes.
The opening scene of the movie first sets the mood when you hear a trumpet playing in the background. The music sounded much disciplined with the precision beats of the drums in the background, instantly any viewer could guess must be related to the military. Then the American flag is shown, signifying all the American soldiers who died in France in World War 2, and you see an old man visiting the graves of all the dead soldiers.
This is hen it moves from the trumpet to slow emotional and moving music, immediately the old man stops in front of a grave and breaks down and starts crying. When the camera then takes a close up of his face, the mood of the music changes and creates a very ominous effect. The music then stops as the camera begins to zoom out , and all you here is the increasing sound of the crashing wave and a soldier surrounded by other soldiers with a very a dull and desaturated background compared to the graveyard where the old man was.
This transition from the present to the past marks the beginning of a flashback of the D-Day invasion task force at Omaha Beach. The second scene gives us a still camera shot of Omaha Beach with the waves crashing in on the barricades, one important observation is the colour of the whole seen.
Also at this point, the volume and tempo of the music increase quite significantly, and war drums begin to play. As a result of this, tension is established which is maintained throughout the opening four scenes.
There is a flashback to the beginning of the next scene, as the U. S army prepares to land at Omaha Beach. There is a long shot of the boats approaching the shore, which immediately incites nerves in the audience, as they believe that a mini-climax is drawing near.
The sound of soldiers vomiting continuously is also present, followed by the frantic issuing of instructions; this emphasises the calamitous un-organisation of the war. All sense of order is lost in the hysteria of the war. The overall effect of the first scene is to establish a connection between this mysterious James Ryan and D-Day. The date, setting, and fearful atmosphere are also established and the audience is given a cursory introduction to some of the main characters.
Lives are lost instantaneously, with no progress gained in the overall war effort — which is very realistic in the idea of war. In the famed Battle of Somme, over 60, allied soldiers lost their lives over a stretch of land no larger than metres wide. This scene is very representative in this, and is emotive to even the most hardened war film veteran. The audience are thrown directly into the action, as the camera follows the war from the perspective of a soldier. The first frame shows iron hedgehogs placed throughout the sea — somewhat mimicking the opening scene replacing the gravestones.
This causes the transition from present to past, from calm to hysteria occur all the more smoothly. Instantly, we are greeted with the sound of gunfire, and indistinct instructions. The desperation and hopelessness of the mission is also emphasised by this lack of organisation. There are medium and close shots of soldiers being killed — this camerawork brings the audience close to the actions, involving them as much as possible. There are various over the shoulder shots give the German perspective on the hill — showing an advantageous position over the Americans and again emphasising the near-impossibility, against the odds factor of the mission.
This emphasises the sheer difficultly of the mission and immense struggle which the soldiers are facing. The soldiers plunge into the sea — looking for safety. The camera angle shows us the intense struggle of the soldiers both above and below the surface. As the soldiers are immersed in the sea, the sound mutes; again showing the perspective of the soldiers so the audience can experience the horrors of war even more realistically.
The lighting in this scene is dull, dark, and lifeless — this reflects the depression of war and is again contrasting from the first scene. In the first scene, there is lots of natural light, and the vision is clear and bright.
In my opinion, this is used to represent the misinformed perspectives of those not involved in war — from the outside it is bright, shiny, and glorious. However, in reality it is nothing of the sort — with the dark actuality of the war breathing through. The use of a tilted frame is also significant — it reflects the carnage and havoc of the war; it is in no way straightforward and uncomplicated. Following this there is a short sequence where we are introduced to Captain Miller drinking from a metallic flask, and this identifies the main protagonist in the film.
The jerky handheld cameras towards the end of the scene where the US soldiers are attempting to reclaim the beach involve the audience in the rush, adding to the general effect of realism. I believe that the overall effect of this scene is to suggest that the Americans are fighting a lost cause, indicating the immense difficulty of the mission.
It aims to bring the audience close to the action through the camerawork and sound effects — contributing to the realism. The sense of confusion and mayhem causes the audience to feel as if no one could survive.
He staggers out of the crimson red sea, stumbling and falling as he does so. This image is quite Christ-like, and is deeply similar to ideas revolving childbirth. As a result of this, the image of Miller rising from the sea is a much brighter image on deep examination; it shows that perhaps there are some positive results of war. These slow motion shots can be linked to real-life quite effectively.
In traumatic events such as this, everything does seem to go slower, taking a lifetime to finish. We are re-greeted with a close up of him, emptying the vivid, bloody water from his helmet and replacing it; this makes him look blood spattered.
Nov 13, · i have recently been given an assignment in english to write a piece of descriptive writing on saving private ryan, i did this and handed it in as my first draft, and got an A. i really want to bump up my grade to an A* and my teacher said i could do this by writing a paragraph about what the weather was like, and i am really struggling to come up with any good words/phrases to put into it Status: Resolved.
‘Saving Private Ryan’ is one of Spielberg’s epic war films. It tells the story of a group of soldiers, forced behind enemy lines in order to rescue Private Ryan – whose 4 brothers were all killed in combat.
Saving Private Ryan earned its awards for bringing back the realism of World War 2 and for portraying what the shocking chances of survival were at the historic battle of Omaha beach on D-Day in June /4(1). Saving Private Ryan Critique Essay - June 6th is known as the day that turned the tides of World War II. Allied troops both Para dropped and landed on French occupied territory via the English Channel.
English Media Coursework (Saving Private Ryan) Essay Words 8 Pages Analyze the methods used to make the opening battle sequence of ‘Saving Private Ryan’ both shocking and realistic, and say how effective you find it as an introduction to the film. This essay coursework is on the media devices used in Braveheart and Saving Private Ryan. Both of these films are set in the past. Saving Private Ryan is set in the Second World War, during the allied assault in northern France.