In Lesson we watched a documentary called ‘watching'. This documentary talked about the importance of film openings. I also had to answer a few questions related to the documentary, which is listed below.
1) What does Thomas Sutcliffe mean when he says "Films need to seduce their audiences into long term commitment? While there are many types of seduction, the temptation to go for instant arousal is almost irresistible"?
What Thomas means is that a film should Make sure to keep its audience enticed from the start, therefore the film can’t be too slow and dragged, but it also can’t be too fast so the audience can appreciate and ‘savour’ the film.
2) According to Director Jean Jacques Beineix, what are the risks of 'Instant Arousal'?
The risk revolves around ‘what happens next’, if the film starts off too strong then the audience will have high expectations and the director wouldn’t know what to do next to keep the momentum up.
3) Explain why " a good beginning must make the audience feel that it doesn't know nearly yet, and at the same time make sure that it doesn't know too little"?
There has to be a good balance between the two as if the audience knows too much then the plot becomes too predictable and the film becomes boring. However if the pace of the film is too slow then the audience will get bored and lose interest.
4) What does Critic Stanley Kauffmann describe as the classic opening? Why does this work?
Stanley Kauffmann’s opinion of a classic opening is one that opens with an establishing shot, for example there would be high angle shot on a building, the camera would then move to a window, through the window to an office where the main character is. This shows where the scene takes place and we can infer on the characters occupation.
5) Why is Kyle Cooper's title sequence to the film Seven so effective?
It is effective as it gives us ideas on the characters mental stability and we can tell that the person is psychotic. It also gives us an overview of the characters and how the overall tone of the film will be.
6) What did Orson Welles want to achieve with his opening to the film ' A Touch of Evil’? What did Universal Studios do to it and why?
Universal studios wanted to have their traditional logo and soundtrack in the beginning and the titles to be over a black background; however Orson Welles wanted his own soundtrack and thought that universal studios ideas would mess with his scene. In the end Orson Welles got what he wanted.
7) What is meant by ' a favourite trick of Film Noir '? What is the Trick?
The trick is where the beginning of the film is actually the ending of the film and after the beginning is over we rewind back in time to see how whatever happened, happened. an example of this type of opening is in the movie 'casino'.
8) How does the opening to the film ' The Shinning ' create suspense?
In the shining throughout the opening, the camera is in a helicopter chasing a car. From this bird’s eye view shot we feel like a predator chasing its prey. The area around the car is also isolated and the car is the only life around, which gives us a bad feeling as if the car is heading towards danger.