Saving Private Ryan

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English Essay
‘Saving Private Ryan’
By Holly Towler

Steven Spielberg's masterpiece Saving Private Ryan earned itself 5 academy awards, including the best director award in 1998. The all-star cast starring Tom Hanks, Matt Damon and more brings to life the horror of war. Seen through the eyes of an American soldier; the story begins with World War 2’s historic D-Day invasion. We follow captain Miller (Tom Hanks) and his soldiers as they battle their way on to Omaha beach. In the past war films were all about shocking horror and a hero-based movie. But this movie is different it captures the true chaos of war. Saving Private Ryan brings back to life the real heroes that fought in the war.

The film ‘Saving Private Ryan’ opens with an establishing shot, which includes a close up of a muted American flag. The flag is muted because it is a sign of patriotism and respect. This is accompanied with somber music to make the scene very emotive and serious. This opening shows us that the film is not going to be like the rest, it is unique. Spielburg also said “ the last thing I wanted to do in this picture was use the war simply as a spring board for action adventure. I was looking for realism all the time”. The next shot we see is a panning shot, following an old man. Spielburg uses this shot to make us concentrate on the old man, and to make us form a relationship with him. As the panning shot follows the old man and zooms out, we see he has a family behind him, supporting him. The old man comes to a cemetery. With the camera still following him, he hesitates. We then see a long shot of graves/crosses. The old man then collapes, and we see an extreme close up of his eyes. This is used to show the intensity of the old mans feelings, and pain.

The next scene goes back into the past after seeing the old man’s haunted eyes. It opens with an establishing shot telling us that we have gone back to June 6th 1944. This is used to tell us the date and to show us the...
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