In the first scene, medium close-up shot of a teenage girl as she talks about her disappointment in her father and that she pitys him; suggesting almost sarcastically that someone should 'put him out of his misery' ,another male out of shot suggests that maybe he could kill her father himself. This first establishing scene sets up the film and brings up the question why does she want her father dead, and does this male out of shot end up actually killing her father. The way the first scene is shot also brings up other information about the first two characters, implied to be filmed from a shaky handheld camera; the teenage girl speaks directly into the camera almost as if she where talking to the viewers, this almost brings us closer to her true feelings as if she where talking to a diary - but also implies she's comfortable with the male who's filming. The low-key, very artificial lighting suggests that they're in a living area and as she seems to be in a blanket or some kind of bedding, this could imply that the two characters are in a sort-of relationship where they're intimate with each other.
The next shot is the 'American Beauty' title card, meanwhile you hear the sound of the camera turning off, though this scene is over and very different from the next ariel view scene of the suburban streets; you understand that the previous scene may have been out of place (or maybe from a different part of the plot line possibly hinting at future story-arcs) as its a different time of day to the next shot. The shot zooms in closer to a particular road over a very sub-urban area of what seems like a city; the landscape appears large and very repetitive, with many of the houses and gardens appearing in very similar shapes as the camera gets further in. This establishing shot creates the idea that wherever the camera going could almost be directed into any of the houses on this road; this implies that though this film has a particular purpose, the viewer could 'drop'...
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