Thursday, 26 January 2012

Analysing 'Jennifer's Body' Opening

Trailer to Jennifer's Body -

The scene starts off as what we can tell is outside, as we are looking at the outside of a house, from the garden. The lighting is very dark to represent night time, as the sky is dark and we see a light through one of the windows of the house. The whole mise-en-scene is very dark to also suggest the genre of film we are looking at, which is presumably a horror film.

As soon as the scene starts, the camera pans around a tree, only briefly to view a long/wide shot of the house, suggesting the location of this clip is based around, and maybe in the house. The camera then quickly moves towards the house, using a hand-held camera to show someone walking towards the house, maybe from someone’s point of view. The camera is moving very rapidly towards the house, waiting to reveal what is inside, building up tension along the way. But, before the person actually gets to the window, the camera straight cuts to an extreme close up of someone’s lips.

We can see this character’s lips, teeth and hair, which this character appears to be placing in their mouth. We have no proof that this character is either a woman or a man, girl or boy, but judging by the length of their hair, it could may well be a woman. The camera then uses a straight cut to cut back to the character walking towards the window, and this time we see through the window.
As the camera tilts over the window sill, we look into a room which is pink, suggesting further that this is a girl/woman’s room.

The camera cuts to a basket, and tilts upwards whilst the title ‘Jennifer’s Body’ slowly dissolves onto the screen, in pink. The camera seems to be tracking instead of tilting, as the camera stops midway to start tilting down a little, to view the full body of the character we have been curious about. The audience would assume this is ‘Jennifer’ as straight after the title disappears, we view
a body of a young girl that may well be ‘Jennifer.’ This is a long shot and we can see a bit of her bedroom in the background, pink lights and a picture board. The pink contrasts with outside, as it is dark outside, whereas inside, the pink shows the innocence of the character.

A straight cut to a mid shot/almost close up of the TV which shows what the character is watching, but is almost random as it brightens the mood just a little for a horror film. It is associated with gym and work out training which we can tell the character is not very interested in, as she is lying down, distracted by a book instead of getting up and acting out what is on the TV. The TV is there for a distraction so that if something happens, like in a horror film, it wouldn’t be as scary.

But, as the audience is focusing on what is on the TV, thinking that they are safe from any horror scenes yet, the camera straight cuts to the side view of the character on the bed, also looking at another character through the window which we can also see, realising that this is the character who’s footsteps we were originally following outside. The effect of the dramatic straight cut from
the TV is to make the audience jump, after thinking that the brightness of the TV could prevent something happening so suddenly, which proves the audience wrong. It contrasted from the type of programme we were watching, to the type of film we are viewing. It was unexpected, although the character on the bed did not jump, implying that she had not seen the character outside, and
building up more tension.

Since we have seen the character through the window, there is a close up of the character to see almost a reaction face, as she is looking in through the window. She has a blank expression on her face which makes us question is she bad or good? We cannot tell as she is neither smiling nor aggressively frowning. She continues to wait until the other character recognises her.

However, the character ‘Jennifer’ still does not realise there is a character outside, and we know this because the camera cuts to a close up of the character on the bed, who is still looking down at the book. The camera is at a high angle, looking down on the character to make her look weak and helpless, judging by the paleness of her face. Jennifer then dramatically opens her eyes which suggest she has probably sensed that someone is watching her, or maybe she has seen the person right in front of her. This is where the camera pauses for a while whilst a character uses an over voice to explain what is happening. The effect of leaving the camera paused on the character represents that this is the main character, everything is focused on her and it was maybe a flashback or a point in time where everything changes.

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