Explosion Scene Analysis

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An Analysis of Cinematography and Sound in the Explosion Scene From ’71 (2015) Dir. Yann Demange
‘‘71’ is a film about a young soldier, Gary Hook, who gets stranded in Belfast in 1971 during the Troubles. He accidentally becomes the target for all parties involved and the complexity of the good and the bad in the Troubles become apparent. In the sequence I’ve chosen, Hook has his first glimpse of safety when he gets picked up by a young Protestant boy and taken a Loyalist pub. After mistakenly interrupting a bomb meeting led by a double-crossing Military Reaction Force’s (MRF) member, the pub suddenly explodes severely injuring the young Protestant boy. I hope to deconstruct the cinematography and sound to show how I’ve interpreted this scene.
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As the tension doesn’t drastically rise before the explosion the shock is raw, which unlike some war films, doesn’t romanticise the violence. This could be seen as a more accurate portrayal of violence, as all the deaths are shown as equal, with no one character having a long, dying monologue. The equality of deaths could also be an emphasis on how war does not discriminate and it is not a battle between just soldiers as the lives of many innocent civilians will always be taken too. The camera becomes noticeably hand-held as Hook is blown to the ground, shown in SG3. The shaky movement that follows Hook may reflect the panic and shock he is feeling. The director could also use this as a metaphorical way to show another ‘blow’ to Hook’s mental state as the shakiness could also represent his mind also crippling from each death he encounters. This could be seen as foreshadowing the end of the film where all the deaths build up to him leaving the army. The canted, low angle and switching between focused and blurriness, is classic to post-explosion shots in action films. It creates confusion for the audience which directly reflects how Hook is feeling therefore immersing the audience further for a realistic and gritty view. The numbing, high pitched ringing that blocks out other noise is also classic to post-explosion shots as it continues the distortion and is accurate to how an explosion would affect …show more content…
The close up shown in SG6 could be the director’s way of portraying his mental battle as well as his physical one. The camera’s continued shakiness now creates a sense of desperateness as Hook struggles to catch up with car. The background being completely foggy and the distant, muted shouts highlight Hook’s loneliness and almost creates a surreal sense of dissociation between him and the events around him. The audience could feel the strain of him trying to focus on the car, which could portraying safety, the future or even the brother he’s left in England. As he continues to run the audience is forced to see only him so the events yet to come are so uncertain the tension never

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