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The Village Essay

Describe the opening scenes or sections of the text. Explain how the opening scenes or section helped you to understand what the texts were going to be about, using examples of visual and/or oral language features to support your ideas. The Village is an isolated community foundered in order to evade the corruption of the present day world. In an attempt to prohibit people from leaving, a cunning scheme to generate fear is put in place. Behind this pernicious act, is an innocent intention. These two ideas, of evil and innocence, can be depicted from the opening credits.

The director, M. Night Shyamalan cleverly intertwines intriguing camera angles, chilling images, and eerie, yet pure music to convey these themes. Composers often convey emotion through their music in the form of different instruments. Particular instruments are more suited to portraying certain emotions, and audiences can decipher what emotion is being portrayed depending on the instrument used. At the beginning of the opening credits, a flute, conveying innocence and naivety is used. The mellow, calming sound of the flute is later contrasted by a steady menacing drum beat that enters the piece of music as the title, “The Village” materialises.

Slowly, the tempo of the piece accelerates causing a sense of uneasiness and tension within the audience. Gradually, the double bass is introduced into the music adding greater mystery, and apprehension. This music sequence highlights the idea that the content of “The Village” is supposedly meant to be pure and innocent but somehow encompasses a form of evil and hostility. The looming images of stark trees in dark lighting foreshadow the events that will follow. The dark images in the foreground of every shot are lit by the space in the background creating shadows and a spooky feel. The images are of lifeless trees.

This is unsettling, and it makes the viewer feel intimidated, and insignificant. The austere branches are dappled in moonlight telling the viewer that it is night-time. The significance of this is that all strange and mysterious things seem to occur at night, reinforcing the suspicion that a dark theme will be involved in the film. Camera angles are used for a similar effect to music, in that they can help in portraying emotions. In “The Village”, the camera encircles the tree from a low angle engendering two effects. When the camera circles the trees, it creates the illusion that everything within the forest is haunted and live.

This effect is complimented by the low angle shot as the low angle shot enables the tree branches to seem threatening and overwhelming. The camera also only reveals snippets of trees, and will not display a shot for very long. This makes the viewer feel uncomfortable and confused as they don’t quite understand what is happening, and they feel as if they can not control the situation. The feelings these techniques give the audience point towards something foreboding in the film, and really brace the audience for what they are about to watch.


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