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Analyzing The Frilm Ten Things I Hate About You

1799 words - 7 pages

Analyzing the Frilm Ten Things I Hate About You

Analyse the first ten minutes of the film. How do the first ten
minutes give us information about the setting, characters and genre of
the film? How is it designed to appeal to the target audience?

The first ten minutes introduce us to all the main characters, and
give us an idea of their personality and role in the plot. It suggests
the plot to us, and gives a basic outline, without giving too much
away. It clearly demonstrates who its target audience is, and aims its
setting, language, humour and format accordingly.

The opening credits immediately let the viewer know the film is
light-hearted, and not intellectual, by using brightly coloured
writing. It almost looks like graffiti, a mainly teenage interest,
which suggests it is aimed at teenagers. This idea is backed up by the
music playing (Barenaked Ladies - One Week) which is chart music, also
mainly aimed at teenagers. So, by using text and music, the director
has already established his target audience, and the basic genre of
the film. Behind the credits, the establishing shot is of a scribbled
sketch of a cityscape, in a style similar to that of a picture in the
back of a school exercise book. This is a pastime, like graffiti,
which the target audience, can strongly identify with. The sketch then
becomes a filmed cityscape, and it uses this to let us know the basic
setting. We can see it is Seattle because of the Space Needle, an
internationally recognized landmark. The camera sweeps across to a
panning shot of the neighbourhood. It shows a pleasant, suburban area,
with families walking and playing together. This is reinforcing that
it is a light-hearted film, in typically "nice" area. The viewer can
assume that the film will be about middle to upper class teenagers,
presumably with many material possessions, and a happy home life.
These are characters which many young people may aspire to, and wish
they could become.

The previously non-diagetic music then becomes diagetic, as we see a
medium close shot of four teenage girls laughing and singing in a
smart, expensive car. The target audience may want to become
independent, and carefree, and have their own car, and live the lives
these girls do. When Kat's car pulls up beside them at traffic lights,
the director uses a panning shot to emphasise the difference between
these girls, and Kat. The girls' floral dresses, and clean-cut look,
highlight the difference in Kat's simple, black clothes, and miserable
expression. She drives a beaten-up shabby looking car, compared to
their shiny red convertible. Her music overpowers theirs, and she's
playing Bad Reputation by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts. The opening
line of this is 'I don't give a damn about...

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