Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Opening Film Analysis- Jennifer's Body

The film begins by slowly zooming in on a house. It is set at night and the non-deigetic sound is eerie, creating tension. We then see a close up of a hand picking at a scab, which to most viewers would be repulsive and disturbing. As the camera continues to pan towards the house we hear wind chimes in the background, this sound is usually an indexical reference to peace and relaxation, so it is used out of context, however this technique just adds to the creepy atmosphere. There is then a close up shot of a girl's mouth sucking on her long hair, another image intended to disgust viewers. In the shots of the scab and hair chewing, the diegetic volume is accelerated so we can hear the sound of ripping skin and the saliva in her mouth. Further accentuating the effect of nausea being created.
Next we pan up to the window of a girl's bedroom, the television is playing an exercise work-out programme and this noise once again doesn't correspond with the tension of the scene. After this there is a long shot of the girl, the lead protagonist called Jennifer played by Megan Fox, sat on her bed and the movie title appears in pink, fancy font. This indicates that this film may be mostly aimed toward a female audience as the font is feminine.
We then see from the long shot the character of Jennifer lying on her bed writing in a notebook as the television continues to play. The upbeat tone of a woman's voice emitting from the television doesn't match with her sad facial expression.
All of a sudden we see a long shot of a hooded girl stood outside Jennifer's window, staring at her with intense widened eyes, the sound pauses as this happens as if time is standing still. We assume that the panning shot through the front garden to the house was from this girl's point of view. A mid shot then shows Jennifer turn her head to look out the window, but nothing is there, as she rolls onto her side the camera zooms in on her face. This is when the narrator begins to speak, it is the voice of the girl stood outside.
In the next scene we are taken to an entirely different location, the shot pans out from barred windows into a small room to see the back of a girl sat on a stool. She is is wearing what appears to be a hospital gown. She starts by saying "Hell is a teenage girl" and talks about receiving letters and gifts from her 'fans', the camera pans over the mise-en-scene of opened mail and an array of obscure items.
We assume from the setting and costume that she a patient in a mental institution, a mid shot shows one of the workers then come to the door and ask her to get ready. Whilst she gets changed there are close up shots of scratches and injuries on her body, showing she must have been through a traumatic, violent experience. Before she leaves, the camera zooms in on a picture of a boy, we don't know who he is or his significance in the story yet. During this, her narration talks about how people are telling her to "embrace Jesus Christ into her heart", but says it has made no difference, this makes us think she must have done something bad and is seeking forgiveness.
A mid shot shows her putting on fluffy bunny slippers, this connotes innocence, an unexpected image to see in such a grim setting. A tracking long shot follows her walking through a courtyard wearing a bright orange jumpsuit, as are other women around her, further showing this is an institution. She is alone, evidently unhappy from her facial expression.
A jump cut then shows a close up view of a medical chart, we assume of the girl, with the word 'KICKER' written on it in capital letters and underlined several times, she narrates this description with a proud tone. The next is a mid shot is of her looking longingly outside through the barred windows of a cafeteria, connoting that she craves freedom.
A female doctor then approaches and tries to start a conversation with the girl, for no apparent reason she kicks the woman across a table in a fit of rage, referencing back to her 'kicker' reputation. A close-up shows blood dripping on the floor from the doctor's mouth. The troubled girl then screams "I recommend you shut the f**k up!" and spits on the woman as we see from a low angle shot to show her overpowering status at that moment in time. A long shot shows the entire room of other inmates start cheering her on, and then a mid-shot as the other staff try to restrain her.
She is dragged down a hallway, a birds eye shot shows her being thrown into a concrete cell. She crawls up to a wall and sits against it with her legs crossed, the camera zooms up to her distressed face from the corner of the room and we hear the sound of her breathing heavily. Her narrated dialogue is saying that she wasn't always this "cracked" and that it all started "when the murders began", we assume this is what the movie will be about. All the lights fade away and cheerful music starts playing from ceiling speakers that we see a quick close up of, this is contrapuntal use of sound. The shot then returns to a mid shot of her covering her ears and commenting on her hatred for the song, finished by a mid shot her curling into a fetal position.

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