Closing Sequence of Usual Suspects

Starting the closing sequence, we see a shot of Detective Kujan after he feels he has solved the crime. He is sat on his desk in a medium shot, gradually zooming in. He seems proud of his days work, we can tell he has this pride from the way he nods his head casually and drinks coffee in a mood of self-satisfaction. Within this shot we have an office and extras including the detective next to him and people working in the background. From this we can assume that a detective’s life is busy and that Detective Kujan must be a hardworking and intelligent character.

Then we move to a notice-board close up, gradually zooming in. We can see “wanted” signs, which conotates themes of police work, and the back of Kujan’s head which shows us that his attention has been focused on the board. We then see a close up of Kujan’s face, once again zooming in; these transitions between Kujan and the notice board represent how he is scanning across the notice board. Gradually we can hear music building up, raising the suspense, as the camera continues to zoom in on a particular place on the notice board and Kujan’s face.

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As the music continues to build, we see a shot of Kujan muttering something under his breath and dropping the coffee mug. The muttering draws our attention to him, the coffee mug dropping represents a sudden realisation and shock. We see the mug fall and hit the ground repeatedly, exploding into pieces on the ground. This repetition emphasises the shock and the explosion is a metaphor for the detective’s case also exploding in front of him and fracturing into pieces. We don’t hear the coffee mug smash as the music plays over it.

This silent breaking emphasises the cup exploding and does not distract from the visual experience or impact. This sequence is a realisation of clarity, however the audience is kept waiting a little longer before Detective Kujan’s thoughts will be revealed. We then see Kujan’s face again just as voiceovers begin to play. The amount of voices we can hear initially confuses the audience further, however every few seconds we can catch a word which makes sense, that corresponds to the previous story-line and begins to relieve the audience’s confusion whilst building the suspense.

As we continue to hear voiceovers we see more shots between Kujan’s face and his eyes scanning across the notice board, reinforced by the shots scanning the same. This is effective at involving the audience because we can see what Kujan sees and we can interpret how his thought process is working. It relays this in an effective manner to the audience. Through all these transitions we see extreme close-ups of Kujan’s eyes and certain texts which match the voiceovers and unfold the plot, they make us realise the truth from the lies upon which Verbal had based his story.

Gradually clips from earlier on in the movie are introduced e. g. Redfoot. These clips are then matched up to their corresponding spot on the notice-board and the voiceover supports the dive into the detective’s memory as he realises that some of the things he has been told relate directly to the notice board. It is done to make the audience see and think what the detective is thinking. It all happens very fast, which stops the audience from having time to think for themselves, their thoughts are paced by the film, which drives them and their curiosity.

We then see a close-up the name of a character written on the bottom of the coffee mug which was dropped at the start of the scene. The camera zooms in fast and the background blurs, the music builds up and the voiceovers repeat “kobayashi” so that all of our focus is on one thought and one lie, this keeps suspension to the maximum and confusion to a minimum. It is a moment for the audience to gather all their thoughts and come to the same conclusion as Detective Kujon. The film makers now want you to join in with the detective’s conclusions.

We see the scene fly across the room to Kujan stumbling out of the room in a hurry; he panics as he has just figured out what is happening. As he runs the camera hesitates on a fax machine. I believe this shot was done in one shot rather than separate shots as just before this shot, was many fast shots building up tension and now longer shots have been used to make it simpler to understand. A fiddle plays a short riff as another detective looks at the faxed image but the audience doesn’t find out what it is yet, although they probably have a good idea.

The shot changes to the detective running down stairs past other people which reinforces the idea that this is a busy place and helps to give pace to his haste. We then see Verbal outside, moving away and the voiceovers start again to conclude what has just happened. We see Verbal and the first words are “every creep and scumbag to ever walk the street will know the name Verbal Kint”. This suggests to the audience that Verbal might be guilty. We then see a shot of Kujan panicking and calling to look for “the cripple” this is where the audience realises that the detectives suspects Verbal for being the murderer and master-mind.

The voiceovers build up again, which should cause confusion but this time it doesn’t because now the audience has some idea of what is happening, the shots become shorter, focusing on Verbal’s character juxtaposing himself from the rest of the film. We see a new secret side to him, we realise he is intelligent and that he kept the detective and the audience mesmerized with his lies and stories, the whole time. One very good shot in this part is of the car driving past we, can see its mirror as it drives beside Verbal, a strong image of reflection.

To conclude the sequence we see a picture of “Keiser Sosi?? ” that was faxed through. This is at the peak of suspension and finishes off any doubts or confusions the audience may have had till now. The transition of Verbal as he walks away, from cripple to master villain is a stroke of cinematic brilliance, it is the moment that everyone (audience included) is punished for having thought that as a cripple, Verbal was always a victim, and the film has played magnificently on the viewers and the detectives prejudices to prove how wrong they are.

When we see him driven off the shot is contrasted by the detective looking vainly for him, is a commencement of fading out, with fading music to have the same effect. During the silence just for a moment of impact we see a clip from the middle of the film “and like that” *puff* “he’s gone” said by verbal earlier to throw everyone of from thinking it was him but now to emphasise that it is him. Finishing with a fading violin note to leave the audience thinking “wow! “.

An apt concluding shot on an excellently directed movie. This movie confuses and misdirects the audience, only at the end, revealing the truth and their prejudices. GCSE Media Studies Film assignment- 20th Century Fox In 1915 William Fox merged “Greater New York Film Rental” a distribution firm with “Fox Office Attractions Company” a production company, to form Fox Film Corporation but in 1930 William lost control over the company after the stock market crash of 1929 during a hostile takeover.

Under the new president, Sidney Kent, in 1935 the owners merged with a company created by Joseph Schenck and Darryl Zanuck (ex-Warner Brothers production head) in 1932 called Twentieth Century Pictures, to form 20th Century Fox. Aside from the theatre chain and a first-rate studio lot, Zanuck and Schenck felt there wasn’t much else to Fox Film. The studio’s biggest star, Will Rogers, died in a plane crash weeks after the merger. It’s leading female star, Janet Gaynor, was fading in popularity. Promising leading men James Dunn and Spencer Tracy had been dropped because of heavy drinking.

Zanuck quickly signed young actors who would carry Twentieth Century-Fox for years: Tyrone Power, Don Ameche, Henry Fonda, ice-skater Sonja Henie, and Betty Grable. And also on the Fox payroll he found two players whom he would build into the studio’s leading assets, Alice Faye and seven-year-old Shirley Temple. Fox made back profits due to record attendance in world war II, during which Zaruck had to serve 18 months but when he returned in 1943 he made Fox’s output more serious and established a reputation for provocative adult films and specializing in adaptations of best selling books and Broadway musicals.

After the war audiences drifted away, and the arrival of television hastened the process. Fox gambled on an unproven gimmick. Noting that the two movie sensations of 1952 had been Cinerama, which required three projectors to fill a giant curved screen, and “Natural Vision” 3-D, which got its effects of depth by requiring the use of polarized glasses, Fox mortgaged its studio to buy rights to a French anamorphic projection system which gave a slight illusion of depth without glasses.

In February, 1953, Zanuck announced that henceforth all Fox pictures would be made in Cinema-Scope. To convince theater owners to install this new process, Fox agreed to help pay conversion costs (about $25,000 per screen); and to ensure enough product, Fox gave access to Cinema-Scope to any rival studio choosing to use it. The product was a success at first but by 1956 attendance numbers dwindled and so Zanuck resigned. Buddy Adler, his successor, died a year later. Then came a series of production executives but none had Zanuck’s touch.

Chairman Spyros Skouras wanted to rush Zanucks big-budget war epic “The Longest Day” into release for quick cash which offended Zanuck, still Fox’s largest shareholder and at the next meeting Zanuck convinced the company that Skouras was mis-managing and that he should take charge instead. He was installed chairman and named his son president. The new management group seized Cleopatra and rushed it to completion; shut down the studio and laid off the entire staff to save money. They axed the long-running Movietone Newsreel.

With limited funds, they made a series of cheap, popular pictures that luckily restored Fox as a major studio. Zanuck was removed as chairman by 1971 after huge losses with expensive films. New management brought back Fox through diversification as president Dennis Stanfill used profits to acquire resort properties, soft-drink bottlers, Australian theatres, and other properties. With stability, control passed to Marc Rich and Marvin Davis. 3 years later Marc sold his shares to Rupert Murdoch’s Australian media group News Corp.

In 1984 Davis sold his half of Fox to News Corp, giving Murdoch complete control. He hired Barry Diller from Paramount and he brought back with him a plan which Paramount had refused, a studio-backed fourth commercial television-network. Since 1985 over the next 20 years the network and owned-station groups and expanded to become extremely profitable for news corp. Fox has moved away from literary adaptations and adult themes to “popcorn” films like “Star Wars”. The Hollywood studio system was an extremely powerful influence in the 50’s and 60’s.

They could make stars from anyone they wanted. They enforced contracts on their stars and held them to them. They dictated their stars lives’, how they dressed, where they would go and created the publics view by building an image of the star that was not always true. Cinema was the main form of international communication and their influence was incredible. As other forms of communication have progressed the Hollywood studios lost their power base. The most notable of these was television.

With the ever spiraling costs of creating a new film it is important that the large studios diversify and Fox have done this successfully with their TV stations. Fox have managed to compete in an environment which is extremely harsh, where vast sums of money are gambled on what will be in vogue with the public. Many studios have lost in this gamble. Studios no longer drive the public, the public now drive the film industry and the film industry has had to adapt to this. The production of videos and dvds now brings the cinema into peoples homes and they are less inclined to go to the cinema itself.

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