Textual Analysis of Charlie’s Angels
The clip that was set or our assignment was Charlie’s Angels. The opening consisted of Drew Barrymore is on a plane, dressed as a man, LL Cool J. There is also a bomber on board which she grabs and throws him out of the airplane door to get to the safety of the harbour where the boat is waiting. This clip is of a typical of the Action and Adventure genre because it has the following items that are found in Action and Adventure films Heroes and Villains, Danger, Exciting Stories, Stunts etc. The heroes in this clip are Lucy Lui, Cameron Diaz and Drew Barrymore.
The villain in this clip is the bomber. The danger consists of both the villain and the heroine jumping out of the aeroplane. The narratives that are used in this short clip are techniques Propp’s spheres of Action, ‘Levi Strauss’ binary opposition and Todorov’s equilibrium theory. Propp’s spheres of Action is used which can be seen by villain, being the bomber and there are also heroes, the angels. The binary oppositions that are used in this are that the villain is edgy and the heroes are unruffled when jumping from the airplane.
Also what has been used is, in the first class cabin there is a sense of quietness and calmness and as the camera goes into economy class the atmosphere breaks where the mood is happy and loudness. The equilibrium theory that is in use in Charlie’s Angels is that both villain and heroes are sitting happily in the aeroplane when the heroine grabs the villain and throws him out of the airplane, this makes the villain go in a “special world” but this is the “ordinary world” for the hero. . In the clip of Charlie’s Angels, Mise en Scene is a key factor. In the first scene the props that they have used are that of an inside view of an aeroplane.
The clothes that they have used for the main characters are that for the bomber , he is dressed in casual clothes which makes the audience believe that the bomber is a everyday normal person. The hero is dressed in African ambassador’s uniform. The clothes for the other two Angels, Lucy Lui and Cameron Diaz, Lucy Lui is dressed in an all black catsuit because she is a detective. Cameron Diaz’s is the driver of the speedboat in the harbour so they have dressed her in a gold bikini top instead of a black catsuit so that people would not get suspicious of her.
In the clip they have a range of camera shots. The first one we see is that of an establishing shot. The establishing shot is shown mainly to set the scene of the film. We then go on to have a close up of the bomber. The reason for this close up is that it reveals the face of one of the main characters and that of the feeling on the face off the character such as him being calm or nervous. The camera then has a P. O. V (point of view) shot from the first class cabin to the toilets at the back of the economy class cabin.
The reason they have done this is because they would like to show the audience how tight and aeroplane like the stage is. The next different shot we see is that of an over the shoulder shot between the airhostess and at this time LL Cool J. They have use it because they for the first reason is they had followed him through the P. O. V shot. The second reason being is so that they can get the look on the airhostess face after LL Cool J says a name of a drink and then says “bullet straight”. The airhostess looks away in disgust, so the audience can see what he thought of it.
The next shot we saw was a two shot when LL Cool J sat next to the bomber. It is used because it shows both characters at the same time and they are communication to each other. The last shot we see is that of a high angle hot when they are falling from the sky because high angle shots are there to show that the character(s) are not in control of what they are doing. The camera movements that we see in the clip are pan shot, tilt, zooming in and out, steadicam and crane shot. The pan shots were all used in the aeroplane.
The reason for this was to set the scene of being inside of an aeroplane. The zooming in and out shots were used when the heroine asked the villain to look at the bomb. It was used to show the audience that the bomb was working and he had it on him and it had not got long left before the plane would have exploded. The steadicam was used when it was doing the P. O. V shots so that it looked like a person was walking up to the other side of the plane. The crane shots were used at the end when they were flying out of the sky so that people would thing it was real.
The special effects that were used in the Charlie’s Angels clip are found in most Action and Adventure movies. They were that Chromokey, of CGI (Computer Generated Imagery), stunts, wirework, and pyrotechnics. Chromokey is used when something is to do dangerous to film that it has to be made up such as jumping of a bridge. The characters act the scene out in front of a blue or green screen. Then in post-production the crew can project the real bridge in front of it so that it looks like they have really jumped of a bridge but really they are safe and sound.
In the clip the Chromokey is used when the characters have jumped out of the plane and are falling towards the ground. The CGI was used right at the beginning of the clip when they use the Columbia logo as the sky from where the plane is coming from. The stunts they have used are when both villain and heroine are fighting inside of the plane just before they jump out of the aeroplane. The wirework is used on Lucy Lui when they show Lucy Lui chasing both the villain and her heroine friend.
We see a low angle shot of her seemingly falling after them but she is using a wire that is strapped to the back of her and she is also using the Chromokey to suggest that she is free falling from sky when she is not. The pyrotechnics that are used in this film is that of the explosion when the bomb seems to go off. To create this kind of explosion it is all done in Post-production where they can add an explosion so that it looks like the real thing. The editing of this film is in a number of stages. The first stage that they use is the simple cut method.
They film the clip in about three or four different stages and then in post-production they put it together so that it looks like it was all done at one go. It is quiet hard to tell where there is a cut in the film but if you look very closely you can tell. The first cut is just as LL Cool J is leaving the toilet. The door of the toilet is opening when there is a small repetition when the door goes back in before it opens out fully. The other cut is made when LL Cool J is sitting with the bomber. At that time the bomber is looking out of the window.
A cabin crewmember walks quickly passed, and then we see the bombers face to the front again. The other kind of editing that they used in this clip is that the fighting scene was speeded up. When the scene was filmed it was all done in slow motion so that no one would get hurt. Then in post-production they can speed the filming up so that it looks like it was done as quick as in the clip itself. The Chromokey was finally finished in the post-production by getting the action that was filmed in front of the blue or green screen and putting the location that it was supposed to be filmed, at the back.
The audio codes that have been used in this film are that they use a fast beat of music at the beginning so that it is telling the audience that something serious will be happening soon. When the heroines and villain have jumped out of the plane there is a kind off speed sound that is showing the audience that, at that moment in time everything is happening quiet quickly. Then at the end they have some calming music to let the audience know that the Angels are safe and well.