Thursday, 4 February 2010

L.A Confidential

L.A Confidential is a film based on neo-noir novel by James Ellroy in 1990. The film was released in 1997 and is about police corruption and Hollywood celebrity in 1950's Los Angeles. I chose to research this film and it's opening as the group has discussed that we would like to set the film in the past, possibly the 1970's.

The title sequence of this film is different from other thrillers i have seen. The majority of the titles consists of a montage of images a clips of 1950's Hollywood. Some of the clips are in black and white and clearly original clips taken from the 50's which have been bought for the film, and some are acted scenes of violence or pretend newspaper headlines. The narrator begins to talk over this montage, he talks of Hollywood becuase paradise, saying "come to LA", there's cheap lande, happy American families, beaches and sun. "Life is good in LA, parade on Earth, that's what you think anyway." We feel the sarcasm in his voice. He then talks on organised crime, murders, drugs and prostition. "Mickey C" is mentioned as the villain, typical of thrillers, the audeince think they know the villain from the start giving them a false sense of security. We find out the Mickey C was recently killed, the narrator says "it's only a matter of time befor someone fills Mickey C's boots." Following the montage is a low angle shot of a man typing on a typewriter in a Hollywood house. He finishes typing and pulls the paper out, we realise he is the narrator and has been writing an article for the magazine "Hush Hush", a glamourous magazine. In this opening the scene is set, characters are introduce and the audience feel they know what 50's Hollywood life is like. I personally felt comfortable after watching this, i expected murder and drugs in the rest of the film and i really had a sense of the period and setting of the film.

The montage is editted in a fast pace and there is 50's happy, cheesy music in the background. Between clips of celebrities in the montage, there is the sound of a camera snapping, as if each clip had been a photo that had just been taken. This adds to the feel of the celebrities, we feel like paparrazzi. The titles are across the screen during the montage. The font is square and yellow, with a small black shadow behind. The titles are always in the same place, in the middle towards the bottom of the screen. The yellow text shows up well against the shots behind. The LA Confidential logo is very square and slanted, in red. The font looks old fashioned because of its plain, square quality.

LA Confidential does not thrill in it's opening sequence necessarily, the viewer is expecting to be thrilled by the gangster storyline the opening hints at. I like the montage of clips used in the opening sequence and the style of the filming, but i don't think that it would attract a younger audience as i think they could be quite bored, i think there is too much talking. However i was inspired by the mix of black and white filming, which doesn't effect the flow of the film. I like the idea of using black and white for flashback scenes.

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