Sample Basic Textual Analysis


The extract is taken from the pre-title sequence of the James Bond movie The World is Not Enough, directed by Michael Apted (1999).

Camera angle, shot, movement and positions

A combination of long, medium-long and medium shots is used to see the whole scene (river location scattered with other boats/jetties/obstacles and the two principal characters in their boats). Tracking shots are frequently used in this sequence to follow the boats and allow the viewer to become involved in and excited by the action. Medium close‑ups are used to show reactions and give details of props such as guns and boat gears. These are used as inserts in the editing process. Point‑of‑view shots are used to show what Bond and the woman see, and to involve the viewer in the tension of the race.

Editing

The sequence comprises a series of mini-sequences linked together by continuity editing to maintain the spatial relationships, establish cause‑and‑effect progression and to construct narrative/geographical/logical coherence through to the end of the sequence. Editing is used to link a series of visual jokes that construct a narrative for those familiar with Bond’s rebellious image, rejecting authority (river police/car clampers/City business diners) and cutting through obstacles to achieve his ends.

Sound

Original soundtrack and variations on the classic James Bond theme create familiarity and continuity, fulfilling the audience expectations for what is to follow. Music is used to control the pace of the narrative and in conjunction with vision editing accentuates changes of action and location. Music is used to emphasize the visual joke of Bond straightening his tie underwater.

Mise-en-scène

The location—River Thames, Docklands, Canary Wharf—presents icons of the London cityscape. Other icons of London, such as the red double-decker bus and the police, are reinforced for an international audience. Costume codes such as the femme fatale in a red suit and leather jacket signify danger, sex and physicality. The trousers are sporty and practical. There are strong contrasts to Bond’s clothes.

 

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