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World War II film Saving Private Ryan (1998), directed by one of my favorites, Steven Spielberg, is what I the topic my topic of week five’s discussion. This film is like no other World War II film that I have seen because of the realistic combat. I found myself getting overwhelmed, covering my eyes, and getting sick to my stomach from time to time through the movie. From the very beginning of the film on Omaha Beach, the D-Day landing scene gave me a glimpse of how the stress of combat experience could have felt.

Movie-watchers do not think about how the color scheme plays a significant part and sets different tones. The muddy browns, dark greens, and greys are the predominant colors throughout the movie. This movie does not have many vibrant, happy colors, and for a good reason. For instance, in Saving Private Ryan, the Normandy landing scene opens slowly to a beach. The setting is solemn, and the continuous color scheme of bland greys is an excellent cinematography piece. I felt like it made the red blood colors and the explosion colors stand out even more. Also, almost every shot was dreary and had vintage-like colors that gave the feeling of war and hopelessness. There was a part in this scene when the soldiers were near water that contrasted the typically dreary colors with a calming blue hue. The change of color gave me some hope that it may be safer under the surface, and then those hopes were instantly shattered when shots were fired, and red clouds pierced through the calming blue colors punishing me for even thinking there was any hope approaching the soldiers. This is an excellent mise-en-scene because it represented my change of emotions. 

Another color paly example is in the scene where “Duty” is talking and joking as the crew marches toward their mission. Throughout this scene, the conversation is more cheerful, but the lighting and colors of grey and green continue to give a gloomy narrative, so my mood does not change much.

Saving Private Ryan has the same dull, dreary colors and low-key lighting, which looks dark and intensifies the shadows as the other War films in Week Five’s content. The desaturation of color is often used in war films.

Saving Private Ryan’s narrative, editing, camera movement, and color scheme throughout the movie jumped out of the screen and attacked me as a viewer. Every part of its cinematography placed the watcher in the combat experience, and I loved it in a good but bad way.



The war film I watched for this week was 1917 (2019) directed by Sam Mendes. This film takes place during World War I and follows two British soldiers throughout most of the movie. This film is unique because it is shot as a “one shot film” where the director uses lighting and different angles with very few cuts to give a continuous feeling throughout the entire film. It gives audiences a more connected feeling as it seems like the scenes never end and you are with the characters throughout the entirety. This film compares to the other films in this weeks content by showing what war was like. They show the emotions, consequences, and outcomes of real wars and how they effected history. One thing these films are great at is showing loss. In almost every war movie there is almost always a scene that depicts the loss of a teammate or friend. The scenes are usually filled with emotion and hard to watch. This film, like the others in this weeks content, has extremely sad scenes to watch and tries to get the audience to understand the horrors of war. 

The first time color plays a major part in the film is when the film has one of its first cuts. The director uses a dip/fade to black technique in order to transition scenes. Because this is a “one shot film” the director has to use certain techniques in order to give the feeling the scene doesn’t end. In this example, they use the color black to follow the two main characters into a bunker to talk to a general. The color black is used to follow them in, go dark for a second, and then have the scene reappear like it never ended. This same example is used a few more times throughout the film in order to seamlessly transition between different scenes. Another color that played a significant role was yellow. This film has a lot of areas filmed in dark places especially towards the end when the lead actor is in a burning city at night time. You see the vibrancy of yellow which helps illuminate a lot of these dark scenes and allows the viewer to see what is going on. Without this it would be very difficult to see anything. Lastly, I think the color blue played a significant part in the film. This film takes place largely outdoors in trenches and in dirt filled areas. I think a lot of darker colored objects in this film have a blueish tint in order for them to stick out more. With the objects being largely in dirt colored areas and having the same similar color, like wood and dirt, adding a blueish tint would slightly distinguish the objects while not fully removing their original color. 

I think the predominate color of this film was green. Throughout the majority of the film you constantly see different shades of green. The soldiers uniforms that you stare at for the entire film are a light green. The background, grass, trees, and environment in general has green throughout the entire film. I think this color is used so much because generally green is a “happy” color. This film depicts the horrors and terrors of war as the lead actor is desperately trying to get to his brother in time. With the use of green it almost temporarily distracts the audience away from a lot of the horror in order to give it a happy natural feeling and sense of “safeness” in certain scenes. Overall, this movie is fantastic and the director did an amazing job with making it seem like it was completely done in one shot. 

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