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Back to the future Essay Sample

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Back to the future Essay Sample

In this assignment I am going to write a detailed analysis of the ways in which the makers of back to the future successfully use the film presentational devices (technician, written symbolic and audio codes) in the opening title sequence to set up the “world” of the story and the main characters who live in it.

The Back to the future film (1985), It’s a thoroughly feel good film, Marty goes back to 1955 in a DeLorean that has been turned into a time machine. Between these years is the main part of the action of the film. It’s accessible to all ages and enjoyable. The story is about a teenager who travels back in time and meets his own parents as teenagers, it is exciting and original. At the start of the film the director introduces the clocks, clocks are slowly moving from one to another the sound of the clocks increases; this tells us time is most important. The time is all about past.

Technical codes

The technical code reveals lots of information to the audience in the opening sequence. The camera is moving around the Doctor’s room, in order to invite us into the setting of the first scene. The opening sequence introduces the characters and the world of the film. It creates expectations and also curiosity. The images we see are important. For example, the clocks makes us wonder what is going to happen next. This is setting up a feeling of suspense to the audience.

The distance from the objects is changing as the camera is moved along. At the start it shows one clock ticking, but later we can see how many clocks are in the room. Also we can see that all the clocks are different, which gives us a feeling of a variety clocks, like some kind of collection. It emphasises that the clocks are very important.

As the audience are introduced to the Doc’s room, a character enters the scene. As Marty come s in, we do not see his face directly, because the position of the camera is low. His action of taking out the keys from under the rug suggests the trust between Marty and the owner of the room.

Written codes

The beginning of the film shows Steven Spielberg’s name, which is famous in creating films of entertainment, adventure and fun, which are not too deep. This gives the audience and idea about the possible philosophy of this film and it suggests that the film will be entertaining and fun.

As the camera is moved along, the audience can see newspaper articles. The articles are about the Doc. They suggest that this character is unsuccessful and a big disappointment. Another fact suggesting his unfortunate is that he has been bankrupted and his house was burned. However, other things that the audience can notice are the photos of the Doc’s family members; it suggests that the character’s family were rich and successful in the past. This also represents a kind of tradition of the family, because whether or not the Doc will fail to invent something, he will keep on trying and not give up.

Continuing noticing written codes, the audience can identify the name of the doc’s dog. The name is written on the dog bowl and it’s says ‘Einstein’. The name of the dog is related to the owner of the dog, because Einstein was a famous scientist back in time.

As Marty travels to school, we can identify some more written codes. For example, the slogan of a candidate, who is a black man. This may be important further in the movie, as it symbolises a changing society.

Audio codes

The audience can hear the sound of clocks ticking, at the beginning of the first scene. This expresses the theme of this story, which is time. However, as the scene goes along, the audience hear more and more clocks. This symbolises the eccentric dog’s lifestyle, because conventional people would not keep so many clocks in one room.

The audience hear the news on the television. The news reader talks about the stolen plutonium, which is hidden under the doc’s bed. This suggests that something is important is going to happen.

Finally, as Marty travels to school, the audience can hear a song, which is called, ‘The Power of Love’. This emphasises the theme of love. The music is optimistic and upbeat. It suggests a teen culture and fun.

Symbolic codes

Marty’s character’s clothing is presented symbolically. He wears jeans, NIKE trainers and a jacket. This suggests the type of clothes, which were fashionable to wear. Also it shows his style, which is very free and fun.

Other symbols are homemade appliances. As the camera is moved along the room of the Doc, we can identify the technologies made by the Doc to suit his needs. For example when the alarm rings, the homemade machine puts food for the Einstein, the television switches on and other symbols. This suggests the creativity of the Doc and his eccentric lifestyle.

The town where the scene is filmed is represented as an American Dream Town. It is showed as a quiet place to live. All people are used their routines of each day. Everybody in this town knows everybody. This idea came up when I saw Marty travelling to school and waving to the ladies in the gym. The live in the town is idealised, this is implied with a modern urban life of the people. It also involves innocence, creating an image of decrease of crimes.

From this film the presentational devices successfully to combine to set up the world and the main characters. I think the audience most enjoy this film very much and it’s most useful for the teenagers. “Back to the Future” is a very smart film that benefits from likeable characters and an insightful screenplay. The film starts slow, and gradually goes faster as it progresses. The film is great fun.

Read also:

Scriptwriter
The neorealist movement
Moulin Rouge Report

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