Se7en opening title sequence
analysis-mise en scene
Locations
Location and how it is typical of the genre
• The location is unknown due to the entire opening title sequence being filmed
with close ups and extreme close ups.
• We presume it to be the character’s home, warehouse or a hideaway building as it
is inside.
• It is typical of the genre because it instantly encourages the audience to ask
questions about why it is kept a secret. It is a way that the director uses restricted
narration-giving limited information to the audience.
• The fact that the location appears to be a warehouse, etc, this suggests the film is
set in an ordinary location, which is also a trait of thrillers.
How it contributes to the representation of the characters
• The unknown whereabouts of the setting emphasises a hidden identity of the
character who uses it.
• The unknown identity of this character suggests it is the main antagonist of the
film.
Lighting/ colour
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Two images of hands on paper-one is dark and one is light, possibly signifying a
fight between good and evil.
Often dark and shadowy over the character’s work-this suggests that the character
is an antagonist and is creating an evil scheme or crime.
Red lighting over or surrounding a black and white image of unknown people-this
suggests a sense of danger, violence and death; this is assumed to have been the
main character in the sequence’s responsibility.
Small drop of red blood falls onto a paper-this emphasises a sense of danger
surrounding the character and that he is meticulous in the creation of his plan (he
slices off the skin on the tips of his fingers to avoid putting finger prints on his
work.
Black highlighter- the colour suggests death and danger will be main themes in the
film
White font-the colour white appears ghostly; this could represent that a criminal is
on the run and cannot be found be authorities.
Darkly marked hands of character-suggests they are a criminal or someone with a
dark secret.
Costume and appearance of the characters
• The character in the sequence has plastered fingertips
because he slices the skin off-this suggests the character is
hiding a dark secret as well as obviously his identity through
fingerprints. The fact they are doing this suggests they are an
antagonist of the film.
• The character’s hands are darkly marked and stained and look
rough- the rough look to their hands suggests he is violent
and dangerous. The character’s marked hands suggest he is
very hardworking in what they desire to achieve-currently a
mystery to the audience.
• Some people are featured in the form of photographs that the
mysterious main character is using-the lighting, colour and the
fact that the character is highlighting them (in black) could
represent that they have died.
Props
Props
• Pen and highlighters
• Papers
• Photographs
• Blade-to cut off fingertip skin
• Plasters
How are they typical of the genre?
• The blade illustrates that violence will be a recurring theme in the film
(foreboding).
• Photographs are often highlighted creating hidden identities of various people.
They also suggest they are important to the rest of the narrative-they could be
present/past targets, etc.
• Pens, highlighters and paper are all typical as they illustrate the work ethic and
obsession of various characters-in this case the antagonist.
• The plasters on the character’s fingers show a sense of hidden identity-a common
theme within thriller films.
Props continued
How do they add to the action?
• The use of the blade creates tension in the audience as it creates a sense of
foreboding for the remainder of the narrative (danger).
• The use of stationery and photographs illustrates that someone has been planning
a scheme for a long time-the audience question what the plan is whilst this also
creates suspense.
• The plasters add to the action because the audience think that if the character
harms himself, how much harm does he put others in. They also suggest violence
in the rest of the film.
What additional information do they give us about the characters?
• The blade shows the audience that the antagonist is violent and a severe threat to
the public.
• The plasters emphasise the character’s hidden identity-suggesting they are an
antagonist.
• The immense amount of stationery show that this character is a meticulous
planner who is detailed, precise and sadistic.
Actor’s performance-character
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Character seems calm in his actions-no sudden movements or seemingly anxious
actions.
• Character seems methodical in the order he does his work and research
• Character is careful when
• Character uses a lot of detail in his work and research.
What does this tell us about the social status of the characters?
• The coarse hands of the character suggests they work manually, although they are
obviously intelligent from the detail they work with. This therefore suggests the
character is of a working class background and career.
What does it tell us about the personality of the characters?
• The character is meticulous about giving information about his identity away.
• The character is obsessive because everything they do seems to be ordered in a
specific away.
• The detail the character uses suggests that they have completed a lot of planning
and needs to be precise in the completion of the plan/crime itself.
Conventional images to the film-clues to the
forthcoming narrative
• Blade-a blade is frequently used in thriller films as it conveys a sense of
threat, danger and fear-despite the fact the character is using it to slice off
their skin of their fingertips. The blade is a regular prop that causes
suspense and tension in the audience as it suggests violence in the
forthcoming narrative.
• Photographs-these are also conventional features of thriller films; they
show that the character appears to need or target them for something.
However, due to the red lighting often being used when in the presence of
a person’s photo-the audience presumes they are the injured or dead
targets of the character. The photos also create tension as the audience
ask questions relating to their importance and relevance to the narrative.
• Blood- a single drop of blood falls onto a sheet of paper the character has
been using for research. Although it’s use in the sequence is very subtle,
this instantly conveys a sense of danger to the audience and connotes that
the character is an antagonist. It also therefore signifies that violence will
feature heavily in the narrative.
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Se7en opening title sequence analysis-mise en scene