Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Audio Arts - Week 2 - Reservoir Dogs Analysis

The film I have chosen to look at is Reservoir Dogs, which is directed by Quentin Tarantino.


Scene 1: 9 min 15 seconds – 11 min 11 seconds
Dialogue: The opening dialogue is faded in whilst the opening credits are still playing. Mr Orange expresses his fear of dying with Mr White as they escape after a bungled jewellery store robbery. Mr Orange has been shot whilst stealing a car to escape in. Mr White try’s to calm down Mr Orange as they drive back to the rendezvous point. The news is on the radio is faded up to a barely audible level at the end of the scene.
Music: The music fades out as the dialogue is faded in. Music drops dramatically when picture cuts to two men in car and gives effect of being on the car radio, which is then subtly faded out completely.
Fx: Cars driving in the opposite direction past the car Mr Orange and Mr White are travelling in.
Foley: Noises made by Mr Orange as he moves on the back seat of the car including hitting feet on the seat and door as well as springs in seat
Atmos: The noise of the car Mr Orange and Mr White are travelling in which is very faint.

In this scene the music is not very important. It serves as a transition from the opening credits to the next scene. The dialogue is the primary sound source as the story takes it first step towards being pieced together. The Fx of the passing cars are used to add the feeling of movement particularly as they are panned in accordance with their direction.

Scene 2: 74 min 21 seconds – 74 min 14 seconds
Dialogue: The dialogue is at the start and end of this scene. The opening dialogue is between Mr Orange and the son of Mr Orange’s boss telling him to come down to the car. The end section if dialogue is of Mr Orange reassuring himself of the work he has done so far undercover. The music is off at this point and the focus is on the dialogue.
Music: Scene starts with radio playing softly. I am unsure of the title of the song however the lyrics feature the words “fool for love”. There is some dialogue at the start which when finished; the music is faded up as the main focus. The film cuts to some members of the gang who are waiting outside and the music cuts. When the picture returns to Mr Orange in his home, the music returns at a louder volume which giving a sense of location. The music acts as a symbolism of the work he has done as an undercover police officer. The music also gives a sense of anticipation as to the ensuing action. As with the music throughout the film, the music is playing from the radio. The radio is switched off just before he leaves the flat and just as the dialogue starts again.
Fx: most sounds I feel fall under the Foley category
Foley: This scene uses a lot of foley as Mr Orange is getting ready to leave for the robbery. As the music takes the forefront in the scene, only certain aspects are accented via the foley otherwise the usual sounds like footsteps are not heard while the music is at the front. Some of these feature sounds include checking the two guns, putting the first gun in the holster and picking up the cigarettes. When the music is at a lower level more foley is predominate such as the keys, footsteps, coins, phone ringing, etc.
Atmos: No atmos in this scene that I could tell.

In this scene the music is used to create a sense of anticipation as Mr Orange is getting ready to leave. The dialogue is still the most important part at the beginning and end of the scene, which is shown by the lowered/off music volume at these points. The foley plays an important part accenting certain aspects of Mr Orange’s preparation.

Summary: I have wondered why this movie doesn’t feature scored music and uses already existing songs from the era. Whilst researching this film abit more on the Internet I have thought that one of the reasons ma have been budget restrictions of the film as it was an independent film and Tarantino’s first feature film. However I also think that the music on the radio idea creates a line that runs throughout the whole movie and gives the audience a sense of time. The songs also create a connection with the members of the audience who have heard them before.

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