William Goldings ‘Lord Of The Flies’

I am studying the first edition Film of ‘Lord Of The Flies’ for this assesement. I am going to be looking at the media aspect of the film, and how the film has been made to dramatise and do the story justice. I am going to be looking at such things as the setting, the characters, the music, the sound effects, the camera movement and the visual effects.

The film begins calmly by showing old scenes of a school, there is no music at this point but sounds matching the pictures of classrooms and dining halls, as this finishes sounds of boys in a choir start and again the pictures which you see on the screen matches the sounds, This opening sequence of the film does not suggest any of the later happenings in the film but instead seems to show a happy and controled atmosphere.

The screen then shows a cricket match on what looks like to be a sunny summers day, but as this begins images of destruction and war begin to show up and a tense sounding drum beat begins, I think this is put there to begin building up tension for the viewers and give them a sense of uneasyness. As the pictures and images proceed the drum beat builds up again and shows images of a plane crashing into the sea. The opening sequence of images then dramaticly stops. By this point in the film you have not seen any of the characters or the setting but your attention has already been grabbed by the danger aspect and climax.

The beginning of the story is opened with a short character wearing glasses, scrambling around some shrubs. The setting is then shown to be a beautiful looking desert island with hot sunshine and white sand. Music is no longer played as the characters begin to interact and meet for the first time apart from a flute sounding intrument, which gives the impression of being carefree and happy. In terms of sound effects there is rarely more than animal sounds or environmental noises such as waves or weather. This probably being as the film must have been made around the 1940’s when technology was not as advanced as it is now.

As you begin to meet the characters you realise that the film is set in the pre 2nd world war times and the characters are all between the ages of 8 and 13, and some of the characters seem upper class and some lower, this may show why there is later a clear divide between groups on the island.

The genre of the film is not made clear at the beginning, as it is hard to identify whether the film is dramatic because of the start, or friendly and humurous because the boys meet on a beautiful tropical setting.

As the storyline develops the boys seem to begin loosing their sense of rationality and control. This is shown on the film as the weather begins to deteriorate. Hunting begins and disagreements start between the boys. The atmosphere then becomes more tense and dull. Also something, which shows danger and uneasyness, is when the happy flute begins to sound less frequent and in its place becomes a deep drum and thunderstorm sound effects.

A sequence in the film which stands out, is when the boys dance around a fire. The camera follows the flames and sparks flying into the air as the boys are screaming and shouting in the background, the camera also changes between shots very quickly as well, this goves you a feeling that the boys on the island are now loosing control and a sense of darkness and evil is taking over the group. As the atmosphere is tense and roudy the boys get caught up in the moment and as one of the characters runs from the forest towards the group he is attacked and killed. The atmosphere in the film then changes dramaticly and a sense of guilt and calmness is shown by a veiw of the sea glistning in the sun and soft music is again heard.