Repelling down from a hovering Black Hawk helicopter, running through the streets in a foreign city, bullets hissing past your ears, bombs are exploding all around you, debris flying in all directions, and you have a job to do. In Black Hawk Down, director Ridley Scott mixes a wide variety of camera movement, camera angles, film speed, tone, and music to throw the audience into the thick of the fighting in Mogadishu, Somalia. Scott places the viewer into the boots of Delta Force members, ARMY Rangers, and many other military positions allowing you to experience the nightmare these soldiers are going through. William Arnold stated "Black Hawk Down is a terrific trip' movie that like Private Ryan plops us right in the middle of a harrowing combat situation, and forces us to experience' it for ourselves, as if we were one of the jangled participants" (par. 11). In the opening scene, "The Start," composer Hans Zimmer uses an ethnic style of music that relates to the African setting and causes a sense of uneasiness in the audience. The uneasy feeling is taken a step further with the blue color tone which creates a gloomy depressing mood. The camera pans over a man mourning a lifeless body then fades to a black screen, allowing the audience to realize the severity of the situation. The camera's shallow focus on the many people dying from starvation shows how Mohamed Farrah Aidid is affecting the people of Mogadishu, thus, causing a greater output of sympathy from the viewer.
The off screen sound of a helicopter means that the American military has come to help apprehend Aidid and restore peace in Somalia. Once the helicopter appears onscreen, the tempo of the music picks up and becomes similar to the James Bond ...
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Arnold, William. "Riveting 'Black Hawk Down' avoids war cliches, but loses its characters in the crossfire." 18 January 2002. SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER. .
Black Hawk Down. Dir. Ridley Scoot. Revolution Studios and Jerry Bruckheimer Films, 2001.
"Black Hawk Down." Newsweek 24 December 2001 : p42, 1/3p.
Chabot, George. "Black Hawk Down: No One Gets Left Behind." Epinions.com. 19 January 2002. < http://www.epinions.com/content_53396999812>.
Coatney, Lou. "Black Hawk Down." American Historical Review October 2002 : 1338.
Doherty, Tom. "The New War Movies As Moral Rearmament: Black Hawk Down & We Were Soldiers." Cineaste Summer 2002 : p4, 5p, 9bw. Academic Search Premier EBSCOhost. Mississippi College Lib., Clinton, MS. 24 February 2006 .
Matray, James I. "Black Hawk Down." Journal of American History 89.3 (2002) : 1176 - 1177.
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