'A cataclysm of carnage, nausea, and death'. SAVING PRIVATE RYAN and visceral engagement
In interviews promoting the release of his 1998 film SAVING PRIVATE RYAN, Steven Spielberg said he had in the 30-minute opening 'Omaha Beach'-sequence intended to render war and warfare as realistically as possible: war evoked as it really was and really is. This essay suggests that in attempting to create greater 'realism' Spielberg and his team broke in a striking wag with traditional 'classic' forms of realism in order to solicit an effect of extreme bodily and emotional engagement.Further, this paper examines whether physical response effect of movies on viewers in the so-called 'body genres' as described in recent articles can be applied to the Omaha Beach-sequence as well. Moreover, the attention this sequence received seems to reveal a distinct change in expectations of a war film, both from an American and a European point of view. Finally, the present article claims to clarify how the visceral body effects in SAVING PRIVATE RYAN are to be understood, and how this new method as applied in a war film relates to the contemporary discourse on filmmaking.
|Keywords||media history, war, film|
|Publisher||Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision|
|Journal||Tijdschrift voor Mediageschiedenis|
|Rights||Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).|
|Note||TMG Journal for Media History; Vol 5, No 1 (2002); 50-66|
Turnock, Julie. (2002). 'A cataclysm of carnage, nausea, and death'. SAVING PRIVATE RYAN and visceral engagement. Tijdschrift voor Mediageschiedenis, 5(1), 50–66. doi:10.18146/tmg.517