- Describe visual/verbal features used in a visual/oral text you have studied. Explain how these features contributed to the text as a whole.
Dunkirk is a 2017 war movie directed by Christopher Nolan. The Movie Dunkirk is about the evacuation of British troops from France off of Dunkirk beach three Visual/Verbal features in this film are Shepard tone, the ticking watch and camera shots
The evacuation of Dunkirk was when the Germans were pushing into France and slowly taking control over it so the British evacuated their troops from Dunkirk beach for the next battle which is the battle of Britain but with this, the British could not get their troops off of Dunkirk with the German U-boats and German planes sinking their big destroyers so they resorted to small civilian boats to evacuate the troops.
One of the non-diegetic Verbal features in this film is Sheaperds tone and we can hear this pretty much constantly throughout the film. The sound director Hans Zimmer uses Sheaperds tone to make scenes feel tenser because the whole thing of Shepard tone is to make it seem like the sound is consistently getting higher or lower and that it never ends so it makes it seem like it’s going on forever and with that, it builds tension in the scene giving the effect that something bad is going to happen but we don’t know when. like how Tommy was on the beach and the Stuka dive bombers dropped the bombs and Tommy and all the other soldiers were lying on the ground waiting for the bombs to either hit them or pass over them and while that’s happening we can hear the non-diegetic sound of Shepard tone playing as the bombs are going off.
Another big and very significant non-diegetic verbal feature is the ticking of the watch the ticking of the watch gives us the feeling that time is running out for the characters and that they do not have enough time to escape or fight. It’s almost like it’s counting down to their timely deaths. we hear the ticking of the watch in almost every single scene that the air force pilot called Farrier is in. the ticking of the watch is a huge part of his scenes and is very meaningful. Because Farrier has limited fuel in his plane and if he doesn’t have enough fuel to get back to the United Kingdom then he will surely die, the ticking of the watch emphasises this theme with it giving the whole feeling of that time is running out or that time is slipping away.
A visual feature of Dunkirk is the extreme close-up shots Christopher Nolan uses throughout his film. Christopher Nolan uses close-up shots in his scenes with Farrier he uses these close-up shots on Farrier’s broken fuel gauge to show us that his broken fuel gauge is very important and that we should be paying attention to this. Christopher Nolan uses close-up shots of Farrier’s fuel gauge and the non-diegetic sound of the ticking watch this shows the audience that Farrier is running out of time or is running out of fuel so it adds a lot of tension to the whole theme of that time is running out.
In conclusion, all these visual and verbal features contribute a whole lot to the film Dunkirk by building tension in scenes with Shepard tone and not knowing when something bad is going to happen to the characters. Also, the ticking of the watch gives the audience the feeling that time is running out for the characters and that they don’t have long left until their death. And with the extreme close-up shots of Farrier’s broken fuel gauge showing us something that is very important to the scene and also building tension with the ticking of the watch to signify that time is running out for Farrier and that he will die.