Thursday, 10 September 2009

Dexter essay so far (So I can use it at home)

Dexter textual analysis essay

In this essay I will be writing a textual analysis on the Dexter title sequence. This sequence however is unlike many others I have seen. This sequence combines a lot of close-up shops with jump cuts in between them. Along with an eerie foley track, playing over the entirety of the sequence (with an exception of the end, where you see the actual ‘’Dexter’’ who is shown leaving his apartment).

It all begins when the theme tune begins with a mosquito readying to suck Dexter’s blood, but as it does so, he awakes and smacks the unsuspecting insect with his hand, killing it, smiling as he did so. The camera is focused on his arm, where the mosquito stands, with his face blurred in the background. But after the insect was killed, the camera focuses on Dexter’s face, bringing out his murderous expression. The sound is edited at the point that Dexter kills the Mosquito, using a fake digetic sound which enhances the way he is presented.

Next, the title of the show is shown, presenting the title in blood-dripping text on a flesh-coloured background. On the bottom of the ‘’X’’ and ‘’E’’ the blood is smudged more than the other letters, giving them a dirty look, whereas the other letters are clean around the edges. Near the ‘’R’’ of the title, you can find a splatter of blood, increasing the murderous theme of the sequence. The blood in the lettering is animated, so the viewer can notice the blood flow as they read the title, yet again increasing the murderous theme. The music adds to this effect aswell, as the foley track continues onward through it all, with the chimes and washboard effects taking off as this scene leads you into the more important elements of the sequence.

The next scene and onwards truly present the murderous ways of Dexter, turning every day events into scenes of murder, such as shaving, cooking breakfast and flossing teeth etc. The next scene shows Dexter looking at a blurred reflection in a mirror, most recognisable as a bathroom mirror as he is looking down at first, then looks upwards to see his reflection. The camera is focused on the actual character, but he is to the right of the screen, out of place so the viewer can not see his true identity as of yet. As this scene is shown, the opening credits begin showing, to the side of the screen to not hide the actions that happen during the sequence.

The camera then makes a jump cut to the next scene of the sequence, to an extreme close up to his hand, upon moving downwards; it reveals a neck with facial hair (which is Dexter’s). Probably getting ready to shave, this action has no sound as it is disguised by the theme tune that remains to the creepy effect, readying the viewer to see what will happen next, which as expected is Dexter shaving. It then swiftly zooms out to reveal him beginning to have a shave. The sound of the shaving is once again hidden behind the music as he performs the everyday action. A name is credited in this scene, like the next where another is shown. It then jump cuts to the result of the shaving, with Dexter beginning to bleed. As the extreme close up to his neck is shown, the blood begins to drip from the top center of the screen, swiftly switching to a close-up of the bottom of a sink. This is where the blood lands, shortly afterward the camera cuts to reveal more blood that appears to have once again splattered, brilliantly increasing the noticeability of the Darker side of Dexter. As more blood is revealed, no credit is shown, but a loud chime rings in time with the revealed blood.

The scene then switches to Dexter using a tissue to absorb the dripping blood from the bottom, the camera then shows us an extreme close-up of the tissue soaking it up, given the imagery of a hospital-like feel, as the blood continues to soak into the tissue. The credited name is in the bottom left of the screen, where the blood quickly moves behind, changing the colour of the white text to a fleshy orange colour.

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