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The opening sequence if a film is particularly important as the filmmaker needs to attract the attention of the audience. Discuss the way’s in which the opening of ‘Clueless’ ensures the audience’s attention. The opening section to ‘Clueless’ is successful because it immediately catches the audience’s attention. The credits, at the beginning of the film, are the first indication of the genre of the film. They zoom onto the screen left and right. We are particularly drawn to the bright, bold and youthful colours. This may suggest the film is for young people.

There is background music during the credits, ‘kids of America’. Moreover, the film title itself may specify the genre of the film; the name ‘Clueless’, together with the appropriate music, may be associated with teenagers misunderstanding in the modern world. Even the film company who produced this film may give clues on the genre of the film. ‘Paramount’ is owned by ‘MTV’; a music channel very popular with teenagers. The next scene of the film is what is known as a ‘montage’. The montage is used to highlight the numerous aspects of the lifestyle of Cher, the main character.

It shows us how wealthy Cher is. For example, we see her shopping carrying expensive designer looking bags; therefore giving us the impression she is wealthy. We establish, by this point, that Cher is the main character since she appears in every montage shot. Subsequently, we see Cher in her bedroom. Cher describes her lifestyle as, “A commercial,” Suggesting she has a privileged lifestyle. On the other hand, this could interpret to some people she is possibly big headed or that Cher is self-obsessed.

There is a voice over, creating intimacy between the audience and Cher; the voice over cleverly introduces Cher to us. Cher happily skips around her room signifying she is a happy and fun loving character. Yet again, we are given an impression of Cher’s wealth. Her wealth is emphasized by the many clothes and shoes we see Cher owns. The camera shots help us understand this. Additionally, Cher has a mannequin in her bedroom demonstrating that she likes fashion. We are given a point of view shot of Cher’s computer; a computer which picks out outfits for Cher daily.

This may advocate that Cher is perhaps lazy or can’t think for herself. We get the impression Cher is a happy and privileged character but possibly big headed, as the mise en scene illustrates. In the following scene we become aware of Cher’s father’s social world, personality and extravagant lifestyle. We are firstly introduced into his ‘world’ when he steps out onto the landing. An over shoulder shot helps us notice the very large and opulent house. We observe the chandeliers, double doors and many other expensive accessories that he possesses.

We recognise he and Cher have a maid, telling us yet again the extent of their wealth. Once Cher’s father reaches the kitchen we witness how Cher looks after her father and their personality differences. Firstly, Cher is wearing bright coloured clothing whereas her father is wearing a dull, grey coloured suit. These colours may reflect their personalities. The director uses a panning shot to show Cher following her Dad around the kitchen. We recognise that they argue like a married couple. As Cher is following Dad they are both arguing and we catch a glimpse of the maid hid behind a wall.

This could tell us Cher’s father is scary or possibly intimidating, this is understandable as he is a lawyer. The voice over helps us relate and get a very accurate impression of Cher’s father. Following this scene, we see Cher driving her car on her way to school. On the way, she picks up her friend, Dionne. We recognise their similarities. In this scene there is a voice over, this helps introduce Dionne to us. Cher mentions that they can relate to each other since they both know what it feels like to have people ‘jealous’ of them. I think this particularly shows their popularity and self obsession.

Together with the girl’s personality, car and clothes, we identify their very affluent surroundings. This is an additional sign that both Cher and Dionne are wealthy. Then, we witness Cher and Dionne’s school environment. I feel that the fact this scene is set in a school, again relates with the teenage lifestyle. We notice there are segregated groups of friends. As Cher and Dionne both walk towards the school doors we recognise how people move out of the way for them; also Cher and Dionne appear to be catch the eye of the audience as they both have bright coloured clothes on, whereas everyone else is simply dressed.

We then witness an argument between Dionne and her boyfriend, Murray. In this scene, in particular, the teenage genre is depicted. We spot the divide between girls and boys as the couple argue. Previous to this argument we are drawn to Murray’s clothes and background music. These factors may be interpreted in his personality traits. We become aware during the argument that Dionne and Murray have very diverse personalities. Where as Murray gives us the impression he is demeaning as he calls Dionne “woman;” Dionne seems more caring and wants their relationship to work.

Also, Murray may be seen as immature or childish. We see Murray in a certain light; his clothes and walk, both shown by the camera shots, give us the sense that he has a ‘gangster’ image. We then watch a scene involving Cher in the classroom. We identify the objects the students own, again linking in with the American teenage genre; skateboards, mobile phones, make up and pagers. As Cher is giving a speech at the front of the class, there is patriotic music in the background.

Together with the camera getting closer and closer to Cher and the class applause after her speech; establishes her popularity again. When Cher receives her report card and she discovers she gained a grade C she seems very disappointed and immediately rings her friend Dionne. As Cher and Dionne both walk out of their classes they bump into each other in the corridor. We observe how they, like outside, stand out; in the sense that their clothes stand out. Other people move out of the way for the friends. We are then given another example of ‘valley’ speak from the girls.

Throughout the opening sequence of Clueless our curiosity is sustained and our expectations for the rest of the film are created. We witness how camera shots help us comprehend with the characters lifestyles and mannerisms. As an audience, we develop a relationship with the characters; particularly in the opening sequence of the film it is noticeably of a modern teen genre. We are drawn into the film immediately and are left wanting to find out more about the characters. The filmmaker is successful in gaining our attention early on in the film.

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