The Breakfast Club

Deconstruct the cover of the breakfast club and the opening sequence of the film with references to media language and presentational devices. ‘The breakfast Club’ is a film written and directed by John Hughes in 1985, about five stereotypical teenagers going to a Saturday morning detention. From the front of the video cover you can clearly see five people you would see on the street, but by looking on the back it says they are a brain, an athlete, a basket case, a princess and a criminal.

With this being a John Hughes film you can tell it is going to be a teen flick from some of the other films he has written like ‘Pretty In Pink’ You can very quickly see who is who on the front cover of the picture and that they aren’t friends as this isn’t a group photo. The brain is wearing smart clothes with what looks like a calculator watch, he has a smart haircut. He is wearing short trousers and clean trainers. He is situated at the far right of the picture as if he is getting pushed out. The connotations of this is that he isn’t well liked as he is cleverer than most of the other people.

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The athlete is looking straight into the camera as if he is the one and only person in the photograph. He is situated right in the middle as if he is well respected in the school. He is wearing a sports jacket with jeans and trainers. His hair is styled in slick curtains and he appears to takes a great deal of a time on his appearance. The basketcase is sitting down between the criminal and the athlete and is trying to hide away from life, which only makes her stand out more than the rest of the students.

She has long black hair and a green skirt on, which is out of date for the time the film was shot. She is hiding her chest from view of the camera, as if she is self conscious, and is generally hiding so she doesn’t get seen. The princess wears a long brown skirt with long brown boots and a pink top. She has obviously spent a lot of money on her clothes and appearance. She may have rich parents that can afford to supply her with nice cloths. Her hair has been styled and she generally looks like she does not want to be there by the look of disbelief on her face.

She is standing next to the athlete as she is trying to push further into the picture to flaunt her good looks. The criminal has a denim jacket and a checked shirt on. He is wearing jeans and has long hair, which is stereotypical for a criminal. He has spent no time on his appearance and generally doesn’t care. He is wearing dark sunglasses to hide his appearance. He is on the far left of the picture and has he hand raised to show his power other the other students. Unlike the brain he still looks as if he has street credibility.

All five are in front of a set of red lockers so you form the impression they are all in school. The phrase ‘they only met once, but it changed their lives forever’ has the main focused on the front of the video box and give the idea that they all become friends. Three of the main characters’ names have been put on the front also ‘Emilio Estervz’ ‘Judd Nelson’ and ‘Ally Sheedy’. The director ‘John Hughes’ also has his name on the front cover, which shows they are the most important members of the cast. When you turn over the box you are hit with the same five people up close as if they are all friend.

The basketcase and the brain have come out of them selves and have joined in with the group. There are also smaller pictures of the brain and the athlete talking and also the basketcase and the princess, this isn’t what you would normally expect to happen. This also re-enforces the saying ‘they only meet once, but it changed their lives for ever’. The opening title of the film is a black screen with yellow, plain text, which proceeds to show all the casts names, ‘John Hughes’ then appears in a larger font than the rest.

This is because he is an important person in the film as he is the writer and the director. The title of the film ‘The Breakfast Club’ then follows this in a plain white font. A poem appears by ‘David Bowie’ a famous singer from the 70’s ‘And these children that you spit on As they try to change their worlds Are immune to your consolations They are quite aware of what they’re going through’ This shows the fact that the adults think the kids know nothing where as they know quite a lot. The poem which is in white font then shatters on to a seventies concrete school called ‘Shermer High’.

The shattering breaks you through into the film in a flash of a second making you astonished and draws your eyes back to the TV after the credits. It waits on the school in a long view shot (LVS). The camera then goes through a few quick shots. All the images have links to the five students on detention. There is a clock is showing the time of the start of the detention. An empty corridor shows it is a Saturday, as there is no one else in the school. A canteen is also showing no one is in the school. I’m eating my head’ carving shows that the student’s don’t like the school and they don’t care about it. A set of lockers show that the students do not care about their belongings as they are draped across the floor and that they may have left in a hurry on Friday. A ‘Shermer high’ paper is conflicting as it shows that people have put time and effort into the school. ‘I don’t like Mondays’ which has been scribed into the wall shows stupidity and intelligence as it has punctuation in it and is part of a ‘Bob Geldorf’ song.

An exercise book with ‘help’ imprinted on it this probably relates to the basketcase. Some school trophies show that some people take pride in their abilities and also shows the school as important in the world of sport. Graffiti on the wall also shows that some rebels attend the school. Man of the year photos are a positive aspect for the school as it shows that the teachers care for the pupils well being. To add to this the school has well equipped IT rooms, which has an American flag in the corner, which is a very common site in American classrooms.

The camera then flickers to an untidy locker room. It then pans down a locker, which says ‘open this locker’, then it has a noose hanging from the door followed by ‘and you die FAG’. Although this is vandalism of school property the vandal seems to be intelligent. This is because he has used punctuation and has shown the use of thought to develop this idea. This can be associated with the criminal, as none of the other students seem to be that way inclined. The students then start to arrive. The princess arrives in a silver BMW; the connotations of this are wealth.

It also shows inside the car when the dad says’ I can’t get you out of this one’ which shows she is a daddy’s girl. The brain arrives in a car with a number plate EMC2. This is a mathematical equation and shows that this is possibly the brain. He arrives in a car with his mum and sister; there is no sign of a father figure. His sister always agrees with the mother. The athlete arrives in a brown and cream jeep with his father. His father is talking about getting into a good sports team and how he won’t if he carries on the way he is going, but he makes no eye contact with him, as he leaves the car he slams the door in rage.

The criminal seems to appear from nowhere and walks out straight in front of a car with out a care in the world. He walks into school while stealing sticky notelets from a desk. He promptly moves the brain from a chair he wishes to sit on, and puts his feet on a chair opposite. The basketcase gets out of a blue car and leans forward to say something to the driver. With out hesitation the driver speeds off. She enters school with a temper and goes the long way to her chair. From just a short part of the film you can tell who is who and what they are going to be like.