Monday, December 6, 2010

Hurt Locker Analysis

Hurt Locker is an eloquently crafted film that proves how powerful images are. The camera techniques and the cinematography overall is what makes the Hurt Locker shine, in my opinion. To add to the visuals the story itself is engaging and very interesting.
The film centers around 3 soldiers in modern day Iraq. These soldiers are part of the elite Explosive Ordinance Disposal team and they are serving for the United States for the duration of a year. The film uses time as the guiding influence for the soldiers. In the beginning the typical soldier is excited and ready for war. For example Sergeant J. T. Sanborn is cautious, yet ready to continue living his life in Iraq. He wants no children because he doesn't want to be tied down. However, after he witnesses the daily struggles in Iraq along with the constant murders and deaths his character changes, and he develops an entire new outlook on life. Now he hates war and fears death. His eyes can speak for him:

The film shows how traumatizing war is and how it definitely isn't reserved for people with weakness. However, in contrast to this character, Sergeant First Class William James shows no true development as the film progresses, rather, bit by bit his true character is revealed. In the beginning of the film i pictured him as an arrogant man who only enjoys the excitement of war and cares about nothing else. As it turned out my view was true. The opening quote:
"The rush of battle is often a potent and lethal addiction, for war is a drug"
- Chris Hedges
fulling describes both characters. For Sergeant J. T. Sanborn war is lethal which is why he wants to escape and have a son. For Sergeant First Class William James war is an addiction, an addiction that he can't escape, nor wants to. This quote is the overarching theme of the entire film, but one can't become aware of it until the full movie is watched and understood.
The acting in "The Hurt Locker" is phenomenal. The characters are100% believable, so believable that i actually shared the emotions that they felt. I was able to sympathize with them and i actually cared about these characters. There was nothing artificial about them. For example, in the first screen shot Sergeant J. T. Sanborn's eyes reveal sincerity in him. The costumes themselves perfectly fit each scene, and this adds to the realism of the film. For example when the soldiers are in combat they are wearing regularly issued US Army Gear. When they are in their "homes" they are wearing more casual clothes:

This helps the audience understand that these soldiers aren't always in combat. They still perform everyday routines like every other person. The only difference is that they also risk their lives every day as well.
Now the Cinematographer did a remarkable job with the film. Every shot is carefully lit to and framed for the best effect. Also, in certain scenes several vantage points are shown for one moment in time.

These shots show the utter dismay of the bombing. The close of the dust and rust of the car shows how powerful the bomb is since it made the entire ground shake including the car. Then the mix of long, medium, and close shots of the character creates a surreal feeling. One wishes to believe that he incident is impossible, but the film states otherwise. It shows how these bombings occur everyday and it shows how must courage the soldiers have for actually handling or being near these explosives. It is breathtaking and horrible at the same time. Just like the following shot:

This shot is visually gorgeous, but it is also destructive. The fire of course is destroying the life in the area, yet the image has beauty to it. This paradox parallels how war can be both a horrid and dreadful place, but also a place where the person can escape to so that they don't have to deal with regular and boring routines every day. This idea of the boring life is shown at the end of the movie as the main character is seen back at home with his wife and child. He is in the grocery story and is contemplating a very odd choice.

It appears that he can't decide which cereal to choose from. This is quite ridiculous since at war he is used to making life and death decisions daily, but now that he has left war he can't make any simple decisions. The shot is purposefully mundane because it shows the effect war has on certain people. This soldier is so used to making life and death decisions that he has become incapable of making simple daily life decisions. This is because these simple decisions have no interest for him, they bring him no rush. This is why he chooses to go back and serve another year in the army.

The audience becomes somewhat understanding of why he chooses not to stay with his son, but to stay with his true love -- war.
Lighting also helped in adding suspense to some shots.

Here there is little lighting, and this adds mystery to the film. It also adds suspense because the audience wants to know what is happening in the film instead of the characters being concealed by the shadows. Something else to be noted is the depth of field. In almost every single shot in the film there is a lot of depth of field. Perhaps this is done to show vast the setting of Iraq is. In the shot above the depth of field shows a lot of spacial distance. Maybe this was done to convey how far away help is in war. There is a large amount of distance that people must travel before they can help other soldiers. This is since Iraq is such a vast, open, and somewhat remote area. There is a lot of solitude.
Now the editing wasn't really ground breaking or anything. But that is okay because the editing remained simple and clear which allowed for a better understand of the film. It allows the audience to focus on the visuals longer since not many cuts took place. The shots were held for long periods of time, and this allows for a dramatic feel. Only the action shots were really cut fast but that is standard for action shots.
Now, the score of the film was indeed incredible. The Sound effects created an authentic feel of the setting of Iraq. The music helped communicate whatever tones the director intended in whatever shot sequence. However, ambiance was the main music. This added to the realism of the film which i enjoyed quite a lot. It makes the movie, and the situations in the movie much more believable and authentic. Of course, the authenticity is only present because the plot of the movie is so well written.
The movie isn't propelled in a typical fashion where "a" and "b" happens and the result is "c." Rather, the movie cycles through a 365 day period and within this period events are shown that correlate what would happen on a regular day in Iraq. Every day there are bombings, every day there is death. The movie is somewhat repetitive in this sense. This repetitiveness is created to communicate that there is always constant death in war. Death is part of every soldier's daily routine. They fear it, but expect it. This is quite a frightening way of life, but this is their way of life. Their lives make up the plot. And since the events are all plausible, the movie appears to be somewhat of a documentary of life in Iraq. This is supported at the end of the film. When Sergeant James takes another 365 day journey, it can be expected that his 365 period will be just like his previous 365 day period -- exciting, wonderful, and horrid. The Hurt Locker shows the beauty of war, but most importantly, the destructiveness and presence of death in war.

Friday, November 19, 2010

"Sacey/Spa" by Melody C. Miller Review

One thing that i felt the director handled well in this documentary was both sound design and their placements of the shots. They chose to show the speaker's face in the interview and it was extremely more powerful than if they decided to hide the raped victim's face. The reason that this is so is because by showing us their faces we can see that the girls truly are young women, and no older than their late teens.

The narrative is told by the victims themselves, instead of by a witness or someone who has simply heard about the crimes. This makes it much more personal. The women are telling us their life story, and they speak so fluidly that it feels like the experience wasn't necessarily "special" or rather a shocking experience. This communicates how frequently women are victimized, and how people aren't aware of these crimes even though they are occurring in neighboring cities, or even in the cities that they live in. Oakland for example is the city that was focused on and Oakland is only across the Bay from San Bruno. It is quite remarkable and appalling that this is true. Then the director decides to actually show us women who are currently out on the streets "working."

It's distressing that the police do nothing about these women who unfortunately were forced to lose their dignity at a young age. The women speaking also explain how "this is our fight" and that in order for justice to come that all people must cooperate with the law instead of living in fear and hiding the truth from officials. Still, i feel that the police officials should do more about these rape victims because 1 in 5 women being raped and 1 in 10 boys being raped is just such a high percentage that it makes one questioned when they too shall be victimized. However, it is warming to know that their are organizations such as "Missy" who are aiding these women. Indeed this documentary thoroughly informs its audience and definitely myself about the corruption on the streets in this world.
The sound design really creates a sorrowful tone for the piece. In the opening shots

the women's eyes and bloody faces already convey the painful experience that the young women endured. But the choice to focus the camera on only the eyes adds more sympathy and emotion to the shot. This of course is intensified with the musical score that continuously brings the viewer into a sorrowful mood. A mood that makes the audience feel the pain or try to emulate the pain that these women faced. A pain that won't stop until the message of stopping rape and child abuse is heard. This documentary does a great job of sending this message, but it is up to the viewer to choose to listen to it or to ignore it.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Short Documentary

Purpose: To inform people, specifically students, of the hardships that teachers face on a daily basis so that people may become more appreciative of the underpaid teachers. Contacts: Teachers, students, parents. Interview Questions: To Teacher: Why do you believe that teachers are so underappreciated? Do you donate extra time to your students outside of class? If so about how much time do you think that the average teacher works outside of class? To Parents: If your child were to get a bad grade would you blame the child, or the teacher? Do you feel that teachers should receive more gratitude? To Student: How do you feel about your teachers?
General Flow: The beginning will be parents and students answering the questions about teachers. Afterwards the teachers will get to rant about how they feel. Clips of teachers staying after school to tutor students will be shown. Then statistics of teacher wages will be shown. Finally the film will conclude with the teachers challenging students and parents to become more appreciative of the teachers because of the hard work and long hours that they spend to teach the young minds.
Shot List- Images of statistics. Close ups of teachers somewhat enraged with unappreciative students and parents. Long shots and medium shots of teachers spending time with their students after school. Close ups of the parents and students will be shown. Finally a list of the average teacher to student ratio and lastly the average amount of time teachers spend at school.
Scripts: Will rely on teacher’s answers to questions and their take on the piece.
Intro: Teachers, the men and women who have taught us all what we know to this day. Teachers, the most underappreciated workers in America today. Teachers, some of the hardest workers in America.
Closing: Hopefully budget cuts will no longer affect teachers because they indeed deserve so much more money and gratitude than what they currently receive. Perhaps a simple thank you from a student or parent to their teacher will suffice for the teacher, but they certainly deserve much more.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Baraka Review

1. The film is entitled "breath" because the film attempts to capture our breath and our minds. The film shows the world in an outlook never seen before. It shows the world versus just one individual country or province. By doing this the audience is able to see the beauty of the world, and the darkness of it as well. Just as we share the planet's air with every breath we take, we also share the troubles that the world holds.
2. The film definitely critiques the modern world. The most obvious critique was that humans have constantly murdered each other which is a horrid fact that can't be forgotten.

Genocides for example were human acts that killed millions of innocent people. The film shows pictures of holocaust victims as well as other victims from less known yet still devastating genocides. By showing this the film tries to grab the audience's attention and try to teach us that violence is never the answer. The real answer to problems is love because everyone on the planet shares the same home. Regardless of race or any other fictional grouping that one may belong to. The second critique was that people dont appreciate the world.

The breathtaking sites that the film showed brought every person in awe. The reason that this is is because people don't ever get to see these beautiful places on our planet. The film encourages us to travel and see this remote locations because they are the only places whose beauty hasn't been destroyed by modern civilization.
3. I get the message to travel and to appreciate life and taste and smell and everything much more. This is because life is precious and we must appreciate it and make the best of it while we're on this beautiful planet we call home.
4. The absence of voice and text allows for anyone in the world to watch the movie and understand the movie. Language restricts films to the native lands where that specific language is spoken. By not including language and text all people no matter where in the world can see the visuals of the film and comprehend the underlying messages in the film.

5. The image of the people living next to the water shows our relationship with nature. It shows that there are still people in the world who keep in touch with nature, and because they do this they can experience the beauty of nature on a regular basis. This contrasts the city liver who stays confined to their home in the suburbs. The image urges these city dwellers to leave their cell and explore and appreciate the beauty that exists beyond the city's borders.
6.It suggests that religion has made a huge impact on humanity. Also that people should respect those with religion just as people should respect nature. Furthermore, the film suggests that spirituality is the gateway to ecstasy in one's life. The monk shows someone who is attempting to find happiness through religion which is in contrast to the citizens surrounding him who are dashing to their eight hour long job.
7. It shows how neglected that society is and those people are. Modern civilization may appear to be great, but this civilization hasn't bothered to reach the lives of the still poor. Large companies focus more on making money than on helping people. That is how our society and several societies globally function. Even though we all live on the same planet people ostracize other groups who are in dire need. The film calls to modern society to aid these people who have been discarded into the shadows because at the end of the day we all share the same planet and the same air.
8. The breathing in the city stood out to me the most. This is because the breathing shows how unified people truly are. In school we are taught that we are all individuals and that we must stand out from one another. however, the film shows us that we actually are all the same and we should help one another instead of focusing on ourselves.
9. No this vision would have never been brought to my attention if it weren't with watching this film. This vision couldn't really have been created again because i don't believe that there is any way that someone could recreate this vision without simply remaking this film.It does make me want to travel because now i know what a beautiful and vast environment that Earth holds.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Amelie Short Film Critique

Me and Luke Gray made a comical movie about a man seeking love and pleasure with an already taken girl. The movie revolves around the boy's awkwardness because this awkwardness provides humor to the film, but it also is a common trait that most guys have but try to conceal. This shows what the real boy is like, and that he is not typical cute and perfect boy in regular movies. This film provides humor and romanticism in a way that has only been done in Amelie before, but we believe our film touches more on teenager's outlooks on love.


My job in this project was writer and editor, although both my partner and I edited two different versions of the project. As a writer, i shared my ideas with my partner on how the film should be done and be based upon. The title of my version, "Let me Love You" is also the title of a love song. The lyrics of this song gave me inspiration to what our film should be like. I proposed this idea to my partner and he created a rough draft of the overall story of the film. From there i refined the ideas and gave the main character his awkwardness, which in turn added humor to the film. I will speak of the edits of my film later on in this critique. Additionally, both me and my partner directed the film and put equal contributions to the project and both put an equal amount of time filming.

The main problem that our project encountered was acting issues and being able to acquire actors for the film. If everything had gone accordingly well then my version of the project should have been finished about a week earlier than it was. However, for the first week we weren't able to get any concrete footage. This was because our actors flaked on us during the weekend which was when the majority of filming was supposed to be made. The following Tuesday i found a new actress, but after having read the script she decided not to proceed with the film. Again we had no actor nor actress. Fortunately the following weekend two of our friends decided to act, along with my partner, Luke. Still, we were a week behind the edit and had to dedicate our time to edit outside of class. Also, we had problems with continuity since the weather during the week was quite random -- one day it rained and the next it was sunny. As an editor and writer no extreme problems were presented to me. Editing my only problem was that the film we had captured was both in widescreen and then in 3:4. Luckily my teacher helped me fix this problem and i began editing right away with only amount of time lost.


The actors we chose do present the comical feel to the movie. Also the male actor excellently portrays the awkward and lustful character we created. However, neither of the two main actors portrayed a loving character or a love struck character so it was difficult to grasp that from our film even though it was one of our intended characterizations. All of our characters are easily distinguishable from one another so character confusion is not an issue.


Our actors easily added comedy to the film. Unfortunately they didn't add romanticism to the film because they couldn't act as a romantic couple. They were too awkward, which was somewhat good since it was an aspect we sought after, but since they were so awkward they weren't able to emulate romantic feels towards one another. It was difficult since the male actor was in a relationship and since they weren't trained actors but simply friends of ours. Still, they did a good job to creating a comical film which was the main aspect that we sought for.

Music was difficult to find because i had to sort through several amounts of untitled loops and songs to find something that may only be used for about 10 seconds. After about two nonconsecutive hours all of my music was found and i believe that it does add the appropriate tone to my film. There were tones of fear, love, excitement, and goofiness which i believed to be adequate to my film. In my version of the film no sound effects were added. This was because i believe that certain sound effects distract the audience from the video so i didn't use and sound effects. That is why i chose to stick with mood appropriate sound tracks.

Mis en Scene:

In our production we stuck to locations that were familiar to all people like libraries and schools. This adds to the realism of the film. We didn't go to and sewers or closed off locations because that wouldn't fit our film. For example the chances of two different people coincidentally going to the same secluded area or minimal. So we stuck to places that people usually go to. Also, me and my partner were keen to keep certain props out of our shots. Most notably we kept all film equipment out, and we tried to keep our shadows as contained as possible. However, for one certain scene we couldn't keep the shadows out but it isn't very noticeable. Still, it is present and that was an issue that did arise.


I wasn't the cinematography my partner was and i believe he did an excellent job. In short, he was able to capture a lot of coverage and the shots he made were nicely filmed. I filmed certain shots that he was in but he checked in with me to make sure that the shot was appropriate. Also he did a good job of shooting with the right lighting. He fixed the exposure when needed and we decided to film during the afternoon and morning of days -- when natural illumination is at its peak.


Despite having a pretty good cinematographer, there were certain scenes that were too dark to view. So in my edit i added filters to these scenes to brighten them up. In a classroom scene there are extras in the back ground. Extras who we could not control and who tried to ruin the film by making inappropriate gestures and moving in on the back ground of the shots.

So in that sequence i decided to add the video filter "soft edges" to conceal the nuisance. Slowly i increased the density of the edges, and surprisingly, the result made it seem as if the soft edges were intentionally done to add a dream effect to the film. This was perfect since the following scene was indeed a dream sequence. In terms of cutting i made faster cuts than my partner. I did this because i found it boring to keep a static shot on an actor for too long. Boring and unnecessary so i made faster cuts and manipulated speed to minimize the duration of certain long clips. Additionally, i added several cross fade and fades to convey a change in time and a change in scene. Lastly i added certain visual filters to a couple of shots to give them a more dramatic and magical appeal. To the female actor i added soft edges and a glow to give her a majestic and beautiful look. This gave reason to why the boy thought of her, he was attracted to her.

Vector Transition:

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Short Film Treatment

A black figure laying down is seen. Lamp turns on and light illuminates the room. The black figure is a boy. He lifts the sheets off his body and sits on his bed. Clock reveals it is 6:00 A.M. Boy exits his room to the bathroom and when he comes back he is dressed. His eyes are red and his face is pale and weary. He goes to the kitchen and makes a meal, however, he does not eat himself but rather wraps it in plastic. He takes the plate to another room and places it besides his mother on a table.

Boy exits his house and begins to walk. As he walks he coughs slightly, and his eyes are constantly shutting and opening. He arrives at school.

The bell rings. The boy goes to his first class and is greeted by his friends. They are enthusiastic and full of energy, but he is mopey and sluggish. Soon after everyone is seated, his eyes become more and more heavy until eventually they shut completely.

Voices are heard. The boy is nudged awake by another boy. His friend asks him for help with a problem. The teacher is too preoccupied with their life story to ask if their students understand the work. Despite the boy's lack of sleep the boy replies to his friend with a nod indicating a yes. Several other students are asleep in the class. The boy spends the rest of the class period aiding his friend.

The bell rings once more; it is now lunch. The boy rushes to a secluded area of the school. He slowly falls besides a wall and passes out. A minute later his watch beeps which wakes the boy. He recalls that he is supposed to be at a tutoring session in the library. He slowly rises against the wall and yawns. Then he walks to the library where he begins to help students with their studies.

The bell rings; school is over. The boy rushes out of his class. He starts to walk on the same street he walked on when he was going to school; he's going back home.

He opens the door. He is greeted by his little sibling who is nagging at him. He prepares a meal and watches as they eat. When they are done the boy takes the dish and washes it. After he walks back to his mother's room. The plate he made in the morning is half eaten. His mother wakes up. Her face reveals that she is ill. The boy gives her a hug and a kiss and walks back to the kitchen. He makes tea and walks back to his mother's room. She accepts the tea and drinks it after she swallows a pill.

A flashback reveals that the boy's mother is suffering from an unknown virus. The doctor's can't keep her in the hospital because she lacks insurance and because she is no longer working.

The boy looks to the other side of the bed. Something catches his eye. It is a photo. He looks at a picture of himself, his sibling, his mother, and what appears to be his father. The picture fades to reveal only himself, his sibling, and his mother.

The boy walks out outside to check the mailbox. He scurries through the mail hoping to find a special letter. It is unknown what that letter is, however. Rather the boy finds an envelope. The envelope reveals that it is a life insurance check directed to his mother which she receives because her husband died years prior to today.

The boy walks back into his house. He aids his sibling with their studies. Then he prepares dinner for his family, then washes the dishes, and finally does laundry for the household. When he finishes this he puts his mother and his sibling to bed. He walks to his room and turns on a light. The clock reveals it is 12:00 A.M. He begins his homework.

A year passes. The boy is seen. He is as tired as ever. His eyes are bloodshot red and his body looks thinner then before. He is seen going to his mailbox, but this time he has no hopeful look but rather a dismal look. He sees the usual envelopes and walks back towards his house. But suddenly, he brings up the envelopes to his face and shuffles through them once more. He opens one in a hurry. It is an acceptation letter from UC Berkeley that states he will have a fully paid scholarship.

He runs inside home. He tells his mother the good news. She seems to be doing better than before but she still appears feeble. Her eyes reveal that she is immeasurably content with the knowledge that her son will become a successful adult. However, soon the boy and mother are brought back to reality. They both realize that if the boy leave to college then no one will be able to take care of the mother and her daughter. Hope seems lost.

The following afternoon the phone rings. The boy picks up. His face turns from an upset expression into an ecstatic expression. The boy hangs up with tears streaming down from his eyes. He runs to his mother and informs her of the news. Her illness has been researched thoroughly and it now has a cure. In one week's time the mother will be as healthy as ever.

A year passes. The boy is seen walking. For every step he takes his smile becomes wider and wider. Tears flow down his cheeks -- tears of happiness. He walks into his house. The mother is thrilled to see her college son. She makes her family dinner. The boy starts to converse with his mother and his sibling about the college life and his studies at college. He is first in his class. Blackness fades in and the voices slowly fade out.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Amelie Textual Analysis

In the beginning of the story we learn how deprived Amelie was of an average childhood. She was trapped in her home and suffered from boredom and loneliness. Not only did she suffer from this but her fish did as well. So much that it became suicidal. This adds humor to the film as well as characterization to Amelie. By showing that the fish itself is suicidal because of the daily custom routine at home, the director implies that Amelie herself must be yearning for some friendship or excitement. This is why she makes an imaginary friend for herself.

In conjunction the imaginary friend and the suicidal fish add a sense of magical realism to the film. The director does this early on as means to foreshadow Amelie's future. Amelie's adulthood will be filled with excitement and unpredictability on a daily basis. Amelie's life will also be filled with these two elements in effect to the loneliness she dealt with at adolescence. This is proven again later on in the film when the Glass Man speaks of a young woman in his painting. Of course the woman is Amelie who was observed by the Glass Man when she was young. He tells her that he knows she never played with kids either when she was little:

The early characterization is a pathway that explains Amelie's irregularity as an adult, and the director does this majestically to elevate the audience's awareness of why Amelie becomes such a unique woman who loves to place herself in irregular scenarios. The director's clarity is one of his well-known talents that is shown throughout all of his films and it is seen in Amelie as proved by the early yet vivid characterization of Amelie.

The magical realism is presented again subtly. In the screen shot Amelie is seen looking at her audience because it something she likes to do while viewing movies. This habit seems odd, however, about four other peoples' habits are explained and this oddness doesn't seem so odd anymore. Rather it shows how the supposed "average" person is actual a unique person and that everyone in the world is different. I believe that it's magical that this director is the first person to exhibit the usual person in a manner that has never been presented before. Furthermore, these habits add to realism as well once it becomes clear that the habits can belong to any person. Therefore, this film isn't as far fetched as it may have appeared earlier in the story. However, throughout the director still applies his magical feeling to his film in several scenes. This is done to enforce Amelie's characterization since all of the wacky things occur in her own city and to whomever she thinks about. Furthermore, the magical feel forwards the plot in some cases and adds a Hollywood-esque feel to the movie.

The narration tells the audience that both Amelie and Nino longed for a brother or sister to play with. They long for this since both Amelie and Nino didn't have a chance to play with kids when they were young. Amelie couldn't because of her family, whereas Nino couldn't because everyone at his school bullied them. This back story of both of them foreshadows that they will both marry and finally have someone to share their life with and in turn diminish the loneliness they felt during childhood. It can be predetermined that this will occur since it is common knowledge that the director is making a classic Hollywood style movie in which everyone who deserves good fortune shall acquire it whereas anyone who is malignant shall receive punishment nearing the end of the movie.

Both Amelie and Nino suffered from a somewhat rough childhood but in the end they both got what they wanted -- each other. This reinforces the classical Hollywood ending of course and also supports the theme of justice in the film.

Throughout the film the story contains several subplots. There's the subplot of Amelie returning the box of memories to its rightful owner. Also the subplot of the marketplace owner torturing his young worker in a humiliating manner. Justice can be seen in both cases, however it is more predominant in the latter case. But in the first, the man who the box of memories belongs to was living in an empty and somewhat pitiful manner. However, once he receives his box, which is a symbol of his youth, he become jubilant and much more happy about his life and about living each day. Because of this, he starts to spend time with his nephew who in a way becomes his own apprentice. The uncle gives him the best piece of the clean chicken. For the last several years the uncle bought a new chicken once a week and took pleasure in cleaning it and eating every piece with happiness. But justice came in the form of him giving his nephew the best piece of the chicken since he relearned that happiness should start during youth and continue throughout the person's lifespan. If a parent or anyone doesn't provide a happy environment for their young companion or child then they will live with emptiness forever and will suffer. This is what happened to Amelie's dad who to his knowledge had a traveling gnome. The second example is the man from the marketplace. Amelie performs several mischievous acts upon him that severely irritate him and cause him to go insane. This is his justice for mistreating and constantly disrespecting his young worker.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Blog Post- March 11

A taxi driver who finds a teddy bear on the street and decides to give it to his daughter. He appears to care about her very much as he tucks her in and kisses her.

Unfortunately, the teddy bear is evil which causes the seemingly innocent girl to become crazy and kill. She was hospitalized and escaped and a box appears to have possessed her.

The conflict is that the bear turned out to not be a good gift after all. Ten years after the girl gets the bear. She is holding a knife, is wearing a hospital robe, is drenched with blood and still has the bear in hand. The film ends with the girl disappearing along with the box and the teddy bear being the only thing left.

The ending gives the audience the feeling of horror and tension seeing as how a completely innocent girl became a psycho killer.

Blog Post- Reverie and the DSLR Revolution

The lighting in this film is incredible. The camera was used at night and the visual looks like something that the human eye would see, not a camera. There is clear and crisp detail on the two actors who are lit equally and also the backround is lit well which adds beauty to the scene. The ocean water can also be seen. It appears to be lit by the moonlight and it looks gorgeous. The city looks majestic and magical and the woman isn't lit to hide her identity for a moment. However, her backround is lit which emphasizes her. This can also be selective focus as it appears that the woman is blurred out which may be the real reason that her profile is dark.

Going back to the focus, the camera appears to be very smart and know what to blur and what not to blur. In this shot everything but the mirror is heavily blurred which creates emphasis on the person himself. Since the blurs attract the human eye to see what is in focus. This camera is really nice it is definitely the camera of the future.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Blog Film Review- 2-24-

The trailer for Solitude is about a couple of kids graduating from high school and getting ready for college. They go on a trip to a remote location near a desert. They soon find that all of the houses around them are empty and no one even travels near them. A phone ring but no one answers. One by one the kids go missing until finally the girl sees her friend being tortured behind her. She screams.

Textual Analysis

Mis en Scene - The framing in this trailer is very tight. The actors have no room to move. This helps create a feeling that the characters are trapped. They have nowhere to go. They are trapped.

Editing – the trailer uses many fade in and fade outs.This is done to create a suspenseful feeling in which the duration of the fade ins and fade outs are roughly long and increase tension.

Motion - the director uses high angle shots and slow placed action scenes to add mystery and suspense to the trailer

Sound - the sound uses several kicks and heartbeats to create a frightful setting. The audience knows that danger is lurking and can only wait until the dreaded horror comes. Suspense builds to the wait and adds to the fear in the audience.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Avatar Criticism Post

1. The challenges presented in Ava†ar include the visuals and story telling. The avatars actually look like their human counterparts which is slightly creepy but it is fantastic because it makes the movie seem much more real and possible. This is the first movie to take a human model and matte them onto an animation and have them move in real time and with real human traits such as facial expressions. Although it is not an animation because the character on the screen is moving and looking just like the actual human.
2.Well the film maker had to do several extras in the movie which is what makes the movie so great. A new language was created for the Na'Vi people and they were given their own mythological backround. So within this story are several other woven substories that help explain the backround of Pandora. The world of Pandora has its own creatures, its own way of life, a toxic atmosphere making it uninhabitable for humans, its plants communicate and have a glow which give the world a beauty. Pandora's name was taken from the term Pandora's box in which all knowledge of life could be found. The world and the movie is very detailed and looks very real.
3. Motion suits with several points on them are used to give the character movement. Then a camera is mounted on the head to look at the face of the actor so that the animators can see the human expressions and translate them onto the character. The cameras capture the actors and translate their physical movement into the CGI character.
4. The film cost $400 million dollars to make and market. The fact that the film cost so much money hurt the company and made some investors fear that if the movie bombed their money would be lost. That scared away some investors but the positive reviews boosted stock revenue by 12% and the success of the movie is boosting stocks as well. The movie was definitely worth the risk of making and the message conveyed is that a dream to make something fantastic at a high price will pay off if the dream is done with careful preparation and effort.
5. I agree with the critic's claim that Avatar "identifies the profound spiritual bankruptcy that underlies our financial insolvency...and reminds us (to)... make new choices for the greatest good of all". This is because the film takes place on a lavish and rich world where great wealth can be gained. This greed is a prime example of imperialism since Europe colonized several countries to gain economic success. The habitants of Pandora do now care for wealth they just care to maintain their culture and happiness. Money means nothing to them which is seen since they wont move away from hometree for any price that the humans will pay. What the humans want is not what the people want. Cameroon is trying to instill the Na'Vi ideals into us because humans are so wrapped up in greed and dividends that we will do anything to get money. Even use racism to justify our reason to gain money. In the end money does not win but moral goodness does. The Na'Vi people are able to defend themselves from the humans and they force the humans to leave. Perhaps the humans in the film have learned their lesson. Hopefully we will too.