2011Archive

Dec 16

I was wondering….if the Bicycle Thief…which I’ve never seen…in any way influenced this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UVKsd8z6scw

 

 

Dec 15

Yum. (souffles are….desserts right?)

So this movie was my favorite, which I mentioned in my last post. But the whole time I was watching it I was comparing it to Public Enemies. I don’t know how the other movies go but I think the John Dillinger scenario is always the same. He falls in love with some girl who loves him even though he’s a criminal but in the end she betrays him and calls the cops. Then even though he knows this he stays around, then gets shot and dies.

But I love both of these movies for that reason, both that the women accept the men and that the men loved the women enough to just deal with their backstabbing. (The back stabbing made me sad though).

For some reason all the time they spent talking in her room was really entertaining to me…I feel like that’s my life, just sitting around talking to people about random things, then saying I have to go a million times and never doing it. Weak willed and all.

I feel like I miss the point of all these movies, I just get too into them and forget to take notes. I only remember random things that remind me of other movies. But I think I do have one bit of relevant information. The part where she (whose name I don’t remember or ever knew…)is looking at michell? through the rolled up paper, I think that was sort of a female gaze. It also made me think like maybe she was trying to seem him from a distance, as someone different than the person she was talking to. I’m not sure that makes complete sense but I felt like she was distancing herself for a moment to see if she still saw the same thing.

This was right up there with Bonnnie and Clyde, but I’m pretty sure it was my favorite, even though I had french stuck in my head all night. It was worth it.

Dec 15

I loved this movie. I thought Bonnie was really stupid, you know so easy to blush when Clyde complimented her, and just in general joining a life of crime, but on the other hand I admired her, just being happy to be acriminal with the boys. Women criminals are so underrated.

I thought the way they were proclaimed themselves was weird though. How they just told everyone who they were even though they were criminals…I wondered how they went so long without getting caught. It was kind of cute though, the way they were a pair, and I felt like that was one of the reasons they always said that, because they were crazy about each other and wanted everyone to know one way or another.

The music choice was a bit odd, how there was happy country music everytime they were being chased or on the run. I think the same song was used when theyre running away through the field and when theyre getting shot at in the clearing, which was sort of weird because drastically different things happen in both scenes.

The ending was really scary for me too, the brutality of it. At first I was questioning how they were even allowed to do that and how they would justify it, but then I realized once it gets to murder for criminals I guess that’s it. I somehoe had blocked out all the killing they’d done throughout the movie. I did it again just know…I keep thinking they only killed that guy who was hanging onto the car when they were trying to get away, and then I remember they killed every cop who tried to come after them. So…you know a bunch. I guess I’m just very understanding…it is near Christmas.

Anyway this was my favorite movie of the semester, aside from A Bout de Souffle, which I loved. Even with the flares and the shaky camera I still got really into it (probably the very opposite of what the film makers planned). And of course, I can’t stop feeling bad that they died, even though they were bank robbing killers. (Was Bonnie upset that he wanted to start a fresh life of crime when given the choice or did she have the same dream? That part sort of confused me)

Dec 15

There were just a couple of random things I found funny that probably no one will care about…

The first is that when Prof. Hertzog explained in Hold Me While I’m Naked he realizes everyone is having sex but him it reminded me of that scene in Must Love Dogs where John Cusack(my favorite) says “I have a theory…everyone in the city is having sex at the exact same moment except us…but we will press on ”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C2DHO1H7uDA

Another thing from that movie was at the end of the movie when he says “There’s a lot of things worth living for isn’t there?” it reminded me of my favoritemovie, Ferris Buellers Day Off, when he says “Life moves pretty fast…if you don’t stop and look around once in a while you could miss it”

Other than that I thought the movie was pretty odd…just a bunch of topless girls running around having sex. I didn’t really understand if there was a point or maybe the point was just…that sometimes you had to do your own thing and stop bothering other people who are trying to do their things. It’s a mystery. But I have to say I didn’t really like it.

Dec 15

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9aFVduvGH_s

I don’t know why….but Professor Hertzog mentioned coffee the day we watched Black Girl…and I don’t remember what context it was in but this is what I thought of…I laugh sooo hard when I see this

Dec 09

Hitchcock is known in the film industry as an innovator, someone who puts a new twist on ideas and film making techniques. One technique he uses is the idea of materiality, which he uses to bring the audience out of the flow of the movie to realize there is more to the film.

An example of his use of this technique is from the movie Psycho, in the scene where Detective Arbogast is walking up the stairs to find Mrs. Bates In context it’s not particularly scary, he is just trying to question Mrs. Bates. But as in most films we know more than him, that there is a killer in the house who’ll do anything to keep a secret.

Hitchcock uses many things to get us absorbed in the scene. Arbogast begins at the bottomof the stairs, in a long shot. He starts up them, looking around, taking his
time. Then comes the music: he’s a little nervous, but we’re absolutely screaming
for him to turn around.  Hitchcock also uses an odd technique here, by making it seem like the shot it slow motion, but Arbogast seems to be going at normal pace. It adds a surreal feeling to the shot that makes you dread him getting to the top. Agonizing step after agonizing step, our panic rises and the suspense makes our hearts race: what is he going to find at the top of the stairs? I’d this just a ploy to make us nervous or will he meet his killer up there?

Then BANG, the door opens and out comesthe knife whizzing through the air. At this point the audience is horrified; it was the killer after all. Arbogast falls backwards down the stairs. And while that sounds like the next natural scene, the way in which he falls is so unrealistic we can’t help but be broken from our trance. Falling has been filmed hundredsof times, and always so naturally we can’t tell the actors aren’t really in any danger. But here it is so visibly fake: arms wind-milling, body completely in
frame, mouth gaping like a fish. For that brief scene you’re not in the movie
anymore, you’re watching a stunt. Then in the next instant you’re back in the
movie, with Arbogast flopping at the bottom of the stairs in a fashion that
would make realistic stunt makers proud.

So why this break in momentum? Hitchcock may have been odd, but he was an expert. He wasn’t trying to fool the audience into believing this scene. Therefore I think the reason behind his choice was more about the overall effect of the movie. It was more than just a killer, it was about people and how they act. That sometimes appearances can be deceiving, and people can have much more to them then you originally think.

For instance, throughout the whole movie I thought maybe even though Bates was a creepy character, maybe it was someone else who had killed her. After all he almost throws up when he finds her body. But then it’s discovered in the end I was only right by half. It was his body that killed her but not his mind. When I saw the mother come and kill the detective my thought was that it was her all along
and she was evil and deranged. And again I was only half right: her “mind”
killed him but not her body.

Hitchcock uses his materiality to show these
points; that sometimes even when it’s a cliché it’s really not. He wants us to
use our minds in a different way and to delve into problems more deeply,
because there’s often more under the surface. I think he also wanted to show a
lot of our psychology, about the thoughts we can have based on our childhood
and experiences with the opposite sex, and also how some people can be
completely deranged but not appear so.

Hitchcock was only one person who used materiality in his films. It’s been done many times to make us think of something more, of the big picture: What is film but film? Slides of pictures that can be sped up, and altered, and manipulated in many ways. Many times we get lost in the stories movies are telling and forget altogether that they’re not real, they are just moving pictures of things, and what we should be
concentrating on is the reasons why these movies are made. Hitchcock was just
one of the many directors trying to get us to expand our minds, and use an
amazing film to do so.

Nov 06

I just wanted to post two quick things:

The first is even though we watched Invasion of the Bodysnatchers two weeks ago, I had a dream about it last night. My friend and I were running away from her parents because they had become snatched, which was a pity because they were pleasant people.

The other thing was when we were talking about Norman Bates and how he was constradicting himself, saying he liked his cage and then he didn’t it made me think of this:

http://www.hulu.com/watch/98322/saturday-night-live-update-judy-grimes

 

Oct 28

I wanted to make a few general points about some things I’ve noticed in videos throughout the sememester so far that really don’t have a point in terms of analyzing.

The first thing is about The Lady Eve.  I was watching the scene where they’re in her bedroom after Jean gets scared by the snake and shes touching Pike’s hair and telling him about her ideal man and stuff like that and everyone kept laughing because he looked ridiculous. So it made me think about the movie Say Anything, with John Cusack, because I heard in a documentary that there was a scene where he’s with his girlfriend in the car and has to act like he’s really…impassioned…and when they sent that clip to someone to see the person thought he was dying. It’s just funny to me how acting can be misunderstood sometimes.

Oddly enough there was another scene in the Lady Eve that reminded me of another John Cusack movie. The part where she goes to Pikes party as her second identity and his friend is looking through the window all creepily reminded me of Martian Child, where Cusack goes to his adopted childs school with binoculars. As he’s sitting in his car a police officer comes up and asks him what he’s doing and he says “It’s not what it looks like. I’m only here for the children”. Again, out of context things can look so so wrong.

The last thing I wanted to mention was I love when things happen in movies that you think you understand and as the movie develops you realize you were wrong. I know that didn’t make sense. Look at my examples:

In the movie Dear John…which I think I thought was awful, but can’t remember…the beginning starts with a letter he wrote and he’s reading it out loud and it’s about how he misses this person and took them for granted. And then you see the first ten minutes and you’re like “oh it’s to this girl, gag”. And then when the movie circles back to that scene you find out it’s actually to the father and you feel bad for thinking it was corny.

Another thing was in…that movie with Dane Cook…sorry I’m coming off my notes here….oh My Best Friends Girl (I love that song)…when he’s at Kate Hudsons sisters wedding and he’s leaving a message saying how he loves this person blah blah and she comes in screaming at him and you think “she’s gunna hear that message later and feel so bad”…and then they cut to Dusty (of course that’s the only name I remember) and he’s listening to this heart felt message from Dane and you hear Kate in the back and you realize that was THE message and that Dane is a total sweetheart. He gets the girl in the end too, it figures.

So yeah, that’s pretty much it for now, the big things I noticed at least. I love that though, finding connections between movies and people and stuff. Keeps me going. Feel free to tell me about any connections you notice…I’m always up for that stuff.

Oct 18

For my analysis project I took a scene from Citizen Kane, the part where they celebrate Kane’s acquiring of the Chronicles best newspaper men.

 

Shot 1 -Camera is slightly above frame. Close up.

-Music is playful, very pumped and cheerful

– In the center of the frame is focused a bundle of Inquirer newspapers, among stacks of other bundles. The camera pans out to encompass dozens and dozens of stacks of newspapers. (Fade to shot two)

Shot 2- Camera is straight. Medium shot.

-The same music continues through this scene

– Kane, Jed, and Mr. B are all leaning on their elbows, looking
out the window. They’re seen from the chest up, and what can be seen of their
bodies is positioned between the Inquirer’s giant storefront sign letters, The
Inquirer
)(above them) and Circulation 26,000 (below them). They’re
all smiling and Kane and Jed smoke. Jed is the only one wearing a jacket.
Shadows of the paper boys can be seen in the reflection of the glass while the
three men smile and nod at each other. (Cut to shot 3)

Shot 3- Camera is straight. Medium long shot.

-“I know you’re tired, but I bought you here for a reason. I think this     pilgrimage will do you good” (Kane)

– “Look who they have working for them. With that staff it’s no trick to get circulation.
You know  how long it took them to get that staff? Twenty years.” (Mr. B)

-This shot is almost parallel to the last, with the words The Chronicle and Circulation
495,000
being the main focus of the frame in the same places. Instead of
the people who are cause for the Inquirer’s circulation, Kane, Jed, and Mr. B,
the spot between the big letters is taken up by a picture of the Chronicle’s
staff. It is a giant framed picture with the words “The Chronicle Staff-the
Greatest Newspaper Staff in the World” surrounding it. The three man stand off
to the side, all wearing suits not. Kane stands in the foreground with his hand
at his mouth with a cigar, speculating. Mr. B stands next to him and Jed stands
behind, looking grim. Kane gestures to the window, remarking on the
circulation. Mr. B then gestures to the picture. The camera zooms in and stops
when all 10 men are tightly in frame. They’re mostly older men, sitting down,
wearing suits and having all different kinds of posing and stature. The shot
then shifts so the men are seen in the same positions, but in real time and in
person.

Shot 4-Camera is straight. Medium long shot.

-“Six years ago I looked at a picture of the world’s greatest newspaper men, I felt like a kid in a candy store…well tonight, I got my candy” (Kane)

-“I think you’ll be happy to know that today we had the greatest newspaper circulation in the world” (Kane)

-The ten newstaff men are posing for a picture when Kane walks past them, with the camerafollowing him. When he passes the camera in the movie that is taking the
picture, the shot is taken, with a spark of light exploding behind him. The men
then get up, and everyone is still in frame. The camera begins to center on
Kane and the men follow behind him. He stops in front of a giant K ice
sculpture (which is backwards from this view, or as you see later, backwards
from the view of everyone sitting at the table) and a sign that says “Welcome to
the Inquirer”. (Cut to shot 5)

Shot 5- Camera is straight. Long shot.

– “…greatest newspaper circulation in the world…684,000” (Kane)

– “684,132!” (Mr. B)

-The back of Kane’s head is ¼ of theframe as he faces a table lined with buckets of champagne. About 25 mensurround the table, clapping and some of them smoking. They’re all wearingblack, including Kane. Mr. B stands up at the far end of the table to specify Kane’s claim of the circulation. (Reverse shot of Mr. Kane)

 

Shot 6- Camera is straight. Medium long shot.

-Kane puts his hands in his pockets, still standing next to the ice sculpture. (cut to shot 7)

 

Shot 7-Camera is straight. Long shot.

-“…I’ll be going abroad,” (Kane)

-The camera is facing the same wayas in shot 5, but has moved back several feet to encompass Mr. B (you can nowsee the back of his head, and all the way to Kane). Some new people come and sit down while Kane speaks. (Cut to shot 8)

 

Shot 8-Camera is straight. Close up.

-As Kane makes his announcement Mr.
B and Jed look up curiously from their conversation. Behind them are two ice
sculptures of themselves, but they’re sitting in front of each others. The sculptures
emphasize a cigar in Jed’s mouth and glasses and a big nose for Mr. B. The
signs below the sculptures read “Broadway Jed” Leland and usiness stein . (Not
all of Bernstein’s name or title can be seen). (Reverse shot)

 

Shot 9-Camera is straight. Medium long shot.

-Kane begins walking from the head of the table down the side. (Cut to shot 10)

 

Shot 10- Camera is straight. Medium shot.

-Jed and Mr. B are now surrounded by
a couple other men, and they’re all looking at Kane, who is facing them. Mr. B
stands and addresses Kane. (reverse shot)

 

Shot 11-Camera is straight. Medium shot.

-Mr. B is standing and we can see
his back. The entire group is in frame, including the three sculptures. Kane
responds to Mr. B. (reverse shot)

 

Shot 12-Camera is straight. Medium shot.

-Mr. B finishes his address and sits
down (reverse shot)

 

Shot 13-Camera is straight. Medium shot.

-Kane makes a funny remark and everyone laughs (cut to shot 14)

 

Shot 14- Camera is straight. Close up.

– Only Mr. B and Jed are in this shot with their ice sculptures. Now “Mr. Big….Ber” are seen on his plaque. (Cut to shot 15)

 

Shot 15-Camera is straight. Long shot.

-“Your complete attention please!”
(Kane)

-Kane is standing, the entire party
in frame, with four servers behind him. Their white aprons that reach their
shins contrast with their black coats, ties, pants and dress shoes. Kane stands
with his fists on his hips, addressing the group. (Cut to shot 16)

 

Shot 16-Camera is straight. Close up.

-Kane brings his pinkies to his lips to whistle, closing an eye. (Cut to shot 17)

 

Shot 17-Camera is straight. Medium close up.

-“I said are we going to declare war on Spain or are we not?” (Kane)

-“The Inquirer already has,” (Jed)

-“Why you long faced over dressed anarchist” (Kane)

-“I am not over dressed…” (Jed)

-It begins withthe same shot as 15, but now the servers go running out and a matching bandcomes in. It is synchronized in the way that the servers curl right to leave and the band coming from the side the servers leave curl right also, behind
Kane. He walks through the two lines created by the band, walking in the
opposite direction. When the band passes the table Kane whistles again and
makes a “come on out” gesture. Marching girls in short sparkling dresses and
hats come out, toting plastic guns and follow the same path as the band. The
group of men starts to get excited, whistling and cat-calling. Kane puts his
hands in his pockets and, smiling, walks with the leading woman. He then takes
a giant step towards Jed and Mr. B while the girls continue, and makes a remark.
The band returns, coming in the way they left the frame, filing behind the
girls. (Cut to shot 18)

 

Shot 18- Camera is now facing left and from a lower angle. Medium close up.

-“Is there a song about Charlie?”- (man in group)

-A manstands up and reaches both arms over the table, then put a foot on it and gestures asking if there’s a song about Charlie. Kane shakes his head and the
camera pans tight to follow him as he walks back towards the head of the table.
Two men get up and grab him and they all fall backwards into chairs. Some girls
come over and take off their hats and give them to the men, except for Kane.
(Cut to shot 19)

 

Shot 19-Camera is straight. Close up.

-One of the dancers’ butts takes up the entire frame, but as she moves away Kane becomes center frame, surrounded by his friends and laughing. The camera tilts
up where the men behind him are standing and some have drinks while others are
grabbing the guns the girls throw into the crowd. (Cut to shot 20)

 

Shot 20-Camera is straight. Long shot.

-The dancers are roughly in two groups, semi lines. A man in a pinstriped coat like a circus announcer comes out, and his striped hat and white slacks contrast the other men, who are all wearing black. (Reverse shot to shot 21)

 

Shot 21-Camera is straight. Medium shot.

-The men at the table all sit laughing (Reverse shot to shot 22)

 

Shot 22- Camera is straight. Medium close up.

-The girls are in an upside down V formation now, with the man in the middle, who is singing and dancing. He takes off his hat. (He’s singing a song about how good
Kane is, rich or poor, and how everybody knows who he is)(Cut to shot 23)

 

Shot 23- Camera is straight. Medium shot.

-Kane salutes the singer. (Very short take.)(Cut to shot 24)

 

Shot 24-Camera is straight. Long shot.

-The man keeps singing and the girls all extend their inside hands to the music, then put them back on their hips. All the girls come closer and crowd around Kane, who they pull up. The men behind Kane push him forward. He protests but the
girls push him far into the core of their group. (Cut to shot 25)

**The next shots, up to 34, are very short takes**

 

Shot 25- Camera is straight. Medium shot.

-A man at the table leans into his group of friends. (Cut to shot 26)

Shot 26- Camera is straight. Medium close up.

-Jed and Mr. B are shown at their side of the table. Mr. B sings along cheerfully to the song while Jed looks on seriously. (Cut to shot 27)

 

Shot 27- Camera is straight. Medium shot.

-The girls all sing towards the crowd and Kane, who is a head taller, can be seen laughing over their heads. (Cut to shot 28)

 

Shot 28- Camera is straight. Medium close up.

-Mr. B is still singing and waving his hands. Halfway through the take Jed starts bobbing his head, then starts to sing also. (Cut to shot 29)

 

Shot 29- Camera is straight. Long shot.

-Kane is dancing around with all the girls

 

Shot 30- Camera is straight. Medium close up.

-Jed is still singing aloud.(Like the end of shot 29)(Cut to shot 31)

 

Shot 31-Camera facing towards the right. Medium close up.

-Ablack band member laughs, his eyes closed, while the band plays the trumpets behind him. The focus is on the man laughing, whose face is shown in most of the frame. (Cut to shot 32)

 

Shot 32-Camera is straight. Long shot.

-The men are shown at the table swaying and pretending to play trumpets. (Cut to shot 33)

 

Shot 33- Camera is straight. Long shot.

-Kane is dancing with only a few girls inframe. His black outfit contrasts greatly with the white sparkling outfits of the dancers. Being the only man in the group also draws attention to him. (Cut to shot 34)

 

Shot 34- Camera is straight, Medium shot.

– “Isn’t it wonderful, such a party” (Mr. B)

-“Yeah” (Jed)
-“What’s the matter?” (Mr. B)

-Jed is smoking a cigar now and is watching Kane dance off screen. Mr. B excitedly comments on the party, while Jed takes the cigar away from his mouth to reply, still staring seriously at Kane. When Jed replies, Mr. B turns his attention to
him, looking more serious. (Cut to shot 35)

 

Shot 35- Camera is straight. Medium long shot.

-Kane is dancing with a girl, ducking and moving around her, a bit of a circular motion. All the girls are doing the same dance. Kane tugs his dancer out of her routine and pills her in, He has his hands on her waist and she looks at his curiously and seriously, her elbows bent and hands near her shoulders. He pauses from singing to lean in and kiss her and she pushes him away laughing (Cut to shot
36)

 

Shot 36-Camera is straight. Medium shot.

-Jed exhales a big puff of smoke and Mr. B continues to sing.

End of analysis

 

2- Some stylistic decisions made
in the movie is how Kane is usually literally in the middle of parties or
crowds or situations, such as when he’s dancing or when he’s running for
election. Also when he first comes into the newspaper office and everyone gives
him their full attention. Kane is usually seen as nonchalant and a people pleaser,
always doing things to make sure people believe the best in him.

3-Some patterns in this scene
that are similar to others elsewhere in the movie are that Kane is sometimes
put in the center of attention by other people, so you can see how other people
admire him and know that he isn’t vain or conceited and getting attention for
himself. Another thing Welles does through the movie is he uses characters
faces to contrast their attitudes. He shows two peoples faces in frame so you
can see their reactions and get a sense of their character. For instance, when
he shows Mr. B and Jed at the table, and Jed is serious while Mr. B is singing,
it shows the relationship between them and Kane; that Mr. B may not be as close,
but Jed better understands Kane’s actions.

Sep 10

I know we watched M two weeks ago, and it was the first movie and maybe you don’t have as clear a memory of it, but I just wanted to make a few points. Or I would if I could find the notes I took that have been around for days and are now nowhere to be found….

Found em. Ok so first I just wanted to say that the movie made me think so much about how involved films really are. There’s so many little things that go into it, just in being able to record sound and making it sound real (I know it’s probably easier now, but if you think about it it’s still amazing.) I realized I actually love these kinds of movies, because without so much background sound and minimal dialogue, it makes it so much easier to focus on what’s actually going on. It makes you feel tense too, because instead of a scary score you just have to pay attention and realize what’s happening, and that alone makes me nervous.

This is a little off topic, but a few days after watching M I saw ‘As Good As It Gets’ for the first time, and there’s a part where they use silence so well it made me nervously giggle, which I don’t do often. I was actually embarrased for the actor. It’s the part in the beginning where they’re at the diner and Melvin makes a wise crack about how Carol’s son is “going to die by the sound of it”, and she just stops and stares at him in complete incredulity that he would dare say something like that. And it goes on for an unbearable amount of time before she screams at him. Then he just sits there ashamed while she screams and it made me feel so sorry for him. I thought it was an amazing use of silence though, because the screaming was able to constrast so well with the silence. Just great.

Another thing I noticed that may not be too important was the clock in the beginning, how they showed a close up of it as the lady was waiting for her daughter to come home. It made me think of how most people have specific times that make them think of specific things, like schedules or patterns, and how when that gets disrupted it messes up your entire thinking. Like day light savings or holidays on Mondays.

I have some things to say about todays movie “The Lady Eve” , but I’ll save that for another post. Feel free to comment.

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