the modern day couple

With today’s focus on “Bonnie and Clyde” I personally am excited to watch the movie. Especially after reading the article. My reasonings for this come from the sole point that the role of women in films has always been a questionable one of where they stand as respected to the other male characters. I think that this film has had a great impact on women’s roles today, not just only in film but in actual reality. In the past couples were seen as the man who goes home to work and comes home to his caretaker wife. This film portrays a couple who rob banks together. They go against the law and normal standards of living. With the time period being so radical as it was, I see this movie as a perfect addition and stepping stone towards the way we see modern day couples now.

superpowers over law power

In reading the excerpt by Kristen Whissel, “Tales of Upward Mobility: The New Verticality and Digital
Special Effects”, I am not sure a lot about what is being said but a few points stand out to me, especially the section on “X-MEN”. In this she explains how over time, every hundred years or so, there is a genetic change in the human race. Either it being mutant or just progressive, it happens. She explains how the “mutants” in X-Men are used a type of symbol to represent the people who are discriminated against daily and that the struggles they have with their supernatural power and government trying to suppress it, stand for the struggle that people such as the gay community struggle with between the government powers of today. I found this extremely interesting in the fact that it does indeed make sense. Although this is the future, in many science fiction or comic book films, there is always a deeper inner struggle within the characters that is focused on through their transformation into heroes. We see in “Batman” for instance, the inner pain that he experiences from his parents murder. Through this pain comes his power to become the vigilante he is at night.
When going back to “X-Men”, she brings up that in the beginning they are on the run and how it represents the character, Magneto, is not only running from being captured for being a mutant, but also from his past life as a Jew in fear of another event such as the holocaust. In all I just found the similarities through these struggles to be something worth mentioning considering I never really think to put so much thought into the back story of a superhero movie. But it is part of the times in advancing technologies ,to mix special effects with deeper story lines.

The Bollywood Song and Dance

One of my favorite films can be said to be ” Slumdog Millionaire”. Besides the innovative as well as touching storyline,  I greatly enjoyed taking a view into the life of someone living in those surroundings. Howe ver what I did not understand at the time was the song and dance routines that were thrown into the mix of the film. It was a drama, about a boy that went through and a lifetime of hardships that was now being forbidden to accept a large sum of money he had worked hard for on a game show. So where do the synchronized dance routines fit in? After reading the article “A Brief History of Bollywood Film Songs” by Nasreen Munni Kabir, I now understand where and why these routines come into play. It states in the article that India basis a lot around music. It is a large part of their culture which is why it is a large part of Bollywood. In indian films, they insert these song and dance routines as a further explanation of the story. It is a way of tellign the story they find vital in the way that it enlightens the viewer. All in all this article has given me an even further respect as to knowing why “Jai Ho!” was thrown at me in the middle of my crying while viewing the slumdog lose his mother, be spearated from his lover, and watch his brother go into a downward spiral all while being denied a million dollars.

VERTIGO

With last weeks screening of “Vertigo” by Alfred Hitchcock, I dont really know where to begin other than saying it has given me much more of an understanding at where Hitchcock stands with women. It was always known to me that he had a weird way of working them into his films but with the death of the what is thought to be main female character in the middle of the film, it leaves the viewer wondering for the remainder. Much like in “Pyscho” where the main female character is dead within the first half hour. Besides the little respect given to females in the film, I also found ways of shooting interesting especially the dream sequence. I have been told that the actual sickness of Vertigo makes it seem to as though you are spiraling down to your death.  I believe this dream sequence represents this profoundly as well as representing the inner message Hitchcock was trying to portray about the characters inner demons within the film. The underlying themes are subtle but  I find to be loud enough through Hitchcocks brilliant work to make “Vertigo’ extremely entertaining.

Uniqueness of Japanese Art

In the reading of Bordwell and Thompson, I find it hard to comprehend a lot of what they are saying regarding war relations to film and so forth. What I do take from it is then style that Japanese art portrays and what it does for the film. It has been discussed that in Japanese films, certain techniques such as long shots, wide angle lenses, and dim lighting are all used more frequently than not. This creates a different feel for the scene or film all together. Not only are we viewing the scene between characters, but the long shots and wide angle lenses give us the viewer and vision into the surrounding world of the characters, which better connects us with their lifestyle. The films are often very quiet in terms of noise which betters our senses to pay attention to the smaller things. When we look into this world we see how simple life appears to be due to the order of things. Objects are rarely out of place, women are submissive to men, and conversation is sometimes limited unless a conflict has occurred. The uniqueness of this are brings us to a place outside of our own and puts the viewer at base with the artistic touch of reality that is Japanese film.

A Woman’s Worth

After reading the article “Women in Film Noir” it is to be said that the woman remains one of the most powerful attributes within a film. Whether the plot line consists of a main female character or not, it seems as though the underlying motive or actions of a character most of the time have to do with the love or lack there of they have for a woman. In film noir, many varieties of lighting and camera work go into creating what the woman means to the film. Classic examples given are the dark and gloomy angles, sometimes with shadowing represent the dark sexy woman. She is comfortable in these dingy settings because they represent the darkness of her life. Same goes when trying to represent the dark woman’s opposite, the virginal nurturer. This character is often seen within glorious upbeat settings and wardrobe that play off the innocence she represents. A film that I think of initially is that film adaptation of  the William Shakespeare play “Taming of the Shrew” starring Elizabeth Taylor. In the film there are two sisters, one dark and rough around the edges and one sweet and innocent. In order to achieve the ambiance of Elizabeth’s character we see her dark raven locks and enhanced cleavage. She seems dangerous but at the same time beautiful enough to intimidate a man. Her sister on the other hand is represented in ways to show she is too sweet to ever have control over the opposite sex. It is representation like this that shows how the noir film portrays the character a female has.

A quote I found particularly entertaining is ” Self interest over devotion to a man is often the original sin to a film noir woman”. This perfectly presents how the female being is meant to be seen within the film noir of the “cat woman”. The female that is after man as their pray. She is a strong, sexy, smart woman who uses her physical gifts along with her intelligence to get what she wants.

The film noir representation of the nurturer is done the same but within the opposite settings. They are sweet and care for their men. They lower themselves  in order to raise the esteem of the man they love. Although just as beautiful as the dangerous female, it is presented in a less sexier way. Sometimes letting their presence seem less strong within the film. This is why films which have both women are good in the way that they make representation of the parallels between the woman much easier to recognize and appreciate.

The point is that there is no telling what the presence of a woman could do for a film.

Kane

When watching a movie, you often think of what made the director make some of the choices that they had in terms of camera angles and lighting. It is these things that give a film there aura.
What went on behind the scenes? Did the crew make these decisions together? Was there conflict, or did certain things fall into place by mistake? I have seen the Orson Welles film ” Citizen Kane’ once before. I noticed the how it was unique for a film in this time period but never had interest beyond that obvious observation. It sometimes is hard to connect with a film when it is beyond your time. So since this film was made decades ago I didn’t have the interest that I would as in such a film as “Shutter Island” or “Alice in Wonderland”.

However, after reading both the excerpts from “Citizen Kane: a Casebook” and the “Orson Welles and Gregg Toland: There Collaboration on Citizen Kane”, I have found not only a new found interest in what goes into making a film, but the relationship that these two shared throughout their production. It has said the Orson Welles was never keen on collaborating with someone he was not personally connected to. With Toland, he was experienced and had worked on very successful films. They met and began production. When reading both articles, Toland describes how grateful he was to Welles. Welles says the same. Stating how Toland helped him in ways he didnt know possible. Although it was the only time they worked together they both believed in each other and the film.
When it comes to the film “Citizen Kane”, it started off over budget. In a time like that the 1 million dollar budget was something only allowed for the most important project. Welles cut back in ways he could but found loopholes to get what he needed and eventually make the film in the way he intended. He would film shots and tell the studio they were “test shots”, although he never intended them to be. This film also broke conventional ways of shooting. When time came for the Oscars, “Kane” was shutout of all its nominations. Everything was new and artsy. It was not appreciated until years later when other films followed in its techniques.
When reading what both Welles and Toland had to say, you see the passion they had in believing in what they were trying to accomplish. When speaking of the completed film, the only complaint Welles had was that a charm bracelet could be seen on his arm which was not supposed to be there and he believed to be out of character.
Its with all honesty that after reading both of these articles into what made ‘Citizen Kane” that I am truly excited and inspired to view the film again. This time taking notice of all the little things that make it what it is today to filmmakers.

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