Bonnie and Clyde the death scene. Because of prior scenes we knew some kind of ambush was coming against Bonnie and Clyde. Analyzing this scene starting from when we see Malcolm and the point of view shots of him looking at Bonnie and Clyde coming down the highway, we know he is expecting them to show up soon so it sets the tension very early on in the scene. Then the scene turns into a real “nail biter” by giving us the calming innocent shots of bonnie and Clyde talking and being sweet to each other letting us know that they do not expect anything to happen to them. Clyde states “I’ll tell you if that kid didn’t have his head strapped he’d lose it” now this is a very fatherly phrase and we know that he cares for C.W. and it adds to the scene to hear that knowing that C.W.’s father is setting them up. As we watch Bonnie eat the pair then give some to Clyde we are put more at ease and then Bonnie spots Malcolm and again we are tense.

Through out the movie I got the sense that instinct was never a strong trait in either Bonnie or Clyde because they never saw anything coming they just shot, and drove well enough to escape but they never expected any of the ambush or attempts by the police. Malcolm setting them up was clear especially because of his over enthusiasm to have them stay with them and in the scene his nerves are so obvious but again lack of instincts finally means the end of this story. The cinematography is amazing when the action starts especially because it feels like it has started already by all the cuts to point of view shots. Malcolm sees another car coming down the road that surprises him, cut to the car coming down the road. A series of point of view shots follow, Malcolm looks at the bush, Clyde also looks and we see the birds fly out, then Malcolm looks up then Clyde then Bonnie smiling which again gives us the fact that they still do not expect anything. Malcolm again looks at the bush now we only see the bush shaking, then Malcolm looks at the car again. Malcolm now jumps under his truck and Clyde laughs still not aware of the actions to come. Cut to bonnie then to Clyde now with an alert face cut to a shot of the bush we still see nothing in the bush. This whole time we are watching and we are just waiting for it but it feels like it is taking forever because of the editing techniques. Now point of view shots of Bonnie looking at Clyde and Clyde looking at her both with expressions of helplessness.

The bullets start flying and we finally see the guns in the bushes. The way their bodies move and shake because of the bullets is so powerful because it makes the human body into rag dolls. Clyde being rolled around on the floor and Bonnie’s skinny silhouette reduced to waving limbs and hanging hair is so hard to watch. We know that they are dead but I can not help but think how it must hurt to have your body twisted and bent in the way the bullets did to them especially Bonnie. The last high angle shot of the car with Bonnie hanging out arm looking like it will break off and blonde hair hanging down and on the floor to the right Clyde laying lifeless face down on the dirt, this shot is hard to watch but what a great shot to an amazing sequence of shots because it is like the calm after the storm.

\"Force 1TD\" by Randy Krallman

We are all young inspiring filmmakers so I feel like it is good to screen works by other young filmmakers. Randy Krallman is the guy behind the talking baby E-trade commercials. Watching classic films and studying iconic directors is amazing and we can see how directors now are influenced by them by watching new works and it can influence us when we start shooting.

I grew up selling on eBay and going through similar situations so I can relate to this short and really enjoyed it hope you all do too.

Cantinflas \"Aguila o Sol\"

This is a clip of a Cantinflas film. Cantinflas is like “A Christmas story” during the holidays he is a house hold name and I believe that screening films such as these would be good. Cantinflas is a comedic genius and is very similar to Chaplin’s physical comedic style. I think comparing these films to american films and to the influences on each other could be great for film history because I know these films are very influential worldwide. I only know about these films because i grew up watching them but I do not know the history behind them and I would love to learn about the directors and writers and cinematic styles.

According to my parents nothing can compare to these films and many people feel like this and I would love to learn the reason for this reputation. I enjoy the films and I am very interested in learning more about this genre.

Jil Sander Spring Summer 2011 Psycho

So the Link to the clip above is a Fashion show which is amazing but listen to the background music. Hitchcock rules the world till this day, the way he has influenced culture is incredible. I would love to know what everybody thinks about the connection if any between this high fashion line and Psycho, why? would the designer or creative director include this music for the show?

Breathless “The Cool”

December 5, 2010 | | 1 Comment

This film to me is more of a character piece and an expression of two cultures. We get Michel and his attitude, personality, and way of life and we can only assume that he is a product of his environment. Then we have Patricia “The Little American” and I start to foreshadow how they will clash. Michel being such a harsh character and my assumption that she will not be a push over I assume they will not get along. Through out the film we see and realize what makes him react and what makes him relax or submissive. The police can not scare or slow Michel down but Patricia can and she does it without even trying. The character’s both express “The Cool”, they are young living life how they want to and they are doing it in Paris. Paris as the backdrop along with the rest of the pop culture elements in the film compliment these two characters that might display life in a way that people at the time and even today might want to live.

Cinematography is unpredictable like the characters it is following. We do not know what Michel is going to do next so the shots are given to us in the same way. In the apartment scene the way the frame enclosed Michel especially made me feel trapped in. That might have been the point of the cinematography to have us feel the way Michel felt closed in that room trying to seduce Patricia but with no hope in sight.

Psycho

November 16, 2010 | | 5 Comments

I do not like watching people getting killed, I hate horror, slasher or anything considered in that genre. Hitchcock to me is none of the above. Suspense is a great element in film and Hitchcock gives us tons of it. We receive suspense through sound, editing, miss-en-scene etc.

Psycho is especially rich when it comes to sound and editing. From the scene when Marion is driving out of town with the money, she imagines conversations between all the people she is leaving behind effected by her actions. The suspense created by this is so capturing because we can imagine how serious the situation is because we all have experienced it, we do something and in our minds we play out the consequences. The audience is not sure if these conversations are happening or will happen or already happened even though we are aware of the space and time we still are confused, intrigued, and can not wait to find out what is really going to happen.

The shower scene shows so little but yet shows so much. For a viewer like myself who can not stand blood and gore it gave me just the right amount visually and an abundance of everything else.

Film Analysis Project

October 22, 2010 | | 1 Comment

Citizen Kane (Welles, RKO, 1941) “The film, tracing Kane’s life from an unhappy childhood to old age and death through a series of complicated flashbacks, was a masterpiece of set design, camera placement, deep-focus composition, lighting and editing.” (Dixon and Foster p. 110). The scene when Thatcher visits Kane at the Inquirer is a great example of set design, camera placement, deep-focus composition, sound, and lack of editing, which is not a negative in this case. This scene only last about two minutes and thirty seconds but in that short time frame Welles manages to utilize many technical elements along with dialogue to give the viewer a rich portrayal of the character Charles Foster Kane. The film was released in 1941 and the U.S. was already well into WWII since the start of the year. Any talk about war at this point in time all around the world would get lots of attention, and Kane speaks about war in Cuba in the scene. Welles shoots this scene and fills it with content because this scene makes the viewer love Kane and starts building him up for his very hard fall at the end. Who can not love Kane as a rich man who does not care about loosing his money as long as he looses it standing up for the “under privileged”.

The scene starts with an over the shoulder shot of Thatcher talking to Kane. Kane is sitting down and comes of very calm while Thatcher is standing up talking down to him in a very load voice displaying power in the frame. Thatcher is standing in the foreground and is the largest figure in the frame, Kane is low and in the middle ground, Bernstein stands to Kane’s left and behind him while Leland comes into the frame behind Bernstein then leaves the frame for a second, jumps back in to grab a cigar on the table taking a position in the middle with Kane and the moves again behind Bernstein. Leland gets very close to Bernstein while standing behind him when he could have easily stood in the middle to the left. All of this movement gives this scene incredible depth especially with Leland moving around but all the characters are used for that reason. A foreground, middle, and background are created by the composition and blocking with the actors, Welles could have positioned everybody next to each other making the scene flat. Although when you really look at the scene you will realize that the set design gives it depth as well. Closing of the space where the action is taking place and creating more space behind it is another way Welles created deep-focus composition. We can even see workers to the right and back of the frame.

Now all of this movement filling the frame comes with sound in the form of dialogue and background noise. Since this scene is starting to build the character Kane dialogue is important and when Bernstein relays the message from Cuba and states that there is no war and Kane responds “Dear Wheeler you provide the Prose Poems, I’ll provide the war” this can bring up mixed thoughts about Kane and questions. Is Kane honest? Is he making stories up to sell papers? Is he telling the truth no matter what the consequences are? All of these questions are left unanswered in the scene because it is early in the film, but the scene still accomplishes what it was meant to, and that is to make the viewer love, believe and support Kane. This is done by the shift in power within the frame using composition again and sound. As the scene continues Thatcher sits putting himself at eye level and same size within the frame. Now sound takes over Thatcher raises his voice and Kane does too and starts explaining his principles for running the paper in the way he does. Kane becomes more and more powerful in the frame and camera movement helps this by moving in gradually with the increase of Kane’s power over Thatcher. Sound is very important now because Thatcher has become silent and Kane is loud causing the workers in the back to stop talking and working but you can hear them turn their seats to witness the argument. Kane is giving a great speech about his roll in the world and how he plans to stand up for those who can not fight and lets us know that he is aware of his wealth and does not care for it all of these words go on uninterrupted because everyone in the frame is quiet listening to his speech. The silence and high volume from Kane gives the viewer an amazing presentation of Kane that has been enhanced by the use of camera movement and sound. Kane is now standing up both in the literal sense and in the symbolic by standing up for his principles and letting Thatcher know that he will continue running his paper his way regardless of the outcomes.

Now the whole scene is coming to it’s conclusion and no editing has been done. The whole scene has been created and has given the viewer so much to enjoy without cutting a single frame. Kane is so heroic, powerful, and likeable by the end of this scene and of coarse we know how rich he is by letting us know how many years it would take for him to close down spending one million per year. This is when we finally see editing used when he gives us a big smile at the end of his speech, giving the viewer some extra charm right after winning them over with his principles.

This scene is an incredible way of building up Kane to a point that makes him very lovable and makes the viewer want to cheer him on and hope for a happy ending. Welles already gives us the ending at the start of the film and still has us hoping for a different one in this scene. The scene does what it has to as the film does and shows how people change and they have their moments through out life. Money, power, and respect can all be lost no matter how much you succeed but the real sad part is loosing something that cost you nothing, in Kane’s case it was his principles and “Rosebud”.

Flike!!

October 20, 2010 | | 2 Comments

Itook a course on Italian Cinema and we studied Antonioni, and Visconti and how the Neorealist films dominated at the time. Flike, Mr. Umberto, and Maria along with the plot scream out Neorealism. Showing these characters and how they live and deal with poverty due to post-WWII Italy is so powerful especially in the scene above in the picture, Umberto trying to beg for money and it’s so hard for him I felt it myself and then Flike  steals the film.

“Man’s best friend” Flike is not a pet in this film because in real life pets become a part of the family, and I feel this film shows that in Flike. Flike is poor, has debts, has no home, is embarrassed with his situation, Flike shares all of these problems with Umberto. Emotions make this film great because they are real they are relatable and that is clear when one of my classmates stated they cried through out the whole film.

At the start of the film I was so involved in the relationship built between Maria and Umberto. She clearly respects him and he clearly worries and wants to share his wisdom with her like a father figure. The relationship never really gets that far and that is shown in the hospital scene when she does not introduce herself as his daughter. Their relationship I believe is built on the fact that they are of the same social class. Maria respects him as an elder but is not ashamed to tell him she is pregnant because he will not look down on her.

Since taking the course Italian Cinema these films have taken first place on my list of films to watch from that era and Umberto D. is a perfect example.

CITIZEN KANE

October 4, 2010 | | 6 Comments

I screened Citizen Kane twice this week and just like professor Herzog said something new can be seen every time. Orson Welles coming from a broadcasting and theatrical background and having never directed a feature film before explains why he would be so experimental. When you don’t know that something can not be done you try doing it and Welles did exactly that with this film and accomplished it. The story, and acting in this film I believe is just secondary to the mise-en-scene of lighting, sound, and placement of actors and props in the frame. Orson Welles used everything at his disposal to tell the story and to keep our eyes and minds intrigued. From the beginning scenes when the camera is just panning over the exterior of Xanadu Mansion, the way every shot included the mansion in the far background it made it clear that it was a monstrously big structure. For all we know the mansion in the background of all those shots is probably just a small model but the way the camera shows it so far away but we can still make out more then just the silhouette the audience can only imagine how big it is.

The scene with the reporters screening the news reel of Kane’s life is so so so fascinating, because it does not seem under exposed, it just seems like the reporters effortlessly avoid the light that is practically shinning over them from the projector. We can not see the reporters faces so it gives of many emotions I am trying to figure out if they like Kane or hate him or just wanna sell papers or are they really federal agents passing as reporters to get the truth about Kane.

Now the best shot to me has to be when kane looses his political campaign and the extreme low angle shot only captures his foot to the top of his angle but if you look closely the camera catches a piece of confetti blowing in front of the camera and I do not think that was not intentional it actually emphasizes how low the camera is. Professor Hiris who teaches Medst 200 stated that during production they had to cut a hole in the floor so the camera could shoot from beneath floor level. How creative and experimental is that always thinking different and trying everything to get results, that is why I believe this film is great.

As for catching new things every time I watch this film, this time I noticed that when Kane comes back from overseas and announces he is getting married and receives a trophy from his staff when he leaves and they are all watching him from the window. Kane tries to give the trophy to someone not caring what it meant not caring his staff of working men gave him an award for being a great man and he disregards it but when he realizes he is being watched he takes the trophy back and acts as if he really appreciates it. I believe that seen is when his “declaration of principles” went out the window. Also the piece of confetti is not something I noticed the first time I screened the film.

I always wonder how this film would be if it was made today for the first time with all the advantages of technology. If Orson Welles found creativity with the very limited resources of the time could you imagine what he could do with a budget and equipment available today… A film major could only dream.

I AM A NEW YORKER

September 22, 2010 | | Leave a Comment


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