Archive for film

originals vs. re-makes

Posted in film with tags on September 25, 2008 by aguilart

Like em? Love em? Hate em?

I happen to really enjoy re makes of movies. Gives you a little sense of how our generation  sees old school movies. Use the same corny jokes from the original little things like that I think makes a re make. A movie I just re watched again was the longest .

link for The Longest Yard

They even brought back the first quarterback Bert Reynolds himself

 

So what do you guys think? remakes or originals

Ch 2. Form in Film: Gamers are people too…

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on September 19, 2008 by meitanteibilly

Movies are ideas transmitted through art.  But they are not just unformed blobs of ideas.  Movies have forms that give a movie structure and help to engage us.  The form of a movie is decided by set elements such as story structure, the framing of shots through knowledge of an audiences prior experience and knowledge given to them earlier in the move.  The meaning behind the work and the basic principles that many movies follow also help to make the movie the movie.

Most movies contain all of these basic elements to create the film’s form.  For this post, I will be analyzing the form of the movie: The Gamers.  The gamers is a short movie about a group of gamers who are playing a dungeons and dragons-esque game.  The movie follows their in game characters as they adventure and try to save a princess. The movie is a comedy and isn’t very long.  It’s a pleasant watch if you’re bored.

The structure of the storyline is one of the important parts of a movie.  The structure of the movie, the meaning and symbols shown within the movie, and continuity are all very important to the structure of the movie as a whole.  An example of the structure would be that because A happens, B happens, and because of this C happens.  This order helps to engage us to become involved with the movie and the storyline, though because to do something expected all of the time is boring, movie makers often include new developments in a plot to keep us on our toes and try to force us to rethink what is going to happen.  In The Gamers the story follows a very simple ABC model.  The characters are given a quest and after facing the challenges of the evil villain, they finally face and defeat the evil.

While a very simple movie, it is a good example of a movie that relies on the previous experience of the audience.  The Gamers, being about a group of gamers, has a lot of “in jokes.”  From jokes about the unreliability of the dice roll, to jokes about gamers with girlfriends, a lot of the humors is based off of stereotypes about geeks and knowledge that geeks would know.  While one may think that this would not appeal to a wide range of audiences, it has been able to make audiences all over laugh.  It’s success can probably be attributed to the fact that most people are familiar with at least some form of the “D&D geek” stereotype, or even just the geek stereotype.  In addition the storyline is easy to follow.  This doesn’t detract from the movie because it’s such light humor.

Posted in Actuality, Simulation, Virtuality with tags , , , , on September 18, 2008 by Kelli Koga

 

To see a Jackson Pollock painting in person is to have an experience.

The underwhelming reproduction in an art history textbook can do no justice to the fact of standing before an 8 ft high, 15 foot wide expanse of movement and color and vision.  Pollock’s often room-sized works fill your field of vision, and you become submersed in an atmosphere that is at once violent and still, loud and metatative.  Pollock’s own life and history, his writing about the bomb and the nuclear age, his existential thinkings, and his fears and frustrations filter into the work, yet it is not that entirely.  With its lack of specificity and definition, the painting becomes a place that says something to you, that you can use to say something with, that creates a space for your own reflection and projection.

It is said that sitting benches are often provided solely in front of the greatest works of art, because those are the ones that you get lost in, that you must sit down to compose yourself, that you linger in front of for a long period of time after you initially approach it, for it consumes you, absorbs you, compels you, and draws you into its space.  With Pollock’s paintings, what you realize the more you look at them, is how terribly structured they are.  Pollock’s avant-garde approach to artmaking as a cathartic process were what gained him both respect and notoreity, but the longer you look at a Pollock painting, the more methodical they appear.  Pollock didn’t just go crazy, flinging paint in every direction.  His actions were deliberate in their intention, and there is order and rhythm and movement within his paintings that gives them such a strong visual effect.

It’s not so unlike film.

In visual arts, in poetry, in prose, in film, and fiction, the marriage of form and content is necessary for success.  In art, you learn at the beginning level that there are elements and principles that we respond to, even on the most basic, visceral level.  Certain colors are harmonious together; others create dischorrd.  The operation of the human eye means that the relationship between objects can be pleasant or distracting.  Pattern, proportions, focus, and balance can be structurally manipulated to appealing effect.  There are technical reasons that underlie why people have an immediately positive or negative reaction to something.  If you were a cook, you would learn how to harmoniously balance tastes; if you were a writer, to make sentences flow and to select words that are effective.  The end result of any successful piece of art is in how its technical and creative work together.

The interplay between actual and virtual comes together here.  There are certain aspects of both form and content that we become immediately aware of.   In the film Casablanca, for example, one scene has always resonated with me.  It is the scene in the nightclub, when the Germans begin to sing, Rick responds by commanding his band to play the “Marseillaise.”  

What makes the scene is not the set, the characters, the story, the framing, the makeup, the lighting, even the songs.  It’s harmoney comes from the way context and emotion, technical perfection and artistic execution come together.  It is the meaning of those songs against the backdrop of the war, the feelings of nationalism and pride that are so difficult during those times, the human dignity that is contained in so simple a gesture.  All these things coming together is more than enough to make one’s heart surge with emotion.

Casablanca remains one of the greatest movies ever created because it succeeds on so many levels.  Its famed dialogue alone can be considered in terms of form and content: the words are well-written, but Bogart’s execution is what makes many of the scenes.  The merger of the technical and the artistic, what we understand and the mechanisms that work underneath, all factor into whether or not we walk out of the theater and feel something.

Film offers something unique in that watching people move onscreen most closely mimics the way that our lives are or aren’t.  We react to people moving and acting and carrying out their lives, and they have a direct effect on ours because we relate to those experiences.  For this reason, we are probably most critical of film.  When it is successful, however, film is an experience that is unlike any other.