Thursday, December 8, 2011

Italian Neorealism and French New Wave Observations and Anaylisis

    Hello, my name is Nick and I'm going to be talking about French New Wave and Italian Neorealism. Specifically I'm going to compare and contrast the aspects between the movies 400 Blows and The Bicycle Thief. First a little background on these two waves which are somewhat similar. Italian Neorealism was a style of film that was present in the 1940's in Italy. The films were you shot amongst the poor or working class using non professional actors. This movement contained filmmakers that wanted to ge out there and make films.

   Now to give some background information on the French New Wave. The wave was inspired by or influenced by Italian Neorealism. It was started in the 1950's in France. Like the Italian Neorealists they didn't want to abide to the classical rules to film making they wanted to try new things and get out there.

   Now that we have a very brief background lets talk about what the two movies (400 Blows = French New Wave. The Bicycle Thief = Italian Neorealist) have in common. First of all you could tell that they both wanted to get out and make the film right away because in both films there's only one part of the two that I can think of that has a shot edited in to give the illusion of a second camera. In other words both of them usually for each scene would have one camera that was rolling through the whole scene usually changing positions throughout, but since they did have it move throughout it made up for not having the other shots edited in. Another thing they both had almost the exact same structure for example: introduction, conflict, ramble, ramble, something dramatic and important to the story happens, ramble ramble, then it ends when you least expect it and you figure out the movie was really setting up to be about something else than you thought it would be. One of the things I really admire was how The Bicycle Thief ended how it distracted you, but was also building up to a meaning. At the end of 400 Blows everyone around me said, "What?" and started muttering amongst themselves. Although I don't know or think that those movies should represent all of their style, but I don't know if it was just the French , we just didn't understand. They both had a repeating background music melody if the characters were in a certain setting or had repeating emotions which put that song in the memory of the place and could be brought back later. For the moment those are the only specific things I could think that the two had in common they both had those various device function, except for maybe the 400 Blows ending which I could just be naive, but for the most part they did and for now I shall be concluding the "what they have in common" paragraph.

   In the difference between the films besides languages isn't much beside initial plot. The story structure is the same as I talked about in the last paragraph. To say the least the French New Wave definitely was inspired by Italian Neorealism and therefore lacks much difference, but besides what I just said if you know of any other differences that I've missed (Probably a lot, but hopefully not. ) comment below and let me know.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Use of Sound in "The 39 Steps"

In this film Albert Hitchcock uses sound strategically to give a feeling. As many people who know about film, they might know that Albert Hitchcock has been nickname or crowned "The Master of Suspense". In many of his movies he does not have background music or at least not throughout the whole movie. In "The 39 Steps" he does the same thing, only having background music or anything else that's happening in the scene. This is at sometimes will overwhelm you with the volume he does include, such as the crowds blasting your ears or getting you curious and excited while your wondering what's going to happen. But Hitchcock's most signature sound technique is often just silence. The microphone will still be on, but it will be silent. In this movie and Hitchcock's other movies, that technique makes an awkward silence which tends to add suspense to different moments in the film. By adding suspense in sound it really contributes to the feelings into the screen.
There is one point in the movie where there is sound that isn't built into the scene. It's where the agents or police are chasing after the protagonist in the valley and hills. The reason I think Hitchcock did this is because if he didn't have sound in that seen where there is less suspense, but more action and suspense releasing scene, it would just not have the right feel. It wouldn't be suspenseful even though it is not supposed to be a suspense based seen. It would just seem awkward and not the good kind of "edge of your seat" awkward it would just not match the rest of the movie or the feel of the scene. The music does let everything rush free. I and apparently Hitchcock could not find a better way to show that scene in audio since it would not feel right silent. I think that what Hitchcock did with putting background music in this scene was the only option he had and it ended up working, so it was necessary to break one of his signature artistic choices and it ended up being a very nice movie (My opinion.) which was a pleasure to listen to and watch

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Film History Blog Post: Cinematography in Charlie Chaplin's: "The Circus"

In Charlie Chaplin's the circus there are some patterns in cinematography that can be easily noticed. First of all there is no camera movement in this film. This was probably because cameras were so heavy they were pretty much not mobile (As I learned from Kyle's presentation.). Although the cameras don't move there are a variety of angles, which are often used for showing the comedy of Charlie's signature walking or him being chased. Usually the camera doesn't move within a set, it usually just stays there and its to the next set when it's time. Also the size of the shots don't vary much. The shot are usually medium shots, long shots or wide shots. Pretty much never anything closer than a medium shot. That is about as much as you can say about the cinematography in that film. Besides who needs amazing cinematography when you have Charlie Chaplin (half jokingly)?

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Film History Project.

I have to say that that film Trip to the Moon was astonishing. The little moon people were absolutely terrifying. I also was surprised at the film killing real moon people just for a film. This has been the best most creative film I've seen. It wasn't just capturing every day life it took you into the astrologist's world and took you on a thrilling adventure. The effects if they were effects were absolutely fabulous. I enjoyed this film very much and will enjoy seeing it with my business colleagues next week. I recommend that you see this film if at all possible. Cheers!

Okay, now back to normal. Although some of that paragraph was absurd and just strange there were reasons for a lot of it. Throughout the paragraph there are little comments like "killing real moon people just for film" and "The effects if they were effects were absolutely fabulous." were just to kind of show that in the day that was some really cutting age stuff. I kind of went over board on the flamboyant and non-slang upper-class rich top-hat person language, but I could not get that high-pitched voice out of my head. Also tried to express the difference from this and the other films that were made at the time throughout. That was the basic things I was trying to do with that paragraph.