Thursday, November 15, 2012

Life Lessons: Revised

Life Lessons is a film about a man with needs women to give him inspiration so he can paint and the ratio between woman and painting is about one to one so this happens quite often, throughout music functions to show the main character, Lionel's emotions. Of course there is escalation and various details on the way. So, I'm going to talk about the music as an aesthetic and how it functions in this post. We start out with the first song of the film as "Whiter Shade Of Pale" and is played when we first meet Paulette (His assistant / "inspiration"). And for the rest of the film we do not hear that song until the very end after Paulette gets fed up and leaves him and it begins to play as soon as he finds a new assistant and then the film ends. This pattern implies that it is indeed a vicious cycle also backed by a little bit of expositional dialogue. After each argument with Paulette he goes down to paint and puts music on each time as arguments get more intense so does the music until there is "the opera song" which totally breaks the rock and roll pattern when it comes to the climax and the answer to the question that Paulette really will never love him as she is upstairs with a young man. Until there is a moment of victory and pride comes from it when the young man turns around and Lionel turns around smiling from is painting.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Aesthetics: Space Assignment

I decided to try to make an interactive flash test for my project, so people could just come to my blog and take the test and go. I though it would be a challenge, but interesting. It ended up being a total nightmare with random errors popping up all the time and things not working when they should be and almost anything else you can imagine. This is why there are so little questions in it because it took so long to make those I didn't have time for that. After I made the first question I kinda realized that so try to think of the main question I would want to ask and then I made those. Although it was good experience and I think for the questions I did have about the aesthetics were somewhat successful I know that I will have a backup plan for my next project if there's the slightest chance on any medium that it won't work. Feel free to comment your scores! Time allotted 7 min at max.

Thursday, September 27, 2012


 1. There is a bunch of exposition such as about how Sidney's Mom was murdered and some other stuff to create suspense which is directly told to us not by watching it by hearing about it. But we do infer at the end that the survivors sent to the hospital actual did survive and we assume that the killers are actually dead, but that's really speculating.

2. The first story story event that is introduced is the conflict. That there is a killer or some kind of creepy guy around. He is the conflict throughout the movie as it escalates with the more people he kills until the end where it is revealed that it is two guys and then when they die the conflict is resolved.

3. No it's a linear story and parts of the story just escalates as time goes on, and we understand how the characters are feeling through the escalation, but that is common with any thriller, it's pretty much standard. I don't think any narrative points were left loose in the end, but I could be missing a detail somewhere.

4. No the ending is not a reference to the beginning or is like it in any way pretty much, it is completely different. Besides when she calls the killers just like the killers called her in the beginning and she puts on the ghost costume, but the phone calls from the killer are throughout not just in the beginning

5. We go across a bunch of character giving exposition and creating suspense giving necessary information for the story. These characters can be in all different places even if the story or the conflict isn't necessarily there and throughout we go to a bunch of different people asking who it is and we follow each murder.

6. I say it's pretty spot on for a classical Hollywood clock  it doesn't jump through time, it escalates somewhat linearly although after each murder there is a break from the escalation for exposition or to even give a little more suspense until near the end where it escalates and doesn't stop until the Antagonists are dead.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Life Lessons

     Life Lessons is a film about a man with needs women to give him inspiration so he can paint and the ratio between woman and painting is about one to one so this happens quite often. But of course there is escalation and various details on the way, they will only be mentioned if there's something relevant in the scene.

     So, I'm going to talk about the music as an aesthetic and how it functions in this post. We start out with the first song of the film as "Whiter Shade Of Pale" and is played when we first meet Paulette (His assistant / who he wants to love him). And for the rest of the film we do not hear that song until the very end after Paulette gets fed up and leaves him and it begins to play as soon as he finds a new assistant and then the film ends. This pattern implies that it is indeed a vicious cycle also backed by a little bit of expositional dialogue. Also throughout music functions to show the main character, Lionel's emotions. After each argument with Paulette he goes down to paint and puts music on. Each time he goes down as the story is escalating so is the music until there is "the opera song" which totally breaks the rock and roll pattern when it comes to the climax and the answer to the question that Paulette really will never love him as she is upstairs with a young man. After that besides the end the music is not too significant as the rest of the music. And over all for me all of the music really helps and just make the film feel the way it feels. I'm not sure completely how to explain it, but besides its function I think as an aesthetic should, it really just adds to the whole film.


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Off The Rez

So since for class we only read "What it Means to Say Phoenix Arizona" which is only a part of the source content for the movie, "Smoke Signals" there was a lot of new stuff, but the general arc of the short story "What it Means to Say Phoenix Arizona" where the main character's father has died and his friend helps out with money with one condition that he can come with him to get his fathers pick up truck. Also in the story there is some tension between the two characters which also shows up even more so with the "side kick" if you will (I don't remember his exact name.) is really strange visually to the main character and he is really annoying and there is also some jealousy which kind of shows up in the story as well. There is other scenarios in both the movie and the film that are included. I'm pretty sure from what I can remember everything from the story was included in the movie although the ending was altered a bit.  As far as story telling I thought it was some what similar to the story and the changes it did make didn't effect the tone too much, but in the movie they did add a lot such as music and just culture to give it some of the same feel. I think the story might have jumped around more in plot, but the movie as a pretty much linear story all and all I don't think changed the feel too much and it felt like a worthy adaption to this story.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Jesus' Son

  This is a story about a dude or aka "Fuckhead" that just let life flow through him and gets high on whatever he can get his hands on whether he knows what it or not. He and this girl meet and they have a complicated relationship and throughout Fuckhead is going on "enhanced" adventures and strange tasks with his "friends". Eventually though Michelle (The girl he met) and him make up after the biggest fight in the movie, but she ends up taking some un known pills before she goes to bed and she leaves a not saying something like: "If you love me you'll save me". Which since he fell asleep he wakes to be accompanied by a dead body. After that he moves to a new town and starts going to narcotics anonymous and starts helping out at a place for disabled people. Then he goes to rehab and he slowly recovers. But this is just the movie. But all and all the movie stays pretty true to the book which is a bunch of short stories that don't necessarily connect, but the movie I think uses most or all of the chapters adds a little bit and puts it in an order. Which I thought worked really well as feature combining a bunch of short stories that like I said don't necessarily connect, but putting them together and using most of all of them without just going off on a limb for the movie. I wasn't quite sure what to expect with the plot structure of the book into the movie, but I really liked it because it was a really story in structure and it kept true to the tone of the book with just certain things of just floating through life. Skipping through it remembering some things and not others finding yourself waken up in a time and remembering it.

  There is also a change of writing style when he is high or under the influence of whatever. In the movie it seemed only when he was really tripping or it had a dramatic effect on the story they would alter reality or the cinematic and technical choices which makes sense, but there was that sense to the rest of it where nothing changed when he stated he was high and all of the shots and lighting seems normal throughout the rest, so in that aspect I kind of wish we had some sort of device or consistency to tell us how he's feeling when it isn't just a main story point. But besides that, I think that was the only thing I missed and the rest of it was pretty nice and well articulated. All and all I think it was a pretty good adaptation.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Clue From Board Game to Film

First of all I just want to say that I'm surprised that they decided to adapt this although it does make more sense then some other board games because the game already has a semi plot to it, but the movie has a tone of it's own. Second of all the movie like I said at the end of the last sentence the movie has a tone all of it's own. It is a comedy, but with it's own quirks which makes sense because it would be kind of strange and hard to sell if it was a drama or any other kind of a serious film because the main audience is some what those who have heard or played the game which means kind of a family audience. In some ways the movie references the game and kind of makes fun of it's self with characters setting up obvious jokes out of character and making fun of that manner through out the film. It also has a tendency to switch between semi dramatic moments which sometimes can make fun of themselves by how it's handled as a cheesy murder mystery. It can be really silly a lot of the time, but at certain points there are semi serious dramatic moments that makes it propel the story with reminding us that there's still a question of, "Who dun it?" and re- enforcing that it matters. Also another and probably the most important way the story is propelled is the Butler who brings us from points A to point B in the story which is okay we rely on him because it's kind of a joke and goes with the tone because it's ridiculous and funny that he is the only one finding or putting together the clues. So all and all in adapting the movie the did change a tone a bit for understandable reasons, but they stuck to the board game pretty close considering everything they stuck to most of the character's characters by how they look like although they did change and add a couple based on the plot and they pretty much worked around the written out plot of the board game, but as an adaptation from a board game to a movie it works pretty well as a commercial film. I can't say that if I was in the same business and had to adapt a board game to a movie and had to sell it that I would do anything too different besides changing most of the shots because it's not the best visual movie.

Friday, March 9, 2012

American Splendor

In both the movie and the comic books it's about one guy named Harvey Pekar. Even so much of the truth he doesn't make himself look remotely good or spice anything up and he doesn't take out parts where he's actually writing a comic book. This blind truth is what makes at least the original comic have a certain uncensored genuine feel which includes a aspect of self reflexiveness. This self reflexiveness in the original comic book is not an added on aspect it is just Harvey's life. In the movie they try to add that bit of self reflexiveness towards the movie making process by having the director say "cut" and bring us to a "set" and have us see this strange sense of in between real and fake although it is very fake. We then explore real Harvey and Toby discussing on set jellybeans in this strange world. I think that they could've just stayed with the story, the self reflexiveness of Harvey writing his comic books etc. I think the scene with them cutting to set is trying a little bit to hard to create the feel of what I am sure is hundreds of comic books in one movie. With cutting to on set that is not really a set it just makes it feel not genuine and staged and a little bit not "American Splendor" to be honest. Besides that some good things that they did do in the movie to give the movie it's own Harvey Pekar "truth and self reflexiveness". For example: I think that having real Harvey and having the interviews was good because it gave it the feel, but still going for what they wanted, to make the film different from the play, the comic book or anything else that had been done. It doesn't feel insincere during interviews because it feels honest and is far from perfection which is good because the imperfection is what it's about. All in all the movie was okay with this aspect although the cutting to a "real" world and there was also animated Harvey's and his comics which just didn't seem to fit.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Freaks and Spurs

In both the short story "Spurs" and the movie adaptation "Freaks" there are fantastical characters (Circus People) that are shown, represented and treated by the author/ director differently. These are both the "same"stories to an extent. What I mean by that is that they have the semi-same characters the same protagonist and same basic conflict for the protagonist. They are both handled in way different ways. Which makes sense because they're to different mediums at two way different lengths and proportions. But in this post I'm going to be talking about how the two different artists working in two different mediums handled the characters.

First I'll start out with the first thing we viewed which was the original short story, "Spurs". In this short story there aren't as many characters that we really pay attention to compared to the movie. We mostly follow and hear Jacque's thoughts and actions, but we switch around to the minds of other characters as well throughout. In the short story we are more focused on the different character's personalities, as opposed to the movie, but I will get into that soon. A little bit of the characters imagery is used in the short story, but obviously there is more in the film because film is intended to be about the image and although in writing there is descriptions which make you imagine images, but in film it was it's original intended use. In the film we also switch off between characters even more so which brings me back to how the film physically shows the characters in a different way than in the story. In the story if you took out the text saying everyone was from the circus and the few descriptions of them you might, maybe believe that they were regular people (Didn't mean that to come out offensive if it did.). By that I mean a big part of the movie was treating the characters, well like, freaks (And not in a good way.). The film makes the audience feel like they are touring around the circus seeing everyone do there trick which excites them. That holds the movie and the plot together (kind of) the first time you see it or at least I know I felt wonder and awesomeness when the guy with no arms and no legs pulls out a box of matches and a cigarette (or what ever it was...) and lit it with only using his mouth. The short story treats the characters in a more dignified way than the movie showing everything off to excite the audience and completely the distract us from gaps or dragging in the plot which is almost understandable considering the big change from short story to feature film and the time period.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Smoke and Auggie Wren's Christmas Story

   In both of these stories (The original and the adaptation.) there is a questioning of truth, of reality and fiction. The part of both of these stories when that is an inherent question is when Auggie tells the christmas story of him following the adress of a kid that stole from his store, to go return the wallet because he felt bad for him. Instead of the kid that he was expecting to answer it was his blind grandma that mistakes Auggie for her grandson. He comes in and plays a long with it because he feels bad for her that she's alone and her own grandson didn't even come on what probably would be her last christmas. He buys a christmas dinner with some wine and eventually they're both drunk and Auggie has to use the bathroom and sees a stack of cameras. He decides he wants to take a picture and takes the camera and the grandma is sleeping. Then he leaves with the camera and after that he starts to take a picture every day with it in the same spot on the corner of his store.

  In the film and short story they both have the moment with Auggie's story. In the story whether Auggie is telling the truth is only shown through the narrator's opinion. In the movie it's left to more of an un biased opinion although the writer (The narrator in the short story.) still does not believe Auggie it is some what left to us to decide based on what we've seen. In both of the mediums there is the idea of whether Auggie is telling the truth or not. I personally believe in the movie that the story isn't real because earlier in the movie a kid steals some books, exactly like in the story, but Auggie already has the camera before then. I think that Auggie just made the story after that to get a free lunch. In the short story I'm not quite sure. But I don't think that is the part that matters. At least in the movie it seemed like the moment of the story could just be about Auggie this hardened guy, opening up telling this story. Also something to support that in the movie also around that time Auggie gives the girl the money for his alleged daughter and is nice about it. He seems to be more generous and open to things. In the short story it seems to be about a christmas story that isn't cheesy or ends happy, but Auggie seems to get the narrator with the story and opens him up and he ends up writing the story. The question of whether it is truth or lie in my opinion is just kind of a mask. These are both good stories for their mediums and are similar in some ways and way different in others.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

All About Eve/ "The Wisdom of Eve" Differences and Similarities for Better or for Worse?

All About Eve is the film based off of the short story "The Wisdom of Eve". Although it was not given screen credit. This short story and film is about a girl named Eve Herrington who goes to everyone of an actor's (Margola) performances. Eventually a friend of Margola's lets Eve see her. As time passes Eve gets a job as being Margola's assistant and while Margola is not looking Eve studies her every move how she acts on stage and off. Eventually Eve ends up stealing her parts since she is a young and "brilliant" actor. In the film Eve tries to steal Margola's husband, but does not succeed. But in the short story Eve ends up stealing Margola's friend's (the narrator's) husband at the very end of the story. In the film  it end in a very different way (That doesn't involve anyone's husband being stolen.) which I will talk about why it was a good or bad ending of the film compared to the story.

  Okay in this paragraph I'm going to talk about the various differences and what it does to the film compared to the short story. First of all in the short story the whole story is within a car with two friends talking about a story they heard. In the film it starts with a narrator at an awards ceremony then cuts off into the story which leaves us wondering how we're going to get back there. I think this a good choice for the film adaptation because if it were to follow the story on this it might take us out of the movie that we keep going to the car and having flashbacks. Another reason this is a good choice like I said before is that it leaves us with a place that we know we will come back to and we're curious on how it will do so, so we pay attention and are curious. Here's another change that I noticed. The ending of the film is a lot different it goes back to the award ceremony, but then follows Eve to her apartment instead of the after party because nobody likes her and there is a young girl there and the implication that the girl is the Eve to Margola except this time Eve is Margola and cycle has started again. There a few reasons I do like this ending and there are a few that I don't like. First of all the ending seems to drag(Aka we already new All About Eve about 20 minutes ago.). That could just be me or the mood I was in when I watched it, but once the award ceremony was over it could have ended, but I do admire the point they're trying to make by continuing after the award ceremony. It should work very well, but I guess I was too impatient. Another thing I like about the ending is that it is a nice conclusion for the rest of the details and elements added to the since, well it's not a short story it's a feature length film which is a big change. I think they did a good job converting it to this format they did a lot of good adding the extra elements which might just make the conclusion to all of those worth the drag. I would talk about more changes, but I feel like I'm rambling already and I should have posted this last night instead of saving and coming back to it for the past couple of days.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Rambo: First Blood Part II | Anaylisis of the film and how it feels like the 80's


   This is my analysis on Rambo: First Blood Part II I will be talking about what makes this iconic action film feels like the 80's and why you can tell it and other films are from the 80's. The reason I chose this film is because it's the film that made the series popular and frankly it seems more like the 80's than the original. First we will start with an obvious thing everybody remembers or at least recognizes from the 80's. The film like many of it's decade has a synth sound track for background music which can seem really cheesy, but after a while you don't notice and you're back in the movie. This is one of the infamous things about the 80's is easy to recognize in any film, but although the synth can be cheesy in the movie it expresses the mood pretty well.

   Now that we've talked about audio a little bit or at least the memorable part lets talk about visuals. In this paragraph I'm not going to be talking about the specific camera techniques and etc. in this movie yet. I'm going to talk about that 80's color and lighting that in this movie (This could just be because the a lot of if it is outside.). It seems the colors are very vibrant, but that can make it seem out of place and sometimes washed out. The color and lighting together give it (This could just be me, but it's my blog.) a kind of sweaty feeling although that could just be the massive amount of oil on Sylvester Stallone, but I noticed that even in scenes that he wasn't in and other 80's movies. I don't mean to criticize  the technology of the time I'm just talking about traits of this famous 80's movies that are found in others, but don't worry in the next paragraph I will be talking about some camera techniques I noticed.

  Okay now that I've talked about some of the things that people recognize an 80's movie like this one I'm going to talk about some of the shot choices in this specific movie. In the beginning when the colonel  it goes back and forth between OTSs always showing the fence in between them and then every once in a while going to a long two shot from the top of the fence showing it in between them even more so. Also the OTSs on John Rambo get tighter and tighter while the colonel is talking about his proposition until Rambo says, "yes" then the next shot on him is back to normal and not constricted. This works very well to show the separation between the two and the suspense adding up to whether Rambo wants to go back rather than staying in prison. Not bad for the opening scene of an action movie. There's also the memorable scene of rambo getting ready starting with a kind of cheesy closeup going down his oil drowned arm then shows him getting ready with non high tech weapons and it cuts back and forth from him and the others at the base using computers a etc. to prepare. This is meant to show John's preference towards the old fashion way as opposed to putting it on technology. I think it works in that respect although I found everybody in the room holding back a laugh when the close up started. This could just be our ime period, but it works some what well although the first shot is cheesy it has become some what iconic. 

   Although I'm sure there's more things that make this film and others seem like 80's and I'm sure there are some more shot choices that work these are the ones I notice and remember most, thank you for reading.