The Forgetable Sans Soleil

March 30, 2011

This was one of the most weirdest films I have ever seen in my life. I really didn’t like this film at all because it really did bore me to death and made me almost fall a sleep. But it really did serve it’s purpose and I really appreciated. Sans Soleil was a test for us to see if we can forget half of the things that’s shown or talked about in the film, which pretty much in my opinion did. There was some things that I was able to remember which was the statues of penises and the animals of having sex of course! Maybe because it made most of us feel uncomfortable and freaked out a bit but I also did remember the images of the owl, cat and mostly the people praying. The only reason I remember those because they were constantly being repeated many time in the movie. But I guess they were meant to be repeated just give a test if repeated images do help us remember. In this article Happiness with a Long Piece of Black Leader: Chris Marker’s Sans Soleil by Carol Mavor, he believed how the colors Black and Blue symbolizes the functions of memory in the film. She states:

“At the start of Sans soleil, we get tiny glimpses of the Icelandic sky and the
North Atlantic Ocean: blue bits bitten by nostalgic longing. By the end of the film
we are overwhelmed to see the same place covered in a black ash. The volcano is a
natural catastrophe that harkens the apocalypse of war, something that had
already happened to Marker’s beloved Japan, twenty-five years before when, at
8:15 am, on 6 August 1945, ‘Little Boy’ was dropped on Hiroshima. On that day,
the sky turned black. On that day, ashes were everywhere. On that day, drops of
black rain the size of marbles fell. But to be in the black can be full of goodness. Black is the colour of dreams
before they hit the screen of our mind’s eye. Black is the colour of development, as
in the photographic darkroom. Black is the colour of transport, as in the movie
theatre itself. Black is the colour of the nocturnal; those animals that Marker so
loves, the cat, and also the owl, know all about this (plate 21). The nocturnal
Proust, who also loved the black, turned his days into nights and wrote in his corklined
room without light. Is it no wonder, then, that Barthes feels good, like a cat,
when he leaves the darkness of the cinema, and finds that ‘his body has become
something soporific, soft, peaceful: limp as a sleeping cat’?”

In this paragraph Carol pointed out a very good point that I thought I would have never looked out on my own. She tries to tell us that in the beginning of the film everything is shown in blue like the oceans or the skies from Iceland but by the end things are covered in black with ashes filled on lands covering the home with black skies. Then she describes how Black can represent memory with the description of development, transport, and nocturnal which is how our memory sort of works. What I also notice is that this function also describes on how we heal from an injury. The bruises turn blue then black until it goes back to normal which is very similar to how our brains work with memory. So in meaning Black is what makes forget what has happened and is allowing us to restart again.


A Hilariously and Painful Afternoon

February 23, 2011

I thought Dogs Day Afternoon was a great fantastic film. It was purely funny and had a very dynamic story that was expressed in a very good way. The film first starts off with three men Sonny, Sal and Stevie walking into a bank and suddenly it becomes a bank robbery by the three men. Later on, Stevie exits the bank robbery because he feels that he couldn’t do it while the other two stay. The cops eventually find out and they arrive at the scene. Sonny makes a deal with the Detective to get a vacation to Algeria and he would set the hostages free. During the film there was a series of mishaps and we run into a introduction to his wife and his so called “homosexual” lover Leon. We finally soon discovered that the bank robbery was meant to give Leon a sex change operation. Eventually by the end of the movie they make the deal but when the hostages, Sonny and Sal get to the airport, Sal gets killed and Sonny gets arrested. Even though I found the film to be very good there was some of confusion throughout the film. The one theme I found very confusing was the “homosexuality” because when a man loves a pre-transgendered man he isn’t necessarily “gay”. Because the man wants to become a woman and when a man loves a woman it usually considered “straight” even if the woman use to be a male.  But if Sonny was really a homosexual then it’s a great way how they didn’t let that define his character. Because Sonny did not have any stereotypical characteristics plus it wasn’t really that much discussed during the entire film. There was also a few great laughs like how the people need to go to the bathroom and never actually went! (laughs) I also like how some of the women were practically fine and actually having fun? That’s was really strange and the weird black Afro guy guy getting excited. I was also a bit terrified that Sal died at the end because he was very good man that was just forced to into the crime. So I really think he didn’t deserve to get shot. According to the readings, I think this movie looked like it was sort made like an independent film. Because everything was very low budget and there was use of guns but not much blood. And during the times of the 1970s there was a lot of independent films in this era.   But overall, Dog Day Afternoon was a great entertaining film!


The French Criminal

May 6, 2010

I think Breathless was a good movie in its own weird way. To me it felt like a bad story with a good laugh of comedy. The lines and action scenes were sort of cheesy. This film has no intentions to be good and I understood that. It just was to make us laugh. The film did fit the description of “The French New Wave” from the readings. I also felt that the actors did a good job as well. I really did like Michel’s character his cocky, sexist personality was entertaining to me.
I noticed a lot of things that this movie had for the French style genre. There was a lot of jumpy scenes especially in the car scenes. I noticed these scenes were film in different days or time. The reason I noticed because each scene had a different lighting and have a cut-off at each end. I don’t know, but I think the Jean-Luc Godard was taking his time with this film. Maybe because it was low budget that he didn’t have all day to these scenes. This movie did also have the complex relationship within the two characters. Because Patricia did still loved Michel even though she was a criminal that treated her like crap. She also thought about being a criminal with him. But she realized that she didn’t want to do it in the long run. So she turned against him. The movie did also have the political story to the film. There was a lot of newspapers reporting about Michel’s criminal acts and many talks about The New York Herald news from Patricia. We also had the cops chasing after Michel throughout the whole movie. The movie did feel sort of like a narrative because Michel was speaking like a narrator. Especially in the beginning of the film when he was in the car. The lyrical style was there also because it feel very much like a poem in some of the lines of the characters. I also noticed a lot of the car scenes were in first person view. You couldn’t see what was going on when Michel killed the girl in the beginning of the movie until he got out of the car. The music also made the scene look like a narrative. The shooting scenes where real cheesy for the simple fact that it was low budget. Like every time the character hold the guns you wouldn’t see any of the gun fire coming from the gun. You would just hear the sound effects in the background.
The actors were great in a mysterious sort of way. Michel was very sexist and cocky, which I liked. I liked Michel’s cockiness because it was so funny. I think Michel reminds me of Pink Panther because of cool, slick style. Michel was very sexist when it came to the bed scene with Patricia because he kept throwing little insults to her. One scene that I found very funny was when he pulled the girl’s skirt up. I don’t know if I’m right but I think Michel was sort of selfish because he only wanted to sleep with Patricia. He didn’t really care about her job or believed she was pregnant. He just wanted her to come along just to have sex with her I guess. I also did like his little trademark the way he would touch his lips with his fingers. I liked how Patricia did it in the end also. It was also funny how Michel would run to the car and steal it. I also noticed that he was picky with the cigarettes when Patricia was giving him one which was weird. I also did like Patricia’s character too. That was totally unexpected on what she did in the end when she handed him over to the cops. Because it looked like she really wanted to stay with Michel. I noticed she was also kind of dumb because she kept asking Michel what did word or that word mean, which made me laugh too.
So overall, I thought the movie was good. For a low budget film it was very entertaining. I guess not all films have to have a good story or high quality effects to be good. The cheesy comedy really made up for it. I just found out that there’s a remake of the film, which I want to check out to see the difference. I also felt that Jean was a good director because of close up he did with pictures. Because it gave sort of a clue to the character’s personalities and story. So, I really thought this was a well put film.


The Annoying Music of Charulata

April 29, 2010

I think this one of worst movies I seen in my life. I really didn’t like this movie at all and I guess you can say I really don’t like the Indian style in cinema. Charulata did very much follow the Indian style according to the readings like the constant music going on and the romantic story of a man and woman trying to put the relationship back together. The reason why I didn’t like this movie was because the music was annoying and I thought the story was really bland or boring. I just couldn’t understand why everything had to be a song. Like the moment Charu said “thank you” she started to sing “thank you” over and over again which was kind of annoying to me. The beginning of the movie kind of bother me also because of the constant music going on. It was one song after the next and I didn’t like the music very much. I also felt that the music driven too much away from the story. I did understand the movie’s story very much but I found it to be very boring. I kind of also felt that it could have been more emotional driven to make the movie much better. I just don’t think the emotions with these characters felt real.
The actors did an ok job with the characters in the movie. But I felt that the actors couldn’t sing all that well. Charu was an ok character but I wished she could have paid much more attention to her husband if she really wanted his attention. Charu and her husband were very distance from each other. I couldn’t understand how Bhupati could really love his wife because he barely paid any attention to her. He was too busy or obsessed with his printing press and the views of the British or Indian culture. I think Bhupati was just a very contradicting character, because he really did like the British culture but as the same time go against it when it comes to term with them taking over the India culture. Umapada was a very lazy and boring character. She barely did much in the movie and I kind of wish her story was explained more in the movie. She was barely in most of the scenes and I just felt that she was just a waste of time. I think Amla was the best character in the movie because he was very much alive and active in the movie. I kind of also felt that the movie mainly focus on him much more than Charu. We knew so much about him and the movie did seem dead once he left. He really kept the house alive with his music. I notice throughout the whole movie the music was always there when he was around but then at the end it just disappeared. He was like the music to these people’s life, which I found to be interesting.
The camera angles were kind of ok in this movie also. I did really like the binocular views in the movie because it made you see was Charu’s point of view. It also describes what kind of person she is. It showed that she was very much of an observer and noisy. It looks like she always wanted to know what was going on around her. I really like how the director used that technique to demonstrate her character very much. The best scene it was used in was the swing in the park scene. Because she was able to read what Amla was writing from that far. It made us see what parts she was read, which was very cool for me.
So overall, I still felt the movie was bad because of the way the music was used in the movie and how the story wasn’t powerful enough. I don’t think movies have used music very well because most of the time they don’t relate to the scene of the movie. I am hoping to demonstrate how music should be used in movies and TV shows in the future because they can explain so much to a story. They can also capture deep emotion and meaning to a scene. Even though the music did relate to the story it didn’t really catch on to me nor have any deep emotion to the movie. Also didn’t convince me to like the music. I think Ray should realize that not everything should be a song because it just becomes annoying and kills the mood of the story. But he does have good style on directing maybe that’s the only thing I like and the characters were ok. They should have just been more real and driven to the audience to capture.


Vertigo

April 23, 2010

I felt that Vertigo was a very good movie. I really don’t understand why this movie got bad reviews when it first came out. I really liked Alfred Hitchcock’s style of directing. According to the readings he did a lot of male gaze, matte shots and forward zooms throughout the movie. I really did liked the forward zoom. It was pretty cool that every time John looked down in high places the forward zoom would come up. This let you know what was he thinking or how scared he was. The male gazing was going on a lot also when the times John was following Madeline for the first time. He really felt like a stalker. Hitchcock really did make it like a male’s perspective because you would see how the camera is focusing on the woman’s body. Like the time when John looked at the window and you would see Madeline getting undress. The scenes did also feel sort of creepy. The matte shots were used very often like the car scenes or when John is talking with Madeline in front of house. Even during the scene when they were in the mountains or the church. What I also noticed that Hitchcock used the car mirror and windshield as a camera a lot.
The characters in the movie did feel like Doppelgangers because John and Madeline both did have two identities. Madeline and Julie did sort of had different personalities. Julie was very weak and emotional. Julie complained about every little thing that John asked her to do. While Madeline was a little weird and unstable. I also noticed that Julie sort of had some obsession with the green colors. John did also have another personality. John said that everyone that doesn’t know him call Scottie. While the people that are close to call him John. I also noticed that Julie called him Scottie instead of John, which was sort of weird because she called him John when she was Madeline.
I really liked that Vertigo did have a lot of “déjà vu” going on. Because after Madeline’s “death” the scenes sort of repeated itself. John was basically visiting all of the same place that him and Madeline went. The way Hitchcock demonstrated the colors in this movie were also really cool. I noticed that he shaded and faded colors with the characters. But it just seem odd when Julie came around there was green all over the place. The dreams did also feel a like cartoon-ish with the float head and the colors in the background. Hitchcock’s did make the movie have the suspense feeling too. Like how John was stalking Madeline. But not actually letting her see him until the bridge scene. Another suspense scene was the church scene that lead to her fake and real death. Hitchcock also did let us know when the suspense was going on with this use of weird music.
So overall, I really did like Vertigo and Hitchcock’s style of directing. The movie did also fit the title very well because Vertigo means dizziness and the movie did sort of felt that way. Because of Madeline and scenes being repeated felt dizzy. I also do see a lot of directors follow with Hitchcock’s style. Especially the male gaze, which is mainly use in a lot of comedy movies these days. I’m hoping to see more of Hitchcock’s movies. This is my second Hitchcock movie I’ve seen. The first one was “Rebecca” which was also good.


Modernize Japan

April 8, 2010

I really liked Early Summer. I thought this movie was great. But I did feel something needed to be upgraded. The downside was how they never showed how these two actually fell in love. Also the ending was sort of a cliff-hanger, which I tend to hate in TV and film stories. We really never got to see if Noriko moved with Mr. Manabe and get married. I didn’t like the ending because the movie anticipated this part so much and just to never see it happen seems to disappoint me. But what made this movie good were the comedy and the characterization of the characters. The camera effects were also a good perspective view. It was unique and nice to see that view.
The characters were really great and most of the time funny. Most of the funny moments came to the kids. I thought they were really cute kids, but were very rude. The little cute kid always lied to his family. It was really funny how he when they told him to wash his hands and he just went to the bathroom to wet the towel. He just lied to his family about washing his hands. He also was being rude when he said “I hate you” to his father. The older brother was also very rude and he taught his little brother to be rude. It was so funny how he told his brother to call his uncle an idiot. He was even bad enough to kick the loaf of the bread when his father didn’t buy him a train. I just didn’t understand why they got away with these things. Noriko and her sister were also very funny when they constantly said “Nye” when they were talking to each other or the girls. This also came out as a rude thing to do.
The director’s camera view was very odd. But it was a nice way to see things differently. I really like how the camera faces their backs. It worked out really well even though it was difficult to see how the characters were talking.
So overall, the movie was good. I just wished we were able to see the true ending to Noriko’s story. But the style of the movie was also good because to me it did seem somewhat Americanized with women working. Also how everything was modern with the clothes and the way they talked. This showed how Japanese films were very western, which was very neat.


“The Rude Comedy”

March 18, 2010

Umberto D. was a nice, ok film. It had its good moments but not much to expand on. To me it felt like an experimental film. The movie did entertain me a little bit, but the end was disappointing. It made me feel like “is that it?” Even though I did understand at the end of the film Umberto tried to kill himself it was too unexpected that there was no explanation. The things that I found that were very fond were the rudeness, humor, and cute little dog Flick moments were very constant through out the whole film. That’s the only thing that entertained me through the movie. I felt the story was very bland, not very broad at all.
The maid’s story point didn’t really have an ending. Which kind of disturbed me, like why was she in most of the movie and didn’t get the proper ending? It felt like a cliffhanger ending to her story. We never got to find out if she was “really pregnant” in the film. I think she just pulled the “I am pregnant” role to get her money or support for random men in the city. I didn’t believe her because she never knew who the father was nor did she know any of a specific father’s names. It made it seem like an unsolved mystery.
My favorite character in the movie was Flike, the cutest little dog. This film made me think to get that kind of dog someday and name it Flike. I know very cheesy. But my best moment came to place when Flike ask for money. That was very funny and unique idea I never seen. Too bad we never got to see anyone actually give Flike money. I felt kind of sad when he got lost and they were deciding to kill him. Lucky that didn’t happen. But another funny moment was when Umberto tried to abandon his dog and somehow it still found him hide under that bush tunnel that was really funny.
One thing I really notice in this film is repeating rude comedy. What I mean is that people were constantly being rude to each other. Like when Umberto was trying to sell his watch for 4,000 lires to the man. Then sudden the man lied saying he lives here and when Umberto leaves and turns back he sees the man walk back to the other side of the road. Even when Umberto tried to sell the watch to the other man and when the man gave him the money and the man immediately asked for money to people. Another rude moment came when Umberto brought the cup for 1.000 lires to change his money. He just threw the cup on the floor and gave the taxi driver money. The landlady constantly saying she wanted 15,000 upfront no little by little. Or even when the lost dog area was killing dogs if they were not found. Just too many rude moments to mention and most of these moments were very funny.
So overall, the movie was ok not much to think about. Even with the disappointing ending it was still an ok film. Maybe not everything needs a fantastic story to entertain you. Sometimes you just got to take it for what it is. It also did have an Italian feel to it like, comedy. I guess just adding some little comedy could entertain the folks enough and that what I like about this movie.


Indemnity=Identity?

March 11, 2010

I think this movie was great and fantastic on how the story was played into the description of title. It seem like the movie had a double identity theme to it. Almost everyone had a double identity. I also notice that there was a trademark repeating through out the whole movie. The movie did fit the film noir genre. There was a light vs. dark on the characterization, which explains the double identity. It also did have a lot of narratives, emotive and musical scores through out the whole movie.
Neff had a good description of the double identity. He had a split personality having the world know him as Neff while Phyllis knew him as Walter. Neff was the light side and Walter was the dark. Every time he saw Phyllis he would play the Walter roll feeling stronger with her presence. But when he’s without he feels weaker and can seem to breathe. He was tempted to do every bad thing she wanted him to do every time she was around. He had to hide who he was every time he was with Phyllis. It seems like the dark side of him won at the end of the movie because he killed Phyllis and Mr. Dietrichson. But Phyllis also had a double identity in the movie too. But it looks like she had three personas. Her third persona was having some sort of relationship with Lola’s boyfriend maybe to kill his daughter. It seems like in the end she just wanted Mr. Dietrichson money after all the deaths of the family. But she failed to accomplish the goal. She got herself killed by Neff and she didn’t get the daughter to be killed. She also was hoping to Neff. But fail at that also. She wanted to double cross everyone in the movie. But I guess she really didn’t how to hide her plans correctly.
Another thing I noticed about this movie was the relationship that Neff and Keyes had. It seem like he always had his back until the end of the movie. I notice that Neff always lighted Keyes cigar every single time until the end it became vice versa. It was funnier that there was one moment where Keyes was waiting for a very long time with cigar in his mouth. He even waiting until Neff came to his office to get it light. It seems like he was very dependent on him all the time.
Double Indemnity was a great movie overall. The way they the themes, story plot and the characters so good you have never know he had killed Phyllis until the end of the movie also. I know Indemnity and Identity are two different words and meanings. Indemnity it’s a cause of damage, while identity is a person’s persona but you can see the word identity in indemnity. That what I like about this movie how the title can made into a story with meaning of the actually title.


Kane’s Way of Love

March 4, 2010

Citizen Kane was a good movie but I don’t think it was phenomenal. Maybe it was a great movie of it’s time. But I seen better in my opinion. There’s one thing I notice that Rosebud was a representation of his love. I think his parents took that away from him when they gave him to the guardian. You lose that love when everything is given to you. Like they say “money can’t buy you love” That was the representation through out the whole movie.
The two women Emily and Alexander got everything they wanted. But there was one thing missing which is love. He was never able to give them love. I can see why they left them. Kane always felt “If you give the people what they want, they will love you”. People always feel that your life would be better if you’re rich. But that isn’t always the case necessarily. I think what people should realize that we are never satisfied no matter if you got everything you ever wanted. That just way the human brain works.
The good thing about this movie was that it was able to trick you into think that Alexander was “Rosebud”. Because he said it after she left him and he started breaking, throwing and tripping over everything. Also even though the film was back and white I still got the feeling that Alexander always wore red like a rose. As you can see, Kane gave her the dream to sing. But she really didn’t care much for it afterwards. Kane didn’t realize that she wasn’t satisfied with being a singer. She wanted his love and attention every time she kept doing the jigsaw puzzle. But he didn’t care because he felt she should be happy with the singing and all materials he brought her. That’s why it had to take a slap in her face and leaving him for him to realize.
So the movie had a good way to symbolize certain thing to know the riddle of the story. It also had a good characteristic of love and how the way it should be. The movie gave us something to learn from which is good for a movie like this. So overall, it was a good movie to me, but not a great one.


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