Lebanon (Samuel Maoz, 2009)

This was a very well done movie. Its about the first day of the Lebanon war. Four young guys are put in a tank and told to go on suicide missions. How ever the gun man is scared to fire. This is only the begaining of the problems that the men and the squadren experence.

this whole film is shot with in the tank, the only link to the outside world is thought the drivers and the gun mans viewing glass. this is a very creative way to do this film. it makes the spectator really feel like he is apart of the struggle that these guys are going through.

the set is also well done. there is oil driping though out the tank at all times and even more after it is hit with some sort of missel. at this time they’re food (some sort of grain) is spred all around and sticks to the driping oil. there is also alot of cool shots using the reflection made of the subject off of an oil water mix that is on the floor.

the film also shows compation that each soldiers have for one another during the chaos of war.  The only member to die is the driver of the tank, who had asked the captin of the partoon to phone his mother that he is ok. at the end of the film the captin radios the tank to tell them that the mother recived the measage. however it is right after the others have pulled him out from the driver set.
there is also moments of compation that one of the men show towards a prisoner that was in the tank, when he needs to pee. all thought the prisoner is not released you can tell by the facal connection that the two share a fear of war.

I recomend this film. althought very sad. but so is the truth behind war


The Lady from Shanghai (Orson Welles, 1948)

Compared to Citizen Kane this film has nothing…. now lets reflect… might that mean that it wasn’t Welles that made Citizen Kane such a intovative and influencal film…. maybe it was Gregg Toland???

But thats not here or there.

My theroy class used this film in connection with narration of a film. Not the ‘what’ but the ‘How’ a film is put together. We talked about how the choics that are made in how a film is shot influence the spectation. either give the effect of myistery [both viewer and subject know the same things], suspence[viewer knows more than the subject], or suprice[the viewer knows less than the subject]

Becuase I was a good boy and did my reading before the class [half of it] I was able to watch for this during the film.

reading was

Edward Branigan, ‘Narration’, Narrative Comprehension and Film (London and New York, 1992) 63-85
I recommed it to any one that is interested in this level of story telling. As a film maker we are doing so much more then just telling a story. We are coming up with best way to present it. 
[this might be mixed up but the idea is there]

happy watching

Inception (Christopher Nolan, 2010)

Second time seeing this film.
I must say that before the first time I was alittle sceptical.  I just felt like the trailers didn’t do it justis. They just played some loud cords. And it was Leo’s second thrller in a year, shutter island(2010), being the other, and I was kinda skeptical of him being able to have a second good movie in one year.

However after waitching it I changed my mind. and quick. this film does a great job at keeping a complicated plot followable for the viewer.
We were talking about film narration vs narrator today in my theroy class and this film would have worked well as an example. the what that the story was about is rather complicated and would be hard to follow, however the “how” the film is told allows the spectator to keep track of which dream were seeing currently.
This is also played with the speed at which the shot is shown to the viewer. During the last part the viewer is seeing the van fall in low motion, because how time works between the levels this effects makes sence because it is two or three levels removed from the other action.

The idea of the film is great too. And I liked the phycology behind the film as well.

wish I had more time to write on this one

happy watching.

The Godfather (Francis Ford Coppola, 1972)

I’ll admit that this was the first time that I’ve watched this movie. 
First thing. Wow. Half a dozen scenes of violins, ranging from eyes being shot out, to a wife going throughout her house and busting up all of the fine china, and of course the hours head in the bed. Which acordibg to wikii Coppola said was delivered to the shoot from a dog food company befor the shoot. 

The film delt with issues of power and rivalry, both with in a family and with in society. But I guess this is a given seeing that it’s about a Italian mafia family. There was even a couple of lines that hinted at the Italian family of the US being better then those of the the African Americans. Which makes me curious on how Coppola felt being Italian himself? .  

The film really brought a lot of emotions out for me. Exspeualy  with the death of Sunny, the middle brother. The emotions didn’t come out however until Tom was telling Don (the grandfather). Im not really sure where they came from. I think it had to do with me slightly missing my own father (maybe). It could and might have came from knowing that with that brother out of the picture it mint that Mike would be the next to take over for his father. We knew that this would happen from the first time he discribed how he would kill the captin and the Italian drug dealer. He introduced the idea as the camera did a slow slow track in, just like his dad was slowly revealed to have power through a track out. But the reason to feel emotions from the film might have came from knowing that Don did not want this for his youngest son Mike. I felt the disappointment that Don would have when he found out that he wasn’t able to keep his son out of the dirty life that he lived. That Mike would fallow in his direct foot steps to be come the most powerfully head of family by spilling the blood of all of the other houses.

Because of my early lecture today and because I wasn’t sure what to really look for from this viewing I found myself noticing the different Tableau traditional styles that Coppola used some 20 years after Vincente Minelli. These styles, as my past post stated consisted of: long takes, deep focus, dynamic character movement and acouple of others that gave emphasis to the offscreen space, and thus to a sense of realism. However Coppola also included a fare amount of the Classical Hollywood style of montage editing. The most significant example of this was when Mike is in the baptism of his godchild. This scene is juxtaposed with the killing of all leaders of the other houses, which of course Mike had arranged. 

This was truly a good film. I think that when I first tried to watch it I was a little to young dad. Being 12 or younger. We were not yet at Mt. Harvard yet. But I’m glad I’ve seen it now and look forward to finding the time to watch the other two parts. 

I also have a note to add about this film viewing
Thus time the people behind me were first eating chips that they could not open from the bag and then when they did get it open were very rude about getting the chips out. The. After that the kept giggling and talking about the film no know that they hadn’t seen the movie before because they said it both in the beginning of the film and in the middle. I understand that its a 3hr long move but come some respect for the other people watching it. Very frustrating. If I wasnt the odd ball American then I would have said something. But then again maybe I wouldn’t, cause I would want to be “that Guy” but then again again I am the one writing a blog about the films I’m watching and deserve a good viewing. LOL

Happy watchings

Some Came Running (Vincente Minnelli, 1958)

Watched this Film after a talk about Andre Bazin’s views on the changes to cinema that the switch to widescreen would bring. The change to widescreen brought with it a number of problems in regards to how it was being made. Using special lenses that distorted the image so that it would fit on a 35mm frame. This was known as the anamorphic widescreen. Becasue of the distortion the film makers were told that they shouldn’t take close ups (it would make the actors face bulg out). Because of this the style of film making known as Tableau was revived into Hollywood’s mainstreem for sometime.

With this style, the focuse of the film making is not on how the montage and editing makes it realistic, but on how the image is captured, and then presented to the viewer.
The film is full of long takes, slow camera movements, camera tracking of the actors as they move around, use of on location shooting (a guess, but maybe). The styles used put emphases on the offscreen space, increasing the films realism, which is what Bazin was interested in.

Most of the film was shot at a median distance to the subjects. With in the widescreen this caused there to be alot of space surrounding the subjects. This space was normaly filled with either people or objects. However the space surounding the subject directly, was made to bring attintion to the subject. For example when the School teacher is reading Dave Hirsh’s story she is on a white couch in a dark room srounded by random things that are of a different color. This causes the school teacher to pop out and keep our attintion even though she is so far from the camera.

Besides the different camera the “artistic” forms of the film it seems to hint at some other issues that might have been of concern in 1958.
-Drinking, obsessively.
-Roles of women
         –school teacher, doesn’t get the girl
                  [althought this might have more do do with her then Dave]
         –Dave choosing to be with the woman that cleans the house

This seems very quick, but its a brief over view of my thougts on the film.
it keeps me interested which I was slightly consurend about.

A note on the viewing. some guy fell alseep in the back and was snorning quite loudly. this in its self was reather irritating, but what was worst was how every one just laugh about it, almost the the point where they were more irritating. i trying to wake him up by throwing some paper at him. it didn’t work, then some one asked if i wanted to throw a bottle at him, i just shook my head and asked him why he didn’t. the guy with the bottle was closer to him any way.

Iron Man 2 (Jon Favreau, 2010)

Its Iron Man, need I say more?
This was the second watching it, and it was a little different for a number of reasons.
1. I wasn’t with my close friends Jake, Keiven, Joe, Will, and Ashley.
2. I wasn’t dressed up like Tony Stark, no arc-reactor this time.
3. I was watching it in Britain

This might sound kinda strange, so I’m going to try and explain. The film has alot to do with making peace. and all thought the film is about Iron Man, it also centers around the USA. whit a large American flag in the back of the opening sceens.  There were also a couple of other moments in the film that made me wonder what the people around me were thinking… how did this film reflect the idology and thoughts of Americans? The film seemed self centered on the idea that America is the only country that can solve the problems of the world.
Althought the audience did laugh at some of the great punch lines during the film such as Don Cheadle’s (playing Lt. Col. James ‘Rhodey’ Rhodes, in place of Iron Man 1’s Terrence Howard) opening line
“its me, I’m here, lets move on” it was a great line for a replacement actor (he played a much better Rhodey, then Howard) could open with. And for those that had been seen the frist and followed the news of the second ones making, laugh at this first line.
But the under lining measage about Amearica was still there. And although I’m not quite able to place my finger on it right now, I’m glad I got to see this film in theathers here in England. It really alowed me to see one of my favorit movies, in a different way.