Monday, December 6, 2010

Hurt Locker Analysis

The film The Hurt Locker was a good movie in which it gives a excellent perspective on soldiers or EOD who defuse bombs(IED). The film shows how soldiers are affected by the war that's going on around them and by living with the fear of making a choice in a life-death situation. It also does a good job with communicating the emotions of each individual soldier and how they are personally affected by the war. 

The director of the film is Kathryn Bigelow and she has had experience directing films. He film The Hurt Locker won the 2009 Academy Award for Best Picture and because of The Hurt Locker she was the first woman to win the Academy Award for Best Director. The film was made around the Iraq War which was a big influence on the film. I think this film can relate to other movies that have to do with the effects of war and this film also can relate to other films that show how different two societies can be. A theme that I see is that everyone reaches a point in their lives where they have to decide between the one thing they love or living a boring life, which i guess could relate to defusing a bomb because you have to choose the right wire to live.

The style of the film is not like the typical movie with smooth shots and lots of wide angles. The film has a sort of documentary style where the camera is like a home movie and there's a lot of closeups to see the reactions on the actors face. The actors are sort of unknown because if the director were to use famous actors, it would take away the tension and feeling of the movie being real, which has a big effect on the audience as they feel like this was what really happened. The uses of explosives and props also gives the sense of real life and the danger that takes place in Iraq or Jordan.

I think the film tries to recreate a form of realism because the camera that was used made the movie look like people were doing a documentary and following soldiers around, but this is not a documentary. It seems like this movie was filmed by a regular camera and I thought this added to the emotion of the characters because it actually allows the audience to feel the tension and feel how the actors of feeling. This style makes the movie seem real because the director uses a lot of closeups which catches the actors emotions and the lighting also brings out the effect because some parts of the film is hard to see becuase its at night and night is sort of pitch black with some light from the building. So it seems like there's no extra lighting or fixed lighting.

The editing style of the film is based on the emotion of the scene. The scenes that are fast paced have shots that cut very fast to build the tension of the scene and then once the tension stops, there would be slower and longer shots to catch the actors emotions, which makes the audience feel the same way as the actor. Also the manipulation of time in one shot also adds to the tension or intensity of the situation in the shot where the audience can get the full effect of the event taking place. Also long slow shots are used when a character in the film is expressing there emmotions and conversations about what they have to go through everyday to survive and living with constant fear of death.

I think a motif from this film is the rules of war. What I mean by this is that there are certain things that a soldier has to do to remind himself that this is war and if you make a mistake, it could lead to failure or death. Like a soldier who can become attached to the people around him if he's on enemy territory, can make the mistake of caring for this person and risking their lives for them. Like the scene where James thinks that this kid he knows and plays around with is dead and tries to find the people responsible, but does something stupid and ends up finding the kid the next day. This shows that soldiers shouldn't grow an attacthment to the locals around him especially in war because he could endanger himself or others. Throughout this the audience feels the same thing that actor feels in every scene which also makes them feel tricked.

The structure of the narrative provides a sense of realism because its based aorund a EOD team in the Iraq War. Since many civilians have never had the experience of seeing the war in person, the movie gives a sense of what soldier go through and the war's effects on them. The story is focused on 3 characters who are all effected by the war in their own ways. This can be seen by the audience through the use of dialogue because each character has their own attitude and emotions that add to the story by giving it a purpose or goal that the director is trying to acheive, which is to convince the audience to feel for these characters.The narrative is mainly based on content because there's not a lot of action, there's mostly a lot of drama, which can be seen by the various closeups of the characters.

I thought the film has a strong effect on the audience and does a good job of trying to portray the effects of war. The plot of the film was good because it entertains the audience through mostly drama like emotions and effects of the characters instead of just action by itself.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Short Film Critique: Romantic Comedy

Rationale: Me and the members in my group, John Ababseh and Kevin Choy decided to make a movie that focused on both comedy and romance. Our plan was to create a sense of reality for the audience that shows how people truly are in real life. The film revolves around a boy who does the same thing every day, which is mainly has to do with school and he also is to busy to talk to the girl he likes at school. This can relate to the typical teenager who is focused on school because most teenagers don't have time to talk with friends or spend time with the person they like. I think this film was meant for teenagers who can relate to this experience. I think this movie was a good idea because anyone who has liked someone can relate to this film.

Commentary: My responsibility in the film, even though all members in the group edited their own movie, was that I directed what the actors should do and filmed shots that portrayed what the actors were trying to show like close-ups and long shots. I was also able to write the script for our movie with revised edits from my group members.

Some problems that occurred was that in one of the shots or important shots was that the audio was not recorded and I think it was because the mic cable was not plugged in all the way. This was a problem because it showed the boy working on his assignment that he was previously just assigned and this assignment has a theme that relates to the boy's life. This is important because we needed to show that the boy was thinking about the theme and relating it to his life, but we don't have audio for the audience to hear what the boy is saying so the shot seems unnecessary to the movie. But I think the shot still works because the actor is showing what he's doing because he was just assigned his homework.

Narrative/Story: The story is focused on a boy who constantly does the same routine every day, but towards the end, the boy ends up solving the problems of the person he likes while also finding his true self, which relates to the theme presented in the movie. I think the movie successfully focuses on the theme ("a person's true self can lead to happiness") throughout the film which is supported by the actors and the events that happen to create a pathway for the main character to follow this theme. The personalities of the actors, I think, help support the theme as it tends to relate to their lives and I think the theme is present in not only the main character's life, but also the lives of the sub characters. We did use dialogue to show what the theme is so we can give the audience a clue of what the actors are feeling and going through, so I think the movie did not do a great job of showing what they feel, but they did a great job with saying what they feel.

Casting: I think the actors were appropriate to the film. The boy, girl, and stalker-ex boyfriend were accurately portrayed in a physical way. What added some comedy to the movie was that the stalker-ex boyfriend was kind of wimpier than the boy and he ends up knocking out the boy. The actors stuck with their parts and were able to follow through on what they were suppose to do even if the actor wanted to do something different, we would come to an agreement.

Acting: The actors were good and did a good job of acting out what they felt. The actors did a good job of having the appropriate facial expressions with their dialogue and sometimes exaggerated a little, but not too much, to give the movie more comedy. Sometimes the actors would mess up on part of their acting by looking at the camera or acting out an event that looked fake, but that occurred maybe once or twice and hopefully stayed unnoticeable. Overall the acting was good especially when there was a very awkward scene, the actors would act it out that seemed to fit the scene as well as the emotion and feeling. I think wardrobe was effective in the film as it showed the change in day and it was also effective in showing the change in day. But their was one scene were the boy looks at the girl he likes, but we can't tell which girl he looks at because both had their backs turned, had long black hair, and were wearing the same shade of yellow. But other than that, the wardrobe was good.

Music and Effects: The music in the film is appropriate at times where there is no dialogue. The music expresses the mood in an accurate way and gives the scene its own pace like calm or intense, as well as giving the scene a finished feeling at the end of the movie. The effect that the music gives is accurate to the scenes because it gives the scene an tone that fits with what the actor feels.

Staging and Props: The sets were good and accurate to what events were happening in the movie. Like the school scene has enough students that makes the set look real and as if it were a real class. Other sets worked well with their scene like when the boy and girl are being chased, there are scenes with different streets to show that they are actually going somewhere and they eventually end up in a park with enough area for long shots and the fight scene. Props are not distracting and are appropriate with the scene as well as the time period. The props were just everyday things that people today use every day.

Lighting: The lighting was good on outside scenes that were shot during the day, but some scenes that portrayed the same day had different lighting due to the weather change. Scenes that took place inside had good lighting like the library scene where the lighting was constant at different angle shots and wasn't overbearing to where you can't see the actors. The lighting on the scenes that took place inside the house was difficult to manage because most of the lights were dim and were placed in areas that seemed to be in an important scene. It was difficult to control the lighting in the house because we wanted to make the scene look like a typical house without it being to dark, so we would turn off the light that seemed the most distracting in the scene. Lighting was also difficult in the outside scene at night because the dim street light did not provide enough light to see the actors clearly, but the actors still show to where you can see them and their faces. Overall the lighting was good to where it wasn't a concern that the audience would wonder about and shadows were controlled to where you can't see the camera or the mic.

Title and Credits: The title of my edited version of the film was very sloppy. I didn't spend any time on it and I feel that it doesn't match the movie. I also feel that the title went to fast for it to sink into the audience as they read it, but it's not to fast where no one can read it. The credits are much better because it moves at a constant pace where people can read it and there is not to many words so people can want to read the credits. The credits are short and simple.

Camera Operation: The framing of each shot was good. Some not so good shots involved zooming in or out not very smoothly. There are camera moves that go create with the shot like trucking that works good with a fast pace scene where the boy is running late to school. Some camera movements draw attention like during the jump cuts where the camera would be in a different position, but it's not to noticeable.

Sound: Some of the audio was recorded differently like some with a shotgun mic and some with just the individual camera. This caused the problem with different levels of audio that are distracting. For example, some of the dialogue was hard to hear because of the louder background, so the background noise would be loud and in the next scene it would be the opposite so the audio switches different volume levels. So some scenes have mixtures of volume which means that the volume level isn't constant throughout the film. The dialogue is clear though, but on some scenes we had to turn up the volume because you can hear more of the background than the actor.

Editing: The editing in my version of the film was able to capture the appropriate transitions from one scene to another like with different time or dream of flashback. The transitions were clear and there wasn't many transitions because I think too many transitions is unnecessary. The cuts were good as the attention would draw from one person to another and the cuts were not long so the movie won't be boring. The shots used were appropriate to the movie and showed what the main focus was in the scene like an over the shoulder shot would focus on the speaker and also show where the actor is looking and speaking to. Some shots had a variety of angles to show extension in time or to make the scene seem more interesting. Also shot variety was used to cover the where the scene takes place like the background can be seen with wide angle shots and also to capture everyone in the scene to know what characters are present. The editing throughout the film is fairly smooth. Some unsmooth parts involve jump cuts due to the movement of camera placement. The editing was good throughout the movie, there was no unnecessary shots or cuts throughout the film.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Short Documentary Blog Post: "I Have Broke Parents"

The show documents the lives of two teens who have to deal with the burden of worrying about financial problems of their family. This documentary shows how the two teens, Jobe and Ashley, deal with the stress of having to help out their parents.

I think the video is trying to show that there are people just like us, who often have to deal with a financial struggle that takes away from having a normal teenage life. As the camera focuses on Jobe, he says that due to having to help and worry about his family, he doesn't have time to spend time with his friends. I think that since Jobe knows he can't do the things he wants and is calm and peaceful about it, he seems to be very strong which I think can help improve the situation.

The camera work really supports the character's commentary and what their trying to say. As the character would say something, there would be a video of what that person is talking about. The shots also show how the family is dealing with their situation which gives it a sense of realness and the audience can see their emotion and what they do to make it.

 The editing also contributes to the emotion. There would be voice overs in the video that describe what the person is feeling at the time which gives the audience more attention. It also allows the audience to see the final and perfected vision of the characters as well as the film.

Documentary Prepro-

Purpose: To inform the how the military impacted a person's life.

Contacts: Military soldiers, family members, civilians

Interview Questions: What does it take to be in the military?
                                How has the military affected your life?
                                How has the military affected family's life?
                           What experiences have you encountered that have changed who you are?
                                Describe the war. How has that affected you?
                               What made you want to join the military?
                                Has the military impacted who you are today?

General flow: The beginning will have a intro of the people involved in the film and background knowledge of the people, military, and other events that recently involve the military(wars, etc.). The middle will probably include pictures of the soldier in the military and probably interviews as well as videos of training or other things. The end would probably show how the person has changed or what they are doing now.

Shot List: Shots of pictures they have in the military
               Videos of training
               Shots of where they live now
               Shots of what they do if they are out of the military or still in it

Scripts: Maybe closeups of the speaker and show their reaction or the emotion in their face if they talk about something personal. Some footage with the voices playing over it that relates to what their talking about.

Intro: Shots of the person or military footage of different wars.

Closing: Maybe shots of airplanes to show that the person is going to a different country.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Baraka Film Response

       "Baraka" is a unique film that has no plot, but has amazing scenes from throughout the world. The film is titled Baraka or "breath" to show how different people and locations throughout the world have their own pace. It seems that these different locations are connected by sharing a similar pulse that seems like breathing as the time is speed up. The film also shows the connection through the different cultures by this "breath" as well as through life itself.
        Baraka gives out the message that everything in the world is connected. The shots sometimes try to compare different cultures as it cuts through all the different locations throughout the world. Like when the Buddists monks are praying in Nepal, it is almost similar to when the Jewish people are praying in Jerusalem.
The absence of voice and text affected the goal of a global perspective by allowing the audience to focus on the locations and pulse of the world while not being distracted by voices. It allows the audience to analyze the movie and create their own opinion of what the theme of the story is.
Some of the modern cities connected with nature. Like when the movie shows the scenes of the flamingos across African waters, sort of relates to the cigarette factory in Indonesia by comparing how close together each of the birds and workers are. It shows that modern society in the city is just like nature in how we go on to survive.
        The film also shows the calmness of spiritual and religious cultures as compared to the fast moving modern cities. The two paces seem to balance each other out as if they work together to pace each other. Like when the monk is walking through the city, he seems peaceful while the city behind him is loud and uproaring. The audience seems to focus more on the monk as much as the background which shows that they are in balance with each other.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Short Film Treatment #1

 Logline: A boy finds his true self by spending a day with the person he likes and learns to stop living the same boring routine everyday and in the end they become a couple.

A boy wakes up at 7:00, brushes his teeth, gets dressed, eats cereal, leaves to go to school at 7:35, reads a book during class, goes home, watches t.v., then sets his alarm for 7:00 to repeat the same routine everyday.(shots say mon-fri) (shots of him sleeping sat-sun)

One day, during class, teacher assigns different book with the theme - A person's true self can lead to happiness. A student(a girl that the boy likes), who is often in class on rare ocassions, raises her hand and ask "how can a person find their true self?". Teacher responds with by going after the things you want. Class ends and the boy goes home with the same daily routine not questioning the theme he has learned during class.

Later that night, while the boy is sleeping, his alarm suddenly turns off without a disturbance in the room.

Morning comes, the boy continues with his daily routine, but while eating his breakfast, he notices the time on the microwave clock(9:10) and rushes out the door to go to school. On his way to school, he sees the girl he likes(who seems worried) and he makes the decision to visit this girl instead of going to school.

 He approaches the girl(both seem confused), he askes her a question, but before she can answer it, she sees some person she's trying to avoid and and they both run away together. The girl explains her story that she often has to run from her stalker ex-boyfriend and explains that she misses some school occasionally. The boy comments back and the girl askes him to come with her and he says yes.
Both the boy and girl travel around the city encountering different adventures:
  1. walking down streets of a city and meet a random homeless guy(follows them) who won't stop talking about different women.
  2. walk into a mall, where they encounter the jealous ex-boyfriend and are chased away(chase sequence where the boy and girl escape).
  3. run into a gang who is about to rob them, but as this happens the jealous ex-boyfriend is in the boy and girls sight, so the boy and girl trick the gang into thinking that the ex-boyfriend has all the money and his making fun of how poor the gang is, so the gang chases after the jealous ex-boyfriend.(last of the jealous ex-boyfriend we see).
  4. almost night they are about to depart ways, but girl stumbles and falls on the boy(very awkward). They both try to explain what just happened(also very awkward) and they turn away. When they're walking away from each other the camera has extreme close up on the girl's face smiling, then on the boy's face also smiling, then pans out into another scene.
The boy lies in bed with a big smile(can't beliving the day that he has had) and sets his alarm to 7:00.

The next day he gets dressed, brushes his teeth, and instead of going to school, he meets up with the girl and they hold hands(boyfriend and girlfriend) and continueing their next adventure.The boy realizes that he has found his true self.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Amelie Textual Analysis

The director of Amelie uses the ideological style of magical realism to show what type of character Amelie is and what type of environment she lies in. By using this image, the director can show that Amelie is very lonely and unsocial, which contributes to the plot later in the movie. The director also wants to show that even though Amelie lives in a boring environment, she can use her imagination to make her life seem more fun and interesting, thus making the movie more fun and interesting. By giving Amelie's imagination life, the director is trying to give the impression that Amelie is a unique person. Also he brings her imagination to life because it would make the movie more interesting and easier to follow.

In this scene, the director uses a different color or tinting from the film to show that this is a flashback. He uses this style to show the difference between past and present. He wants to make the movie more simple in which the audience can understand whats happening and know that this scene is taking place in the past. The director also wants to reveal that the memories of other characters are not as important than the main character's, but at the same time he uses less color to show that they're still important to the movie. If they were less important, the flashbacks would be in black and white.

The director of Amelie uses this scene to contribute to the story by Amelie discovering who she is as the movie progresses. He uses the painting as a symbol of Amelie that fits into the plot of the story. Amelie wants to do good things for other people, but she doesn't see who she is while she does these things. By showing the painting to Amelie, she can figure out who she is and what she wants, which expresses the theme that if a person doesn't know who they are, then they will never get what they want. The director wanted to show this theme throughout the whole movie and wanted the audience to learn from Amelie that everyone's life is interesting. 
The director uses a motion where the character seems to be spinning around. He uses this to show that the character has either realized something or is deeply worried about something else. In this case, the character has realized something that was a mystery throughout the movie. He also uses the color orange as a symbol throughout the movie to show the culture and style around the character and where the scene takes place.