Thursday, December 18, 2014

Bellflower Friendships?

This film speaks a lot about friendship. First of all Aiden really cares about Woodrow and does everything he can to try to get his best friend Woodrow a girl which they establish he has a desperate need for.  When they go to the bar Aiden basically sets Woodrow up with this girl in a cricket eating competition, which lead to them talking to each other later and exchanging numbers. When Woodrow first gets involved with Milly he completely disregards his plans with Aiden to continue working on their flamethrower. It seems ok because Woodrow really values Milly and it seems that he really likes her especially when he asks her to be his girlfriend. When Woodrow and Milly get back from their trip to Texas he completely forgets about the fact that Aiden set him up with Milly and never really thanked him, also by the time he gets back Aiden actually had finished the flame thrower and they go and test it out together. When they get back Woodrow and Milly spend way more than enough time together and almost disregard their best friends Aiden and Courtney. 
When Woodrow finds out that Milly has been cheating on him he leaves and gets nailed by a car. When he gets out of the hospital again Aiden is waiting there for him as always. That night while he is lying in bed with his injuries he has sex with Courtney who Aiden has showed interest in but he does it anyway. At this point I really questioned how good of a person Woodrow is and it confused me but with all that has happened to Woodrow including the brain damage and his girlfriend cheating on him should we still have empathy even though he is being an asshole. 
It constantly cuts between Woodrow being an asshole and you want to get mad at Woodrow until it cuts to him throwing up blood, or him crying about Milly and then you have to have some empathy for him. So you were constantly confused with whether you should give empathy to Woodrow or if you should hate him because he is such a horrible person to his best friend. 
During the surreal ending it shows that he really does not care about his friend because he constantly talks about about leaving him in the car that Aiden bought and built for him with Courtney. 
At the end when Woodrow and Aiden are hanging out by the beach it made their friendship feel fake almost and when the film ended I had this very angry strange feel. 

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Monday, October 27, 2014

The Queen Modern vs. Traditional

The modern view vs. the traditional view was a topic that the movie The Queen talked a lot about. Not only did it show it in the acting but also the setting that each of the characters were filmed in because for most of the movie the Queen and the Prime Minister were in different locations. The majority of the locations that the queen were the Royal Palace, in their home in the country with the boys, and outside. All of these locations had very old rustic looks to them. The Royal Palace is pretty self explanatory where there was old furniture, books, and a stereotypical historical palace look to it. The same look was in their home in the country where everything felt like you were looking into a expensive house made 30 years ago. Having the majority of the queen shot there showed that she was traditional even down to the places she lived. When she was out in nature alone was when it was her only time to reflect over her daughter. The scene where her classic green jeep breaks down in the middle of a river was powerful to me because it felt like her “traditional” approach of doing things in the past stopped working and broke down. It was only then when the queen felt like she was allowed to show emotion because she was isolated and alone in this space. This is opposed with many shots of Tony Blair in his modern house and kids running around. His house was usually cluttered with a mess of some sort in frame. Through out the Tonly Blair and the Queen were shot in very different settings which spoke a lot on their character. Watching them speak in-between the two locations was enticing because of how different they were as people 

Monday, October 13, 2014


This feel added this extra feel on how Lars Von Trier views America. I feel like Lars Von Trier portrays the United States as this selfish capitalist country. Most of the town’s actions are very self centered and for the individual as opposed to being selfless. I feel like this clearly was Lars Von Triers view on the US, and through the acting he really gets an extra sense of strangeness. 
The performance and acting in gave the movie an odd aesthetic. Everyone’s performance in the movie felt very odd and minimalistic. Originally the script of Dogville was written in Dutch and then translated into english which gave some of the dialogue a strange feel. This feeling of oddity was given through the performance, camera and the set. I felt that mainly the reason Lars Von Trier wanted this disconnected feeling is so that he could make us focus on her relationship between her and the town. 

Life lessons

Life lessons is about an artist Lionel Dobie who is having issues completing his work. 
On the set of life lessons I think the placement of her room and where Dobie puts his canvas is really important. Prior to Paulette staying with Dobie, he struggles with inspiration and can’t paint. It is only when Paulette gets there he is able to bounce emotions and get inspiration in order to paint. In the scene where Lionel is looking for something to do and plays basketball, the “backboard” is her window. The whole concept of a backboard is something to bounce off of. So when he throws his basketball in the window/backboard it goes to her and she gets irritated. Right after which he goes up and tries to kiss her foot, and gets rejected. With all this built up emotion is only when he is able to paint and make his masterpieces by using this girl.
I also thought that the set described Lionel Dobie. It was a large spacious house apartment but it was covered in paint and dirtied up with odds and ends thrown around. I felt it described Dobie rather well in the sense that Dobie is a bigshot in the Art world but really does not really care about it. The only thing that is clean in the apartment is Paulette's room. Also to show that is all Dobie cares about we only see her room, there are no shots of where Dobie sleeps or does anything for his own well being. Where as we see Paulette relaxing (or trying to relax) in her room, on her bed.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Guerrilla Filmmaking

I have a huge amount of respect for Guerrilla filmmaking. Mainly because before they begin to make the movie the filmmakers understand what they are getting into. There is a curtain thrill that they must get out of making these types of movies and a bigger relief when it goes well. The movie Escape From Tomorrow land was the movie that I thought had the biggest "Guerrilla" aesthetic. It was obvious that the people around them were not actors and real people and the movie as a whole felt very forced. Although I felt this way I still LOVED this movie and thought it was funny and had a strong message. On the other hand the movie Monsters that we watched I felt if I just watched that movie without knowing any background on it I don't think I would have know that it was shot in an illegal manner. Maybe because of the amount of VFX and how much I bought the world in the movie shadowed a lot of the minor flaws in the movie. Also I know that monsters had a lot larger of a budget than Escape from Tomorrow did so maybe that helped a little. 

I thought it was cool how much the environment affected how the camera was placed. I was very noticeable in both Monsters and Escape from tomorrow. In Monsters when they were in the jungle the camera was almost always handheld probably because they had no where to place the sticks. In escape from tomorrow the only time you got to see the camera on a tripod was in the hotel room or when he was in the room after he got taken. This was interesting because you could tell where they were and were not allowed to shoot which, because the places they were not allowed to shoot were usually done differently. 

Monday, May 5, 2014

Black and White Digital

First, respond to "Escape from Tomorrow" and how you think the black and white functioned in the film. Then read the article (linked below) and tell us what you think of digital black and white and wether it has future in filmmaking.