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Week Five : Auteur Theory

December 13th, 2010 by dcastillo100

Auteur is defined as a filmmaker whose movies are characterized by a filmmaker’s creative influence. A filmmaker treats his films like novels. But how does a director make his films unique that can be easily recognized and become familiar so that one would not have to question, “who directed that film?

One example of the auteur theory would be Tim Burton. His style in film is really dark and gothic. You can notice a trend of his work when you see somewhat of death colors, films such as, Beetle juice, Edward Scissorhands, to a more recent film, Sweeney Todd. Oddly enough, as of late Time Burton has actually used the same actors for his film. For two decades now he has worked with well-known actor Johnny Depp. To me Johnny Depp himself has become Tim’s auteur theory of his films. My expectation for Tim Burton films see’s Johnny Depp starring in it.

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Week 6: Giving The People What They Want

December 13th, 2010 by dcastillo100

Film has been around for over a hundred years. Could there have been over a hundred different story line ideas to different films. I would have to say no. We may have different genres for films, that clashes them, but within a same genre the story line can be quiet the same. Social conflict has become predictable in films in all genres. Air force one, you have a love story in an action film, where the first lady is captured by terrorist’s and the president plays the hero to save his loved one and then you have a comedy film, Me, Myself, and Irene, Jim carey plays a schizophrenic that tries to live his life, but cant because his alter ego takes over to ruin it and in the process of that story line, he meets a girl and falls in love, the sub-plot again being falling in love. Now these two films are general story plotted scripts with not that many affects, so how does film keep their audience entertained with the same story line? Today we have films that use a lot of special affects and me being a fan of special affects, that always keeps me entertained. New technology bring new creativity and it’s used it what captures my attention. Let’s take the movie, Avatar, for example, the main story plot consist of a marine soldier going to the Avatar world by becoming one of them to learn about their culture but then becomes aware that his general has intentions of killing the Avatar world. So while the main plot is in act, the marine soldier falls in love with an Avatar. Same plot different scenarios, but what captures and leaves behind its trade mark, for Avatar at least, is it’s CG affects. I know that whenever I think of Avatar I think of dreams. The scene where the marine soldier explores their world for the first time and all the leaves and trees are very well lit and “glowy” the colors just stand out because it’s lit and drawn in a surreal way, one would think this can only be in a fantasy dream. Every time Im at the movie theaters before they play the actual movie they have this small segment where they Avatar like scenario telling the audience that watching a movie is a form on imagination and they show us that putting affects on a movie theater and changing it into the Avatar world.

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Week Eight: Signs, Signs, Everywhere Signs

December 12th, 2010 by dcastillo100

A well-known film that I have selected is the 1978 movie, Grease. Let’s take a moment and just analyze the title of the movie. Naming a musical Grease; an oil or fat used or produced in cooking, hair products, or for car engine use. These are all different literal meanings for this one word and genius enough that is how this movie is put together. By this one word the writer brought to life a story that uses its different meanings. The story setting taking place in the 70’s was brilliantly put together, where you had grease being used in hair products, foods, cars, and used in an informal way, being a fast thinker.

Now, lets say there’s a game show and the category was film and the word given was, black leather, first thing that would pop up in my mind is the movie Grease. This film was taken place in the 1970’s and at the time the materialistic trend was having massive amounts of hair products applied in their hair for girls to keep their hair up and for the men to have their hair gelled back. I am not so sure of the state where this story took place but one thing I am familiar with is that car racing has always been popular and grease being used in cars is a form of denotation. In a connotation form, the film uses the term “Grease Lighting”, the meaning for this informal term is one who comes up with ideas quickly. The character Danny Zuco, played by John Travolta, lives a double life because he keeps a strong masculine image with his friends and during his summer vacation he met his summer love and probably met, for the first time, his sensitive side.

His lover, Sandy, played by Olivia Newton-John, foreigner coming to school for the first time to the U.S. unknowingly meets Danny and doesn’t recognize the “Danny” he met over the summer. As much as Danny wants to show his sensitive side to Sandy he can’t due to his “rep” on campus. In order to keep his summer love around he has to quickly plan how, when, and where to have a good time with Sandy.

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December 12th, 2010 by dcastillo100

Rudolph Arnheim states, “The development of the silent film was arrested possibly forever when it had hardly begun to produce good results; but it has left us with a few splendidly mature films.” (pg. 168) With this said Arnheim seems to be a skeptic of the accomplishments silent film era has produced. What could he have expected that could’ve made a silent film produce “good results.” You have film that is silent, black and white, and characters that tell a story and show expression with just their body movements and facial expressions. Could he have expected the next step to be a silent color film?
Arnheim’s mindset on producing a film is an aesthetic way and disagrees with the realism aspect. Telling a story with just body language is what Arnheim favors the most and a film that Arnheim would consider a “splendidly mature film” would be, The Gold Rush. This film, directed by and lead role with Charlie Chaplin, its plot consisted of a train chase scene. From the bad guys planning on stealing the train to Charlie Chaplin stealing the train back, not one word or lip movement was shown, all gestures were enough to convey what was happening and to Arnheim this is probably an excellent film.

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Week Four: What is Real, Anyway?

December 12th, 2010 by dcastillo100

“Nanook of the North was the first successful feature length documentary film and pivotal movie in the history of cinema.” This documentary was a black and white film that followed the daily lives of eskimos. Compared to contemporary documentary films, its significant structure is discrete. At first, I was skeptic of this presentation, me being accustomed to color films and fast paced story telling, but because I am very easily intrigued with culture my attention span elongated and is now a film I would recommend for anyone to see. This documentary seems to be a good example of realism in films and two theorist that can differ their ways of defining realism are Sigfried Kracauer and Andre Bazin.  Kracauer theory on reality seems to be making a scene real to its full potential with staging, camera effects, camera movements, and lighting, physical but fantasy reality. Bazin’s view on reality is more of the informative aspect, wanting spectators to see the actual length and struggles of a scenario. In Nanook of the North, the scene where the director captures the hunt for seals. The purpose to capture this scene is to let viewers know the simple tactic that eskimos use to hunt for their dinner but once it’s caught it becomes a strenuous labor, off course they don’t have a choice. The realism here is following the life of an eskimo, but how real is it for one to follow a family and they being directed to do certain tasks.

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