Author Archives: parikh92

Blog #10- Young Frankenstein (1974)

Blog #10- Young Frankenstein (1974) 

                   The film. Young Frankenstein was released in 1974. The director of the film is Mel Brooks, and screen story and screen play writers are Gene Wilder, who plays the character role of Dr. Frederick Frankenstein, and Mel Brooks. The stars of the film include Gene Wilder, Madeline Kahn, Marty Feldman, Peter Boyle, Teri Garr, and Cloris Leachman. The film was based on the novel Frankenstein, which was written by Mary Shelley. The film was predominantly in black and white, which was an important factor because during this time black and white was not as popular as films done in color. This illustrates the purpose of Brooks having this film in black and white is because it reflects the atmosphere of the earlier films. The film genre is comedy.

The film begins with Dr. Frederick Frankenstein (played by Gene Wilder), who is a physician lecturer at an American medical school (06:00). He was engaged to Elizabeth (played by Madeline Kahn). Frederick becomes overly uncomfortable and angry when someone brings up his grandfather, the mad scientist, especially during his class (10:40). (11:29)A legal representative informed Frederick, during his class, that he has inherited his family’s estate after his great grandfather’s, Baron Beauvort Von Frankenstein’s, death.  Frederick then traveled to Europe to look at the property. (15:00) He meets Igor (played by Marty Feldman), at the Transylvania train station, where he then meets a young personal assistant, Inga (played by Teri Garr). They traveled in a carriage to arrive at the estate, where they met Frau Blucher (played by Cloris Leachman). Frau Blucher was the housekeeper. Her name was significant because every time her name was said, they horses would react and “Nay” (20:10). Although his family legacy bought shame, Frederick began to become very intrigued about his grandfather’s work, especially after Inga led him to the discovery of Frankenstein’s laboratory (31:25). After reading his grandfather’s journals, Frederick decided to continue his grandfather’s experiments in re-animating the dead.

Frederick and Igor rob the grave of a criminal who was recently executed (39:09). They plan to put in a deceased scientist’s brain, Hans Delbruck’s, as a transplant for the criminal, but instead, Igor took an “Abnormal” brain and does not tell Frederick that it’s the incorrect brain (40:36).  The townspeople do not support the idea of Frederick continuing Frankenstein’s work; Inspector Kemp is most concerned about this idea (54:06). The criminal becomes a creature who is brought to life by the electrical charges; however, as soon as Igor confesses to Frederick that it was the wrong brain, everyone goes into panic mode. Frederick sees that Frau Blucher is setting the creature free and she then divulged that the creature loves the violin music and that she had a romantic relationship with Frederick’s grandfather (01:03:08). With all the commotion, the creature escapes from Frankenstein’s castle.

The creature comes by a young girl (01:04:47) and a blind man when walking around. (01:12:53) Frederick recaptures the creature and locks the two of them in a room to calm him down. Frederick and the creature launch into a musical number (01:20:58). The routine ends terribly because a stage light explodes and frightens the monster (01:23:07). He was captured and chained by the police. The creature escaped and kidnapped Elizabeth, who arrived unexpectedly for a visit (01:32:22). Elizabeth ends up falling in love with the creature. The townspeople hunt for the monster. Frederick plays the violin to lure the creature back into the castle because the creature loves the violin sound. Frederick transfers some of his intellect into the creature so he is able to reason with Kemp’s mob. With a happy ending, Elizabeth and the creature get married and Inga and Frederick get married.

Props were very popular in the film; important props throughout the film include the lab equipment used, the violin (01:03:08), and the skeletons. The film credits in the beginning were in a very gothic font, which relates to the movie, especially because it goes well with the background of the dark castle and night skies (00:52). This particular font also relates back to the 1930s, around the time when Shelley wrote the novel Frankenstein. The film also heavily includes scene transitions; such as fade in and out, fade to black, and wipes.  The scene 05:12 portrays an example of fading in and out to show that there is a change in plot scene. Another example of fade in and out was in (13:53).  In the beginning of the film, sound was highly demonstrated, especially with the thunder sound emphasizing the lighting and the rain (02:57). Some lighting sources in the film include lighting/thunder, fireplace, black and white lighting (classroom scene), and candlestick(20:58). Another source of sound includes the violin (01:03:08) because it symbolized the strategy used to lure the creature. In scene (01:00:10), it included sounds of breaking glass as the window shattered because of the thrown darts, which enhanced the dramatic effect.  During the credits (02:18), there was soft music playing in the background.  A setting includes the classroom where Frankenstein was teaching (05:51). This is also the scene that introduces the black and white lighting in the film. In scene 12:07, this was an example of freeze film with Elizabeth and Frederick positioned together and a few people walking around them. An example of fade to black was in scene 13:53, which took effect in order to illustrate change of scene and setting. Scene 16:18 includes a frame with Igor and Frederick shot in a frame, which shows the dialogue between the two of them; the camera angle is also facing downward directly toward Igor’s face. The camera was zooming in to get closer towards Frederick’s face when he was talking in his sleep because he had a nightmare; this was another camera tactic used in the film (24:20).

Without the Industrial Revolution technology, the story of Frankenstein would not have been conceived. The technology from the Industrial Revolution inspired the author of Frankenstein’s story. The science class in the beginning of the film (06:00), included Frederick referring back to Darwinism and the idea of intelligent design, idea of evolution, and the idea of God vs. Science. Science and technology was also illustrated when Frederick was performing the brain transplant in the creature’s body as he was getting elevated up. The idea of preservation of life was also discussed in the film as that was Dr. Frankenstein’s experiment.

– Pooja Parikh

Young Frankenstein- Trailer

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Blog #9- Footloose (2011)

Blog #9- Footloose (2011)

Footloose is a 2011 film, which is a remake of the 1984 film Footloose and was directed by Craig Brewer. The film’s genres include Comedy, Drama, and Music. The stars in the film include Kenny Wormald, Julianne Hough, Andie MacDowell, and Dennis Quaid. The film was nominated for the category “Best Sound Editing: Music in a Musical Feature Film”. Music was done by Deborah Lurie and Blake Shelton and editing was done by Billy Fox. The film starts off with Bobby Moore and his group of friends, after partying, driving over a bride, not paying attention, and crash into a truck, which kills them at the scene of the accident (02:55). Shaw Moore, played by Dennis Quaid, the father who is also the Reverend of the church, presents his suggestion to the city council to pass a particular law (03:48). This law was created to ban all unsupervised dancing and music in the small town and also a by-law curfew. The entire city council agreed to ban the music and dancing.  (06:56) Three years later after this incident, Ren McCormack, played by Kenny Wormald, a teenaged boy from Boston, had moved to live with his uncle and his uncle’s family in Bomont because of his mother’s unfortunate death. These events set the setting of the film and sets up the upcoming plots in the film.

As Ren gets settled in, he learns from his new friend, Willard, about the banning of music and dancing (25:10). (16:50) He then meets the Reverend’s rebellious daughter, Ariel, and immediately becomes interested in her; however, she was already involved with another man. (42:51) Throughout the film, Chuck, Ariel’s current boyfriend, and Ren have some dangerous races and games because Chuck had insulted Ren. Reverend Moore refuses to allow Ariel to see Ren, especially since he does not trust Ren and believes that he has been a negative influence to his daughter. After getting physically abused by Chuck, Ariel dumps him and begins to fall in love with Ren. Ariel and her parents meet up at the church. Reverend Moore believes that Ren was the one who abused her and wants Ren arrested. Ariel raises her voice to her father and tells him that he cannot blame everything on Ren, just like he did on Bobby. She mentioned Bobby’s accident and how everyone in the town only remembers the accident as the cause of banning dancing and music rather than remembering Bobby as the good kid he actually was. Moore slaps Ariel across the face as an instant reaction of his anger, but he tries to apologize to her.

Ren goes to the city council and reads the Bible verses that Ariel gave him to describe the importance of dancing during ancient times. The city council votes against him. Ren teaches his buddy, Willard, how to dance and later asks the owner of the cotton mill to have the prom there since it’s located outside of Bomont’s borders. Ren goes to see Moore and tells him that he cannot stop the prom and asks Moore, respectfully, for his approval to take Ariel to prom. After thinking thoroughly, Moore allows Ariel to go with Ren. At prom, Chuck comes to the location and picks a fight against Ren. Many of their friends got involved. Ren and his group of friends won the fight. The film ends with a dance number, dancing to the film’s theme song.

The film includes several well-produced dance numbers, which engage the audience and tends to put an emphasis on those particular scenes. The music in the film is intrinsic, which, the textbook mentions, helps to tell the story, whether it pertains to the plot, action, characters, and mood illustrated in the film. The beginning and ending song in the film, the theme song, is portrayed as happy, joyous moments in the film, which can illustrate audience expectations. (00:46) During the first scene, when this particular song “Footloose” was played, the characters in the frame were happily dancing, which gives the audience expectations that when the song plays again at the end, the characters will be happily dancing then too. The sound track of the film consists of twenty-two items, and the tracks were produced solely for the film. The radio plays an important source of sound in a particular scene, when they were at the restaurant (32:34). The radio is an example of diegetic sound because the sound comes from a source within a film’s world; it is external and off-screen. The beginning scene also includes an off-stage sound of an announcer speaking in a microphone, which also portrays external sound (00:21).  In scene 03:48, when Reverend Moore was speaking at church, the sound of his voice was an example of simultaneous sound because it was diegetic and on-screen; this scene was important because it sets the mood and provides background information for the future plots. The sound source in this scene is the Reverend’s vocals through the microphone.  Scene 07:06 is an example for sound track because it is a separate recording tape that is occupied by one specific type of sound (a song) for a movie. It is also an example of one of the types of film sound: music and it is an off-screen sound. In scene 12:17, there were various sources of sounds; there was the music playing in the background, sounds from the equipment that Ren used to fix the car with,  and sounds of the car engine starting. In scene 1:00:28, when Ren and his friends were at the bar dancing to country music, there were several sources of sounds in this scene as well. The characters were screaming with excitement, clapping their hands, stomping their feet, the sound track was playing off-screen, and there was some dialogue amongst the characters.

– Pooja Parikh

 

 

Blog #8- The Dark Knight Rises

Blog #8- The Dark Knight Rises

             The Dark Knight Rises is an action, crime, and thriller film, released in 2012, which is part of the Batman film trilogy, directed by Christopher Nolan. Screen play was done by Jonathan Nolan and Christopher Nolan, and the film was edited by Lee Smith. The film stars Christian Bale, who plays Bruce Wayne, Gary Oldman, who plays Commissioner Gordon, Tom Hardy, who plays Bane, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who plays Blake, Anne Hathaway, who plays Selina, Marion Cotillard, who plays  Miranda, and Michael Caine, who plays Alfred.

The Dent Act, which was introduced eight years after Harvey Dent’s death, grants the Gotham City Police Department power, which almost eliminated organized crime. (7:37) Police Commissioner James Gordon, played by Gary Oldman, is prepared to write a resignation speech confessing the truth because he felt extremely guilty for covering up Dent’s crimes, but he ends up not using the speech (8:38). (9:08)Batman had disappeared, leaving Bruce Wayne going in hiding. Selina Kyle, a cat burglar, finds Bruce’s fingerprints from his home, kidnaps a congressman, and then disappears. Selina provides Phillip Stryver Bruce’s fingerprints in hope of having her criminal record erased. Because Stryver deceives Selina, she uses the congressman’s phone, which was stolen, to alert the police of their location. As Gordon and the police arrive, find the congressman, and pursue his men, Selina gets away. Bane, a masked man, captures Gordon; however, Gorden escapes and is found by John Blake. Blake, who used to be an orphaned police officer, had gathered Batman’s true identity, as they had similar backgrounds. Blake was promoted, by Gordon, to detective and Blake would report to him directly.

Wayne Enterprises is introduced as unprofitable after Bruce stopped his fusion reactor project (18:28). Bane attacked the Gotham Stock Exchange, as he used Bruce’s fingerprints in a transaction that results into Wayne’s bankruptcy. Since Alfred was troubled that Bruce has not moved on from being Batman, he informed Bruce that Rachel Dawes was planning on marrying Dent before she died. Shortly after, Alfred resigns, as he tried to discourage Bruce. Bruce asks Miranda Tate, Wayne Enterprises board member, to take over his company. Because Selina was promised that her criminal record will be erased, she agreed to take Batman to Bane; however, she leads him into Bane’s dangerous trap. Bane claims that he wanted to fulfill the mission to destroy Gotham. He injures Batman’s back, leaving him crippled, and takes him to a prison, where it is impossible to escape. Bruce begins conversing with the inmates at the prison, who tell Bruce the story of Ra’s al Ghul’s child, who was born in the prison and deeply cared for by another prisoner before escaping. This prisoner was the only prisoner who was ever able to escape. Bruce then assumes the child to be Bane.

Bane continues to take down Gotham City. He leads the Gotham police underground and then collapses the exit. He then kills Mayor Anthony Garcia and forces a physicist to create a nuclear bomb from a reactor. Using the bomb, Bane holds the city hostage and isolates Gotham from the rest of the world. Bane reveals the cover-up of Dent’s crime, by stealing Gordon’s speech, and then he releases the prisoners. Month after, due to recovery and re-training, Bruce was finally able to escape the prison. He then recruits Selina, Blake, Tate, Gordon, and Fox to assist with stopping the bombs. After all the commotion, Batman uses The Batmobile to tug the bomb over bay, which was where it exploded. At the final scenes of the film, Batman is assumed dead and honored as a hero. Wayne leaves with the intent of the city to become an orphanage and leaves his remaining estate to Alfred. It was then discovered by Fox that Bruce fixed The Bat’s autopilot. Alfred sees Bruce and Selina sitting together when he traveled to Florence. Blake inherits the Batcave and resigns from his career as a cop.

The film includes fade-out from 1:05 to 1:06 and then fade-in from 1:06 to 1:07, when it goes from a black screen and gets brighter in the shot of Gordon’s speech. The frame in this particular shot 1:14 includes a picture of Dent in the background, the American flag to the right of Gordon, and a stand where he is presenting his speech. This sets up the mood and plot of what is to come regarding Dent’s death. The camera angle is an upward angle portraying Gordon’s higher-level position as Commissioner (1:15). There was another example of fade-in and fade-out during scene 1:19, when it fades-out into a black screen and then fades-in to a grass landscape. This illustrates the transition between events. The camera angle during this scene of the grass landscape is fascinating as it is shot while following the vehicle and starts facing the grass and the angle moves upward filming the vehicle.  In the scene 2:35, point-of-view editing was demonstrated as the characters were flying in an airplane and the camera angle was a bird’s eye view angle for a brief moment.

In scene 4:56, parallel editing is illustrated because the film includes a shot of the exterior of the plane flying in the air and then jumps straight into a shot where there is violence taking place between the men on the plane. The parallel editing in this scene takes place for about a minute or two continuously. In 5:15, there was a continuity mistake because the fuselage of the plane is hanging straight down, during the time when Bane exists with the doctor; however, since we see that they are dragged behind the bigger plane, we realize that the angle should be more to the left. In scene 9:08, there is another example of parallel editing when Batman is in a quick shot showing that he is leaving and during that same time, Selina is having a conversation with Alfred in the kitchen. Following that scene, in 10:08, Selina goes to a room carrying a tray with food and during this same time, there are two other characters having a conversation in a different room. This is also an example of parallel editing.

The rhythm of the film varies between slow and fast throughout the film. In the beginning of the film, the rhythm was relatively slow because it introduces the characters, the main concepts of the film, which I feel that because the rhythm was slow, it added to the suspense and thrill of the film (13:20). There was another continuity mistake when Selina looked at Bruce’s target when he shot his arrow. Bruce shoots the arrow and it hits 7 on the target. The following frame, the arrow is a few inches away from the 7. In 13:51, a reverse shot was illustrated because the camera was switching between shots of different characters, which highlighted the purpose of conversing and interacting between Gordon and Blake. I think that 14:00  was an example of content curve because it was a point when the viewers absorbed all that we needed ti know in a particular shot, especially through the dialogue that was taking place, which led to viewers being ready to see the next shot. The lighting in scene 15:08 goes from pitch dark tunnel with no lighting to an open space in the tunnel with a small source of light coming in from the top. In scene 17:00, as Alfred was explaining his flashback to Bruce, there is a shot illustrating what Alfred is talking about as his flashback. In scene 22:20, there was parallel editing when the SWAT team enters the bar and shoots around to find the “criminal” and during that same time, Selina tries to escape running out of the bar as a “victim” and Blake follows her.

– Pooja Parikh

 

Blog #7- 21 Jump Street

Blog #7- 21 Jump Street

 21 Jump Street is an American film, which consists of action and comedy that came out in 2012. The film stars Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum, and was scripted by Michael Bacall. It is based on the 1987 television series, and is about two police officers who are hired and compelled to go undercover at a high school, as regular high school students in order to prevent new artificial drugs and arrest its supplier. Morton Schmidt, role played by Jonah Hill, is characterized as a chubby nerd, who was an Eminem look-a-like. He was bullied by Greg Jenko, played by Channing Tatum, who is also one of his rivals. Greg, as portrayed in (01:36), played a character roll of tall and good-looking, which was often stereotyped as dumb and an underachieving jock. Seven years later, these two men reunited at the Metropolitan City Police Department (MCPD) academy and grew close, which resulted into a strong friendship. Because of this, they learned that they were able to help each other’s weaknesses; both motivating each other unconditionally. Throughout their officer duties, they arrested a drug gang group’s leader, Domingo, but were forced to release him because Jenko forgot to mention the Miranda rights. Greg and Jenko were then reassigned on a special division on 21 Jump Street. In this particular scene (11:54), Ice Cube, who plays Captain Dickson, was introduced. He informs these two officers that they were chosen for this particular division because of their youthful appearances (12:10). Ice cube plays a minor role in the film by helping move the plot forward, but not shown in many scenes. Schmidt and Jenko are responsible to put a stop on the new drug, called H.F.S, which stands for “Holy Fucking Shit”.

The two men attend the high school as undercover cops, portrayed as regular students, who go by the names Brad and Doug McQuaid. While being undercover, they were staying at Schmidt’s parents’ home. Jenko mistakenly switched their identities, resulting into registering for each other’s classes. Throughout the plot, they learn that Eric, leader of a popular crowd, is a dealer of the drug; however, he is not the supplier. As time passes, they finally discovered Mr. Walters, the P.E. teacher, was the dealer all along. At the end of the film, they are able to arrest Mr. Walters, Schmidt got over his fears and shot Mr. Walters, and the two officers won the case as well as received an award for their first arrest. This film casted many popular and famous actors, which gives viewers a reason to watch the film. I am a fan of Channing Tatum and because he was in the film, I chose to watch it. The actors include Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill, Dave Franco, Brie Larson, DeRay Davis, Ice Cube, Johnny Depp, Geraldine Singer, and many others. Jonah Hill is known as an actor who takes his personae from role to role. This has been illustrated in many of his comedic roles in films. In (1:10) motorcyclists represent minor characters because they assist with moving the plot forward; however, they are not shown in many scenes. Ice Cube plays a minor role in the film by helping move the plot forward, but not viewed in many scenes. Channing Tatum demonstrates a chameleon actor because he seems different in every role. In the chapter, a chameleon is defined as “an actor who adapts their look, mannerism, and delivery of their role. “ Even having roles as undercover cops, Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum were able to show chameleon acting within the film through their career and/or job at the MCPD. In (01:30), Johnny Depp was introduced as a cameo role in the film because it’s a “small, but significant role played by the actor” (textbook). Within that role, Depp also had to play a chameleon actor because he was also working undercover. The major roles in this film were played by Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill.

The film also provided many opportunities for “extras”. In the scene of the high school party, the surrounding people were some of the “extras” in the film (48:27). Extras also included the students in scenes that were shot at the background (23:35). The cast members at the prom setting are also the “Extras”.  Nonnaturalistic and naturalistic elements were displayed throughout the entire film. There were many scenes and key elements in the film that were either nonnaturalistic or naturalistic. In (22:30), Jonah Hill’s character, Schmidt, got hit with a car, and he was alive and fine. This is an example of a nonnaturalistic scene because the performance seems excessive and exaggerated; it was not a normal range of human experience. Another example of a nonnaturalistic scene is (35:00-36:00) because the head of the P.E. teacher transitioned too many different things. At this particular duration, his head transitioned into a rabbit’s head and then an ice cream. In (45:00-47:15), nonnaturalistic events took place.  In (01:13), this particular frame includes a bridge and car, only. This is an example of nonnaturalistic scene because after the bridge had a gasoline spill and a little fire, the bridge did not explode. In (01:40), even after getting shot, the actors are still up and doing unnecessary things. Some naturalistic scene includes (01:22), when Schmidt’s mother requests him to do chores. She says “If you’re staying in the house, you have time for chores”. This is naturalistic because actors re-create recognizable or plausible human behavior for the camera. A relatable scene (19:00) includes when Jonah Hill has embarrassing moments with his parents. This is something that the audience can relate to because it recognizable human behavior.  Schmidt had another embarrassing in (44:20). A realistic scene that does portray “normal” high school experiences includes (48:00) because it shows a typical high school party with underage drinking, music, and large crowd.

Improvisation is directly shown when Jenko and Doug interrupt a stage play performance in (01:16). The characters had to attempt to improvise, although it did not go well. I definitely recommend this film, as it was very comedic and actors performed very well throughout the film.

Film clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FGFtjPlGjHU

-Pooja Parikh

Blog #6- Signs

Blog #6- Signs

 

            Signs is a drama, sci-fi, and thriller film, released in 2002, and is directed by M. Night Shyamalan. The starts of the film are Mel Gibson, who plays Rev. Graham Hess; Joaquin Phoenix, who plays Merrill Hess; Rory Culkin, who plays Morgan Hess; Abigail Breslin, who plays Bo Hess; Cherry Jones, who plays Officer Paski; and M. Night Shyamalan, who is not only the director of the film but also plays Ray Reddy. The cinematography in the film was done by Tak Fujimoto, and it was done phenomenally. The film is about a family, the Hess family, living on a farm, located in Doylestown, Bucks Country, Pennsylvania. Graham Hess, a former reverend, whose wife, Colleen, died in a terrible vehicle accident caused by Ray Reddy. Graham, no longer a priest, lives with his son Morgan, his daughter Bo, and his younger brother Merrill. Morgan suffers with asthma, Bo leaves her water glasses around the house because she claims that the water tastes funny (16:32), and Merrill was a former athlete who played baseball in the minor league, but could not make it to the major league because he swung too hard and continuously struck out (27:55).  

        The family finds mysterious circles in their crop field (05:05). They receive reports of violent animal behavior, and one of the dogs that belonged to the Hess family tried to attack Bo and Morgan. Graham discovers that the farm is being watched, and in the middle of the night, chases a suspicious tall figure who was on the rooftop, into the cropfield, with Merrill’s assistance (14:30).  The mysterious figure suddenly disappeared. This lead the family to believe that there are more frightening events to come their way. The baby monitor is then introduced in the plot, and is used as a means of communication for the mysterious figure, which we find out later on, are aliens (30:50). Throughout the film, the plot included various events that provided the audience with evidence that those figures are indeed aliens and are extremely dangerous. At the climax of the film, events lead up to aliens managing to get into the Hess family’s house, through the rooftop. For safety, the family moves down into the basement and uses an axe to prop the door closed (1:18:00). Morgan has a severe asthma attach and does not have his inhaler because he left it upstairs. Graham tries to calm him down by speaking with him in a relaxing tone (1:23:35). After roughly twenty four hours, Graham decided to head upstairs to get Morgan’s inhaler because the baby monitor did not have any more noises indicating that aliens were still in the house (1:30:55). They find an alien in the house who attacks Morgan and has taken him hostage. He is suffering another asthma attack and the alien sprays poison on him. Graham has a flashback of his wife dying and her final words were “Tell Merrill to swing away”, which is exactly what Graham then tells Merrill to do (1:36:33). After Merrill hit the alien with the bat, Morgan was released, and Merrill kills the alien by splashing water on it. At the end, Graham gives Morgan his medication, and thankfully recovers (1:39:10). The final frame in the film includes Graham being a priest again (1:40:35).

          As mentioned earlier, this film has many examples of cinematography. The music in the beginning of the film, that includes credits, was getting louder and was orchestra music (00:50-02:05). The various settings in the film include backyard; house in Doylestown, Bucks County, Pennsylvania; pizzeria; pharmacy; military base; car; accident scene; cropfield; and basement. In scene (09:32), the lighting source was sunlight, which determines the time of day. This is an example of natural lighting. In scene (11:45), there was a lack of lighting, which portrays the time of day as nighttime and it also sets the mood up for Graham and Merrill’s conversation. There was a particular frame that was a close up of dad laying in bed, and he was the only object in the frame. The lighting is also purple lighting, which represents the dark, night time. In scene (14:30), Graham and Merrill see a shadow with a bell on top of the roof, which is the shadow of an alien. In scene (16:16), the turned on television screen, illustrates an example of light source. From scenes (20:42-21:15), the camera shot was really interesting because it was a zoom in on television screen, which the audience is able to focus on the news report about Banglore, India. Camera shot (22:59) is an example of the camera zooming out, in the scene where the cop drives off from the Hess’ home. Another fascinating camera shot is in scene (23:33), when the camera shot is of an airplane view, which is zoomed in to the television screen.

            In scene (25:38), they display propaganda of “I Want You- U.S. Army” in the background. Another interesting concept demonstrated in the movie was the fact that they had their director of the film, M. Night Shyamalan, play one of the main roles in the film, Ray Reddy (54:02). This particular scene includes good use of camera angle as well, and is the scene Ray admits to killing the reverend’s wife in the vehicle accident. This was another story plot that was very important. In scene (37:50), the light source was a flashlight, and the setting was in a cropfield at the middle of the night. The camera angle, when the flashlight fell, was pointed downward, giving the audience an idea of what is about to come and providing suspense for the audience, rather than giving away all the evidence. In scene (42:00), “signs”, the title of the movie, was mentioned, which I thought was very interesting. It was mentioned in a conversation between Graham and Merrill, during night time, when the children were asleep. The lighting source in that scene was the background light in the kitchen, while the characters were in the television room. This type of lighting sets mood and emotion. In scene (46:13), which is the following scene, the light source is a set of police lights. In scene (46:55), I wanted to focus in on the camera angle shot, which was downward, following the wire on the ground and the father’s footsteps. The scene where they were showing a news report about Mexico City, the frame consists of Merrill, a chair, a closet, and the door as objectives in the frame. In scene (51:00), the frame consists of book pages, and the camera angle is zoomed into the page. The surrounding environment is blurred so the audience can only focus on the content within the book. In scene (52:00), it is foreshadowing because it is introducing the alien being close to the home. In that scene, the phone rings, the father picks up, and finds out that no one is on the other line (suspense), and then the camera zooms in and focuses on a blue dress in the next room, which foreshadows the alien. I really liked this particular camera lens in (52:54), when Morgan is looking through a telescope. I thought it was a unique lens focus, and it also including a natural sun lighting source.  In scene (1:19:30-1:19:40), we see the transition of lighting from lack of lighting to flashlight lighting source. Jumping to scene (1:23:35-1:24:35), I thought it was attention-grabbing to see the camera angle variation; camera angle starts off parallel to the ground when Morgan is having an asthma attack and his father is trying to help him overcome it. This angle first shows only the legs, then works its way up to the middle of the body, which includes the arms, and then finally the head, where the camera angle is looking upward. This is another important plot event in the film.  The film also includes flashbacks, particularly of the mother’s vehicle accident, which is in scene (1:30:04 and 1:35:23). In scene (1:33:27), we see that aliens camouflage into their surrounding environment, which made it difficult for other to spot them. In this scene, the audience can focus on the imprint on the alien’s arm, which camouflage with Morgan’s shirt when he is grabbing onto him. Lastly, this scene was presented in a fascinating manner (1:37:54).  This scene was during Merrill trying to kill the alien, and when he pours the water on the alien, the camera angle is facing upward, which provides the audience with the assumption that the camera is the alien.

        This film is outside of my comfort zone, so it is not a typical film genre that I watch. But, I do recommend this film and I think it displays a lot of great examples of cinematography.

Film scenes:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uOKk9hIt5j4 – scene where alien is capturing Morgan and is getting defeated by Merrill.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bLZ5_Z5Qhv8 – importance of water as a prop

– Pooja Parikh

Blog #5: Alice in Wonderland

Blog #5: Alice in Wonderland

           Alice, a nineteen-year-old girl, is expected to marry an English nobleman. At her engagement party, she is internally conflicted as to whether or not she should marry the nobleman. When she decides to escape the large crowd, she falls in a hole after following a suspicious rabbit. She arrives in “Underland”, an odd and surreal place, which is a world that reminds her of the nightmares she had growing up as a child. This world is filled with talking animals and queens and knights as villains. Alice then realizes she is there to defeat the Jabberwocky and allow the correct queen to have the throne.  This film consisted of many famous actors and actresses; Mia Wasikowska played Alice, Johnny Depp played Mad Hatter, Helena Bonham Carter played Red Queen, Crispin Glover played Stayne-Knave of Hearts, and Anne Hathaway played White Queen. This film is a remake of the original Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

            The film Alice in Wonderland illustrates examples of mise-en-scene and various camera techniques. The beginning scene portrays mise-en-scene and camera work by having a camera shot over the dark houses, which focuses on a bright window of an old fashioned house. The settings in this film include old fashion costumes, the design of rooms and props, and the proper English language spoken amongst the characters in the film. The setting where the engagement party took place, a huge, mansion-like house, verifies that the characters are wealthy and accomplished. When analyzing the narrative in the film, we see the opening sequence consists of a flashback of Alice, when she was a child, and then immediately jumps into present day Alice. In the beginning frame, Alice and her father in a camera shot, which illustrates the closeness of their relationship, and starts the narrative. The lighting is also shown during this shot because Alice had a brighter tone surrounding her, making her face more visible than a darker shade around her father’s face, which made it a bit difficult to see him. The next shot was of Alice and her mother riding on a carriage going to a get together, which she later finds out is her engagement party. This particular scene, which is 3 minutes and 42 seconds into the film, illustrates the costume/wardrobe of these main characters. The costumes were English style with long gowns, and scarves around their collar. Females wore jewelry and their hairstyles were extremely formal and well-done. They also wore white gloves to go with their outfit. This particular scene also includes ballroom dancing, which takes place outside, in a spacious open land backyard, which also displays the characters as elegant individuals, which is shown at 5 minutes and 33 seconds into the film.

            Another source of lighting in this film is the sunlight. The sunlight portrays the time of day, daytime. The colors in the backyard setting are bright; light blue, white, bright green scenery because of the grassland. When Alice was proposed to, she had an internal conflict about whether or not she should marry the man. After her journey throughout the film, she found herself, which then provided her with the confidence to firmly state that he is not the man for her and she is uninterested in marrying him. At 12 minutes and 30 seconds into the film, the director portrayed moving frame because it was the frame around a motion-picture image that moved and its point of view was illustrated. The camera angle includes following the rabbit through the bushes and moves the entire scene to make it more adventurous and shows the rabbit’s point of view. From minutes 13 to 14, this particular scene was extremely fascinating because the lighting and camera angles varied, and it adds a dizzy and hypnotizing touch to it. When she falls into the locked chamber/house, there was a particular scene where there was light shining through a key hole. I thought this was an interesting scene because it demonstrates the difference in lighting with dark vs. light and shows that outside is the lighter part and the locked house was dark and dim lighting. The idea of perception also was shown because there were various camera angles with Alice’s continuous growth and shrinking throughout the film. Some figures in the film, which were viewed in a frame together, were flying insects, talking animals, flowers with faces, and particularly shown 19 minutes into the film.

            Makeup was highlighted in the film. Johnny Depp’s character, Mad Hatter, had immense makeup on throughout the film, which really fitted his character. Red Queen and White Queen both had massive amounts of makeup on; however, it really brought out the characteristics, personality, and wardrobe of the individuals. Music was also significant in the film; at 32 minutes into the film, the music was getting louder as the fight was intensifying and as the scene became more adventurous. A repetitive prop in the film, which was shown among the characters, is the hat. Mad Hatter and Red Queen both had momentous scenes where the hat was used as a prop in the frames.

            I really enjoyed this film because it was composed very well and designed in an interesting manner. I strongly recommend it. 

Film clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ppsDNkBLGY

– Pooja Parikh

Blog #4- Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

Blog #4- Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

             Scott Pilgrim vs. the World was a comedy film, released in 2010 based on a novel series Scott Pilgrim written by Bryan Lee O’Malley. The film is about a young twenty-two year old rock star, in the band Sex Bob-omb, from Canada who meets the girl of his dreams, Ramona Flowers, a teenage girl from America. In order to win Ramona over, Scott discovers that he must battle and defeat Ramona’s “seven evil exes”. This film stars Michael Cera, who plays Scott Pilgrim, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Kieran Culkin, Ellen Wong, Alison Pill, and Anna Kendrick. The screenplay was by Edgar Wright and Michael Bacall.

            The plot begins with Scott Pilgrim, dating Knives Chau, a high schooler whom his friends disapproved. Scott then meets Ramona, who begins appearing in his dreams as he has an obsession for her. As time passes, Scott begins to lose interest in Knives and eventually break up. Knives blames Ramona for stealing Scott from her and is determined to win him back. As chapter 4 introduces the topic of protagonist versus antagonist, the protagonist in this film is Scott Pilgrim because he is the main character who is pursuing a goal. The antagonists are the people, Ramona’s exes, responsible for destroying the protagonist. The antagonists in the film are Matthew Patel, Lucas Lee, Todd Ingram, Natalie “Envy” Adams, Roxy Richter, Kyle Katayanagi, Ken Katayanagi, and Gideon. There were many settings in the film- Scott’s home, Knives’ Catholic School, an arcade, a clothing store, a music store, Scott’s neighborhood, the library, house party, and band practice. The film goes into different scenes abruptly when portraying Scott’s dreams, rather than a smooth transition between the scenes. There were also graphic hearts during romantic scenes and captions popping up. These captions occurred when scenes were changing and also to emphasize noises so they can be more noticeable to the audience. The film entirely is animated and has actions displayed as it would in a comic book.

            The film portrays narrative because it is a fictional story. There are cinematic elements, which include lighting, set design, and performance in the shots, throughout the entire film. The theme in this film is superhero vs. villain. The chapter introduces the topics of obstacles and progression, which is displayed throughout the film. One of the main obstacles that Scott has to overcome is defeating himself from Ramona’s exes. Scott does not see the intensity of this situation, until he realizes the difficulty of defending himself. We also see progression as Scott begins to learn about himself and at the end of the film, Scott gains self-respect, which makes him a more confident character. The audience also sees that his main motivation throughout the film was Ramona and his obsession with her. Music plays an important role, as it carries the tone of the film. A particular scene, when Ramona and Scott break up, the song “Ramona” plays, which illustrates a depressed and devastating tone, which represents Scott’s emotions after the breakup. The last fight that Scott had with Gideon includes rock ‘n’ roll music in the background, as it is upbeat and intense, which portrays the fight. This film also illustrates the idea of stakes increasing, which was mentioned in the chapter. Stakes are increasing, obstacles are becoming difficult, and the protagonist is unable to navigate. This occurs when Scott realizes that getting attacked by the exes and having to defeat them was getting very difficult and he was unable to handle it. This leads to Scott and Ramona breaking up because he is sick and tired of fighting against her exes and getting attacked.

            This film is completely different genre, style, storyline than what I usually watch. I wanted to try something different and experiment watching other types of film. I personally did not enjoy watching this film and I would like to continue watch my usual genre film. However, those who are interested in action, comic books, superhero vs. villain films should watch Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7wd5KEaOtm4

 

– Pooja Parikh