Thursday, August 30, 2012

Me and Orson Welles

One of many things I like about taking a class with Tom, is I step out into new tastes of films I would watch. Normally I would have never watched a film like "Me and Orson Welles", however I am glad I did! As Sharon said, the person who played Orson was great I would not even have known the difference. After our 2nd class and getting a better understanding of camera angles, it was great to not so much watch the movie for the entrainment but also for the mechanics of it.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Me and Orson Welles

I liked the story/movie.  The person who played Orson Wells looked like him. I also could see his personality come out with his controlling and perfectionist behavior. He is a bit narcisstic.


Great shirts from a great movie!  Maybe your daughter was on to something.

The Lady from Shanghai and Me and Orson Welles

The "Lady from Shanghai" clip was really great. What a neat idea, especially when the crippled man comes in and begins walking past the mirrors. It was so perfectly done and was almost a bit scary.

As for, "Me and Orson Welles", I enjoyed watching the movie and feel it did a good job trying to highlight who Orson Welles was. It showed his quirky, dark, egotistical personality, but also how much everyone respected and feared that personality. It would have been interesting to be alive in that time and hear of the stunts he pulled. I wonder how the general public would react to calling an ambulance for a ride or never setting an opening night for a play.


Here is a short documentary on Greg Toland and the making of "Citizen Kane".  At the end Welles talks about his obsession with filmmaking.  It recalls the lines from Kane where he states that without all the money he might have been "a really great man."

Monday, August 27, 2012

Citizen Kane and Me and Orson Welles -

Upon seeing the syllabus that we would be watching Citizen Kane during the first class, I wasn't sure how I felt about that. Although I had heard of it, I never knew much about it at all. When we were watching the first five minutes of Eraserhead, for some reason I thought it was Citizen Kane (somehow I ignored the introduction). I remembered that the movie was two hours long and although it was interesting I didn't know how I would make it through two hours of it on a night when I could have easily fallen asleep standing up. When Citizen Kane started, I have to say I was intrigued from the beginning. It kept me the entire time and made me laugh. I actually enjoyed the film.

At home watching Me and Orson Welles, I felt the same way. I had no idea it was so recent and was presently surprised by both movies.

I will give Eraserhead a try at some point if I can find it.


I came across this link while looking to download movies for FREE! and I thought some of you might be

interested in the category of "film noir" movies.  From the list some looked really interesting to view.
I did take American Cinema with Dr. Maxwell Courson a few semesters ago and we watched Citizen Kane.  I do agree that there were many elements that you don't catch in the first go around that you get in the 2nd one.  I did find alot of humor and funny lines the second time and the first time I mainly saw as a boring film.  I also wanted to share that I went to the movies over the weekend and saw that in the next month or so the 1963 film The Birds which was directed by Alfred Hitchcock is being released back on the big screen.  I have never seen the movie but I do know it's my mothers all time favorite movie.  I'm looking forward to taking her and sharing the experience with her. 

My fave old movie

In Tuesday's class I said one of my favorite movies is True Romance - and it is - but after hearing a few people say that Imitation of Life was their favorite movie, which I also really like, I remembered my favorite old movie: All About Eve. This is the trailer from All About Eve (1950). Bette Davis is at her most "Bette Davis-ness" in this movie. Following on the page is one of my favorite comedic actresses, Carol Burnett, doing Bette Davis in All About Eve. Enjoy. By the way, Carol Burnett does an excellent Nora Desmond (the main picture on this blog) in her rendition of Sunset Strip - another excellent old movie! Actually, Carol Burnett has done her own rendition of some of the greatest movies ever made with a cleverness that points out what could be considered flaws in these movies – mostly overacting from the main actresses.

If you don’t know the story: Eve, played with psychotic ambition by Anne Baxter, shows up in New York as a fresh-faced young woman interested in Broadway and it's biggest star: Margot Channing, played by Bette Davis. Margot is aging and worried about her future in the theater. Eve, her biggest fan, begins working for Margot (like an intern), but manages to worm her way into Margot’s world, and eventually becomes her understudy in a new play. There are a few twists and turns, but it boils down to old fashioned jealousy, manipulation, lying, and the end is not what you would expect. Marilyn Monroe has a small part, and Gary Merrill plays Bette Davis’s love interest. In real life, Merrill and Davis were married the same year this film was released. Bette Davis was nominated for a Best Actress Oscar for her portrayal of Margot Channing.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Me and Oreson Welles

I've never seen Me and Oreson Welles before and I really did end up enjoying the movie.  I haven't seen many plays before, and the only plays that I've seen in the past were small budget plays during at high school. It was interesting to see the amount of work and effort that it takes to put a play together.  My favorite character in the movie was Oreson Welles.  He had my attention at the beginning when he first left in a ambulance to get through the city faster and really enjoyed see how his character's attitude reacted through the various scenarios.

Lady Shanghai

I thought this clip was really neat!  I liked the use of mirrors giving the viewer a vision which  keept me guessing.  I thought it was a good element of the film, the angles shown, of course black and white film of the time created a dramatic effect.

Citizen Kane

Hello Classmates!  When I saw the syllabus, I said to myself..uggghhh Citizen Kane and Orson Welles!  Actually, it wasn't so bad.  I noticed different things when viewing a second time.
I love the size of that fireplace, when Orson Welles is standing right infront of it..It's like you can just push him in!!! 

Everyone stay safe and hopefully see ya Tuesday.


Citizen Kane

Although I have watched this movie on several times I am amazed at what I notice in each viewing that I have not seen in the previous showings. I had dreaded watching the movie again, but was pleasently surprised by viewing it again. Each class has me veiwing the movie and seeing things through different eyes.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


Orson Welles - Always larger than life

I enjoyed Richard Linklater's Me and Orson Welles (2009).  It took me back in time to witness the charm and arrogance of Mr. Welles behind the scenes.  Welles has always dominated everything in his path. Although the relationship between Efron and Danes characters was at the center of the story, the genius of Orson Welles, the man, demanded your attention. Whether running around town by ambulance, making enemies or history in the Mercury Theatre, Linklater's Orson Welles was larger than life, shadowing the sweet coming of age story that managed to shine through.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Testing, is this thing on?
Just kidding...making sure I'm doing this right ! :)

Elements of Film

Looking forward to meeting everyone tonight. The course materials are great and I love the text book.

Excited for Elements of Film

This will be my first film class and I am really looking forward to it. I am a Creative Writing major with a minor in Film Studies. I love film festivals and documentaries and am excited to learn more about film in general. See you all tonight!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Looking Forward to Class

I am testing this to make sure I signed up correctly and also to say I am looking forward to another film class with Professor Hammond although I am a little tired of Citizen Kane and Orsen by now..LOL. 


Elements of Film
Fall 2012 - PEL
Tom Hammond

This course is an introduction to film analysis and criticism.  Being able to identify and interpret the various components of a film is vital to understanding the most important and influential art form of the last century and this one as well.  We will watch films and clips in class.  You will be assigned feature-length films to watch as homework as well as readings from the required text.  There will be a class blog for you to participate in and an individual project.

Class Blog:  You will be invited to post on this website.

Instructors Contact Information – phone: 813-900-4759, email: or
Face to face meetings can be arranged before or after class.

Required Text:

Louis Giannetti, “Understanding Movies”

Netflix – A monthly subscription is a good idea for the semester.  All assigned movies are “streamable” on Netflix.  It costs $8 per month and the first month is usually free.  You can obtain all the films at the library, but availability might be a problem with 25 students and a limited number of copies on hand.  You can rent or buy, but Netflix is easily the most convenient and affordable method.  If you subscribe and for an extra $7, you can receive the films by mail as well as streaming.  Turnaround is 2-3 days. 

Course Requirements and Grading:

·         Attendance & Participation                         20% of grade
·         Contribution to Class Blog                          40% of grade
·         Midterm & Final Exam                               40% of grade
·         Extra Credit Project                                   (+10% of grade)

Attendance & Participation – Every class covers a component of film history, theory and criticism vital to your overall understanding of the subject.  If you can’t avoid missing a class, let me know in advance.  Any pattern of absence or chronic lateness will be noted and will adversely impact your final grade.  Speak up in class.  If that is difficult for you, bring in something that will inspire discussion. 

The Class Blog – You will be invited to author on the blog.  You can make comments on existing posts, post photos, videos or your own writing.  You can add links and suggested readings and viewings as well.   The Blog is a component of participation.  Contributing to it will generate interest in the class and good grades for you. 

Mid-Term & Final Exams – You are responsible for knowing the content of the assigned readings, and being familiar with class and required outside viewings.  The exams will be a combination of objective and short answer questions.

Extra Credit – You can keep a journal of films you view outside the requirements of class.  You should choose from movies that are mentioned or illustrated in the text book.  Write a paragraph or more for each entry explaining how this film relates to the subjects we are studying in class along with a personal opinion.  Turn in your work before the end of the semester in organized and printed form.

Academic Integrity – If you use an idea from another source, you can quote it or paraphrase it, but please CITE IT.  Failure to do so will be a violation of the Honor Code.

The Eckerd College Honor Code: “On my honor, as an Eckerd College student, I pledge not to lie, cheat or steal, nor to tolerate these behaviors in others.”

To affirm this, you will write, “Pledged” followed by your signature on all assignments, papers and exams.

Assignment Schedule:

·         All readings are chapters in the required text, “Understanding Movies” by Louis Gannetti.
·         Assigned Viewings are films you are required to see outside of class (all “streamable” on Netflix).
·         In class we will watch feature films, scenes and clips from various movies and documentary material on filmmaking.  Much of this will also be posted on the Blog for your further study.

Week 1: Introduction
Introduction of students and professor
Review of syllabus
Lecture: Film Language
In-class viewing: “Citizen Kane”
Assigned viewing: “Me and Orson Welles”
Assigned reading: Giannetti, Chapter 1

 Week 2: Photography
Lecture: Film Production & Cinematography
In-class viewing: “Visions of Light”
Assigned viewing: “Black Narcissus” 
Assigned reading: Giannetti, Chapters 2-3

Week 2: Editing & Sound
Lecture: Post Production & Music
In-class viewing: “The Cutting Edge”
Assigned viewing:  “13 Assassins”
Assigned reading: Giannetti, Chapters 4-5

Week 3: Drama & Acting
Lecture: History of Drama & Acting Styles
In-class viewing: “On the Waterfront”
Assigned viewing: “Midnight Cowboy”
Assigned reading: Giannetti, Chapters 6-7

Week 4:  Genres – MID-TERM EXAM
Lecture: Genre Categories & Conventions
In-class viewing: “Unforgiven”
Assigned viewing: “Shane”
Assigned reading: Giannetti, Chapters 8-9

Week 6: Story & Writing
Lecture: Narrative Methods in Film
In-class viewing: “8½”
Assigned viewing: “Chinatown”
Assigned reading: Giannetti, Chapters 10-11

Week 7: Ideology
Lecture: Theme, Ideology & Propaganda
In-class viewing: “V for Vendetta”
Assigned viewing: “Duck Soup”
Assigned reading: Giannetti, Chapter 12

Week 8:  Synthesis – FINAL EXAM
Lecture: Film Theory & Criticism
In-class viewing:  “Citizen Kane


In the event of an emergency or campus shutdown, class work will continue online at:

You will be invited to contribute as a blog correspondent at the beginning of the semester.  This is part of the participation segment of your grade and the location for all information if class can’t be held as scheduled.  Assignments will be posted there as well as suggested readings.  Video lectures will be available if a shutdown continues for more than one week.  Under those circumstances, you may also post any written assignments on the blog or send them to my email at:

You can contact me by phone at:  813-900-4759

Be sure to review the school handout on procedure in the event of a hurricane.

 “Duck Soup” - 1933
 “Citizen Kane” – 1941
“Black Narcissus” – 1947
“Shane” – 1953
“On the Waterfront” – 1954
“8 ½” – 1963
“Midnight Cowboy” – 1969
“Chinatown” – 1974
 “Unforgiven” – 1992
 “Visions of Light” – 1992
“The Cutting Edge” – 2004
 “V for Vendetta” – 2006
“Me and Orson Welles” – 2008
“13 Assassins” - 2010