Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

 For those that care......

Star Wars New Cast

Monday, April 21, 2014

Fistful of Dollars


David Cronenberg

This week's in-class viewing will be "eXistenZ", directed by David Cronenberg.  Here are some interesting images from his career.

Writer William S. Burroughs, Cronenberg, and actor Peter Weller on the set of "Naked Lunch"

Jeremy Irons and Cronenberg

Cronenberg directs Viggo Mortensen as Sigmund Freud in "A Dangerous Method"

A typewriter with a bug in it from "Naked Lunch"

A gun becomes part of the "new flesh" in "Videodrome"

Two sides of Mr. Cronenberg

Monday, April 14, 2014

Sidney Lumet (1924 - 2011)

Since we ill be watching a film in class by Sidney Lumet this week, here is a sampler of his work.

The Verdict with Paul Neuman

Lumet directs Al Pachino in Dog Day Afternoon

The Hill with Sean Connery

12 Angry Men with Henry Fonda and Lee J. Cobb

Katherine Hepburn in Long Day's Journey Into Night

Serpico with Al Pachino

Peter Finch in Network

Lumet directs Marlon Brando in The Fugitive Kind

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Fist full of Dollars

I really thought this was a funny scene. After he kills the men and realizes it was four he then apologizes and says he meant prepare four coffins. I really joyed this film

Monday, April 7, 2014

West Side Story

2 hours and 33 minutes, 47 seconds. Not that I was counting.
I liked the blurring of background to focus attention, the lighting was amazing. The choreography was technically beautiful. The constant dancing and behavior of the gang members stretched any hope of plausibility beyond the snapping zone. This was a Broadway version of gangs, and I believe the screenplay was more about Shakespeare than street life. A highly romanticized view.
This was your basic Romeo and Juliet film, story wise.
It was interesting how through camera shots and music I got a feel for the characters...Dialogue was secondary.
Beautifully shot. Looked like a lot of dolly-shots and crane use.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Blade Runner - 1982

Probably one of the three most influential sci-fi movies of all time, "Blade Runner" is a tour de force of visual design.  Challenging and thematically dark, it tells the story of a disillusioned man whose job it is to hunt down and kill androids who are struggling to find just a few more years of life before they die from built in obsolescence.

Rick Deckerd (Harrison Ford) - the Blade Runner

Poster art featuring Rutger Hauer

Rachael (Sean Young) and Deckerd - a still that generated controversy

Dr. Eldon Tyrell (Joe Turkel) - a father of creation

Ridley Scott directs Harrison Ford

One of the incredible miniatures of a future Los Angeles

A brooding poster for a dark film

Pris (Daryl Hannah) and Roy Batty (Rutger Hauer)

Poster art for the 2007 re-release - The Final Cut

The Bradbury Building in Los Angeles dressed up for the film

Monday, March 31, 2014


Backlit, a lot of silhouette. The darkness of this film was sometimes distracting.
Opinion Note: There were no truly likeable characters. The 17 year old seemed the only one with any sense of what it is to be "real." Everyone else seems narcissistically self-absorbed.
I do not think the lighting had the intended effect, unless it was to confuse. Nothing but the shadows seemed "true." If that was the point, it was brilliant. The exploration of middle age crisis was interesting, but in portrayal so vapid at times I found it very distracting.

I found myself thinking about how hard Allen was trying to be clever. I suppose we all think of ourselves as "clever." This film lacked "kindness." A cold homage to Ingmar Bergman in the lighting, yet another element of "clever, but emotionally cold."

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Pan's Labyrinth - 2006

These are some items from this week's film in class.  Here is a quick synopsis from IMDB.com.

In 1944 fascist Spain, a girl, fascinated with fairy-tales, is sent along with her pregnant mother to live with her new stepfather, a ruthless captain of the Spanish army. During the night, she meets a fairy who takes her to an old faun in the center of an ancient labyrinth. He tells her she's a princess, but must prove her royalty by surviving three dangerous tasks. If she fails, she will not prove herself to be the true princess and will never see her real father, the king, again. 

Ofelia (Ivana Baquero) reads the "Book of Dreams."

Poster art for 'Pan's Labyrinth"

Ofelia enters the lair of the Pale Man.

The Pale Man - a monster in the fantasy world.

Captain Vidal (Sergi Lopez) - a monster in the real world.

Director del Toro and his creation, the Faun (Doug Jones), study each other.

More art inspired by the film.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

King Kong

I was at Disney's Hollywood Studios yesterday and came across this.  This is from the movie.

King Kong

I agree with the Professor; King Kong is a film that grabbed my imagination at a very early age. The dinosaurs were such an innovative addition that along with the giant ape the film served to overwhelm the audience.
Was it just me, or were there some elements of a subtext of a racist nature here? The white girl being pawed by the giant "black man" seemed a metaphor for racial tensions and sexual-based fear.

Chaplin Skating in the Rink

In the film "the Rink", my favorite of the 4 shorts, Chaplin performs one stunt after another in long shots from a stationary camera.
The skating scene was amazing. He seemed suspended from a string at times, and i was impressed by the choreography. I wonder how much time he dedicated to those moves. Uncut, clearly stylized skating moves Fred Astaire could never have done better with his dancing. One of the finest examples of a continuous "action" scene I've seen.

Bob Bates

Monday, March 24, 2014

Charlie Chaplin without makeup.

Black Narcissus - 1947

This film won well-deserved Academy Awards for Production Design (Alfred Junge) and Cinematography (Jack Cardiff).

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Films - PEL Spring 2

Here are the movies we will be studying for the Spring 2 term.

"Black Narcissus"

"The Hill"

Boris Karloff in "Targets"

"Blade Runner"