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

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).