Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Re-Creation Era

American Cinema today although completely new and changing from day to day still contains traces of traits from early cinema era’s. The film industry today, I believe is a mix of technology and culture affecting recent films in a new, strange way. 
          American Cinema today is in a stage where technology still is a major part of the film industry. In many recent movies such as Avatar technology seems to have been a big factor in the production of it. The American film industry is still advancing a creating new ways to do things such as the special effects used in Avatar. These special effects are new and exciting bringing in tons of seats in hundreds of theaters. A big improvement in technology that is not exactly as recent but being used more and more often is 3-D. Almost every movie in theaters at this point in time can be offered in 3-D. Disney is even re-releasing their classics in 3-D pulling in the younger generations of movie goers with fancy 3-D. Technology is still changing the way American Cinema is today creating exciting new worlds that could have never been in a film before.
The culture of American society today is a complicated jumble of many different beliefs and thoughts that make up American life today. Mainly a large portion of the films today seemed based on a sort of activism which our society seems to be obsessed with right now. Everyone is trying to be activists and it really effects how filmmakers are creating today. It seemed as if all at once a mass of American’s went “ Save the Earth” crazy, which don’t get me wrong is great but there seemed to be this never ending stream of pro-wildlife movies from the big studios including Disney’s Wildlife and African Cats.It has also come to my attention that Hollywood studios are also doing a lot of re-creation of old movies or stories. It seems as if the creativity pool in filmmakers nowadays is running dry and studios are resorting to re telling old stories. A number of films such as Footloose, originally released in 1984 was re made in 2011 are just being recreated into a shiny, up to date version of the original story. 

Another part that affects how the film industry today is how making movies is as easy as it ever has been. In earlier times to make a movie it took a ginormous budget and a complete crew with A-list actors to even get it in theaters. Now you can just push a button and bam you’re making a movie. This art is more accessible to everyone and is creating amazing results. With the easy use of IMovie and YouTube now suddenly everyone is becoming filmmakers and creating amazing things. Because of YouTube more than ever people are collaborating to make films that are completely new and reflecting on how the culture is affecting us even more than professional filmmakers can at this time. 

American Cinema today is amazingly new with the technology and new participants to make it something great. Although some parts are a drawback this film era I believe would be called The Recreation Era.

Monday, November 12, 2012

The French New Wave

      The French New Wave was a huge outburst of vibrant and innovative films created by the younger directors in the french film industry during the late 1950's and early 1960's. During this time many young filmmakers experimented and rejected the classical montage-filmmaking style to create a film that actually said something about what they thought about life. Many directors used certain techniques such as jump cuts, natural lighting, or shooting on location that were not frequently used before.
      The 400 Blows released in 1959 directed by Fran├žois Truffaut was a major part of the French New Wave. This film tells the story of a young boy who enjoys trouble and questions the authority of his superiors. Much of the film is spent with him running away, living the rough life on the streets and being pushed to the very outskirts of society. Eventually when his parents give up on him he is sent to a disciplinary school for boys and there he runs away yet again. In The 400 Blows the last most stunning shot of the film is a long dolly shot of him running towards the ocean and looking out at the world.
       Truffaut's use of long shots in his film add to the cinematic style of The 400 Blows creating extended moments of tension that effectively add to the style of his work. One of these shots was the ariel of the many students following the gym teacher down the streets of Paris. As we witness the kids branching off and running away from the crowd we are constantly left waiting nervous for the teacher to realize most of his class is missing. Without this long shot I believe it would of released the tension Truffaut so carefully created. Another shot, mentioned earlier was the long dolly shot ending the film of the young boy running across the sand toward the ocean. This extended shot keeps us waiting for his to reach the ocean and effectively creates this sort of illusion that he will always be running and will never settle at a destination.
     The French New Wave artists created so many films that go against the status quo of that time period and today teach us that sometimes to go completely against the rules of film to make something truly amazing.

Friday, October 5, 2012

He and She

My creative piece for City Lights.

City Lights

City Lights Review 

            Due to his unique sense of humor Charlie Chaplin has made a long list of many successful films and City Lights is most definitely on it. With it’s  witty, comedic moments  mixed with one’s that pull at your heartstrings Chaplin has once again made a cinematic masterpiece.  In City Lights, The Tramp, played by Chaplin himself) goes through makes new friends, causes trouble, and falls in love providing a story that all audiences would love. From the opening scene we encounter music that accompanies Chaplin on his many journeys and enhances the whole film with its genius to make funny moments even better. Chaplins use of kazoo’s during some scenes where people would talk was completely genius because it gave the audience something to listen to other than the music and he also managed to not branch out of the world of silent film.  It was once said by Chaplin himself that “There is no set rule that a close-up gives more emphasis than a long shot. A close-up is a question of feeling; in some instances a long shot can effect greater emphasis.” This technique of not conforming to the prescribed rules in cinema set City Lights apart from other films of that time. For example when he meets the girl he loves the wide shot he uses makes the situation just as powerful as any close-up could have. Chaplin’s lighting approaches were basic and practical and I believe fit the film very well because his story was so fast-paced and full of moments where dramatic lighting was not needed. When The Tramp meets his friend the millionaire the camera is static for most of the scene but it does not take away from any emotion in fact it helps us understand more of what is going on in the story at that moment. Another example of when the scene is a wide shot is during the party and wildness but because he doesn’t move from that wide shot then we are able to understand the happenings and events in this scene although it is moderately confusing.  Chaplin’s use of shots at eye-level made him film easy to understand and followable. In other films Chaplin used mainly wide or medium shots and City Lights was no exception. It seemed that Chaplin was mainly focused on the theater aspect of the film world and less on making his shots elaborate. Not to say that City Lights did not hold any beautiful scenes, in fact most of them were pleasing to the eye and a convenient space where his characters could move about freely and tell the story. For example when The Tramp brings his love to her door in his very expensive car the scene where they are saying goodbye is lovely with them both on the staircase and this creates a moment of beauty that when looked for can be found in many of Chaplin’s films. The innovative style of Charlie Chaplins is one that is hard to be recreated. His use of slapstick comedy was there but not very evident due to Chaplins own creative ways to humor an audience. I believe that it is the way his sets, lights and shots are so simplistic and yet so dynamic that really shows the obvious trademark of a Chaplin film.  City Lights success was a large one and really brought Chaplin to a place similar to absolute stardom except that it wasn’t only his many talents of acting and writing that got him there, it was the way he made his films technical, beautiful, and a very pleasant watch. Work Cited Film Art History Book http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/City_Lights#Production_2 http://www.charliechaplin.com/en/filming/articles/211-Mutual-Chaplin-Specials 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Film History-Birth Of Cinema

     PAST: Today I had the absolute delight to view one of the most incredible pieces of cinematic masterpieces of our time! Viewing "A Trip To The Moon" was an incredible experience that I will never forget and I applaud the many people who worked on this piece. With the many amazing effects that were present in this film, the brilliant actors, and the large intricate sets a beautiful creation was made. I felt as if I was really taken to the moon! I highly suggest this film due to it's enjoyable story and fabulous effects that just blew me away! 
    PRESENT: Viewing "A Trip To The Moon" was quite an experience. For it's time this film was super fantastic and futuristic. The effects were used to make the story dynamic and adding them made it more believable. Even though this film is out of date I still was captivated when watching it. I think this piece is timeless because it shows how far we've come and let's us glimpse on how magical and foreign  the moon used to be to the many on Earth.