The film Glory

Robert Gould Shaw was a son of wealthy Boston abolitionists. At 23 he enlisted to fight in the war between the states. The movie opens by Robert reading one of many letters he writes home. He is captain of 100 Union soldiers most of whom are older than himself. He speaks of the spirit of his men and how they are enthusiastic about fighting for their country just like the men in The Revolutionary war only this time they were fighting to give blacks freedom and to live in a United country where all can speak and live freely.

The first scene takes place at Antietam Creek, Maryland Sept. 17, 1862 at The Battle of Tatum. The Union marches on foot lead by Shaw, only to be bombarded with cannon shots and gunfire. After the battle he was taken to a hospital where he heard Lincoln would be issuing an emancipation proclamation to free the slaves. At a house party afterwards, Robert sees Gov. Andrew and meets Fredrick Douglas who tells him there is to be an all black regiment of which he would like Robert to be colonel. He asks his friend Kevin to assist him in leading this group.

On November 27, 1862, black volunteer soldiers are brought to Readville Camp in Massachusetts. There we meet the main characters of the 54th Mass. Regiment. Rawlins is the future Sergeant Major and is a father figure to the group. Trip seems to have an angry personality who takes his frustration out on others. Thomas, a childhood friend of Shaws, is well educated and has not been exposed to harsh reality of the slavery scene. Shaw envisions the loss he had at Tatum when he trains these men.

These men have never experienced man to man combat before and are not prepared to handle most situations. Robert enforces all the same regulations that the other regiments go by in the Union. The pride of these black soldiers kept them from accepting the lesser salary offered and they chose for no payment as did their leader Shaw. Robert fights for his mens dignity every step of the way from demanding decent shoes to threatening the Major with exposure to the President if he doesnt allow his companies participation in the war.

The 54th is victorious in their first battle at James Island S. C. Shaws close friend Thomas is wounded but insists on continuing on with the rest of the group. General Strung brings Shaw and his men to the beach at For Wagner. There Robert volunteers his regiment to lead the pack despite the huge losses that will occur to the leading pack. The night before the attack the 54th reflects on the their lives and how much they mean to one another. The next morning Shaw and his men gather at the beach in front of Fort Wagner.

When they are ready to advance Robert dismounts from his horse to march on foot with his soldiers. They charge towards the bank in front of the fort and wait until nightfall. Finally the moment has arrived to fulfill their mission. Shaw courageously leads his men up the treacherous hillside where he is shot in front of his men. With renewed determination at the sight of their fallen leader the 54th fight to their deaths. Trip and Shaw are buried together symbolizing the bond that was created between them as they fought for the equality of all men.

What is the matrix

Have you ever had a dream that you thought was so real? Well, what if you never woke up? How would you determine the difference between the real world and the dream world (Matrix,1999)? Some people in this world live their lives knowing that something is wrong. They can feel it in everything they do. They can feel it when they stare out a window or go to work or even when they pay their taxes (Matrix,1999). This feeling which these individuals are experiencing comes from the matrix. What is the matrix? The matrix is an artificial world, which has been pulled over to blind us from the truth, that we are slaves (Matrix,1999).

We are trapped in a prison for our minds (Matrix,1999). We will never really get to feel, touch, or see anything for ourselves, except objects created through the matrix. Early in the 21st century, humans joined in celebration in the creation of artificial intelligence (Matrix,1999). Throughout our lives we have depended on machinery to survive. Fate, it seems, is not without a sense of irony (Matrix,1999). The human body gives off as much bioelectricity as a 120 volt battery or as much as 25000 b. t. u. ’s of body heat (Matrix,1999).

Artificial intelligence depends on solar energy in order to survive, so our human race decided to scorch the earth, therefore blocking the sun’s rays (Matrix,1999). This attempt failed and we were taken over by robots. The matrix was soon after created by artificial intelligence as a computer-generated world made for us to live out our lives while it uses the natural energy given off from our bodies for its survival in the real world (Matrix,1999). Humans are grown in fields like crops, some never even able to be inserted into the matrix.

Babies are randomly picked out by the working robotic hands to fill the spots of the dead. Right now, our real bodies are being stored in capsule-like bubbles where we are plugged into the matrix. These plugs are connected throughout our entire spine and other various parts of the body. The main connection is in the back of our necks, leading to the brain, where the matrix controls our minds by ensuring all five senses. When the matrix was first created, a man was given the power to change anything he wanted in it (Matrix,1999). This man chose to free five individuals from the matrix.

The few humans who were chosen to be freed from the matrix carry permanent metallic holes in the back of their necks which act as connectors to the matrix. Any physical ability from drunken boxing to kung fu can be programmed through these holes into their brains. It is done the same way we download programs into our computers. In order to be entered into the matrix, a needle-like computer device must be driven into this hole. Exiting the matrix can be accomplished by electronically connecting themselves to the real world by answering a telephone call from someone there.

We, as humans in the matrix, base our lives on sets of rules, such as gravity, never allowing ourselves to overcome our distinct sense of reality (Matrix,1999). These humans who are able to transport themselves in and out of the matrix use their special downloaded physical abilities and knowledge of freeing their minds to accomplish impossible feats such as jumping hundreds of yards or dodging bullets by running up walls. The main objective of the freed humans is to destroy the matrix by allowing their brains to understand it enough to break the code.

The challenge in this is not only decoding the matrix but also avoiding enemies within the matrix. These enemies, referred to as “agents”, are able to transform themselves in and out of anybody’s body inside the matrix. They are everybody and nobody (Matrix,1999). If you kill an agent by shooting bullets in their head or crushing them by a train they will not die. Instead, they will simply leave the person’s dead body and enter into another living one. Despite the agents’ capabilities, they still live in a world based on rules (Matrix,1999).

Because of this, they are in a sense, mortal, therefore giving the freed humans hope and a motive to save the world from the matrix. The real world is living around the year 2199 (Matrix,1999). The freed human’s mode of transportation is a hovercraft. They not only use this large piece of machinery for transportation, but are also forced to live in it. They travel throughout the sewers of old cities trying to hide from killing machines made up by AI for one purpose, to search and destroy. Perhaps you still feel like the chair that you are sitting in and the air you are breathing is real.

Well, what is real? How do you define real? If it is what you can smell, touch or feel then real is simply electrical signals interpreted by your brain (Matrix,1999). This dream world acts as a neural interactive simulation of the real world ensuring all five senses, therefore appearing to be real (Matrix,1999). The only real thing in the matrix is death. After being shot or falling twenty stories, the brain thinks that it is dead. If you die in the matrix, you die in the real world also because the body cannot live without the mind (Matrix,1999).

In the beginning, the matrix was made as a perfect world where everybody was happy (Matrix,1999). Shortly after, it failed miserably because our cerebellum kept trying to wake up (Matrix,1999). Our brain was unable to determine if it was sleeping or awake. The main reason for this failure is because humans define reality from suffering and misery (Matrix,1999). Instead of making the matrix perfect, artificial intelligence recreated it into the present world. The matrix can also help explain occurrences such as dj vu, lost items, or missing people.

Dj vu is a glitch in the matrix that happens when something is changed (Matrix,1999). Have you ever lost money or a hat that you were positive you laid on the kitchen counter? Perhaps the matrix simply erased it or forgot to save it, like a computer in your home would do to a file. The same logic could be applied to people who mysteriously disappear with absolutely no traces. Another explanation of this could be that the body malfunctioned and naturally died in the bubble-like capsule. A person vanishing off the face of the so-called “earth” where we live does not happen near as much as a heart attack or a stroke.

The reasoning behind this is since we are trapped inside a bubble, we cannot harm our bodies by using drugs or eating fatty foods. This explanation of the present world might seem disturbing or hard to believe because our lives are based on sets of rules that do not allow our minds to fathom. Despite these rules, everybody, at least once in their lives, experience feelings or see things that they cannot explain. Perhaps they believe that these feelings are the actions of a God or another world or even themselves. Never underestimate the power of the mind.

The film “The Atomic Cafe”

The film “The Atomic Cafe” brilliantly portrays the habitual life in U. S. society during the Cold War. The Cold War was a period of tension between the United States and the Soviet Union, the two main superpowers at the time. During the war both parties developed nuclear weapons and therefore assured each other mutual destruction. This constant threat led the American society to become extremely paranoid and chaotic at times.

Nihilism is the “general rejection of customary beliefs in morality, religion etc. ” It is also “the philosophical doctrine that life is meaningless and there is no deep order or purpose to the universe. ” The film contains many nihilistic elements that allow the viewer to imagine the sociological problems and the political complications at the time while still depicting some noon-nihilistic issues present in society to and the negative effects of this philosophy on the political spectrum.

The Atomic Cafe” is a type of documentary that depicts the social situation of the United States during the Cold War. It shows the general attitude of the average American citizen toward the war and the effect of the political conflict on ordinary life. It is definitely an anti-war war movie since it shows the negative side of the consequence of nuclear warfare on the general public and therefore convinces the viewer that nuclear war is ridiculous. The film shows various aspects of the negative results the Cold War had on society.

The Atomic Cafe” manages to illustrate the horrors of the Cold War and how afraid the American people were due to the threat of nuclear destruction leading to the nihilistic belief that life is meaningless and a general lack of moral values amongst the population. People knew and feared that there could be a nuclear explosion at any time causing them to constantly think about the dreadfulness of this event. In the film, a man and a woman were talking about the terrible injuries of nuclear explosions.

They commented that it was “an awful gas that deforms you, it doesn’t just kill you straight out, that’s what’s scary about it. ” Another example of the atrociousness of nuclear tests is when the direction of the airflow was not as the scientist predicted it would be; therefore the nuclear debris was drifting toward St. George. The town had to be under emergency regulations for a long period of nerve-wrecking time; the children had to have their outdoor recess cancelled and there was a profound anxiousness all through the town. This shows the immense change that the nuclear threats brought about on everyday life.

After the American soldiers in the film had finished an atomic test, they got issued film badges that informed them if they were going to die depending on the amount of radiation they received. Soldiers’ lives were constantly threatened by the worse death imaginable causing them and their families to worry relentlessly. The scary part was not only dying, but the way the commanders treated their death with such casualty that makes the viewer reject the idea of war during the film. That particular scene was an example of nihilism because it showed how invaluable a human life during the Cold War.

The American people lived under constant fear during the Cold War, causing them to loose focus on the values and philosophies they had previously believed in since all of their time was wasted fretting over the possibility of their lives being shattered by nuclear destruction. There was no longer time or effort for rest, relaxation, religion, soul-searching and other activities that elevate one’s spiritual level. Instead, people watched the news apprehensively; parents sat around worrying about their children while they were at school and those same kids were being taught to duck and cover and to be afraid.

The Castle by Rob Sitch

The Castle, directed by Rob Sitch, is an Australian comedy, which delves into the lives of a stereotypical Australian family, the Kerrigans. The film touchs on issues close to home in a humourous way. The audience is introduced to the classic Aussie family, narrated in the viewpoint of the youngest of the Kerrigans, Dale. The setting is a lower class Melbourne suburb, adjacent to an airport. The head of the Kerrigan household, Darryl Kerrigan (Michael Caton), is simple, but a man of incredible pride.

He is a typical Aussie bloke who is adored by his family yet disregarded by society. Nonetheless, seemingly oblivious to reality, Darryl lives and rules in his own home, which he calls his castle. “A mans home is his castle” he states. Sal Kerrigan (Anne Tenney) is the classic Australian housewife, who is wholly devoted to her family, and especially her husband. Her cooking lacks sophistication of any form, yet is praised beyond any professional chefs wildest dreams. The Kerrigan children mirror all the somewhat deficient, uninspiring characteristics of their parents.

The eldest, Wayne, is in jail, but is still accepted by his family. Steve is an inventive mechanic who truly makes his father proud. Tracey (Sophie Lee) is the only girl in the family, and as is made quite obvious, is the favourite. She is considered to be the most successful in the family, since she is the only one who has completed any form of tertiary education. Tracey is a certified hairdresser. This made her dad mighty proud. She was also the first to get married. Her husband, Con Petropoulous (Full Frontals Eric Bana), is a Greek, kickboxing accountant.

As the story unravels, the Kerrigans are faced with a major dilemma, in the form of a compulsory acquisition of their home. The land on which their house is built, is needed by the corporate giant Airlink to build the largest freight handling facility in Australia. And so the Kerrigans embark on an odyssey to save their castle from acquisition and consequent demolition. This film was far from technically amazing. No special effects were notably employed, as wowing audiences with technical brilliance was not the intent of this movie.

This lack of effects resulted in the film appearing to have been recorded in the eighties. The need for a crisp, effective image was ignored, and the result was a “Homey” film. Sound was fairly standard too. Technicalities aside, there were many other opportunities for The Castle to redeem itself. A very commendable aspect of the film was the casts superior performances. Despite all cop-outs on Australians, the character portrayals was very entertaining. The simple dialogue was easy to understand, and the plot was kept you in suspense and was original.

It is quite a disturbing thought to think that this is the way that the Australian film industry presents itself to the rest of the world. It is movies like The Castle that give the rest of the world the impression that Australians are pathetic, uneducated, classless yobbos. This impression was given of the Kerrigan family, but other characters proved to the world that the Kerrigan’s were “special”. This film does not do justice for the vast majority of city-dwelling Australians who do not even come close in resembling this typecast, but most country bumpkins would be able to relate to the issues of land rights and eccentricities.

The Castle comically exploits every element of the stereotypical Australian identity, and suceed due to its excessiveness. Australians generally accept this film in good humour, and most would find it quite entertaining. It certainly lacks any form of intellectual stimulation, though a lot of hearty laughs are brought on. But for those who may take this film seriously, and perceive Australians to be just as the characters in the film are, then I am truly ashamed to label myself an Australian.

Martin Scorsese

Movie critic, Roger Ebert, has called him a “directing god”. He has been called the “most influential and best director of their time” by fellow director, George Lucas. Director Martin Scorsese has been an influential director for the past twenty years. In the 60’s class of directors that included, Francis Ford Coppola, George Lucas, Brian De Palma, and Steven Spielberg. Scorsese ranks with this class of artists, and his movies have changed the film industry of America (Friedman I).

The impact of Scorsese can be shown in a number of ways, such as his style of directing, the films that he has made, and also the relationships that he has made in the film industry. The first is his directorial skills, which are second to none. Scorsese doesn’t just set up the scene, he paints images and feelings into our minds by using camera shots that have become his trademark in the film institution. Another reason for his great success is the films that he directs and the actors he uses. He also has picked certain actors (notable Robert DeNiro) to portray his characters (Kelly 25).

In the ruthless business of Hollywood, Scorsese has built loyalties to actor, screen writes and editors whom he uses in many of his films (Kelly 26). Martin Scorsese was born on November 17, 1942 in the East Side of Queens, New York, in an area called “Little Italy. ” Little Italy consisted of about ten blocks, but as Scorsese talks about it, each block had there own “boundaries” where everyone stayed. He grew up on Elizabeth Street, and he spent much of his time in the movie theater (Scorsese 17).

As he was growing up, he had strong Catholic roots in his Italian heritage that would later influence such films as Mean Streets, Goodfellas, etc (Scorsese 18). Growing up, Scorsese was not thinking of becoming a director, but rather a priest. In fact, he went to college to become a priest. He ended up dropping out his first semester, and then attending New York University film school. At NYU, he made several student films that received praise from the school. One short film called Who’s That Knocking at My Door starred a young Harvey Keitel. Scorsese financed and made this film entirely by himself.

He went on to making documentaries, and then was hired by producer Roger Corman and directed a low budget film, Boxcar Bertha. This opened the door to Hollywood productions (Friedman 31). In 1973, he made his first New York set film, Mean Streets which was a powerful portrayal of life in “Little Italy. ” This film showed the talent he possessed as well as started a relationship with actor Robert DeNiro who would star in eight more Scorsese films (Friedman 47). Scorsese’s next film was Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore in 1975 which was a big popular success.

The following year, he made one of his best films, Taxi Driver, a disturbing story of a loner cab driver who goes on a mission to clean up the streets. The film received worldwide recognition, and Scorsese moved into a place as an elite director (Friedman 59). Scorsese moved on and made the musical New York, New York that was a tribute to the 40’s and 50’s musicals that Scorsese grew up enjoying. Scorsese’s next work was a documentary The Last Waltz in 1978 that is considered to be the best concert movie ever made (Friedman 63).

After changing pace, Scorsese returned to his roots, and directed one of his greatest works, Raging Bull. Which is a story of boxier Jake LaMotta portrayed by Robert DeNiro. Scorsese received a nomination for best director, and DeNiro playing the part of a lifetime won the Oscar for best actor. DeNiro gained sixty pounds to fit LaMotta in his older days. The film today still ranks as one of the best ever. It is ranks in the top twenty-five films on the American Film Institution’s list of the one hundred best movies of all time (Kellman 108). Scorsese then moved on to comedies with The King Of Comedy, and After Hours.

These films didn’t do as well nationally. He moved back into drama films with The Color of Money, and moved back into the limelight as a Hollywood director (Friedman 72). In 1988, Martin Scorsese released his most controversial film in The Last Temptation of Christ. In the film, it depicted Jesus as an ordinary human with conflicting desires. Churches called the film sacrilegious and protested the film. In fact the film is still controversial. Many Blockbuster Video stores do not carry the film because customers complain about it its contents (Friedman 80).

Martin Scorsese moved back to gangster film in 1990 with the film Goodfellas. This film depicts the violence in the Mafia told by ex mobster, Henry Hill, who turned informant. “Goodfellas is the greatest portrayal of the Mafia ever recorded on film,” said FBI agent Tony Goldberg about the film. The film received worldwide attention, and recovered Oscar awards for best actor, Robert DeNiro, and best screenplay (Friedman 92). In the 90’s, Martin Scorsese would remake Cape Fear and also Casino. Both films once again starred Scorsese’s favorite actor, Robert DeNiro. Both had commercial success.

Scorsese also directed Age Of Innocents and Kundun, which was noted, for their beautiful scenery (Friedman 105). Aside from the films that Martin Scorsese has made, what makes Scorsese an elite director is how shoots the movie. In his works, Scorsese is not mearly making movies. He is creating a scenario. He is painting a picture. He is bringing the viewer smack dab in the middle of a new world. As a director, he has no equal (Lourdeaux 217). Certainly, credit must be given to the list of brilliant editors and cinematographers he has collaborated with over the years.

But, the direction of his films is astounding. His ability to use the camera to convey certain feelings and emotions with subtlety and intensity is perfect. Scorsese accomplishes this so brilliantly that it often becomes a matter-of-fact in his productions. His use of creative imagery gives his film a realistic and personal feeling, which is unsurpassed. It is as though every scene is shot at just the right angle, from just the right distance, at the perfect speed, and that the audience gets the most realistic feeling for the atmosphere of every particular scene.

One specific way that Scorsese builds emotions is though his classical slow shots. In films such as Mean Street, Goodfellas, and Casino, he uses this shot, and he moves into the scene that gives a sense of calmness. Even though the images are disturbing, the way in which they are shown does not make them as disturbing (Lourdeaux 241) The other characteristic of Scorsese’s films which stands out is his use of the voice-over narrative. Although many would argue that this often becomes annoying and elementary, one can not overlook the genius necessary to carry such films as GoodFellas and Casino using this format.

This puts an additional strain on the screenplay writing, as well as on the direction itself. Scorsese’s use of the voice-over enables him to add an additional and crucial element to his characters. It lets the audience enter the characters psyche and discover what he is really thinking, rather than just seeing what he sees and hearing what he says (Lourdeaux 245). Another way in which Scorsese distinguishes himself is by the reoccurring themes in his films. I most of the films there is some bad that is going on, such as killing or drug deals.

In the films Scorsese builds up incredible tension, and often ends his films on a sad note. Such as in Meanstreets the character Robert DeNiro plays gets shot and dies. In Casino everyone gets killed and his wife leaves him. In Goodfellas Henry Hill has to go into the witness protection program (Scorsese 43). Martin Scorsese has always done something different to distinguish himself from other directors. An example can be seen in Raging Bull. When it first came out, another boxing film, Rocky was coming out. So, to distinguish it from that film, Scorsese directed the film in black and white (Kellman 251).

Another way, in which Scorsese sets himself apart, is through his use of music. The music that he uses in the scene depicts the mood as well as the setting of the film. In Goodfellas and Casino they he plays 60’s Italian music to make the scenes actually seam more like it is really that time (Kelly 104). In conclusion, Scrosese has become one of the greatest and noted directors in film history. Recently, he received a “Life Time” achievement award by the American Film Institution (AFI) for his influence on film. This summer, Scorsese will work in Rome, Italy on his new film, Gangs.

Metropolis and Pandoras Box

The early 20th century produced countless numbers of famous novels, dramas, and films which are still critically studied in many different classrooms around the world today. I will be critically focusing on the two films that were presented in our class this term; Metropolis and Pandoras Box. In addition to these films I will use numerous background texts from this term to further solidify my argument. The empowerment of women, sexuality, class struggles and morality are critical issues that will explain the issues of modernism and corruption of this time period. Historically, men have been put into a class above women.

They were generally thought of as being smarter and more prepared to deal with problems. Women were looked upon as being weak, and only capable of doing household duties and taking care of children. Only in the last fifty years has America and other parts of the world began a positive movement towards treating women as equals to men. However, Metropolis and Pandoras Box were produced during the time when women did not have equal roles. Therefore, the dominating male characters in each film, Schon & Mr. Frederson fear the mpowerment of the two women Maria and Lulu.

This is evident in the film Metropolis when Mr. Frederson is visiting with the inventor Rotwang in a balcony that oversees where the workers have gathered after work. If one pays close attention they will notice that Mr. Fredersons facial expression changes negatively at that moment. Why? Because Mr. Frederson can see the kind of power that Maria exerts onto his workers. He is jealous because they respect her presence more than his. He will not tolerate a women being more powerful than him; so he hires Rotwang to kidnap Maria and replace her with a obot that will send his message to the workers instead of Marias.

The fear of the empowerment of women is also evident in the film Pandoras Box which features the Father and his mistress Lulu. The scene that best exemplifies this is right after the Father has tried to break off his relationship with Lulu and she commits to doing a trapeze act with the circus man Rodrigo. She is to be the star attraction of the trapeze act. But, Schon doesnt approve of this role because of the lack of power and control that he would have over her because it isnt his show. So what does he do? He ells his son to offer Lulu the leading part in his major production.

In doing this he shifts the power and control away from her hands and into his. He wants to be the driving force behind her success so that he gets recognition not her. The fear of the empowerment of women was also displayed to us earlier in the term when we dealt with Sonia and The Nameless One in Masses and Man. Sonia wanted to lead a non violent protest against the state while the Nameless One wanted to ignite a violent revolution. Sonia presented her ideas and utopian vision to the masses but she was immediately shot down by the Nameless One who told the masses not to listen to her.

The Nameless One did not want a woman with non violent implications to lead the protest. He wanted all the power and glory. Another critical topic that must be mentioned when one is talking about the early 20th century and modernism is the approach to sexuality. Pandoras Box was perhaps the most erotic film of its time and the main character Lulu represents sexuality to the fullest. She is seen as the perfect projection of male desire. Her great beauty and inner glory are what create a utopian like image for the audience.

Basically every man that she ncounters in the film wants to have sexual relations with her because of her free loving spirit towards men. She is a vibrant package of flirtation and sex appeal that cannot go unnoticed by any male. There is a distinct reason why Schon asks Lulu to be the star of his production. He has a sexual need for her that must be fulfilled but cannot because he doesnt want to be with her anymore. So instead of having a meaningful relationship with Lulu he puts her on a big stage production so that he can fulfill his sexual desires for her through voyeurism and still keep his other new upper class girlfriend.

The role of sexuality is also evident through the film Metropolis. For most of the workers Maria projects this image of power and authority. But for the Son of Mr. Frederson she represents something completely different. He sees Maria as this glowing beauty that is a projection of love and kind heartedness. For him she is the ideal image because of her strength and beauty. Maria seems to have this trance type affect on the Son. He longs to be part of a stable loving relationship and it is Maria who can give that to him. He wants to break away from the dark heartedness of his fathers love and be part of something positive.

As he says in the movie he will be the heart that links the workers and the brains. One of our other texts from the second half of this term that has a good example of the issue and power of sexuality is Mario and the Magician. Sexuality is best displayed when the family is down at the beach. They are surrounded by numerous other hotel guests on a hot sunny day. The father tells his young eight year old daughter that she might take off her bathing suit, which was stiff with sand, rinse in the sea, and put it on again. Off goes the costume and she runs down naked to the sea, rinses her little jersey, and comes back.

To the father and mothers surprise another man that is on the beach comes up to them and tells them that the little girl has offended him and his countries hospitality because of her nudity and he will turn the family in. What would normally be no big deal in Germany where the family is from is supposedly very offensive to the Italians. They share a difference in opinions about the naked body and sexuality. Over time class struggles have been the subject of incremental change in a positive direction. The invisible social class barrier has begun to minutely fade away.

Members of all types of class and different backgrounds are now engaging in meaningful relationships. However, the early 20th century presented a much different life style. There was a very large gap between the wealthy and the poor and not much in between. Individuals didnt really have the chance to travel upward through social classes because of the limited resources that were available to them. The film Metropolis serves as a very good example of an early capitalistic attitude. Mr. Frederson wishes to maximize his profits at the expense of the life of his workers.

He has no respect and no sympathy for he workers that make his factory possible. He is entirely interested in only himself and his money. The workers at his factory struggle just to put food on the table and are subject to very long hours of abusive labor. The Sons quote after replacing the worker in the factory who was about to pass out serves as good example it was 10 hours of pure torture. He gets a taste of what these men do day in and day out for their entire lifetimes. Unfortunately, they are part of a continual family cycle that works very hard and remains poor. There are no real opportunities for them to get ahead.

This early form of ndustrialization is what would further enact in the United States in 1938 the Fair Labor Standards Act that would make working more than 8 hour days and 40 hour weeks unlawful unless overtime was paid. Pandoras Box portrays class struggles from a different viewpoint. Lulus tremendous sex appeal and beauty allows her to be one of the rare individuals who can travel through different social boundaries. However, she is not fully accepted when she participates with the bourgeois class. Schon has a tremendous sexual desire for Lulu but he will not marry her because of her social class.

He tells his son that you dont marry irls like that. He is more concerned about what other people might think of his relationship rather than his true inner feelings to be with Lulu. Towards the end of the film he realizes that he can never compromise his bourgeois status just to be with Lulu so he tells her to shoot herself. She refuses and accidentally ends up shooting Schon. She is arrested and placed on trial for the murder of Schon. Her guilty verdict for something that was an accident is yet another shining example of the class struggles that she faces. If Schon would have shot her would he have faced the same penalty?

As time has shown us no! Even in todays society wealthy individuals are continually dismissed from crimes that they commit because of their status. George Kaisers text Gas provides a contradictory point of view to that of the two films. The Billionaires Son wants to eliminate social class barriers by providing profit sharing for all of his employees. He doesnt want to be any wealthier than any of his employees. He aspires to be a working man of average status even though he owns the corporation. This attitude was extremely rare for the time period and still would be today.

Each film provides a glorified example of good morality and poor morality as evident through the two Sons and their Fathers. In the film Metropolis Mr. Fredersons Son is presented as the good moral character while his father represents poor morality. The Sons good morality can be viewed from several angles. One of the best examples of his excellent moral beliefs is when he goes down into the underground parts of the factory to save the children in the flooding city who would have otherwise drowned. His morality is also evident through his desire to be the heart that links the workers and the brains.

The Father on the other hand could care less about the workers. He wants them to kill themselves so that he can make a new factory with robots doing the labor. Although not as evident as the Son in Metropolis; the Son from Pandoras Box does serve as the good moral character in the film. This is evident through a couple of different scenes. The first one is when he asks Schon why he doesnt just marry Lulu if he cares that much for her. He is attempting to persuade his father into doing what is morally right. His good morality is also exemplified when he decides to run away with Lulu after she has been onvicted for the murder of his father.

He knows that it was an accident and he forgives her and makes his best effort to get her out of the country. Schon serves as a shining example of poor morality. He is only concerned with his own class and status and not Lulus feelings for him. He would rather be with a woman of bourgeois status that he doesnt care for, rather than lower class Lulu. The early 20th century provided the world with an abundance of controversial issues that are still discussed today. The empowerment of women, sexuality, class truggles and morality are the most important topics that can be compared to the issues of modernism of the period.

Metropolis and Pandoras Box are two of many famous films that can be viewed in order to gain insight into what life was like in the early 20th century. All of the issues presented in this argument serve as wonderful examples of the corruption of this time period. A strong commitment to equality and integrity will allow the United States and the rest of the world to continue improving the quality of lifestyles in which all of us live and force us to not return to the characteristics of the days of old.

Preston Sturges film The Lady Eve: Recurrence and Resolution

Preston Sturges film The Lady Eve presents a love story in terms of recurrence and resolution. The first scene begins with a medium shot of the lovers usual meeting place on deck, where a cheerful and whistling Charles (Hopsie) paces up and down waiting for Jean to appear. The camera focuses on Charles pacing and whistling while diagetic sound is heard from kids playing on the deck and a bell ringing in the background. There is a change of focus when two men walk right in front of Charles while he is pacing back and forth.

Muggsy has finally obtained proof that the Harringtons are card sharks and while the camera still focusing in on Charles, he approaches with the purser, who carries an 8 x 10 envelope in his hand. As the purser decisively tells Charles to look at the contents, there is a medium close-up of Charles and the purser. The camera zooms in, there is ominous music playing in the background and then a close-up of a candid photograph showing Jean, her father, and Gerald descending a boat’s gangplank – it identifies the Harringtons as crooks with multiple aliases: “‘Handsome Harry’ Harrington, his daughter Jean and third character known as Gerald.

Professional card sharks; also bunko, oil wells, gold mines, and occasionally green goods. The scene fades into Charles concerned face with diagetic sound in the background. The cheerless music gets louder and louder as a medium close-up of Charles face ends with him looking at the picture one more time and feeling hurt, puts the picture inside the envelope. When Charles learns her true identity from his protective bodyguard, he reacts with miserable distress. The camera follows him as he strides stoically to the bar and orders a stiff drink in a general shot.

The background music is now very ominous and slow. Jean arrives from the left of him in the ship’s bar; the camera goes into a medium shot of Jean and Charles at the bar. She is wondering why he looks so worried and crestfallen, and guesses that it’s because he is “falling in love with a girl in the middle of an ocean. ” Truthful for once in her life, she admits her authentic love for him and her mistakes and puts her left arm around his shoulders. Midstream, she realizes that he’s found out about her.

The scene of Charles rejecting Jean is shot with a medium shot of both of them at the bar. After he shows her the picture the music stops; she gently explains the truth about herself, with tears forming in her eyes. While she is confessing to Charles setting right his illusions of her innocence, she is looking at him and he is looking away with his eyes set downward. The camera goes into a close-up shot of Jean when she expresses her vulnerability about wanting him to love her more – before telling him who she really was.

The medium close-up of Jean and Charles as the music starts again indicates the rejection Jean must accept. Not able to trust her any longer and unable to forgive her, a grim Charles doesn’t appreciate her sensitivity and sincerity. He refuses to listen to her explanation and is unable to see the love behind her deception. He doesnt look at her once when she is trying to explain herself; when she looks away and he finally looks at her they still dont have their eyes meet. He is concerned only with bolstering up his own damaged pride.

Lying, he tells her that he knew the truth about her from almost the beginning, and then played her for the sucker and dumped her. Jean looks up at him now and he looks away once again. She is utterly astonished and as she is getting up with tears in her eyes the camera moves to a medium shot of her and Charles and then says: “You mean you were playing me for a sucker? I don’t believe it. But if you were, if you were just trying to make me feel cheap and hurt me, you succeeded handsomely.

You ought to be very proud of yourself, Mr. Pike, very proud of yourself! ” Jean is determined to avenge her broken heart and get even with the man who distrusted and rejected her. Scene 2: Eve and Charles are on a speeding train headed for their honeymoon. The train barrels forward in the night from the right of the screen to the left; toward the camera signifying that something isnt right. The angle of the camera is from the ground at the wheels of the train making the train appear larger. There is a very loud whistle from the train at the start of this scene.

The scene is very dark and the trains loud noise is heard while Charles is in the train’s interior, in his bathrobe and pajamas – getting a drink of water. He then knocks on the door of their “cozy” compartment and the noise of the train gets softer. The trains noise is more subtle when Charles goes inside where Eve, dressed in her sheer negligee and looking at him as he enters is sitting on a chair facing to the left on the screen. There is no music in the background just soft noise from the train.

A piece of luggage tumbles onto Charles head from above, and she comforts and pets his head as the camera moves into a medium shot and they sit on their bed with Eve on the right side of Charles. She suddenly starts laughing hysterically and takes his arm into her right hand and holds his hand, recalling “that other time” when she eloped at the age of sixteen and traveled third class with a young stable boy named Angus – but the boy was “no one of the slightest importance. ” The camera is still in a medium shot.

Her preposterous story is interrupted by a close-up of lightning strikes and flashes and exterior shots of the train as it roars and whistles loudly through a thunderstorm, signifying how upset and overwhelmed Charles feels. The train is still moving from right to left instead of left to right across the screen and there is loud noise and the music starts up indicating fury and anger. The camera moves with Charles as he paces silently and contemplatively in their compartment in front of Eve. She is lying down on the bed watching him pace back and forth in front of her.

The camera goes into a medium shot and the music turns into soft mellow music when he stops and sits on the bed after deciding to swallow his pride and maintain his composure. In noble fashion but with clenched teeth, he forgives her (with “understanding and sweet forgiveness”- the camera goes to a close-up of Charles face and back to a medium shot of Jean and his side view on the bed) for her past youthful indiscretions. Now, let us smile and be as we were,” he says and the camera moves into a close-up of Charles as he smiles with a fake smile at her.

The close-up of Charles is changed to a medium shot of both of them on the bed and because she is pleased by his decision, she puts her arm around him and the camera is steady on them hugging. She supportively says: “I knew you’d be that way. I knew it the first moment I saw you standing beside me – I knew you’d be both husband and father to me, I knew I could trust and confide in you. I suppose that’s why I fell in love with you. ” A medium shot of Eve resumes to telling an amorous Charles about other previous partners signifying rejection, leaving no stone unturned to cause him to become disillusioned with her.

She decides to reveal more of the increasingly sordid, lurid details of her nymphomaniacal past as she flaunts her promiscuousness. She casually assaults and psychologically punishes him again with another tale about Herman: “I wonder if now would be the time to tell you about – Herman? ” Charles gasps. Her words are drowned out by another exterior shot – the timely roar of the train entering a tunnel [an obvious sexual clich], torrential rains, train whistles, and a close-up of a sign reading: “PULL IN YOUR HEAD – We’re Coming to a TUNNEL.

The perturbing music starts getting louder after the train goes through the tunnel. Further sequences are displayed through cuts and medium shots of montages, switching back and forth between exterior and interior shots, with the revelation of other names from her insatiable past including Vernon (“Vernon was Herman’s friend”). She cleverly and convincingly reveals previous elopements and amours. The train whistles and roars after Charles’ reaction: “What a friend! ” And then there was Cecil: “It’s pronounced Ce-cil.

There is a medium shot from outside the train through the window of them arguing. The train’s whistle sounds again which signifies recurrence, and they continue to battle together under the roar of the engine. Even more partners include Hubert and Herbert (“They were John’s twin cousins”) – and to finish the list there is John. The trains roars and whistling start to get softer and the scene is cut to the trains small headlight in the darkness coming towards the camera from the right side of the screen all signifying a change in the mood with some.

Utterly dazed, disgusted, and disillusioned by all her experiences and driven jealously mad, pajama-clad Charles (with an overcoat and hat) gets off the train as it slows at the next stop. He hastily escapes from their nuptial room; there is a full shot of Charles as he tosses his suitcases from the train. The camera moves with him as he stumbles off, (the pan of the camera is from the right to the left), slipping and slowly falling down in the mud – another ignominious, humiliating fall onto his back. In the next dark scene one leg is left extended up into the air.

Eve’s plan succeeds and she is vindicated, as the camera cuts to her in a medium shot as she sits victoriously at the train window to watch Charles and draw down the shade, she is neither laughing nor triumphant looking over her shoulder, but inexplicably forlorn, defeated and ruined herself. The scene fades out from her sitting at the window into the next one. Scene 3: The mise-en-scene sets the next scene of Charles on the very right side of the screen sitting down on the edge of a chair, and the other characters spread out in the scene.

There is a cut to Eve sitting on the very right side of the couch with her father to the right of her. Now Eve has a perfect opportunity to seek a large settlement from Pike’s lawyers, in exchange for giving Charles a divorce, financial gain that excites Colonel Harrington – similar to a ‘royal flush’: The camera moves into a medium shot of Eve and her father, “For once that we have a chance to make some honest money… ” Eve/Jean replies: “Oh, tell ’em to go peel an eel. ” But she realizes, once again, with a change of heart that she has hurt her chances with Charles and that she still loves him and wants to take him back.

When Charles’ father phones her about the settlement from his office (surrounded by a large contingent of advisors in front of a Pike’s Ale sign), a medium shot of her rushing to the phone while her father is still speaking, she nobly proposes going through with the divorce free of charge without alimony. However, as a medium close-up is shot of her, she asks for only one thing – for Charles to come, in person, and speak with her in New York when he seeks a divorce: “I want to see him first and I want him to ask me to be free. That’s all.

No money, no nothing…. (The camera moves quickly to her father pouring a drink and almost spilling because of what she is saying and then back to her,) theres something I want to say to him before we part. ” She feels very remorse. She is told that Charles refuses (medium shot of Charles yelling at his father that he doesnt want to talk to her after their honeymoon experience). He rejects her once more; which is a sign of recurrence and of rejection throughout the movie.

The scene fades out to Eve/Jean lying on the couch waiting by the phone for Mr. Pike to call. The phone rings, there is a horn honking, she answers the phone with Mr. Pike on the other line telling her Charles is unavailable anyway to dissolve their marriage (close up of Eve/Jean) – he’s gone to say goodbye to his mother. He is scheduled to leave town, sailing that evening on the S. S. Southern Queen from Manhattan. She looks at her watch, says no! quietly and the scene ends with diagetic sound of another honk of a horn from outside with a fade out of her worried face looking out into the camera.

So Lady Eve and Charles remain bound to each other in a marriage of miserable despair. Scene 4: The final scene fades into the large boat whistling loudly which is a recurrence throughout the film and is also now moving from the left to the right of the screen. Then the scene seques into another shipboard meeting; where Charles is seen roaming the ship in a trance. He is walking up the stairs, pleasant music starts playing (non-diagetic) and the camera moves with him from the left to the right up the stairs and into the same dining room where Jean and him met the first time.

Reverting to her former self as Jean Harrington, she takes the same steamship, and suggesting an echo effect she once again ‘accidentally’ trips him (no music) as he walks through the smoking room just as she did earlier when they first met. He falls; she gets up having the camera on her, and says Why Hopsie in a pleased voice. The camera cuts to him on the ground, then back to her again and back again to Hopsie. A mise-en-scene shows that he rediscovers his cardsharp playing companions – this time; he is ecstatic about being reunited with both Jean and her father.

He gets up; the music starts again, he ardently embraces and passionately kisses her, people are ringing their glasses and laughing in the background, which is diagetic sound. He orders champagne for the Colonel, but is determined not to let Jean go this time. The camera follows them as they hurry from the smoking room toward her deck and cabin stateroom. He guides her down many flights of staircases toward her room where they will presumably consummate their passions. Both are regretful and realize they have learned something about love.

By her being guided by Charles this time signifies recurrence and now resolution. They are reunited in a happy, romantic ending to their farcical affair involving conflict, deceitfulness, and confusion. There is a medium close-up of the two passionately kissing in front of her cabin. The camera then zooms in on them embracing each other showing how much they love and care for each other. Giving up her malicious heartlessness and manipulative cunning, Jean has succumbed to love her Prince Charming.

After rejecting Jean/Lady Eve twice on the grounds of immorality, a lovesick and innocent Hopsie thinks he has luckily met Jean Harrington again rather than Lady Eve Sidwich – he momentarily tries to protest that he shouldn’t be in her cabin with her since he is married. He explains, Because Im married. as the door is slowly closing and we cant see Hopsie anymore. She confesses to him that she is married also as the door is closing and we cant see her face. The door is almost closed when she says, So am I. The door is slammed and the lovers are together once again.

The film Fight Club

In a time when so few motion pictures leave an impact, Fight Club refuses to be ignored or dismissed. The experience lingers, demanding to be pondered and considered, and, unlike most of the modern-day thrillers, there is a great deal here to think about and argue over. Fight Club presents an overload of thought-provoking material that works on so many levels as to offer grist for the mills of thousands of reviews, feature articles, and post-screening conversations.

Pre-release interest in Fight Club was understandably high, primarily ecause of those involved with the project. Jim Uhls’ script is based on an influential novel by Chuck Palahniuk. The lead actor is the ever-popular Brad Pitt, who makes his strongest bid to date to shed his pretty boy image and don the mantle of a serious thespian. Those dubious about Pitt’s ability to pull this off in the wake of his attempts in movies such as Seven Years In Tibet and Meet Joe Black will suffer a change of heart after seeing this film.

Pitt’s male co-star and the protagonist, Ed Norton, is widely recognized as one of the most ntelligent and versatile performers of his generation. Furthermore, Fight Club’s director, David Fincher, has already made a huge impression on movie- goers with only three movies to his credit: Alien 3, Seven (starring Pitt), and The Game. The film begins by introducing us to our narrator and the protagonist, Jack, who is brilliantly portrayed by Norton. In Fight Club, the actor fits perfectly into the part of a cynical but mild-mannered employee of a major automobile manufacturer who is suffering from a bout of insomnia.

When he visits his doctor for a remedy, the disinterested physician tells him to stop whining and visit a support group for testicular cancer survivors if he wants to meet people who really have problems. So Jack does exactly that – and discovers that interacting with these victims gives him an emotional release that allows him to sleep. Soon, he is addicted to attending support group meetings, and has one lined up for each night of the week. That’s where he meets Marla Singer (Helena Bonham Carter), another “faker. Unlike Jack, however, she attends purely for the voyeuristic entertainment value.

On what can be described as the worst day of his life (an airline loses his luggage and his apartment unit explodes, destroying all of his possessions), Jack meets the flamboyant Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt), a soap salesman with an unconventional view of life. Since Jack is in need of a place to live, Tyler invites him to move in, and the two share a “dilapidated house in a toxic waste part of town. ” Tyler teaches Jack essons about freedom and empowerment, and the two begin to physically fight each other as a means of release and rebirth.

Soon, others find out about this unique form of therapy, and Fight Club is born – an underground organization (whose first and second rules are: “You do not talk about Fight Club”) that encourages men to beat up each other. But this is only the first step in Tyler’s complex master plan. In addition to lead actors Pitt, Norton, and Bonham Carter, all of whom do impeccable work, there is a pair of notable supporting characters. The first is Meat Loaf (Meat Loaf the singer), who portrays the ineffectual Bob.

It’s a surprisingly strong performance, with the singer-turned-actor capturing the nuances of a complex character. Jared Leto, (The Thin Red Line), is the blond Angel Face. Told in a conventional fashion, Fight Club would have been engaging. However, Fincher’s gritty, restless style turns it into a visual masterpiece. The overall experience is every bit as surreal as watching Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange. This is a tale that unfolds in an eerie lternate universe where the melodies of life have the same rhythm as in ours but are in a different key.

Fincher also shows just enough restraint that his flourishes seem like important parts of the storytelling method instead of gimmicks. And there are a lot of them. In one scene, a character’s apartment is laid out like a page in a furniture catalog, complete with text blurbs superimposed on the screen describing the various pieces. There are occasional single frame interruptions that flash by so quickly that they may pass unnoticed. The film opens with a truly inventive close-up – one that literally gets under the skin.

Also in play: a non- linear chronology, a voiceover by a narrator who might not be entirely reliable, frequent breaking of the fourth wall, and an occasional freeze- frame. As was true of Fincher’s other three films, Fight Club is dark and fast-paced. There’s not a lot of time for introspection. One could call this MTV style, but, unlike many equally frantic movies, there’s a reason for each quick cut beyond preventing viewers from becoming bored. There’s no denying that Fight Club is a violent movie.

Some sequences are so brutal that a portion of the viewing audience will turn away. But the purpose of showing a blood bath is to make a telling point about the bestial nature of man and what can happen when the numbing effects of day- to-day drudgery cause people to go a little crazy. The men who become members of Fight Club are victims of the dehumanizing and desensitizing power of modern-day society. They have become cogs in a wheel. The only way they can regain a sense of individuality is by getting in touch with the rimal, barbaric instincts of pain and violence.

As the film progresses, Fincher systematically reveals each new turn in an ever-deepening spiral that descends into darkness and madness. There’s also a heavy element of satire and black comedy. Macabre humor can be found everywhere, from the pithy quips traded by Jack and Tyler to the way Jack interacts with his boss. When combined together, the satire, violence, and unpredictable narrative make a lasting and forceful statement about modern-day society.

Tommy Boy a hysterical comedy

Tommy Boy is a hysterical comedy starring Chris Farley and David Spade. It takes place in the industrial town of Sandusky Ohio. Tommy Boy (farley) has to run his father’s auto business after he suddenly dies at his own wedding. He was getting married to Bo Derek and from that marriage Tommy Boy got a step brother played by Rob Lowe. Well Derek and Lowe form a plot to try and sell the auto parts company to make alot of money.

Tommy Boy does everything in his power to stop them, he and Spade go on the road from city to city trying to push there auto parts to other dealers. The ending is that tommy boy saves the business and even the town by showing that derek and lowe arent the rightful owners. Chris Farley later died of a drug overdose. Farley and Spade also teamed up in a similar comedy called Black Sheep. Farley again played the clown and Spade had to watch over him.

In this comedy Farley plays the brother of Al Donalley, soon to be a washington senator. Spade has the job of keeping Farley out of trouble because that trouble led to trouble for his big brother. This movie is alot similar to Tommy Boy because they basically play the same roles. I liked both movies a lot and would recommend them to anyone who enjoys comedies. Especially those people who like Saturday Night Live. Farley and Spade make an excellent duo and its to bad that they can’t make anymore pictures.

The Birdcage film

What attracts us to the movie theatre on Friday nights? Is it the commercials we see? Or is it all the gossip we hear from friends and TV talk shows? Well for many, it is the critiques we read and hear almost every day. One who specializes in the professional evaluation and appreciation of literary or artistic works is a critic. The profession of movie criticism is one of much diversity. Reviews range anywhere from phenomenal to average. Not only are movies created for the entertainment and sheer pleasure of the audience, they create a market of jobs and open doors to the world of financial growth.

The success of these films, whether they are tremendous or atrocious, is not only dependent of the actual film, but also upon the critic’s reviews. It is a form of assistant advertising, in addition to commercials and billboards. A movie review is composed of summaries, plots, controversial issues, perks, and detriments. They discuss the features of the movie and certain points that appeals to the critic. Not to forget that the sole purpose of writing these reviews is to persuade the reader to take on a pre-opinionated view of the film prior to viewing it.

In addition, they hope the reader enjoys their style to further persuade them, as well as others, to persist in reading their reviews. Based on a corroboration of the three critics, Hinson, Howe, and Berardinelli, there is one basic overview of the movie The Birdcage. For some twenty years, Armand (Robin Williams) and Albert (Nathan Lane) have lived together as husband and wife (so to speak). Both are openly gay, and seemingly comfortable with their sexuality. They are partners in business where Armand operates a drag nightclub and Albert is the star performer.

They have a son, Val (Dan Futterman), the product of Armand’s one-night rendezvous twenty-one years ago with big-time executive Katherine Archer (Christine Baranski). As far as his upbringing is concerned, Val is as much Albert’s son as Armand’s, and he is not ashamed of his unusual family situation, at least not in the normal course of things. Things go awry when Val becomes engaged to the 18-year old daughter of Senator Keeley (Gene Hackman), the co-founder of the Coalition for Moral Order who believes that Billy Graham is too liberal.

Since there is no chance that Keeley would sanction a marriage between his daughter and the son of a gay couple, Val pleads with his father to pretend to be straight, if only for one night. The result of this, as might be expected, is a hilarious disaster full of outstanding performances. Robin Williams, despite his reputation for unfettered mania, is surprisingly restrained throughout most of The Birdcage, doing a little serious acting along the way. Nathan Lane, playing the effeminate Albert, is the real star, whether he’s trying to swagger like John Wayne to act “manly” or costumed like a housewife.

Gene Hackman has the straight man’s role, into which he fits wonderfully. The only role that is over-the-top is Hank Azania as Aggedor, the houseboy for Armand and Albert. The film is so entertaining that it is easy for the unsuspecting viewer not to realize its hidden message. The structure of The Birdcage is designed to show us that there isn’t much difference between conservatives and liberals, and on that note, straight and gay people. Hal Hinson, a movie critic of The Washington Post, best describes The Birdcage as “a movie of many laughs.

In the review titled “The Birdcage: A Wingding of a Show,” Hinson describes in great detail the setting and plot of this movie, and makes it clear that is what the reader is looking for. However, it is quite clear that he has made the assumption the reader has not yet seen the film. He also assumes that the audience has even the slightest sense of humor. The movie is presented as one for almost any age and for people whom are quite liberal in their views. He goes further to explain the situation the actors are in and what troubles, even as actors, they have to overcome.

He praises their superb work in portraying their characters. A major part of this film is the two distinguishably different families trying to deal with each other’s differences, in this case sexuality. One side illustrates a very conservative family and, on the other hand, lies an essentially homosexual family. Homosexuality is generally a dangerous subject to depict due to its many touchy sides. The critic, however, held no bias on this topic, and leaned more towards the point of the movie’s exceptional humor and quality.

Hinson is a wonderful critic in the way that he presented this film. Had the movie not been so fantastic, most of his readers would still make it a must to see it. Using his descriptive and concise manner, evidently he held the reader in mind when composing this review. Hinson also informs the reader that the film makers’ point in creating this movie had been to make a stunning and shocking remake of the old French film La Cage aux Folles. This movie was a mega blockbuster, and unquestionably loved by all.

In Howe’s review of The Birdcage, unlike Hinson, he apparently assumes that his audience has a general knowledge of movies and a sense for first-rate comedies. Since most people presumably have not seen the movie, Howe gives a short description of the plot and characters which helps draw in the reader. By doing this, he is exposing the audience to the outrageous plot, which guarantees an excellent flick. Most of his readers are generally looking for an overview of the movie and actors to suit their curiosity and to acquire a general sense of the movie.

This plays a huge part in the reader’s choice to see the movie. The reader also is looking for the opinion of the writer to help aid in their interest towards the movie. Howe goes on to say how he loves all the gags in the movie and his astonishment by the performances of the cast, especially those of Nathan Lane and Hank Azaria. Howe definitely enjoyed the film and foretells so as to most people will as well. Howe does not feel a need to persuade his readers to see this movie, however.

He feels the outrageous plot is enough to entice an audience. Howe generally comes off as a witty writer, who after enjoying a movie is able to aid in its success by presenting good praise. Unlike the other two reviews, the evaluation of The Birdcage by James Berardinelli does not take on a particular side of the film. This critic just states the facts, without going into great detail. He makes the assumption that the reader knows something about the movie. His type of review stands mediocre among the other two.

He does not make it evident that this movie is a must-see, however he does state that it would be a delightful movie to watch on a cold winter’s weekend by the fire. A major difference about Berardinelli’s critique in respect to the other two accounts is that this one did not find some of the homosexual extremities funny, and made a point to say so. In his description he mentioned the issue of the two very different families and their situation, simultaneously keeping a neutral outlook.

Yet he made sure, just as the other two critics, to inform the reader of the gay and transsexual issue in the movie, and the frequency of this joke. Berardinelli also mentions how outstanding the setup of the costumes and choreography is. Surprisingly, he is not the kind of critic a reader looking for a rating on a movie would like. However, Berardinelli does do a wonderful job for those readers who want a brief summary and overview of the film. The Birdcage, a movie for all to enjoy, was portrayed as such by all three critics.

As awkward the “gay” situation may seem, The Birdcage takes on a light-hearted approach to make an audience laugh, not speculate. My personal feelings on the movie were similar if not the same to the ones of the three critics. They did not alter my opinion towards the movie in any way; they only informed me of those specifics I had not yet known. One point stands out in my mind the most, and that is the very informative quality of these critiques. One fact that I did learn from these reviews that I was not aware of beforehand is the movie’s basis, which is the older French film, La cage aux Folles.

Although the reviews were good in nature, I feel the film deserved more appreciation and acknowledgement than what the critics gave them. If I had to choose to read any of the critics’ reviews for a second time, I would most definitely choose Hal Hinson. He without doubt gave the finest description of the movie that truly grasped the reader’s attention, not to mention he would have sold me a ticket opening night. In general, all three critiques possessed their own authenticity and style, which in turn is the source of the critic’s reputation.

Gattaca A Film by Andrew Niccol

Exactly five seconds after he came into the world, Vincent Freeman was already considered to be a looser. His first genetic test revealed high probabilities of hyperactivity, sight troubles and serious heart diseases, a life expectancy of 30 years and 2 months and quite low intellectual faculties. At that time, the artificial insemination of test tube babies selected according to their genetic potential had become for many people “the natural way of making children”. But Vincent’s parents had preferred to let the other nature take its course. Of course they regretted it, and for their next child they went to see a geneticist.

A perfect son has been born to them, a son who deserved to be called Anton, like his father. While Vincent was forced by his genetic code and the system to study at home, Anton was taller and better at anything than his elder brother. They used to play at “softy”. The game consisted of swimming in the sea as far as possible and being the last to make an about-turn. Vincent was always the softy. But besides his weak health, he had a very strong will. His lifelong dream was to join Gattaca, probably the most prestigious company on earth whose activity is to explore galaxies, and go into space.

To achieve his aim, he has not stopped studying during his whole adolescence, despite his father’s discouragements. One day, he tells him that, with his health problems, the only opportunity that he could get to see the inside of a spaceship was to do the cleaning in it. In a way, it was true. Gattaca was certainly not about to invest money to train him whereas there were so many other applicants with a better profile. A bit later, the boys played at “softy” again. But that time, Vincent won. For him, it was the moment that made all the rest possible, the moment when he realized that everything was possible.

And one night, he left home to never go back there. He found several works before joining Gattaca, but as his father had told him, as a cleaner. He had never been closer to his dream. Nevertheless at that time, he had never felt farther from it. But still full of will, he did not stop his efforts: intensive trainings, intensive studies and no social life. Thinking he was ready, he applied for a job and obtained an interview. Then he understood that his efforts would never be enough. The company would analyse anything to identify his genetic code: the trace left by a fingerprint, saliva on a glass, anything.

This was called genoism and was forbidden but this law was not taken seriously. Faced to this setback, he adopted the most radical solution. He met a man who introduced him Jerome Morrow. Jerome is a former athlete who was paralyzed after an accident and condemned to move in a wheelchair. He used to be a very good sportsman and had won a silver medal during the world championship. But it was not his only quality. His whole genetic code was perfect. The man’s task was to help Vincent to take Jerome’s identity. With such a profile, Vincent was to make a promising career in Gattaca.

The man provided them all the equipment they needed so that Vincent could join the company and stay there under Jerome’s identity, Vincent paid the man and Jerome’s rent and Jerome gave his genetic code. Jerome was a bitter character who could not accept his paralysis and who also has difficulties to accept Vincent, the man who was going to become him, steal his identity. But little by little, he understood that there was a real exchange between them. While he was giving Vincent his life, Vincent gave him his dream and brought interest in his gloomy life.

Under Jerome’s name and profile, Vincent climbed the rungs of Gattaca’s hierarchical ladder very quickly. Since any particle of his body could betray him, he used to brush his skin, his nails and his hair as meticulously as possible, to vacuum his desk and leave Jerome’s hair or skin dust instead. He always had an urine clutch hidden for the frequent tests of illicit substances, false fingerprints with blood in it for the identity tests and even flasks of blood for blood tests directly taken into the vein, all this provided by Jerome.

Just when Vincent was about to be sent to undertake a mission on Titan, one of the managers is assassinated in his office. The police went through the whole company with a fine-tooth comb and found one of Vincent’s eyelashes. After a fast analysis, they found out that it belonged to a man who had worked long ago for the company as a cleaner but who had disappeared years before. The mysterious man was the number one suspect and his picture was everywhere. But no one matched it with the wrong Jerome. No one but the lieutenant who was no other than his brother, Anton.

For him, that was hard to believe. This brother who had always been inferior to him was then far above in the hierarchy and had become a murderer. At first, he tried to protect him. Totally puzzled, he wanted to understand how Vincent managed to join Gattaca before he is arrested, so he did everything in order that the inspector who was in charge of the case could not find him. Irene is an attractive and intelligent woman, also employee at Gattaca. She has got the same dream as Vincent but she presents an inadmissible risk of heart failure which stops her from going into space.

She grew very fond of Vincent but she thought he would not be interested since she was not as perfect as him. Of course, Vincent does not have the same opinion as her or anybody else about shortcomings. He also had a soft spot for her so they started to see each other. Vincent was very preoccupied by the murder of his manager and Irene noticed it. She had strong doubts about Vincent’s innocence but she did not reject him for all that. On the other hand, she was much destabilized when she found out that Vincent (that she knew under Jerome Morrow’s name) had taken someone else’s identity.

The day before Vincent was sent to Titan, the real culprit gave himself up. He was no other than another manager. He had set his heart on this mission and his colleague had threatened to cancel it. When the inspector informed Anton about the outcome of the investigation, this one had just met Jerome and discovered the subterfuge. That night, Vincent went and saw his brother. The latter tried to persuade him to give himself up to the police, telling him that he would not give him up and that he would help him. But Vincent had not made such strong efforts to fulfil his dream to renounce so easily.

He answered that he had never needed his help. The debate about Vincent’s victory on the last night he spent at home was relaunched and they went to swim again. Once more, Vincent won the game and, at the same time, his brother’s silence. When he came back to Jerome’s house, he had prepared litres and litres of blood and urine and also big stocks of skin dust, hair and other organic substances. He said it was so that Vincent did not lack anything in case he would not be there anymore. Vincent did not seem to understand the meaning of Jerome’s words.

He was actually announcing his suicide. Just before the boarding on the spaceship, a last and unexpected urine test was made. Vincent had not brought along any urine clutch. He thought he was lost. When his face appeared on the check screen instead of Jerome’s, the identity controller, Lamar, did not seem to be surprised. He pushed on a button which turned the “invalid” notification into “valid”. In five work years at Gattaca, Vincent had never recognized under Lamar’s features his own father. Now very proud of his son, he let him take on board and realize his dream.

The first sentence that appears on the screen at the beginning of the film already gives an idea of the general message of the work: “In a not so distant future”. Indeed, the general theme is the possible and dangerous consequences of progress in genetics. In “Gattaca”, the whole society is ruled by genetics. Even before Vincent is put into his mother arms, a blood test is made in order to know what diseases he is likely to develop, what his personality is going to be like and to estimate his intelligence quotient and his life expectancy. From that moment, his whole life is already planned, he is labelled, definitively categorized.

First by his parents, especially when his father refuses to give him his name. It is a sort of rejection of the family without leaving him a chance. And that is what happens with the rest of the society. Because of his genetic code, not any insurance dares to take the risk to protect him so he cannot enter a school and he is condemned to study at home. The same problem is repeated when he applies for a job. It is impossible to get a decent job if your genetic code is not almost perfect. You do not have to prove that you are able, your DNA has to prove it for you.

What Is Digital Cinema

Thus far, most discussions of cinema in the digital age have focused on the possibilities of interactive narrative. It is not hard to understand why: since the majority of viewers and critics equate cinema with storytelling, digital media is understood as something which will let cinema tell its stories in a new way. Yet as exciting as the ideas of a viewer participating in a story, choosing different paths through the narrative space and interacting with characters may be, they only address one aspect of cinema which is neither unique nor, as many will argue, essential to it: narrative.

The challenge which digital media poses to cinema extends far beyond the issue of narrative. Digital media redefines the very identity of cinema. In a symposium which took place in Hollywood in the Spring of 1996, one of the participants provocatively referred to movies as “flatties” and to human actors as “organics” and “soft fuzzies. “[2] As these terms accurately suggest, what used to be cinema’s defining characteristics have become just the default options, with many others available. When one can “enter” a virtual three-dimensional space, to view flat images projected on the screen is hardly the only option.

When, given enough time and money, almost everything can be simulated in a computer, to film physical reality is just one possibility. This “crisis” of cinema’s identity also affects the terms and the categories used to theorize cinema’s past. French film theorist Christian Metz wrote in the 1970s that “Most films shot today, good or bad, original or not, ‘commercial’ or not, have as a common characteristic that they tell a story; in this measure they all belong to one and the same genre, which is, rather, a sort of ‘super-genre’ [‘sur-genre’]. [3]

In identifying fictional films as a “super-genre’ of twentieth century cinema, Metz did not bother to mention another characteristic of this genre because at that time it was too obvious: fictional films are live action films, i. e. they largely consist of unmodified photographic recordings of real events which took place in real physical space. Today, in the age of computer simulation and digital compositing, invoking this characteristic becomes crucial in defining the specificity of twentieth century cinema.

From the perspective of a future historian of visual culture, the differences between classical Hollywood films, European art films and avant-garde films (apart from abstract ones) may appear less significance than this common feature: that they relied on lens-based recordings of reality. This essay is concerned with the effect of the so-called digital revolotution on cinema as defined by its”super genre” as fictional live action film. [4] During cinema’s history, a whole repertoire of techniques (lighting, art direction, the use of different film stocks and lens, etc. was developed to modify the basic record obtained by a film apparatus.

And yet behind even the most stylized cinematic images we can discern the bluntness, the sterility, the banality of early nineteenth century photographs. No matter how complex its stylistic innovations, the cinema has found its base in these deposits of reality, these samples obtained by a methodical and prosaic process. Cinema emerged out of the same impulse which engendered naturalism, court stenography and wax museums.

Cinema is the art of the index; it is an attempt to make art out of a footprint. Even for Andrey Tarkovsky, film-painter par excellence, cinema’s identity lay in its ability to record reality. Once, during a public discussion in Moscow sometime in the 1970s he was asked the question as to whether he was interested in making abstract films. He replied that there can be no such thing. Cinema’s most basic gesture is to open the shutter and to start the film rolling, recording whatever happens to be in front of the lens. For Tarkovsky, an abstract cinema is thus impossible.

But what happens to cinema’s indexical identity if it is now possible to generate photorealistic scenes entirely in a computer using 3-D computer animation; to modify individual frames or whole scenes with the help a digital paint program; to cut, bend, stretch and stitch digitized film images into something which has perfect photographic credibility, although it was never actually filmed? This essay will address the meaning of these changes in the filmmaking process from the point of view of the larger cultural history of the moving image.

Seen in this context, the manual construction of images in digital cinema represents a return to nineteenth century pre-cinematic practices, when images were hand-painted and hand-animated. At the turn of the twentieth century, cinema was to delegate these manual techniques to animation and define itself as a recording medium. As cinema enters the digital age, these techniques are again becoming the commonplace in the filmmaking process. Consequently, cinema can no longer be clearly distinguished from animation.

It is no longer an indexical media technology but, rather, a sub-genre of painting. This argument will be developed in three stages. I will first follow a historical trajectory from nineteenth century techniques for creating moving images to twentieth-century cinema and animation. Next I will arrive at a definition of digital cinema by abstracting the common features and interface metaphors of a variety of computer software and hardware which are currently replacing traditional film technology. Seen together, these features and metaphors suggest a distinct logic of a digital moving image.

This logic subordinates the photographic and the cinematic to the painterly and the graphic, destroying cinema’s identity as a media art. Finally, I will examine different production contexts which already use digital moving images — Hollywood films, music videos, CD-ROM games and artworks — in order to see if and how this logic has begun to manifest itself. A Brief Archeology of Moving Pictures As testified by its original names (kinetoscope, cinematograph, moving pictures), cinema was understood, from its birth, as the art of motion, the art which finally succeeded in creating a convincing illusion of dynamic reality.

If we approach cinema in this way (rather than the art of audio-visual narrative, or the art of a projected image, or the art of collective spectatorship, etc. ), we can see it superseding previous techniques for creating and displaying moving images. These earlier techniques shared a number of common characteristics. First, they all relied on hand-painted or hand-drawn images. The magic lantern slides were painted at least until the 1850s; so were the images used in the Phenakistiscope, the Thaumatrope, the Zootrope, the Praxinoscope, the Choreutoscope and numerous other nineteenth century pro-cinematic devices.

Even Muybridge’s celebrated Zoopraxiscope lectures of the 1880s featured not actual photographs but colored drawings painted after the photographs. [5] Not only were the images created manually, they were also manually animated. In Robertson’s Phantasmagoria, which premiered in 1799, magic lantern operators moved behind the screen in order to make projected images appear to advance and withdraw. [6] More often, an exhibitor used only his hands, rather than his whole body, to put the images into motion. One animation technique involved using mechanical slides consisting of a number of layers.

An exhibitor would slide the layers to animate the image. [7] Another technique was to slowly move a long slide containing separate images in front of a magic lantern lens. Nineteenth century optical toys enjoyed in private homes also required manual action to create movement — twirling the strings of the Thaumatrope, rotating the Zootrope’s cylinder, turning the Viviscope’s handle. It was not until the last decade of the nineteenth century that the automatic generation of images and their automatic projection were finally combined.

A mechanical eye became coupled with a mechanical heart; photography met the motor. As a result, cinema — a very particular regime of the visible — was born. Irregularity, non-uniformity, the accident and other traces of the human body, which previously inevitably accompanied moving image exhibitions, were replaced by the uniformity of machine vision. [8] A machine, which like a conveyer belt, was now spitting out images, all sharing the same appearance, all the same size, all moving at the same speed, like a line of marching soldiers.

Cinema also eliminated the discrete character of both space and movement in moving images. Before cinema, the moving element was visually separated from the static background as with a mechanical slide show or Reynaud’s Praxinoscope Theater (1892). [9] The movement itself was limited in range and affected only a clearly defined figure rather than the whole image. Thus, typical actions would include a bouncing ball, a raised hand or eyes, a butterfly moving back and forth over the heads of fascinated children — simple vectors charted across still fields. Cinema’s most immediate predecessors share something else.

As the nineteenth-century obsession with movement intensified, devices which could animate more than just a few images became increasingly popular. All of them — the Zootrope, the Phonoscope, the Tachyscope, the Kinetoscope — were based on loops, sequences of images featuring complete actions which can be played repeatedly. The Thaumatrope (1825), in which a disk with two different images painted on each face was rapidly rotated by twirling a strings attached to it, was in its essence a loop in its most minimal form: two elements replacing one another in succession.

In the Zootrope (1867) and its numerous variations, approximately a dozen images were arranged around the perimeter of a circle. [10] The Mutoscope, popular in America throughout the 1890s, increased the duration of the loop by placing a larger number of images radially on an axle. [11] Even Edison’s Kinetoscope (1892-1896), the first modern cinematic machine to employ film, continued to arrange images in a loop. [12] 50 feet of film translated to an approximately 20 second long presentation — a genre whose potential development was cut short when cinema adopted a much longer narrative form. From Animation to Cinema

Once the cinema was stabilized as a technology, it cut all references to its origins in artifice. Everything which characterized moving pictures before the twentieth century — the manual construction of images, loop actions, the discrete nature of space and movement — all of this was delegated to cinema’s bastard relative, its supplement, its shadow — animation. Twentieth century animation became a depository for nineteenth century moving image techniques left behind by cinema. The opposition between the styles of animation and cinema defined the culture of the moving image in the twentieth century.

Animation foregrounds its artificial character, openly admitting that its images are mere representations. Its visual language is more aligned to the graphic than to the photographic. It is discrete and self-consciously discontinuous: crudely rendered characters moving against a stationary and detailed background; sparsely and irregularly sampled motion (in contrast to the uniform sampling of motion by a film camera — recall Jean-Luc Godard’s definition of cinema as “truth 24 frames per second”), and finally space constructed from separate image layers.

In contrast, cinema works hard to erase any traces of its own production process, including any indication that the images which we see could have been constructed rather than recorded. It denies that the reality it shows often does not exist outside of the film image, the image which was arrived at by photographing an already impossible space, itself put together with the use of models, mirrors, and matte paintings, and which was then combined with other images through optical printing. It pretends to be a simple recording of an already existing reality — both to a viewer and to itself. 13]

Cinema’s public image stressed the aura of reality “captured” on film, thus implying that cinema was about photographing what existed before the camera, rather than “creating the ‘never-was'” of special effects. [14] Rear projection and blue screen photography, matte paintings and glass shots, mirrors and miniatures, push development, optical effects and other techniques which allowed filmmakers to construct and alter the moving images, and thus could reveal that cinema was not really different from animation, were pushed to cinema’s periphery by its practitioners, historians and critics. [15]

The Worker Management Techniques

The film industry would have never taken the direction it did without the incorporation of certain worker management techniques and capitalist vertical integration pioneered by the founders of Hollywood. The methods of operation that Hollywood established in the realms of production, manufacturing, exhibition and distribution of film has shaped the face of the industry to how we recognize it today. In the warm, sunny outskirts of Los Angeles lay Hollywood.

This was the location of choice for several enterprising film companies in the early 1910s to settle and establish themselves away from the cold winters of New York, the headquarters of the Motion Picture Patent’s Company known as the Trust. By the time of the Great Depression, this small band of independent entrepreneurs would demonstrate that by applying certain worker management techniques within a capitalist vertical integration system, near absolute control of the film industry could be achieved.

Prior to the domination of Hollywood, French film making was amongst those at the fore front, if not the fore front itself of the film industry. However, in the wake of the First World War, the film industry within many European countries were hindered which gave the American cinema the necessary breathing space to obtain great advancements in technical and industrial mastery. The Hollywood film companies centralized their productions in giant warehouses, and were able to devise a very effective and lucrative method of making their star performers into icons within this studio system.

Many countries including Germany and Russia attempted to replicate the style of studio system generated in Hollywood in order to compete within the global market. These attempts at simulating and imitating would prove to be in vein because by the mid-1920s, Hollywood would virtually monopolize the international marketplace for film. This studio system that Hollywood designed was so efficient that no competition could contend with its industrial might.

Vertical integration and low overhead were essential in allowing their films to be produced frequently, viewed widely by consumers in American cities and exported broadly amongst foreign countries. These were objectives that the Motion Picture Patents Company, or the Trust, could not achieve even though they possessed the majority of patents for cameras, projectors and film itself, made thousands of films, and were comprised of the top ten European and American inventors, manufacturers, and producers.

The Trust attempted to control the industry by charging rental fees for cameras and projectors, and by inflating the cost of film. These tactics proved to be unsuccessful with the swift and adverse emergence of Hollywood producers, unsatisfied with the conditions by which they were forced to operate beneath the Trust. Many of these independent figures founded the companies we are so accustomed to presently. Adolph Zukor founded Paramount, William Fox founded 20th Century Fox, Carl Laemmle founded Universal, and Marcus Loew founded what would eventually be known as Metro Goldwyn Mayer.

The warm temperature and year-round sunlight of the west coast was very beneficial for the new studios. This along with low land costs and no real established union allowed producers to focus more on the content of their output. These studios along with others were quick to brand their individual products and began to make innovations in the medium of film as an art form. “Actual plays, novels and magazine content became incorporated into the development of stronger and more interesting plots.

These studios were producing complex stories for their films in order to make them longer and of superior quality to the Trust’s mundane fare of 20 minute short films. “… Not one member of the MPPC, with which the independents had competed between 1908 and 1915, survived. “2 By evading the Trust on the other side of the continent and developing new strategies for film form and production in their new low overhead environment, Hollywood studios were producing a great deal of films. So many films in fact, that they were able to fill theatrical bills by 1912.

Around this time, there was a rapidly growing appeal among the public for films and over the course of the following eight years, the independent studios systematically acquired over two thousand key picture palaces thereby taking control of the exhibition of film across the country. By the time that 1920 rolled around, the independent studios of Hollywood had taken the reins. They had successfully overcome the Trust, were making millions of dollars in profit a year, and were continuing to dominate the exhibition and production of movies.

Having achieved these great feats, the next logical step was to master the distribution aspect of the business, which proved to be a relatively simple task. In this era of silent film, all a studio had to do to make a film internationally accessible was to translate the inter titles and pay a little more for reproduction costs. So successful was this system that industry delegates from around the world came to take note of the workings of Hollywood.

“… sitors from France, Germany, Britain, Hollywood was to play host in the 1930s to Luigi Freddi, head of the Italian Fascist film industry, and to Boris Shumyatsky, Stalin’s Henchman in charge of the industry in the Soviet Union. “3 Even though it was a fairly easy accomplishment to tap into the world market, Hollywood in turn had to maintain the high supply of films to meet the high amount of demands world-wide. Fortunately for Hollywood, the studio system was able to cater to this high demand for production because of the particular climate and diverse landscape of southern California.

The area surrounding Hollywood was ideal in that it could lend itself to a variety of movie themes and of course, the all year sunlight that allowed longer days to get work accomplished. With these factors on their side, producers were able to in effect, manufacture their products at an astonishing speed. These movies were usually about an hour and a half in duration which totally contradicted any previous notions of motion picture being strictly novelty. Cinema had established itself as a legitimate form of entertainment, now seeming light years away from its gritty origins within the seedy nickelodeons.

Now strangely enough, this notion of longer quality feature films is a European one- previously disregarded by American exhibitors, but now embraced by American audiences care of Hollywood studios. People paid more money, and came in far greater numbers to see these features in regal theaters as opposed to the minute screenings put together by the Trust. It is this idea of legitimizing cinema that allowed Hollywood to appeal to the orthodox middle class and thus get a solid foothold in the American market.

Having proved itself as a true art form, the industry was then able to focus on the task of cultivating desire and fascination within the audience. Publicity was a great tool utilized by Hollywood. The industry was a major contributor for the development of mass advertising and being able to create a sense of desire, yearning for consumption, and other by-products of capitalist culture. Without the industry’s use of publicity, the direction of cinema could have quite conceivably taken a different path.

Newspaper headlines, and radio advertisements served as access points for the film industry to reach the minds of the public and promote their respective products. These products, however, were not restricted to the films themselves. The star management system was put in place for a variety of purposes; each studio would have their own stars not only as talent within their features but to act as figure-heads for the studio itself, enabling studios to differentiate and thereby effectively compete with one another.

These charismatic individuals portrayed the American ideals of beauty, success, and honesty- all characteristics that the middle class could appreciate, respect and ultimately strive to be. Because of the public’s fixation and ability to relate with the stars, the studios went to great lengths to keep them bound to long, high paying contracts so to ensure sales of admissions. In order for Hollywood to maintain the high demand for product and achieve even greater success, their worker management techniques became streamlined further.

Studios came up with many different ways of cutting corners when it came to film making so that they could be constantly creating quality movies for the thousands of theaters that came to expect them on a almost a weekly basis. Ultimately, in the tradition of Fordism, the factory style system of worker management established itself as the most effective means of reaching the studios’ potential. A variety of special positions were assigned in order to aid the director of a given film.

Since there was such a broad spectrum of tasks necessary in making a film, it was important to delegate objectives so as to complete projects in as little time as possible. Set designers, writers, and cinematographers all became essential personnel in the production of a film- each fulfilling their respective role and in essence, adding their piece to the overall puzzle. That being said, the process of shooting itself came under scrutiny when film makers decided it was cheaper to shoot the movie out of sequence.

This was quite a revolutionary method since previously, in the days of the Trust, stories would be shot in sequence or as they happened theatrically. With this new technique, scenes could be filmed in a logical order rather than a chronological order and then assembled as the original script prescribed. The minimum costs were projected after prioritizing all required shooting aspects for each production. These logical plans for shooting came to be known as shooting scripts and were an integral factor in the making of films as cheaply as possible.

In turn, as narratives became more complicated within films and movies became longer in duration, so did the shooting scripts and the responsibilities of the crew involved in the production. These scripts were also very helpful in the filtering out of problematic or risky endeavors. If a script was approved by the studio boss, a producer would be able to come up with a shooting script for the actual sequence of production in order to make the movie as fast and as economically as possible. So calculated and efficient were the Hollywood studios, that they eventually became almost 100 percent self sufficient machines.

Every person and facility played an important role in the production of films. Upon approval of a project, phases of the film’s creation were filtered through the appropriate avenues similar to a factory production line. “Directors mostly became glorified foremen’ and, with assembly line specialization, were as much typecast as were the players. There were directors of westerns, comedies, romances, and so on. “4 Directors oversaw the operation while writers and producers created the necessary scripts, and designers and artists made the required preparations for sets, costumes, etc.

These sets, and even costumes, were used on multiple occasions- adjusted as needed to coincide with various stories. All of these measures were taken into account because studio bosses organized film programmes over a year in advance. Therefore time was always a major factor in every aspect of production. Actors were often transported from the set of one film to the set of another. Directors went to great lengths to avoid retakes and often used multiple cameras to achieve complicated shots. So busy, vast and complex were these arrangements of buildings and people that they were in essence, miniature cities.

Out of sheer common sense these bustling hubs needed their own internal emergency authorities. Fires would frequently be a threat to production, so there were studio fire fighters in case a fire got out of hand. In order to keep out unauthorized people or retain crowds, these studios often had their own force of security guards that effectively policed the grounds. It was quickly becoming apparent that Hollywood’s management techniques and the vertical integration of all aspects of the business was proving to be a high profit earner.

During the mid 1910s studios were turning in profits exceeding a million dollars annually and with demand for product constantly on the rise, studios saw benefits in the block booking of its yearly supply of films. This technique allowed producers to experiment with new plot genres and develop new stars with the guarantee that they would be able to attract audiences. As opportunistic as this was for studios to block book their annual programmes, it seemed very risky on the side of the exhibitors that were asked to pay exorbitant lump sums for unknown products.

Many exhibitors participated in the block booking system of distribution blindly trusting that there would be enough films with famous stars in it and stories interesting enough to attract sales. Famous Players is the prime example of a studio that maximized off of the block booking system. By 1921, Famous Players was the largest film production company on the scene and provided nearly 25% of on-screen fare. “Any new would-be independents were effectively kept out of this closed system. If they wanted to produce, the screens weren’t available to them; if they wanted to exhibit, they couldn’t get access to films.

With profits continuously rising and exhibitors booking films before they were even shot, film companies began to look into the tapping of the exhibition market itself. Because of the capital generated by these studios, they quickly became notable players within the New York Stock Exchange and found heavy financial support in investment banking. It was this incorporation of Wall Street that provided the extra strength necessary for Hollywood film companies to enter the arena of real estate and ultimately theater chains. It was common fact that money was made at the box-office.

With the new found financial support from Wall Street in New York, these film barons were now able to control all three sides facets of the film business: production, distribution, and now exhibition. Hollywood’s success in controlling these aspects did not come to be simply by competing, but by the innovation and evolution of certain management techniques that gave them the edge over their competitors. The companies again focussed on the middle class, and looked not only to the major cities but to the suburbs to set up their new picture palaces- magnificent theaters that would feature their products.

Again the notions of desire and spectacle were paramount at these sites, creating an atmosphere of sheer luxury for people paying to be entertained. This idea was not an original Hollywood innovation however. In 1925, Adolph Zukor and his Famous Players corporation were able to merge with the then very popular, and highly competitive theatrical exhibitors, Balaban & Katz. “… a cluster of movie palaces situated on main streets from New York to Los Angeles, Chicago to Dallas, and, within a short time, London and Paris as well.

With the construction of these picture palaces, so was constructed a major pillar that gave Hollywood its strength to move and dominate the world. As notable as it was for a small band of companies to control all of the major movie stars and theaters across the United States, this did not stop the Hollywood moguls from moving on to infiltrate international markets. At this point, the extra funds necessary to establish international distribution were insignificant. The only factor that posed any real serious challenge to the film companies would be the geo-political situations of the world.

In order to become internationally competitive and be able to manage their enterprises in foreign countries, the companies banded together and formed the Motion Picture Producers and Distributors Association of America. This association would not only ensure that operations ran smoothly abroad, but when it boiled down to it, maximize profits. With support from the government vis a vis the State Department, Hollywood companies were able to achieve great success internationally, landing fantastic contracts in foreign markets, and effectively, doubling their annual revenues.

Many countries attempted to impose tariffs or taxes to counteract the enterprising forces of Hollywood but to no real degree of success. So lucrative were these companies that they were able to overcome any real obstacle that was thrown in their path and by 1925 Hollywood was effectively dominating North American, South American, Central American, Australian, and most European markets. Even competitive countries such as Germany had all but succumb to the powers of Hollywood: leading away many foreign stars and production companies by the last years of the 1920s.

The film industry took the direction it did because of the incorporation of certain worker management techniques and capitalist vertical integration created and applied by the pioneers of Hollywood. Being able to achieve maximum production value, employ stars as cultural icons, erect breath-taking theaters for exhibition, and reach vast international market places proved that through strategic worker management techniques a minority of capitalistic vertically integrated companies came to control Hollywood and propelled the film industry in the trajectory it soars at today.

Star Traveling To The Millennium

Now as we are rapidly approaching the Millenium many people are getting the blues. This seems absurd because this offers all of us a perfect chance to start again. NASA is embracing this chance to grow and expand their departments. The phrase, “Space, the final frontier,” expresses the world’s obsession with space travel, that started centuries before it even became popular 30 years ago in Gene Roddenberry’s TV series “Star Trek. ” Science fiction has entertained our culture for years.

Movies such as Star Wars and Planet of the Apes have helped fuel our desire to get off the planet earth, find new life forms, and conquer the stars. Science-fiction dreams of worlds beyond our solar system have taken on a more realistic aspect since astronomers discovered that the universe contains planets in surprisingly large numbers. Studying those distant planets might show how special Earth really is and tell us more about our place in the universe (NASA homepage). Finding a planet that can support human life would revolutionize our society into the Jetson’s.

These ideas are soon to become our realities. NASA is currently experimenting with many methods to try to explore the outer edges of the galaxy. In order to understand NASA’s excitement about star traveling, we will first fly through current projects concerning space travel, second explore three possible technologies being experimented with for the year 2000, finally take a trip into our future and experience how star traveling will change our lives as we approach the end of the second millenium.

NASA’s goal of faster, better, cheaper has been the motivation for them to develop new mission concepts, and to validate never-before-used technologies in space. The new technologies, if proven to work, will revolutionize space exploration in the next century. According to NASA’s New Millennium Program home page, last updated on September 16,1999, NASA’s current project of Deep Space 1 demonstrates some of their most exotic technologies. One of the most impressive is the testing of an ion engine that is supposed to be 10 times more efficient than liquid or solid rocket engines.

Deep Space 1 was launched on October 24, 1998. It is the first mission under NASA’s New Millennium Program, which features flight testing of new technology, rather than science as its main focus (Rayman 4). These new technologies will make spacecraft of the future smaller, more economical, reliable, and closer to the goal of efficient space travel. According to Dr. Marc Rayman, the deputy mission manager and chief mission engineer for Deep Space 1, there are 12 advanced technologies onboard the spacecraft and seven have completed testing (5).

Despite some glitches, the great majority of the advanced technologies have worked extremely well. Rayman also said, “Mission designers and scientists can now confidently use them on future missions”(4). All of this testing is now paving the way for star traveling. The great stumbling block in this road to the stars, however, is the sheer difficulty of getting anywhere in space. Merely achieving orbit is an expensive and risky proposition. Current space propulsion technologies make it a stretch to send probes to distant destinations within the solar system.

Spacecrafts have to follow multiyear, indirect trajectories that loop around several planets in order to gain velocity from gravity assists. Then, the craft lacks the energy to come back. Fortunately, engineers have no shortage of inventive plans for new propulsion systems that might someday expand human presence beyond this planet. Anti-matter, compact nuclear rockets, and light sails are three ideas that engineers are experimenting with. But these ideas are in their embryonic stages and it is already more than apparent that the task is as difficult as it could possibly be, but still remain possible.

Robert Frisbee, a researcher at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab said, “right now, based on our current level of ignorance, all three energy sources are equally impossible or possible” (DiChristina 2). Some of these ideas are just radical refinements of current rocket or jet technologies. Others harness nuclear energies or ride on powerful laser beams. Even the equivalents of “space elevators” used for hoisting cargoes into orbit are on the drawing boards. Out of all the ideas that have been brought up, NASA is seriously exploring three.

One of the first possibilities but the hardest to obtain is anti-matter. When antimatter comes into contact with regular matter they annihilate and the mass is converted into energy. Stephanie Leifer of the Jet Propulsion Lab stated in the June 1999 issue of Popular Science Magazine that, “The antimatter-matter reaction has the highest energy density we know of”(55). The reaction releases charged particles that could be directed out the back of the spacecraft for thrust using magnetic “nozzles. ” A small problem is that engineers don’t know how to make the nozzle big enough for antimatter engine.

Then add another problem of making thousands of tons of antimatter when only mere a nanogram of antimatter is made at special laboratories like Fermilab and CERN. The largest problem to add on to this is antimatter cannot make contact with matter. Currently it has been extremely difficult to store more than a tiny amount of antimatter in magnetic traps. These magnetic traps keep charged particles from hitting the matter containment walls and annihilating. To solve the problem physicist Gerald Smith and his team at Penn State decided to tackle the problem on several fronts.

They were able to trap shoebox-size antimatter and hold 100 million antiprotons (Beardsley 5). But until scientist can contain over a ton the antimatter-matter reaction will be put away. A second energy source is nuclear fission, also called compact nuclear rockets. These rockets can impart a maximum velocity increment of up to about 22 kilometers a second even, though it is not even close to the amount of energy the anti-matter reaction can create. Hydrogen, the key element in fission, is much easier to obtain and engineers are closer to building a rocket motor that can be powered with nuclear fission.

According to the Scientific American web page last updated on September 12, 1999, James Powell and his colleagues have designed a compact nuclear rocket engine that they call Mitee (4). In reality this rocket can be built in six years and would cost about 600 million dollars, which is modest in context of past space launches. Another key attraction to nuclear propulsion is that its propellanthydrogenis widely available in gaseous forms on the giant planets of the outer solar system and in the water and ice of distant moons and planets.

Because the nuclear fuel would be relatively long lasting, a nuclear-powered craft could in theory tour the outer solar system for 10 or 15 years, thus replenishing its hydrogen propellant as necessary (7). Its reactor would start up well away from Earth. A nuclear-powered spacecraft could actually be made safer than some deep-space probes that are powered by chemical thrusters. In the near term, only nuclear rockets could give us the kind of power, reliability, and flexibility that we would need to dramatically improve our understanding of the still largely mysterious worlds at the far edges of our solar system.

The last chief option is to leave the engine at home and power the spacecraft with solar sails most commonly called light sails. Light sails may be initially more promising than anti-matter or fission. According to the previous mentioned issue of Popular Science, Robert Forward, a retired Hughes physicist who now consults for NASA, concluded that, “in terms of the closest and cleanest development program light sails may be the first step”(3). The sail literally allows the shuttle to be pushed through space by photons from a laser or the sun.

When the photon collides with the sail, it will either simply be absorbed by the sail material or will reflect off the photon. Both processes impart acceleration, but reflection imparts twice as much as absorption. Thus, the most efficient sail is a reflective one. Like other propulsion methods light sails are limited in their performance by the thermal properties and the strength of materials, as well as by our limited ability to design anything that consists of a polished, thin metal film. However, a good deal of work relevant to light sails has already been done.

The Department of Defense has developed high-powered lasers and precision-pointing capability as part of its research into ballistic-missile defenses and possible anti-satellite weaponry. Closer to home the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced it’s planning to launch within four years a spacecraft powered by a light sail. NASA is now evaluating plans to develop laser light sails as a possible low-cost alternative to conventional rockets. We see in light sails a possible glimpse of the future, an inexpensive access to the remote solar system and beyond.

In time they could make travel to distant stars a reality. Now that we have seen how close to star traveling we really are, let’s get aboard the perfect spacecraft and let our imagination become reality. Every one loads the new and improved star traveling vehicle. Buckle up it is going to be a bumpy ride. We travel for about two light years which seems like an extremely quick trip. Our craft lands on a neighboring planet to our solar system. As a team we start to explore and record the data we are finding on this new planet.

After our explorations, we head back to Earth. When we return, we find that every one has gotten several years older and technology has just exploded to mind boggling heights. Another space race has begun but this time it is to colonize planets. Our knowledge and understanding of who we are would be forever altered. The next step would be to start exploring possibilities for intersolar travel. Going back and forth between Jupiter, Pluto, and the Moon to retrieve energy sources or visit a friend that is now a Lunar citizen.

Jupiter is converted into a large gas station were the spacecrafts could stop and refuel with the indefinite supply of Hydrogen gas that makes up this large planet. Our planet could start to mine the Asteroid belt for old energy sources and find new ones. The biggest change for our world would be social standards. How will we treat people when they introduce themselves as a citizen of Pluto? Picture all of the new art forms and sporting events that could take shape in zero gravity conditions. Would our society expand and have states on distant moons of Jupiter?

Students in school on Venus could look out their windows when they are tired of reading Antigone and see the outline of the Earth instead of a boring playground. When the technology is ready, our world as we know it will be completely turned upside down thinking about colonizing planets and other solar systems dozens of light years away. Space enthusiasts look to the day when ordinary people, as well as professional astronauts and members of Congress, can leave Earth behind and head for a space resort, or maybe a base on the moon or Mars.

The Space Transportation Association, an industry lobbying group, recently created a division devoted to promoting space tourism on their web page which was last updated on August 12, 1999. They see space travel as a viable way to spur economic development beyond Earth. Just imagine, someday we may be able to leave Earth and head to a planet that can support human life and have new energy sources for faster and more efficient way of doing simple task in life.

Our imaginary trip will soon become a reality for future generations, even though this is still a science fiction goal to us. Serious investigators continue to look for ways to turn each of these concepts into a reality. If one of the energy sources work, it will change our ideas about the universe radically. Then possibly space would no longer be the final frontier. Instead of getting the Millenium blues, everyone should take a look at NASA’s enthusiasm and jump on the new space race bandwagon.

What Lies Beneath

Michelle hears some noises in the house, after a while see finds out that its a missing girl, the girl is trying to get revenge for her death. First off, I would like to say that Michelle Phieffer is great in this movie; she carries her character strongly from start to finish. And unfortunately The movie opens with Pfeiffer and Ford taking their daughter to college, thus leaving them alone in their house for the first time since they were married.

The daughter is actually the product of Pfeiffer’s first marriage to a musician who now dead (by what means I can’t remember, nor does it matter). Ford is a successful research scientist at a university in New England as was his even more famous father. He is on the verge of finishing a major paper, which requires him to spend endless hours at the office, leaving Pfeiffer alone in their vast home. It is a mystery, as a bored Pfeiffer spies on her new neighbors, a troubled couple who fight a lot.

Around the same time that the next-door wife seemingly disappears, Pfeiffer starts experiencing poltergeist-like activity in her house. Doors won’t stay shut, photos fall from ledges, and finally she starts seeing the image of a pretty blonde woman in reflections in fogged-up mirror and in the water of a full bathtub. Pfeiffer and Ford have a good and believable chemistry, and there are some genuine thrills generated when Pfeiffer is alone in the house. Anyway, eventually Pfeiffer discovers that in fact the next-door neighbors wife is alive and well.

Except for one small thing, the blonde ghost is still causing trouble in the house. Pfeiffer begins to see a psychiatrist (the always reliable Joe Morton), believing that maybe she’s suffering from some kind of empty-nest syndrome, but she soon realizes that the ghost is real and she sets out to find out who she is and why she’s bugging her. Conclusion As Hatchet Harry said the story starts out with Pfeiffer’s daughter from a previous marriage going off to college.

She’s dealing with the whole empty-nest syndrome, when the new neighbors next door start fighting, and the wife disappears. Pfeiffer is convinced that he’s murdered her and starts spying on the husband who is now living alone in the house. Shortly after strange things start happening around the Pfeiffer-Ford house. You know, your usual haunting type activities like doors opening on their own, pictures falling off tables, radios switching on at full blast, bathtubs filling by themselves, yadda, yadda, yadda.

It all works and you could feel the tension building in the audience. A year ago, Dr. Norman Spencer (Harrison Ford) betrayed his beautiful wife Claire (Michelle Pfeiffer). But the affair is over and Claire’s oblivious to the truth; Norman’s life and marriage seem perfect–so perfect that when Claire tells him she’s hearing mysterious voices and seeing a young woman’s wraithlike image in their home, he dismisses her mounting terror as delusion.

David Selznick and Since You Went Away

The film Since You Went Away was released in 1944. This epic film attempted to relate to the American audience that was dealing with the war foreclosing and he flux of soldiers coming home at the time.

The Hollywood studios were constantly trying to do their part for the war buy making films about the war in a fairy tale “Hollywood” style. Since You Went Away crossed these boundaries, and the movie audience at the time, positively responded for this reason. The producer and screenwriter of the film knew America craved this portrayal. Critics of the film from this period, applauded it’s “realism”, but in hindsight studies of the film in the seventies and eighties were a little more critical of the film. David O. Selznick was the man behind the vision of this film and

Selznick is best known for film classic’s like; Gone With the Wind, (from which the formula of this movie draws heavily from) Rebecca, and King Kong. This film was a special project for Selznick at the time, and it was seen as his contribution to the war effort. The academy awards recognized Selznick’s effort and nominated his film for best picture of 1944. David Selznick was known as a one of the great creative producers- along side Walt Disney. A creative producer is usually “a powerful mogul who supervises the production of a film in such exacting detail that he was virtually its artistic creator. Eyman p. 121)

In this period, Selznick’s style was remembered best by his epic length movies in which he paid special attention to detail. His films catered to the female market but also had potential to cross over to the male segment. Selznick was “increasingly becoming aware of the commercial value of his name. ” (Fenster p. 36) He decided to repeat the formula that worked well in Gone With the Wind and made a decision to purchase a war novel/diary from Margaret Wilder. Since You Went Away spawned from Wilder’s novel, after Selznick spent many hours on developing the screenplay and hiring he right cast.

The war film was a popular genre to produce during the war years in North America. Also, it was seen as a noble effort to make a film about the war. Most of the skilled directors or producers of these films, stylized their own vision of the war with their special trademarks throughout the film. Films that did this, usually did will well at the box office as well as at the Academy Awards Ceremony. David Selznick was looking for a hit movie to follow the success of Gone With The Wind and he hoped Since You Went Away would be a blockbuster. Selznick spent nearly “$3,000,000 on this film”, Thomas p. 20) which meant glossy and detailed scenes throughout the film.

This was an unusual amount of money for a film from this period, but David Selznick was known in Hollywood for his elaborate budgets. The films length allowed Selznick to allow it to take place over a year. The story begins in January 12, 1943 which is immediately after Mr. Hilton departs for the war. The Hiltons are a middle/upper class family who are now faced with dealing with dealing with the trials and tribulations of everyday life without the support of a male authority figure.

A lot of emphasis is placed on the female audience’s familiarity with “the details of day to day living and plenty of humorous sentimental reportage of housekeeping: rationing, the problems of two growing daughters and the business of getting jobs to help the family’s reduced budget. “(Hartung p 374) Selznick increased the original ages of the two daughters so Shirley Temple (Bridget) and Jennifer Jones (Jane) could play the roles and romance could be introduced. Nineteen forty-four was quite the turbulent year for the American populous.

The war was coming to a close, and America saw the return of their heroes after a glorious battle. But, there was also a feeling of nervous uncertainty and anxiety regarding the heroes return. The reviewers and reviews of Since You Went Away were very much in tune with this feeling. In the press, critics viewed this film in either of two ways. First, it seen as a triumphant return of Selznick and secondly, the critics thought the movie attempted at a realistic portrayal. An article in Variety Magazine boasted “it’s a box office mop-up” and the article also listed the complete list of about ninety actors involved.

The critic constantly mentioned David Selznick’s name throughout the review and thus, set the tone for the magnitude of this film. Similarly, in a Newsweek article, there was constant enforcement of how much money was spent on this film and how much Selznick made on his last film. This worked as a quality control mechanism for Hollywood and the viewing audience. People knew what to expect when they went out to see a David Selznick film. The second type of review paid particular attention to the “realism” of this film.

A review in Time Magazine stated: “this is the most human, factual picture to date”. It mentioned the film dealing with things like the sorrow of death, and the comfort of religion, food shortages, and being away from loved ones. For example, a scene where a telegram is sent to Mrs. Hilton, informing her that her husband is missing in action. This scene takes place after the housekeeper receives the telegram and yells for Mrs. Hilton who was sleeping. Upon reading the letter, Mrs. Hilton insists that there is still hope and he is still alive.

The American public at the time of this release, were caught up in these “everyday” feelings and it was apparent that Selznick deal with these ssues with as much love and heart as Selznick could fit on-screen. In another review they mentioned that the film is “always authentic, endearing and true to life as death and taxes” (Abel p 13) This “realism” was constantly reinforcedwith sequences like the scenes in the rehabilitation’s rooms, psychiatrist’s office and recovery wards. In these scenes, the film maker uses lighting to cast shadows in these rooms.

This is especially prevalent in the scene where Jane Hilton says good-bye to her boyfriend Billy at the train station. The long shadows are used to show the hadow that is cast over America at this point in history and to enhance this on-screen realism. Indeed, this issue was the case for many Americans and people from other countries as well. Overall, it was the message that appealed to the audience the most and the modern day press agreed with this films message. But, this wasn’t the absolute case.

A famous film critic, at the time was very harsh on this film. He downplayed Selznick’s attempt at portraying a typical American Family. In The Nation, James Agee writes about the home that the Hiltons reside in: “They live in an American home that seven out of ten Americans would sell their souls for”. This review addressed the issue of class, which is the main bone of contention that most of the more recent articles death with. It is quite easy to look back at older films and sneer at them as inferior.

But these films from the forties and fifties are cultural products that were apart of the social fabric at this time. One must look at the politics that were in place at the time, and see how that effected a medium such as film. Since You Went Away was shown to the people of America to increase support and motivate people to get involved. It was also shown to troops because it the film was also saying: “they’ll be there when you get back”. (Jarvie Lecture Jan 19) Since You Went Away was one of the first films to deal with the American home front and the issue of the soldiers return.

Selznick’s past experiences led him to understand “not of what Americans were, but what Americans wanted to be. ” (Koppes p 157) Today, this film looked upon as a model of how Americans were expected to behave. This film could be seen as a teaching tool for the average American. Seeing a family such as the “Hiltons” on-screen, pinching rom their usual weekly budgets and bringing a boarder into their home for extra income- is a lesson to be learned. The Hilton family is thrusted into new situations they might never have dealt with prior to the war.

Since this film was projected towards the female market, the film gave a strong message about empowering women. In the period in which this film was made, the climate for gender equality wasn’t really an issue. With all the men off at war, women started to take up male roles and jobs to fill the temporary gap. Jane who wanted a job before her father left, eventually got one as a nurse’s aid. After Mrs. Hilton agrees with Jane, a cut to the capping ceremony where Jane, “with shining face and sun glinting off her white cap, recites the Red Cross pledge. (Koppes p 157)

Bridget is the young eager citizen who can’t do enough for her country. She constantly complains that she is only doing “kid’s stuff” for the war. Anne Hilton is also set up as a model citizen. For example, she is portrayed as unhappy and lonely. Many scenes feature a “slick” Lieutenant Tony Willet making subtle hints for his unquestioning love for Anne. The audience is usually left wondering if Anne will give up hope and marry Tony. Anne sticks it out and her and Tony remain close throughout the troubled war and they stay strictly “friends.

Another point more current literature on this film investigates, is the issue of reality. Various articles I read, that were dated after the war- said that this film was full of propaganda. An example of this was when the Hilton’s were on the train to meet up with their father. A boy with an amputated arm yells to the conductor: “Can’t this train get moving? I’ll miss my pop! ” The conductor replies: “Your pop will have a lot better chance if these supply trains get hrough” This scene is reinforcing a sense of teamwork, and a the American duty to work together.

Propaganda aside, did this film bring the real issues to the silver screen? Perhaps, Selznick’s desire for perfection got in the way of the real story of the American home in war time. Paying “too much attention to love scenes, costumes, gestures” (Agee p 137) possibly made the film look too artificial. In order to present the Hilton’s house as a fun and happy home- the Selznick’s portrayal of the Hilton cook (Fidelia) is a little skewed. The Hilton’s were forced to let Fidelia go because Anne could no longer afford to ay her.

After the first 30 minutes of the film, the cook has already moved back into the home to work for free. There is also the issue of the Hilton home. This docile is a modest place of an advertising executive which was supposedly a “typical” American home. The home was very elaborate and had plenty of extra space for 2 other house guests. Some of these images that are prevalent in this film are not exactly the same as the average American’s. The scenes mentioned above and many more, presented a classless society which was definitely not the case in nineteen forty-four.

Hollywood and Computer Animation

Hollywood has gone digital, and the old ways of doing things are dying. Animation and special effects created with computers have been embraced by television networks, advertisers, and movie studios alike. Film editors, who for decades worked by painstakingly cutting and gluing film segments together, are now sitting in front of computer screens. There, they edit entire features while adding sound that is not only stored digitally, but also has been created and manipulated with computers. Viewers are witnessing the results of all this in the form of stories and experiences that they never dreamed of before.

Perhaps the most surprising aspect of all this, however, is that the entire digital effects and animation industry is still in its infancy. The future looks bright. How It Was In the beginning, computer graphics were as cumbersome and as hard to control as dinosaurs must have been in their own time. Like dinosaurs, the hardware systems, or muscles, of early computer graphics were huge and ungainly. The machines often filled entire buildings. Also like dinosaurs, the software programs or brains of computer graphics were hopelessly underdeveloped.

Fortunately for the visual arts, the evolution of oth brains and brawn of computer graphics did not take eons to develop. It has, instead, taken only three decades to move from science fiction to current technological trends. With computers out of the stone age, we have moved into the leading edge of the silicon era. Imagine sitting at a computer without any visual feedback on a monitor. There would be no spreadsheets, no word processors, not even simple games like solitaire. This is what it was like in the early days of computers.

The only way to interact with a computer at that time was through toggle switches, flashing lights, punchcards, and Teletype rintouts. How It All Began In 1962, all this began to change. In that year, Ivan Sutherland, a Ph. D. student at (MIT), created the science of computer graphics. For his dissertation, he wrote a program called Sketchpad that allowed him to draw lines of light directly on a cathode ray tube (CRT). The results were simple and primitive. They were a cube, a series of lines, and groups of geometric shapes. This offered an entirely new vision on how computers could be used.

In 1964, Sutherland teamed up with Dr. David Evans at the University of Utah to develop the world’s first academic computer graphics department. Their goal was to attract only the most gifted students from across the country by creating a unique department that combined hard science with the creative arts. They new they were starting a brand new industry and wanted people who would be able to lead that industry out of its infancy. Out of this unique mix of science and art, a basic understanding of computer graphics began to grow. Algorithms for the creation of solid objects, their modeling, lighting, and shading were developed.

This is the roots virtually every aspect of today’s computer graphics industry is based on. Everything from desktop publishing to virtual reality find their beginnings in the basic research that came out of the University of Utah in the 60’s and 70’s. During this time, Evans and Sutherland also founded the first computer graphics company. Aptly named Evans & Sutherland (E&S), the company was established in 1968 and rolled out its first computer graphics systems in 1969. Up until this time, the only computers available that could create pictures were custom-designed for the military and prohibitively expensive.

E&S’s computer system could draw wireframe images extremely rapidly, and was the first ommercial “workstation” created for computer-aided design (CAD). It found its earliest customers in both the automotive and aerospace industries. Times Were Changing Throughout its early years, the University of Utah’s Computer Science Department was generously supported by a series of research grants from the Department of Defense. The 1970’s, with its anti-war and anti-military protests, brought increasing restriction to the flows of academic grants, which had a direct impact on the Utah department’s ability to carry out research.

Fortunately, as the program wound down, Dr. Alexander Schure, founder and president of New York Institute of Technology (NYIT), stepped forward with his dream of creating computer-animated feature films. To accomplish this task, Schure hired Edwin Catmull, a University of Utah Ph. D. , to head the NYIT computer graphics lab and then equipped the lab with the best computer graphics hardware available at that time. When completed, the lab boasted over $2 million worth of equipment. Many of the staff came from the University of Utah and were given free reign to develop both two- and three-dimensional computer graphics tools.

Their goal was o soon produce a full -length computer animated feature film. The effort, which began in 1973, produced dozens of research papers and hundreds of new discoveries, but in the end, it was far too early for such a complex undertaking. The computers of that time were simply too expensive and too under powered, and the software not nearly developed enough. In fact, the first full length computer generated feature film was not to be completed until recently in 1995. By 1978, Schure could no longer justify funding such an expensive effort, and the lab’s funding was cut back.

The ironic thing is that had the Institute ecided to patent many more of its researcher’s discoveries than it did, it would control much of the technology in use today. Fortunately for the computer industry as a whole, however, this did not happen. Instead, research was made available to whomever could make good use of it, thus accelerating the technologies development. Industry’s First Attempts As NYIT’s influence started to wane, the first wave of commercial computer graphics studios began to appear.

Film visionary George Lucas (creator of Star Wars and Indiana Jones trilogies) hired Catmull from NYIT in 1978 to start the Lucasfilm Computer Development Division, and a group of over half-dozen computer graphics studios around the country opened for business. While Lucas’s computer division began researching how to apply digital technology to filmmaking, the other studios began creating flying logos and broadcast graphics for various corporations including TRW, Gillette, the National Football League, and television programs, such as “The NBC Nightly News” and “ABC World News Tonight.

Although it was a dream of these initial computer graphics companies to make movies with their computers, virtually all the early commercial computer raphics were created for television. It was and still is easier and far more profitable to create graphics for television commercials than for film. A typical frame of film requires many more computer calculations than a similar image created for television, while the per-second film budget is perhaps about one-third as much income.

The actual wake-up call to the entertainment industry was not to come until much later in 1982 with the release of Star-Trek II: The Wrath of Kahn. That movie contained a monumental sixty seconds of the most exciting full-color computer graphics yet seen. Called the “Genesis Effect,” the sequence starts out with a view of a dead planet hanging lifeless in space. The camera follows a missiles trail into the planet that is hit with the Genesis Torpedo. Flames arc outwards and race across the surface of the planet.

The camera zooms in and follows the planets transformation from molten lava to cool blues of oceans and mountains shooting out of the ground. The final scene spirals the camera back out into space, revealing the cloud-covered newly born planet. These sixty seconds may sound uneventful in light of current digital effects, but this remarkable scene epresents many firsts. It required the development of several radically new computer graphics algorithms, including one for creating convincing computer fire and another to produce realistic mountains and shorelines from fractal equations.

This was all created by the team at Lucasfilm’s Computer Division. In addition, this sequence was the first time computer graphics were used as the center of attention, instead of being used merely as a prop to support other action. No one in the entertainment industry had seen anything like it, and it unleashed a flood of queries from Hollywood directors seeking to find out both ow it was done and whether an entire film could be created in this fashion. Unfortunately, with the release of TRON later that same year and The Last Starfighter in 1984, the answer was still a decided no.

Both of these films were touted as a technological tour-de-force, which, in fact, they were. The films’ graphics were extremely well executed, the best seen up to that point, but they could not save the film from a weak script. Unfortunately, the technology was greatly oversold during the film’s promotion and so in the end it was technology that was blamed for the film’s failure. With the 1980s ame the age of personal computers and dedicated workstations. Workstations are minicomputers that were cheap enough to buy for one person.

Smaller was better, aster, an much, much cheaper. Advances in silicon chip technologies brought massive and very rapid increases in power to smaller computers along with drastic price reductions. The costs of commercial graphics plunged to match, to the point where the major studios suddenly could no longer cover the mountains of debt coming due on their overpriced centralized mainframe hardware. With their expenses mounting, and without the extra capital to upgrade to the ewer cheaper computers, virtually every independent computer graphics studio went out of business by 1987.

All of them, that is, except PDI, which went on to become the largest commercial computer graphics house in the business and to serve as a model for the next wave of studios. The Second Wave Burned twice by TRON and The Last Starfighter, and frightened by the financial failure of virtually the entire industry, Hollywood steered clear of computer graphics for several years. Behind the scenes, however, it was building back and waiting for the next big break. The break materialized in the form of a watery reation for the James Cameron 1989 film, The Abyss.

For this film, the group at George Lucas’ Industrial Light and Magic (ILM) created the first completely computer-generated entirely organic looking and thoroughly believable creature to be realistically integrated with live action footage and characters. This was the watery pseudopod that snaked its way into the underwater research lab to get a closer look at its human inhabitants. In this stunning effect, ILM overcame two very difficult problems: producing a soft-edged, bulgy, and irregular shaped object, and convincingly anchoring that object in a live-action sequence.

Just s the 1982 Genesis sequence served as a wake-up call for early film computer graphics, this sequence for The Abyss was the announcement that computer graphics had finally come of age. A massive outpouring of computer-generated film graphics has since ensued with studios from across the entire spectrum participating in the action. From that point on, digital technology spread so rapidly that the movies using digital effects have become too numerous to list in entirety. However they include the likes of Total Recall, Toys, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, The Babe, In the Line of Fire, Death Becomes Her, and of course, Jurassic Park.

Menace II Society and Colonization

The song lyrics above are from the soundtrack of the film Menace II Society and correspond directly to the hardships that people are given when growing up in the ghetto and when surrounded by a life of violence. Because they know nothing other than this aggressive and brutal way of life, they continue this violent cycle and rarely break away to begin a new way of life. Twin brothers Albert and Allen Hughes direct the film. The Hughes began making movies at age 12, but their formal film education began their freshman year of high school when Allen took a TV production class.

They soon made a short film entitled How To Be A Burglar and people began to take notice. Their next work, Uncensored Videos, was broadcast on cable, introducing them to a wider audience. After high school, Albert began taking classes at the Los Angeles Community College Film School. Two short films established the twins’ reputation as innovative filmmakers and allowed them to direct Menace II Society (1993), which made its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival and grossed nearly 10 times as much as its $3 million budget.

After following up with Dead Presidents (1995) they directed the feature-length documentary American Pimp (1999). From the very first scene, detailing Caine and O-Dog’s fatal armed robbery of a Korean market, violence is cruelly graphic. “In this instance, the film succeeds in painting a disturbing picture of violence, one in which the characters’ lack of remorse, rather than stylistic convention, shapes and colors the horror of the image. ” Although most of the violence is filmed realistically and unfolds in real time, the Hughes can’t seem to resist stylizing some of the more important narrative events.

Thus, while the robbery introduces violence, O-Dog’s shooting of the Korean market owner is shown directly only further into the story, when black and white images of the store’s stolen surveillance video are played and replayed for the entertainment of Caine, O-Dog, and their friends. While an innovative means of conveying action, the video becomes nothing more than a diversion. While it builds tension and a false sense of foreboding, nothing comes of it; the video never connects directly to the film’s later events. The next scenes are of the Watts riots in 1965.

With the passage of the Civil Rights Act, a new age in race relations appeared to begin. But the states acted quickly to circumvent the new federal law. California reacted with Proposition 14, which moved to block the fair housing components of the Civil Rights Act. This, and other acts, created a feeling of injustice and despair in the inner cities. On August 11, 1965, a routine traffic stop in South Central Los Angeles provided the spark that lit the fire of those incensed feelings. The riots lasted for six days, leaving 34 dead, over a thousand people injured, nearly 4,000 arrested, and hundreds of buildings destroyed.

The Watts riots are extremely important in this film and are shown to illustrate and symbolize the oppression of the African American race, which was taken to an extreme during the Civil Rights Movement of this era. The directors use these clips from the Watts riots to stimulate the audience and to make them think more deeply about not only the scenes and occurrences of the film, but of all films and all instances relating to colonization and the oppression of the African American race as a whole. Menace II Society is a coming of age film detailing the summer after its protagonist, Caine, graduates from high school.

This is Caine’s story, made literal through the film’s use of voice-over narration to convey his point of view. In this narration, Caine repeatedly questions his actions and seemingly makes a decision, only to oppose that decision through his actions that follow, without offering any explanation. Menace II Society also strives, with varying degrees of success, to break from traditional and generic depictions of violence. Introduced in flashback when he murders a man in front of his young son in their home, Caine’s father initiates his son into a life of crime.

After his death, Caine’s father figure becomes Pernell, and serves as Caine’s criminal mentor and surrogate father until a life term in prison limits his daily influence. While responsibility for Caine’s welfare also falls into his grandparents’ hands and home, their attempts (especially his grandfather’s) to set him straight are disregarded. Caine can neither accept his grandfather’s religious beliefs nor respond when his grandfather poses the pivotal question, “Don’t you care whether you live or die? ” Caine’s former teacher, Mr.

Butler, also attempts to intervene, suggesting that Caine get out of the hood before he gets into any more trouble. Mr. Butler, himself a father of Sharif, an ex-knucklehead and now a Muslim convert, is only a minor character. The intervention scene set in Mr. Butler’s classroom motivates Caine to reflect upon his life, but the effect of Mr. Butler’s words, like that of Caine’s grandfather, is only momentary. Mr. Butler says critical words that every character in the film seems to be living by, yet somehow cannot put them to good use. Mr. Butler tells Caine, “Being a black man in America isn’t easy.

The hunt is on, and you’re the prey. All I’m saying is… All I’m saying is… Survive! All right? ” Caine listens to Mr. Butler, but as his previous and future actions illustrate, he doesn’t really hear. Caine says himself that advice like this “goes in one ear and out the other. ” In a film in which relationships among men are founded on violence, it is no coincidence that Caine’s father and Pernell influence Caine in the most pervasive ways. Rather than standing for the son’s salvation, these fathers only make Caine’s downfall inevitable.

With all influential father figures either dead or behind bars, the unprepared Caine must adopt the role of father when Pernell accepts Caine’s relationship with Ronnie (Jada Pinkett), Pernell’s former lover and the mother of his young son Tony. Pernell gives his blessing, as Ronnie and Caine attempt to move out of the hood and to Atlanta, and Caine comes of age, accepting responsibility for Ronnie, Tony, and himself. Conducted through prison glass and telephones, the scene suggests the possibility that Caine has learned from Pernell’s mistakes and now can halt the history of self-destruction into which he was born and raised.

But this possibility is quickly negated at the going-away party for Ronnie, where Caine attacks a man in front of Tony, a reinforcement of the violent scene from Caine’s childhood. In this sense, the film suggests that the only legacy Caine or Tony can inherit is one of violence and self-destruction. Women in the film are almost totally excluded from the story. The only exception in Menace II Society is Ronnie, who is included precisely because she stands above or outside of the environment around her, as suggested by her characterization and the spaces she occupies.

Ronnie is an important character in the film. Shot in soft focus and with soft lighting, in contrast to the harsher realities of Caine’s world, Ronnie and her house become Caine’s only safe haven. Within this space, “Ronnie’s subdued dress and practical manner sustain Caine in a way his own mother never could. ” Ronnie’s role as nurturer and protector emerges through her strong desire to shield her son and Caine from guns, drugs, prison, and death. In this respect, Ronnie represents Caine’s only hope for survival.

Within this survival with Ronnie is the promise of escape; Caine will break away from his life of crime by escaping to Atlanta with Ronnie. Ronnie also represents, in a sense, the New Negro. She will not settle for a life of violence and crime for herself and her son. She continues her education and gets a job in Atlanta, where she plans to move with Tony and Caine. She is a character who clearly is not confused in the fact that she wants a better life and will not settle for life in the ghetto. In addition to Ronnie are the typical “homegirls,” and a few almost silent appearances by Caine’s grandmother.

The grandmother, even though with only a few lines in a few scenes, represents the mammy. She is mostly reserved and quiet and lets her husband make the decisions and do the talking. The only other woman who factors into the film is Ilena, the mother of Caine’s unborn child. Completely opposite of Ronnie through her blatant sexuality, Ilena causes Caine’s downfall and foils his and Ronnie’s attempt to start a new life. The men in the film seem to “take care” of all problems, even though most of the pivotal problems involve the women in the film.

This sheltering of the women last up until the last scene when Caine is gunned down by Ilena’s cousin in revenge for dumping Ilena and abandoning his unborn child. The audience only sees men solving problems and taking care of business as the women reside in the background. Just as Ronnie is off-screen when the imprisoned Pernell gives Caine his blessing, Ilena is also absent from the action, even at this moment when she functions so centrally. Instead, the relationship is mediated through a violent exchange between men, Caine and her cousin.

As this instance illustrates, the absence of women only unveils the threat they represent: a life in the hood, unwanted pregnancy, enforced responsibility and death. Another character who represents the New Negro is Sharif. Although he does not find his new attitude in literature, music or films, he finds himself in the philosophy of the Nation of Islam. His newfound religion helps him see something better, something bigger beyond the ghetto and he and Stacy are going to move to Kansas in pursuit of a better life, thus migrating away from the oppression.

Whether the Hughes brothers intended to make Caine the sacrificial victim is questionable and in their attempt to make a dark, violent film, they used any means necessary to arrive unintentionally at a conventional and confused conclusion. “Caine’s punishment’ is wholly in keeping with Classical Hollywood narratives, thus attaching contradictory meanings to his death. ” On one hand, the film, through its reworking of both traditional and generic narrative conventions, says something different about Caine’s situation and about the real situation of many African-American men in the inner city.

But, on the other hand, the film doesn’t say anything different, for it sometimes reuses already overused images of violence to make its main points, images that Hollywood has supplied for decades. “By not taking into account the post-Watts history of the hood, the Los Angeles Police Department’s brutal methods of fighting inner city crime, the film’s conclusion falls prey to the very forces it appears to be fighting, rendering earlier footage of the 1965 Watts Rebellion as nothing more than stylized, historical lip service.

Caine is the main character in Menace II Society and grows up in a typical way of those coming of age in a ghetto. Caine was brought up in a drug filled home; his father was a drug dealer, and his mother was a heroin addict. His name even connotes drugs, as it is slang for the drug cocaine. Caine first saw someone being shot when he was just a child, as shown in early scenes in the film. Following this, his father is murdered in a fixed drug deal, and his mother overdoses and dies.

Because Caine has no one respectable to look up to or rely on, he gets support from his friends, O-Dog, Pernell, Sharif, Stacy and Doc. These friends, for the most part, are influential to Caine, but not necessarily in a good way. They only instigate violence, which we see Caine struggle to not be a part of, but eventually gets sucked into, for he sees no other way to survive. The tragedy of Caine’s life is that he cannot stand back a little and get a wider view, see what alternatives are available. He adopts street values based on a corruption of the word “respect.

He wants respect but has done nothing to deserve it. For him, “respect” is the product of intimidation: If you back down because you fear him, you “respect” him. The Hughes’ tell Caine’s story without making him seem either the hero or victim; he is presented more as a typical example. The audience is not asked to sympathize with him, but to a degree they do. It is clear that, given the realities of the society in which he is raised, Caine’s fate is predetermined. Caine has qualities reflective of Frantz Fanon’s psychiatry of a victim of colonization.

Fanon believes that there are four steps that victims of colonization go through. Caine tries to find himself throughout the film, as he is constantly torn between good and bad, right and wrong. In this sense, he takes on a fragmented consciousness, and becomes just like his colonizer: violent, angry and ruthless. He also experiences internalized anger, which in turn leads to self-destructive behavior. These behaviors begin as destructive to others: robberies, murders, fights, but lead to behavior that ends up hurting Caine: he is shot, beaten up and eventually murdered.

Another important character in Menace II Society is O-Dog. O-Dog is the first person we see murder anyone in the film when he kills the Korean convenience store owners. O-Dog represents the Big Black Buck in this film, as he is oversexed, violent and seems to have zero compassion for others. The mere utterance of words that insult him and his way of life result in murder. When Caine introduces O-Dog, he says, “Now O-Dog was the craziest nigga alive. America’s nightmare: young, black, and didn’t give a fuck.

By saying this, Caine is saying that it is hard enough to be black and get respect from “America,” of course meaning white people, especially when you don’t care about anyone’s well being. O-Dog is the menace to society in terms of what the white man sees through his character. He is what society does not want around and is fearful of everyday. The first major theme in Menace II Society that clearly gives vent to the issues of race and class is the use of an almost all-black cast of characters. By choosing not to show any whites living in the ghetto, the Hughes’ are showing that only blacks are suffering in this way.

The only white characters in the film are the white man who shows Chauncey a car, and the police officers who beat up O-Dog and Caine. These police officers are representative of the colonizer and the colonial project. Though they commit a small crime by abusing these characters, this symbolizes the larger aspects of colonization and the Civil Rights Movement. Other than these short instances where white characters are seen, almost every character, from young to old, male to female, is black in the film, and in this respect, a white colonizer is not specifically represented.

The colonizer in this film is larger than just one person; it is the system of colonization as a whole that causes every character in the film to be oppressed in some sense of the word. The endless cycle of violence is another main theme of the film. The characters who act as role models for the developing youth directly affect the actions of characters in this film. The violent surroundings they lived and grew up in were difficult to escape and made survival harder as time went on.

Movies based upon themes of the importance of role models, rely on the fact that role models are needed because “conditions in certain inner cities are hazardous to a child’s physical health, mental health, and social adjustment. ” Human life seems to have little value, as even petty disputes lead to callous murder. The third most important part of the film is the climactic final scene that shows Caine being riddled with bullets in a drive-by shooting. The scene’s cinematography is stylistic with the use of brilliant colors, bright lighting, and slow motion photography, prolonging the event and heightening tension.

While masterfully executed, such conventions nullify the effect of earlier straightforward, no-holds-barred depictions of violence. By virtue of its simplicity, an earlier carjacking scene, in which Caine’s cousin is killed, seems far more powerful than those scenes in which violence is stylized. ” Repeatedly stating their desire that violence works as a deterrent to hood audiences watching the film, the Hughes might have achieved their end more successfully had they consistently resisted the masterful, pleasurable, and familiar cinematography of violence.

This final scene is important because of its irony because through this scene, the film’s central paradox emerges which is that it is not enough for Caine to accept responsibility for those things he desires, but he must also take responsibility for his own actions. He has almost closed the violent chapter in his life, and gets so close to being able to move on, when all his chances and hopes are literally shot down. Not only does Caine die, but Sharif dies as well.

They were both on their way to starting their lives over, but past actions caught up with Caine, and unfortunately got Sharif as well. This shows that you cannot simply get away from your problems, and you cannot change overnight. Everything you do has a consequence, and sometimes those consequences end up hurting the innocent. The largest contribution Menace II Society has made is that it shows things the way they often are for residents in low-income neighborhoods such as Watts.

It gives no hope and does not end on a happy note, yet the film is not negative for depicting these situations truthfully. As opposed to some films that merely touch on violence and show fictitious renderings of poverty-stricken ghetto life and the actions that are necessary to get by, the Hughes’ show how real and true ghetto life can be without a sugar coating. The honesty in Menace II Society makes it different from every other film, thus setting the bar higher for all films to come in their portrayals of African Americans in inner city ghettos.

The Star Wars trilogy

We live in a society, which relies on fairy tales and mythology to entertain and take us off to a far away place where we can identify with our imagination. The Star Wars trilogy is a classic example of the hero cycle. A young man is brought up believing the light side of the force is his destiny. It has an old warrior, which teaches young Luke an ancient craft that has been used for centuries to battle evil. Luke is told about his father and how he was a great Jedi Knight, how he was killed by a man named Darth Vader, but fails to tell him that the fate of the galaxy lies on his shoulders.

Luke grows wise but still cocky and bull headed much like Oedipus Rex. Young Luke Skywalker sees his mentor get taken down by the same man who killed his father thus giving birth to his inner dark side. He is yet to see the need for a balance of the two forces. Luke develops many friendships and is forced to choose whether or not he wants to complete his training with his new mentor Yoda, or watch his friends die in trying to defeat the Empire and Darth Vader. He ignores all that he was taught by Obi wan and Yoda and decides to take his destiny in his own hands and onfront Vader and save his friends.

In doing this rebellion to the light side of the force, Luke can now feel the power of having the light side and the dark. During his battle with Vader, Luke can see that there is a transformation of the villain. What was once a cold and dark character, Lord Vader now has a compassion for his son. Though Luke is blinded and stubborn for the light side of the force, is actions are now balanced between the two forces. Vader now starts to see compassion for his son, who is forced to do battle not by his own ill.

Vader then offers an ultimatum for his son who is to join with him to defeat the emperor and rule the universe. Luke denies his father and descends into his own darkness when he finds out Vader is his father, this symbolizes the death period in the fairy tale. The resurrection of Skywalker in Return of the Jedi shows that Luke realizes that he has the power to defeat the Emperor and maybe bring back his father to the light side of the force. When he confronts his enemies, Luke almost makes the decent into the darkness as he battles his ather.

He realizes that the rage that is controlling him is the dark side. Luke stops the battle after he sees that Vaders chopped hand is just like his own and he knows the two are both alike. Luke can see that he will soon become just like his father. As the aggravated Emperor starts to kill Luke, Vader goes through his own resurrection. With this compassion for his son, Lord Vader throws the Emperor to his death. Saving his son showing us that there is still good in him. The light side of the force is not completely out Vader.

The cycle hat these characters in the story Star Wars take, is a life-death cycle. They choose between which side of life to live. Campbells idea that both the light and dark side is in a way diseased shows that a balance must be present. The light side is constantly in control and more of a thanatos way, whereas the dark side is in chaos and an eros view. The balance between the two is cyclical approach to life. There are ups and downs to everything of nature. As Yoda said, there is no try only do. A true jedi must confront the dark side of the force in order to see what the light side has.

The Roman Army

The Roman Army was a masterpiece in itself. There was no other army like it, and was impenentrable. This was probably because of the extreme patriotism and pride in battling for Rome, and maintaining their superiority. Gladiator, “RomanArmy. com”, and The History of the Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire all portray this patriotism in many aspects. Gladiator was directed by Ridley Scott. He is a graduate of London’s prestigious Royal College of Art. Scott began his directing career at the BBC doing commercials.

In 1977, he made his feature film directorial debut with the period drama ‘The Duelists,’ for which he won the Best First Film Award at the Cannes Film Festival. In 1984, Scott made a brief return to commercial directing for what was to be one of the most groundbreaking ads ever created- The introduction of the Apple computer. Following the record-breaking success of his follow-up film, ‘Alien,’ Scott directed the futuristic hit ‘Blade Runner,’ starring Harrison Ford. In 1993, Scott re-edited a director’s cut of ‘Blade Runner,’ which was released to great critical acclaim.

He also executive produced ‘Monkey Trouble’ and the anthology series ‘The Hunger. ‘ Scott’s reason for developing Gladiator came from his interest in Roman history. He “loves the pride show by the Roman soldiers in their country and themselves. ” He planed to bring the Roman history to us, for knowledge and understanding. Gladiator’s purpose was to portray the life of the particular Roman general; Maximus(played by Russell Crowe)—the general-turned-gladiator whose popularity does threaten the power of the emperor—was key to the success of the project.

The reason they picked this as the main focus of the movie was because the government of Rome was a very corrupt society. ”Maximus is the very soul of the movie. ” ”It was crucial to find an actor who you could believe possessed the ferocity of this great warrior, but in whom you could also see a man of strong principle and character. Russell Crowe’s name came up pretty fast. His intensity, his dignity and his utter conviction in every role he undertakes made him everyone’s first choice. ”

I think ”Gladiator” presented the prospect of helping to re-establish a film genre which had not been stumbled upon successfully in a long time. It’s an incredible period. The achievements of the Roman Empire were remarkable, but they were underscored by absolute brutality, which fascinates people to this day, and was portrayed well in this film. This film was not lacking anything in my perspective. It was a great movie. The only thing that could have been portrayed differently was the use of the coliseum. They could have show the voting, and judicial purposes of it, and its other uses besides the games.

Film Contributions Of The Sixties

Beginning roughly with the release of Stanley Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove: Or How I Stopped Worrying and Loved the Bomb in 1964, and continuing for about the next decade, the “Sixties” era of filmmaking made many lasting impressions on the motion picture industry. Although editing and pacing styles varied greatly from Martin Scorcesse’s hyperactive pace, to Kubrick’s slow methodical pace, there were many uniform contributions made by some of the era’s seminal directors.

In particular, the “Sixties” saw the return of the auteur, as people like Francis Ford Coppola and Stanley Kubrick wrote and directed their own screenplays, while Woody Allen wrote, directed and starred in his own films. Kubrick, Coppola and Allen each experimented with characterization, narrative and editing techniques. By examining the major works of these important directors, their contributions become more apparent. Dr. Strangelove (1964), an adaptation of Peter Bryant’s novel Red Alert, although still bearing the usual traits of a Kubrick film, is something of a departure for him in terms of editing and spatial strategies.

The film’s run-time more or less corresponds with the fictional or represented time in the story. This direct correspondence between fictional and real time adds to the sense of temporal compression induced by the film’s insistent editing patterns. Although Dr. Strangelove employs many long takes, it contains the shortest average-shot-length of any Kubrick film. The film consists of roughly 700 shots and has a run time of 94 minutes for an average-shot-length of 8 seconds.

Despite the rather short average-shot-length, Dr. Strangelove still resorts to crucial long takes to slow down the rapid momentum of the story (Falsetto, 35). Several spatial and temporal procedures are at work in Dr. Strangelove, such as the use of the long take. Conversely, the B-52 sequences, often accompanied by various versions of “When Johnny Comes Marching Home,” employ different editing patterns than the rest of the film. These edits reinforce the film’s theme of inevitability. Through editing, the B-52 sequences display a strong cinematic rhythm.

The shots are generally shorter than the other sections of the film, and they significantly contribute to the film’s shorter average-shot-length, despite Kubrick’s deliberate use of long takes (Falsetto, 44). Stanley Kubrick’s next film was the science fiction masterpiece 2001: A Space Odyssey. 2001 represents Kubrick’s most ambitious presentation of cinematic subjectivity, most prominently in the Star-Gate sequence and in the final episode of Dave Bowman in an isolation room. These sequences are a result of a film, which for most of its run time does not presented the subjective vision of any one character.

In stylistic and visual terms, there is a movement from the three-dimensional style of the film’s first half to the flatter, more abstract visual style of the Star-Gate sequence. The film’s movement towards abstraction can be understood both in visual and narrative terms (Falsetto, 115). 2001’s presentation of details from the “Dawn of Man” sequence, to later space travel scenes are shot with complete conviction and impeccable detail. The viewer believes that the world might have actually looked like what Kubrick presented it as, several million years ago, and the depiction of space travel is just as convincing.

The use of models, front projection, the slow editing techniques and camera work all help to create a more complete illusion (Falsetto, 141). If 2001 was presented almost completely objectively, than Kubrick’s next film, A Clockwork Orange (1972) was presented almost completely subjectively. This may have been in part due to the constraints of the original novel by William Burgess, but nonetheless the film is told from the point of view of its central character, Alex. When Alex is not speaking on camera, he can often be heard as a voiced over narrator, interjecting his comments on the action which is occurring on screen.

The elements of fantasy and theater are evident in the infamous rape scene, where Alex does a freaked-out impersonation of Gene Kelly, performing “Singing in the Rain. ” He moves with great flair, and his violent actions become a creative release. Carefully choreographed movements and gestures punctuate his actions. Part of the reason the film’s violence is so attractive is because not only is it presented with great imagination, but it is also performed by the only character in the film with any degree of charm (Falsetto, 150).

The elements of fantasy and play that figure in these brutal acts relate to the subjective presentation emphasized by the film’s design. These include point-of-view shots, distorting wide-angle lenses, character voice over and various lighting and editing aspects. Each covey the impression that this world is filtered through Alex (Falsetto, 153). Another important filmmaker of the period was Francis Ford Coppola, who was responsible for the Godfather series. The film does feature the home life of members of the Mafia.

Many other gangster films have done this, but no other film emphasized the domestic side of gangsters to the extent that the Godfather (1972) did. Film critic William S. Pechter remarked that we se the mean in the Mafia “as members of a family”: as godfather, father, grandparent, son and brother. The viewer’s predominant image of Don Corleone are of him in his domestic role – as father of the bride, shopping for groceries and playing with his grandchild. Responding to this new emphasis on gangster’s personal lives, the audience is more aware that these gangsters are human beings and therefore, as mortal as the rest of us (Johnson, 111).

Due to the immense success of the original Godfather movie, the studio began pressuring Coppola into doing a sequel. He eventually agreed and took about writing the sequel that would not necessarily pick up where the last one left off, but would explore the untouched elements of its predecessor. Unfortunately, right before filming started, Marlon Brando had a falling out with the studio, and would not be reprising his role as Don Vito Corleone. There are two main plotlines in The Godfather, Part II (1974). The first is the life of young Vito Corleone, played by Robert DeNiro.

The Mafia in Sicily killed Vito’s family, and he was smuggled out of the country to Ellis Island. The film abruptly switches to a party celebrating the first communion of Michael’s son. Throughout the movie, Coppola juxtaposes images of Michael with those of his father. Ultimately though, Coppola wanted the film to draw to a logical conclusion, without making it formulaic (Johnson, 151). Instead of Michael getting killed, or falling from power, he manages to attain power relatively unscathed and ends up jaded and alone as a result. The desire for revenge explains most of the Mafia murders in the both Godfather films.

It explains Michael’s entrance into the business and why in Part II he feels he must shed so much blood, including the blood of his only living brother. Michael “chose to become a killer out of family loyalty. He can never go back to the time before that moment in the restaurant when he shot his father’s enemies (Johnson, 155). ” Coppola tried to steer the audience to this theme. Just before the release of Part II he stated that the major plot of the story was “how two men, father and son, were…corrupted by this Sicilian waltz of vengeance (Johnson, 155). ”

On the other side of Coppola and Kubrick, were the comedic stylings of Woody Allen. In many ways, Allen was a throwback to the comedy of silent, and early sound films. His films contain the subtle ironies Buster Keaton, the word play of Groucho Marx and the social commentary of Charlie Chaplin (Mast, 440). Like Chaplin, Allen wrote and starred in all of his films, and he directed all but one of them. In addition, Allen’s understanding of American humor invites comparisons to Mark Twain, and like Twain, his achievement and impact on culture is comparable to Twain (Girgus, 10).

Allen’s seminal work was Play It Again Sam, which he starred in and wrote, although Herb Ross directed it. In this film, techniques such as voice-overs, traditional frame narratives, music and visual images are employed in ways, that Allen develops them further in later films. He moved from repeating jokes from his stories and comic routines to creating truly original cinema. In 1977’s Annie Hall, he documents his own transition from a gag writer to a serious, credible artist (Girgus, 11). Play It Again Sam uses its divided subjectivity through the use of visual and audio infuses to create structure and substance in the film (Girgus, 15).

Although Allen did not direct this film, he did use this as a benchmark from which he would base all of his future works. Woody Allen, Francis Ford Coppola, and Stanley Kubrick each produced some of the most important works of the “Sixties. ” Although Kubrick experimented more with cinematic technique, with his uses of spacing, and long shots, all three experimented with elements of characterization. Kubrick used both subjective and objective points of view quite deliberately in his films.

Coppola took the Mafia, and humanized them more so than previous gangster movies, in addition to redefining what a sequel should be. Woody Allen took comedy back to its roots, and in the process, was able to created some of the most groundbreaking comedy since Charlie Chaplin. In addition, this return of the auteurs paved the way for many of today’s prominent filmmakers. Without Kubrick or Coppola, there would be no Quentin Tarantino, and without Woody Allen, there would be no Kevin Smith. Coppola, Kubrick and Allen have each made enduring films, and continued to do so well after the “Sixties” had ended.

Cruel Inentions

The film Cruel Intentions is a narration based on a bet between two step-siblings exploring society’s sexual boundaries. We are first introduced to Sebastian, a fifth year high school Senior with no respect for anyone/ thing except his own reputation of sexual conquest. His stepsister Kathryn is, well, as she puts it “I’m the Marsha fucking Brady of the Upper East Side”. A quick summary, Sebastian wants to have sex with Annette, the new head master’s daughter who wrote a manifesto on why she intends to wait until marriage.

Kathryn makes a bet with he that he won’t be able to, and spends the rest of the movie trying to corrupt innocent little Cecile who is her ex’s new infatuation. Cecile is in love with the cello teacher of a different race, but through Kathryn’s temptation is learning the arts of sex from Sebastian. There is a trip up in the end for Sebastian falls in love with Annette which doesn’t go over too well with Kathryn and they all bite the dust in the end, (except for maybe Cecile). Concerning issues learned in class, the film corners in on three particular topics that accurately convey the textual evidence we were presented with.

The first is dealing with gender differences and sexual motivation, the different reasons men and women have sex. Communication and sex is also portrayed, who does one talk to about sex. And finally, the film hints at an open double standard declaring it does still exist. As learned from lecture, men have sex for pleasure; it makes them feel good as it feels good to them. Women have sex to validate their feelings for their partners. Sebastian has sex for his reputation as a conqueror, “I take pleasure in others’ misery,” is one of his final testimonies.

Sleeping around with Manhattan Debutantes builds his repute giving him pleasure. Women in contrast, are having sex for love, (with the exception of Kathryn who is not having sex for love, but still an emotion, revenge). The psychiatrist’s daughter is upset because she was tricked into her scandal because “he told me he loved me and I believed him”. Through Cecil it is portrayed in a different manner, but leads to the same thing. Kathryn tries to persuade her to learn all she can from Sebastian which is replied with “But I don’t love him, I love Ronald.

Showing to the core that woman want to have sex for their emotions for their partners. She gives in when she is persuaded that you do it to practice so that she can make Ronald happy. Twisted as it may be, it is still an excuse based on feelings for a lover. Certain rules apply in film, for instance, there can not a plot with a sexual theme with out sexual communication. As portrayed in this film, communication keeps to what was learned through lecture as well as the Coupling clip, you can engage in sexual activity with a partner, but you talk about it with friends.

Kathryn and Cecil openly talk about it throughout the film, the topic of kissing while they are in the park and the topic of oral sex in Cecil’s house. Greg the football player hypes up a sexual encounter to his teammates and Blaine has plenty to tell Sebastian concerning his relationship with Greg. There is an instance when Cecil tries to talk to Sebastian about their recent activity, but he quickly becomes annoyed and leaves the room. Moving along, there is a double standard made obvious through Kathryn’s venting to Sebastian that just so happens to straight out tells the double standard she suffers though.

It’s alright for you to fuck everyone, but because I’m a girl it’s wrong. Well let me tell you something, I didn’t ask to be a girl. Do you think I relish the fact that I have to act like Mary Sunshine twenty four seven, so I can be considered a lady. ” Do you think I take great delight when I hear – Kathryn is so wonderful. ‘ Kathryn is a model child. ‘ Kathryn is going to make an excellent wife one day. ‘ I’m the Marsha fucking Brady of the Upper East Side and sometimes I want to kill myself for it.

No, I don’t enjoy being a part of the eaker sex and for that reason everyone around me is going to suffer. ” In the world of the film, she is a girl and she must behave like a lady while her brother is allowed to be sexuality free without being frowned upon or being called a slut, which we see in the end, is how he views her since there is a picture of her with the line “I am a slut” written above her image. Even though it might seems to be going a little extreme, the film does well in representing a factual account of human sexuality, at least how it applies to our society.

It does not present hard to believe facts. We know Kathryn is promiscuous, but we are not told some outrageous number to make us question this as a movie. It shows an interesting take on girls first sexual encounters, both Annette and Cecil are virgins at the start of the film, but the story of their sexual beginnings is intriguing to watch. In keeping with social norms, the film is teaching, or more like reinforcing what is already known about human and gender sexual behavior. It takes what has been studied and learned and mixes it together in an entertaining love story.

The film Apocalypse Now

This film, from 1979 was directed by Francis Ford Coppula and starred Martin Sheen (Capt. Willard) and Marlon Brando (Col. Kurtz). The film takes place during the 1970’s in the middle of the Vietnam War. Coppula was rewarded for his hard work by winning the Academy Award for cinematography. The story is based on the novel “Hearts of Darkness”, by Joseph Conrad. The book and film depicts Capt. Willard in the middle of the Vietnam searching for Col. Kurtz, who has gone mad and started his own private war.

Apocalypse Now uses its scenes to show three types of horror including psychological, gore, and surprise. Psychological horror plays with human rationalization. Gore shows a stunning or violent action. Surprise horror is instilling fear by catching the viewer off guard. Each type of horror appeals to different parts of human fear and requires different methods to pull it off properly. Psychological horror is the fear of a believable, reasonable force. It outs a mirror in front of the viewer and asks him what he would in the situation.

Many scenes in the film utilize this form of horror, but none more clearly than the river boat scene where Willard and his crew emerges from a heavy mist to see a large group of villagers facing them in their own boats. An uncertain grayness covers the screen and suddenly shifts to a vivid image of a group on the river that is staring forward, penetratingly grabs the attention of the viewer. The tension between the two groups is made apparent as the two opposing forces stare at each other. If one side makes any move the other is sure to as well and would mean deaths for both.

The viewer is now put into the situation where they must ask themselves if they could handle the tension and not make any move. He also uses close-ups to show the viewer that these villagers are real people that have been made to look like and think like savages. Coppula uses psychological horror to illustrate the barrier between Willard’s world and Kurtz’s world as a means of horror in the viewer’s mind. The second type of horror is gore, in which a painful experience is relayed to the viewer.

Gore comes to life in films by using special effects to have the viewer empathize with the characters. The best example of this in Apocalypse Now is when the river boat captain is speared through the chest gruesomely. He then attempts to impale Willard, by him towards him and using the same blood soaked spear still in him, before he inevitably dies. When you see the captain get speared through his chest you feel sympathy for his suffering and you feel his anger when he tries to kill Willard.

At the same time, the viewer feels the desperation of Willard as he fends for his own life. Coppula uses gore horror here to create the element of empathy and fear for both the Captain, who dies for what is really Willard’s war, and for Willard, who inadvertently has killed the Captain by putting him in this situation. The surprise horror is created through a dramatic presentation of events or a sudden shocker. By timing a motion or noise correctly the viewer experiences the danger themselves of a situation.

The scene that best uses surprise horror in the film is when Willard and the character Chief are in the jungle looking for mangos. The two are suddenly attacked by a tiger from out of the bushes and the scene explodes as the tiger chases both of them. Coppola uses the timing of the tiger’s attack to make the viewer feel the same reaction that the two characters in the film do. He also uses a moment of silence and then extremely clear sounds of the three creatures moving through the jungle to instill fear even more.

The viewer immediately feels the surprised horror of being the prey of a large, viscous animal. This film is such an important masterpiece in truly understanding just how gruesome and fear filled the Vietnam War was. Apocalypse Now is a film for not only people who lived during the War but also anyone who has ever wondered just what it would be like to be in one. The film uses horror to portray its point of how each second you were in Vietnam you were faced with death and terror.

Coppola’s use of camera angels, visual effects, and horror make this film one for the ages. It would be in anyone’s best decision to take time and view this film with an appreciation of how good a job Coppola has done with his ability to impart desired emotions on his viewers. The film is brutal and chaotic at the same time, but it still is able to reach its audience in any decade with a form of reality and realness that only a film of this magnitude could acheive.

Brazil’s Current Film Industry

In this paper I will discuss Brazil and its current film industry. I will elucidate its role in the Brazilian economy, and also what part the government deals in the industry itself. Certain Brazilian films will be given as representations towards my theories. Within a year of the Lumiere brothers first experiment in Paris in 1896, the cinematograph machine appeared in Rio de Janeiro. Ten years later, the capital boasted 22 cinema houses and the first Brazilian feature film, The Stranglers by Antonio Leal, had been screened.

From then on Brazils film industry made continuous progress nd, although it has never been large, its output over the years has attracted international attention. In 1930, still the era of the silent movie in Brazil, Mario Peixotos film, Limite was made. Limite is a surrealistic work dealing with the conflicts raised by the human condition and how life conspires to prevent total fulfillment. It was considered a landmark film in the Brazilian cinema history. In 1933 Cinedia produced The Voice of Carnival, the first film with Carmen Miranda. This film ushered in the chanchada which dominated Brazilian cinema for many years.

Chanchadas ere the slapstick comedies, generally filled with musical numbers and thoroughly cherished by the public. By the end of the 1940s Brazilian film making was becoming an industry. The Vera Cruz Film Company was created in Sao Paulo with the goal of producing films of international quality. It hired technicians from abroad and brought back from Europe, Alberto Cavalcanti, a Brazilian filmmaker with an international reputation to head the company. Vera Cruz produced some important films before it closed in 1954, among them the epic O Cangaceiro which won the “Best Adventure Film” ward at Cannes Film Festival in 1953.

In the 1950s, Brazilian cinema radically changed the way it made films. In his 1995 film, Rio 40 Graus, director Nelson Pereira dos Santos employed the filmmaking techniques of Italian non realism by using ordinary people as his actors and by going to the streets to shoot his low budget film. He would become one of the most important Brazilian filmmakers of all time, and it is he who set the stage for the Brazilian cinema novo (an idea in mind and a camera in the hands) movement. By 1962 cinema novo had established a new concept in Brazilian filmmaking.

The cinema novo films dealt with themes related to acute national problems, from conflicts in rural areas to human problems in the large cities, as well as film versions of important Brazilian novels. At the end of the 1960s, the Tropicalist movement had taken hold of the art scenes in Brazil which meant that cinema came under its spell. It emphasized the need to transform all foreign influences into a national product. The most representative film of this movement was Macunaima, by Joaquim Pedro de Andrade.

It was a metaphorical analysis of the Brazilian character as hown in the story of a native Indian who leaves the Amazon jungle and goes to the big city. Working at the same time as the Tropicalists were the cinema marginal movement. This was another group of directors that emerged in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro who also made low cost films. This group produced films with themes that referred to a marginal society. Their films were considered difficult. In 1969 the government film agency, Embrafilme, was created. They were responsible for the co production, financing, and distribution of a large percentage of films in the 1970s and 1980s.

Embrafilme added a commercial dimension to the film industry and made it possible for it to move on to more ambitious projects. In the 1980s movies were not well attended. This was due in part to the popularity of the television. Many theatres closed their doors, especially in the interior if the country. Never the less some important films were made. Many were concerned with political questions. Today many contemporary Brazilian films are being shown on television and in movie theatres all over the world. The Brazilian culture at the moment is result of a historical process where there was a convergence of three distinct populations.

The Indian population that was situated in the land before the Portuguese arrived in 1500, the Africans who were brought by the slave owners, and lastly the immigrants that came to Brazil in the beginning of the 19th century. Today, Brazil being more conscious of the richness of these three different cultures tries to incentive the film industry by bringing these influences out. A perfect example of this is the film O Quatrilho. O Quatrilho, made in 1996, was one of the five ominees for the 1996 Academy Award for the Best Movie in a Foreign Language.

This film takes us into the world of a small colony of Italian Immigrants in the south of Brazil in 1910. The young and serious Angelo is wed to the beautiful and vibrant Teresa but he pays no attention to her at all. He is firstly preoccupied with making ends meet and then his fortune rather than lavishing on his wife. Another couple arrives at the village where Angelo and Teresa are located. Pierina, Teresas cousin, is homely but hard working while Massimo is more worldly and doesnt disguise the act that he finds Teresa attractive.

Before long both couples have children and they find themselves sharing the same property. The daily routine of working together on the land is arduous but while Angelo busies himself with his business and proves successful at it, Massimo and Teresa are drawn to each other. After their first amorous encounter they decide to abandon their respective marriages and elope together. The remaining couple, betrayed by their spouses, continue to live under the same roof, despite church pressure that they separate. But little by little they discover that they are in love.

As a result of the process of the countrys formation, Brazil has a rich influence for different time periods and ethnicitys which can clearly be seen in the aforementioned film, O Quatrilho. With a sudden change of Brazilian cultural laws in the last 2 years, the Brazilian “audio-visual” areas such as film, television, and radio flourished. The national production of films were stagnant from the 1990s to 1992 due to the radical cuts in government fiscal and artistic incentives made at the time by the Collor administration. But because of the new demand for more “audio-visual” products in 1993 that all changed.

In 1993 when the law to incentive the “audio-visual” was created and then passed by the senate, 2 films were produced. A year later, 1994, 5 films were made. In 1995 17 films were produced, moving along in 1996 22 films were made. And lastly in 1997 30 films were produced. This increase gives us the conclusion that with the establishment of the new law there was a growth of national films. With this growth the emergence of beautiful filming began. A great example of the growth of national films s Central do Brazil, which won the gold bear at the International Film Festival in Berlin and the prize for Best Script at the Sundance Festival.

In this film Dora works in the “Central do Brazil” writing letters for illiterates who desire to correspond with their distant relatives. Ana, one of her customers, dies by getting hit by a car, and against her wishes, Dora receives Anas only child Josue. Josue dreams to know his father who has disappeared in the northeast and so he begs Dora to help. Dora, in the end helps Josue to write letters to help find his father. This film s currently being shown in Brazilian theatres and also European and American theatres.

The actual flourishing of the film industry is so intense that one can even measure by the fact that in the beginning of the decade the number of spectators for the Brazilian films were insignificant, summoning up to about 20,000 per year. But gradually, as the films increased so did the spectators. In 1997 one can see how the numbers have jumped to 2 million. Another auspicious fact is the regional diversification of productions, allowing the elimination of the battles between Rio de Janeiro nd Sao Paulo. Although the market is still dominated by foreign films, Brazil has begun to export their films.

In 1997 Brazil imported 680 millions of dollars against the 38 millions that were being exported. The Federal Constitution clearly established in the 2 articles (215, and 216) states that the competency of the state guarantees the cultural rights. Also access to the cultural source, value and incentivation of the cultural productions and preservations of the national heritage. Especially the ones from the various ethnic groups and trends that encompass the Brazilian society. So the 3 fundamental dimensions of the cultural phenomenon (creation, diffusion, and preservation) are contemplated in the constitutional text.

This places them under the public responsibilities in collaboration with its society. The countrys cultural area is changing to a more stable structure of organization and financial support. The federal legislation that incentives the culture has 2 powerful laws. Law 8. 313/91, which is the federal law to stimulate the culture, and law 8685/93 which is the audiovisual law. With these two laws the federal government incentives nd supports the firms to contribute with a percentage of the taxes to be used in the support of the arts.

As a result of these laws we have the “Revival of the Brazilian Movie”, with an increased income of 80 million reais (Brazillian currency) in 1997. These figures are four times bigger than the 1995 figures. An illustration of this is the ministry of culture that gave 40 awards for film shorts, 15 for scripts, and 15 for the development of the audio-visual projects. In 1998, the ministry of culture will center its efforts to increase the market for Brazilian productions of audio visual context.

By doing so, one hopes that this can increase the structure and the implementation of the audio visual industry in Brazil. In conclusion, I believe that the Brazilian film industry was lacking when it first started. Gradually the industry has begun to grow and produce films that are even entertaining foreign audiences, such as O Quatrilho in Europe and the US. Hopefully as the years pass I believe that even though Brazil is a third world country, it is rich enough in culture to bring forth a different quality of films that will reassure the foreign audience and market to give them a chance.

Documentary Critique Roger And Me

This is a critique of” Roger And Me”, a documentary by Michael Moore. This is a film about a city that at one time had a great economy. The working class people lived the American dream. The majority of people in this town worked at the large GM factory. The factory is what gave these people security in their middle working class home life. Life in the city of Flint was good until Roger Smith the CEO of GM decided to close the factory. This destroyed the city. Violent crime became the highest in the nation, businesses went bankrupt, people were evicted from their rented homes.

There were no jobs and no opportunity. Life was so bad that Money magazine named Flint the worst place to live in the entire nation. When news of the factory closing first broke, Michael Moore a native of flint decided to search for Roger Smith and bring him to Flint. Michael Moore is the author and narrator of this touching film. He is seen throughout the film. He interviews many people and tries again and again to find Roger Smith. He is thrown out of private clubs, offices and yacht clubs. His authorial voice is observational. He tells all sides of this sad story.

He interviews the people of Flint and GM executives including Roger Smith. He even interviews the few very well to do people in the now struggling city. One executive is used over and over in this film. His opinion is that “GM has to do what GM has to do to stay competitive”, and ” the nature of corporations is to make money”. His views were shocking to me after seeing the struggle that the city was in. How could he say this when streets were filled of boarded up homes and businesses? The city is doing so bad that the rat population actually increased the human.

These comments made me sick because he actually believed what he was saying. The well to do or very rich people in Flint had different statements but they were just as disturbing. “Get up and do something”, “They don’t want to work”, “We have such a good welfare program these days” and “there being lazy” were just some of the comments. These people just seemed really naive to me. I got the impression, and I am confidant that their families has had money for years and that they were brought up on this type of attitude. The sheriff of the city was interviewed as he evicted people from their homes.

He said he was so backed up with evictions that he had to kick people out of their homes on Christmas eve. So many people were leaving this town that people getting evicted couldn’t call a moving truck. All of these interviews shows the depth of the entire story, not just one side. Roger Smith was finally asked at the end of the film what he thought of people being out in the street in Flint. He said that it had nothing to do with GM. The director’s choice of authorial voice certainly impacted my feelings about the film. The director showed all sides of the story but anyone who watches this film will side with the city of Flint.

One reason for this was showing the archive footage of the city of Flint before the decision of the plant. There was footage of people with smiles walking the streets of Flint and footage of many thriving businesses. The city of this day was a totally different than after the lay off. Now there was a city where people wore a frown and businesses were boarded. This was very effective in portraying the documentary subject because you could see the before and after effect with your own eyes. The director’s authorial voice provided me with a compelling point of view.

To me Roger Smith was almost evil. How could he let this happen to a whole city when he had the power to stop it. GM as a corporation was in very good shape. They did make more profit from using Mexican workers but is it really worth all this? My view of the people laid off varied. Some were naively optimistic. Others turned to a life of crime. .While, others intelligently moved away. This was shown by the many interviews given to the people of Flint. The story of the film had an important significance. It is not worth a small profit to destroy people’s lives.

This was a small profit to such a big company like GM. This film showed the repercussions when something like this happens. People , hungry and poor turning to crime. In my opinion, the welfare of a whole city is much more important than a small selfish profit especially when GM was not in danger of bankruptcy. Roger was an egotistical and selfish person. When it came down to looking at the city of Flint he turned the other way. I totally understand that GM is a business and I believe in capitalism but we have to take care of people before making money.

In this case we have to take care of the welfare of an entire city before making a small profit. I don’t understand how a man like Roger can live with himself after making a city that lived the American dream into a giant ghetto. He should have looked at the city of Flint and then took a good look at himself and reconsidered the decision. In conclusion this documentary showed what happens when large corporations dump American workers for foreign workers. The companies save money but we need to take care of are own people (Americans) before thinking about a profit.

Japanese Animation Essay

Thirty-five years ago, Japans entertainment industry found an answer to its problems. Still developing in the aftermath of defeat in World War II, and the subsequent restructuring plan instituted by the United States, Japan was without surplus resources. There was no money for the production of films. American films soon began invading the Japanese entertainment industry. Yet the Japanese people longed for entertainment which would reflect their own culture. And so animation… developed in Japan to fill the void of high-budget film-making (Marin, 69).

In the years that followed, animation would take a pop-cultural foothold in Japan that has grown and transformed, and yet exists today. Even with the onset of increasing economic fortitude, animation continued to flourish within Japans entertainment industry. The creative possibilities of animations unparalleled visual story-telling capacities had been discovered by Japanese filmmakers, and would continue to be exploited into the present age. Japanese animation, more commonly referred to as anime, or Japanimation, has somewhat different origins than western animation.

Where animation developed to entertain European and American children through comedic exploits, anime was created to entertain wider audience groups. Indeed, one might find difficulty in characterizing all anime together; the Japanese have viewed animation as a medium of creation rather a form of entertainment limited in audience and expression. Anime is included in a group from which the United States has traditionally banned animation; specifically, anime is considered a form of creative expression, much as are literature, modern art, live-action films, and other arts.

A man by the name of Osamu Tezuka first envisioned animations possibilities in Japan in the 1960s (Ledoux, 1). Tezuka realized the power animation could lend to story-telling, and produced a myriad of animated films and television programs from which modern-day anime has made its genesis. At first heavily influenced by Disneys animation, Tezukas animation soon transcended the confines within which American animation had placed itself. Tezuka can be credited today with being the first to produce animation for a sophisticated audience.

Osamu Tezuka adapted comics, the most popular form of entertainment in Japan, to his animation. Tezuka was a creative dynamo whose comics tackled nearly every possible subject: science fiction, action/adventure, romance, horror, and adult drama, creating a readership which encompassed nearly every possible age group (Ledoux, 2). When he began producing animation, it too was varied in subject matter. Keeping with Tezukas creative process, nearly all animation in Japan has been derived from comics, which are known there as manga.

This tradition for the most part still exists today. In the present age, anime is extremely popular in Japan and abroad. In Japan itself, anime constitutes approximately sixty percent of all television programming (Ed Goodwin, president of CA West). In Europe and Asia, Japanese animation has been widely accepted as well (DUinfo). One anime property, known as Sailormoon… moves $250 million a year in tie-in toys world widefive times the U. S. sales for the once mighty Power Rangers(Karp, 36).

Only one type of animation in the world can stand comparison to the nation of Japans animation as a whole: the animation of Disney. Disney animation is generally regarded to be the worlds most technically superior animation. But is Disney animation of superior quality to anime? Comparing the patrons of these two groups of animation, Walt Disney and Osamu Tezuka is like comparing Rembrandt to da Vinci. Both pairs have been aknowledged as masters in their respective fields. Rembrandt and da Vinci were painters, Disney and Tezuka were animators.

However, the creative processes of the individuals within each pair are vastly different. Like Rembrandt, Disney had a studio of artists; much of the animators work was produced by others under his limited supervision and then given his signature. Tezuka on the other hand, was a renaissance man like da Vinci; Tezuka produced all of his own work, and was a master of multiple topics and genres as opposed to Disneys one (i. e. family entertainment). These comparisons hold true for modern day anime and Disney animation.

In addition, Disney has greater resources than anime. According to Carl Macek, who has been responsible for the American importation of various anime titles including Robotech and Akira, Disney spends on average eight times more money to produce a feature-length animated film than does the typical Japanese animation studio (Matsumoto, 72). Considering Disneys enormous resources, compairing a Disney animated film to the average anime might seem indecorous; and yet, an intimate connection has been drawn between Disney and Japanese animation by anime fans of late.

When American animation fans familiar with anime made their way to theatres during the summer of 1994 to see Disneys current animated feature they were shocked. The Lion King seemed to a direct plagiarization of Osamu Tezukas Jungle Taitei, meaning Jungle Emperor(known in the U. S. as Kimba, the White Lion) an animated venture predating the former by nearly twenty-five years. In the years since, discussions considering the possibility of such an impropriety have appeared in such American publications as Newsweek, The New York Times, and The Los Angeles Times, as well as a plethora of anime fanclub newsletters and animation magazines.

Trish Ledoux, author of The Complete Anime Guide: Japanese Animation and publisher of the magazine Animerica best described the similarities between the two films that have upset fans: In 1994, Disney studios released the theatrical animated feature The Lion King which, although promoted as an original story was perceived by many anime buffs to be more than a little beholden to Tezukas Kimba, the White Lion.

Both stories are tales of young male lions whose fathers are done in by the trencher of a nefarious older male relative (Scar in the Disney version, Claw in Tezukas); both include anthropomorphic talkative parrots(Zazu in Disneys, Coco in Tezukas); both provide wizened baboon sages for their young protagonist(Disneys Rafiki, Tezukas Mandy the Mandrill), not to mention the cackling evil hyena henchmen; both feature morale-boosting visages of ghostly patter lions in the clouds above [Ledoux, 16].

Manga artist Machiko Satonaka circulated a petition demanding that Disney acknowledge its debt to Tezuka; with over 400 signatures, eighty percent of which came from fellow artists, the petition was sent to Disney (Ledoux, 39). Disney issued a statement that none of their animation staff had ever heard of Kimba, the White Lion or Tezuka, despite a statement from Simba (The Lion Kings lead character) voice actor Matthew Broderick claiming that he thought he was being cast for a remake of Tezukas classic.

Whether or not anime has directly influenced Disneys animation, Japanimation aficionados agree that overall, Japanese animation is superior to American animation. Anime fans may not be aware of the methods of production involved with animation, and its finished quality; nevertheless, animes superior utilization undoubtedly contributes to what is liked about Japanese animation better than American animation. Most of those familiars with anime realize that it is of a more sophisticated nature than is animation of the U. S.

And anyone who has watched Japanese animation will bear witness to the fact that it must appeal to a wider variety of audiences than American animation. But a fraction of animes collective qualities, these characteristics establish the core of its transcendence of Americas animation. Japanese animation is produced with care and quality unseen by American animation. A number of aspects of animation production lend exemplary evidence of Japanimations superiority. Foremost among these is the usage of modern technology in the process of animation.

In this, the computer age, animation technology most certainly encompasses the use of computers to enhance animation. Anime does not simply use computer effects though. Instead it assimilates computer effects into hand-painted frames of animation, resulting in a symbiosis of fluid color and movement. Computer animation is by nature very different from hand-painted animation; a disparity in the smoothness of movement and the visual texture of computer and hand-painted animation exists that makes the incorporation of one into the other a difficult process.

In order for the process to be achieved smoothly, the animators involved must be masters of both arts. Japanese animators have mastered this incorporation process, and achieve it in a manner that does not appear contrived. Todays cutting-edge Japanese directors havent neglected computer animation as an option… theyve worked to incorporate it into traditional cel-based features to create even more startling effects (Goodwin). By contrast, American animation typically does not utilize computers, and when it does, the computer effects tend to be utilized inappropriately, in a choppy manner that interferes with the animation.

Photography, essential to the animation process, also presents an example of animes superior utilization of technology. A recent technique used by Japanese animators to enhance their work has been to photograph three-dimensional models in order to add an element of realism to animation backgrounds. This technique brings Japanese animation to a whole new level; it allows the viewer to imagine that the animated storys courses of events are proceeding in a conceivable setting. Three-dimensional model photography has been pioneered by Japanese animators and is yet to be seen at all in American animation (Pollack, 32).

American animators generally do not experiment with such creative uses of technology. For this reason, Japanimation tends to have a cutting-edge quality that is not associated with American animaton. In an artform that is primarily hand-painted though, the painting technology itself is quite important. The Japanese make use of airbrushes more commonly and effectively than do Americans in animation (DUinfo). This of course adds an aesthetic quality to anime generally not achieved in American animation.

The film, “Citizen Kane”

In the film, “Citizen Kane” directed by Orson Welles, Charles Foster Kane had built an entire empire around Xanadu. With all of his money, he was never truly happy. He had bought many things for the wives that he had, but they too were also never truly happy.

His wives wanted something from him that he was not willing to express, and that was his true feelings. When he was a young child he had been taken away from the things that he truly loved. He loved his mother and being with his friends, most of all he loved sledding. But when he was forced to move away he was expected to grow up quickly and act as how a man would act.

His childhood had been quickly been taken away from him. He was taken away by Thatcher, he was to now be his guardian until the age of 25. Then the fortune that his mother had given him would now be his. Since he had moved from his home in Colorado, he started to look for something that would make him happy. He wanted to buy a perfect home in the perfect place he wanted his own Xanadu. He had bought many animals to try and make himself happy. But this did not work even though he had one of the biggest privately owned zoo’s in the world. He had married Emily Norton and had a child with her.

While he was married to her he tried running for governor but at the same time he was having an affair with Susan Alexander. But when the press got a hold of this information it just about ruined all of his creditability, therefore causing his to not be elected governor. When he was talking with Susan Alexander she told him everything that she always wanted but never got. She wanted to be a singer but no one would really hired her. So two weeks after his divorce with Emily Norton, he had married Susan Alexander. She would soon get everything that she ever wanted.

She lived in a huge house and had a theater built for her. But she would also learn that Charles Foster Kane did not express his feelings to her. She would be left at home by herself most of the time putting together puzzles, which symbolized her trying to put the pieces in her life back together. Charles Foster Kane was at work most of the time he owned the Inquirer. He loved being in control of what was printed in the newspaper. But in the beginning he was approached by a man telling him that he was not running the newspaper well because every year they were losing a million dollars.

But Charles Foster Kane had replied with well I guess were going to have shut down this place in sixty years, when he said this his attitude seemed to change a bit because he was being a bit sarcastic and in the move you don’t see much of that from him. Charles Foster Kane didn’t lead the happiest life that he could have. Before he died his last work was “Rosebud” this word was the key to his happiness when he was a child he had a sled and its name was Rosebud. While he said his last word he dropped the snow globe, which fell to the floor. This snow globe had symbolized his childhood, which was when he was truly happy.

The film La Triviata

The film La Triviata displayed a fundamental romantic attack on conventional bourgeois morals, arguing that a good heart is more important than social acceptance, that the distinctions which split the beau monde (socially elite) from the demimonde (courtesans) are harsh and hypocritical, and that true love must triumph over all. Alfredos father destroyed this relationship when he pays visit to Violetta and request she break off the relationship with his son.

Alfredos sister is engaged to be married, but if word of his affair with Violetta were to get out, the engagement would be terminated. During this time even the most respectful families would not even want to associate with another family in which one of the members was entangled with such a sinful person. This demonstrates that marriage is viewed as a business arrangement put together by families, rather than by the love between two people. Like the characters in the film, women in the 19th century didnt have many choices in life.

They were expected to get married and be supported by a husband. For those few who didnt sometimes became prostitutes or if they were lucky, courtesans. Any woman who slept with a man before marriage was thought to be ruined (unfit to wed), and should be shunned as a social outcast. For many such women prostitution was a means of survival. Violetta represents the extent of female independence in the 19th century. She uses men to survive by accepting gifts and money, but she is not trapped in the legal repression of marriage.

Violettas life is filled with parties and wealthy male companions provide her with far more excitement in life than would the traditional role of marriage. However, Violettas choice is misleading, for she knows that a woman in this time cant go against tradition without facing severe repercussions. Contradictions and hypocrisy was prevalent between the lives and values of the bourgeois gentlemen. Prostitution and gambling were extremely popular and widespread, at the same time they were being publically condemned.

Men were expected to have mistresses whom they supported financially; but they were expected to conceal that fact, and they were expected not to fall in love with them. Such courtesans as Violetta are not classed with common prostitutes, but there should be not delusion about their motivation for participating in these affairs: they were in it for the financial gain of the business. Life in the 19th century was not easy for women. Choices were, at best, limited and society was hypocritical. In the end, as this film portrayed marriage was a financial transaction and love was sadly forbidden.

Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov: Novel Response

It seems to be quite amusing the way that so many people get so bent out of shape about a movie not following a book exactly. That is the beauty of prose, and the wonder of cinema. Why should there be a word for word visualization of something that already exists quite happily? Lolita is a compelling novel, a fascination read; is it wrong for an artist such as kubrick, or anyone else to succeed in creating that awesome world of humbert and the hayes ladies?

Is it immoral for yet another artist to come along and want to do it again, his way? Of course not. And if, for instance, a student longed to adapt lolita to a thesis, would he be criticized? Well, in the last instance, probably, because there isnt enough faith to go around for all students to take on a project such as that. But thats just the point, isnt it? Why shouldnt that student go on with his ideas and make the film he wants to? Who has the absolute authority to say that he wont be able to pull it off, or that its not something he should be focusing on right now?

Its a recognized story that will guarantee at least a little bit of attention. There are infinite possibilities in art. Cinema, painting, writing, photography, they yield such an incredible amount of focus, and talent, and decision; none repeats itself. When interpretations are brainstormed, and finally realized, that is somebodys achievement, however perfect or imperfect in relation to the original. There are critics who believe that masterpieces are meant to be what they are, and that remakes are not worthy of their titles. But how can this be, when there are so many things new, and so many ideas still unproduced?

Time, eras, our personal evolution, give us so much to look back on, to ponder and question. Young adults today will read lolita, and watch the first movie, and then the second, and they will be most apt to honestly enjoy the latest release over kubricks version. This is because of what people are accustomed to, of course. If a vhs copy of lolita with jeremy irons on the sleeve was screened in a geriatric hospital, the conclusion would be much different than it would be among young adults. Reproductions give us wonderful opportunities. Lolita is a shining example of this.

Nobakov wrote a novel, the infamous lolita. Some time later a film was made by the same name. That film was not nearly as explicit as the original because of the time and place it was made. The public didnt want to see things like pedophelia on a giant screen in a dark room. Today, the act is still illegal, fortunately, but as a group of personalities and minds, the public has grown into a mass that can handle this subject maturely, and respectfully. There is a pride that goes along with finally reaching a point in culture where lolita can be seen on showtime, and although there will always be some controversy, over anything, the outcome has never been clearer, and a freedom of mentionable intensity has been earned.

Lolita: Movie Analysis

Lolita is one of the most unconventional literary classics of the century. Lolita is a twelve-year-old girl, who is desired by the European intellectual Humbert Humbert. As the narrator of the story, Humbert chronicles his abnormal childhood, adolescent experiences, and an adventure in a booming American as a European tourist and pedophile. But it is key to realize his first heartbreak as a boy manifests into his desires for nymphets. This point is made clear in both the novel and movie. I will show that the movie Lolita, is a solid rendition of the novel of the same name.

Now some critics might see the novel as something more than I took it, like a contrast between the modernistic character of Humbert Humbert against the post-modern Americans that he encounters. Forget all that, I honestly thought the movie to be a convincing love story. On the surface level it was about an obsessive man and his love for nymphets, who met Lolita, the object of his desires. There were differences between the movie and the novel, yet I felt some scenes were left out of the movie that did not hurt the story at all. Also, some scenes were added which actually strengthened the story line in the movie.

I bet professional critics say the new version of Lolita did not measure up, well I loved it. Dominique Swain was awesome (a little hottie as well) and she perfectly played the character of Lolita. She may have even been more manipulative in the film version. An example of this was when Lolita was toying with Humbert as she rubbed her foot all over him in order to get a raise in her allowance and be able to be part of the play. You could not be much more sexual, manipulative girl than Lolita was! On minor change was that Lolita was twelve in the novel and fourteen in the movie. This was simply done to make the relationship a bit more accepting in the viewer’s eyes. I don’t believe it harshly affected the story at all.

In both works, Lolita was just a manipulative girl who had no idea what life was about. She was almost sucked into the porn business by a pathetic man who she worshipped as a Hollywood star. Plus, she handled Humbert perfectly in setting her escape to live with Quilty.	Humbert was also played brilliantly, yet I felt there was more longing in the novel Humbert, though we were still able to see his burning desire for nymphets and Lolita in general. It was intriguing to see how far he would go just to be with his love, and what was priceless was his reaction and facial expression as Lolita would play with his emotions. To me, Humbert was far more trashy a character in the novel, than he was in the movie. In the movie, he kept his distinguished professor demeanor, while in the movie I lost all respect for him.

Charlotte was yet another strongly played character, but really all we needed from her was to be an annoying and intrusive mother. Just like the novel we realized how much she disgusted Humbert. She was just an obstacle She was just an obstacle for Humbert to overcome in his quest for Lolita. It was better that I felt more of a jealousy from Charlotte toward Dolores in the movie, which added fire to the story. Quilty was really too much of a main character in the story. He just had to be the typical famous scumbag that tried to use Lolita as a toy. He was also as pathetic as in the movie as he was in the novel, and I was glad to see him get it in both. I believe he was introduced earlier in the move, in the scene where Lolita ran into him as she pet his dog. This was done to strengthen the story because we got to see and realize that Lolita was growing a desire for the Hollywood star.

The scenes that were removed from the novel had little effect on the feel of the story. For example, there is a long drawn out scene where Charlotte is returning from camp and Humbert is panicking in his decision to stay or leave as the car approaches. You didn’t need this because you knew he was going to stay and pursue his Lolita. So in the movie it was simply just Charlotte returning and the next thing you know they are married. That’s just cutting out the crap, and when you’re a director who want to make a good movie from a novel, you must realize what is crap and what is important subject matter.

Another deleted scene was when Humbert leaves the room after killing Quilty and all his guests are there. To be honest with you, this scene confused me in the novel and I’m glad it was left out. The scene made no sense, and the dialogue between the character was a waste of time. The movie ending was better, just him in his depressed and tormented emotional state as he drives down the road to absolutely nowhere. One last deleted scene was that of the stranger (Quilty) coming in to play tennis as Humbert was away. This scene was meant only to get Humbert nervous about losing Lolita, and without it in the movie we still realized he was overprotective of his treasure.

I want to discuss some more ways that I thought the movie was an improvement to the novel and also discuss some scenes that were added that strengthened the story. One of these was the scene where Lolita ran up the stairs to give Humbert a goodbye kiss before she went to camp. This scene was excellent because you began to see Lolita toying with poor Hum and that kiss could have killed in because he wanted so much more. The visual aspect of Lolita touching Humbert as the camera zoomed in on the them touching just added more to the entire story.

It gave you more of a sense of how that felt to Humbert as his desires for Lolita grew. Then we had the part with the swing outside as Charlotte and Humbert are sitting and he is making the swing glide past the door so he can see the dancing Lolita. This was funny because it made you see Humbert kind of trying to get away from Charlotte on the other end of the swing in order to catch a glimpse of his desire singing and dancing. Dolores’s retainer was a nice touch that added to the immaturity of Lolita. The retainer made us see her as nothing but a brace-faced retainer wearing kid. The scenes when she took it out to either kiss him or eat were quite funny.

Other imagery that was excellent was when the cigarette was still burning after Charlotte was hit and killed. This made me realize how fast the ordeal had happened. The smoke was not even gone, and poor Charlotte was dead. On the other hand, one funny scene was when Humbert was driving down the camp road and he was in ecstasy as the director kind of blurred the background to make it appear as kind of a nymphet land of his dreams as little girls run everywhere. One quick scene that made me laugh was when Humbert was in the hotel and he walked by a bunch of priests as they looked at him. It was ironic because I knew what he was about to do with Lolita that next morning. These are just some of the visual experiences that I thought strengthened the movie.

Like I said, there were many scenes added and deleted, yet I think this movie was a wonderful visual experience. I loved watching it and would without a doubt see it again. The director did a sweet job in turning the novel into an excellent movie. I’m sure you can tell I thought Lolita the movie was without a doubt in the spirit of Nabokov’s novel. I’m not sure he would like the changes but I did.

Lolita: Movie Review

How did they ever make a movie out of Lolita? The tagline for Stanley Kubrick’s 1962 film version of Lolita said it all. Films and books “inspire, but may provoke”. They thrill but sometimes offend. And often the same artwork attracts both acclaim and condemnation. In modern times, censorship refers to the examination of media including books, periodicals, plays, motion pictures, and television and radio programs for the purpose of altering or suppressing parts thought to be offensive.

The offensive material may be considered immoral or obscene, heretical or blasphemous, seditious or treasonable, or injurious to the national security.” But should one medium be more censored than another? Films are visual creations, whereas novels incorporate the imagination. In the 1930’s, film industry executives formed a strict set of guidelines, the Production Code that governed movie content for twenty years. It stated that nudity and suggestive dances were prohibited.

Criminal activity could not be presented in a way that led viewers to sympathize with criminals. Murder scenes had to avoid inspiring imitation, and brutal killings could not be shown in detail. The sanctity of the marriage and the home had to be upheld. Adultery and illicit sex, although recognized as sometimes necessary to the plot, could not be explicit or justified and were not supposed to be presented as an attractive option.” So how did Kubrick film a movie based on a story with all of the above?

Movies are rated and restricted to certain viewers whereas books are not. The American Library Association’s guidelines state that “materials should not be excluded because of their origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation…libraries should challenge censorship.” This compared to the $25,000 fines in the 1930’s for theatres that ran films without a PCA seal of approval. This means, libraries are able to carry any book they like, whereas theatres are restricted to which movies are allowed to be shown. The film versions of Lolita were censored more strictly than the book due to ratings that restricted viewers, they were edited, and because of the greater awareness of child abuse in the 1990s.

The 50s was a time when “the raciest sex manual available to the panting adolescent was ‘Love Without Fear’…and even Norman Mailer, in the ‘Naked and the Dead’ had to write ‘fug’ instead of you-know-what.” (Jong) Vladimir Nabakov had just finished writing Lolita in the spring of 1954 and immediately began looking for a publisher. It was first issued in 1955 in Paris after several American rejections.

Maurice Girodias of Olympia Press, “condemned by some as a porn king, praised by others as the ‘Lenin of the sexual revolution,’ took on the book when others were too afraid of censorship to try.” (Jong) Lolita was later banned by the French government for two years and retained by U.S. customs, but when it was brought to America three years later it became a “publishing phenomenon, eventually selling some 14 million copies.” (von Busack). Eventually Lolita became a rival for Ulysses as the masterpiece of the 20th Century. “Like most famous literary books, Lolita seduced the world for the wrong reasons. It was thought to be dirty…it won its first passionate proponents by being banned.” (Jong).

Lolita was called pornography by critics who hadn’t even read the book. During its time, Lolita was ” a genuinely new creation and genuinely new creations do not usually fare well…American Puritanism is more comfortable with sex when it stays in the gutter than when it rises to the level of art.” (Jong). But, it was read in all its unedited glory. There were no holes, and it was published just the way Nabakov had written it. The only censorship for novels is in the lack of publishing support. So, overall, the book version of Lolita fared far better than what was to come for its film counterparts.

Like the book, the movie is not especially sexy. Some of the most significant scenes from the book were left out of the 1962 film version because director, Stanley Kubrick feared a denial of a Seal of Approval from the Production Code. In the book, after being picked up from camp, Lolita asks her stepfather, Well, you havent kissed me yet have you? which is followed by Humbert and Los first real kiss, a kiss that, like her goodbye kiss before she left for camp, was induced by her. In Kubricks version, the dialogue of this scene mirrors the text, but the kiss is missing.

Its a small scene, but it should have had a bigger impact. It should be recognized that it was Lolita herself that flowed into Humberts arms and that it was she who pressed her mouth to mine so hard that I felt her big front teeth and shared in the peppermint taste of her saliva. But for those people in the audience who had not read the book, this was not made clear. Not surprisingly, the scene in which Lolita seduces Humbert for the first time at the Enchanted Hunters is reduced to a game, followed by nothing more than a fade out.

It can be argued that “the fact that Humbert and Lolita don’t really do it in this version, except in a fade out, is part of the film’s appeal.” (von Busack) Its classier and it keeps you guessing. But one can also argue that whats left to the imagination can oftentimes be worse than what actually happened. The power of an audiences imagination is in whats left unshown. By watching only this film, the audience does not realize that Lolita was just as much a seducer as a seduce.

A few lines of Lolitas such as I was a daisy-fresh girl, and look what youve done to me. I ought to call the police and tell them youve raped me. and the word is incest, were also left out, because of the implications of sex with not only a minor, but a relative minor. They had to be left out due to PCA regulations. You see, in the 1962 version, it is never truly let known that sex between the two had occurred. You know it happened, you know that it is the entire plot of the book and film, you know it because of all the controversy surrounding it, but its never really verbalized. None of the lines like, we made it up very gently were mentioned in the movie, nor was the fact that Humbert began to pay Lolita for her favors ever touched on.

Lolita can be bought in any book store. I got my copy at Barnes and Noble for $13.00. But when I went to check out Kubricks non rated film version at Blockbuster, the video rental equivalent to books Barnes and Noble, it wasnt there. Instead I had to call around, finally finding it at a smaller, more artsy video store around the corner from my house. This is a perfect example of censorship at its best. One can easily read the book in its explicit detail, but you must search for a copy of a film that lacks the nudity, the violence, and the illicit sex.

The 1990s brought another director, Adrian Lyne, a shot at turning the famous novel into a visual masterpiece. Lyne tackled the film beginning in 1996, but could not find an American distributor, just like Nabakov, and just like Kubrick before him. For his part Lyne believes the failure of Lolita to get U.S. distribution is based on fear. (Butler). The first American screening was finally shown for the first time two years later in Los Angeles. A couple of days before the screening, the press had reported that Lolita’s backers were discussing a straight-to-cable release of their $50 million product with Showtime.

It should be said, flat out, that Lyne’s Lolita is not a movie we need to be protected from. (Butler). So why all the fuss? Its the 90s, isnt it? Havent we been liberated from our past and arent we now strong backers for freedom of speech? The United States has always strongly pretended to back free speech, but when it comes down to it, there are still certain words you cant say on the radio or television, among other issues. So we finally got to read the book, we finally saw the first film version in the 60s, why should there be any problems with Lolita today? Because we now live in a time when six year olds are sent home from school for kissing their classmates.

It is the era of Jon Benet Ramsey and a greater awareness of child abuse. Many distributors have passed on this Lolita, using as a primary excuse the constitutionally dubious 1996 federal law that prohibits showing sexually suggestive acts with children. (Butler) This Child Pornography Act prohibits “any visual depiction, including any photograph, film, video image or picture” that is or even “appears to be of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct.” And Lynes version does in fact have scenes where, Lolita is seen naked in bed with Humbert scrambling to get the money he has just paid her. Yes, it is a body double, but as an audience, we dont know that.

There is no Body double : over 18 flashing across the screen. Their kisses are shown to be passionate. Lolita does stand at the top of the staircase, slowly and seductively unbuttoning her shirt. And there is the rocking chair scene where Lolita is visibly excited while sitting on Humberts lap. But this should all be OK because the people that see this film should be mature enough to distinguish the storyline from the sexuality. As mentioned earlier, the book, which oftentimes goes into more explicit detail is readily available to whomever. But movies have ratings, limiting their viewers.

In turn, a movie should be able to show whatever they want in accordance to what rating they wish to receive and who they wish their audience to be. Lolita received an R: for aberrant sexuality, a strong scene of violence, nudity and some language. Lyne wanted a mature audience, that of seventeen and older, to view his film. And as long as the scenes do not visually show the act of sex between a 14 year old girl and an older man, the other scenes leading up to that should not be purposely left out for those old enough to buy a ticket and mature enough to understand the plot.

Funny how Boogie Nights, a movie about the California porn industry, was released the same year, with the same rating, R, for strong sex scenes with explicit dialogue, nudity, drug use, language and violence and it was actually nominated for, and won, several prestigious awards. This, a film that features high school students, possibly under the age of 18, having sex with an older woman, who has become like a mother to them.

The laws regarding what can and cannot be shown in movies have changed since 1962 and they will continue to do so throughout time. Eventually, its possible that Lynes Lolita, which most closely resembles the novel, will be re-released in theatres without the controversy surrounding it. People will go in and watch the movie, and come out asking themselves what the fuss was all about for so long. They will realize for themselves that it should not be left up to movie distributors to decide what they can see.

Bibliography

Dirks, Tim. Lolita (1962). 1996.
<http://www.filmsite.org/loli.html>

Edmunds, Jeff. Lolita: Complex, often tricky and a hard sell. CNN. 9 April 1999.
<http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/books/1999/nabakov/lolita.sociological.essay/

Jong, Erica. Summer Reading; Time Has Been Kind To The Nymphet: Lolita 30 Years Later. NY Times. 5 June 1988.
<http://www.nytimes.com/books/07/07/20/reviews/16009.html

Rolo, Charles. Lolita, by Vladimir Nabakov. The Atlantic. 1958 September.
<http://www.theatlantic.com//unbound/classrev/lolita.htm

Schickel, Richard. Taking a Peek at Lolita. Time.
<http://www.time.com/magazine/articles/0,3266,22367,00.html

von Busack, Richard. Lingering Lolita. MetroActive Movies. 27 March 1997.
<http://www.metrocactive.com/papers/metro/03.27.97/lolita-9713.html

Affliction Film Essay

Affliction, based on the novel by Russell Banks, was very interesting, mysterious, and kept you guessing up until it was over. The actors/actresses portrayed in the movie was Wade Whitehouse (Nick Nolte), Wade’s girlfriend Margie Fogg (Sissy Spacek), Glen Whitehouse (James Coburn), Rolfe Whitehouse (William Defoe), Lillian (Mary Beth Hurt), Jill (Brigid Tierney), and Jack Hewit (Jim True). The movie begins by Rolfe Whitehouse (William Defoe) narrating the movie about a phone call he received from his brother, Wade Whitehouse (Nick Nolte), the night after Halloween, which was what lead up to Wade’s mysterious disappearance.

Using a narrative approach in the movie was an excellent choice for the plot. It made you feel as if something was going to take place in this town, but no clues were given. In the movie Defoe not only does the narration, but also plays Wade’s (Nick Nolte) brother. Defoe’s character grows up, moves away and becomes a schoolteacher. This was something different for Defoe, but by using a quite and soft-spoken tone it made his character fit smoothly into the plot. Flashing back to the night of Halloween. Wade is driving Jill his daughter (Bridgid Tierney) to her ex-school’s Halloween festival.

It is obvious; Jill does not want to be there. She feels that her father is very confused and mixed-up. After Wade and Jill get into an argument, Jill calls her mom to come get her. When Lillian (Mary Beth Hurt) Wade’s ex-wife arrives, it is obvious that Wade doesn’t want Lillian (Mary Beth Hurt) to have custody of Jill. Which caused him to seek lawyer for custody of Jill. During the movie Wade Whitehouse states his love for his daughter many times. It would have helped to have flashback scenes, to feel Wade’s emotions and urging to be a good father.

The setting takes place during the winter in a small town in upstate New Hampshire. The director made a good move by using the effect of winter and snow, which contributed to the character of Wade Whitehouse. The gloominess in the midst of winter made Wade’s depression, loneliness, and uncertainty about his life come together. Although, you would of thought that Jack Nicholson would of played in this type of movie, but Nick Nolte came through did his self-justice by portraying Wade Whitehouse in the movie. Unlike, when he played in 48 hours with Eddie Murphy.

The movie suddenly takes a turn when Wade as sheriff begins to get involved in his job when Jack Hewit (Jim True) a hunting expert, takes a rich man named Trombly hunting, who was accidentally shot and killed. Wade begins to discuss these events with his girlfriend Margie (Sissy Spacek) who works at the local pub, but she tries to convince Wade that Trombly died, in the result of an accident. In spite of everything that is going on, Wade asks Margie to marry him, and wants her to meet his parents. Wade and Margie drive out to his parents’ house the next day. When they get they get in side the house there is no heat.

Wade calls for his parents, but notices his father Glenn Whitehouse (James Coburn) drunk and just sitting in a chair in front of the television. While Glenn gets up to get another drink Wade introduces Margie, and asks his where is mom. Glenn said, she’s taking a nap upstairs, and he will go get her. Glenn comes back and tells Wade and Margie that she is coming. Unwilling to wait, Wade goes upstairs and finds his mother frozen to death. At this point in the movie you begin to understand the kind of abuse that had been enforced on the Whitehouse family by Glenn Whitehouse (James Colburn).

Glenn Whitehouse portrayed by James Colburn was very well acted. The use of the whiskey bottle as a symbol was well thought out and helped to feel and see the dysfunctional problems within the Whitehouse family. Wade’s mentally capabilities really start to take a turn for the worst. He loses his job as sheriff and handy man. By now he is convinced that Jack murdered Trombly. In the mean, Margie and Glenn are at the farm, sitting at the kitchen table discussing Glenn’s point of view on how men should not let women run them. But it is then when she notices Glenn put salt on his hand, lick it and take a shot of Whiskey.

Then Wade comes in and complains about the toothache he has had throughout the movie. He finds a pair of pliers and pulls out the tooth. Then takes a drink of the whiskey, but that’s not what Margie noticed. She noticed when Wade got the salt placed it on his hand, licked it and then took a shot of Whiskey. Margie realized it was over between her and Wade. In the next scene, Wade picks up Jill from her mom’s. While driving back to town Wade wants to get Jill something to eat, but she continues telling her father, she wants to go back home. At this point Wade begins to get angry, and realizes he needs a drink.

They end up going to the pub where Wade gets furious with the bartender. They leave and head out to Wade’s father’s house. Upon arriving Margie is packing her things to leave. Wade tries to force Margie to stay and Jill feels Wade is hurting Margie, so Jill starts hitting her dad. When Wade pushes Jill off of him, he hurts her. Margie grabs Jill; they get in the car and leave. Wade decides he is going after them, using his fathers (James Colburn) truck. Glenn doesn’t want Wade to use his truck. What happens in the next scene is very shocking and unbelievable.

While Wade is walking toward the barn to get the truck, Glenn follows him and starts verbally abusing him just like in Wade childhood. Wade goes into the barn to get into the truck, but Glenn comes up behind Wade and hits him over the head with a Whiskey bottle, Wade turns around and hits Glenn with a shotgun. Wade raises the gun, pulls the trigger, to find that the gun is empty. After realizing the gun was empty, Wade says, TRICK it was just a joke. But it was too late, Glenn died. Wade picked up his father put him on a workbench, poured gasoline over him, and burned his body.

The movie ended with Rolfe Whitehouse (William Defoe) telling how he wanted to be there to help Wade through his troubled times. Wade ended up killing Jack Hewitt for the murder of Trombly. However, the most fascinating part was Trombly’s death turned out to be an actual accident, and the conspiracy within that small New Hampshire town was in fact a fantasy within Wade Whitehouse’s imagination. In conclusion, we can ask if Wade’s abuse as a child really happened. After all Wade was the only one having flash backs about his childhood.

What really got my attention was the scene after Wade and Rolfe’s mother died. The two brothers were sitting in the barn on a bale of hay, discussing childhood incidents, Rolfe asked; Wade, if he was positive about some of the abuse that was suppose to take place during their childhood. Rolfe couldn’t remember anything that Wade claimed had happened. I do feel however that the father was an alcoholic and the mother took a lot of abuse from her husband, Glenn Whitehouse. If you noticed when Wade had flashbacks you never seen him get hit. So was this too a fixation within Wade Whitehouse’s imagination.

A Birth Of A Nation – The Bicycle Thieves

In that paper, I will try to compare two films which are A Birth of a Nation directed by D. W. Griffith and The Bicycle Thieves directed by De Sica. After giving the story of the films, I will try to explain their technical features and their similarities. A Birth of a Nation by D. W. Griffith Griffith can be seen as the first ‘modern’ director, his greatest achievements being the historical epics The Birth Of A Nation. When it was released, it was one of the longest films ever made, over three hours in length.

The prologue depicts the introduction of slavery to America in the seventeenth century and the beginnings of the abolitionist movement. The major part of the film depicts the events before, during and after the Civil War. It focuses on the exploitation of the newly-freed Negroes and the rise of the Ku Klux Klan in the south. Griffith shows it as a drama, a romance, and a documentary, with the vivid period reconstruction outweighing the personal stories.

The title of the film is an interesting one. It is unknown whether the title refers to the birth of the reunited states, or the birth of the Ku Klux Klan. I tend to think that the film has a double meaning. In showing the Ku Klux Klan as good guys, it is obvious that Griffith was trying to show their birth as a positive event for the United States. Also, he was showing that the U. S. was once again reunited after the war, leading to the strengthening of the nation.

It forebodes the future, when the South and the blacks living there are kept in check by the Ku Klux Klan , making the U. S. that much greater. Though it would be better to ignore this notion of the birth of the Ku Klux Klan, it cannot be due to the films content, although the film does show a truly united states. The film is an incredible piece of propaganda for both the Ku Klux Klan and the Jim Crow system.

The Jim Crow system was undergirded by the following beliefs or rationalizations: Whites were superior to Blacks in all important ways, including but not limited to intelligence, morality, and civilized behavior; sexual relations between Blacks and Whites would produce a mongrel race which would destroy America; treating Blacks as equals would encourage interracial sexual unions; any activity which suggested social equality encouraged interracial sexual relations; if necessary, violence must be used to keep Blacks at the bottom of the racial hierarchy People who knew nothing about the KU KLUX KLAN or thought of them as white villains before Birth of a Nation probably changed their minds and donned hoods of their own upon seeing the film.

The mainstream picture was probably the best advertisement that the KU KLUX KLAN could have had. The vilifying of blacks also led to the Jim Crow system. When it was portrayed in this movie as acceptable, people in the South felt much better about doing horrible deeds to black citizens, denying blacks their civil rights Though the portrayal of both blacks and the KU KLUX KLAN were extremely off track, the movie itself was an amazing work of cinema for its time. This was probably the first movie to use hundreds of extra in a battle scene.

These scenes were well crafted by the filmmaker, and while not to the perfection of more modern films such as Braveheart, the technology and genius that the filmmaker used rival such films. To think that the movie was released only fifty years after the end of the Civil War makes the feat seem even more incredible. In seeing the huge battles, I did not need sound to hear the sounds of battle in my imagination. It would have been incredible if the movie had been made in the era where sound came into movies. Griffith deployed all the technical experiments of his previous movies for maximum visceral effect, along with a prepared score mixing classical music and folk tunes.

With expressive close-ups, including cross-cutting, multiple camera positions, inter-titles long shots, irises and superimposition, Griffith communicated not only the monumental scale of Civil War battles but also the intimate psychology of his central characters. The climactic ride of the Klan to save white girlhood from black defilement marked Griffith’s most extraordinary and influential use of parallel editing to galvanize emotional excitement.

The Bicycle Thieves by De Sica This is a one of the most important Neorealist films. Neorealism is a movement especially in Italian filmmaking characterized by the simple direct depiction of lower-class life. De Sica’s finest achievement is bringing the previously ignored working classes to the screen. His primary aim in the Bicycle Thieves was to use the camera to show how people lived.

The non-professional actors give fine performances and lend the film a documentary-like air, even though the narrative itself is fictional. A crowd forms in front of a government employment agency, as it does every day, waiting – often in vain – for job announcements. one of the unemployed laborers who participates in this daily ritual, is selected to hang posters in the city, a job requiring a bicycle, which he has long sold in order to sustain his family’s meager existence for a few more days. He and his wife, return to the pawn shop with a few remaining possessions, their matrimonial linen, in order to redeem the bicycle. During his first day at his new work, his bicycle is stolen. He combs the city with his young son, in search of the elusive bicycle.

The movie focuses on both the relationship between the father and the son and the larger framework of poverty and unemployment in postwar Italy. The Bicycle Thief is a searing allegory of the human condition, a caustic narrative of despair and hope, loss and redemption, poignantly told in subtle actions and spare words. A singular camera shot follows an employee climbing several stories of pawned linen in order to store another acquisition. A panning film sequence in a restaurant juxtaposes the father and son feasting on bread and mozzarella with an affluent family dining nearby. A long, travelling shot of a street bazaar shows Antonio and Bruno searching through an endless sea of nondescript bicycles, all presumably stolen.

The Bicycle Thief is an honest examination of a soul torn by responsibility and moral consequence, a simple man incapable of articulating his pain, a film devoid of the proselytizing tirades endemic to the rose-colored lenses of contemporary Hollywood. The Bicycle Thief is the story of humanity, in all its imperfect beauty and heartbreaking cruelty, the quintessential definition of an artistic masterpiece… truly a cinematic landmark. Deep-focus photography, constantly moving camera, long takes, and tragi-comic narratives were all used to greatest effect in the film. When we look at these films we can say they are dramatic films. A Birth of a Nation is a personal story, about the clash of two families on opposite sides of the Civil War.

Griffith goes through the critical events of the period, and give a persuasive picture of the era in. Furthermore, the story gives the viewer hope in humanity as the Ku Klux Klan rides away to the sunset with justice, power, and the women. The Bicycle Thief is the story of humanity dealt compassionately with the problems of people in post-World War II Italy. Griffith also goes through the critical events of the period. He tried to show the portrait of the post-war Italian disadvantaged class (the majority) in their search for self-respect. It is a time of struggle for the Italian people, amplified by a shortage of employment and lack of social services.

Stanley Kubrick’s Clockwork Orange

Stanley Kubrick’s Clockwork Orange was a deeply disturbing depiction of human nature that shed light onto dark thoughts in the character’s soul. Alex seems to have no regard for human decency or human life. He and his gang of friends kill at will. They have no purpose for their violent outbursts other than to shock and degrade their victims. They have fun making others suffer. This is the logic that is upheld by Friedrich Nietzsche in his approval of Prosper Merimee’s statement “Know that nothing is more common than to do harm for the pleasure of doing it.

Though he does believe that most men try to deny this by never outwardly expressing any violent tendencies. I think that Nietzsche also sums up my feelings towards Alex in the “Innocence of So-called Evil Actions” section. He says “All actions are motivated by the drive of the individual’s intention to gain pleasure and avoid unpleasure; thus they are motivated, but they are not evil. ” I think this is a very accurate description of Alex’s motivations.

He seemed to be having fun making his victims suffer. He had absolutely no remorse for his reputable crimes. Yet I still don’t believe he was evil. I think that his parental influence and environment were a heavy influence on his behavioral dysfunction. His parents were completely out of touch with him. I think Kubrick was playing on the importance of a parent’s presence in a child’s life and how it can shape in for the better or, as in this case, the worse. Alex is a product of the State.

I think the writer was trying to satiristically convey his belief that society and the government are having a negative effect on the morality of people. His “reconditioning therapy” induced by the state is a classic example of the power the state tries to enforce. Attempting to rehabilitate a degenerate soul with a brainwashing technique is ludicrous. The author was symbolizing the devastating effect this extent of governmental control could have. The doctors in the movie believe they have cured Alex but they actually may have only increased his desire to do wrong.

Freewill is Alex’s only motivation. He can do whatever he wants. True there may be consequences to his actions but he does not care. His moral disregard can not be changed by anyone, even the government doctors, as depicted in Clockwork Orange. Freewill may be the one possession that can not be taken from a man. I enjoyed the film a great deal. At first things seemed a little strange and the dialogue was not always completely intelligible but once I understood some of what was going on I found it interesting.

I think I might try reading the book so I can imagine the scenes and characters in my own mind rather than watching Kubrick’s interpretation. As I mentioned previously, I believe Alex was a product of the state because of his environment and subsequent treatment to “cure” him of his misbehaving. He was not at all a likable character. I think the film’s main message was an opposition to state influence and the negative effect it could have on a person such as Alex was portrayed.

Fail Safe and Dr. Strangelove

In Fail Safe and Dr. Strangelove, Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, Sidney Lumet and Stanley Kubrick question the relationship between technology and humanity by emphasizing mankind’s tendency to create machines that cannot be adequately controlled. By blatantly revealing the absurdity of game theory (Mutual Assured Destruction as a reasonable deterrence for nuclear war), both directors call into question the dominant pro-Cold War American ideology. One of the most quintessential aspects of this ideology includes the drive for constant technological advance and strategic superiority.

Without the brainpower of the scientists and intellectuals who dedicated their lives to the extension of technological power and the study of international conflict, the Arms Race would certainly not have been possible. These academics not only became the architects of atomic weapons but they were also faced with justifying the use of these nuclear bombs, and creating a theoretical framework within which nuclear warfare might be appropriately (and rationally) conducted.

Within this context, one noteworthy parallel between Fail Safe and Dr. Strangelove is the existence (in both films) of a single intellectual genius that actively perpetuates the “science” of nuclear advancement and strategy. Indeed, through the characterizations of Professor Groeteschele and Dr. Strangelove, both Lumet and Kubrick examine the prominent role of intellectuals (both scientists and theorists) in the creation and justification of nuclear warfare. Ultimately, both Lumet and Kubrick reveal the problems with relying solely on science and mathematics to resolve international conflict, thus suggesting that modern warfare requires a more humanistic, ethical definition of right and wrong.

Both Fail Safe and Dr Strangelove serve as moralizing responses to the dominant American Cold War culture, rhetoric, and political policy. In his article titled “Dr. Strangelove (1964): Nightmare Comedy and the ideology of Liberal Consensus,” Charles Maland identifies the dominant American cultural paradigm (during the Cold War) as “the Ideology of the Liberal Consensus. ” Maland maintains that the Ideology of the Liberal Consensus first developed as the American people began to feel increasingly threatened by the rise and spread of Communism.

After World War II, this cultural paradigm solidified, taking “on an intellectual coherence of its own. ” Indeed, the logic behind this paradigm involved two widely accepted principles: (1) “The structure of American society is basically sound. ” (2) “Communism is a clear danger to the survival of the United States and its allies. ” From the combination of these assumptions, emerged a new definition of Americanism that was predicated upon the concepts of democracy, capitalism, and general material abundance.

However, in order to satisfy the demands of this new Americanism, the United States needed to “struggle against Communism and willingly support a strong defense system…for power is the only language that the Communists can understand. ” Because the maintenance of a superior defense system required frequent technological advancement, physicists, chemists, and other scientists became necessary members of government/military research teams.

In addition to the so-called hard scientists, theorists and strategic experts were needed in order to make informed and rational decisions about the circumstances under which the new technological devices (i. e. nuclear weapons) should be used. This emerging Cold War cultural paradigm was both created by and gave birth to a new breed of academic—the ‘nuclear-intellectual. ’ Because technology, nuclear science, and war strategy became such an integral part of the definition of American culture and security, the scientists and the theoreticians that participated in this ‘nuclear culture’ achieved political prominence.

These academics not designed advanced killing-machines, but they were also employed to create a new theoretical framework that rationally justified the use of nuclear weapons in specific confrontations. Thus, both the hard-scientists and the game-theorists became an integral part of the Cold War culture, supplying the country with two vital ingredients (both the machinery and the rhetoric) necessary for the creation of a new American ideology (based on democracy, capitalism, societal complacency, and soviet paranoia etc. ).

Because of the unique role of intellectuals in the initial formulation of the ideology, principles, and technology behind the “liberal consensus,” any work that seeks to criticize the Cold War system (the arms race and the subsequent cultural acceptance of it), ought to include academics and scientists in its representation of the problems of the ideological status quo. Therefore, it is no surprise that both Fail Safe and Dr. Strangelove each include an intellectual government advisor—a representative of the new ‘nuclear intellectual’ group.

Each movie shows how intellectuals are both the architects of killing devices and also help to foster a general climate of destruction through game theory ideology. Thus, a prominent (albeit subtle) theme of each film is the criticism of the involvement of intellectuals in the “art of war. ” The rather negative portrayal of both Professor Groeteschele and Dr. Strangelove reveals the skepticism that Lumet and Kubrick share about the new group of “nuclear intellectuals. ”

There were two specific types of intellectuals involved in nuclear strategy and national defense: (1) the scientists who strove to create new, better, and more lethal war machines and (2) the theoreticians whose job it was to use game theory to create theoretical frameworks that both justified and shed light upon the use of advanced killing machines (like nuclear weapons). While both types of intellectuals had fundamentally different fields of expertise, in both cases, the intellectuals strove to find ways to win wars—to satisfy the goal of game theory (i. maximize wins and minimize losses).

This description applies to both Professor Groeteschele and Dr. Strangelove—In Fail Safe, Professor Groeteschele uses game theory to weigh the likely wins and losses in possible nuclear confrontations, continuously striving to uncover the most advantageous outcome for the United States; In Dr. Strangelove, Strangelove fanatically strives to create more efficient and lethal technology, basing the projects he chooses to pursue on rational outcome and game theory.

Individually, the characters reveal a great deal about the specific film in which they appear. Indeed, in both films, the accident that occurs happens outside the expertise or jurisdiction of the intellectual. Rather than something going wrong with one of Dr. Strangelove’s nuclear devices, a human-based error occurs, which triggers the secret Soviet Doomsday device—a tactical error on the part of the Russians. Likewise, in Fail Safe, Professor Groeteschele is never truly proven wrong.

Instead of making a terrible tactical or theoretical miscalculation, the rules of the game are completely changed for the Professor after a glitch in the new supercomputer. By focusing on accidents outside the expertise of the intellectual, each film reveals that no matter how accurate scientific theory is, it cannot necessarily encompass all that it must when the stakes of “the game” have become so great (i. e. the loss of New York City, Moscow, and perhaps the entire world).

Through the character of Dr. Strangelove, Kubrick introduces the concept of the modern ‘mad scientist’ (the crazed nuclear architect). By naming the film after a character with so little airtime, Kubrick suggests that Strangelove occupies an essential, but also less prominent, background role in the planning and execution of nuclear warfare. Indeed, Strangelove designs and constructs the weapons of war. While there is little public glory to this job, clearly it is absolutely essential to nuclear confrontation. Scientists like Dr. Strangelove make nuclear catastrophe possible.

While Kubrick has gone to great lengths to make his film a comedy, he specifically exaggerates recognizable political/military personalities and possibilities—thus enabling him to explore and criticize the “new, Cold War Americanism. ” Dr. Strangelove plays a prominent role in this parody of reality. Indeed, despite his minimal airtime, Strangelove is designed to embody the quintessential nuclear scientist of the Cold War. Maland notes that “the creators seem to have taken a great deal of care in creating Strangelove as a composite of a number of pundits in the new ‘science’ of nuclear strategy.

Strangelove represents a bizarre juxtaposition of four of the most infamous nuclear scientists and strategists that dominated the profession during the height of the Cold War—Edward Teller, Henry Kissinger, Herman Kahn, and Werner Von Braun. Of all these scientists, the comparison between Strangelove and Edward Teller is probably the most provocative: “Not only was Teller involved in the creation of the atomic bomb, but he was also a strong anti-Communist who pushed hard for the development of the much more powerful hydrogen bomb in 1949 and 1950.

Teller, who was notoriously passionate about the explosive properties of physical matter, would have likely shared Strangelove’s twisted excitement about the awesome power required for the destruction of the world. Another interesting comparison is that between Strangelove and Henry Kissenger: Strangelove’s own “definition of deterrence—the art of producing in the mind of the enemy the fear to attack you—sounds remarkably like the definition Kissinger offered in his Nuclear Weapons and Foreign Policy (1957).

Strangelove’s nuclear rhetoric is also very similar to that of Herman Kahn, who discusses the very topic of a Doomsday device in his book, On Thermonuclear War—like Strangelove, Kahn concludes that a Doomsday device would not be a rational deterrent because it could not be controllable. Finally, like the infamous Werner Von Braun, Strangelove seems to have significant, high level connections with Nazi Germany (i. e. “mein Fhrer”), and similarly care little about what side of the battle he is on. Dr. Strangelove represents scientific obsession; Strangelove is brilliant and thrives of the application and success of his own genius.

However, his role as the Director of Weapons Research is done not out of a feeling of duty to America or even out of a dislike of the USSR, rather he applies his brilliance out of narcissism, an erotic passion for nuclear power, and a love of the “game” of war. Dr. Strangelove’s indifference to the country and president he serves is revealed at the very end of the film when he becomes so carried away in his excitement about the destruction of the world that he confuses the President with “mein Fhrer.

While clearly implying that Strangelove was once a prominent Nazi who had personal contact with Hitler, I do not believe that this ejaculation means that he is still deep down a Nazi or even harbors a particular alliance to Hitler. Instead, Strangelove’s accidental digression into the past, suggests his excitement for war and destructive power. Not since World War II, when he served Hitler, has Strangelove experienced so much destructive power concentrated all at once.

As a man that is part machine, Strangelove is essentially ‘turned-on’ by the electric charge released from so many atomic bombs—thus, at the very end of the film; he is able to walk again. As a critique on the scientists involved in the creation and improvement of nuclear technology, the Strangelove character is a damning statement. Indeed, while Strangelove himself is not identified as “the enemy” in the film, he is clearly the creator of the true “enemy”—the nuclear bomb.

Furthermore, Strangelove is an amoral character that seems to lack any remote semblance of an ethical code of conduct. As a scientist and a strategist, Strangelove is a calculating machine whose job is only to maximize wins and minimize losses during war. Thus, the fact that Strangelove creates machines, reasons like a machine (solely through rational numerical formulism), and has literally become a physical manifestation of a machine, implies that the scientists involved in nuclear armerment must give up much of their humanity during their quest to create perfect war machines.

There are two different types of academics that played essential roles in the Cold War—the hard-scientists (like Strangelove) and the theoreticians (like Groeteschele). While Dr. Strangelove creates the weapons of destruction, Professor Groeteschele strives to provide a theoretical framework that justifies the use of such “killing devices. ” Indeed, Groeteschele is obsessed with game theory and nuclear strategy. By definition, the purpose of game theory is to maximize one’s wins and minimize one’s losses through abstract mathematical formulism.

Such formulism must involve numerical calculations made by mutually informed players competing against each other (each with imperfect information about the capabilities or intent of the other). This method of strategy was extremely popular during the Cold War and remains a significant method of strategic theory. Through this form of theorizing and calculation, Groeteschele strives both to deter the Russians from attacking (and, in the case of attack, to maximize the American wins).

The relationship between the game theory of Groeteschele and the machines of Strangelove is particularly provocative. Indeed, both methods of strategy involve abstract formulism—measuring human life on purely numeric terms. Both nuclear warheads and game theory are void of morality or value, reducing both human life and weapons of mass destruction to the level of artificial tokens that are consistently applied and measured against theoretical outcomes. Thus, the role of Professor Groeteschele is that of a calculating machine, and as such a ‘machine,’ Groeteschele, like Strangelove, lacks humanity.

While this lack of humanity manifests itself physically in Strangelove, it dominates the psychology of Groeteschele, who generally abandons emotion for cold rationality. Groeteschele’s abandonment of his own humanity for the maintenance of his rational faade reveals his obsession with being the perfect game-player. Interestingly, Groeteschele, unlike Strangelove, does not care about the beauty of nuclear warfare or the energy it releases, to him, bombs merely represent the tools a nation must employ in order to win “the game” against the enemy.

As a man whose job is to advise politicians when they should commit “mass-murder” and how many people they should try to kill, Groeteschele must mutate his impression of his enemy into something less than human. Indeed, in order to justify the destruction of the Soviet peoples, the Professor has to develop his own myth that the Russians are actually truly rational, calculating Game players (i. e. the perfect opponent). By convincing himself of this, Groeteschele is able to view the Soviets as merely being instruments of calculation and abstract formalism, rather than human beings.

Indeed, in defense of his argument that the Americans should strike first so that the Russians will concede, Groetechele states that the Russians are “Marxist-fanatics, not normal people…they don’t reason the way you reason, they’re not motivated by human emotions such as rage and pity…they are calculating machines, they will look at the balance sheet, and they will see that they cannot win. [and] the Russians will surrender.

In the previous statement, Groetechele reveals much more about himself than about the Russians: his own religious-like adherence to rational game theory has allowed him to nurture a dangerously nave view of the contemporary world. Clearly, the Russians are human beings, and as human beings, they are sometimes motivated by human emotions. Fail Safe is essentially a film against the art of deterrence and game theory. Lumet’s first criticism of game theory occurs when the machine malfunctions (due to new Russian interference technology).

In a “game” in which both players are wielding weapons of mass destruction, Lumet suggests that rational prediction cannot always prevent confrontation through deterrence theory. Indeed, the fact that the machine’s error escaped Groeteschele’s original calculations weakens the validity of game theory. Furthermore, in game theory, the informed players rarely have a complete picture of the capabilities or intent of their enemies. Because of this, tragic and irrational mistakes can be made. Lumet’s most damning critique of Groeteschele and his rhetoric of rational destruction comes from the voice of General Black.

Indeed, Blackie realizes that both Americans and Russians are human beings, and that rather than trying to destroy Russia for the sake of preserving American culture, we should seek to preserve humanity in general: “You know what your saying—Justifying murder, in the name of what…to preserve what? Even if we do survive, what gives us the right? Are we better than what we say they are…what gives us the right to live then? What makes us worth surviving, when we are ruthless enough to strike first—fighting for your life isn’t the same as murder!

While there is no such thing as morality when it comes to rational choice, general Black suggests that deeply held morality and a respect for life should transcend rationality and the quest for economic and political supremacy. While Groeteschele makes decisions through maximizing the ratio of gain to loss, Blackie relies on his personal ethical code. Emerging as both a martyr and a hero, Blackie is willing to take responsibility and sacrifice his life for a mistake that he adamantly tried to prevent.

The dichotomy between General Black’s sincere morality and Groeteschele’s rational indifference to moral principles reveals Lumet’s intolerance of amorality. Ultimately, Lumet suggests that large-scale warfare (with such high stakes) cannot be reduced to any type of abstract formalism—machine or human. Instead, contemporary warfare must operate under a code of ethics that respects human life and international differences. Mr. Lumet’s pacifistic comment in the beginning of the film seems to most accurately represent the underlying message of fail Safe: “In a nuclear war, everyone losses, war isn’t what it used to be.

Both Fail Safe and Dr. Strangelove explore the new (Cold War) American ideology from the standpoint of an accidental nuclear disaster. By blatantly revealing the absurdity of game theory (particularly Mutual Assured Destruction as an adequate deterrence for war), Kubrick and Lumet call into question the dominant pro-armerment American ideology. In order to examine the entire macrocosm of possible nuclear disasters, both directors choose to include a character that embodies the contemporary ‘nuclear intellectual.

Indeed, scientists and theoreticians (like Groeteschele and Strangelove) played a prominent role in defining and perpetuating the new Cold War culture. These academics not only became the architects of nuclear bombs but they were also faced with creating a viable theoretical framework within which the use of these weapons would be both recommended and justified. However, both Kubrick and Lumet suggest that in order to apply their brilliance towards mass destruction and death, intellectuals must give up a portion of their humanity, becoming increasingly more like the devices they create and defend.

The mutual catastrophes that occur in Fail Safe and Dr. Strangelove show the inevitability of human weakness and scientific fallibility. Through the development of Professor Groeteschele and Dr. Strangelove, both Lumet and Kubrick illustrate the catastrophic possibilities of relying solely on science and mathematics to resolve international conflicts. Ultimately, modern, high stake warfare requires a more humanistic, ethical code of right and wrong.

Gummo: A Review

Pieces of a puzzle slowly fitting together, to reveal a picture. This is an accurate description of how the film, Gummo by Harmony Korine pans out. Through a series of quite disturbing yet visually stimulating vignettes, Korine somehow relays a tragic story. Essentially, the film is a collection of random events that are assimilated into a larger scheme of things. For the most part, the film emphasizes on showing us things that we know are very real and actually happen, but are terribly hard for the average person to confront.

The tone is unveiled from the very beginning, while a dim and dark outlook are forecast. As it is set in the dilapidated, small town of Xenia, Ohio, the severity of the living conditions there is visible from start to finish. A few of the senseless, haphazard events that are captured, consist of – countless, brutal feline slayings, teens euthanizing the helpless, bed-ridden elderly, and drunken, redneck furniture wrestling.

Somehow, in a twisted pattern, these scenes converge to depict the pure horror of living in this place. In respect to the cast of this film, Chloe Sevigny is reasonably the only name that people are likely to recognize. There are a handful of other obscure actors as well as some on-actors that appear in the film, for various reasons. In the process of being introduced to each person through certain circumstances, it is difficult to determine which ones are the actors and which are not.

From some of the sequences presented, it seems tough to draw the line between harsh reality and exploitation. Contrary to the town that this film takes place in (Xenia, Ohio), it was shot on location in Nashville, Tennesee. Nashville provides an appropriate backdrop for the setting that was trying to be portrayed. Korine shoots the film with raw textures, giving it a real, lmost too real deliverance. The camera work at times is almost hard to watch.

Throughout the film – the images have a natural, gritty appearance. All in all, Gummo provides us with a shockingly real glimpse at the hardships and dilemmas that face lower class suburban life. This film poses as somewhat of a quasi-documentary. In part, it is brutal truth, including real people and events, and at the same time, it follows a fantastic, yet dark journey, that was written and directed to be as rough and unpolished as possible. This is what makes it’s mark as a good film in a non-traditional sense.

The Fallen Angel: Analysis Of The Final Scenes Of Blade Runner

Director Ridley Scott’s Postmodern reply to the modern consists of recognizing that the past, since it cannot be destroyed, because it’s destruction leads to silence, must be revisited. So memories and emotions are meaningless without immortality. ” Like tears in the rain. ” Director Scott has a chilling story to tell, and there is a complex web of allegory and meaning lurking in the background. The final scene of Blade Runner reveal religious and philosophical parallels and these are Milton’s Paradise Lost and humanity itself.

God is uestioned, mocked and finally destroyed. The use of tightly framed shots, reaction shots, and mise en scene are used to highlite the allegoricall relationship to Christianity. Humanity itself is brought up for definition in this film, as the Replicants are in many ways more human than the ” real humans” they are interacting with. The mise en scene suggests a vision of the future that is not only a sprawling, technological metropolis, but an empty soulless place. Through it’s characters a sense of quiet desperation.

They are withdrawn almost, living in a mellow dream hich when disrupted, is painful and struggling. The characters seem random, everyday people of the city, but united by the will to survive because there is nothing else, nothing but fear. Death to the replicants is represented by their own mortality and the outside embodiment of the Blade Runners; stalkers. Roy and his followers: Pris, Zora and Leon are Milton’s fallen angels. They are created by Tyrell ( God ) and given a limited life span. Roy a symbol of mankind is separated by his maker, when he is sent off world ( expelled from heaven ).

And like Lucifer, s obessed with the same questions of mortality: How much time do we have? Were are we going? Milton’s battle takes place in heaven. Here it is fought on earth. Roy cannot approach Tyrell directly. He uses an intermediary; Sebastian ( Jesus Christ ) as his link to God. Bibical teachings has it that God can only be approached through His Son, Jesus Christ. Sebastian is the only true human. He is the composite of both man and replicant as Jesus is a composite of God and man. Just as Jesus lived among men, Sebastian lived among the replicants.

The Bible syas the score between Lucifer and Christ is yet to be settled, Ridley Scott decides to to take advantage of the liberties afforded him by Postmodernism by deciding to rewrite the future. With God and Christ dead, satan becomes almost a Christ-like figure. Light and shadow is evoked to show Roy in a new role as all knowing and all seeing. Extreme close-up of Roy’s eye reveal a person who is enlightened and empowered with knowledge. A further significance to substaniate Roy’s transition into Christ is that he pierces his hand with a nail, a symbol of Christian crucifixian.

The final scenes were Roy becomes the hunter takes place high above the city. The concerns of the people no longer permiate the scenes. Dekkard is filmed from a high angle to suggest vulnerbality and a lack of understanding, with his eye’s closed as his clings to life; a keep of blindness to the world around him. With the end near Roy Batty goes through yet another change. This manifests in the fact that he prevents Dekkard from falling to his death and becomes his savior.

As they face each other, the proxemics patterns change and for the first time Dekkard and Batty are frame tightly together. Roy brings himself down to his opponants level of understanding by sitting eye to eye. As they face each other, Roy seemms to come to terms with his own mortality and the inevitability of death. He ceases to struggle against what he cannot change, the hand of death. By the time Roy dies, he has redeemed himself by following in the footsteps of Christ. In order for God to forgive him, he spares the life of the men trying to kill him. As he dies a high angle frames a white dove flying free towards a clear sky. Finally his soul is purified.

Robert Altman’s The Long Goodbye As A Genre Revisionist Film

The period of American cinema between 1965 and 1975 produced many films that almost completely restructured classical Hollywoods accepted genre conventions. A fine example of this would be Robert Altman’s iconoclastic take on Raymond Chandler’s Philip Marlowe in The Long Goodbye (1973), a detective film based on the final book in Chandlers Philip Marlowe series. Altman, who is known for turning around traditional genre conventions, revises and reinvents the film-noir style made popular by Dick Powell in Murder, My Sweet (1944), Humphrey Bogart in The Big Sleep (1946), and Robert Montgomery in Lady in the Lake (1947).

The actors and the films in the 1940s film-noir period conformed to genre conventions, and it wasnt until Robert Altman directed Elliot Goulds Philip Marlowe in The Long Goodbye that the detective genre had changed. It is very interesting to note how the conventions of 1940s hardboiled private eye fiction translate into the 1970s. The low-rent drabness of the genre loses much of its allure. The dark shadows and long nights of urban Los Angeles become the bright lights and warm sunshine of Malibu beaches.

The detectives normally snappy dialogue turns into joking asides. Marlowes hardboiled narration becomes the self-conscious mutterings of a lonely man talking to himself. The romantic myth of a man set apart from the city is turned on its head as a pathetic man living alone with his cat. Elliot Gould plays private investigator Philip Marlowe, who uses his smart-aleck detachment carried along by a natural wave of 1970s California that Altman exercises for both humour and social commentary.

Rich drunks, drugged out youth, multicultural gangsters in touch with their heritage and their feelings, people more than willing to use their friends, all indicate a self-obsessed society, a force as relevant in the 1970s as the ever-present title song. Originally, Hollywood backed Altman, the eccentric director of M. A. S. H and Nashville, in the hopes that a gritty detective film would cash-in on the success of Dirty Harry. Unfortunately, the studio didnt get its wish.

Altman instead produced a satirical essay on changes in American society reflected through the changes in the Marlowe character from The Big Sleep, with Bogart taking the lead role of Marlowe in 1946, to the 1973 version of the detective played by Elliot Gould. The Big Sleep has been called a classic. It is a film that is memorable because of the dialogue between Bogart and Lauren Bacall, a couple with proven sexual chemistry, as well as the feverish, driving pace of the plot. In the 1940s, Marlowe is the handsome, tough, and hard-boiled detective we love and expect.

The illusion is complete when he dons a felt hat and hits the mean streets to get the bad guys. He is omnipotent. Watch Altman’s version, and the illusion is shattered in subsequent viewing. Marlowe’s demand for only $25 per day plus expenses; his shabby apartment, his dirty clothes, and his old, beat-up car all prove that this Marlowe is not the ultra-cool, suave detective that everyone knows. In fact, he is a bit of a bum. When Marlowe is interrogated at the station, he is the center of the frame while the police circle about him like gnats firing questions.

All the while Marlowe plays with the inky smears left by the fingerprinting procedure, jokingly referring to Al Jolsen. He does this while looking at his reflection in a two-way mirror, as if to demonstrate his contempt for the police authorities he knows are watching on the other side of the glass. Later, when he confronts the police face to face at the scene of Wade’s suicide, Marlowe drunkenly waves a wine glass in their faces while they exhibit little expression.

Even in a post-noir context, The Long Goodbye evokes the emotions of a mainstream film noir. The powerlessness of its independent protagonists, Marlowe and Eileen Wade, to untangle a moral dilemma in a modern, corrupt world makes them prototypically noir. While Marlowe may not verbalize his sense of anachronistic despair, he shares the ability to endure physical and emotional punishment. As a private investigator, Marlowe is expected from genre convention to understand and discern a solution to this puzzle; but even the police know more than he does.

For example, the police solve the murder before Marlowe can, and even though he is sure he is right, Marlowe is told to Go back to your gumshoes, by the police chief, an example of self-reflexivity which is quite prominent in genre revision films. In order to revise a genre, a director must first understand the conventions of the genre in order to reflect upon them. Altman proves he knows hardboiled detective dramas in one of the earlier scenes in the movie.

When Marlowe is forced into his apartment by police officers, he deadpans around until the actual hardboiled detectives (the police officers) get serious. While one officer ogles at Marlowes topless hippie neighbours, Marlow is forced down onto a chair, and asks the policeman, Is this the part where I say, Whats this all about? and then he says, Im the one who asks the questions.? Where Howard Hawks defined the hardboiled detective genre in 1946 with The Big Sleep, Altman tears it apart in 1973s The Long Goodbye. Temporally Altman joins the past with the present.

The viewer is not simply made aware of the generational gap between 1946 and 1973. Instead, the two are placed together in a single moment by Marlowe’s out-dated dress, as well as his car (a late 40s Lincoln Continental). The two intermingle as the traditional plot engine of the detective film, a murder, binds the Marlowe, circa 1946, with the 1973 edition. Time is slower; Marlowe is more lethargic. The linear progression of time is powerless to dictate the logical flow of action because the characters are oblivious to it.

Altman’s camera roams in and out, around and above character movements seemingly without purpose, presenting each moment of the character’s behavior in a scene randomly. When Marlowe first arrives in Mexico, for example, he leaves the frame, but the camera continues moving, panning to two dogs fornicating on the side of the road. Altmans use of sound, as well, helps in redefining the conventions of the hardboiled detective genre. His multi-layered soundtrack approach adds confusion, not clues, in several scenes throughout the movie.

While Marlowe is being taken into custody, the audience is given a soundtrack of everything in prison except the primary action, Marlowes arrest. This allows for Altman to get away with injecting unrelated social commentary into the film. For example, an unbilled David Carradine (Marlowes cell mate) rants about legalizing marijuana as Marlowe is being set free from police custody. Altman uses his soundtrack in another inventive way by repeating the original title song six times, each one a different version. The Long Goodbye could in fact be classified as a neo-noir film.

It is one that takes well-defined conventions of a recognized style, and instead of changing, Altman updates the genre without actually updating the protagonist. But Altman breaks convention and refuses to update Marlowe. He preserves the character in a Rip-Van-Winkle state of vintage clothes and car as a reminder that the stable, secure order of right and wrong Marlowe once used to condemn the antagonist is lost. Now Marlowe’s ethic is an anachronism: it leads to bafflement, confusion, and disorientation in our detective.

He becomes lost, unable to find where his cat is hiding, much less the place where his other responsibilities lie. The absence of change is conspicuous and suggests that Altman has embraced a defining feature of modern art often lacking in classical Hollywood cinema, namely the attempt to present the world as an inexplicable, two-dimensional canvas without order and meaning provided by out-dated, constructed ideals. The manner in which Altman turns convention up-side down suggests two tricks of the modern art trade, compression of time and dilution of climax, to present his chaotic image.

We feel Marlowe’s search for his missing cat is as important as the murder investigation. Our glimpse into Marlowe’s shabby way of life seems as important as any moral insight that we hope the picture may eventually provide us. Normally, Hollywood movies use the interaction of the protagonists with characters unconnected with the plot as an introduction, a way to grab glimpses of the character’s true nature. In The Long Goodbye, these foreground strokes, intended to lay a foundation for audience sympathy with the lead character, are made as prominent as the climax, as well as the end.

This is because Marlowe wanders through the action of the film meeting and reacquainting himself with unrelated characters, such as the gatekeeper-impressionist in Terry Lennoxs neighbourhood, and the grocery store clerk, who Marlowe meets again in prison. The time between The Big Sleep and The Long Goodbye signifies a significant evolution of American, or at least Hollywood, culture, from the country’s post-WWII optimism to the alarm of Vietnam. The character of Marlowe, it appears, has one foot in each book-end of history.

The movie, The Breakfast Club

The high school experience is something that will forever dominate the psyche of most American adults. It was an unforgettable time of fun, rebel-rousing, summer loves and parties. It was a time of warm summer days at the pool and chilly autumn nights, watching the football team and wondering were the party was going to be that night. School dances and hotel parties. Seems like all I can remember are the good times. High School is a very emotional time for many teens and everything matters. The insidious problems that I had to face are but a smudge on my memory, things like too much homework, zits, mean people, gossip, and algebra.

The social atmosphere that permeated every aspect of high school could make or break your popularity. In the movie, The Breakfast Club, five young adults are portrayed to a tee, representing a cross cultural view of the teens attending high school in suburban Chicago in 1985. The year in which the movie is set is immaterial, because the game is the same, whether it is 1955 or 1995. The opening scene of this classic movie shows the five students arriving to school at approximately seven thirty in the morning, Saturday, to serve their punishment, the dreaded Saturday detention that many of us had to submit to.

This grievous application of student torture was utilized by school administrators to punish, reform and deter schoolboys and schoolgirls from breaking any rules and regulations. The scene is narrated by the brain of the group, the know it all, dorky, goofy, nerd whose idea of fun was to grow fungus and compete in the academic decathlon. In a dry and sardonic voice he leads you into the movie and their day in Saturday d-hall. Stereo-types abound in life, but in high school the social caste system is magnified, into a hierarchy of cool to zero, with subtle varying degrees in the spectrum.

The Breakfast Club characterizes this phenomena by depicting the jock, the brain, the basketcase, the princess, and the juvenile delinquent. In the movie each character is representative of the social class to which they belong. The jock signifies the sports star that can do no wrong, but the movie character bullies another boy and when caught all he received was detention. Although on the other hand the delinquent who is a dope smoking, foul mouthed punk, received the same punishment for talking back to a teacher.

Administrators and teachers are very quick to meet out severe punishment to those students that they have deemed worthless, while good kids get a slap on the wrist. The movies jock is placed in Saturday detention, instead of being suspended, so that he may wrestle in an upcoming tournament; a case in which Hollywood makes an accurate depiction. This is the holding of power that Wehlage and Rutter spoke about in their study, High School and Beyond. Students who receive better treatment seem to do better in school when subjected to an orderly environment, a committed and caring faculty, and an emphasis on academic pursuits(Nieto,100).

The movie goes on to compare and contrast the princess and the basketcase, both seventeen year old girls who endeavor male attention, yet one is the cool crowd prom queen and the other is the loser, burnout crowd weirdo. Brian, the narrating brain, is a fifteen-year-old sophomore who is having trouble coping with high school. He looks up to the older, cool kids, yet his parents unbearably demanding academic expectations have driven him to thoughts of suicide. Students who drop out are usually uninvolved and passive participants in the school experience(Nieto,101).

The movie focuses on how each teen copes with their individual stresses and how they interact among two thousand hormone driven teenagers. Some of the funniest and most memorable movie scenes in cinematic history take place in the high schools library. This movie came out before I attended high school, yet I envisioned my experience to be similar. Now, I watch the movie and I get that nostalgic feeling and realize that high school was exactly that way. In todays world the names and faces may have changed, but all in all kids stay the same.

The rules and parameters of this game called, high school, may have changed in order to stay current with the nineties, teenagers coming of age in society have stayed practically the same. You hear a lot of teachers say that the kids are different and that things just arent the same, it is the teacher who has failed to adapt and modify themselves. High School is a paradox. A beautiful and painful experience that will stay with someone for the rest of their life, whether enjoyed it or hated it.

Bram Stokers Dracula

Lords of the darkness, Darkling Dancers, Nosferatu, Vrikolakas. And the list goes on like this. The vampire concept is thought by the most to be a myth that has crept into almost every culture. It has influenced many writers to write novels on them and many directors to shoot films on. Vampire myths go back way into the times of first recorded history. Many different legends are known about them varying from the Chinese belief of the glowing red eyed monsters with green or pink hair to the Greek Lamia who has the upper body of a woman and the lower body of a winged serpent and the Japanese belief in the vampire foxes.

The most commonly known legend which is widely used in filming is the blood drinking man who can transform into a bat or mist, wearing a black cape with a suit and with fangs in his mouth. This significant type is the one that is been explained widely in the eastern European myths. This vampire preys on human victims which are chosen at random by biting and sucking blood from the veins in the side of the neck at night time. The prey also becomes a vampire and joins the world of the undead. These specific vampires are the ones who cannot stand the sunlight which will burn them and they usually sleep in a coffin during the daytime.

It is believed that these vampires are most active during full moon. They are immortal and they can only be killed if a wooden stake is run through the heart or when they are beheaded. In the year of 1879 an Irish writer, Bram Stoker, unheard with his previous novels and short stories gets inspired on this and writes the most famous books of all times. Here we are at the close of 1998, looking back and seeing the over two hundred theatrical performances and movies made on it. Whats more is that it is the second best seller book after The Bible in Western communities.

This cult figure created by the crazy Irishman has effected us in our actions or emotions in some way. Crudely every single person on earth must have heard his name. But why? Looking onto the novel, there is a perfect gothic look presented to us with its every aspect. Infact every single concept covered comes deep from mythology. It talks about blood and fire, death and love, good and bad, fantasy and magic. And the Count; who sometimes happens to be an atrocital monster, a romantic lover No doubt, these make the novel even more interesting.

But, these things are only the small, tiny bits of a greater picture. This is not just the story of the mystic blood sucker, one feels that it tells us much more than that. In the essence we see Bram Stokers character search for his gothic novel and he makes the perfect choice: Vlad III, the prince of Wallachia, an area now within the borders of Romania, the southern part to be specific. Vlad III, known as Vlad the Impaler, had fought with the Ottoman Turks in the name of the church, who were expanding into the Balkans.

During his fights with the Turks, he lost his throne several times but each time managing to get back onto it. It is mostly believed that he had fallen dead in a fight with the Ottoman army, beheaded and his head taken back to Istanbul, to the Sultan as a proof that the “impaler” was dead. He was also known with his atrocities and impalement where the victim was impaled between the legs with a large, sharpened but not too much stake that was the width of a mans arm. He especially enjoyed mass impalements where many victims were impaled at once.

As the people to be impaled were hung above the ground, their body weight would slowly drag them down and the sharpened stake would slowly run into them, piercing their internal organs. To enjoy this spectacular moments more, he would have a supper with the visions and the sounds of the dying which would take from hours to days. Instead of going on with the novel, I would like to move on to the best Dracula film that was made until the concept emerged: Francis Ford Coppolas B. S. Dracula. This movie, unlike many of its clones, pays respect to the novel and even corrects it in places where it differs from actual historical data.

Francis Ford Coppola, the Academy Award winning director who has made his name with the Godfather series, processes the story that sends shivers down your spine with effective cinamatography in a perfect way. The introduction part: 1429 Dracula who is at war with the Ottoman Turks wins success in the name of the church. On the other hand, the witty Ottomans, sends a message to Draculas castle that tells Dracula was captivated and dead. His beloved wife believes this message and commits suicide.

With a red background and a progresive music we see Dracula weeping after his wife in the next scene. Then the priest comes and tells Dracula that his wife would not be sanctified due to the fact that she should not have committed suicide according to Christianity. And it happens all at that point where he denies god and pierces the cross by saying “I will raise from my own death. ” Blood flows out of the cross and he is cursed by God and his soul is taken by the devil. Then he fills a cup from this spilling blood and drinks it as he says “Blood is life and it shall be mine!

His love for his wife exceeds beyond his love of God and this maybe is the most humane aspect of him. As the film progresses we travel 4 centuries in time. Dracula moving to London, plans to set up a vampire empire in England and to get Jonathan Harkers wife who he believes is the reincarnation of his wife. After this point we see the struggle between the good and the bad. Consequently, Dracula dies but the curse on him is lifted. If we concentrate on Dracula as a figure, we note the anti-christ theme after hes been cursed by God.

For Christianity, Dracula is exacly what Christ isnt. He is often referred as the son of the devil. He portrays the sinner that has once followed the Gods path. This makes up the religious part of the novel which in my opinion adds a lot to it. Focusing on characters besides Dracula like Mina Harker and Lucy, we see the Victorian mentality and the pressure that has been imposed on them sexually. Minas over shyness, Lucy being full of lust but no thought, the secretly read “Arabian Nights” novel are the proofs of sexual pressure thats being imposed on them.

Draculas entrance to these womens lives and his destroyal of all the taboos can be considered as a revolution against the Victorian period. In the men characters point of view heroic aspects are important. Jonathan Harkers struggle for Mina, Lucys three lovers and Dr. Van Helsings struggle with Dracula from the streets of London to Transilvania exemplifies the welding of courage, hate and love. Coming back to Dracula, there is lots more to talk about him. For example, the three vampire women living in his castle. These women are both Draculas lovers and daughters.

And this is an example of Freuds Odysseia Complex which is the base of Sophokless Odysseus tale. In Draculas character we also see signs of fascism. At the very beginning of the story when he and Jonathan are having dinner, he gets angry with Jonathan because what he speaks about disturbs his thoughts on his background and he pulls his sword out. In addition, he is always in a fascist approach to the Turks and the Gipsies. With these aspects of his, Dracula follows a political opinion and with his style and manner reminds us of the Nazis.

Keeping all of these in mind we can see why the story of Dracula is so attractive to us. The Dracula character being a cult figure is because of the fact that his character carries the sins and the emotions of the 20th century: killing, rape, incest, fascism On the other hand, despite all these Dracula did not forget his true love. Maybe everyone of us finds his/her darkness in the Count and thats why many people sympathise with him. Whatever it is, the truth is that in the end Count Dracula dies but in real world he has promoted to immortality as a heroic and charismatic character.

A Ridley Scott film – Blade Runner

This film, I believe, deserves a higher status than that of cult, and is much more than just an acceptable homage to Philip K Dick, author of many original science-fiction novels, often laced with philosophical perspectives on the human condition. The film is multi-layered; thrilling and unsettling, part dark science fiction and detective film noir, realistic and dream-like, intelligent, mature, artistic and powerful.

Purely on the surface, it has a visual richness which is wonderfully atmospheric (enhanced by the soundtrack of Vangelis), drawing one into a vision of the future which is not only a sprawling, technological metropolis, but an mpty, soulless place. It is a film, which not only incorporates the strong themes presented by Dick but also adds its own mood, more aloof and tragic, which includes through its characters a sense of life’s quiet desperation.

They are withdrawn almost, living in a mellow dream which when disrupted, is painful and struggling. The characters seem random, everyday people of the city, but through the story are united by a will to survive because there is nothing else, nothing but fear. Death to the replicants is represented by their own mortality and the outside embodiment of the Blade Runners; stalkers such as Deckard.

Throughout the film, life and death are displayed in ways that illuminate their surrealness; life in the case of a radically imposing world – large, expansive, beautifully decadent, grown strange even to the hero Deckard – and death, especially in the example of Zorra’s death sequence, as a sprawling, slow-motion operatic and disjointed event. Survival is a weary task amongst such decadence, but it is a prominent theme; the replicants are not human yet they want life, Deckard scrambles extensively on the rooftops and at one classic point, is moments from certain death.

The film itself is called ‘Blade Runner’ suggestive of the confrontation with danger that hunting replicants for a living invites. ‘Quite a thing to live in fear isn’t it? ‘ Towards the climax the film attempts to bring the viewers as close to the ledge of death as possible. ‘4,5 – how to stay alive’ shouts Batty chasing Deckard with a nail plunged through his hand, an attempt to retain his failing sense of sensation by an infliction of harsh pain. This is all artistic nerve touching, and with the roles reversed to Deckard as the prey, the viewer senses the hopelessness of

Deckard’s situation. This highlights another interesting factor which distinguishes Blade Runner from being a conventional sci-fi thriller to a surprisingly relevant and resonant work; the mix of the traditional with the untraditional. We have the typical cop hero in the character Deckard, found in a downtown bar at the beginning, wanted for an assignment by the chief. There is the usual love interest in Rachel, the main villain Batty and his boys heading for a showdown, a few minor characters of interest and behind it, the clever scientist whose plans backfire.

Before long however, all is out of joint; the baddies are not evil, but confused creatures of Frankenstein seeking like us all, extended life and answers for the pain and suffering caused by grief and heightened doses of emotion. Rachel, one of them also, complicates Deckard’s task and in general there is a sense of confusion, horror in Zorra’s realistic death scene and complexity in man’s modern creations and lack of control. Technology, it seems has surpassed our ability to control and relate to it. This futuristic city is forlorn, lonely and lost.

The characters are world-weary; they have een and done it all, and are none the wiser. Instead of a great showdown with the enemy where the viewer witnesses good triumph over evil, we have a prolonged, desperate fight. Our hero is disarmed, forced to flee and is saved by the enemy who is dying anyway. It is a scene where we wait to see if Deckard will survive and return to salvage all that he now cares about – his strange love for Rachel. After this case, we may discern that Deckard ‘won’t work in this town again’.

It has been suggested that the film suffers from an identity crisis through not knowing whether it is a science fiction thriller or a lever detective film noir. This was never the case. Like in the book, Deckard in the director’s cut is a conventional cop confronted by an unconventional case (Nexus Six replicants with memories and primitive emotions) which will bring him close to confronting a hazard that is inherent within us all; the darker more horrific desire for holding onto life.

For this is the struggle of Batty and the replicants – how to live with dangerously acute powers and sensibilities bestowed by people such as the arrogant scientist Dr. Tyrell. They are not happy with their gift; playing second-rate to humans, living in fear of death, and by the end, suffering a painful, protracted and useless end. Their inability to comprehend their own mortality and loss of experiences (‘like tears in rain’) mirrors our own.

This is the result of arrogant science, of playing Prometheus, and as a powerful theme resonates to the consideration that human life is not dissimilar. It is true perhaps that this fundamental idea of ‘what it means to be human’ may come over better in the book than in the film; a stronger depth inherent in the film is that of hunter and hunted. But what we do witness is Deckard’s natural but ironic predicament of falling for the enemy, i. e. Rachel. This is perhaps the only goodness in a film illustrating the fallibility of humanity; love and the need to be loved.

It is here where we get the dream image of the charging unicorn, a symbol perhaps of an attainable goodness and simplicity amid such dark modernity and angst. Deckard doesn’t find an enemy as such in the replicants, but beings every bit as fallible as himself; confused, fearful and understandably dangerous when threatened. A more apparent interpretation of the unicorn is that it is a memory implant given to Deckard – himself a replicant, confirmed at the end when he notices the silver origami creation of the cane-man (a real Blade Runner? Have they used Deckard as a thief to catch the thieves? Personally, although this is a strong connection, I prefer to think of this as a suggestion only, and that the dream unicorn may also be a real dream, but perhaps attaches to a deeper meaning shared between the blade runners.

This, however is the cleverness of the subtle ambiguity in the film; that its uggestions work on numerous levels. There are other groundings for understanding Deckard as a replicant, with his unemotional dedication to completing the task set for him by the chief.

The reaches of Tyrell’s influence on the positions of the city are uncertain. Possibly it is all one engineered experiment by the god-like mental Tyrell; introducing Rachel to Deckard, their relationship, Holden’s incapacitation at the beginning by Leon, and the need for a being able to match and destroy Batty. But this is relatively inconsequential and merely dds strength to the theme of presenting the experience of humanity – its strange needs and compulsions – through the concept of replicants.

The fact that the reference to their murder is classified ‘retirement’ draws attention to an unjust but deliberate discrimination. What these cops are tracking down in the Nexus Six replicants are mirrors of themselves, suffering from a lack of empathy. The film is laced with a subtle, ironic perspective. By the time Deckard enters Sebastian’s building it becomes apparent that Deckard from this point will hardly be likely to just kill Batty and walk home to Rachel. The climax distils the running of the blade for both characters and for all people.

Ultimately, as Rachel and Deckard rush to escape the vicinity of other Blade Runners, but of still inevitable death, their weakness and futility matches Batty’s. But they have a sort of love, one that possibly only Deckard feels, and we guess that they will cling to this as they enter the lift and the difficult future. The door slams, life goes on; the players have left the stage. They are left threatened, for possibly the cane-man will ensure that Rachel is hunted down. ‘It’s too bad she won’t live, but then again who oes.

The definitive version of the film is the director’s cut, which retains the proper level of ambiguity by subtracting the ill-fitting, unnecessary happy ending. Instead we may wonder whether the unicorn of hope, love and purity (my interpretation) can live, or deserve to live, outside the dream and inside such an exhausted, dead-end of a world. This film is both far-fetched and realistic, bleak in setting but finally hopeful, striking a powerful chord with its searching, struggling characters. Crucial aspects of the human condition are here on display in surely what is a fine creation.

The Cave and the Matrix

Movie critics and philosophers alike agree that the movie The Matrix is indeed based upon certain Platonic themes from Book VII of The Republic. In this story entitled “The Allegory of the Cave,” he describes a dark underground cave where a group of people are sitting in one long row with their backs to the cave’s entrance. Chained to their chairs from an early age, all the humans can see is the distant cave wall in from of them. The shadows of statues held by unseen puppet handlers reflect on the walls from the light of a fire that is also out of sight of those in the cave.

The theme of the allegory is that their reality is a poor copy of the real world. According to Plato, our world is nothing but shadows, imperfect manifestations of the forms. Similar to the prisoners of the cave, the humans trapped in the matrix (the cave) only see what the machines (the modern day puppet-handlers) want them to see. They are tricked into believing that what they hear in the cave and see before them is the true reality that exists. Furthermore, they accept what their senses are telling them and they believe that what they are experiencing is all that really exists–nothing more.

The movie not only incorporates these same ideas, the story line of the movie parallels that of the allegory. The most important character is who Plato calls the Philosopher or the Intellectual. In the allegory, Plato hypothesizes that one of the prisoners eventually be released or escape from his chains and flee the cave. The philosopher/intellectual would then be able to see the real objects as well as the puppet-handlers who are holding these objects. In the movie, The Matrix this scene directly parallels with Neo’s scene in the matrix pod. Looking around in shock, Neo sees, for the first time, his true surroundings.

He is actually living in a human factory. At first, Plato says that the Freed Prisoner would be confused at what he saw. As for Neo, when he is finally confronted with the truth surrounding the matrix, he is in a state of confusion and denial. In fact, he is so overwhelmed that he throws up and passes out. Plato wrote that the Freed Man might even feel that what he was seeing now was the illusion and the shadows on the wall were actually more real. There is a line in the movie where Cypher tells Trinity, “I think the matrix can be more real than this world. ”

Plato also goes on to suggest that the freed prisoner would not only be shock over the realization of his true existence, but that he would suffer physical pain. Like Neo, who says “I can’t go back, can I? ” the freed prisoner’s first reaction would be to return to false reality because it is less painful and more familiar to him. Plato wrote that the Philosopher must have started to question what he saw in front of him and wondered about the origin of the shadows and if there was anything else beyond the cave wall that he saw before him. The only way that a prisoner is able to escape is because he made a choice, wanting to learn the truth.

This appears in the movie when Morpheus tells Neo, “You’re here because you know something. What you know you can’t explain. But you feel it. You’ve felt it your entire life. That there’s something wrong with the world. You don’t know what it is but its there, like a splinter in your mind driving you mad. It is this feeling that has brought you to me. ” According to Plato, enlightenment would come to one from being taken out of the cave, and thrust into the light of the real world. He writes that this would not be an easy transition and that the bright and good light of the Sun would seem blinding at first.

When Neo first awakes and escapes from the slime pod, he asks why his eyes are sore and is told that he has never really used them before, meaning he has never seen reality. Once he was made aware of the real world, he would be uninterested in the shadows of the cave. He would return to the cave to try to free others. However, he would have no desire to go back to his life in the cave. Eventually though, his desire to help his fellow prisoners would win out. Neo discovers that what he has been presented with his entire life is only reflections, or merely shadows of the truth.

Perhaps this theme is emphasized through the repeated use of mirrors and reflections. In the allegory, there are other characters who also appear in the movie. Plato calls the ones holding those in the cave captive the puppet handlers. They represent the influential, powerful members of society. In The Matrix, the puppet-handlers are the machines spawned from AI (Artificial Intelligence. ) Basically, the puppet-handlers in both cases use artificial surroundings as a way to control and manipulate the information that the prisoners receive. The prisoners that we speak of are all the citizens of this society whose minds have not yet been freed.

Thomas Anderson was a prisoner in the cave before he became Neo. The movie The Matrix is not the first to have toyed with the idea of a person not being able to distinguish between a dream and reality. Many modern films have relied on this theme; however, this movie most accurately reproduces the storyline of Platos allegory. The Matrix brings Plato’s tale up-to-date by using a “virtual world” within cyberspace. The Matrix has probably had as much exposure to todays audiences as The Republic did in its day, inviting people to question what they consider to be a familiar reality and to strive to be a freed intellectual.

Different Genres By Michael J. Mizov Fear

Fear in Different Genres By Michael J. Mizov Fear is defined as a condition between anxiety and terror either natural and well-grounded or unreasoned and blind. Fear is one emotion that everyone dislikes, and it is as unavoidable as night or day. Through the use of novels, plays, films, short stories, and poems it becomes clear that fear is an emotion that the writer like to heighten not only in the protagonist, but also in the reader.

After reading great works by people such as George Orwell and Stephen King, it becomes clear that fear in the most uncontrollable emotion, quick to come, and long to last. The horror movies f today may bring about a cheap scare, but to truly fear something is the same as dying a thousand times over. All people have a worst fear, be it heights or ducks, that an author or film maker can use to their advantage. Their goal is to make the hairs on the back of one’s neck raise, as well as have them looking over their shoulder as the story progresses with more twists and turns than a roller coaster.

Aforementioned, the main purpose of this research is to prove that fear is an emotion that is prevalent throughout all genres, regardless of topic or plot, and through meticulous research of all genres, the fear presented n all shall be revealed. The first genre to be discussed will be film. After viewing such classics as Last of the Mohicans, The Red Badge of Courage, and Bartleby, it becomes clear that the film making industry is not at a loss for instilling fear.

There are films that make one’s pulse quicken as the story becomes more involved, or some that have one lying awake in bed at night thinking of the frightening stuff they had just seen. The whole concept of fear in a film is not a prolonged fright, but a short lasting one, that may conclude after the end, or in some cases, a few days afterwards. The first film that was iewed was The Last of the Mohicans. It was a story that encompassed all the emotions, from love to fear.

The first instance of fear was short-lived but still present, it began as the opening credits finished, and three men are running through the forest at high speeds. The viewer begins to speculate as to what they are running after, or more importantly, from. That instance of fear was a letdown and also quickly forgotten, but the emotion was still present nonetheless. A short ways into the film the viewer is introduced to an Indian named Magua, and through his speech and body movements it becomes noticeable hat he is concealing an ulterior motive, but the viewer can only wonder at what.

Magua then acts as scout leading two women and a regiment of troops through the woods it becomes clear that something is about to occur. As the signs of impending action come one’s pulse quickens and one may even lean forward in the seat in anticipation. The rising fear is rewarded as a group of Indian braves attack them from the woods and then as the battle is happening one begins to fear for the lives of the main characters that were only recently introduced. In all predictability, they survive, but for a moment the viewer was earing the worst.

As the group proceeds to the fort which is under attack fear is of course stirred to life. Not very strongly, but like a splinter in one’s mind, it is always there. Through the film the fear for the lives of the main characters comes into play quite often as they are involved in many life-threatening situations and whatnot but the real heart stopped comes at the end of the film. Magua has captured the two female characters and the Mohicans are racing up the mountain after him to save them. As they approach the peak, the Mohicans catch up, and a brutal fight ensues.

Magua then fights one of the Mohicans one to one, and the viewer begins to think, good always beats evil. Although not in this case, as the Mohican plunges to his death off the side of the mountain, the viewer is in shock, than the viewer remembers that his new love witnessed the whole thing. The horror is too much as she is taken over by fear of having to live without him, and she too hurdles to the jagged rocks below, to live with her love in eternity. Such scenes rarely occur in films that invoke such fear, because it is a rare occurrence that the not one, but two of the main character die.

The title then has meaning, as the father of the full Mohican and half-Mohican men truly becomes the last of his race, the last of the Mohicans. The next film viewed was Bartleby, a short film based on the novel by Herman Melville. Throughout the film, there is not much hair raising fear, but a more subtle level. The kind of fear caused by this film comes into play late nights when one has trouble falling asleep. Bartleby was a normal man at first, but as the film progresses, he becomes stranger and stranger.

In the world, the fear of the strange and or unknown tends the come about a lot as a result of the isunderstood. Bartleby is one such misunderstood fellow, and this in turn causes all other characters in the film to fear him, even though he has done nothing menacing. Bartleby is a different kind of fear, and it is shown through the given examples or by simply picturing someone that looks normal, but you cannot quite grasp what they are thinking. Another film viewed was The Lottery, the main aspect of fear in that film was simply the fear of death.

There are a few underlying fears that come forth such as the fear of change. The people of town have been doing the lottery more than likely since it was founded in order o reap a good harvest in the fall. The premise of the lottery is to randomly pick someone from within the populace, and stone them to death so that the harvest will be bountiful. An old man brings up that a nearby town has abandoned the lottery, and everyone in town agrees that this was a foolhardy gesture, and they are only in for ruin; those statements brought to light the fact that they could not give up the lottery, even if they had wanted to.

As time passes eventually all families are called and the family with the black dot has to take a second lottery to see which one of them would be killed. The woman who eceives the black dot shows her fear of death by making such allegations as it was a mistake, or the lottery is worthless, but to no avail, she is promptly killed because the fear of the townspeople of dealing with a bad harvest overtakes the fear of one doomed woman. The Red Badge of Courage was than reviewed and the emotion of fear is what drives the story along.

Henry Fleming had recently joined the army and now his battalion was going into battle for the first time. Henry is scared out of his wits by the course of action presented to him, and looks to his friends for comfort, but the all claim that they are nafraid. The viewer begins to worry about Henry, because for all they know he may not survive the battle, or he could be badly wounded. Henry eventually gathers his courage and proceeds into the raging battle of the Civil War.

Upon seeing his comrades killed or wounded next to him he makes a mad dash for the woods, in order to save his own skin; this action goes unnoticed by his superiors and they congratulate him on being so brave when he finally does return. While walking back to camp after the battle Henry spies one of his close friends wounded and lying in the road, he goes over to help him, and his friend sks him to make sure he does not get run over when he passes. Henry carries him over to a field where he soon dies, and Henry is devastated by this.

Henry no longer is afraid, he is full of rage that he was too afraid to stand by his friends who remained steadfast and died in the line of duty. The viewer then begins to fear for Henry’s life even more so for the fact that now he would be on a rampage into the next battle, because everyone knows that foolhardy soldiers have even less of a chance than those trying to be heros. Henry’s friends then confide in him that they had the most fear in battle than in their ntire lives, and this fact holds true for the real world as well.

They congratulate Henry on being so brave while most of then were cowards, and this prompts Henry to be guilty instead of afraid, and he feels that it is up to him to win the upcoming battle. In the next battle Henry performed bravely but then once the battle is over more Union soldiers come over the hill to tell them that the real battle was over there, not here. This of course sets all the troops on edge with fear for their lives, because if what they had just lived through was not the battle, then what could real war be like?

That fact would remain a ystery for Henry, and the rest of his battalion, because they would all be too afraid to go over the next hill. The fear for one’s life is present almost every day, be it in a war, or walking down the street to buy a newspaper. The last film reviewed was based on a short story entitled Dr. Heidegger’s Experiment and it was about the fear of aging and losing one’s looks. The people that are in the opening scene are all old, withered people that were once young and robust, and the viewer is able to assume that they do not like it one bit.

The actual experiment presented in this film is with an elixir to reverse the aging rocess, the Dr. first shows how it works on an old rose, long dead, saved form his wedding day. It comes back to life almost instantly and the four old people are amazed, and all want to try the amazing elixir. These people do not take time to think of the consequences of such a miracle; they are all too afraid of their age and impending death to think of such things. The viewer has a little twinge of fear for these people because it is quite predictable how it will turn out in the end for these unfortunate souls.

They grow young again, and end up fighting over the old woman that had turned beautiful again. They squander the short time they have to be young as the elixir only last for a few minutes and in their fighting they had knocked over what remained of the elixir. The old-turned young-old again character’s worst fear became quite noticeable in the closing scene as they all knelt on the ground around where the last of the miracle elixir spilled. The genre of film has many, many examples of fear throughout the many movies made over time.

There are many different types of fear presented, as shown through the examples given; the fear of losing a love, a life, change, or one’s looks. Fear is a terrible emotion to experience, and film has only been around for almost a hundred years. Poetry on the other hand has been playing with our fears since the beginning of recorded time. The genre of poetry has had quite a jump on film, and contains just as much fear through verse as shown in a horror movie. The first poem read was Lenore’ by Edgar Allen Poe, a story about a lost love and trying to struggle on in the speaker’s own life.

The speaker mentions that all of her friends were simply getting close the her for the money she owned, while the speaker held her as his reason for existence. The fear of losing a loved one that special is shown through the verse of Poe’s speaker in this poem. One of the worst fears is having to live out the rest of one’s life without the only person that brought meaning into it, and it is a deep fear that lies in the hearts of everyone. When the speaker saw the death upon her eyes, his world is crashing down around him; life becomes meaningless.

The speaker then tries to find some sort of memorial for Lenore, but alas, nothing on this earth is worthy enough for her memory. Edgar Allen Poe was a master of fear and the macabre, this poem was one type of fear he was apable of expressing very strongly, and a different type is present in the next poem by him. The poem The Haunted Palace’ also by Poe presents the fear of the unknown to the reader. As the poem starts there was once a glorious palace sitting in the middle of a very prosperous and great land.

Travelers through the valley saw the spirits of happiness dancing in the windows at night, and this always comforted them as they passed. Then, one fateful day, evil began to assail the castle and the valley, all but destroying it as the wickedness passed through. The king was killed and the entire kingdom was collapsing without him nd the happy times became but a dim memory in the elderly’s minds. Now travelers fear going through the valley because of the evil spirits now dancing around inside the once great palace, while lies decimated and useless.

The people that still live in the kingdom fear going near the palace because of the evil the vibrates from the very foundation of it. The people in the kingdom may laugh, but they smile no more. That type of fear is the fear of evil, and the unknown, the people have no idea what horrors await them inside the palace, and they are in no hurry to find out. Poe was definitely a master of fear, and nother person the brings about fear through novel writing wrote a poem for a change, and will be discussed next. The poem For Owen’ by Stephen King is a very vague poem, but the fear inside of it begins to surface after numerous readings of it.

The fear presented in this poem is the fear of those that are different, as two young men are walking down the street to school, they begin to discuss the other schools around. There is one dressed in army fatigues and the other’s dress is not known, but as they make fun of the other kids, the one in the fatigues makes fun of fat kids; which reveals the fact that the other child s fat. The poem takes a drastic turn from there, as it delves into the mind of the fat child, and he thinks of the horrible things he could tell the child wearing the army fatigues.

How badly he is treated, how the fat kids can’t reach down to tie their own shoes, and how he has died a thousand deaths already. This poem presents the fear of those that are different, little children are especially fearful of the unknown. Those children’s only defense to such overwhelming fear is to put down or make fun of those that are different from them. There are thousands upon thousands of poems that convey the emotion of ear quite well. Poems may seem vague or hard to understand at first, but viewing them between the lines brings out the true emotions that the poet or speaker is trying to bring about.

Sometimes reading about scary things is enough to get one going, poetry is a good example of such, but the short story genre is certainly the harbinger of fear. Some short stories’ sole purpose is the make the reader fear for their very lives from just a short plot and some details in which everything is wrapped up in twenty or thirty pages. The short story is by far the easiest of the genres to examine because of such abundant resources. The irst short story that was reviewed was Here There Be Tygers by Stephen King it was a story about a little boy who was afraid to go to the bathroom.

Charles, the protagonist, was in Miss Bird’s class, and she was the meanest teacher in the whole school in his opinion. In the middle of class one day Charles had to use the bathroom, but because he feared Miss Bird, and the word bathroom instead of basement, he tried to play it all off. Charles having a fear of his teacher would be a common thing in most small children, but a fear of going to the bathroom is a very strange fear indeed. Charles soon gets noticed by Miss Bird nd she forces him to leave class and go to the bathroom.

When he arrived at the bathroom and went in, he turned the corner and saw a large tiger, lying in wait for someone to come in. He had no idea how it got there but he knows that it is there to eat him. Charles runs for his life and the reader begins to wonder if the tiger is a figment of his imagination created by his fear of the bathroom, or is there a real tiger escaped from the local zoo hiding in there? After standing around a few minutes Kenny, another boy from class comes to see what happened to Charles, and he finds Charles standing outside the bathroom in fear.

Kenny laughs at Charles and tries to drag him in, but Charles breaks free and Kenny goes in. There is a scream as the tiger devours Kenny and Charles cringes outside the bathroom. Soon after that incident Miss Bird comes by to see what happened to the two boys, and she goes right into the bathroom and is devoured as well. Charles then noticed that the tiger was satiated and he proceeds to use the bathroom, and heads back to class. The fear in this story may also be a fear of growing up. Charles sounds to be in about first grade and is getting used to acting more mature and being a responsible young man.

The fact that Miss Bird made him say bathroom instead of basement is something that may have played tricks on Charles’ mind, and maybe the tiger was his fear come out into the open, and devouring Miss Bird to show Charles could be any way he wanted. The next story, also by Stephen King, is the short story Gramma’ about another young boy that is alone for the first time with his extremely old, dying gramma’. The boy named George had moved in with his grandmother with his mother and older brother when he was six to take care of her in her declining years, and George has been afraid of her since day one.

Normally, grandparents are warm loving people, but this grandmother is old, mean, and decrepit, and this frightens George immensely. As George sits alone while his mother goes to the hospital to see his big brother Buddy who broke his leg, he begins to recall past instances where his grandmother particularly frightened him. George begins to work himself up as the evening progresses and becomes frightened for his life as dusk approaches. George had never been alone for that long, or at all in fact, with his grandmother.

George begins recalling strange things that his grandmother was nvolved in a long time ago, things he overheard in his mother’s conversations with relatives and friends. Then, as a strong storm began approaching the little house, George’s grandmother up and died. George then thought he would remain calm and call for help, but the phone’s were out, then he began to get extremely frightened. As it turns out, George’s grandmother had made a deal with the devil a long time ago, and he in turn gave her books of spells which made her a witch of sorts. George, who thought his grandmother was dead, saw her rise up and start going after him.

Much later, when George’s mother came home, George was almly sitting at the kitchen table and he told her that his grandmother had died. The story ends with a twist, as the narrator mentioned that George’s mother would be curious when he develops a taste for herbal tea. That was a frightening story with a twist, as most people who have read this were looking over their shoulders as they got towards the end. A good story is one that is able to cause the reader to experience the same emotions as the protagonist, and that story certainly did a good job at it.

The next story reviewed had a sort of primal fear expressed through it. The last story reviewed was Survivor Type’ y Stephen King, about a doctor that became shipwrecked on a desert island. More deserted than desert would be applicable for its description, as it was barely twenty yards across with only rocks on it for shade. As the story progresses the doctor is left with no water or food, and the story is told from the perspective of his journal, as he sees the events happen. The primal fear of death is told through this man’s journal, and the instinct to survive is his only outlet.

As time goes on the island he attempted to catch a seagull for dinner and broke his ankle on the rocks. Now that he is immobilized there is nothing to do to try and urvive, and he becomes greatly depressed and thinks of how he ended up in that situation. While his ankle festers he comes up with the idea to amputate it, since he is a doctor. Well, amputate he does, and instead of disposing of the foot, he eats it in order to survive. As one can see, the fear of death is so overwhelming in this man that he has resorted to eating his own foot in order to survive.

Since he ate his foot, he really has nothing, so as time goes on he begins to amputate various other body parts all the way up until his journal becomes so garbled and unintelligible that the reader can only fear the worst or the good doctor. The fear of death, and a bad stroke of luck, was what caused the doctor’s death. If he were able to control his fear, he may have survived. Short stories are a major player when it comes to scaring readers, some stories would have the reader looking over their shoulder to make sure the feared thing in the story is not walking up behind them to do something.

Fear is easily taken out of short stories since the premise of them is to scare the reader, but the genre of Plays is a lot harder to become frightened in. Plays are live action movies, and have been going for a very long time; almost the ame amount as poetry. It takes a lot to scare an audience when there are only a few actors dressed up performing something directly in front of them, but when there is a scare it tends to stick.

The first play reviewed was The Tempest’ by William Shakespeare and is a play about a group of people coming back from a wedding that become stranded on a vast island in small groups, without the knowledge if the others had survived. Prospero the wizard is actually in control of the entire island and he is the one who staged the shipwreck so that he may rightfully reclaim his place as Duke. As the play goes on, the characters begin o fear for the lives for the other people that were on the ship and then fear for their own safety on this uncharted island.

As the story progresses, more characters are introduced such as Ariel and Caliban, Prospero’s slave. Caliban is a slave because he is afraid of Prospero’s power as a wizard since Prospero killed his mother and claimed Ariel as his own. Sebastian and Antonia turn out to fear the king’s wrath so they plot to kill him, but Ariel intervenes and saves King Alonso. Sebastian and Antonia of course come up with an elaborate cover as to why their swords were drawn, and Alonso believes them. Later in the lay, Trinculo and Stephano get Caliban drunk, and he forgets Prospero’s powers and decided to try and kill him.

Being drunk often keeps the brain from thinking accordingly and forgetting a fear is a bad situation indeed. Eventually, everyone finds there way to Prospero’s encampment and all of the problems are resolved. Prospero forgives Sebastian and Antonio, and is restored to his rightful place. This story played on the fear of being alone in an unfamiliar place, such as being separated from your group while in a faraway place.

The other fear exploited is the fear of someone’s power, as in between Caliban and Prospero, if one is frightened of someone more powerful, there is not much to change one’s mind about not bothering them. The next play reviewed was Arthur Miller’s The Crucible’ and play about the Salem witch trials and the paranoia caused by the Puritan lifestyle. The play opens with a little girl Betty struck by some malady which causes her to remain unconscious and the person looking over her fears that dark forces had caused it. After a few of the other girls in town come to see her, she sits bolt upright and begins accusing, along with the other girls, almost all the people in town of witchcraft.

The fear of witches weeps Salem as almost the entire town is arrested for fear of them being a witch or warlock. The Puritan religion has people living by strict rules, and to alleviate boredom some girls went dancing in the forest and were caught. To shift the blame away from themselves they say that witches caused them to do it. The fear of getting in trouble started the witch purging, with the fear of witchcraft fueling the flame so to speak. One of the girls that caused the witch hunt to escalate even further was Abigail, who was in love with John Proctor, whom was already married.

She then accuses his wife of being a witch out of fear f losing him because she wants nothing but to be with him. Proctor then tries to save his wife from being put into prison, but the plan backfires and he ends up in prison for a very long time. Then as Act III starts it is a number of months later, and the view is focused on Proctor who is finding out what has happened in the past months. It turns out that the populace of Salem was so afraid of witches that almost every person in town was arrested except for a select few.

The who are arrested are soon forced to confess, which in turn brings about their execution. Proctor is forced to confess, but refuses to sign t, and as a result is eventually executed. Fear is somewhat over exaggerated through the course of the play, but since it is based on a real event, it certainly could not be too far from the truth, which is a frightening thought in itself. The genre of plays has some fear to it, but it can never match the fear instilled from reading a good novel.

There are many scary novels around, Stephen King specializes his work on scaring the living daylights out of his readers. Novels are able to articulate the feelings of the procrastinator as well as those around them more than a short story would ever be capable of. The novels iscussed here have to deal with a fear of dying, and a fear of truly living. The first novel is 1968 by Joe Haldeman, a novel about a young man who goes to Vietnam, and returns a far different man. The novel begins as a new man to Vietnam nicknamed Spider tells about the situation there.

He has currently never seen combat, and works way out in the middle of nowhere. As his company receives word of the combat becoming more intense Spider begins to fear for his safety, as well as his life. The army has a small group, including Spider, going out on frequent search-and-destroy’ missions, which means to kill anything that is ot identified. At first no one was truly frightened of the true danger, but as they were out on one of their missions a man was shot in the groin, and everyone realized the danger that they were truly in.

After Tet 1968, which was the famous Tet Offensive by the North Vietnamese Army (NVA) strategies changed and they were out in the jungle more than they were in the base. On one such outing Spider’s group was assaulted in one of the most gruesome scenes ever depicted in a novel. Spider turns to run, smacks his head on a tree, and is knocked unconscious. When he comes to, he is more afraid for his life than ever, as he ees the lone man that assaulted them that will haunt his dreams forever.

He sees the NVA troop going to each body and putting a bullet in the head to be sure, and when he gets to Spider he sees that Spider is still alive. Just as he was about to kill Spider his gun jammed, and he walked off, leaving Spider to a life of misery and constant fear. After Spider was rescued he was diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic, which is having to control of your fear, a bad thing to happen indeed. Life for Spider became simply unbearable but eventually he learned to come to grips with his problem, and eventually tried to live a normal ife.

When Spider finally arrives home to see his parents, his father believes he is a homosexual because of his doctor’s report, and his mother is all but frightened of him. As Spider realizes that he is no longer wanted he moves out and tries to get a job in a doughnut shop. When he was there the first day training he gets splattered with boiling grease, and is forced into the hospital, unable to even move. Spider has feared for his life through the course of the novel, but now he fears for his very existence, he wonders if it is possible that his life could become any more unbearable.

Eventually Spider heals nd is released, and his parents have moved with no forwarding address, the stuff he had in his apartment was given away, and Spider is fearful that he is truly alone in the world now. Spider then takes a bus to Florida, where he gets beat up and his stuff stolen, Spider lives the rest of his days as a bum, never knowing what to do. The twist to the novel was that in the last chapter it gave the perspective of the NVA troop during that fateful day in 1968. When his gun jammed, he said to Spider May you live in interesting times. , and live in interesting times Spider did, filled with constant fear, misery, and opelessness. The novel 1984 by George Orwell has to do with a world where truly living one’s life as one sees fit is against the law. The procrastinator, Winston Smith is living in a life that he considers pointless, and by all standards, that is exactly what it was. Life is controlled by The Party, the ruling factor in Oceania, and they maintain control with two way viewscreens’ in every person’s house, keeping an eye on them.

As the novel starts out, Winston has begun writing a journal, a highly illegal thing in itself; not only that but he was writing bad things about the party inside of it. Just as things ould not get worse, Winston meets a girl named Julia. Of course the entire relationship has to remain in secrecy because if they were found out they would be put to death. As their relationship blossoms, they can never shake the fear of being found out, the fear of death, as well as the fear of being alone in the world.

Even though they took all the precautions they could, Winston and Julia were eventually caught by the Though Police and brought to the Ministry of Love, a truly frightening place. At first nothing is done to Winston, but eventually the torture inflicted on him was unimaginable. The Thought Police use sychological means for torturing their victims, and the things that these people fear. Winston is incarcerated for a number of months, and the pure horror of the place is that they cannot kill one until one truly loves The Party and Big Brother (the leader of The Party).

Since Winston could not grasp the truth of things, he was tortured until near death, let recover, and tortured again. The final torture was entitled Room 101′, which was pure fear to anyone who even heard another person being sentenced to it. The torture was to take the person’s worst fear in the world, and use that to finally break them. Winston’s ear was rats, and this caused him to collapse like a tower of cards in a gust of wind; Winston was changed, and certainly not for the better.

At the end of the novel, Winston’s fear is gone because there is nothing they can further do to him, he is to just live out his life’ till the day they feel it necessary to shoot him in the head and end it all. A place where the fear of living is stronger than the fear of dying is a place that is not worth existing in, it would be better to simply end it all by one’s own means. Through the material presented and the discussion done as the material was being presented the thesis forementioned proves entirely true. That statement was that fear is an emotion that is prevalent throughout all genres, regardless of topic or plot.

This statement proves true as one looks over all of the genres. Every author, playwright, poet, and film maker proves it by what they write and show the audience. The results of this research show that fear is an emotion easily manipulated and instilled through mere words on paper of pictures on a screen. Since it is known that fear is impossible to control, it is a favorite of those writers to use to their advantage. As one looks through the different genres it ecomes clear how widely used the emotion of fear is used, that all genres work in the same manner to bring about fear.

A famous quote said that The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself. ‘ and that may be true to some extent, but many people are just as afraid of an object or person as they are of the atmosphere they create. Sometimes people become more afraid simply by thinking of fear, not from fearing something, but simply being afraid in general; the fear of fear itself. Those who produce these novels, plays, short stories, poems, and films know what it takes, and things are not going to change anytime soon.

Admiral Kurtz In Apocalypase Now

Apocalypse Now is a film about madness. In this film, Willard, played by Charlie Sheen, is sent through madness, reminiscent of Dantes’ journey through hell. His mission is to kill Kurtz, who’s gone insane according to military intelligence. Kurtz has gone on his own, starting his own society in Cambodia, where his troops and the local tribes worship him as a god. Kurtz has committed murder by waging his own ferocious, independent war against Vietnamese intelligence agents with his own native Montagnard army across the border in an ancient Cambodian temple deep in the jungle.

General Corman explains the confused insanity of the war: “In this war, things get confused out there, power, ideals, the old morality, and practical military necessity. ” The colonel has become a self-appointed, worshipped godlike leader/dictator of a renegade native tribe. General Corman describes Kurtz’s temptation to be deified: “Because there’s a conflict in every human heart between the rational and the irrational, between the good and the evil. The good does not always triumph. Sometimes the dark side overcomes what Lincoln called the better angels of our nature. Therein, man has got a breaking point.

You and I have. Walter Kurtz has reached his. And very obviously, he has gone insane. ” Kurtz’s motivation behind his actions is his need to feel godlike, to act without judgment. In Kurtz’ camp, a site of primitive evil, they are greeted by a crazed, hyperactive, fast-talking, spaced-out free lance photo-journalist played by Dennis Hoper. The babbling combat photographer, garlanded by his camera equipment, hopes for their sake, that they haven’t come to take away Colonel Kurtz. He describes the great awe all the natives have for their jungle lord: “Out here, we’re all his children.

The photojournalist appears to be a fanatical follower of Kurtz, worshipping the enigmatic, genius “poet-warrior” Kurtz as a personal god and expounding Kurtz’s cause: “You don’t talk to the Colonel, you listen to him. The man’s enlarged my mind. He’s a poet-warrior in the classic sense… I’m a little man. He’s a great man. I should have been a pair of ragged claws, scuttling across floors of silent seas, I mean… He can be terrible. He can be mean. And he can be right. He’s fighting a war. He’s a great man. ”

He offers first-hand advice from his own experience: “Play it cool, laid back… You don’t judge the Colonel. ” Willard is impressed by Kurtz’s power over the people. He notices Captain Richard Colby among the native’s tribesmen. The crew returns to the boat to wait until Willard can talk to Kurtz. Chef feels that the Colonel is “wacko, man. He’s worse than crazy. He’s evil… It’s f–kin’ pagan idolatry. Look around you. ” Willard leaves with Lance to scout around and try to find the Colonel, keeping Chef on the boat and instructing him to radio for help if necessary: “If I don’t get back by 2200 hours, you’ll call in the air strike.

Willard sees hundreds of bodies – proving Kurtz’ insanity: “North Vietnamese, Vietcong, Cambodians. ” He realizes Kurtz’s power over life and death: “If I was still alive, it was because he wanted me that way. ” Willard soon finds himself in awe of Kurtz’s power over people. He is fascinated with him and his ways as a leader, and he begins to see Kurtz in the same way the tribesman do.

Willard feels ambivalent about his mission’s task, finding Kurtz brilliant but rambling and spiritually troubled – as the camera pans across mythic texts (The Holy Bible, From Ritual to Romance by Jesse L. Weston, and James Frazier’s The Golden Bough) in Kurtz’s headquarters. Kurtz speaks of the “horrors” that he has seen in the bloody conflict, and denies that Willard has any moral right to judge his actions or behavior. Kurtz also believes that “moral terror” and “horror” are necessary to preserve civilization as he philosophizes with further pronouncements. Kurtz believes the atrocities revealed for him the moral strength and commitment of men who loved their families and could still act so monstrously “without judgment” – with a primordial instinct to kill.

According to him, those revelations have accentuated the moral ambiguity of war and justified his rampage in Cambodia – a mass-murder and mutilation of the enemy “without judgment,” to shorten the war. Kurtz wants primitive men, similar to agent Willard on his mission, who can kill without judgment “because it’s judgment that defeats us. ” The conventional war effort of Americans (with high-tech bombs and other machines and weapons of war) will ultimately be defeated by triumphant opposition forces of primitives that are committed and determined.

Kurtz, always seen in dark surroundings within his temple headquarters, allows Willard to carry out his sacrificial mission at night. Willard’s head rises up out of the steamy primordial depths of filthy water as he begins to stalk his prey for the slaughter – the imposing, bullish Kurtz. Lightning strobe effects and the frenzied rhythmic sounds of the Doors ‘The End’ accompany the slaying of Kurtz with a machete. It is a ritualistic decapitation, brilliantly crosscut with the brutal sacrificial slaughter/killing of a carabao/water buffalo by the natives as a ritualistic sacrifice to their gods.

As he dies Kurtz mutters a few final words, accepting the evil present in the human soul, “the horror, the horror. ” The old king/chieftain of the people is sacrificed, in order for the land to become liberated. With the bloody machete in hand, Willard is given a path through the awed, native throng. The subservient villagers bow down to their new powerful god-like leader, but Willard refuses the opportunity to become their new god and king. With his bloody mission accomplished, Willard guides stoned-out Lance to the patrol boat so that they can begin their return journey.

They retreat in the gunboat as the natives close in on them on the banks. As they pull away, a cleansing hard rain begins to fall and static-filled radio transmissions play in the background, as soon the US planes begin to rain down a cavalcade of explosives and destroy the Kurtz compound. In the end, Kurtz’s final wishes were not fulfilled, as Willard did not take his place as the leader of his people. Kurtz believed he has achieved his godlike standing, feeling he could kill without judgment, like God, and in the end, let Willard kill him, in and effort to make Willard like him, the perfect warrior, to act without judgment.

Cinema, the Art of the Index

Thus far, most discussions of cinema in the digital age have focused on the possibilities of interactive narrative. It is not hard to understand why: since the majority of viewers and critics equate cinema with storytelling, digital media is understood as something which will let cinema tell its stories in a new way. Yet as exciting as the ideas of a viewer participating in a story, choosing different paths through the narrative space and interacting with characters may be, they only address one aspect of cinema which is neither unique nor, as many will argue, essential to it: narrative.

The challenge which digital media poses to cinema extends far beyond the issue of narrative. Digital media redefines the very identity of cinema. In a symposium which took place in Hollywood in the Spring of 1996, one of the participants provocatively referred to movies as “flatties” and to human actors as “organics” and “soft fuzzies. “[2] As these terms accurately suggest, what used to be cinema’s defining characteristics have become just the default options, with many others available. When one can “enter” a virtual three-dimensional space, to view flat images projected on the screen is hardly the only option.

When, given enough time and money, almost everything can be simulated in a computer, to film physical reality is just one possibility. This “crisis” of cinema’s identity also affects the terms and the categories used to theorize cinema’s past. French film theorist Christian Metz wrote in the 1970s that “Most films shot today, good or bad, original or not, ‘commercial’ or not, have as a common characteristic that they tell a story; in this measure they all belong to one and the same genre, which is, rather, a sort of ‘super-genre’ [‘sur-genre’]. [3]

In identifying fictional films as a “super-genre’ of twentieth century cinema, Metz did not bother to mention another characteristic of this genre because at that time it was too obvious: fictional films are live action films, i. e. they largely consist of unmodified photographic recordings of real events which took place in real physical space. Today, in the age of computer simulation and digital compositing, invoking this characteristic becomes crucial in defining the specificity of twentieth century cinema.

From the perspective of a future historian of visual culture, the differences between classical Hollywood films, European art films and avant-garde films (apart from abstract ones) may appear less significance than this common feature: that they relied on lens-based recordings of reality. This essay is concerned with the effect of the so-called digital revolotution on cinema as defined by its”super genre” as fictional live action film. [4]

During cinema’s history, a whole repertoire of techniques (lighting, art direction, the use of different film stocks and lens, etc. was developed to modify the basic record obtained by a film apparatus. And yet behind even the most stylized cinematic images we can discern the bluntness, the sterility, the banality of early nineteenth century photographs. No matter how complex its stylistic innovations, the cinema has found its base in these deposits of reality, these samples obtained by a methodical and prosaic process. Cinema emerged out of the same impulse which engendered naturalism, court stenography and wax museums.

Cinema is the art of the index; it is an attempt to make art out of a footprint. Even for Andrey Tarkovsky, film-painter par excellence, cinema’s identity lay in its ability to record reality. Once, during a public discussion in Moscow sometime in the 1970s he was asked the question as to whether he was interested in making abstract films. He replied that there can be no such thing. Cinema’s most basic gesture is to open the shutter and to start the film rolling, recording whatever happens to be in front of the lens. For Tarkovsky, an abstract cinema is thus impossible.

But what happens to cinema’s indexical identity if it is now possible to generate photorealistic scenes entirely in a computer using 3-D computer animation; to modify individual frames or whole scenes with the help a digital paint program; to cut, bend, stretch and stitch digitized film images into something which has perfect photographic credibility, although it was never actually filmed? This essay will address the meaning of these changes in the filmmaking process from the point of view of the larger cultural history of the moving image.

Seen in this context, the manual construction of images in digital cinema represents a return to nineteenth century pre-cinematic practices, when images were hand-painted and hand-animated. At the turn of the twentieth century, cinema was to delegate these manual techniques to animation and define itself as a recording medium. As cinema enters the digital age, these techniques are again becoming the commonplace in the filmmaking process. Consequently, cinema can no longer be clearly distinguished from animation.

It is no longer an indexical media technology but, rather, a sub-genre of painting. This argument will be developed in three stages. I will first follow a historical trajectory from nineteenth century techniques for creating moving images to twentieth-century cinema and animation. Next I will arrive at a definition of digital cinema by abstracting the common features and interface metaphors of a variety of computer software and hardware which are currently replacing traditional film technology.

Seen together, these features and metaphors suggest a distinct logic of a digital moving image. This logic subordinates the photographic and the cinematic to the painterly and the graphic, destroying cinema’s identity as a media art. Finally, I will examine different production contexts which already use digital moving images — Hollywood films, music videos, CD-ROM games and artworks — in order to see if and how this logic has begun to manifest itself.

Lucas: King of Film

Whether it be through his epic Star Wars saga, or through the exalted special effects crew he pioneered, Industrial Light and Magic, he continues to amaze audiences world wide. His name in synonymous with famous directors/producers in the world. His impacts reach out in more fields than just film. He has created companies that produce award winning video games, toy companies produce action figures designed after characters from his movies, many books by many authors based on his original film stories, and countless other wings of Lucas’ reign exist in today’s world.

Since his youth, George Lucas has experienced many influences, which in turn push him to make the greatest contributions to the film industry which leave an ever increasing impact on film today and the world. Throughout history, it is apparent that those who are recognized as “great ones” were influenced in some way or another to become the leader who they are. In George Lucas’ case, he was greatly influenced in his late teens and early twenties. Lucas claims to have chased girls and raced cars throughout high school, and barely made it through (Moritz 258).

Soon after high school, Lucas attended Modesto Junior College in California and continued to work on cars as his main interest (Moritz 258). In Smith, Lucas is quoted saying, “I was a hell-raiser; lived, ate, breathed cars! That was everything for me”(84). Lucas even worked on pit crews for race cars when he met Haskell Wexler, who introduced him to film (Moritz 258). Eventually Lucas realized his new passion was film. Mr. Wexler helped Lucas gain admission into the University of Southern California’s film department (Moritz 260).

In college Lucas was the head of his film classes winning many awards and accolades. His first feature movie in college was titled THX-1138 and won his university’s award for best film (Moritz 259). Lucas is also inspired by his circle of friends and fellow directors, producers, and collaborations with them. With the success of THX-1138 at the university, Lucas was awarded the chance to be an observer on the set of Finian’s Rainbow directed by University of Southern California alumnus Francis Ford Coppola (Champlin 7).

Soon the two began to chat, and then became friends, so Coppola let Lucas work for him on the movie. With his hard work, Lucas arned the respect of Coppola who in turn did Lucas the favor of convincing producers to let Lucas direct a major motion picture (Moritz 7). Lucas’ first major motion picture was American Graffiti, with this film Coppola had given Lucas the chance to make a foothold in the film industry, and he certainly did. Also, Lucas is supported by friends Steven Spielberg, John Milius, Martin Scorcese, and Ivan Reitman (Moritz 260).

The group often collaborate on projects and get advice from each other on filmmaking (Moritz 258). Steven Spielberg is quoted in Champlin’s book saying: Lucasfilm touches our lives from many different directions, descending upon our eyes, our ears, and our children. George has never stopped asking, “Any Ideas? ” and the whole world has been a better place for it. (7) On the other hand, George Lucas is best identified with the fantastic list of movies he has had a part in, whether it be a big part, or an even bigger one, Lucas has a great deal of influence on movies listing his name in the credits.

It is for sure that at one time or another, everyone has heard of Star Wars, the first part of a three movie trilogy, for which he is best known or the conception and production of. Since it’s release in 1977, Star Wars has grossed over four billion dollars in sales, making it the most money making movie ever (Lane and Samuelson 126). Lucas also produced all three of the Indiana Jones movies; Temple of Doom, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and The Last Crusade, which were directed by Steven Spielberg (Smith 83). Currently, Lucas has re-released his epic Star Wars saga, and titled it Star Wars: special edition, which has blown away viewers.

Perhaps his most important contribution to film is his beginning of, and wnership of the special effects crew ILM, standing for Industrial Light and Magic. Over the years, ILM has won ten Academy Awards, two emmys, and six British Academy Awards (Wolkomir 112). Without the techniques still used today, pioneered by ILM, movie making today might still be stuck in a “Godzilla” like special defects world. Randall praises ILM in his article saying, “Indeed almost every digital effects company has had executives that learned the trade at Lucas’ Industrial Light and Magic” (127).

ILM has produced special effects for Star Wars, Indiana Jones, and Independence Day (Wolkomir 112). ILM is marked for being ahead of its time and all other special effects companies, especially in Star Wars which amazed audiences across the world (Randall 127). Furthermore, Lucas has impacted the film industry in countless ways. His main impacts are those on the film industry. Lucas set a benchmark for sound with his development of the sound system called THX (Champlin 7). The highest of quality home receivers and highest quality movie theater sound systems are designed with THX (Champlin 7).

THX’s motto is “the audience is listening” and they have been at Cineplex Odeon theaters across the USA, and ther theaters hosting the dynamic sound system (Randall 127). Although the release of Star Wars in 1977 discouraged other directors by blowing away all special effects and sound barriers, this in turn set a new mark for directors to reach for in their movie productions. It’s impacts like these that improve the film industry every day, and a lot of it traces back to George Lucas. The ability to make parents flock to toy stores day in and day out searching for much requested toys isn’t hard to create in one’s self.

Twenty years after it’s release, Star Wars is one of the top selling toy lines today Leonhardt 79). Parents were described as “fleas” swarming the toy shops this past Christmas (Leonhardt 78). The fact that Lucas expected to make $500,000,000 in overall Star Wars saga related sales after the release of Jedi, but really topped $4,000,000,000 is quite the audience impact also (Moritz 259). Everyone remembers Steven Spielberg’s E. T. : the extra terrestrial, parents and children couldn’t get enough of the lovable foreigner, but Star Wars’ profits exceeded that of E. T. ‘s for all time sales (Snead 6).

Through his influences, Lucas has managed to impact our lives with his any contributions to the entertainment industry. With praise from others like Francis Ford Coppola and Steven Spielberg, it is definite Lucas is a film legend of our time. He has had many contributions and films we all know and love. He has reached out to all generations; the elder with memories in American Graffiti, and the young and young at heart with Star Wars, and the real science fiction fans with his perfected version of THX-1138. He has impacted other filmmakers and audiences alike. Traces of his greatness reach out through our world.

A Pioneer in Entertainment Film: Walt Disney

During a 43-year Hollywood career, which spanned the development of the motion picture medium as a modern American art, Walter Elias Disney was a pioneer and innovator, and the possessor of one of the most fertile imaginations the world has ever known. His creations set forth a foundation in the realm of animated entertainment through the use of modern applications and ingenious techniques. As an ambitious animator, Walt Disney began his career making animated commercials for the Kansas City Film Ad Company in 1919, in which they were previewed at local theatres (Jackson 6).

Years later, he then moved on to opening his own animation firm producing Laugh-o-Grams. These animated shorts allowed him to begin experimenting with cartoon animation and eventually involving live action into his project. The first of this type of production was a combination of cartoon and live action reel called ALICES WONDERLAND, which is Disneys first attempt using special effects. He integrated his funny cartoon characters with the actions of a live girl (played by Virginia Davis) filmed against a white backdrop (Thomas 37).

Disney produced a series of 56 Alice shorts before his firm financially collapsed. In an attempt to recover from his misfortune, Disney moved to Los Angeles, California where he conceived a concept that would later become the icon of his legacy, a cartoon character named Mickey Mouse. Walt Disney was inspired to create a new cartoon character with a personality that was different and more likeable than any other cartoon character ever made. In explaining Mickeys appeal, Disney observed, Mickey is so simple and uncomplicated, so easy to understand, that you cant help liking him (Jackson 77).

In an attempt to master the progressive sound technology, Disney embarked on a Mickey Mouse talkie. On his third appearance, Mickey starred in STEAMBOAT WILLIE (1928) which became the first synchronized sound cartoon. It was calculated that if the film ran at 90 ft/min. , they could animate the silent cartoon to a musical beat by planning it out in advance. Their simple tunes could be played at 2 beats/sec, so markings were made on the film every 12 frames, both as a guide for the animator, and later as an indicator for the orchestra, which would synchronize the musical track (Maltin 4).

The Cinephone Process, created by Walt Disney and Pat Powers, was responsible for introducing the sound effects into STEAMBOAT WILLIE . This endeavor caught the attention of many and brought forth a positive reaction towards the magical works of Disney. The New York Times wrote: It is an ingenious piece of work with a good deal of fun. It growls, whines, squeaks and makes various other sounds that add to its mirthful quality (5). As the film industry experimented with new developments and methods to improve on the quality and special effects of their featured films, Disney followed right behind.

Like introducing sound into his cartoons, Disney was eager to incorporate color to add visual stimulation to his cartoons. Color brought a new dimension to cartoons, but only through trial and error. Walt Disney instructed technicians to experiment with nitrates and other solutions and even attempted to hand tint each frame, but it failed. It proved too impractical and tedious. Finally Disney collaborated with Technicolor which resulted in an agreement that gave Disney a two-year exclusive which prohibited other cartoon makers from using the three-color process.

With the new color process, Disney was able to create an award winning short FLOWERS AND TREES, and won the honor of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (Thomas 45-47). Disney longed to top himself by doing something more than just an ordinary cartoon. One answer was length such as a feature film. Another answer was artistic quality. But the third answer, technical advancement, was provided by the multiplane camera. As Walt Disney began to plan for the first feature-length animated film, he realized that, in order to sustain the attention of an audience, improvements were needed in the techniques of photographing animation.

Disneys studio developed the multiplane camera that would add camera movements into one-dimensional cartoon animations, an act never before accomplished. At the cost of $70,00, the multiplane camera photographed up to six plates of glass, placed in holders several inches apart, on which various background and foreground elements were drawn, thereby creating a sense of depth and dimension. Also with this device, the animators were able to create the illusion of being underwater or the glow of a fire that could never be drawn on a conventional cell.

This form of illusion is called the blur effect (70-73). With this new system , Disney was able to generate a more realistic look for his inspiring cartoons. It was an idealization of real life. And it was this idealization that Disney was inspired to make his first feature film, Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs. Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs was the beginning of many feature-length films Walt Disney magically produces that captures the attention and interests of many people young and old.

Disney once again led animation into a new era. By releasing the first animated feature, he not only solidified the reputation of his studio but also established animation as an art form to be taken seriously (Jackson 79). If Disney had not experimented with such new techniques as Technicolor and the multiplane camera, Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs, which utilized all of the animation techniques the Disney Studio had developed up to that point, could not have been a reality.

Stanley Kubrick Lives Essay

The theory of authorship as applied to film directors is a subject that is argued extensively throughout the film world. The auteur theory was first introduced in the French film journal Cahiers du Cinema. Andrew Sarris who suggested that there are a group of filmmakers who fit into this category brought the theory to America. It states that in order for a director to be considered an auteur, there must be a consistency of style and theme across a number of films. Very few contemporary filmmakers fit into this category. One filmmaker, however, expanded his filmography over four and a half decades, and created a consistent theme and style.

That director was Stanley Kubrick. Kubrick was known as a very stylistic filmmaker, so a lot can be said about his film style. His use of music, however, remains the most prominent aspect of Kubrick’s film style, especially as his career progressed. He was a master at using music to evoke feelings and create tension and confusion. The two most prominent examples of the power of music occur in A Clockwork Orange, and 2001: A Space Odyssey. The first of these two films, 2001, was created like a symphony. It had an overture at the beginning, a musical intermission, and an epilogue at the end.

The classical work of Richard Strauss, “Also Spach Zarathustra”, supplies the most recognizable and moving main title theme of the film. The use of this music as well as other classical works including the frolicky “Blue Danube” by Johann Strauss gives the film a flowing quality that it wouldn’t normally have. Most of the music is light in nature, which contradicts the mystery that is unfolding in space. The beautiful imagery is matched well with the images and the editing to provide an incredible viewing experience. In A Clockwork Orange, Kubrick does virtually the same thing with music, only in a darker way.

In the film, Alex is given a treatment that will make him ill when confronted with violence or sex. Unfortunately for him, the films he is forced to watch are scored with Beethoven’s “Ninth Symphony”, which is Alex’s favorite music. A sense of irony and empathy is created in that by Alex trying to take the easy way out, he is forced to give up the three things he loves most: sex, violence, and Beethoven. His love of music backfires on him once again with his crooning of the song “Singin’ in the Rain. ” In one of his violent attacks he sings that song throughout the scene.

Ironically, this same victim brings him in later in a time of need. He gives himself away by singing in the bathtub. Both of these films use popular music in unconventional ways, and this can be traced to other Kubrick films as well. Lolita and Dr. Strangelove are the most noteworthy. Along with a distinctive style, Kubrick films tend to have some very definitive themes going on within them. One of the most prominent themes is his treatment of the protagonist. In conventional filmmaking, the protagonist tends to be the “good guy”. In Kubrick’s films, however, the main characters (always male) tend to be not very likeable.

This theme can be seen in virtually every Kubrick film. In The Killing, the ensemble cast of characters is planning a heist, each with their own agenda. In Lolita, Humbert Humbert is an English “gentleman”, oh and also a pedophile. A Clockwork Orange’s Alex is a young, violent, uncaring product of society. The thing that Kubrick does, however, is play with the audience’s morals and emotions. He attempts, sometimes successfully, to get you to empathize and sympathize with these miscreants of society. We feel sorry at some point for poor Humbert as his Lolita, the love of his life, is taken away from him.

And Alex, poor Alex, he is a victim of the system and is ruined by the unorthodox treatment. We eventually come to our senses, but for a brief moment or longer, we become victims of Kubrick’s manipulative filmmaking power. Another theme that creates a thread throughout his body of work is the duality of self. Often, Kubrick’s protagonists are faced with incredible conflicts within themselves. They encounter ethical, moral, and personality dilemmas. Along with conflicts within themselves, Kubrick creates parallels with these same protagonists. In Lolita, Humbert Humbert faces moral discord in his love for Lolita.

Deep down he knows that it is wrong, but he cannot help himself for feeling this way and he is too weak to fight it. Humbert is also given an opposite force that parallels him. The character of Quilty becomes a shadow of Humbert and follows our hero throughout. Only by killing Quilty can Humbert come to terms with this duality. Another film that strongly reinforces this theme is The Shining. Jack Torrance is haunted by the past occurrences within the hotel and struggles to fight the oncoming urges within him to kill his family. There are many parallels throughout the narrative as well.

There is an underlying psychic connection between Jack and his son Danny. Danny feels some of the same things that Jack does. Also, there is a parallel between Jack and the former groundskeeper, Grady, who butchered his family. Grady’s family also included two twin daughters who appear to Danny a few times within the film. Kubrick creates these dualities through narrative structure, but also reinforces them visually as well. If you look closely (and in most of his films you don’t have to look that close) virtually every film has a scene where mirrors are involved.

This solidifies the theme of duality by blatantly showing us the symbols. Style and theme in filmmaking go hand in hand. Stanley Kubrick was a master of using his own personal style to create a series of works, all with very similar themes. He believed strongly in the way music can affect the development of conflict. Every film that he has directed (excluding Spartacus) has a strong music and sound design that makes it undeniably Kubrick. (He didn’t have his usual control over Spartacus).

From the lush soundtrack of 2001 to the minimal soundtrack of Dr. Strangelove, we can see that every piece of music has its place and its reason for being there. Even in the trailer for the upcoming Eyes Wide Shut, you can see that music will be an important part of it. Also, because Kubrick deals with the same underlying themes from film to film to film, we can come to understand his thoughts and emotions. The troubled protagonist and the duality of self remained consistent fixtures throughout his career. By seeing these styles and themes surface in Stanley Kubrick’s work, we can justify designating him a film auteur. It is a shame that we will not be able to watch him grow any further.

The City Hunter

The City Hunter is an action comedy movie starring international superstar Jackie Chan. This movie was made in Hong Kong in the early 90s. In this movie Jackie Chan played Hunter, a private detective with a good sense of humor and deadly kung fu skills. The story started out with a badly acted sketch of Hunter’s partner being gunned down by four men with automatic weapons. With his last moment on earth, Hunter’s partner made Hunter promise to take care of his little sister Carrie, and also not to seduce her.

Seeing how the young girl was only about fourteen, Hunter gave his partner his word of honor to take care of the girl and also never seduce her. The story took a quick turn with the young girl growing up to a beautiful woman. Hunter tried very hard to avoid a romantic relationship with Carrie, but the problem was that Carrie had romantic feelings for Hunter. This love story was interrupted with a group of women trying to kill Hunter for putting their men in prison. This was just a comic relief, so Hunter got out of the situation easily by fighting with all the women at once.

In the next scene, Hunter excepted a case to find a runaway name Yoko. This runaway was the daughter of a rich Japanese businessman. The reason Yoko ran away was because her mother died a few years back, and her father was going to remarry a woman that she didn’t like. So Hunter and Carrie set out to find Yoko. Hunter got lucky and he found Yoko at a skate park. Yoko did not want to go home to her father, so she told her friends that Hunter was trying to molest her, and tried to get away. She managed to get away after going into a department store to hide from Hunter.

In this department store she managed to trick a man to follow her into the dressing room where she knocked him out and took his clothes, wallet, and ticket for a cruise. By some coincidence, Carrie got on the same cruise to get away from Hunter because he had not given her enough attention. Of course Hunter tried to come along with Carrie on the cruise, but he did not have a ticket for the cruise. The Captain of the cruise did not let Hunter on board, so Hunter stole away as a luggage. On the same cruise were two beautiful female undercover cops who had received intelligence of a gang that will attempt hijack the ship.

Another interesting character on the cruise was a mysterious handsome gambler. The stage was set for all the actions to begin. A gang with automatic weapons will have to fight against a mysterious gambler, four beautiful women, and Jackie Chan. Of course the gang didn’t have a chance against the heroes. This was a typical Jackie Chan movie. By this I mean the movie was very entertaining, but plot was very simplistic. I have seen almost every Jackie Chan movie, so it is valid for me to make that judgement.

In almost all his movie, the audience will be entertained. Specifically, in City Hunter, the action is very fast pace, so the audience will not have a chance to get bore. It is full dangerous stunts, and awesome kung fu fighting skills. Further more, the cast was full of gorgeous Asian women who could “hold their own” when it comes to stunts. What made Jackie Chan great in this movie was not just because he did all his own stunts, but because he did not take himself seriously. He allowed the character to be comical, mixing great kung fu actions with comedy.

For example, during one of the fighting scenes, Hunter his arms to block various blows from a man who used two fighting sticks, and after repeated blows the man got tired and stop. Hunter step back, held up his arms and showed the man that he was not hurt. But two seconds later Hunter step back shaking his arms violently, and shedding tears of pain. It is difficult to describe, but it was a very comical moment. From a critic point of view, I have to say that the City Hunter was very entertaining, but some of the technical aspects of the movie need improvements.

For example the dubbing was very bad as in any other Chinese movie. The voice and the lips of the characters were not in sync. The sound effect of movements and of hits was very “cheesy. ” It didn’t sound realistic, although it might have been done so on purpose for effects. Another aspect of the movie that could improve is the acting. There were very little dialogs, and not much emotion to be expressed in the movie, so it would be very difficult for an actor in this movie to win an Academy Award for acting. Also from a critic point of view, I could blast the movie for lacking a story line and a more sophisticated plot.

In defending it, I would have to say that Jackie Chan’s fans and audience has come to expect certain things from his movies, and one of those things is not a complicated plot. They expect to be entertained with laughter and amazement. They also expect Jackie Chan to put his life on the line and do stunts that only he can do. They expect to see outtakes where Jackie Chan get badly hurt trying to do outrageously dangerous stunts to please his fans around the world. A few items worth complimenting in City Hunter are the stunts, the music, and the choreography for the fighting.

As mentioned earlier, Jackie Chan is King when it comes to doing his own stunts. There is no actor in Hollywood that is crazy enough to dare to attempt half of the stunts that Jackie Chan has done in this movie alone. The music was surprisingly good. The theme song, “City Hunter,” was very catchy. I caught myself humming the tunes of the song after the movie. The choreography for the fighting scenes was by far the best part in the movie. Jackie Chan did a magnificent job of choreographing this movie. Also, it probably easy for him seeing how he is a kung fu expert with awesome fighting skills and agility of a gymnast.

Overall, I give this movie an eight on a one to ten scale because of the simplistic plot and the bad dubbing. Other than that, I highly recommend this movie to everyone. To the Jackie Chan fans I recommend this movie because it is one his better movies. And to everyone who has never seen a Jackie Chan movie, this movie is a great one to begin an obsessive addiction. Some people might say that once you seen one of Jackie Chan’s movie, you’d seen them all, but its more like, once you see one, you can’t help but wanting to see more.

Blade Runner: Man vs. Nature

Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner is a brilliant, cult classic Science Fiction/Film Noir that takes a look at the future of man in 2019 California. The film offers a bleak view of the future from the very beginning, with dark skies and endless cityscape. Although it is not explained why, we know there is very little left of the natural world. What animals we see in the movie, are artificial, and real animals are so rare that hardly anyone can afford them. One of the themes in the movie seems to be that man, in his desire to progress, destroys nature and is rying to escape from the wild nature inside of himself.

This can be seen throughout the movie when we have establishing shots of the city, there is nothing but darkness and civilization as far as the eye can see. The closest thing to a natural landscape is the Tyrell Corporation, built like a mountain and towering over the city. Man’s battle to subdue or destroy nature is especially represented in the battle scene between Deckard, played by Harrison Ford, and Roy Batty, played by Rutger Hauer, near the end of the film. Deckard represents man seeking to destroy the wildness nside of himself, and the replicants, which are biologically engineered humanoids, in this scene are like wild animals.

The scene begins when Deckard pulls into the Bradbury where JF Sebastian lives. Inside, Pris, played by Darryl Hannah, senses that Deckard, the hunter is near. She hides by freezing in perfect stillness with a veil over her head. The white veil could easily symbolize her innocence, even though she is dangerous, she is not malicious, only wild and seeking freedom. She looks like a doll, or a manican, but also very much mimics the natural instincts of a wild animal to freeze as a way of iding. She holds her eyes very wide open and still. We are reminded of a bird when she snaps her head in the direction of encroaching hunter.

Even the way she attacks him when he comes too close, implies a type of innocence in the sense that it is child-like. With a shrill scream she jumps on him and pounds on him like a desperate young child. When she makes her second attack, she approaches by doing summersaults, and makes herself an easy target when Deckard shoots her twice in the stomach. The interaction between Deckard and Roy Batty following Pris’s death s very telling of the man vs. nature theme. When Batty comes on the scene, the music changes to sound wild and guttural. Batty in this scene sort of transforms into a wolf.

All throughout this scene the lights flash over and across the faces of both Deckard and Batty and make highlights and shadows adds ambiguity as to who is the good guy and who is the bad guy by insinuating that they both have good and bad sides. Batty, now very much like a male wolf, discovers the body of his mate. Deckard shoots at first sight of him, and Batty’s lines at this oint in the scene remind us that he is the nature, and that Deckard the man, is unfairly trying to destroy him when he says: “It’s not very sporting to fire on an unarmed opponent.

Batty’s next line that follows unsettles us with the ambiguity of who is the “good guy” and who is the “bad guy” when he says: “I thought you were supposed to be good… Aren’t you the … good man? ” Lengthy shots of water running down the walls of the inside walls and through the roof into the rooms all over the house underscore the battle between nature and man that is going on between Batty and Deckard. Batty proves to be stronger and faster, and injures Deckard by breaking two of his fingers on his trigger hand.

At this point the hunter becomes the prey. Batty returns Pris’s body before he is reminded of his quarry. He howls, like a wolf, first long and mournful, then wild and dangerous when he hears Deckard cry out in pain somewhere in the distance. Deckard is the injured prey that Batty, the wolf, toys with through most of the scene. A series of one shots reinforces the new hunter-prey relationship as Batty darts and sprints in and out of the frame, all hroughout the house, howling, and taunting Deckard.

The sense that Batty is a wild animal is further reinforced by various shots of chain link fence and wooden slats on the windows insinuating a caged animal feel. Especially one shot where Batty claws at the fence with wild eyes flashing, and says menacingly “I see you”. He chases Deckard, and Deckard climbs and climbs the building to get away. Here we are moved by a long shot of Deckard grasping to climb to the top of the building, which is like a symbol of civilization, with the long view of the city below him. He is so high, so very near the top. So very close to escaping from the wildness of nature.

Deckard at the end is shot from above holding on for dear life and Batty nearing the end of his suddenly takes pity on him and pulls him up onto the roof, saving his life. Replicants were designed to live no more than 4 years and this was the final moment in Batty’s life. He sits looking at Deckard and says that his life and his memories are like “tears in the rain” to be washed away and forgotten. This line, followed by the rain running over his hair like he s in fact already part of nature, reminds us that he is the symbol of nature and in that man has rejected it and let it be lost forever.

This film reflects the filmmakers view that if we are not careful, man’s future could indeed be very bleak. Man vs. nature is something that was very much on the minds of people during the 80’s as we experienced new technological advances, and had only recently acquired the capability to clone human beings. In this scene, in particular, we were able to see how Ripley uses Deckard to represent the man, and the replicants as the unfairly suppressed nature.