Prompt #2 – The initiative post

I would like to talk about the recent film I watched. About Time 2013 is a romatic comedy ‘About Time’ directed by Richard Curtis who is a successful comedy screenwriter, he is known primarily for romantic comedy films such as Blackadder, Mr. Bean and The Vicar of Dibley.

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The story describe the 21 years old Tim Lake was told a secret about the ability of time travel. He gonna to use the skill to find true love and make a better life. However, as his special life progresses, Tim notices that the problems of ordinary life can not be avoided by using his special ability. The real happiness comes from normal day. Curtis admits his intention was to make a film about exactly that – finding happiness.

Richard Curtis: The movie is a movie saying that we should relish every normal day and live it just for the day itself, not for what the day might achieve. What would constitute a perfect day? The day we were having was the perfect day. I was just having lunch with my best friend. I had taken my kids to school. I was going to have dinner with the family. I thought then for the next week that would be a subject I should really write about—how to be happy; how you achieve happiness in ordinary life rather than always looking for extra, big things and achievements to make you happy. (Billington, 2013)

It is relevant to the story line he showed us. The creation is coming from simple life but how to make that point in a different way to produce a film to entertain audience? Curtis added a nonexistent symbol (time travel) to make the story more dramatic that Tim can pick any day and change future. He added a lot of normal but interesting events into the story. It is not too exaggerate just the sad things and happy things around us. We don’t have the ability of time traveling as the end of the film that Tim faced to make a choice, his father or children. It is about time you grow up, to learn how to love and be loved. The theme of the film educated people to cherish everyday you spend with your family. Things would be even worse when you try to change them. As Curtis states, ‘It’s such a weird thing. It’s like a time travel issue, isn’t it? Because everything falls in such different ways. And then he wasn’t available when we came back. Just every single stage of the process would be different if you made a different decision at a different point.'(Billington, 2013)  It sounds reasonable and logical, and it’s like if my mother never met my father, I would not exist in the world.

I really like this film. The perfect balance of story, a sense of humor along with the actor excellent acting. Even the soundtrack was superb. Especially the scene that Tim ask Mary to marry him. I thought the music is coming from a CD or something like that, but it is coming from a band he invited. Thoroughly enjoyable and I’m already looking forward to going to watch it again and find more things that is worth learning.

Reference:

Alex Billington, 2013, “Interview: ‘About Time’ Writer & Director Richard Curtis on Happiness”, viewed at 8 June 2015,<http://www.firstshowing.net/2013/interview-about-time-writer-director-richard-curtis-on-happiness/>.

Prompt #3 – The initiative post

This is my 2nd assignment for the Illusion of Life course. It’s really a big project for me that I tried many ways to finish it. I have freehand drawn the basic character’s motions and have scanned those into computer. Then I used Photoshop and Premiere to make the mouse move. It is really a good chance to familiarize myself with those software. The background music has been added in this video as I was considering that was necessary. Thanks for the lecture and the tutorials in last week, I have got basic knowledge of soundtrack. I downloaded a free background music from audio blocks and placed it into my video. The previous video looks like an old fashion silent film before The Jazz Singer  which is the first movie with synchronized dialogue sequences in the world. I want to combine sound with my video simply because the sound can make my video more attractive. In addition, adding sounds into a film can create an impression of reality to audiences. A film editor, Walter Murch, who is also a sound designer, remarks ‘the most successful sounds seems not only to alter what the audience sees but to go further and trigger a kind of conceptual resonance between image and sound: the sound makes us see the image differently, and this new images makes us hear the sound differently, which in turns makes us see something else in the image, which makes us hear different things in the sound, and so on’ (Graeme 2009). Combining Sound and Image together may create a new horizon as well as a different meaning. In my opinion, a successful movie should have its own background music which is just fitting with to express a certain atmosphere or a spirit. Take the Pirates of the Caribbean 3 for example, when I heard the background music Drink up me Hearties, I found that it is quite difficult to describe the state of my mind, but whatever it is, it helped me to focus on the scene and elicited my feelings. Moreover, the song brought me into the film and made me feel the aggressive,  powerful and strong enthusiasm to win. However, in my greedy mouse. I chose a brisk and lively music with the slap-happy sound effects instead of an exciting background music and believed that it can effectively represent the characters of the greedy, smart and tricky mouse.

(430 words)

Reference:

Graeme, H, Ruth, D & Jochen, E 2009, Sound and Music in Film and Visual Media: A critical overview, Bloomsbury Academic, New York & London.

Prompt – A scene: Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver

I played the short video over and over and found different aspects of of this video. Everything we saw in this video has its meaning and purpose that director want to present it to the audience. I would like to talk about the three characters in this video first. Two men and a woman. It is obviously that the taxi driver is the main role of this film, simply because the supporting actor not only just has a few words but also he is in the unclear background. By contrast, the main actor (taxi driver) who has a lot of dialogue appears in the scene of the beginning and leaves in the ending.

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I would like to deconstruct some shots that impressed me. The extreme long- shot in the beginning of the video shows the entire scene of the location. The director may want to show us the location where the actor decide to go and what will happen in the next scene.

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When the main actor comes into the place, the director uses POV shot that camera is acting the main actor’s eyes. It is very clear that he is looking at the actress and the destination where he goes to.

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In this scene, the director use the OTS shot to imply the relationship between this three people. In the first picture, the supporting character who is in the periphery is an outsider in the conversation. In the second picture, why director does not just use the general OTS shot? Because the director want to highlight the supporting character, therefore the supporting character appears in the centre of the scene even though he is in the background. We can not observer the facial expression of the supporting character but we can see that he is looking at them clearly. Maybe, the supporting character likes the actress. The most interesting part in film is that some details will give audience another feeling about the film simply because every scene we see in the film is the conscious choice by directors. Anyhow, there are must be some reasons why director choose this shot.

(352 words)

The Interpreter’s house 1: Google alerts

Cinderella (2015 film)

I read an article from Google Alert (Entertainment) is about a newest Disney fantasy film Cinderella. Bunbury nattated some stories behind the scenes. The Cinderella (2015) was released on 13th March 2015. This film is not direct remake which borrowed some elements from the animated musical film Cinderella (1950). In my perspective, there are some similarities between the Cinderella (2015) and the Frozen (2013) and the Maleficent (2014). 

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The features of setting, the color balancing and bluish cast they used.

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“I don’t really have organs any more,” says James, lifting the wired layers of her ball-dress behind her like a peacock’s tail to lower herself gingerly on to a stool. “They’re squeezed in and then pulled down on my kidneys. It’s worth it, though.” Bunbury (2015)

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Look at her tiny waist. James said she can not eat any food except soup as her meals. Also in the Cinderella film, there are some scenes require James dancing and the costume becomes a challenge that breathe hardly to her.

I am wondering that how do Disney recreate the old story that everybody has read. What I found is the characters design has been changed. Theme can be reveal through the personality of characters.

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‘Nobody is actually ugly,’ Blanchett said, ‘We get so obsessed with the externals, but it’s all about the internal stuff. Lady Tremaine is withered from the inside out, so she masks herself up with this exquisite exterior. Hopefully, as the story progresses … [her] luscious red lips become really hideous! I hope those little things come across.’ Bunbury (2015) 
What the film do is to let audience think about it. It’s not only a story from Grimms’ Fairy Tales but also a story what may happen around us everyday. We can make a comparison with the Maleficent.

Lady Tremaine and Maleficent are regarded as wicked women. However the director of Maleficent adapted original screenplay ( Sleeping Beauty ) and switched heroine which brings a whole new story to audience. Nobody is actually ugly in the world. The director analysed the character of Maleficent and reset her as a real woman, an ordinary people. She has experienced a whole range of emotions, like despair, frustration, anger, rage and most of all a sense of betrayal. She seemed to be regretting that she had placed a curse on the princess.

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