Extra Credit Clip Analysis

December 12, 2010


While searching for film clips I cam across this propaganda film from the 1960’s.  This is a propaganda film that was made to show the negattive effects of using heroin.  This film stood out to me and for me it felt like a cross between La Jetée and Moth Light.  The film follows the narrator through his experience with heroin that led to his downfall.

The entire film is still images with clips of psychedelic images.  The music is also a very relaxing and very trippy and I think it goes very well with the film.  The voice of the narrator is also very mellow and doesn’t really change getting loud or lowered but it kind of stays at the same level.  The fades from the shots of people using heroin and the psychedelic clips I think works very well.  I like how the images of the people never show them smiling or laughing or having fun, everyone looks very depressed and sad but the narrator keeps referring to the get together as a “party”.   The last images I think are the most powerful where they show his withdrawal and the images are almost wavy and show movement.

I found this film very similar to La Jetée because of the still images, the narrator and the dark images.  Even though La Jetée was in black and white and this film is in color they still have a very dark and almost mysterious feel to them.  The psychedelic clips of wavy lines and flashes reminded me of the Moth Light film.  Just the brightness and movement were very similar and pretty much gave the same effect while watching it.

Bonnie and clyde

December 10, 2010

I really enjoyed this movie.  I liked all the hidden pieces of foreshadowing the death of the two so much so that it is almost not so shocking when it finally happens.  The two characters are very likable and make you forget how they have killed people.  The part that kind of stood out to me was Clyde’s behavior around Bonnie.  I can almost see Clyde as a young boy around a girl that he likes not even thinking about sex.  I’m not sure what the meaning is behind his feelings about sex but I think that since he spent some of his childhood in prison, that maybe he never got a chance to experience love as an adult and his mind set is still that of a child.  I also saw that when the store owner attacks him with the knife and he was honestly questioning why he attacked him if he meant him no harm.  At the same time we can see that Clyde has lived a harsh life that has left him paranoid and not trusting anyone, I saw this in the scene where everyone was sleeping but Clyde was pretending to snore but had his eyes open.  Bonnie was also a  great character, for a person who was never really around crime she took the killings and robbery so lightly like if nothing really phased her.  She was like a rock and thats why I think Clyde fell in love with her because he wanted a strong woman like that around him.  The different foreshadowing of the death of Bonnie and Clyde was great too, from the kid falling down the hill to the undertaker, it was almost like as soon as they started their crime spree, death was following them until they couldn’t hide from it anymore.  I never realized how good this movie was, I really enjoyed watching this film and I think it was a great end to a great class.

Film Analysis 2 (Psycho)

December 10, 2010

Jonathan Barragan
Medst 144
December 9, 2010

Film Analysis for Psycho

A great movie should never rely on graphics or props in order to get the point across.  This is best shown by the movie Psycho by Alfred Hitchock.  Psycho was released in 1960 and is about a motel owner,Norman Bates, who kills female travelers.  Even though the movie is revolving around murders, there is not too much blood shown or any actual killing, but through use of sound, lighting and camera angles Alfred Hitchcock captures a sense of fear and suspense.  The scene that I think best shows this is the scene in which Norman Bates kills Marione Crane, one of the main characters of the film.

The scene begins with Marione writing down some numbers and then ripping up the paper as slow music from an orchestra is lightly playing in the background and as she sits in a slightly dark room.  The camera stays on the side of her and follows her into the bathroom where she flushes the pieces of paper down the toilet.  This part of the movie was controversial because before this time toilets flushing were never really seen on screen so I can imagine at the time this also helps set the mood for what is about to happen.  The lighting is also brighter as she steps into the bathroom, I almost thought that this could be foreshadowing of her stepping into the light.  During this walk to the bathroom and the flushing there is a use of three different camera angles capturing her whole body, her upper body and just her hand, I believe this quick change of camera angles creates tension.  When Marione flushes the papers down the toilet and the noise of the flushing stops, the background music also stops leaving an eerie silence in the bathroom.  She follows her routine by closing the bathroom door even though she is all alone in the motel room and the camera catches her naked back and then goes to a low angle to her feet when she takes of her robe in order not to show nudity.  When the shower turns on the camera switches angles again from font angle to side view and also of just the shower head, this part feels like an eternity building the anticipation of what will happen next.  When the camera pans out to the opposite side facing the almost see through shower curtains we almost immediately see a shadow of the door opening.  The inability to see who is opening the door also builds on the fear of this scene.  As the shadow gets closer to Marione the camera also zooms leading to feeling that we will see who the killer is but when the shower curtains open the killer is hidden by a very strong shadow where we can only see the outline of his body.  The music also begins to play as soon as the shower curtains are open, the shrieking violin is very similar to the piercing scream that Marione lets out as the camera zooms into her mouths.  The music goes very well with the motion of the killer and his knife as he stabs her repeatedly.  At this point there are so many different camera angles used and jumps back and forth from Marione and the killer that it gives a feel of confusion and disorientation as the killer is stabbing and this lasts for about 20 seconds after the minute and a half of build up in this scene.  During this time we never see the knife actually go into her and we see just a little bit of blood mixing with the water and going down the drain.  As soon as the killer leaves the door, where it is bright enough now to get a good look at the back of what looks like an elderly woman, the music changes from the shrieking sounds to a more tense and slow sounding music.  There are two close ups during this time of Marione’s hand as she tears the shower curtain down and falls down.  The camera then goes from a shot of the shower head to the view of her legs and the water and blood slowly going down the drain, and all we hear is the water pouring down and flowing.  This part of the scene is almost like a relaxing part after so much tension giving you time to go over what just happened.  The camera then goes to the drain and there is a fade out to Marione’s eye and then the camera just zooms out of the bathroom, this is a very powerful part where we see into the eyes of Marione as she is lying dead on the bathroom floor.

There is no way to compare a film like Psycho to a modern day horror slasher film.  The two are totally different but one thing that Psycho shows is that even without props or graphics there can still be ways to capture the attention and keep the viewers in suspense and at the edge of their seat.  Using all different camera angles, close shots, music and lighting helps make this film very unique. I believe that the film as a whole was directed perfectly, from the beginning to the end there are twist and turns, the best way would be comparing it to a roller coaster where the suspense starts at the beginning and builds up to the first drop which in my opinion is the shower scene and then smaller drops after that keep you entertained to the end.

La Jetée & Breathless

December 1, 2010

I thought La Jetée was very interesting.  I have never seen a film where the majority of it is still images.  I also found the mood of the film to be very eerie, with the dark images and the classical music and the mans voice narrating the story, I think that these elements really kept me watching the movie even though personally I did not find the plot very interesting.  Breathless was not my favorite film.  I found it hard to believe that the main character Michel was a “tough guy”.  To me he just didn’t fit the description of a criminal, unlike Public Enemy where the criminals had more of a “tough guy” look.  I also feel that the music in this film did not go with the seriousness of the plot.  For example the last scene where Michel get shot and is running down the street, I felt that the music was to upbeat for what was happening.

Apna Desh

November 23, 2010

This was a great clip, I really wish that we could have seen this movie instead of Charulata.  I think that I was hyped up from the two clips of Mother India and Apna Desh with the bright colors and music that I couldn’t really concentrate on the black and white movie.  I really liked the dancing clip of Apna Desh, I think the music was really good and the colors and the dancing really captured my attention.  I felt like everything in this clip was over the top but i really enjoyed this because this is what I think of when I hear Bollywood movies.  I also liked how in the clip that we saw from Mother India that we can tell what is going on eve though there was no subtitles.  In this clip we can see how the “good guy” is dressed all in white and is singing to the leading lady, and the other man in this clip I think was the bad guy because he was kind of ugly and dressed in dirty clothes and when he would sing to the leading lady she would walk away.  It was hard for me to really appreciate the film Charulata because I was expecting a movie like Apna Desh and Mother India but I did like how it felt like a very realistic movie and you can see the reality of the kids in India and how much importance was put on the girl to find a husband and get married.


November 15, 2010

This was a great movie.  I remember watching this as a kid and not really liking it , but it wasn’t until I saw this in class now that I can appreciate the art behind this film.  There was no need for the gore and blood like other films, the cinematography and  music played during some scenes was enough to get me a little shook.  I really liked how the shower scene did not show the actual knife going into her and I honestly think that it would have been as scary.  I think that for this movie what is not seen and the unknown is suppose to scare you which I think works very well.  The scene where Arbogast gets killed is also a great part of the movie.  I like how much suspense there is as he slowly walks up the stairs, I also like how he fell down the stairs it was almost like he was gliding down with the camera following him.  I can also understand why there was such a bug deal made about missing the beginning of the film, I honestly believe that for me the most important scene was the introduction.  I feel like the music in the beginning and the lines going across the screen as the names of actors are being shown was great, I felt that it went so well with the theme of  this psychological thriller.  Also the first scene with the areal view of Arizona and the just the zooming into the hotel window for me was very intense and I think just sets the mood for the rest of the movie.  The acting was great too, I could really feel the tension between the actors in certain scenes and it was just real emotion.  Watching this film has actually made me want to watch more Alfred Hitchcock films because I really enjoyed this one.

Duck and Cover

October 27, 2010

I thought this was great, I really doubt that a desk can keep you safe from an atomic bomb but this film actually had me believing that I would be safe if I duck and cover.  I think that this video was really made for keeping the public calm during a time of uncertainty and the cartoons in the film I think takes away from the seriousness and makes you feel that an atomic bomb really is no big deal, that is just causes burns so you have to cover your skin.

Invasion of the Body snatchers

October 27, 2010

I really enjoyed this film, this was my first time watching it and I thought it was really good.  I think the cinematography was great and the music really added to the suspense and feeling of anxiousness.  This was also the first time, from all the films that we have seen, that I saw a camera view from inside a moving car from the back seat and towards the windshield.  The windshield looked as if was a projection of some sort and not the actual view.  I also felt that there might have been sort of a second meaning behind this film.  For some reason the idea of communism and the “blacklisting” that happened during that time came to my mind.  It was almost like the “evil” of communism was spreading and was almost contagious and anyone could have been a communist or in this case an alien and there was no real way of telling, I dont know I might be the only one but that was just an idea.  I really enjoyed the scene at the end where the main character is running through the traffic and he is screaming into the camera “you’re next”, that really stayed in my mind because you can really see the feeling of helplessness that no one was listening to him.  The way that the camera was angled low and then the closeup on his face when he screams really added so much to the feel of this scene.

Film Analysis (Citizen Kane)

October 21, 2010

Jonathan Barragan
Medst 144
October 21, 2010

Film Analysis of Citizen Kane

In Citizen Kane (Welles, RKO, 1941) the flash back scene in Mrs. Kane’s boarding house sets the mood and the meaning behind the main plot of the movie.  The composition of the scenes, the lighting and the focus used by the director really uses the environment and space to give the viewer the desired emotion in the scene.  The use of mise-en-scène was not really focused on in films before 1940’s and we really get to see the use of every aspect in the film to express a certain idea.

Citizen Kane shows us the life of a rich mogul whose dying words are a mystery that is being investigated throughout the film.  The scene in Mrs. Kanes’s boarding house is very important to this because it is source of the mysterious dying words and the foundation of the film.  The scene also shows Kane in a different light, the innocence of a child before it is corrupted by money.

The scene starts off with Kane as a child playing in the snow, the entire screen is white with snow the hills are covered in snow and the sky is white, purity of childhood, there is also a very calming music played in the background which reminds me of music played during Christmas and gives me a feeling of happiness.   Then the peaceful scene and music is abruptly stopped by a snowball hitting the sign of the boarding school.  The camera then pans out from inside the cottage slowly showing less and less of young Kane playing outside and focusing on his mother, father and Mr. Thatcher in a very dark and serious room, changing the feel of emotions.  Even though the focus is on the adults inside of the cottage, we can still see young Kane outside of the window playing in the snow also in full focus and we can also clearly hear him playing in the background; the sound is not muffled or drowned out.  I believe this shows importance of what is happening to his life without him even knowing about it.  Also the position of the parents inside the cottage is very powerful; the father is standing up on the left side of the screen, while the mother and Mr. Thatcher are sitting down close to each other on the right side of the screen with the window that shows young Kane in the middle of the screen.  I believe this shows the opposing views that the father and mother had on what to do with the money and with young Kane.  The mother is also shown in profile view which is very powerful and I believe it puts the importance on her.  When Mrs. Kane goes to the window to call young Kane, she becomes the center of the shot.  She is up close and Mr. Kane and Mr. Thatcher are seen smaller in the back ground to the right and left of her.  This is a very powerful scene and very emotional, you can feel the sadness that the mother feels by given up her son.  The music that starts as Mrs. Kane is speaking changes the mood and helps give the feeling of suspense, and uncertainty.  The lighting in this scene also puts the importance on the Mrs. Kane by shining the light on her and slightly dimming out the background.

The camera movement throughout this scene also gives the viewer a smooth transition as it slowly moves from the outside of the house to the inside and then back outside as the camera seems to go through the window, there are no cuts in this scene when the actors move outside which makes this seem very much like a play rather than a movie.  Also the position of the camera at a very low angle showing the ceiling is also something that was never done before because the lights on the ceiling would be exposed.  The clothing of the actors also tells you a lot about them in this scene, Mrs. Kane and Mr. Thatcher are dressed very neatly and they are both wearing black which makes them look very serious, Mr. Kane however is dressed in a light colored shirt and a vest and he looks a little messy.

This attention to details of even the position in which the actors stand is something that was never really thought of with much importance in previous films.  The mise-en-scene or focus to the arrangements of everything that is in front of the camera including lighting, the clothing and the positions of the actors is very important to express the emotions and feelings in a certain scene.

Umberto D

October 20, 2010

I really liked this movie.  I think the main character being an older man makes you feel more compassion towards him, you can also feel that he has a good heart even though he acts tough at times.  I felt the same way about the maid, thought that she put up a front in hiding her emotions but we get to see her feelings of fear and sadness in the scene where she makes the coffee.  I really liked the dog Flike too, I think at times he stole the show and made me forget what a sad movie this really was.  One thing that I did not understand in this film was the relationship between the land lady and Umberto.  I remember him mentioning that he helped her out during the war when she was young and now he couldn’t understand why she treated him like that.  I also think that the most powerful scene was where Umberto was standing on the train tracks with the dog ready to kill himself.  This scene really stayed in my head.  I found it interesting how Umberto spent so much energy trying to find a good home for Flike when he made the decision to kill himself and ultimately decided to take his dog’s life along with his own when he couldn’t find anyone that would take care of him.  And at the end it was Flike that saved Umberto’s life by running away from the tracks.

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