As the saying goes, “All good things come to an end”. This FILM101 course has been really interesting and I learnt quite a lot from it. It was interesting to learn about how film got started and to watch films that were black and white and totally different from movies nowadays. Though at first I thought that I would not enjoy black and white movies one bit, however I was surprised that I actually did enjoy most of the black and white movies. I presume it is even better in black and white than in color as they spoke differently in the olden movies and so the lack of color actually complements the movie.
Though what I did not enjoy were movies such as; Triumph of the Will, Birth of a Nation, Man with a Movie Camera. These movies were quite long and to me uneventful (though birth of a nation did have action) however I was fidgety and the movie did not en-capture my attention.
But apart from those the rest of the movies throughout the course were educational if not entertaining. Some of the films that I enjoyed the most were the comedies; Bringing up baby, Some like it hot and others like Strangers on a Train and Spirited Away (of course).
This course has made me a more knowledgeable person in terms of film and I advise you only to take it if you’re interested in the history of films or like writing. Thank you Mr. Rey for this enjoyable semester! It’s been a pleasure. =]
Introduction to Film Studies Comparison Essay
Movies which are the subject of discussion for this essay: ‘Hachiko’ and ‘Two Brothers’.
‘Hachiko, a dog’s story’ (2009) is based on true events and mainly features a dog named, you guessed it, Hachiko. In the film, Hachiko is separated from his master when the master suffers from a heart attack and kicks the bucket. Similarly, the two sibling tigers are separated from themselves and their mother in the movie ‘Two Brothers’ (2003). Both films show the bond between the respective characters before the separation comes and thus throughout the movie the audience understands the relationship between them. Furthermore since these films have animals as their protagonists, another aspect that the directors and screenwriters play with is anthropomorphism. Where they make the animals look like they have human traits and behaviors, and this is done powerfully with point-of-view and close-up shots. So it is a combination of these different elements that effectively makes both these films successful and heart-wrenching.
The word ‘anime’ short for animation has become increasingly popular in the past decade. For me when I hear the word anime, I immediately think of Japanese animated films or shows. Even though Hollywood does produce animated films as well, however I tend to think of those as ‘cartoons’ instead of ‘anime’. Therefore throughout this essay I will refer to anime as Japanese anime and cartoons as other animated films.
The difference between the two is that anime has a lot more detail in terms of characters and the audience can relate to the stories they tell. Cartoons on the other hand may have characters with odd body shapes (The Simpsons) and its purpose is to mainly make the audience laugh. (Reference to: http://www.diffen.com/difference/Anime_vs_Cartoon)
“Guess all he really wanted out of life was love. That’s Charlie’s story, how he lost it. You see, he just didn’t have any to give. Well, he loved Charlie Kane of course, very dearly, and his mother, I guess he always loved her.” How is this statement true?
This statement of Charles Foster Kane in the movie “Citizen Kane” does ring bells of truth. The whole film shows his separation with people-mostly women, whom he had intimate relationships with, and thus can be described as the story of ‘how he lost it.’ The first separation was with his mother when she gave him away to Mr Thatcher. Then it was the separation with his wife as he chose his mistress over her. After that, with his closest and oldest friend, Leland, who did not trust Kane anymore and finally the last separation which was with his mistress-turned second wife, Susan. His reaction towards the separation of his first wife and Leland goes to show that he did not value their relationship and did not mind if it was terminated as he did not show any emotion or put up a fight to save their relationship, in fact he ended both of the relationships himself.
Throughout the Odessa Steps scene, there are three elements that make up the scene: shots of the crowd running down the stairs are juxtaposed with shots of people dying as well as with soldiers marching down the stairs. The cinematography and editing also help to make it effective in impacting the audience and leaving behind a permanent residue in their minds.
The beginning of the montage shows a merry and joyful crowd welcoming a ship into port and it seemed like nothing could ruin this perfect moment…until the trigger where a shot is heard and at the same time cuts to a woman whose head jerks back and forth which is repeated a second time to create effect. What adds to that dramatic effect is the fact that her face is hidden behind her hair as it flips forward and clouds her face. This creates a sense of suspense and horror as all the audience can see is her mouth hanging agape as if in a silent scream. This is the first ‘jolt’ that shakes the audience and at first this makes the audience wonder what is happening as they see the once happy crowd rampage down the steps. Then it all makes sense when they see soldiers marching in lines holding rifles and firing at will as they approach the top of the steps.
Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton both create comedies but their persona is quite different from each other. Chaplin has a very comical persona and this is easily identifiable just by his looking at his face. His ever famous bowl hat sitting snuggly on top of his head, his bushy eyebrows protecting his narrow eyes and his small moustache patch. These features make him stand out from the rest and especially when he uses close-ups the audience can get more of a sense that his persona is sly and mischievous though on the outside he may seem a bit clueless. For example in ‘The Cure’, his facial expressions are more prominent in the scene where Chaplin mocks the big antagonist by pretending to be flattered and intercepting the antagonist’s flirtations to the lady. This shows to the audience that under all his clumsiness at the beginning of the film, he is actually aware of his surroundings and reacts to them in his own unique way. The other distinctions of Chaplin are his ever famous clown shoes and his walk. Just by looking at the way he walks, the audience are amused as it isn’t in the norm to walk with the feet facing outwards and this adds up to his mischievous and comical persona.
At the beginning of the film when all the people were getting onto the trains, I had thought that the soldiers would be more violent and rough towards the captives but it seemed as though the captives themselves were happy to go along in the train and even helped the soldiers out, which I found confusing.
Throughout the screening of “Night and Fog”, there were parts where I was disgusted and this was followed up by either me flinching or looking away. This mostly happened when I saw gruesome pictures of dead bodies, heads severed off from the body and the like as they don’t stomach well with me. For example when they showed the foot infected by Phosphorus my mouth fell agape. In addition to that, when the scene of the gas chamber came on and the narrator spoke of the fingernail markings on the ceiling I had felt Goosebumps on my skin.