I think the editing in JFK is incredible. The ability to use real footage and incorporate it into the film without skipping a beat is very impressive. I think the ability to do this relies on the ability of things like mise-en-scene and cinematography. Because the film looked and felt like it was during the 60’s really allows Stone to freely incorporate the old footage. Sometimes, It was even difficult to determine if the news footage was real footage from the time period or footage Stone created. Without the ability to make everything seems like it was in the 60’s I don’t think stone would have been able to incorporate this footage so easily. It gives the film a truly realistic vibe and feels like I am watching the story unfold as it happened in 1960
One important type of editing we talked about in class today was elliptical editing. Elliptical editing makes it that an event’s duration on-screen is shorter than its duration in the story and in character development. Many directors utilize elliptical editing simply to compress the length of a film, and to develop the story in as little time as possible. An example of elliptical editing could be a man on a journey; he could be walking through different landscapes and weather conditions every time the shot dissolves, until he reaches his destination.
However, another way in which I believe elliptical editing can be used is to convey emotions. For example, when we initially brought up the point of elliptical editing, I immediately thought of the Pixar movie “Up”. In the movie, elliptical editing was used at the beginning of the film to summarize Elle and Carl’s relationship as it progressed from when they were young kids to them growing old together eventually leading to Elle’s death. The elliptical editing used not only to compress the length of their story, but I also believed that the director decided to include the elliptical editing to spark emotion among the audience and get the audience to sympathize and realize the loneliness Carl was going through at the time.
As some of you may know, Alexandre Desplat won an oscar of best original score in Wes Anderson’s film, The Grand Budapest Hotel (Anderson, 2014). Although Desplat was nominated twice in this category, this NPR segment of All Things Considered explains why this award was well deserved.
The Grand Budapest Hotel takes place in a fictional central European country, “The Former Republic of Zubrowka”, therefore while spotting the film with Anderson, it was Desplat’s job to not only score music that complimented each character, but also to score music that depicted the culture of Zubrowka’s people.
I won’t give the NPR segment away, but Desplat and Anderson put in a ton of effort to find the perfect score for the sound bridge that the viewers experience in the very first scene of the film. An fascinating process and an interesting article!
In The Age of The Image, Stephen Apkon makes an important point about the immediacy of news in the media in our time because of the internet and inexpensive video recording equipment. He makes in important point that in our culture we have a hard time believing in the occurrence of an event unless we see it with our own eyes, and with the invention and evolution of media it makes it easier for news to reach the eyes of millions and billions of viewers. Not only are our values shaping the way media is presented anymore, but the presentation of media now has influence on the development of those values.
The manipulation of the way a video is presented to its viewer has a dramatic effect on what each individual is going to take away from its message. Apkon talks about the immediate reaction to the Invisible Children videos exploiting the horrifying acts of Joseph Kony. Apkon mentions that through the immediacy of today’s media it is easy to spread any kind of awareness of a particular event if it captivates its viewers.
While researching a bit more about Children of Men for my paper last week I came upon an interview with Cuaron that I found interesting. In the interview Cuaron talks about about the biblical references, and the transition from book to film. Children of Men was derived from the book by P. D. James, but in the book Kee was not a character. In the interview Cuaron stated that they made Kee African American because “as far as we know, human life sprang out of Africa.” I found this very interesting. In class we talked about how the movie had many biblical references but this completely goes against that notion.
Here is the link:
When watching last weeks movie “JFK” one thing that struck me the most was the striking similarities of Jim’s closing argument to that of Atticus Finch’s closing argument in “To Kill a Mockingbird”. The instant that Jim began to say the truth, that the jury must find the truth to what happened in the assassination of President Kennedy. Not only in the words that were being spoken was there many many similarities but in the cinematography as well. Both men are shot at medium angles and the camera continually cuts back in forth between three subjects. The lawyers, Jim and Atticus, the men on trial, Clay and Boo Radly, and the jurors. These constant three cuts keeps the audience focused on the issue and those involved. Both men, Jim and Atticus, speak with such strikingly similar poise and stature that both give any audience spine chilling reactions. Both speak of our American society and the foundation of truth and equality that it is built on. I found it to be very powerful and moving after going back and reviewing each closing argument.
In the book Stephen Arpkon writes about a guy who showed a tape of police brutality to the media after getting ignored by the police: “So he took the footage to the KTLA television station, which broadcast the whole tape and turned it into a focal point for years of frustration between the African Americans of Los Angeles and what they considered the routinely heavy-handed tactics of the police” (page 107). This shows how powerful the media can be compared to the police. It is through the media that word gets out and public opinion arises. We see politics and oppression from the media. This example above is similar to Spike Lee’s film showing police brutality and bringing up race. The police did not do justice for killing the black man but the media and the public rose up to the occasion. This is significant because times are changing and the media is becoming a powerful force.
The scene with the french people on the streets and the one algerian man that sits on the step after the attacks shows prejudice and stereotyping. This scene is after the many shootings of cops and people by the FLN. The people on the streets see this lone man of color and harass him: “where are you headed?” “I’m sure it’s him” “Murderer.” I like this scene because it really shows what the french thought about the Algerians. They alienated them and thought they were all the same. It was just some guy going about his day and keeping to himself but he got harassed. This scene shows a shift in the thinking of the French after the bombing and unrest in society. There is fear in the French for their lives and want the Algerians taken care of.
Watching and hearing Justin Simien talk about his film brought up stereotyping in my mind. I noticed many examples of how he cleverly used satire to show stereotypes. For example, residence life is stereotyped by Armstrong/Parker House residents are all black. How does that happen with random housing? They are their own community and do not like the white kids coming into there dining hall. At their dining hall, they eat fried chicken for lunch, which is a big stereotype. This puts all the black people on campus together which is a large stereotype on campus’s. It is saying that black kids hang out with only black kids. In addition, Coco seems invisible to guys at school because she is black on a mainly white campus. Although she is attractive, no boys are looking at her or talking to her. She gets ignored, this is a stereotype that white men see past black women. This gets to the point of race as well as the clever jokes that bring up the black stereotype like in Coco’s blog.
There is also a burden of how they are expected to act, you see it through many of the characters. This relates to do the right thing because Spike Lee uses racial stereotyping a lot in his film. For example, the music choice and clothing that black people wear compared to the asians.
There is a connection in both films because the stereotyping is explosive. There is an us verses them feel in them, that the whites have a more of belonging but there is a fight for belonging by both sides. There brings up a race conversation which makes an impact on society and opens up others to ‘talk’, or tweet, etc. about it. There is much energy and emotion of the film even after its viewing.
This past week I was sick with the flu and could hardly leave my bed for about two days. During which I watched a lot of netflix, particularly the show Parks and Rec. While watching I couldn’t help but notice the use of thirds. Often when two characters were conversing the camera would show one’s shoulder and back of their head and the other character’s face, who usually talking, would be right on the third line. I never really realized this while watching any show. But now that I am aware of the use of thirds I see it every where in just about every show I’ve seen recently. This technique does make the layout of the scene and the characters very clear.