I really enjoyed Morgan Spurlock’s documentary The Greatest Movie Ever Sold. What I loved most about the film was that the truth disclosed was presented in a humorous way. Since watching the film, I have paid close attention to advertisements and promotions written into films. As a Marvel comic fanatic, a constant advertisement in many of their movies deals with promoting Audi. Whether it’s Tony Stark zooming through the streets in his Audi or the Hulk smashing and throwing Audi cars, the camera makes sure to capture those famous four silver circles.
Below I attached the newest Audi commercial starring the Avengers for the new movie Age of Ultron.
After watching the documentary Citizenfour directed by Laura Poitras, I could not stop thinking. I love a movie that even though after it’s over, I am still constantly thinking about lines that were said, images that I saw, and so on. Laura did a great job in really grabbing the audience’s attention in the opening scene and every time she was talking to Edward Snowden over the computer, we would see the typing go across the screen and felt like we were involved in the situation. I loved how we would go from very intense music and a black screen with a few words to a very casual conversation with Snowden in a hotel room or him shaving his face while his name is being said all over the news. I felt like having this difference gave realism to the situation and when he was telling us his story, we were completely focused on what he was saying rather than something else.
After reading the article Has Hollywood Murdered the Movies? by David Denby, I understand his point of view and he does make some interesting points, but at the same time I do not fully agree.
Personally, I am a frequent customer at the movie theatre because I love actually going to the movie theatre and enjoying the atmosphere created. Instead of watching a million different TV shows, I am constantly watching movie after movie. Therefore, I am to see the difference in movies throughout the years. From the black and white era to present day, not only have the graphics changed due to technological advances, but the types of actors and themes of movies have also changed. In my opinion, the themes have just changed with the time periods. For example, a favorite movie of mine, It’s a Wonderful Life is considered a classic to many. The film’s plot deals with the effects of the Great Depression and WWII, today movies that deal with war usually have plots that deal with the current war in the Middle East. Another example is how movies like the Godfather, have villains that are gangsters and mobsters and now a common theme for villains are usually terrorists or controlling governments as seen in films like the Marvel Comic movies or the Hunger Games. Clearly, this is not about every movie, but it is a common theme in many of the blockbuster hits of the past few years.
In the article, Denby talks about how films like The Avengers and Transformers are taking away from what movies are suppose to be about and how it has just become all about “making the big bucks.” I disagree. As a huge fan of the action-adventure genre, I love seeing more types of these movies being made. And yes, they are of course the biggest grossing movies in the box office because of the actors involved and the company that is producing them. Do I think that lately there are lot of movies that deal with a future utopian society? Yes, but in each film I think the audience can find unique aspects that make them different. Instead of just wishing the film industry was something else, I think more people should be open to these new types of movies because this is yet just another era in the industry.
Before the screening of The Hunting Ground, I thought The Ninth Girl was such powerful short film. One of the best parts of the film was knowing that is was a short film, I did not know when it was going to end and what cliffhangers it was going to leave for the audience. Another aspect I really loved about the film was the choice to have no dialogue in the film and have the ongoing sound of a heartbeat. Therefore, throughout the film I didn’t know what was going to happen next and due to the intensity of the scene, I felt my heart beating fast like the sound playing. Although a fictional short, it could very might as well be a true story to someone, which is the reason why such a short film like this is so powerful in meaning.
After watching Kirby Dick’s documentary The Hunting Ground, I considered this film to be a huge “eye-opener.” Rape is a term that many are familiar with and have heard hundreds of time. What many do not know is that sexual assault is a serious and ongoing problem. That is why The Hunting Ground is such a pivotal film.
In Dick’s documentary, we visit famous American colleges and universities that have built themselves such incredible reputations over the years. Places like Harvard and FSU have created reputations of academic excellence and football stardom. What Kirby does that is just so amazing is that he doesn’t care how idolized these schools are and exposes the truth. Exposing the truth is hard and intimidating, but Kirby does it in a beautiful way. Although intense and shocking, his film captures the audience’s attention with his incredible interviews, music, and graphics.
My favorite part of the film was definitely the ending. He shows many of the survivors taking a stand and speaking out with an upbeat soundtrack in the background, giving the audience an idea that this problem is resolving. Then, as the two main advocates of the movie are driving off to another campus, the two girls get a phone call from a parent saying how his daughter is in need of help after being the victim of sexual assault. This scene here shows the viewer that although people are starting to receive the message of how prevalent this problem is, it does not have a simple solution of one that can be fixed over night. People across the nation need to band together. I believe that The Hunting Ground should be screened on all college campuses across the country.
After watching Peter Vlemmix’s 2012 documentary Panopticon and reading Tad Friend’s article Hollywood and Vine, I came across this article from Fortune magazine that talks about the latest fad in the social media world, Snapchat. The article talks about the privacy issues dealing with the well known app and also the reasons why every big name social media website wants to buy them.
Dealing with privacy issues, Snapchat is an app where people can send pictures to their friends for only a certain amount of seconds and then it disappears “forever.” People are starting to realize that this actually might not be the case due to hackers and possibly government intel. In agreeance with Panopticon, this validates how even though advancements in technology have their many pros, there are also some cons. Cons include how our personal privacy is slowly disappearing and people need to start becoming more aware of what they are doing on the internet and know when and when not to share certain things.
Based on the Hollywood and Vine article, in the year Snapchat has been around, it has changed tremendously. Snapchat has become one of the most used versions of social media. Now, companies like People Magazine, CNN, and ESPN use the app to sponsor themselves and when big events like the Final Four are going on, Snapchat is your app to get the latest updates. People are turning to Snapchat as a new source of communication and news outlet.
After watching Jarecki’s 2012 documentary, The House I Live In, I consider it to be a huge eye opener. From a young age the stereotype of prisons is that “very bad” people are put away there. While that may be true, there are also some inmates in there that have made a few wrong turns down the wrong path and have been given a sentence of a ridiculous amount of years. It is amazing that how someone who murdered someone can get the same amount of years as some of the people in this film for selling drugs, or even more. I am not saying that I condone those actions of illegal selling but I do not believe that they should be treated the same as a murder or rapist. This documentary exemplifies exactly this. One police officer in the movie gave an excellent statement of how it is almost like the prisoners are “paying for our fear instead of paying for their crime.” And then, for those who are released, it is almost as if they are still paying for their crime due to the obstacles that lay ahead of them when trying to begin again. The difficulties of finding a job are extremely hard and therefore no job leads to no money which leads to no housing, etc… Therefore, this leads them to right back where they started and the cycle begins again.
There were also certain aspects of the film that I really appreciated. I loved the level of intimacy the director showed with each person he interviewed. Each really opened up and showed the audience their story. Listening and seeing them in their own world created a personal connection with the viewers. The variety of locations helped show that this is a problem across the country and not in one area.
After watching both documentaries, Soma Girls and Born into Brothels, one can see how a director has so much power in portraying what he or she wants the viewer to see and take away from a film. A perfect example is how in Soma Girls I saw how girls who have come from a tough upbringing are very determined to achieve their goals for a better future for themselves. Instead of feeling sorry for the girls, I have feelings of admiration toward them for being so courages and strong. Meanwhile, in the few minutes I watched Born into Brothels, I just felt bad for the children. Therefore, it is amazing to see how similar topics can be so differently presented.
I have never seen any type of animated film like Satrapi and Paronnaud’s 2007 film Persepolis. In general, most animated films are created for children, such as many of the Disney classics. Meanwhile, Persepolis is animated film more geared to adults. In a traditional animated film there is always a happy ending that deals with being true to yourself and finding your true love. Usually, these films involve prince and princesses, magic, evil witches, and so on. In contrast, Persepolis deals with a personal story blended with historical events. Although it wasn’t exactly based on a specific person’s true story it could very might have happened to someone. Thus, due to the realism of the plot, viewers can develop a personal connection to the story. With such a complex story being told in animation, I found it very interesting how the animation was created with simple shapes and basic colors. This helped to focus more on the importance of the story at hand instead of being distracted by textures and colors.
In Polanski’s 1974 film Chinatown, there were many interesting symbols to be identified.One example is the title name, Chinatown. Chinatown is not just a place that Jack Nicholson’s character fears. It is a place that stands for corruption where authority means nothing and there is no room for good intentions. This can be seen from both Nicholson and Faye Dunaway’s characters. J.J. Gittes has the good intentions of solving the crime about the death of Evelyn Mulwray’s husband and the corruption going on in the authority of the city and how Mulwray wants to keep her daughter safe and attempts to leave but is killed. The conclusion is that nothing good can come from Chinatown.