All posts by Cassidy Taylor

The Freedom of Animation

After watching tonight’s film I had an interesting realization about the affordances of animation. Usually a director will have a solid amount of freedom and control to shape the movie and push it in whatever direction they want. The director can dress the characters,  have some say in what characters are chosen, they can choose the set and all of the things that go in it. Within the accommodations of our world the director can really do whatever they want. However I find it interesting that with animation the director can create a whole new world. They can take the image from their head and really create it in the film. I really saw this in the film we watched tonight, especially in the way some of the scenes were set up, for instance when her father was telling the story of how the Shah came into power and the world took a puppeteer and comical turn. I also liked the point that was made in the after-film discussion about how sometimes when the film is set in a dangerous or hard to film place, such as Iran was during the time this film was made, animation can be used as a substitute. I really got a first hand experience of the affordances of animation tonight.

Mise-en-Scène or Irony?

One, very small, thing that I noticed in Bride and Prejudice was that, during the scene when the crew is by the pool Lalita brings out a very familiar book. The book that Lalita is reading at that time is a Jane Austen novel. This particular prop is ironic seeing as how the film is based off of Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. This scene also struck me because it is another example of when Lalita is taunted for her intelligence, just as Lizzy is in Pride and Prejudice. This is just a small thing that I noticed in the film, but it struck me as a rather comedic piece of irony to include.

Rhythm in JFK

One thing that struck me about the movie was how at certain times the rhythm and speaking speed were much quicker than at other times. This could be due to the fact that the original version of the movie was closer to four hours than the final cut of around two hours, however I think it comes from something more pertinent to the theme of the movie.

Scenes that involved the family and other, more simple, parts of the plot line, had “normal” rhythm. By saying this I mean that the people talked in a conversational tone at a relatively normal speed. However looking at more tense scenes, or scenes that begin to reveal parts of the truth, the speed of the speaking becomes quicker. One place where this was apparent was in the park in DC when Garrison is listening to the mysterious Mr. X. The more into the story Mr. X gets, the quicker he talks and the harder it was (at least for me) to follow him. I think that this may have something to do with how the truth is found out. Oliver may have had these scenes said in a rushed tone to portray that the truth is not always easy to follow, and finding the truth can sometimes be confusing. Or maybe he was just trying to fit as much of the movie into as little time as possible. Either way it is something to ponder.

Editing in JFK

While watching the first half of JFK in class today, I noticed many of the editing techniques that we read about in chapter four of The Film Experience. One of the first, and perhaps most prominent, editing techniques that Oliver Stone used was the crosscutting of many actual videos of JFK and other figures from that time period in the opening sequence. This sequence gave a strong impression of what the movie was going to be about (if the title did not already do that) and the real footage gave a realistic quality to the movie that may not have come across otherwise.