While reading this article I had a variety of thoughts and comments which came to mind. First of all, I love the idea that audiences would reject a Bollywood film if the films music lacks originality, because I do exactly the same thing, when it comes to Korean drama.

Singing and dancing at funerals, seems like a fun and happy thing to do. I enjoy the idea that music is seen as an extension of the story telling. I was surprised to know that playback singers are other people than the actors, and that they are mostly male singers. I googled the singer Mohammad Rafi and noticed that he was one of the artist on the soundtrack of Monsoon wedding which was a beautiful movie.

Like the author of this work, i can totally envision how dynamic Bollywood has become after the transition from cord cameras to wireless cameras and microphones. It seems like something of that sort would only give more freedom to explore the medium of film than to limit it.

Something else I enjoy about Bollywood films is the cross cut love duets about separation, there has not been one film that I have seen that doesn’t have one.

Overall Bollywood’s music and dynamic sets, and way of story telling totally keeps audiences searching for more, at least it does for me.

Chapter 15

April 8, 2010 | | 1 Comment

American Cinema in the Postwar Era, 1945-1960
I happen to think that the postwar Era is one of the most exciting eras. It contains a hand full of characters and events to look at and think about. First of there is the coming of the soldiers, which brings about suburbanization and “baby boom”. Suburbanization then brings about the advent of television and after that the coming of distinct audiences such as the “teen audience”. Because Television now invades the home, going to the movies is no longer as appealing as it was before. Along with the coming of television, Hollywood has to also deal with the HUAC investigations.
The HUAC which rose up during the Cold War, really caused the film industry to decrease and gave an advantage to other mediums, like television. So now, and after this many screenwriters, producers and directors left the country, and were discredited for supporting leftist/communist ideas and etc. The thing that I enjoy knowing about the Cold War and the HUAC is that, it was not just about one person against another, it was a total war. Hollywood was not exempt from this war and the HUAC investigations reaffirmed this, especially in “our” fight against communism.
In this chapter I was kind of not interested to read about the paramount consent decree again. I have been over it so many times in one of my other classes that I’m pretty tired of it. Although the 1948 decision divested the monopoly, it still kept distribution in the hands of the majors which is one of the main money makers for the film industry.
MPEAA
The MPEAA is a very interesting organization, because of the fact that it did advocate of the 8 majors in matters of Trade. I find it funny that after the MPEAA was organized all the other countries placed protectionist laws. One which I’m familiar with is the protectionist laws placed in South Korea, which were quotas, co-productions and I can’t quite remember the other. Who can blame them, right? Hollywood wasn’t making a lot of money at home so they had to go make money elsewhere. The other countries were not having any of that so out came “protectionism”.
Many other strategies of that Hollywood used to make money, and compete against television were color, cinemascope, films on tv, making their own cartoons and road shows. In the end, they did a good job, especially when it came to renting the films for television and making money out of that.
Overall, I believe this chapter had a lot of everything, and then some, but it was over all very interesting in the way that it introduced one even after the other.

I just wanted to share a few contemporary films and shows that I have enjoyed from the otherside of the world :). They are not ordered in any specific way and be warned there might be a melodramas and some anime specifically by Hayao Miyazaki.

Tada Kimi Wo Aishiteru (Heavenly Forest) (melodrama)

The Suicide Club (Suspense, thiller)

Spirited Away, Howls moving Castle, Ponyo (Animated movie)

Nana (anime)

Akai Ito ( drama)

I probably have watched more but can’t remember right now.

————————————————————————————-

Mother Trailer

Oh, and by the way.  There is a  Korean movie now screening in NY by the director of The Host ( Bong Joon-ho ) and the name of the movie is Mother it’s currently playing  in the IFC center and Licoln plaza. It is a thiller, and very interesting story about a mother and her son, for more information check http://www.moviefone.com/movie/mother/1435841/main?locationQuery=11554. I don’t even know how to explain this movie, in my opinion it was beautiful visually and mind grasping plot wise.

If you got to watch it let me know what you think, anyways.Also if you, have any movies to recommend to me as well,I wouldn’t mind.

 I’m done to tonight.

Good night, and Just keep tracking.

Japan and Ozu

March 18, 2010 | | 2 Comments

Section 226-238

Japan seemed to have a good idea of how to balance off competition , while also being vertically integrated and keeping the U.S. in check. Every now and then when I think about the U.S. I say “ man, they are such bullies, always trying to pressure other countries to let them in and then dominate their domestic market or something” Thankfully Japan was able to keep them tamed for a good amount of time.
I really admired the concept presented in this chapter about the way the Japanese view/ portray battle films, because they chose not to present a literate enemy but view the battle or the war as a test. A test of purity of the Japanese spirit. This in a way demonstrates Japans traditional values/beliefs.
It was also interesting to read that during the WWII Japan’s film industry attendance fell due to the changes that were made. If anything, I thought Japan would do good during the war, like Hollywood did, because like Hollywood they were vertically integrated and what not.
Overall the section was short, but every informative on what Japan accomplished and went through during the early 1900’s- 1940’s. I think of would of liked to read a little more on gendai-geki though, but you can’t have gendai-geki without first having Jidai- geki right?

Senses of Cinema: Yasujiro Ozu by Nick Wrigley
When reading this biography by Wrigley and the mini section in the textbook about Ozu I was surprised to read that he broke the 180 degree rule (“tsk, tsk”). In both readings its expressed that Ozu, was influence by Hollywood, to me this seems ironic because little by little Ozu ended up disowning all the film grammar he learned and began just filming in long takes and 360 degrees shots. Another aspect of Ozu that is interesting is his tendency to have his actors face the camera when they are speaking on screen (like speaking directly to the camera).
The other day I began watching, A Tokyo Story but could not finish, I felt awkward as the characters faced the camera and spoke. It was as if they were talking to me directly, they didn’t even look off screen to signal it was the other character that they are speaking to. Ozu seems like the Neorealist of Japan, especially because of the topics that his films touch upon. I believe that maybe one of the reasons that Ozu had his actors speak directly to you on screen and mostly hired ordinary people was in a way to showcase the authenticity( the reality) of his work(films).

Chp12. Keeping it real.

March 11, 2010 | | 1 Comment

Chapter 12

It was interesting to see how the USSR, Germany and Italy treated/ dealt with cinema during World War Two.

Out of all of the countries that Bordwell and Thompson spoke about in this chapter, Soviet Russia interest me the most, coming in second place was Italy, and I’m sure you can guess which is third. (psst, Germany)

 I thought it was ironic that the head of the Soyuzkino, Boris Shumyatsky was purged/ killed by his own policies and sad that they were betrayed by Germany.

When I was reading about Soviet Russia a question resonated in my mind:

Is social reality, reality at all? , Is it reality when the government is trying to enforce the policy on the people? To me that seems to be the reality of Stalin not the people. The writers and artist of that time were being told to follow the commi-goal or doctrine styles.  The only point that I thought was really social reality was when film artist began producing films about the reality of what was happening in Russia. The movie that persuaded me to believe that was Feast at Zhirmunka.

Although one of the main motives of all this was to nationalize and in a way boosts the industry so that they wouldn’t have to import anything from other countries, they failed because of the many factors explained in the reading. Kind of gives the idea that totalitarianism is not the right way to go if you want to boost your country’s film industry.

Italy, with Mussolini in charge, didn’t even seem to pay too much attention to the film industry. To me, at first they seemed very nonchalant. Then, thanks to Stefano Pitaluga helpful, because the government aided industries and they even held film festivals. When I think of Italy and neo realism I usually think of the film The bicycle thief by Vittorio De Sica

I enjoyed the way that Italy dealt with film because it showed that they didn’t have to nationalize or lay down strict policies to have a good film industry or good neorealist films. You can say that Italy “kept it real” especially with their actors and ideas.

Overall I enjoyed the way that the chapter lays out the spectrum of  the ways that these three countries dealt with film during WWII.

Orson Welles and Gregg Toland: Their Collaboration on Citizen Kane byRobert L. Carringer and The interview with Orson Welles by Peter Bogdanovich were very entertaining and intriguing pieces because they highlighted similarly some of the same scenes, techniques, and works of Welles and Toland’s collaboration. They also revealed a lot of the details of the lengths it took for the film to be completed, which I believe were funny.
Susie’s suicide attempt scene and Toland’s deep focus and cinematography techniques are three of the many things to look out for in Citizen Kane (Along with Kane’s charm bracelet in the middle of a scene) according to both readings. I have yet to watch the film though, I looked for it in my local libraries and one has it on DVD but someone never returned it, and other libraries have it on VHS but I no longer have a VHS player. (I know kind of sad). After reading both assignments I looked forward to watching the film, especially because of the way that both readings address Tolands rebellion against the conventions and rituals of big studio filmmaking and Welles way of just intuitively knowing that wherever he pointed his hand the camera was to be there.
Many of Welles perspectives on film making and camera position were very appealing to me for example his belief that the camera should show what “…the eyes see normally looking at something” and how he doesn’t think he should chose for the audience what they see all the time because it’s not really natural. Both these readings illustrate and point out the beauty of film and what really makes the film what it is because of Welles and Tolands collaboration.
I now wish to watch the movie and see how many of the scenes and techniques (the low angles, deep focusing and low lighting) I can point out. Has anyone watched it yet? Or have you watched the film without knowing what was in the reading but notice them anyway?

In the excerpt by James Harvey on Sturges was very interesting but at the same time a bit annoying, well at least to me. While I do believe that in some sense Preston Sturges was a genius, an innovator and unique producer, inventor, screenwriter, director and overall “jack of all trades” I believe that the way he achieved his genius was kind of reckless especially because he spent excessive production time, and money. But maybe that is just the way geniuses work? Harvey’s excerpt displays examples of the lengths artist go to stick to their style, like William Wellman, and even Orson Welles, Sturges didn’t modify himself to fit any model in Hollywood system/cinema. I commend Sturges for doing so, and I think that is what won me over when reading the text, along with the screening of The Lady Eve in class. Sturges seemed to have always had a lot on his mind because he never seemed to finish the script before producing it, but after watching The Lady Eve that didn’t seem to bother me any longer.
The film demonstrated Sturges overall humor and way with words; I remember shaking my head as I watched the scene where Eve (Barbra Stanwyck) is holding Charles (Henry Fonda) head as she caress him and speaks seductively to him. On the surface nothing seems to be happening but beneath it, it’s as if they are in the middle of some sexual activity. I believe in some ways Sturges might have been formulating ways to insinuate sex and comedy to the audience while also trying to avoid disappointing the hays code.
Overall, I was left with a good impression of screwball comedies by Preston Sturges makes me want to go watch another one of his films.

The Lady Eve<<—- This is the scene I referred to earlier.

Chapter 14

Leftist, Documentary and Experimental Cinemas, 1930-1945.

I really enjoyed, the section on Great Britain Documentary Cinema, and admire the ideas that John Grierson brought to documentary cinema through his education in the US.  Grierson was influenced by “… the way American cinema and advertising shaped mass audiences’ responses.” He used that influence and impression that was left within him to combine entertainment with education, which I think is a great idea!  Grierson is an example of a person who used all his experiences and knowledge of other Cinemas ways of doing film/documentary and simply combining them to make something even better. Grierson like the Soviet Union wanted to affect viewers intellectually; he didn’t just want to entertain audiences but educate them.  If he just wanted to entertain, he’d be another Hollywood filmmaker trying to please audience with formulated and staged commercial films. I think that Grierson was great at using his resources in order to spread information and influence modern society.  Making film on subjects such as  Tea industries and other world industries was a great way to one, get sponsored and two, spread knowledge about how different industries around the world are  conducted and  influenced by the people who work there and their culture.

The idea of Persuasive interviewing introduced by Arthur Elton and Edgar Anstey was very interesting, because I never really thought of interviewing as persuasive, but after thinking about it, it can be as persuasive as the text points out.( pg.286). I also think thought that interviews can also be raw like some of the interviews from documentaries by Michael Moore or any other modern documentary filmmaker. Overall I enjoyed this section because it spoke to me and gave me some insight on how documentary cinema began in a country such as Great Britain. Although Grierson was educated in the US, he took what he learned and experienced and turned it into something positive for audiences, by bringing information to them not just entertainment. I’m a big believer in educating while entertaining or visa versa.

Here is a URL to John Griersons, Night Mail

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmciuKsBOi0

P.S. : Another great reason the section on documentary cinema captured me was because I am recently entertaining the idea of producing a documentary film myself on the concept of  Yuan, also known as the Red String of Fate or Red Thread of fate.  This concept is displayed in East Asian Literature, Media, and ways of culture. With this concept/ idea of creating a documentary I wish to educate audiences about East Asian cultures and the influence that concepts or beliefs in Yuan produce.

Thank you for reading.

In The gangster as Tragic Hero by Robert Warshow, Wild Bill:  William A. Wellman an interview by Scott Eyman and The Hollywood Studio System 1930-1945 there were a few similarities/ common themes and ideas that really struck my attention. These similar ideas and themes are America (freedom), War, the Human Psyche and the gangster.

The gangster is a total representation of the oppressed American psyche because of the war and the need to maintain the public good (or at least satisfy conservative America). One reason I believe this is true is because Warshow begins his works by expressing how America does not allow its citizens to be anything other than happy. He also says that that happiness compels citizens of America to display it by joining the army (yeah, right!).  The gangster in gangster films does not join the army, he rebels, he finds his happiness in doing things we don’t dare to do, and he does not worry about the pressures of maintaining a positive attitude (or being conservative). He “speaks for us, and acts for us” (add-on mine). (Warshow 578)

In the interview with William A. Wellman there is evidence that the gangster does in fact speak, and act on our behalf, as well as reveal the desires and experiences of the human psyche . While referring to the grapefruit scene in The Public Enemy, Wellman admits that that scene is something he wished to do but didn’t dare to do, but had Tommy( James Cagney) fulfill. Like the film’s main character Tommy, Wellman was a rebellious and mischievous boy; his mother was a probation officer, as Tommy’s dad. Like the character Michael, Wellman had served during the war as well. The Public Enemy is a film that illustrates the idea that Warshow presents.

 The film also reveals the two extremes of the results of being American, one is the life of maintaining the your morale, serving your country, and “being” happy and the other is the life of crime and doing whatever it is you want. Mike, Tommy’s brother lived the safe, conservative life, and Tommy lived the life we wouldn’t dare to admit we wanted.  Although Mike and Tommy chose different lifestyles, in some sense they had similar experiences which the film questions, bloodshed over beer or bloodshed for your country? In the end both characters are the same: victims of Americanism.

 Although the gangster gets to live, and play out our inner most desires, he is killed in order to reinforce the order of the world and maintain public good. In the film once “the problem” (the gangster) is solved (killed off), his brother Mike seems as to walk off screen as if he is going to avenge his brothers death. This final scene leads me to believe that eventually Mike himself becomes a gangster, because of what has been done to his brother and because of what they/ he experience in the war, for his country (becoming shell-shocked and etc).

Overall, the death of the gangster is a good example of our human psyche and inner desires being shut down by the idea of maintaining the public good and conservatism. If we are not happy it’s our fault and we just have to smile and deal with it. But if we don’t want to we can always just watch a gangster film and relieve some of your pent up desires/stress.

Intro

February 7, 2010 | | Leave a Comment

A brief introduction
I’m a junior at QC and a Media Studies Major, and film Minor.
I’m in Media studies because I enjoy visual communication and all that jazz.

Mainly I’m interested in East Asian Media. I’m a fan of South Korean and Japanese melodrama, and comedy films and T.V. series, mainly because in Japanese and Korean media they allow you to savor the feelings expressed longer than western films do, they emphasize the overall mood and atmosphere in their films and shows, and culturally they just catch my attention, in ways that other cultures and media have not.

I will be posting about the films and readings from class shortly.


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