Thursday, December 18, 2014

New Film Era?

The transition from one film era to the next is commonly because of the three reasons below:

1)    Structure of the film business – some kind of shift in the business of making (and distributing) movies
2)    Film technology – a major advance (or advances) in the way movies are made, which has effect on the majority of films made (becomes a norm)
3)    Content reflects cultural values – a shift in the dominant cultural value of the country which is then mirrored in the films being made

All three of these possible reasons are being introduced today. All three of these major reasons arebeing
majorly changed and influenced today by technology and culture of society. These changes are creating changes in Hollywood that are making what is happening right now very similar to what has happened in the past.

The structure of film business has changed dramatically because the number of corporations and companies that are in control of the media in the United States. The entire nature of parent companies buying and selling other companies has made the film business more about the business and less about the actual art form of the films they make. In the previous years, large blockbuster films are more and more about international distrubution and profits. Now there are just a handful, six in fact, large corporate empires that control and are the masterminds of film and media.

Technology is now changing to the point where almost any person with money and an idea can make a video or movie. This creates movies to be much more commonly made and produced. Many of these films are being made by people who have little to no experience in filmmaking and therefore many films are of low quality in general. Many popular film distributors or studios have been bought since blockbusters were introduced in the 20th century, and now this is why many movies are made by large business. These usually mean that they are made for profit and therefore they do not use budget for story or art, but for visual effects and audience appeal. Major blockbuster films are made for a large audience with large appeal, so the stories are similar and broad. The technology advances in CGI and cheap video cameras have helped contribute to this transition in the film industry.

Since the 90’s many cultural ideas have been spread and used that previously were not as well supported. This is similar to the third requirement for a new era in the film industry. These new ideas and cultural beliefs/values have created a new “genre” of film where movies now are dealing with cultural ideas. Many documentaries of society issues or “inspired off true events” films are becoming common of American culture. Many new ideas are spread through the media, and for every major corporation that accepts new ideas or refuses them, large amounts of people are influenced by the media that they view.

All three of these major shifts are occurring right now and are changing the industry into a new era. As far as naming this age, it doesn’t matter as much as what is actually happening. Our society is being influenced by media due to cheaper technologies, new society ideas, and the sheer organization of the industry. Definitely, Hollywood has been entering a new era of filmmaking that will define what our culture sees in the future.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Bicycle Thief Extra Credit

The film "The Bicycle Thief" otherwise known as "Bicycle Thieves" is a very unique and different piece and fits perfectly into the movement of Italian Neorealism due to it's many characteristics.

This film was made in 1948 and then released soon after internationally. It was made in Italy and was said to be an incredible film. This film is different that other Italian films as the films after this movement were very different in the culture and the stories were different. The movement, Italian Neorealism, lasted for about a decade and was mainly due to the causes of the second World War and was also due to the major cultural and economic changes in the country and the citizens.

Some examples of why this film was part of this movement would be that the main central aspect of the Italian Neorealism movement was the idea of poverty and wealth unequally distributed. Mainly hi-lighting poverty and poor societies in Italy. The film "The Bicycle Thief" is mainly focused on a father and his son, they are trying to find a bike so that the father can continue to work and to feed his family. If they don't find the bike in time, it could be gone forever and then the entire family could suffer. This is obviously one of the central ideas of the Italian Neorealism movement.

Another central idea is that the overwhelming majority of the film is filmed on location, which is one of the characteristics of the movement. Some others were the use of non-actors as main roles in films, the lack of three point practical lighting, the grainy raw look, the lack of stock footage, and even the syncing of sound in the editing process.

All of these element of the film "The Bicycle Thief" show that this was definitely part of the Italian Neorealism movement due to the different characteristics and that it is so unique. Just a few years later, Italian audiences wanted to escape rather than to see the spotlight on a hidden world of poverty. So, in other words, this is a film that has an entirely different genre than the movements and films made afterwards in Italy. These elements give this film the character and special traits that make this film the way that it is.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Answers to reading questions of Hollywood attendance-

1) There are many answers to why the film business lost so much attendance and why film's golden age became to come to a close.
One major cause was the fact that radio came into play in the 1940's, this eliminated many newsreel needs and therefore made people go less to movie houses. As this was happening, the second World War continued on and as America got more involved, film became a rare opportunity. Much of the economy was going to the war effort and money was leaving people's pockets, this means that paying for movies was a big expense, especially with a family.
With this need to conserve extra expense, once television came along, this helped drop attendance further than before. Families decided to watch TV over films, as it was much cheaper to watch TV and listen to radio than film.
Another reason that film theaters and showing became rarer is that with the struggling economy and higher mortgage rates, film houses had less and less showings to prevent costs to increase further than they were.
All of these helped contribute to the rapid decay of booming attendance numbers.

2) There are two central reasons why films changed culture and why culture changed film.
Film changed culture through organizations that had censorship in the film business. Originally, censorship was very strict, as seen in "Gone With The Wind". Eventually, through many films, such as Hitchcock and other directors showed, audiences wanted to escape and to have the code loosened. Hollywood saw this and they decided to "test the code" and to push it to it's outer limits. Over time, the code became looser and looser and eventually the rating system emerged.
The way that culture and changing technologies changed film were in a two central medias, television and radio. The emergence of these reduced attendance drastically as mentioned above. The film industry began to make less and less films, the number of features each year dropped by hundreds at a time. Filmmakers decided to have films become more "exiting" and more of a escape to audience members, in an effort to keep up with TV. (this also lead the to push the code further to it's limits) Film became more and more of an entertainment source as an escape to the reality of WW2 and economic problems, instead of an art form.
These causes changed the way that films shaped culture and the way that changing culture shaped the way films were made and shown.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Luke Broyles creative project and explanation

Odessa Steps scene from Battleship Potemkin (version 1/continuity editing)

The crowd of exuberant and overjoyed people wave and squeal at the sight they see, unaware of the threat behind them. Gunshots emerge from smoke that falls down on the civilians. The crowd turns to see where these noises are coming from, they begin to see dozens of troops in lines with bayonets aimed at them. They begin to march forward in perfect sequence and finally the crowd begins running in fear. The people flee down the steps quickly toward the streets below, some people take refuge in crevices and corners in the steps. A boy falls and is stepped on and ignored, his mother realises what happened to her son and she rushes to him. She picks him up in her arms and approaches the troops. Some other women begin to go with the mother to talk peace into the troops. The crowd continues to run away as the smaller cluster of peaceful civilians approach the advancing army. After the mother tells the men that her son is ill, they ignore and fire anyway, killing the innocent victims. Another mother watches in awe, keeping one hand on her babies carriage. She is shot and slides down the side of the carriage, pushing it down the steep steps. The baby goes flying down past the bodies and steps, he cries out in panic and wails in agony. Onlooking people from above watch helplessly as the carriage flies past them. The wheels hit a corpse and the baby falls out of the blankets.

Odessa Steps scene from Battleship Potemkin (version 2/Soviet Montage)

The crowd of exuberant and overjoyed people wave and squeal at the sight they see, unaware of the threat behind them. Suddenly an outcry from the back of the mob of excited people occurs and quickly the people run. The clearing smoke and collapsing victims reveal troops fully dressed in their uniforms, with smoking barrels left behind. They raise their guns and begin to advance on a command from their leader. The whole crowd of frightened people begin to run down the steep steps, after more troops begin to approach, people begin to hide in crevices. The men fire, men and women fall and are trampled over. A woman and her son are running together when the boy has an outcry of panic and the mother gasps in shock. Crazed people begin to step on the boy’s arms and legs as they are oblivious to him being on the ground. The woman picks up her son after great troubles pushing through the crowd. She turns and begins to yell out to hitting people by the side of the steps. They discuss a plan to go and talk the firing troops out of killing the innocent people. The woman with her son furiously begins to go up the steps as other  older people begin to walk up the steps in desperation with their arms out. The woman has an outcry of don’t shoot, but the wall of men moves forward. They stop and wait for the woman to speak, she tells them that her boy is very ill. The other crowd of approaching individuals is shot and fallen due to the men firing their weapons. With a crack and bang, the mother and innocent people begging for peace fall. The men continue to advance, shooting the innocent men and women. Meanwhile, a mother with her baby in a carriage stops as there is a steep advancement in steps. The woman is shot and lowers her hands down to her stomach where she is shot. Blood rushes and she begins to fall to the ground slowly, grabbing onto the carriage. The baby wails out in fear for his mother. People continue rushing past, not noticing what is happening. People from a distance looking up at the mother are shocked as they are helpless to the child. The mother falls onto the carriage and unintentionally pushes it down the slanted steps. The stunned people stare in awe as the baby goes rushing own past the bloody corpses and frightened people. The troops continue advancing with bayonets pointed toward the innocent men, women, and children including the falling baby. The wheels jump and fly around as they hit more and more steps. The carriage hits limbs of injured and dead on the different steps. The baby wails and cries for help as he is tossed and thrown around in the sides of the carriage. A man peers up from a step and watches as the baby goes sailing past him. He helplessly stares with his mouth open. The carriage hits a dead man and it falls over on top of the baby. The frozen spectators on the steps turn to see troops with draws swords come down on them and slash their faces.

The reason that I had two versions of the scene from Battleship Potemkin was so that through a storytelling point of view, we can see how Soviet montage, specifically in this scene, can change the way the film is told and change perspectives. Specifically, show how this style of editing swayed peoples perspectives and how this was different than continuity editing and what editing styles before lacked from Soviet Montage. The main difference in the two versions was that before Soviet Montage, many scenes and sequences were shown in real-time and very similar times and lengths. During and after Soviet Montage, many scenes were lengthened or shortened to add suspense to an event or to make an event more sudden.

The two versions are told as closely as possible to the two variations of editing that could have been used, and how each one had a profound effect different to the other. The second version was much different than the first and was much more subjective. The second version is more the view of the spectator/viewer of the event and this helps the audience become more personally interested and intrigued in the event that is happening. This became very important to the Russians as multiple revolutions occurred in the early 20th century. These revolutions would only be won or lost by public opinion and views on groups of people and governments. These films would help shape how people viewed Russia and the revolutions that occurred.

Some methods that the second version used (the second version was the version we see in Battleship Potemkin) were overlapping editing and elliptical temporal relations. These types/elements of Soviet Montage are contradictory to continuity editing, but also can be used to have a more personal feeling, that could sway public opinion on an issue.
One great example in this scene for overlapping editing would be the series of shots where the babies’ mother is shot in the stomach and falls. Overlapping editing is very important because it becomes clear if the mother falls, then the baby will go flying down the dangerous steps. This creates tension, and therefore, the longer the shots overlap and are held out, the more tension is created. The same idea is showcased as the baby goes tumbling down the steps. The carriage probably would have fallen for twenty seconds without hitting a body, but the shots are lengthened and overlapped to give rise to more tension and conflict.

An example for elliptical cutting was when the Tsarist troops started firing and marching into the crowd of civilians. This was elliptical cutting/editing because it was a sudden event and to make it seem more sudden and surprising was the use of elliptical editing. IN this instance, it helps drive the issue that the soldiers began firing suddenly and without warning on the people.

These methods create the shots as not seamless and linked, but conflicting and not “smooth”. This gives the scenes and films the conflicting viewpoint which helped gain support for the revolutions in Russia. This style isn’t only good for revolutions, but for helping films to have more lasting impacts on audiences.
One of the most famous people who made this movement possible and successful was Sergei Eisenstein. He The Soviet Montage movement in film occurred in the 1920’s and ended by about 1930. Although, Soviet Montage, specifically overlapping editing, and elliptical cutting is still used. One very famous scene with overlapping editing was The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly during the confrontation during the end of the film. This style is very effective and it becomes clear when written the different effects they bring.


and packet from Film History (text)

Thursday, September 25, 2014

The Great Train Robbery modern critique

I wrote what I wrote because probably many people who watched the film at the time thought that it was very entertaining and intense action. It was most likely very realistic to the people watching and the long scenes and shots made the audience feel like they saw the whole film. The interesting thing is that the editing was slow, but for the time was really high tech and almost ahead of its time. This editing made people interested and gave the film extra appeal as the scenes appeared to go quickly and added suspense. These are some of the things I included in my review from the pov of a person in the time who watched The Great Train Robbery.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The Great Train Robbery Review

The Great Train Robbery is now showing in cinemas and movie theaters in larger towns and cities, and many are asking what the movie was like since I had the dance to watch it. The basic plot is that four robbers begin to rob a train and try to take as much money as they want. The thrilling chase on horses and trains ends in a really climatic way. The film was an excellent piece of work and the best film that has ever been made! The excitement and thrilling train robbery was seen from beginning to end and I got to witness every aspect and event that happened in the robbery. The realistic acting and frightening hostage scene really had me in fear for the innocent people on the train. The people who rob the train are ruthless killers who we watch commit these crimes from beginning to end. The most thrilling episode of this film is when a man tries to escape from the men who have him at gunpoint. As the man runs, he is shot and the criminals almost escape with all of the train's goods. This film is a masterpiece and is bringing new stories and methods to the movie business. The Great Train Robbery will not disappoint and will leave every audience member cheering! -Review by Luke Broyles.