Reading the Screen – class notes and film clips

November 4, 2008


– what kind of music…jazz, hip hop, rap, opera?!?!? that is genre, a certain kind of something
– Hollywood studio system – huge money making machine – makes genre films for audiences
– western, musical, melodrama (chic flic)…
– film noir is a subset of the detective/suspense/thriller genre
– linked to audience pleasure (I love/hate horror movies!!!)
– horror = fascinated and disturbed at the same time

Tale of Two Sisters – Korean horror film

Bound – Wachowski brothers made this film with Jennifer Tilly and Gina Gershon = demonstrated that they knew how to make a very good genre movie

– narrative structure = ie: Western hero riding off into the sunset / film noir is typically a retrospect…
– characterization
– themes = ie: Western – can you tame the Wild West / Gangster movie the bad guy was always caught
– visual design = Western – how the land is portrayed / Comedy – objective camera in your face perspective

Some conventions are expressed by iconography: props, costumes, settings, visuals that immediately tell you the genre, the audience is comfortable with these conventions.

Musical: In varying measures and combinations, music, song and dance have been its only essential ingredients

To be successful, film makers need to present the film in a contemporary context because genres evolve and change over time.

1. Primitive – this phase is usually naive, though powerful in its emotional impact, in part because of the novelty of the form. Many of the conventions of the genre are established in this phase.

2. Classical – this intermediate stage embodies such classical ideals as balance, richness and poise. The genre’s values are assured and widely shared by the audience.

3. Revisionist – the genre is generally more symbolic, ambiguous, less certain in its values. This phase tends to be stylistically complex, appealing more to the intellect than to the emotions. Often the genre’s pre-established conventions are exploited as ironic foils to question or undermine popular beliefs (ie: The Godfather, Thelma and Louise and Unforgiven).

4. Parodic – this phase of a genre’s development is an outright mockery of its conventions, reducing them to howling cliches and presenting them in a comic manner (ie: Mel Brooks and Zucker, Zucker, Abrams)

Balance between the familiar and the original is a delicate thing to achieve.

THE MUSICAL – resolves binary structures more imaginatively and ideally then we can in real life.
– in the Hollywood musical (Singin in the Rain / Wizard of Oz) = community versus fragmentation

Singin in the Rain

Community was represented as Cathy, Don and Cosmo
Fragmentation was represented as Lena

transparency vs. manipulation
energy vs. exhaustion
abundance vs. scarcity

– binary poles that need to be resolved in a musical

– considered to be the greatest American musical ever made

Gold Diggers of 1935 – Lullaby of Broadway
dir. Busby Berkeley – 1930’s revolutionized the musical genre

Une Femme est une Femme
dir. Jean-Luc Goddard

Dancer in the Dark – Bjork

DIVA 200 – next project flipbook

September 25, 2008

Today we were assigned our 2nd project – we have to create our very own flipbook animation and as an example, our instructor showed this to feast our eyes upon:

This guy definitely gets an A+

One initial idea I had to play around with would be to do something of the following, one being a warcraft dance compilation – especially with the homage to Chris Farley / Ogre Chippendales dance routine: