"Metropolis" - centerspread from the original 1927 French Pressbook

Sunday, November 28, 2010

This film is not yet rated...

This was pretty interesting to see how films get rated - basically by a small group of folks that are not exactly qualified to make the decision for everyone.
I do think a rating system is needed or something that gives folks a bit of insight before they go to see something, but it certainly seems like the current system is flawed, judgmental and prejudice.
Possibly they need something like a list of ingredients, similar to what we find on products we eat. For example if something has msg it in or artificial coloring in it, some folks would choose not to eat it. If movies had a list of ingredients like 20 references to f_ck or masturbation scenes, the ingredients can list them and folks can choose to watch it based on the ingredients.

Since ratings are very subjective, another possible solution would be for raters to name themselves and give their opinions. Similar to reviewers like Siskel and Ebert - some folks may choose to see a movie or not see a movie based on Siskel and Eberts thumbs up or not.
Maybe they can list a variety of people with different point of view and say, this priest rates it a _, and this rabbi rates it _ and this lesbian mother rates it _. This way, folks can look at the opinions of people who's point of view they would value and align with, then base their opinion to see or not to see the movie on that.
Just some thoughts.


This list includes my favorites, a good representation of great directors, genres and styles, historically important films and titles that anyone seriously interested in movies should see at least once. It is not meant to be perfect, just personal.

2001: A Space Odyssey
39 Steps, The
8 ½
Adventures of Robin Hood, The
Alexander Nevsky
American in Paris, An
Annie Hall
Apartment, The
Apocalypse Now
Asphalt Jungle, The
Augirre: the Wrath of God
Bad and the Beautiful, The
Bad Day at Black Rock
Battleship Potemkin
Beauty and the Beast (’46)
Bicycle Thief, The
Birth of a Nation, The
Black Cat, The (Karloff/Lugosi)
Blade Runner
Blue Velvet
Bonnie and Clyde
Bride of Frankenstein
Bridge on the River Kwai
Bringing Up Baby
Cabinet of Dr. Calagari, The (‘20)
Cat People (’42)
Citizen Kane
City Lights
Clockwork Orange
Conformist, The
Conversation, The
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
Crowd, The
Day the Earth Stood Still, The
Detour (’45)
Diary of a Country Priest
Die Hard
Die Nibelungen
Dirty Harry
Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie, The
Do the Right Thing
Double Indemnity
Dr. Strangelove
Dracula (’31)
Duck Soup
Easy Rider
Exorcist, The
Eyes Without a Face
Fall of the House of Usher, The (Corman)
Flash Gordon (serial)
Fleischer Studios – animation
Footlight Parade
Forbidden Planet
French Connection
General, The (’27)
George Meilies – films
Godfather, The
Gold Rush, The
Gone With the Wind
Good, the Bad and the Ugly, The
Graduate, The
Grand Illusion, The
Grapes of Wrath, The
Gun Crazy (’50)
High Noon
High Sierra
His Girl Friday
Hitch-Hiker, The
Hustler, The
I Am a Fugitive From a Chain Gang
In the Heat of the Night
Invasion of the Body Snatchers (’56)
It Happened One Night
It’s a Wonderful Life
Jason and the Argonauts
Jules and Jim
King Kong (’33)
Kiss Me Deadly
La Dolce Vita
La Strada
Last Laugh, The
Last Year at Marienbad
Lawrence of Arabia
Lord of the Rings, The (Jackson)
Lost Horizon
Luis Bunuel – early films
Lumiere Brothers – films
M (’31)
Maltese Falcon, The
Manchurian Candidate, The
Metropolis (’27)
Mr. Hulot’s Holiday
My Man Godfrey
Night of the Living Dead
North by Northwest
Nosferatu (‘22)
Nothing But a Man
On the Waterfront
Once Upon a Time in the West
One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest
Out of the Past
Passion of Joan of Arc, The
Peeping Tom
Phantom of the Opera (’25)
Place in the Sun, A
Raging Bull
Raiders of the Lost Ark
Rear Window
Rebel Without a Cause
Red Shoes, The
Road Warrior, The
Rome: Open City
Rules of the Game, The
Sacrifice, The
Salt of the Earth
Scarface (‘32)
Searchers, The
Set-Up, The
Seven Samurai, The
Seventh Seal, The
Shock Corridor
Silence of the Lambs
Sin City
Singin’ In the Rain
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
Some Like It Hot
Sons of the Desert
Spirited Away
Star Wars
Straw Dogs
Sullivan’s Travels
Sunset Boulevard
Taxi Driver
Terminator, The
Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The
Thief of Bagdad (’24)
Thief of Bagdad (’40)
Third Man, The
Throne of Blood
To Be or Not To Be (’42)
To Kill a Mockingbird
Top Hat
Touch of Evil
Treasure of the Sierra Madre, The
Triumph of the Will, The
Wages of Fear, The
Warner Bros. cartoons – Chuck Jones
West Side Story
White Heat
Wild Bunch, The
Wild Strawberries
Wind, The
Winsor McKay – films
Wizard of Oz, The
Wolf Man, The
Woman Under the Influence, A

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Seven Samurai

This was proabably the best movie we have seen so far. For a 1954 foreign action, it seemed pretty well done. The facial expressions and exaggerated movements seemed comical. I wonder if those things seemed comical when it was originally released. The strange bald wigs were very cheesy and I would bet they seemed cheesy in 1954 also. I didn't realize it was so long....until about an hour and a half into it, I looked to see where the cursor was and unhappily slumped back on the couch. My boyfriend gave up on it after 2 hours...and he likes action movies....normally. I had to endure the rest of it alone. It really dragged on. Most of the action was in the last hour, but by that time, I was just waiting for the time to pass. It could have been way shorter.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Nov 15th

Hope you are okay.
If we are having a test in class on the 15th, will the paper still be do also?

Mid-Term Exam and Grade

Hi everybody,
I just got home from the hospital. Everything is fine and I will be back to class next Monday. I have enough information to assign grades for the mid-term. There will be an exam in class on Monday the 15th. Please review and watch the assigned films on your syllabus through week six. See you then.
Best regards, Tom

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


Hello Everyone,
I just spoke to Tom. He said the midterm will be posted here tomorrow.

Monday, November 8, 2010

just watched let the right one in. I thought it was absolutely beautiful. i love the score, character development was awesome, there was even times where you guessed what was happening but still knew. I was wondering though, during subtitles, is there a reason to why its sometimes on top then to the bottom??

Sunday, November 7, 2010


I have to say this one of the most disturbing films I have ever seen. I have heard many things about it, but after watching it I feel like I wasted two hours of my life. I do believe there are some commendable things to say about it, like thank god it was only two hours instead of three. Honestly, I was impressed with the set design and style of the piece simply based on the budget restrictions he(Lynch) was under. I also liked the quirkiness of Jack Nance. With that said, I thought not only was this movie a trip into the surreal, but I think not even David Lynch knew what he was trying accomplish. This movie should have been lost into obscurity, but people who are lost themselves and are searching for a deeper meaning in life somehow latched onto this film at the midnight showings! I will save all of you the time and energy.... this film has no meaning! There is no rhyme or reason to the chaos presented before us in this picture! I am almost inclined to think that Mr. Lynch was doing a social experiment to see if the audience can create meaning where there is none....

Let the right one in

The vampire was sexless in the remake also

Let the right one in book

Wow, those details from the book really change the story. Would you recommend the book to fans of the movie?

Thursday, November 4, 2010

let the right one in

in the remake of this was the vampire also sexless or did they not mention that?

Let The Right One In.

I finally got my invite, woot.

Anyways, I thought it would be interesting to note that in the book that Let The Right One In was based off of, Eli was originally a boy. Yep. And he/she was castrated 200 years prior to the story by a demon and turned into a vampire. So there you go. She was actually a guy.

(Oh, and her father-figure type was a pedophile in the book... creepy.)

Let the right one in

I enjoyed watching Let the right one in. Not real scary, nor did it make me squeal like a pig, but definitely an interesting story. Glad this replaced The Exorcist.

I went to the theaters today to see Let me in; however, the local theater was no longer playing it.


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Will the horror ever end???

So, "Let the Right One In" story was okay. A bit sad actually. I am still not a fan of the things that are in horror movies...like blood sucking vampires and murder in this last one. This was definately, the best of all the films we have seen so far, but given a choice, I would steer clear of dark, scary, creepy movies.

I propose we watch something sweet and happy. Like "Tammy and the Bachelor". Here is a link to the scene from it. http://www.last.fm/music/Debbie+Reynolds/_/Tammy.
This to me is very sweet and happy. I suspect some of you may feel just as horrified by this as I have by what we have watched in the last few weeks.
I guess I like to live in a happy bubble.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

just watched eraserhead

Call me crazy, but where are the normal films? I don't get these types of films. I didn't really understand it, and I just kept waiting for it to be over. I don't see the purpose.
I guess this was sort of like a science fiction, dreamlike movie. It didn't make any sense. I definitely prefer more reality based films.
I suppose from this I need to ask myself, what can I appreciate in this film? I have to think hard to come up with something....maybe the way the lighting was done - simple, black and white with very dark areas and specific lighting...or possibly the way the music was used - in the beginning was more interesting music wise. Hmmmm what else? Certainly not the story line. Possibly it was a dream of this guy, because it didn't make any sense at all at least not to me.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Cabinet of Dr. Calagari

Although I didn't feel the end was very clear as to how the inmate would be cured, it was interesting to see the full connection of the plot. This movie was easier to watch, and it was also more visually coherent. I suppose it was an elaborate fairy tale, the man was trying to escape his prison or at least define why he was there in the first place. The set design reminded me of a fantastical place, a fairy tale of sorts, and the contrast of the shapes helped the focus of the acting.


Getting into the film was considerably hard. After watching the first 30 minutes it became easier. While I was watching it, It became very easy to pick up what was about to happen. I suppose that's because we've been inundated with visual storytelling for so long. After a while the acting became integral to understanding what was going on with the mood of the film.
I have to admit that I was surprised by the effects in the robot laboratory, they were quite convencing and well executed.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

which version of "The Cabinet of Dr. Calagari" do we watch?
1919 version?
2005 version?
1962 version?

Thursday, October 7, 2010


Halloween is coming up! It’s time to select your favorite fright films. We are studying film genres this term and horror is one of our stopping-off points. List the movies that scare you the most. If you are a real fan, you can put down your Top Ten. Photos and clips are welcome. We might even watch a full length feature in class before the fateful night itself.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Media Theory & Criticism - Syllabus Fall 2010

COURSE NAME: Media Theory & Criticism
CLASS BLOG: http://mediatheorycriticism.blogspot.com
PHONE: 813-900-4759
EMAIL: thammond1946@yahoo.com
OFFICE HOURS: Before and after class
CREDITS: 3 credits

In this course, students explore the different theories and approaches to media and their impact on society and culture so as to inform and enrich their own work.



1. Understand different filmmaking theories.
2. Develop an overview of film history and the progression of various film movements.
3. Define the elements of mise-en-scene and montage.
4. Recognize the conventions of the classic “Hollywood Style”.
5. Explore the difference between celluloid and digital filmmaking.
6. Understand the difference between film genre and film style.
7. Distinguish the various uses of propaganda throughout the media.
8. Explore the impact of TV on society.
9. Analyze the ethics of non-fiction work and reality programming.
10. Understand the range of gender studies in contemporary media.
11. Understand the implications of new media content and delivery.
12. Articulate the aesthetic elements in media, past and present.
13. Identify the connection between artistic movements and their expression in cinema.

This is a directed study course. Students will learn through individual research, interaction with the instructor, suggested viewings and shared discoveries. There will be weekly assignments and four review and research papers. Professionalism will be put into practice through the students’ promptness, class attendance, willingness to create a forum for shared ideas, quality and creativity of work, and the meeting of deadlines. Specifically, grades will be based on the following criteria:

• Mid-Term Exam 20%
• Final Exam 20%
• Research & Review Papers (3) 30%
• Class Participation & Attendance 30%

Appropriate quizzes, tests, and projects will be designed to measure the achievement of the major course achievements as listed above. Instructor will specify such quizzes, tests, and projects on the syllabus to be handed out to the students at the start of the quarter of instruction. In the syllabus, weighted values in percentage will be clearly indicated by the instructor for each category of assessment.


There are three (3) papers due during the quarter. Each is worth 10% of the final grade.

Each paper will be a minimum of 1000 words, printed out, stapled and following the standard rules of good composition including the proper citing of sources.

No late papers accepted.

Paper #1 – Film Theory – Due October 25, 2010
Discover, research and define one of the major Theories of Film. Philosophical background, examples and personal opinion should be part of the paper.

Paper #2 – Genre Study – Due November 15, 2010
Select a film genre, other than the one covered in class, and discuss it in terms of its history, origins, proponents and representative examples. Also include a review of a film that fits into this category.

Paper #3 – The Auteur Theory – Due December 6, 2010
Select a director whose main body of work was prior to 1990 and discuss their filmography in relation to the Auteur Theory. Cite at least three (3) films as examples to make your case either for or against the Theory. It is expected that you will watch these movies.


There are three areas of participation, each worth 10% of the final grade.

In-class Discussion
Blog Posting & Comments

Joining, posting and making comments on the Class Blog is a component of the Participation Requirement.

A (93-100)
A- (90-92)
Outstanding participation. The student is actively engaged in every facet of the class. He/She comes to every class session ready to engage in informed discussion based on a thorough and critical reading of their homework assigned material (if applicable), and he/she maintains complete critical reading notes and brings it to every class session and keeps copies of everything in their journal. The student makes extraordinary contribution to the class through consistently thoughtful, well focused, and original examples. The student works collaboratively with his/her classmates and instructor and the student seeks assistance should he/she need it. The student misses no classes.

Very Good/Good
B+ (87-89)
B (83-86)
B- (80-82)
Good participation. The student is actively engaged in most facets of the class. He/She comes to every class session ready to engage in informed discussion based on a careful reading of the assigned material, and he/she maintains substantial number of critical reading notes and brings it to most class sessions. The student makes a solid contribution to the class through regular relevant and thoughtful comments, questions and examples. The student works collaboratively with his/her classmates and instructor and the student is likely to seek assistance should he/she need it. The student misses the maximum of one class.

C+ (77-79)
C (73-76)
C- (70-72)
Average participation. The student is actively engaged in some facet of the class. He/She comes to many class sessions ready to engage in informed discussion based on a general reading of the assigned material, including few critical reading notes and brings it to many class sessions. The student makes a contribution to the class through general, incomplete and/or tangential comments. The student, for the most part, works collaboratively with his/her classmates and instructor and is not likely to seek assistance on his/her own. The student misses two class sessions.

Below Average
D (60-64)
Poor participation. The student rarely demonstrated an active engagement in some facets of the class. He/She comes to many class sessions unprepared for informed discussion, and his/her critical reading notes are substantially incomplete and rarely bring it to the class sessions. The student does not collaborate with his/her classmates and instructor and the student is not likely to seek assistance on his/her own or even with direction. The student misses two-three class sessions.

F (0-59)
Unacceptable participation. The student is not an active member of the class.

Grading Criteria: (i.e. thoroughness, neatness, concept, design, execution, professionalism, presentation, craft, cleanliness, following instructions) applies to all presentations and individual assignments. Handwritten work, no matter how neat you think it is, is not accepted. This is college and all work must be typed. Submission of handwritten work will not even be considered and will receive an F (0) for that assignment.

Grading Scale: A= 93-100, A-= 90-92, B+= 87-89, B= 83-86, B-= 80-82, C+= 77-79, C= 73-76,
C-= 70-72, D+= 65-69, D= 60-64, F= 0-59

Late Work: Since this course is dealing with industry success, all projects will be due on the date assigned and at the beginning of all classes. Late work will not be accepted. It will be an F/0. If schedule problems occur, notify the professor before any and all due dates. Putting the “final touches” on your homework/assignments such as stapling, printing out, mounting, cutting or even putting your name on the assignment, etc., prior to the start of class or during break is considered late (therefore an F/0). Regardless of when the work is collected, it should be 100% complete when you walk into class.

Attendance: The Art Institute of Tampa policy requires students to attend a minimum of 82% (36 hours) of scheduled course hours in order to receive a passing grade in a course. Attendance is taken twice throughout the class. If you arrive after attendance is completed, it will be marked down as half (1/2) an absence. Missing two classes will result in a lowering of your grade by at least one full grade. Missing more than two classes will result in the failing of this class.

Sleeping in Class: Sleeping in class is not permitted and will not be tolerated. If you are falling, or are a sleep, you will simply be asked to leave the class for the day and will be marked absent for the entire day.

Email: Check often, relay the information to your classmates. Ultimately you are responsible for checking email and following up with the instructor if you not receiving assignments, notes and correspondence for the class via email. It is CRITICAL you start the semester off fresh by clearing out your student account and adjust your forwarding address if necessary. I will correspond with the class quite often via email. Again, check often, relay the information to your classmates and ultimately you are responsible for checking your email. **Let’s exchange information now**

Plagiarism: Plagiarism will not be tolerated and may lead to immediate expulsion from the class and/or college. Plagiarism includes taking words, ideas, or artwork from anyone else and presenting it as your own or not citing properly in accordance with APA Style Guide.

Food/Beverages: Food and non-sealed beverage containers are NOT permitted in any classroom, lab or studio.

Cell Phones and other electronic devices: Cell phone usage is not permitted in any classroom, lab or studio. All cell phones, beepers, games, two-way radios (Nextel), or any other communication device must be turned off before entering the classroom. Leaving the class to take/make a phone call is not permitted unless it is an absolute medical emergency. If you do, you will be marked absent for the entire day. If I see you sending text messages, IMing or playing games or doing anything with any phone or electronic device you will be told to leave the class for the remainder of the day and you will marked absent for the entire day. Leaving devices in silent or vibrate mode is not permitted and text messaging during class is not allowed. In other words, turn all devices completely off and forget you even have them with you for just a few hours. Please take a moment to shut everything off now.

Add/Drop: The first six (6) academic days (not including Saturdays, Sundays and holidays) of each quarter are designated as the schedule adjustment period. During this time, students may make registration adjustments (adding, dropping, or changing days/times of courses) without financial penalty.

Holidays: This quarter has no holidays for this class.

Suggested Text(s):
Image and Representation: Key Concepts in Media Studies – Ken Lacey
Amusing Ourselves to Death – Neil Postman
Hardboiled America – Lurid Paperbacks and the Masters of Noir – Geoffrey O’Brien
The Major Film Theories: An Introduction – Dudley Andrew

Required Items and Supplies:
• Netflix Subscription – All movies for required viewing are “streamable” on Netflix. The first month is free and every month after that is $9. Total cost for the quarter = $18.00

ADA Statement: To meet the needs of our students with disabilities, The Art Institute offers reasonable accommodations for qualified students with disabilities. Students or applicants who would like to request reasonable accommodations should contact the Student Services Coordinator for the school. Students with disabilities are encouraged to contact your instructor and the Dean of Student Affairs in advance of the quarter of study when accommodations are needed.

Saving Work: It is the student’s responsibility to save his or her work to disk. Multiple copies should be saved and verified prior to leaving the classroom. The teacher is in no way responsible for the work saved on hard drives, nor is he/she bound to give an extension on work improperly saved. The hard drives will get purged regularly. Students are expected to back up all work. Loss, theft, computer failure, etc. are not acceptable excuses.

Syllabus Changes: Syllabus is subject to change at the instructor’s discretion. Awareness of these changes is the student’s responsibility


WEEK 1 Monday, October 4
Introductions, Student Data, Course Overview/Survey
Theory and Practice:
• Overview of Film History and Media Theory
• Silent Cinema
• Technology and the Language of Film
Theory vs. Criticism
Viewing: Films of the Lumiere Bros. and George Melies
Assignment: “Metropolis”
Readings: Lacey – Chapter 1

WEEK 2: Monday, October 11
Theory and Practice
• Discussion of assigned viewings and readings
• Silent film and the development of montage
• Development of classic technique and the Hollywood Style of editing
• Expressionism in film
Viewing: Early Avant Garde Films
Assignment: “The Cabinet of Dr. Calagari”
Readings: Lacey – Chapter 2

WEEK 3: Monday, October 18
Theory and Practice
• Discussion of assigned viewings and readings
• Mise en scene
• Surrealism in film
Viewing: “Un Chien Andalou” & “L’Age D’Or”
Assignment: “Eraserhead”
Readings: Lacey – Chapter 3

WEEK 4: Monday, October 25
Paper #1 Due
Theory and Practice:
• Discussion of assigned viewings and readings
• Introduction to Genre Studies
• The Horror Film – origins and progression
Viewing: Horror Scene Compilation
Assignment: “The Exorcist”
Readings: Lacey – Chapter 4

WEEK 5: Monday, November 1
Theory and Practice:
• Discussion of assigned viewings and readings
• Genre vs. Style
• Film Noir – origins and history
Viewing: Film Noir Scene Compilation
Assignment: “Night and the City”
Readings: Lacey – Chapter 5

WEEK6: Monday, November 8
Mid-Term Exam
Theory and Practice:
• Discussion of assigned viewings and readings
• The Auteur Theory of Film
• Akira Kurosawa - a survey of his work
Viewing: A Kurosawa Sampler
Assignment: “The Seven Samurai”
Readings: Lacey – Chapter 6

WEEK 7: Monday, November 15
Paper #2 Due
Theory and Practice:
• Discussion of assigned viewings and readings
• Introduction to Gender Studies in media
• Sex and censorship in film
Viewing: Scenes from “The Devils”
Assignment: “This Film is Not Yet Rated”
Readings: Postman &O’Brien

WEEK 8: Monday, November 22
Theory and Practice:
• Discussion of assigned viewings and readings
• Introduction to Non-Fiction Films and Documentary Theory
• Propaganda and Society
Viewing: Scenes from “Triumph of the Will”
Assignment: “The Cove”
Readings: Postman & O’Brien

WEEK 9: Monday, November 29
Theory and Practice:
• Discussion of assigned viewings and readings
• Television – history and influence
• The ethics of Reality Programming
Viewing: Early TV Compilation
Assignment: “Network”
Readings: Postman &O’Brien

WEEK 10: Monday, December 6
Paper #3 Due
Theory and Practice:
• Discussion of assigned viewings and readings
• The Artist & The Audience
• The Artist’s Obligation
Viewing: A Fellini Sampler
Assignment: “8½”
Readings: Postman & O’Brien

WEEK 11: Monday, December 13
Final Exam:
Final Critique:
• Class evaluation

COURSE NAME: Media Theory and Criticism

• I have completely read and fully understand the contents of this syllabus
• I take full responsibility for living up to these obligations including, but not limited to attendance, participation, notes, quizzes, projects, etc.
• I will ask for help/assistance (both in and out of class) if needed

Student Signature: _______________________________

Print Name: ____________________________________

Date: _________________________________________

Instructor Signature: _____________________________

Print Name: ____________________________________

Date: _________________________________________

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Credits for "The Other Guys"

Just thought it was interesting


I was under the impression that the information for the final would be posted here on the blog.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Monday, September 13, 2010

Jewel of the Himalaya

per request here is the link to my Bhutan video, Enjoy, again and again and again...


Martin Sellers

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Ethics of Cooperation & Collaboraton in the Film Industry

Interesting story!  I was looking through my old school folders, and I found this paper that I wrote for Contemporary Moral Issues over one year ago.  It seems to incorporate some of the things we've been talking about lately in class, and so I'd like to post it up.  Try not to tear it too many new ones; after all, it wasn't a HUGE paper.  In fact, I think it was my first paper since English class in good ol' '08.  Oh, and if any of the cast or crew of "Samurai" end up reading this -- it was over a year ago, I hold none of the grudges which were fresh at the time of this essay.


The film industry: a fast-paced, cut-throat business in which creativity flourishes through processes both methodical and ludicrous. Thousands of man-hours go into the production of just one movie, and the cost that goes into that production is, at heart, a gamble on the odds that said movie will become a box-office hit. For months – sometimes even years – writers, directors, producers, cinematographers, gaffers, cameramen, actors, editors, and many others devote all of their efforts to a single creation, joining forces and coming together in a harmonious group colloquially referred to as the “cast and crew.” Without the synergy of everyone involved, an Emmy Award-winning feature film would never be possible. All for one, and one for all: working together is the most important aspect when it comes to creating a movie that is truly awe-inspiring, and collaborating for the benefit of all is what is morally “right” in today's film industry.

Just as Rome was not built in a day, a good film cannot be made without the joint efforts of every single member of the cast and crew. When someone in the ranks fails to get with the program, chaos ensues; as a filmmaker myself, I have seen it with my own two eyes. While producing a short film in college for my Digital Cinematography course, this happened more than once with more than one person. During preproduction, both the secondary actor and the Assistant Director of Photography wanted to write the script their own way, rejecting both the writer's and director's views on multiple occasions. Because of this, pre-production was drastically delayed by several weeks.

When the production process finally came around, the same secondary actor either arrived on the set late without notice, or did not arrive at all, which delayed production even further. Meanwhile, the Director of Photography proved to be extremely unprofessional in his refusal to consult the storyboards from pre-production as he filmed each and every scene; needless to say, this caused more delays yet, forcing everyone to have to spend precious time (that could have been spent completing new scenes) on filming retakes, some of which taking place even in the very last hours of production.

Due to all of these unprecedented hold-ups, the person in charge of post-production was left with a very diminutive timespan in which to put the finishing touches on the movie, resulting in significantly lower quality of the overall piece.

If each member of the crew – be it the tardy secondary actor, the dissentious Assistant Director of Photography, or the unprofessional Director of Photography – had used his or her time wisely and had become dedicated to the success of the finished product, then the movie very well would have been just that: a success. Instead, everyone took a hit as the movie proved to be less than what it could have been.

Of course, many people would argue that a short film project conspired by a small group of college students is hardly an unquestionable authority. Therefore, I would like to cite a passage regarding the early 20th-century filmmaker David Llewelyn Wark “D.W.” Griffith (1875-1948) from the book Lives and Legacies: Artists, Writers, and Musicians (Bossy, Brothers, McEnroe, 2001):

“Griffith . . . introduced several techniques that would become standard in later films. . . . His complex editing techniques, . . . inspired . . . avant-garde filmmakers of the next generation . . .” (p. 81). The short biography goes on to say, “Although he was a commanding figure in the film industry, Griffith's unbridled egotism and . . . attitudes increasingly isolated him from the Hollywood mainstream” (p. 81).

D.W. Griffith is commonly accepted as one of the most important people involved in turning the medium of film into a means of personal and artistic expression. Even so, his own individualistic tendencies caused him to stand alone on the fringes of the film industry, which may very well have held him back from even greater artistic achievements. This is an assumption, of course; but one rooted in the knowledge that cooperation yields a greater-quality outcome than simply working alone. To quote Ken Blanchard, “None of us is as smart as all of us” (“Heart Quotes,” 2007).

It is understandable, though, for one to lean more toward individualism, when many of today's businesspeople have simply become cogs in the machine, buzzing around like busy little drones without anything to let them stand above and beyond everyone else. Plenty of fresh faces in the film industry want the instant gratification of establishing themselves in the business as soon as possible, in hopes of becoming just like the next George Lucas or Steven Spielberg, right out of college. Even some veterans of the industry have been guilty of thinking this way at one time or another.

To further illustrate my point, I have included the following section. This section is an unofficial transcript, retrieved from an article by Paul Bracchi on the TV & Showbiz section of the MailOnline website, of an audio recording regarding actor Christian Bale on the set of Terminator Salvation in New Mexico, after Director of Photography Shane Hurlbut reportedly entered Bale's field of vision and disrupted his acting:

BALE: ... kick your f*****' a*s! I want you off the f*****' set, you p****!
HURLBUT: I'm sorry.
BALE: No, don't just be sorry! Think for one f*****' second! What the f*** are you doing? Are you professional or not?
HURLBUT: Yes, I am.
BALE: Do I f*****' walk around and rip down - no, shut the f*** up, Bruce! Do I walk - no! Nnno! Don't shut me up!
BALE: Am I gonna walk around and rip your f*****' lights down? In the middle of a scene? Then why the f*** are you walkin' right through? 'Oh, dah-dah, dah-dah,' like this in the background. What the f*** is it with you? What don't you f*****' understand? You got any f*****' idea about, hey, it's f*****' distracting having somebody walkin' up behind Bryce in the middle of the f*****' scene? Gimme a f*****' answer! What don't you get about it?
HURLBUT: I was looking at the light.
BALE: Ohhhhh, goooood for you! And how was it? I hope it was f*****' good, because it's useless now, isn't it?
BALE: F***'s sake, man, you're amateur. McG, you have f*****' somethin' to say to this *****?
DIRECTOR JOSEPH 'McG' McGINTY NICHOL: I didn't see it happen.
BALE: Well, somebody should be f*****' watchin' him and keepin' an eye on him.
McG: Fair enough.
BALE: It's the second time that he doesn't give a f*** about what is goin' on in front of the camera. All right? I'm tryin' to f*****' do a scene here and I'm goin': 'Why the f*** is Shane walkin' in there? What is he doin' there?' Do you understand, my mind is not in the scene if you're doin' that.
HURLBUT: I absolutely apologise. I'm sorry, I did not mean anything by it.
BALE: Stay off the f*****' set, man. For f***'s sake. Right, let's go again. No, let's not take a f*****' minute, let's go again! And let's not have you f*****' walkin' in! Can I have Tom put this on, please?
McG: Tom, wardrobe, please. Can I have Tom, wardrobe?
BALE: You're unbelievable, man. You're un-f*****'-believable. Number of times you're strollin' around in the background. I've never had a DP behave like this. Ahhhhh, you don't f*****' understand what it's like workin' with actors, that's what that is.
HURLBUT: No, that's not.
BALE: That's what that is, man, I'm tellin' you! I'm not askin', I'm tellin' you. You wouldn't have done that otherwise.
HURLBUT: No, what it is, is looking at the light, and making sure that you were. . .
BALE: [sound of something being knocked over] I'm gonna f*****' kick your f*****' a*s if you don't shut up for a second, alright?
VARIOUS VOICES: Christian, Christian, Christian, Christian, it's cool, it's cool.
BALE: I'm gonna go, you want me to f*****' trash your lights? Do you want me to f*****' trash 'em? Then why are you trashin' my scene?
HURLBUT: I'm not tryin' to trash.
BALE: You are trashin' my scene! You do it one more f*****' time, and I ain't walkin' on this set if you're still hired. I'm f*****' serious. You're a nice guy! You're a nice guy! But that don't f*****' cut it when you're ***********' and ******' around like this on set!
McG: I got it, I know, I get it.
BALE: Yeah, you might get it, he doesn't f*****' get it! You might. He! Does! Not! Get it!
McG: I know. Good adjustments, OK? For real. Honestly. I get it. Just walk for five seconds, just for five seconds.
BALE: No, I don't need any f*****' walkin'! He needs to stop walkin'!
McG: I get that!
BALE: I ain't the one walkin'! Let's get Tom and put this back on, let's go again. Seriously, man, you and me, we're f*****' done professionally. F*****' a*s.
It is no rare occurrence when a big-time actor like Christian Bale develops an inflated ego; however, Bale later made a public apology on the British radio station KROQ, saying, “I acted like a punk,” and, “I was out of order beyond belief. I make no excuses for it” (BBC News, “Actor Bale speaks out over rant,” 2009).

Where would Christian be, without a Director of Photography? Where would any actor be without the lighting crews and makeup artists? Where would all of the big-time directors, producers, and writers be without the cameraworkers, set designers, and post-production engineers?

Not in film.

Because, without the cooperation among cast and crew members, there would be no film.

It takes a little something from everyone to turn an idea into an award-winning blockbuster. When we all work together, an amazing thing happens, and something small gains the ability to evolve into something truly spectacular. That is why cooperation and collaboration in the film industry is the right thing to do.

The infamous NFL coach Vince Lombardi (1913-1970) – ESPN's “Coach of the Century” – who is known for both his unmarred victory record and his inspirational quotes, once said, “Individual commitment to a group effort – that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work” (Estate of Vince Lombardi, “The Official Website of Vince Lombardi,” 2003).

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Frontline: Digital Nation

There were a few aspects that I found very interesting. Technology has taken over our life, it makes our life easy but at the same time it takes us away from the people around us, like family. If you ask me, I prefer the real word. I don't reject the idea of internet as a trainig tool or as a communication aid, but I think is better and has more significance to met or have a relationship in real life. I have always loved to read books, but technology has just increased my ability to get a hold of more (the Kindle). The internet helps me keep in tough with my family, who all live 3,500 miles away. In my opinion, technology and the internet are not at the fualt of all these people becoming addicted and distracted. I believe they lack the parental guidance to learn what are healthy actions and what are not.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Dear Zachary

You should totally watch this documentary. It is so shocking.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Amazing Documentary

Everyone should check out the documentary called "The Union". It's done by a Canadian film company and well....check out the link to see ---


It's somewhat long but so amazingly informational, really groundbreaking stuff

Another Good Documentary: The Pixar Story

The Pixar Story Pictures, Images and Photos

I caught this documentary on MSNBC and thought it was amazing. It was awesome to see the earliest animations of Buzz and Woody and all of the stuff that the guys at Pixar went through to achieve success. It's definitely a must see. Let me know what you guys think if you get a chance to see it or what documentaries you think are awesome.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Brokeback Mountain

While the film is set in the Big Horn Mountains of Wyoming, it was filmed almost entirely in the Canadian Rockies in southern Alberta. The "Brokeback Mountain" in the film is so named because the mountain has the same swayback curve as a brokeback horse or mule, which is swaybacked or sagging in the spine, is actually a composite of Mount Lougheed south of the town of Canmore to Fortress and Moose Mountain in Kananaskis Country. The campsites were filmed at Goat Creek, Upper Kananaskis Lake, Elbow Falls and Canyon Creek, also in Alberta. Other scenes were also filmed in Cowley, Fort Macleod, and Calgary. The film was shot during the summer of 2004.

Mark Wahlberg declined the starring role, saying he turned down the opportunity because he was "a little creeped out" by the homosexual themes and sex scene.

By: Sophia Juarbe

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Since this week's discussion is about sex and censorship in film, I found an article that fits quite nicely with this subject matter. It's about some of the hidden sexual innuendos in some of the cartoons we all enjoyed when we were younger. Below is a video from the Flinstones which was one of my favorites growing up.

Here's a link to the full article.
My Rating System

After seeing This Film Is Not Yet Rated, specifically the scenes with Darren Aronofsky and Kevin Smith, I was inspired to develop my own rating system much like the filmmakers do in the film.

Mission: To inform potential movie goers, in a summarized form, about the content they are interested in viewing. This rating system does not restrict viewing in any way, only informs the potential viewer. Only films of feature length, released either in Theaters, Film Festivals, or straight DVD will be rated. The "Adult" rating does not refer to pornography, nor are any films categorized as pornography subject to be rated.

C- Children: Films rated "C" are mainly, if not solely, comprised of content that appeals to children under the age of 7. Films rated "C" are void of curse words, acts of gratuitous violence or hate. If a film implies an act of violence it is more likely to be rated "C," then one that displays it.

F- Family: Films rated "F" are mainly, if not solely, comprised of content that appeals to people of a variety of ages, ethnicities, creeds, and sexes. Films centered around characters in a family setting are likely to be rated "F."
T- Teen: Films rated "T" are mainly, if not solely, comprised of content that appeals to people between the ages of 13 and 19, but also to a variety of ethnicities, creeds, and sexes. Films centered around characters between the ages of 13 and 19 are likely to be rated "F." Films rated "T" have no restrictions on language.

M- Mature: Film's rated "M" can appeal to all demographics, but feature violence, strong language, and sexual content. There are no age restrictions on films rated "M." Films that feature the above mentioned elements, are likely to receive a "M" rating if the elements are implied.

A- Adult: Film's rated "A" can appeal to all demographics, but feature violence, strong language, and sexual content in a literal presentation. There are no age restrictions on films rated "A."

D- Documentary: Films rated "D" are not categorized as fiction and feature non scripted performances by those telling the story. "D" film can feature any content they so wish, and are not subject to the above ratings. If the film contains content that would typically be categorized as an "A" or "M" film, the movie must feature a brief list of it's content in the film's marketing campaign.

What's Yours?
Please tell me what you think of my proposal, and perhaps suggest your own.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Film Noir w/ a twist

Who Framed Roger Rabbit Pictures, Images and Photos

Even though it's a bit of a stretch, I think "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" falls in the category of film noir. It has elements that most, if not all noirs have in common: the detective, the beautiful and seductive woman, and of course, the dramatic use of shadow (especially seen in scenes inside the detective's office).

The best part is, Who framed Roger Rabbit 2 comes out in 2012!

Research Paper

Action Flicks:

The testosterone driven cheap thrill of

mega explosions.

The action flick is a classic style of movie making that was popularized in the 70’s and 80’s and even the 90's. They hold a special place in my heart for two reasons, one, I’m a man and this is how it should be. Two, my earliest memories of television and movies are those of Rambo, The Terminator, Under Siege, Braveheart, Conan the Barbarian,True Lies, Die Hard, and countless others. My childhood heroes were Arnold Schwarzenegger, Stallone, Bruce Willis, Clint Eastwood, Steven Segal. I loved action movies as a kid and I still love them today. The best thing about an action flick is reliving that childish joy of seeing stuff get blown up and the bad guys getting beat up by your favorite action hero. There’s nothing like it, it’s almost primal and instinctual. I have a complete ten part criteria on what makes a good action flick but I’m going to focus the three most important elements of an action flick, over the top unbelievable action sequences, one liners and payoffs, and fighting is the answer to everything.

One of the biggest and most blaringly obvious things that define the action genre is well, action. Not just any action though, I’m talking over the top, bust your balls, edge of your seat, nigh impossible, heart pounding, head exploding, visual feast of moving cinema! This is what separates a manly man’s movie from Suzy’s tea party with friends bull crap that seems to plague the silver screen these days. The hero is put into an impossible situation and through incredible feats of strength, skill, luck, and pure hairy chest manliness, he manages to beat these impossible odds and do it with style. The biggest thing to remember about this is to suspend your disbelief, of course this crap is impossible, FOR YOU, but not for any action hero worth his manly salt. That’s what’s awesome about it, you can’t do it and even if you could you can’t get to see the awesomeness of it from the outside when you’re so busy missile diving through fiery explosions; they can and you get to watch it all go down. As an obligatory note, I must mention that all action sequences must end an explosion, violent kill, or combination thereof.

Usually precluding the climax of a great action sequence is one of the most iconic things of action flicks ever conceived and is rivaled by no other genre, either out of taste or pure lack of the ability to contain such pure unbridled manliness. I’m talking about one liners and pay offs. I can’t begin to express the skull crushing joy I feel when one of my favorite action heroes lets one these bad boys loose right before the fiery explosion filled climax to every good action movie. The best one liners are usually those that have been set up earlier in the movie, the hero will usually learn a phrase, mention something offhandedly, or even say something that defines his character as a whole. One of the most infamous and successful one liners to ever be utter by an action hero was “Hasta la vista, baby!” coined by none other than the terminator himself Arnold Schwarzenegger. I can remember so many people repeating this and countless parodies of it ensued. One liners are like the match that sets of the heaping mountain of explosives sitting directly on top of the main bad guys forehead and is always the most memorable part of any action movie. Everything builds up that one moment and a One liner personifies the climax of an action movie. Nothing is more manly than being able bust one of these volatile explosion starters out when you need to and flex those rippling muscles of manly genius.

However, at the end of the day talk is cheap and there’s only one thing left to do, kick some ass. The single most important thing about any and all action flicks is that the answer to everything no matter what, is either punching, shooting, blowing up, or down right annihilating everything in your way. It’s the action hero code of conduct. If there isn’t a way out, fight your way out, if your opponent is smarting than you punch him in the head and give him brain damage, if you’re outnumbered you’re never outnumbered just kick all their asses, and finally, when all else fails just dig deep down into the pits of your primal and beastly reserves of manly fortitude and find a way to blow something up in a fiery and spectacular way and MAKE everything else work. In any true action movie, violence isn’t just the answer, it’s the ONLY answer. So sack up some balls of steel, grab the nearest sexy woman near you, and go get your daily dose of pure unrefined testosterone driven thrill ride of mega explosions and manliness and go see an action flick today!