Monday, September 29, 2014

Film Aesthetics - Mise-en-scene in Dogville

Write a post exploring one specific aspect of mise-en-scene in the film, specifically looking at how that aspect functions in relation to the whole film. You could consider how it relates to and reflects the theme, story, and/or characters. Your choices are setting/props, costumes/make-up, lighting, and staging/acting.

It will be helpful to you to come up with a a very specific thesis, for example: "The way that the sets are designed and shot helps to reflect the idea that Grace is trapped in this town, and makes the viewer feel trapped as well." You then want to give several specific examples of this (fully explained) from the film. DO NOT try to give every single detail about your chosen aspect - I'd rather you be more in depth with your explanation of one idea than try to broadly explain everything.

Feel free to use still images to help illustrate your points. Length does not need to be long - it can be a few hundred words. I'm more concerned with quality rather than quantity.

Posts due Monday, Oct 6th. No comments are required for this particular post.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Film History - Birth of Cinema Blog Post - EXTRA CREDIT

There are two parts to your first blog post:

Part 1 - Pretend you are a person living in the late 1800s to early 1900s and write an article or letter in their voice about one of the films we have screened from our Birth of Cinema Unit. Try to imagine what someone seeing it for the first time (and at that time) would notice or want to say about it.  Don't worry so much about using language that sounds like it's from the time period (though you certainly could do some research by reading some things written in that time).  The list of films is below.  Keep in mind that the music we heard during our screening was not necessarily what someone at the time would have heard (though there would have been some kind of music played along with many of those films).

Part 2 - Now from your own 21st century mind write briefly about why you wrote what you wrote - why do think someone from that time period would have that type of reaction or experience? Why did you choose that film to write about?

Your post is due by Tues, Sept 30.  You need to make sure that you have emailed me the link to your blog BEFORE THEN.  I will put the DVDs in the library so if you'd like to give it another watch you can do so (you cannot check them out, you have to sign them out to watch in the library).  You might be able to find some of them posted on-line, too. You could also respond to one of the shorts on the collections that WE DID NOT watch in class (if you watch it on your own).

Edison's Shorts
Lumiere's Actualities
Pathe Films (instructional - Russia, Dogs)
Mutoscope "Blue" Films
Melies: A Trip to the Moon, The Infernal Boiling Pot, Four Troublesome Heads
RW Paul/Walter R Booth : Extraordinary Cab Accident, The (?) Motorist
GA Smith: Grandma's Reading Glass, As Seen Through a Telescope
Edwin S. Porter: The Great Train Robbery, Dreams of a Rarebit Fiend

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Film Aesthetics - Life Lessons

For your first blog post, choose one (or more if you want) cinematic tool that is utilized in the film Life Lessons and trace how it functions throughout the whole film.  How does it relate to story, character or theme? Make sure to think about the questions we outlined in class to help you write in-depth analysis, and keep in mind that really we're talking about your interpretation (which may not be the filmmaker's intent). I'd also suggest that you keep your element to one and really exploit every possible aspect rather than try to skim over a bunch.  For example, if you are interested in sound I'd focus on JUST MUSIC or JUST EFFECTS, and not try to tackle both unless you want to write a much longer blog.

You can, if you want, also include your opinion on whether or not you think this use works.  If you do so you will want to clearly explain why you think it is or isn't successful (I didn't like it doesn't work) and back that up with why it is not functioning within the film.  You might also want to explain an example that is successful (maybe another film uses the iris effect more successfully, in your mind). 

Don't forget - it still might be helpful to put a brief synopsis, and make sure you clearly describe any examples you put in.  Also make sure if you cite any reference materials you put that into your blog post somehow!

For those of you who are making new blogs, be sure that I have your blog address so I can link it here and we can all find it. You can email me the link or put it in a comment here to this posting. Your blog should be live and your post should be up by beginning of MPA block on Thurs, 9/25.

You should post up some feedback on at least two other blog posts (for Life Lessons) by start of MPA block on 9/29.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Film History - Blog Homework - Find Critical Analysis

Welcome to the MPA Blog!

Please be sure to post up the film critical analysis example you found as a comment to this blog post. This is due by class time Friday, Sept 19. You should have create your blog by Tues, Sept 23 and EMAIL ME the link so that I can add it to this blog over on the right.

And now, just for fun...