Lul-Film : CLUB [ film, film-north, film with Anatoly ]
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Way back when I made those pages I thought that I will have time to write my notes... Well, I do not have time to write -- and even to see films. I have no time for Film Club and for Film Festival...
I have no time... to think.
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Notes2003: Citizen Kane in class.
Folks, I started this page long ago for the UAF Film Club (I don't have time for them now) -- so, instead of making a new page, I will write a few words on my selections of films (videos and DVD).[See Listings at the bottom of the page]
I list only the titles I show in my classes (or would like to show), mostly the classics. I would like to have a vew separate lists to explain (show) the reasons, why I include this or that film. Mainly, because the goals of each course is different. In the 200X Aesthetics: Theatre, Art, Music Through Film -- an introduction to the language of cinema. In Film Directing is the practical applications of film theory. In Film & Drama -- the aim is to study the film narrative. In Film of the North -- the specifics (or even metaphysics) of the northern film schools. And so on...
Keep it in mind, when you go through the listings (same with the books), or better check the classes directory).
From somewhere in the past:
Yes, my friend, there are films and there are movies in this world. I post here the notes I take for films I show in my classes and for the Film Club discussions.
I still struggle with the idea of including American film-makers into the Films of the North. In my directing class I have them -- Lynch, Tarantino, Cameron, Coppola.
“Zentropa” is a German film that won the jury prize at the Cannes Film Festival in 1996. It became known for the stylistic way in which it shows the story of a young American man looking for a job in Germany, 1945. According to Sean Bledsoe, the Film Club Vice President, the film is a must see.
“It really pushes convention, he said, “The whole movie is a hypnosis session and the audience are the ones being hypnotized. We’re trying to get people to read films instead of just simply watching them. Films like ‘Zentropa’ help.”
The Film Club has been known for choosing films that try to make artistic statements and entertain at the same time. With a list of movies that include David Lynch’s “Lost Highway,” Martin Scorcese’s, “The Last Temptation of Christ,” and Jean-Pierre Jeunot’s, “City of Lost Children,” the reputation comes well deserved says Tracy Campbell, the Film Club’s official Scribe.
“The movies we show are all the same in the fact that they all have a main question and try to explore possible answers, but urposefully leave you asking more questions. They become conversations instead of lectures. Too many mainstream films today just preach at you.”
The Film Club came into existence in the fall of 1997 with its screening of “Lost Highway,” and began moving its efforts more towards film-making with the “Black Days White Nights Film Festival” held annually on Valentine’s Day weekend. The festival includes screenings as well as film-making workshops and is held in the Great Hall Salisbury Theatre. This year’s festival theme is “Russian - America, American - Russia” contrasting the difference between the two country’s films about one another.
Not all the movies shown by the Film Club are of a serious nature however says Bledsoe.
“Last year for the festival we showed ‘Barbarella,’ and ‘Friday the Thirteenth’ just for fun,” he said, “There are a lot of fun films out there that are worth watching just for they way they tell the story.”
Film club members enjoy free screenings and popcorn (when available), and partake in discussions following each film. Meetings are held every Sunday at noon in theatre room 101 at UAF. The schedule for screenings after “Zentropa,” include Hal Hartly’s “Trust” on Nov. 28, and Francis Ford Coppola’s “The Conversation” on Dec. 12. The film schedule for next semester has yet to be set.
To learn more about the Film Club or to get on their e-mail list check the Film Club website at http://members.tripod.com/~afronord/club.html
[They, the film students, graduated already]
-Burnt by the Sun -Lost Highway -Dead Man -Natural Born Killers -Lolita -The Shining -Barbarella -Friday the 13th -Casablanca -Man Bites Dog -The Last Temptation of Christ -Easy Rider -City of Lost Children -Blue Velvet
*Nov. 14 - Zentropa -Nov. 28 - Trust -Dec. 12- The Conversation
My Notes (Anatoly):
Blake passages, "Some are born to sweet delight; some are born to endless night." Are there symbols of Blake? Milton?
When Blake is surprised that Nobody knows, they are being followed, Nobody explains, "The evil stench of white man precedes him."
White is not a color or skin, but the taste of thought.
Culture of Violence: violence as language (media). America is a real birth place of film.
[Violence as comedy. Spaghetti westerns were always comical in their stupidity.]
PM: Western as Reality. The spectators know the simulacra, not life; so the art reflects of their "life" -- which is fiction. They are ideological creatures. Never killed anyone, or even shot at a man, never rode on the horseback, never were shot at. They fantasized about living, about being male, about being a hero. Western is a sublimation prescribed by Dr. Freud. "Dead Man" is a reflection of this American ideology.
Dreams easily turn into lies. American Dream. Cowboy -- a folk hero. What were his qualities for a hero? Simplicity or stupidity. Where is he now? Gone. What is left is a cult of physical power. Who is the target? Another man. not nature anymore, it's domesticated.
An accountant turned into a serial killer. If Cleveland wasn't dead enough. Dead = money. "Stupid White Man" -- they don't live. They are dead before they die.
They point their gun at men, because they are impotent. There are no women in Westerns. Woman is a whore, good for sex only. But they could sex with each other. The World Wrestling Federation -- the fakers. Bodybuilders are in love with their bodies, spending more time pumping up than a woman on her makeup.
No birth, only KILLING. The only action and activity they know and capable. America: Men Without Women. Coexistence.
Of course, they eat each other. Screwed up Animals. Cannibalism of a bounty hunter.
"The Machine" city -- without Soul. Inferno isn't a metaphor, we made it in a reality. We build the Hell, calling it Civilization. No pity? Easy. No feelings. Period. Only fear (Aristotle) -- that's a prescription for hell. Love in paradise is killing, a mercy (Indian). Return to the world of spirits. Being Dead is blessing in the kingdom of Death.
There's no time in hell. No reason, no logic. Composition: use of fade-to-black to represents the passage of time. These fades were frequently and consistently used, and they produced a unifying effect (reference to b&w films). During the occasional recollection scenes, Jim Jarmusch negates the fade, going to white to indicate a memory....
Dead deer. Looks like DYING deer.
Who are they, American Indians? They are not smarter or deeper, they are still mortals, living and that's their purpose for existence. Nobody (Gary Farmer): What is yours?
Eight Eyes of God (including Milton, the awakened Humanity, the only idea of the Supreme Being that will remain after the Last Judgment), according to Blake.
Image of the invisible God (Christ) -- cinema, visions.
The painter maintains in his work a natural distance from reality, the cameraman penetrates deeply into its web. There is a tremendous difference between the pictures they obtain. That of the painter is a total one, that of the cameraman consists of multiple fragments which are assembled under a new law. Thus, for contemporary man the representation of reality by the film is incomparably more significant than that of the painter, since it offers, precisely because of the thoroughgoing permeation of reality with mechanical equipment, an aspect of reality which is free of all equipment. And that is what one is entitled to ask from a work of art. (Walter Benjamin, Illuminations, The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction, p. 230)
Film is the language of the American Age, the time after the end of the world. (Blake and the nature of cinema).
Evidently a different nature opens itself to the camera than to the naked eye if only because an unconsciously penetrated space is substituted for a space consciously explored by man. Even if one has a general knowledge of the way people walk one knows nothing of a person's posture during the fractional second of a stride. The act of reaching for alight or a spoon is familiar routine, yet we hardly know what has really gone on between hand and metal, not to mention how this fluctuates with our moods. Here the camera intervenes with the resources of its of its lowering and liftings, its interruptions and isolations, its extensions and accelerations, its enlargements and reductions. The camera introduces us to unconscious optics as does psychoanalysis to unconscious impulses. (236-237)
Does Nobody tell the story? Sees it even before he enters the plot? Train. His POV (style of the film)?
...tracking shots -- moving (spirit), journey?
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I don't have time to post my notes on films/movies I saw (I don't even have time to write down my thoughts on many; like the most recent "Jackie Brown"). Tarantino has a (primitive) director's talent; I follow his work. He is a good writer. Something like "American Godard." He swims in commercial waters and lives, but I don't know for how long he can do it. There are "masters" like Speilberg, who can do it.... Links:
Yes, I put "masters" in quotation brackets because of my respect for the masters.
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February 25, 2004 OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR Do You Recognize This Jesus? By KENNETH L. WOODWARD Watching "The Passion of the Christ," Mel Gibson's new movie, I kept thinking the following: it is Christians, not Jews, who should be shocked by this film. Mr. Gibson's raw images invade our religious comfort zone, which has long since been cleansed of the Gospels' harsher edges. Most Americans worship in churches where the bloodied body of Jesus is absent from sanctuary crosses or else styled in ways so abstract that there is no hint of suffering. In sermons, too, the emphasis all too often is on the smoothly therapeutic: what Jesus can do for me. More than 60 years ago, H. Richard Neibuhr summarized the creed of an easygoing American Christianity that has in our time triumphantly come to pass: "A God without wrath brought men without sin into a kingdom without judgment though the ministrations of a Christ without a cross." Despite its muscular excess, Mr. Gibson's symbol-laden film is a welcome repudiation of all that. "The Passion of the Christ" is violent - no question. Although Mel Gibson the believer identifies with a traditionalist movement that rejects Vatican Council II, Mel Gibson the artist here displays a thoroughly Catholic sensibility, one that since the Middle Ages has emphasized Jesus as the suffering savior crowned with thorns. Martin Luther, too, would have recognized in this film his own theology of the cross. But there is a little twist here. In his prerelease screenings, Mr. Gibson invited mostly conservative evangelical clergy. They in turn responded by reserving huge blocks of movie tickets for their congregations. When the film opens today, expect theaters around the country to be turned into temporary churches. And what's so strange about this? Unlike Mr. Gibson's film, evangelical Protestantism is inherently non-visual. As spiritual descendants of the left wing of the Reformation, evangelicals are heirs to an iconoclastic tradition that produced the "stripping of the altars," as the historian Eamon Duffy nicely put it. That began in the late 16th century, when radical Protestants removed Christ's body from the cross. To the Puritans, displays of the body of Jesus represented what they considered the idol worship of the Papists. To this day, evangelical sanctuaries can be identified by their lack of visual stimulation; it is rare to see statues or stained-glass windows with human figures. For evangelicals, the symbols are all in sermon and song: verbal icons. It's a different sensibility. For this reason, I think, evangelical audiences will be shocked by what they see. And, as Mr. Gibson has said repeatedly, he means to shock. Catholics will find themselves on familiar ground: they, at least, have retained the ritual of praying "the stations of the cross" - a Lenten practice that, like Mr. Gibson's movie, focuses on the last 12 hours in the life of Jesus. By contrast, Southern Baptists and other mostly fundamentalist churches do not observe Lent, and even Catholics have muted the ancient tradition of fast and abstinence that commemorated the Passion of Jesus. Indeed, Mr. Gibson's film leaves out most of the elements of the Jesus story that contemporary Christianity now emphasizes. His Jesus does not demand a "born again" experience, as most evangelists do, in order to gain salvation. He does not heal the sick or exorcise demons, as Pentecostals emphasize. He doesn't promote social causes, as liberal denominations do. He certainly doesn't crusade against gender discrimination, as some feminists believe he did, nor does he teach that we all possess an inner divinity, as today's nouveau Gnostics believe. One cannot imagine this Jesus joining a New Age sunrise Easter service overlooking the Pacific. Like Jeremiah, Jesus is a Jewish prophet rejected by the leaders of his own people, and abandoned by his handpicked disciples. Besides taking an awful beating, he is cruelly tempted to despair by a Satan whom millions of church-going Christians no longer believe in, and dies in obedience to a heavenly Father who, by today's standards, would stand convicted of child abuse. In short, this Jesus carries a cross that not many Christians are ready to share. It is easy, of course, to contrast third-millennium Christian mores with the story of Christ's Passion. Like other Americans, Christians want desperately to know that they are loved, in the words of the old Protestant hymn, "just as I am." But the love of God, as Dorothy Day liked to put it, "is a harsh and dangerous love" that requires real transformation. It is not the sort imagined by today's spiritual seekers who are "into" Asian religions. Significantly, the Passion and death of Jesus is the chief element in the Gospel story that other religions cannot accept. In Islam, Jesus does not die on the cross because such a fate is considered unfitting for a prophet of Allah. By Hindus and Buddhists, Jesus is often regarded as a spiritual master, but the story of his suffering and death are considered unbecoming of an enlightened sage. Like the Buddha, the truly liberated transcend suffering and death. But Jesus submits to it - willingly, Christians believe - for the sins of all. Were we a nation of Bible readers, not just Bible owners, I don't think a film like Mr. Gibson's would cause much fuss. While I do not think that "The Passion of the Christ" is anti-Semitic, I do think it presents Christians with a "teaching moment." But the lessons have more to do with forgotten Christian basics than with who killed Jesus. Kenneth L. Woodward, a contributing editor at Newsweek, is the author, most recently, of "The Book of Miracles." Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company
2005-2006 Theatre UAF Season: Four Farces + One Funeral & Godot'06
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