Written in the Wind…

Written in the wind directed by Douglas Sirk is a melodrama .. so was not very excited to see this film. Melodramas are not my type of movies that I would just want to watch but it never hurts to give films a try.

The film revolved around a brother(Kyle) and sister(Marylee) . She was an alcoholic as was he, they were the kids of a wealthy oil baron by the name of Jasper Hadley. I was actually happy that we were watching this movie in color! The outfits that Marylee wore were all very colorfull so it was nice to see them haha.  Both of his kids have relationship problems and appear to be extremely spoiled by their wealth. Kyle gets married but after he is unsuccessful with fathering a child to his wife he goes back to drinking. Then Kyles childhood friend named Mitch Wayne who is Marylee’s infatuation , Kyle starts to turn against him.

Mitch is in love with Lucy which was Kyles wife, he does not reveal these feelings he has to Kyle. After Lucy announces she is pregnant Kyle physically assaulted her because he was diagnosed with a low sperm count and he suspect’s that Mitch had an affair. But because of the assault she looses the baby . Kyle starts to drink and returns , he has a gun which he plans to shoot Mitch with , Marylee struggles to get it away from him and ends up killing her brother. She plannes to blame Mitch for the killing but at the last minute decides to confess.

The movie was just ok to me. The movie was based on a real life scandal of a singer and her husband , who were the hairs to a tobacco company. It was hard to believe that this much drama can happen in someones life. The movie seemed a bit over exaggerated and just filled with non stop drama. The music in the film was ok , it was a little loud at some points. The characters were good and the actors did a good job as well, I liked the character of Kyle the most, i just thought he did a great job , acting wise.

December 16, 2011. Uncategorized. 1 Comment.

PSYCHO

Having always heard about this film and how it was so amazing I was pretty excited to watch it! And again the fact that it was in the Horror genre was another plus. This movie always received praise and good reviews  and the director of the film is a great one!

The movie centered around a woman who needed money to marry her lover whose name was Sam, she steals $40,000 dollars and flees in her car. Her name was Marion and she was a secretary, she trades in her car as a result of paranoia of being caught, she then comes across the  Bates Motel and decides to spend the night , she does not want to be driving in the rain. The owners name is Norman Bates , he welcomes her and lets her know he is living with his mother in a house that is nearby the hotel. You can see from the beginning that he  is infatuated with her when he invites her to have dinner. He even watches her change which is just plain creepy. He did seemed like a normal guy at first nothing out of the ordinary, its kind of creepy to see that even the crazy , and evil people can look so normal and people would never guess that they could be a killer.

Marion decided what she did stealing the money was bad and decides she will return it .Then that most famous killing scene occurred where Marion was showering before someone showed up in the bathroom and stabbed her to death. The stabbing scene was not that scary just a lot of screaming. After he finds her dead he assumes his mother committed the murder. The music did intensify the scene though ! Afterwards there is an extreme close up to here eye as it pans out and we see her lying down in the bathtub.

There were signs that Norman had these killer tenancy’s , they weren’t obvious though. You could see that he had some facial tics and half-swallowed words, he also had a hobby of  taxidermy which is the act of mounting or reproducing dead animals for display, in his case birds. That part was pretty eerie as we were shown these birds, we see the ravens and the owls.

After the death of Marion her lover and sister go to this hotel and see the truth. There was no mother all along the owner Norman had a split personality disorder, he even dressed up as his mother. The film ends as we see Norman sitting in a cell but he is dominated by his moms personality.

The movie was a good one not a personal favorite. The stabbing scene was so unrealistic but 1960’s so I didn’t expect anything amazing. overall not bad the character of Norman was well played , not a lot of actors can pull of that kind of role and he did it very well.

December 15, 2011. Uncategorized. No Comments.

The Invasion Of The Body Snatchers…

Ok me being a huge horror fan I have to say I was kind of excited what that era of film had to offer! I have seen many horror films and people always mention that the classics were one of the best kind of films. But even before the movie started we were informed that the effects were going to be some sort of bubbles , then I started to have doubts to whether this movie was even going to be remotely scary or creepy. The story of this film mostly revolved around a doctor and his girlfriend, and them having to escape these pods and trying not to become one of them.

The film started of normal it took place in a town called Santa Mira in California. A Doctor named Miles Bennell ( played by Kevin McCarthy) was receiving complaints from a number of people that their loved ones were not themselves , as if someone has invaded their bodies and they could not point out what was the difference but they just sensed it. This kind of reminded me of the movie The Crazies , from what i remember there was a patient that was brought in by his wife because he was not acting right , he wasn’t acting like himself , yet he was himself. The music in this film was rather eerie I liked it I feel like it gave it a more creepy feel which is always good in a horror flick !

The movie centered around this whole idea of people being hatched in these giant pods , the would be replaced by perfect physical copies in their sleep. They would wake up as themselves physically but with changed personalities. This was what the doctor and his girlfriend were trying to escape, if they would fall asleep they would wake up as these pod people so that’s what they were trying to avoid. There was a message the movie was trying to send which was  paranoia toward the spread of a harmful ideology such as socialistic Communism. I did not get that at all as I first watched it but as I read more about the film I saw where this message was given. I found the scene where all the town people just froze and started walking like zombies in the middle of the town pretty creepy. Probably my favorite scene ! The music also made it even more eerie.

The doctor and his gf managed to escape the people who wanted to convince them to join the rest of these pod people. But not having slept for days his gf fell asleep for a moment and woke up changed. He managed to escape her and ran onto the highway screaming “they’re here ! you’re next!” . The doctor is held by the police and questioned by some men , quickly after as he is describing what he saw with the pod people they get an accident call , a huge truck was crashed which was carrying all these pods. The men were not believing anything he was saying but as soon as they get they got that call about the crashed truck their expressions changed they both looked at each other in surprise , because they thought the doctor was simply crazy.

I really enjoyed the film, for a black and white horror movie it was not too bad! the low budged effects were a little cheesy but overall a good film. The actors i thought did a great job , the main role of the doctor was a good pick I thought he portrayed it very well.

December 15, 2011. Uncategorized. 1 Comment.

Assignment 2

“The Gaze”

“She Knows His Type” (The Lady Eve, mirror scene)

The male gaze is an important topic we have learned in our media class. This idea of the male gaze was first published in a book by Laura Mulvey’s , the books title was “Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema.”  In this book she used ‘psychological theory’ while she discusses how women are important figures in motion pictures as well as how they are portrayed in our cinema. She went into how the “gaze” are looked at from the male perspective and how these females are only used to basically be admired and looked at as objects by the men ( this was referred to as “to-be-looked-at-ness). The gaze is also more than just how both of the characters see each other it also involves ‘camera gazes’ and how we gaze as the spectators. Men are always looked at as the more dominating and important character but I want to show that even women can take on this domineering role. This is why I chose to look at  the mirror scene in The Lady Eve. The scene shows that men can also be looked at from the woman prespective and how the role of this male gaze is reversed. So my question here would be can a male also be the target of this reverse and can a woman show the man as just an object that’s there for her and the audience to just admire? This would be referred to as a “female gaze.”

The role of the main character Jean is played by Barbara Stanwyck who is looking at a mirror at the beginning of the shot which is centered right in the middle. The camera then switches to a close up shot of the mirror she is holding as she is looking back at a gentlemen sitting at the table. Most of this scene is spent looking at the character of Charles, while Jean is narrating what is happening in a slightly comical tone. The entire scene Jean is describing everything Charles is doing with a little bit of an  exaggeration. She is mentioning what kind of guy he is and what kind of woman he wants as she can see all the women are pining for him. Charles is just looked at as an attractive male figure who women want attention from.

The background music is very soft and slow as the shot has a deep focus which is where the objects and people are all seen in a wide range . The shot shows Charles in the center as his is the important figure and what we are focused on. There is not a lot of camera movement is is most of the time very still and focused on Charles. As Jean narrates we are showed what her idea and intake is on how a guy thinks and how he acts, she gives us an overview on how he views these women and she also narrates what the women are thinking and how that are acting around him. All the women are tying to get the attention of Charles but he does not pay much attention to it all. The mirror that we are looking at is placed right in front of Jeans face which implies that the camera is right in the back of her head as it is zoomed in on the mirror so we can see the reverse shot. The lighting of the camera is pretty bright and we can see all the detailes in the shot.

As this scene comes to an end Charles is according to Jean is not liking any girl he sees so he stand up and while he is leaving she trips him. As he gets up and fixes himself up Jean tells him in a slightly irritated voice that he should look where he is going. We see them both in a middle shot where they are both visible as is Jeans father. The background is blurred and all we are focused on is the three of them, this is more of a shallow focus scene, this means that the objects/people out of the scene are out of focused (blurred). As he apologize’s for breaking her heal she demands that he sees her to her room for another pair, he agrees without hesitation. As he introduces himself as Charles she says “everybody knows that” and how no one is talking about anything else (but him) which essentially shows how much of the center of conversation he is among women. She then drags him off as she mentions how funny it is meeting him like that.  But meeting him was her plan all along.

This scene had more of a focus on how a woman sees a man. We are showed her point of view on how she thinks he is but we can also see that she is definitely interested in him. Charles is a wealthy man who Jean has a fancy for because of that fact. We are able to get her perspective on how she believes he acts and what kind of woman he is interested in. So in conclusion a “female gaze” is just as much present in films as a “male gaze is.” All the techniques and camerawork put into this scene makes it evident that the fact of the “female gaze” is present.

 

December 9, 2011. Uncategorized. 2 Comments.