EXTRA CREDIT

Mughal E Azam Song

Mughal-E-Azam  is one of the greatest and the most well known Bollywood film directed and produced by K.Asif.  This is typical Bollywood movie that lasts for about 3 hours long and of course it has to be a musical. What would we do with a Bollywood film without songs and dancing! (sarcasm) The film album consisted of twelve songs.  One song had about one hundred background singers, while another song cost about one “crore” (referring to India’s “one million”) which comes to about 22,000 US dollars buts let’s remember that even this amount of money is a lot for a Bollywood film to be produced in let alone the song (normally this would be the typical cost of a Bollywood film). The movie itself was finished in nine years with a budget of two million US dollars! In 2004, the movie was restored to a color version since the original version was made in black and white. The success of the original film comes to a whopping $308 million US dollars! Of course with its success some small time directors decide to redo the movie with more “modern” actors (major flop of the year 2008). This is where the theme of time comes into place. This movie was a typical story of a prince and his lover and no it was not happy ending. In India during that time period, love and romance wasn’t something that was happily accepted. Everything had to do with class, standards, morals, and of course money. We go into the present, still most of India hasn’t caught up to our times and present standards of showing love openly along with the process of dating which was never accepted in the 1960’s. Modern actors can’t portray the standards of the past because they live in a time where people live more freely and they do what they want. This film mainly dealt with a man from the upper class falling in love with a female from a low class. Class was a major problem but falling in love itself was the bigger issue. I have to say many and I mean MANY movies in Bollywood have some type of theme where love is never accepted and even till this day some people in India don’t accept it, this is where the idea of arranged marriages come from. My opinion for the success of this film is that it followed the traditional morals and standards of India so much that people had to love it. Of course the two lovers never get united and for people like us in the present we would be sad to hear that but I think people in India back then were probably pleased since it showed what they thought to be “good morals”.

This movie has a lot of lighting especially on the character’s that speak. The stage is a palace everything is made to look upper class. Actors are wearing costumes almost and they aren’t typical Indian wear either also massive jewelry for the upper class of course. Even though the movie was created in black and white, my clip shows the restored color version and you see a lot of bright colors. One thing I have to say Bollywood loves using…. JUMP CUTS and a lot of jump cuts. Especially in Bollywood soap operas they will jump from one character to another and back and forth OVER AND OVER until you get tired of watching. They do that in this film also and especially in songs but not to the extent that they use in the present.

By the way it is hard to find trailers and scenes from movies like this especially with subtitles because all you find is clips of songs since that’s mainly what gave movies attention in Bollywood. In conclusion I apologize for my not so great clip that doesn’t really help explain the movie but it’s the most popular song and the videos of the songs were usually worked on the most. You can see the best of the filming process of this movie just by watching the song.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=plsRqFDk-2A

2nd Film Analysis

“Breathless” also known as “A Bout de Soufflé” created by Jean-Luc Godard in the year of 1960 is a great example of a French New Wave film (nouvelle vague). Godard himself was a Cahiers du Cinema director. Directors like Godard accentuate on the actual methods used in the film instead of the plot. In Breathless, the plot is literally forgotten throughout most of the film.

Many characteristics of the French New Wave film movement are used in this film. The film in general used direct addressing of the camera, where the character spoke directly at the camera as if he or she was speaking to the viewer. Self-reflexivity is a characteristic of the movement as well, as there were a lot of references to other films or characters in other films in this film. There was a significant use of elliptical editing. Obviously for the film was on a very low-budget, a lot of the narration and scenes had to be shortened. Something that would take a very long time in reality would be cut into a very short time on-screen. Realism is being murdered in this film.

Speaking of murder let’s not forget the plot of this film, or are we suppose to forget it at points? The final scene of the movie brings an end to the plot. The male lead is being chased by the cops. He gets shot by the police and dies. It sounds like a traditional film that you would see in the present. The bad guy dies, that’s so typical. Let’s not forget that we have to focus on the actual methods of the film though. Now this changes everything.

Godard is most famous for his jump cuts and the final scene has aplenty to spare. There’s a count of twelve jump cuts within a span of around three and a half minutes. The cuts are mainly switching from the female lead back to the male lead over and over. Godard had to cut the timing of his originally lengthy film and used jump cuts to help him shorten the length of the film to stay on-budget.

Shots varied in this final scene. Wide shots were used when Michel was running away from the cops followed by a jump cut. These wide shots were usually followed by medium shots of Patricia running towards Michel, and these shots were taken from the front while Michel’s wide shots which were taken from the back. Most of these shots lasted for only a few seconds. The last part of this scene consisted of a bunch of close-up shots with a lot of jump cuts, of course. This part was when Michel was about to die on the floor. The camera would close-up on Patricia’s face and then back to Michel’s face. These shots were a little longer than the previous shots.

This scene used direct sound which is another characteristic of the French new wave movement. Most of the sounds appeared to be recorded at the same time as the scene. The background music during the chase used a lot of instruments and it had very loud orchestrated music. This is typical music you would hear in a gangster film. The sound had a hint of comedy though it demonstrated the dramatic effect required and expected for this type of scene.

The success of the new wave movement probably gave great support for political change and the revolution during the 1960’s. Overall, Godard used many characteristics of the French new wave movement and he proved himself to be a Cahiers du Cinema director.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XEoYgXG8r-8&feature=related

YAY this movie was awesomeeee

Sigh… Breathless. I have to say this movie has been my favorite movie that we have watched in the class so far. It had my full attention the whole time. Even during that long, dragging bedroom scene. I didn’t even realize it was dragging till it finished and I thought to myself “wait did that last as long as I think it did”? From beginning to end, I felt this film was more relatable. Well maybe we can’t relate to everything but the main character had traits which are present in a modern character from New York in a way. I don’t know how to explain what I’m trying to get at. For example, those funny remarks and insults the lead guy (omg I forgot his name already what a shame sigh) kept saying to even the most random people. He is like the typical guy of New York, one that tries hard to get what he needs from a women (not saying that’s how all New York guys are, that’s the stereotype). It was a very city type of setting also with a lot of taxis and cars which New Yorkers can definitely relate to. What I find weird, the female lead didn’t seem to act or appear American compared to the male lead. Obviously a tourist needs to blend in with a new country and learn their language but she even dressed that way also. I’m not trying to insult the French here though, you guys are cool too! I actually liked the fact that the main murder plot wasn’t dramatized or overdone. I need to watch the movie over and edit this post gosh Black Friday destroyed my memory and my brain. Too be continued and edited!

Pather Panchali….. uhhhh

Let me first say that Pather Panchali wouldn’t be the best definition of a “bollywood” film. I have watched literally every bollywood film known to mankind. This is more like those categorize in the “artsy” film section.  We have separate award shows for these films lol. Well anyways most bollywood films are about 3 to 4 hours and we would not be able to watch any of those during class time. I usually skip the artsy films because they seem rather dull compared to the typical bollywood films filled with action, romance, comedy, or let’s just say a lot more drama and emotion. This film had emotion and drama but it was more subtle. The emotions were more artistic? I don’t know how to explain.

I have never watched a Bengali film so I don’t really know what type of movies they make. I saw one typical “Indian” characteristic if I may say so since I am in that classification as well. The boy is treated as a king, he gets an education doesn’t have to do anything all day long. The daughter on the other hand has to do house work and take care of her brother at the same time. I can relate since I have a little brother. Another typical characteristic they show a lot in Indian films is when the children do something bad, the mother is always blamed its never the father. Sorry, I am one of those people that can’t tolerate it when females are being shown with less power compared to men. It’s not fair! Lol wait till I discuss Breathless with a little more about equality between men and women.

Film Analysis

 In “The Lady Eve” (Preston Sturges, Paramount, 1941), the scene of the dinner party for Lady Eve makes use of medium shots, diegetic and synchronous sound to help convey the romantic comedy genre without disobeying The Hays Office Production code. The Motion Pictures Patent Company moved from New York to Hollywood and in surprise these Hollywood films still remained popular during the depression.

The dinner party scene takes place in Pike’s (the male lead) house with his lady love disguised as a different woman just to get his attention again. Pike seems to be very clumsy during the scenes of this party. The scene first starts off with Pike and his attendant Muggsy are gossiping in his room while Pike changes his stained suit. Most of this part of the scene is taken as a medium-long shot. You see two men gossiping secretly and you feel as if you are part of this secret. The view is as if you are in the back corner witnessing this act secretly. Not much sound in this part of the scene except for the two men talking and that was all that was necessary for this part. It would seem odd to have to much sound going on in a part of a scene that would normally in real life be done in a very quiet area.

Pike and Muggsy leave the door to enter the staircase and it slowly fades out of his room into the stairwell that leads into the dining room. It’s almost like continuity editing, it looks as if the room scene and the part in the stairwell is tried to be made as one whole scene without a break so it can cleanly go into the dinner party scene without making the viewer see a separation.

Pike enters the dining room and sits into his seat. The first thing noticed is candle-lights being placed in front of every sit of the table in the middle. The room is lit pretty well but the lighting on the main lead actor and actress’ faces are much brighter. This is probably because this part of the scene uses a lot of medium shots where the frame includes characters that have nothing to do with the plot but are included in the dinner. The light points the viewer’s eyes toward the main characters to we don’t lose track of them and the story which is being enacted by those characters. The camera is also always in front of the character.

The dinner party scene is a pretty long take. It goes on for quite a while with not much happening, it’s mainly a comic scene. You would think it would be difficult to create a comic act without offending The Hays Office Production code. The use of diegetic and synchronous sound helps give the film a comic and romantic type mood. There is music playing in the background which blends in with the fact that it is an actual dinner party. Even if it was just background music instead of actual music playing at the party, it seems as if it was perfect for the setting of a party. During the scene, you can hear the other people attending the dinner talking and the sound of dishes being moved while eating. At the same time you have the main characters continuing the plot. The sound effects help contribute to the setting of this scene.

In a time of depression, where people can’t afford movie tickets and just don’t want to go out into the world to actually enjoy life, a romantic comedy would be the last thing a person would want to spend their money on. Still, this movie did well even though at first it did have trouble with following The Hays Office Production Code because of suggestive acts that were not accepted and rejected morals. It was revised and then accept into the film world. The cinematography contributed to making this film a success in the genre it was in.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qy4ckUir8RA

Early Summer….?

 

First off, I have a huge question that I need the answer to. Why was the movie called “Early Summer”? I guess the movie took place in the summer time but what did that have to do with anything about the story. Speaking of story there hardly was any story. I felt the plot could have been more stronger. I understand it was a family themed film and I usually love family films because I tend to only watch films with my family in the first place but this one wasn’t working for me.

In the beginning, I thought the movie would be interesting especially when the younger son Isamu (he’s so cute!), did some childish things while they were eating. For a young kid, he is very good at acting. I really loved Noriko’s character. She was always smiling and happy throughout the whole film but then right at the end you see her vulnerable side of her crying when she realizes she has to leave the family. I felt like things were missing in the film. You almost get a taste of things but you never got to eat the whole meal, if you know what I mean. If we actually had gotten to eat the whole meal maybe the movie would be more interesting and the plot would be stronger.

As a female, I actually loved how the female characters had their own thinking and made decisions for themselves. I think that’s the only thing that kept me awake during the film along with cute little Isamu. The family is portrayed like an actual family I can see that because even now kids are spoiled and they do disrespect their parents at times. They always want new toys and never listen. It was pretty obvious that the camera was in one spot during most of the movie. At a point, I realized my eyes were at the bottom of the screen for most of the time. It was good especially for scenes that took place in the house because it made me feel like I was actually sitting there. I think sitting there would have been more interesting then watching the movie itself but I have to say I learned more about cinematography with this film.

Umberto!

 

I have to say when Professor Herzog stated that the movie would be about a man trying to pay his rent, I thought the movie would be a drag. I was shocked when it finished because it actually caught my attention throughout the whole movie. You would think a character such as Umberto would be someone you would fall asleep watching but I think his character himself was the reason you had to keep watching. If you stopped watching for a minute you would miss one of his specific little details. I really loved Umberto’s relationship with his dog Flike. It really defines the statement “a dog is a man’s best friend”.

Maria the maid was also a great character. I loved how she handled her life so well even though she was pregnant and did not know the father of her child, she still went on with her daily life and worked hard at her job. Of course, I have to mention the coffee grinding scene. To be honest, when we had a class discussion about this scene, I did not realize she was crying and trying to close the door so know one would see her. I actually thought she was getting bored of grinding the coffee and she was just messing around with something in front of her for her own amusement.

It’s so weird how this film is so emotional yet I don’t remember seeing Umberto himself cry or show emotion. His facial expressions were very subtle. I thought he would be an innocent old man at first but then you see him faking his sickness to stay at the hospital. I actually did not understand the rosary concept. I had to look that up but I still don’t understand it quite fully. I do realize they are religious flowers or beads but what does that have to do with them getting to stay in the hospital a little longer?

This movie and the class itself helps me view movies in a different perspective. I view emotion’s differently now and I try to pick out the details of a scene itself instead of just viewing the movie as a whole. I can’t really explain what I mean by that. It’s how you learn how to do something differently. Especially after a class discussion of the movie, I think to myself “oh maybe I should have looked at the movie this way instead of that way”.

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