Today we had a lecture on films and story telling.
We first looked at the Pixar animated short ‘Boundin’ (2003).
We looked at how there were many life hidden beneath the fluffy guise of this short, such as how to keep moving when something tries to stop you, to be confident in your own skin and to respect others as we don’t know their insecurities. At some point we can identify with all the character, whether it be or insecure bald lamb or the giggling moles.
Next, we looked at the opening sequence for ‘The Silence of the Lambs’ (1991), directed by Johnathan Demme.
What we discussed was how it was shot like a chase scene, setting the tone for the film. The camera is following her…stalking her. The scene introduces both the protagonist (Clarice) and antagonist (the killer, through photos on wall). This scene also tells us what the film is about. The male gaze (objectification), she is being stared at, she is shorter than the others, she is dressed differently and the camera pursues her like a predator.
We then focused on the opening scene of ‘Alien’ (1979), directed by Ridley Scott.
The thing that Conann pointed out to us was the lack of sound in the opening sequence. Along with the slow moving camera it sets the ton for the movie. You feel isolated, and the lack of music makes for an unsettling atmosphere to fall upon the scene. We also discussed how different the role of the female was in this film. Unlike ‘The Silence of the Lambs’ where the female was objectified by the male gaze, the female is just another character, she is treated equally to the men.
Why do we watch films?
Yuan asked us this question and the main reasons we gave were: Escapism, Entertaining, to feel something, to criticise, nostalgia, to have fun, to find inspiration, to relax, to study, information and immersion.
Where do we watch films?
In general the class answered: in my room, Online, the cinema and kitchens or living rooms.
A form of artistic representation and communication. A visual method of storytelling which is designed to create experiences for viewers.
The central to film making is the act of choice-design decisions, based on how different elements will affect your viewer’s experience, and engage their emotions. Ask yourself-if I do this, as to opposed to that, how will viewers react? To actively looking at movies, rather than just passively watching them. You don’t have to show something, you can elude to it.
Reading a Movie
A film is a complex synthetic- a combination of many separate, intricate elements that form a character.
Analysis- Not only breaking down a sequence, a scene or an entire movie t identify the tools and techniques, but also investigate the function and potential effect of that combination.
We also talked briefly about the movies: Helevetica, The Unknown Known, Wall-E and Toys Story