Posted: December 7, 2010 in Uncategorized
Halloween is a 1978 American horror film directed and produced by John Carpenter. This film includes many concepts of the horror genre which surely petrified the audiences. At the first scene, we get to see a point of view shot of the killer, Michael, killing his 15 year old sister. This was a very effective technique to add tension as the screen wasn’t fully exposed to the viewer. We don’t see the face of the killer but only the targeted enemy being stabbed to death. This movie is also strongly related to sexual behaviour of the characters. The characters are usually teenagers and who ever gets naked on screen will eventually get punished by death from the killer. It is those who are sexually active will get killed by the killer as it is his own solution to punishing this behaviour.
Laurie, who has the leading role in the film, is far different from her friends. This is the reason why she was the only one that survived. She is not sexual exposed, compared to her friends, and her main goal is baby sitting and schooling. She has such mother-like characteristics and also very smart. Although she gets pushed around by her friends, she is happy with the way she is. But when she eventually falls for her friend’s world, she also gets chased by the killer.
Michael, the killer, has very complex characteristics. He happens to be closer to the machine side than to human. He is emotionless and all times of the movie and behind a mask which we do not see humanity. The killer is the strongest character in the film, he cannot be defeated. As evil is here to stay in the world, Michael represents evil that the world carries which can never be defeated.
The music also played an effective role in this movie to help create tension. It was repeating continuously every time the appearance of the killer. We also hear breathing sounds of the killer which also added creepiness to the mood.
Overall this movie has created a legacy in the in the horror genre history being one of the first to be unique. It had reference movies like ‘Psycho’ by Alfred Hitchcock and ‘Rear Window’ by Orson Welles. Clearly a lot of movies today has been inspired by this movie.
Posted: December 4, 2010 in Uncategorized
Blood Simple is a very unique crime drama film compared to others. It is constructed with characters that are not too professional in their field of work. Ray’s biggest deed that he is carrying throughout the movie is that he is having an affair with a married woman, Abby. He does not follow to rules of society and deserves to punished with death. Ray always find himself covering for Abby when he finds the dead body of Marty, as he is too attached to her. He is inspired from a western hero stereotype. Abby plays a very strong character and probably the strongest character in the movie as she loses everything she has in the end. She is married to a rich man that is ready to settle down, but she choses to destroy this relationship and sleep with another man. She is responsible for the death of Ray and Marty. Marty has one of the weakest characteristic in this movie. Although he likes to have a professional mafia/gangster look, deep inside he is very weak. He throws up constantly during the movie, loses a physical fight with his wife and likes to order milk at the bar. He pays private detective to do the dirty work for him as a sign of weakness. Detective Loren has unique characteristics. He clearly doesn’t take life seriously, crazy at some times and certainly not a stable person. He fails to do the job he was payed to so he kills Marty when he was confronted.
Apart from the unprofessional characters, there are many signs of symbolism in the movie. The scene when Ray and Marty talk outside of the bar, the directed deliberately chose the particular background. The background of Ray was someone throwing away rubbish into the fire, and for Marty was an electric insect trap. This both symbolises death and shows that one point in this film, these two characters will eventually die. There are also a number of ceiling fan shots and then panning to the characters using graphic matching. This symbolises the circle of life and also the emptiness sound of the propellers slicing the atmosphere. There are also a number of props used in this film. Many scenes where ended on a close up on Loren’s lighter that he received as being ‘The Man of the Year’. It was the prop that forced Loren to come back to the bar which lead the story to a different way. It was covered with a bunch of dead fish which represented death in a very mafia-style way. Perhaps it was inspired from the movie ‘The Godfather’.
In my opinion this movie is really effective for film students like us as we can learn many things from this and adapt them to our studies. The cinematography is also very good and very detailed characters.
Posted: December 3, 2010 in Uncategorized
Man Push Cart is a movie that revolves around an ordinary man who is trying to find a living. In the film we discover a clear character development of Ahmad, a poor Pakistani living on the streets of New York selling bagels and coffee in a vender. However, he gets offered with all the chances but ironically rejects or fails to cherish them. Throughout the movie there is not a lot of dialogue and the emotions and feelings are all expressed by action. We find out through the movie that Ahmad is really poor and craving for money in order to survive. He has to push his own cart through the streets while the others might have a car. We also discover how small and unhygienic his environment at the apartment that he barely has money to pay the rent. As an audience we want to find out more about this character and how he ended up this way.
This movie is created with so many hidden symbols that help show the life of Ahmad. He spends his days trapped around a cart box rejecting all the chances of being free. We find out that his wife died and the cart that he spends his life in reminds himself of her and the sticker of a dinosaur that he kept since she was alive. The cat that appears in the film symbolises the conclusion of his life and Ahmad himself. Ahmad takes the cat and puts it in a box just like how he is stuck in a cart himself. Although the cat tries to jump out in reach for freedom just like how Ahmad was given the chance to be free, he puts the cat back into the box. Later on the cat finally dies which is a hint to Ahmad if he continues to stay in the box, he will eventually die alone too. The gas tank that he likes to carry around to every place he goes even outside of working hours symbolises the trouble and problems he has in his life also connected to his wife. The cart also symbolises the happy memories that he had with his wife which also gets stolen. The reason of it being stolen was to test if Ahmad will forget the past or not. He also was given chances to start a new life with Noemi enters his life and also business-wise with Mohammad. Ahmad clearly cannot forget the past and live with present instead, he chooses to live with the past.
The story clearly shows the detailed life of an American immigrant who struggles to live and face the world. It is constructed with a number of simple shots and not so much dialogue. Personally i do like this movie as we can learn many things from it.