Another film I saw was Entre Nos which was really depressing. I got credit for seeing this movie for my spanish class as a cultural event but the story did not really refelct hispanic culture it centered more around living poor and beign a single parent. This family from south america were living in a big city in the US and the father left for florida. He sent money a couple months and then stopped. The mom was forced to move out of the apartment while trying to scrape some money by selling empanadas and collecting recyclable cans. She had her daughter and son help in the process of collecting the cans. They slept on park benches, stairs to subway, and anywhere they could. They kept at it hard and eventually made a enough money to move into a really cheap apartment. The mother finds out that she is pregnant again with the father who left. The landlord said that a real abortion would cost $350 and that she could provide an in house abortion for much cheaper. THe mother did not have an extra $350 to get the real abortion and did not have enough money to feed another mouth or be pregenant for 7 more months because she had to make money. She chose the in house abortion and the landlord gave her this tea that raised her body temperature so high that the abortion is successful. Fall comes around and the older boy must go to school. It ends there and the credits reveal that the mother is living on a ranch re-married, the son is the head of something at a really prestigious college, and the daughter was the director of the film and made it for her mom. Up until the last end credits that showed the kids went on to do big things and starting from the street it was depressing. Without those end credit follow ups I would have not liked the movie at all. It made the movie.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
One of the films I saw was the messenger. I like woody harrelson. I thought it was decent I liked the first half of the film a lot better than the second half. It started to lose it's momentum the second half and I started to care less about the characters. I also did not like how it turned into sort of a love story between Ben foster's character and the chick from minority report. Some of the bar scenes lighting wise annoyed me becasue it was so dark and it did not really fit it just seemed like they didndt have enough money to light the whole bar. It was a very interesting subject matter and the performances overall seemed good.
I wanted to make a stop motion using just glow stick liquid as my light source. It was around halloween time and i remember how when we were kids we would crack open the glow sticks and put the liquid on our arms/face and it would look so cool. I went to a copule party stores and compared prices because the amount of liquid i needed is a little expensive. I found that the single individual packages you actually get more money for the liquid than the big variety packs. I still got a variety pack because it had an assortment of colors. I picked out white for the stars and to my dissapointment when i cracked open the liquid i realized it was the same as the blue but the plastic container was a different color and thats how they achevie the variety. At first i put some liquid on a black piece of foam board but it sunk through and dind't illumnatie. I accidently spilled liquid on my carpet and it came through much better. I made teh earth with green and blue which turned out well and the grass was of course green and used blue for the sky. I put my thumb over the opening of the stick and quickly dabbed the liquid onto the carpet to create a spread of stars. I did this quickly fearing that the background was going to fade away too fast. Doing the mushrooms was a slow and tedious process especially because the required exposure for this was 8 seconds. 8 seconds also showed the imperfectdions in keepin the camera perfectly still and in the same spot the entire time. Because the shutter was open for so long it can detect the slightetst movemnt of your finger on the shutter release button. I went through and did a smooth cam filter later and it actually helped alot. The background of the green grass started to fade away but I let it happen because the scene was going to change to just the stars. I had to keep re-doing the stars every once in awhile as they were fading away. I also didn't realize how sharp the pieces in the glow stick are that break it apart as I got some dug into my skin and made me bleed alot. It was cool to see this glowing painting on my floor and then when i turned the lights in my room on there was nothing. The editing process waas alot easier than i thought it would be because i could change the duration of each photo all simultaneously. I added a little star burst filter on the image to give the stars a sharper shape to them. The color i left and remained the same as it was shot. The hardest part was getting enough liquid it seemd like when you cracked open the stick you have a lot less than you think you do because most of it is the hard material you crack. Overall I had alot of fun making it and I'm happy with the way it turned out.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
This approach to show the issue of culture jamming is a big dual between what people think is acceptable ways of controlling others. They used settings which were normal and within those settings worked as a part of the problem but exaggerating. And people still didn't catch on. It is all just a way of tipping the scale away from selfish behavior and spreading wealth and power among others. That's the huge struggle is surviving for yourself vs surviving for others. A lot of their arguments were moral issues, showing that the distribution of wealth and power was a moral issue and selfishness and surviving for ones self is not the right way to live. it's hard to change whats already in power because those with the most wealth help out their wealthy friends because they are not a threat to each other. And its hard to tell how many people would flip and turn selfish once they acquire that much money. We're hypocritical beings and money enhances those behaviors. Money is the new consumption to live. It seems like it would take a catastrophic disaster for the wealth distribution to change to the point where the majority of people are satisfied which might not ever happen as long as money is around or at least it will never happen with capitalism. Capitalism supports that range of distribution so we as a people can't be happy with each other. If we find a way to devalue materials on earth and appreciate the good things about human behavior and interaction we could all have a more meaningful life instead of working really hard to have 3 garages and stand in a huge living room to sigh and go yes i made it. Fuck that I wish we could just be happy with tasty food, laughing, and fucking. Our creativity and imagination is the curse. We can have more complex ideologies about living and that our lives stand for something more than just eating, laughing and fucking but we can also dig ourselves deeper in a meaningless materialistic life but in the end at the way way way end does any of it matter at all. It's nice to say that we tried really hard to give everyone around us the best lives possible but no one is going to care when it's all over. And I think thats the underlying problem for not changing and not giving up our material possessions bevcause we all know deep down this is our only go around at the world. And we're going to take everything wihle we still can EVEN if that is a gratification that you're helping out for the greater good and not just money.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
I've thought about this idea of how much influence is copying in art forms. As in the article with the molotov man I feel like the right was there to make the picture into a painting and it would be nice to credit the photographer. I don't think ther'es anything wrong with copying the picture and making it into a painting. Making the painting and then selling it I feel is a slightly diffferent story. I wouldn't care if anyone copied my pictures or adapted them but if they made money off of an exact same reprint I'd be pissed. The closer the adaptation is to the real piece the more pissed I would be. I don't think it was wrong for hte painter to paint it and not give credit to the photographer it just devalues the painting in my opinion. The Lethem article talked about all these famous artist who used other pieces of art/literature and became more successful with it. as human beings we copy we're mimickers we do that to everything thats how we learn, and when it comes to the creative realm when you can break off more ties to where the influence came from it feels more special and valuable. Alot of times it's impossible to trace where the influence came from for a piece of art but there have been many shots in films or scenes in films I thought were amazing then realized where they got the ideas from and then I don't credit it with as high value anymore. It's amazing if a painter can re-create a picture and make it look very similar but it's even more amazing if that painter could create an image wtih that sort of detail from his own imagination. Unfortunately imagination only stems so far from the behaviors and images you mimic in your expereinces and I guess the more the idea is recycled through our creative mines and the further away you can get from the original source the more unique and special it seems but maybe its just our lack of ability to connect teh dots from all the creative sources to find the source(s). There's a different kinds of appreciation. Appreciation for the skill and the way the art is polished according it its own craft. And the appreciation for the originality (or the lack of ability to figure out where the source came from). A "true artist" i guess wouldn't care if their pieces were copied and the new art gained monetary benefits and praise from it but I would. It's hypocritical because that piece I would make is just bits and pieces ripped off from everything else.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
I rushed through the long take experience because I only had the camera for a day and had to check it out at 1:30, and it was dark/cloudy/raining so my exposure opportunities were running out fast. When I first opened the can of film it was yellow and a big chunk of it slid to the right of the daylight spool so I was very afraid that we had exposed a huge section of the film. I put the film in and off we went. I didn't have many people working on it just me and one other person. I didn't really have any good ideas for action so I wanted to just go for something simple but have it very polished and execute the camera work nicely. I was going to follow my friend with a dolly move then switch to a steady handheld motion while he's being dragged into the woods. I switched it to 12fps, and couldn't remember if I needed to switch anything else on the camera. I ran through it one time but was afraid since I was guessing and had it on 1.8 that everything would be in focus. I had a mini tripod attached to the Bolex and mounted it on the back of my friends truck while driving behind the actor. Moving off the truck while keeping the eyepiece to my eye and not letting any light in while making it as smooth of a transition as I could was very difficult. I decided a slight shake would work with the narrative if he got hit in the head at the same time. While filiming the take the dolly up looked fine and even the handheld low angle shot looked smooth. I ran the rest of the film and hoped for the best. Once I was ready to develop I had all of my tubs out. Mark was helping me and said that their roll of film was not nearly as big as mine. I had to develop the whole spool and it was a huge handful of crimpled up film I had to quickly dip into the devloper. Fearing that the 1.8 was too much I only left the negative in the developer for about 3-4 seconds and quickly put it in the wash. Except it was the fix. I messed up and switched the buckets around. I put it in the wash immediately in hopes that I could devlop it further if necessary. I started to see a define image and thought maybe it had developed just enough. After much contemplation I put the film back into the fix for several minutes. I washed it out and dryed the film. I could see many scatches from a close examination and was worried they would show up everywhere and they did. Im not sure where it got so scratched probalby just the hand processing bunching up all the film together and rubbing against the edges. However at that point I was just happy that I got an image considering the potential exposing the raw stock at the beginning, guessing on exposure while it was getting darker, and putting the film directly in the fix after the developer. Mark and I tried a technique to get a better transfer. We set the projector up against a white card and made the frame small compared to a large screen. The smaller the projection the sharper the image looked. I recorded the footage on 1080p, brought it in final cut and adjusted some contrast. Again it's scratchy but oh well. I think it looks alot more interested when the motion is fast at 12fps rather than the normal 24fps. Despite all the potential for failure I'm glad I got an image.