Monday, May 9, 2011

class assignment - writing style

Zooming through space.

In the first paragraph, address the content of the article: what do you think are its most interesting points? What do you most agree (or disagree) with? And in the second paragraph, write some remarks on the writer's style. How would you describe their writing style? What are some sentences or phrases that stand out to you, and why?

I think the most interesting point of this article is the the personal tie to my art and newfound zoom technology...
i recently just realized how beautiful the motion of zoom is, to capture something up close with the smallest intimate details then pan out and capture the bigger picture.
i also thought it was interesting that 'zooming' has had its popular and unpopular times in history and has bounced back and forth.. the way it can give an improvisational feel or an optical rhythm just shows the great range that the use of zoom can give...
i like the way he writes but sometimes it doesn't flow that easily for me... he seems very excited and wanting to give a lot of information about the subject but if it was split up and categorized a little better i think it'd flow better. but he is very very descriptive and gives a ton of information without me having to use another source to find out more facts..
"The Tarkovskyan zoom is spirit, breath (the zoom's movement into the landscape echoes the mysterious wind that blows across the field near the beginning of the film). It realizes the promise of photography: unmooring perception from space. At the same time, it insists on the earth and its presence."
this is personally my most favorite quote in the article because it gives me so much inspiration as an artist, cinematographer, and photographer... i like the way he describes the use of zoom as something more than just a technique but as its own art form. it gives it that much more of an artistic meaning..

by kasey hartsock



Quentin Tarantino became an overnight success as a writer and director when his film Reservoir Dogs premièred at the Sundance film festival nineteen years ago. His unique and reliable style has led him to become one of Hollywood’s best know and revered independent writers/directors of our time. Tarantino’s style incorporates nonlinear storylines and exaggerated cult, TV and film clichés. He also samples and blends a range of cultural heritages and film genres. Tarantino’s eclectic familiarity with music allows him to pick and pull from a broad spectrum musical periods and musicians. Tarantino’s masterful use of dialoged is the glue of that binds his films together, applying dialog thickly and stretching it out, imparting tension and depth in his scenes.

Tarantino was born in Knoxville, Tennessee, to separated parents. He moved to California when he was a child and was raised by his mother. Tarantino first got involved with acting in his drama classes in Junior. High School and continued them through high school. Tarantino dropped out of high school to attend acting school at the James Best Theatre Company. Later Tarantino worked at The Video Arcade and movie rental shop where he spent the majority of his time critiquing and discussing films with his co-workers and customers. Recently when asked if he went to film school, Tarantino remarked, “No, I went to films.” It’s no doubt that the hundreds of hours Tarantino spent watching and discussing films while working at the Video Arcade helped to develop the style prevalent in his films.

After the success of his first film, Reservoir Dogs, Tarantino was approached to work on numerous Hollywood projects, instead of jumping at the first opportunity that came he opted to continue work on his own screenplay “Pulp Fiction.” Directed by Tarantino, co-written by Tarantino and Rodger Avery, “Pulp Fiction” became a huge success when released in nineteen ninety-four. Like most of Tarantino’s films “Pulp Fiction” takes a non-liner path throughout its American crime story line:

1. Prologue—The Diner (i)

2. Prelude to "Vincent Vega and Marseilles Wallace's Wife"

3. "Vincent Vega and Marseilles Wallace's Wife"

4. Prelude to "The Gold Watch" (a—flashback, b—present)

5. "The Gold Watch"

6. "The Bonnie Situation"

7. Epilogue—The Diner (ii)

If the seven sequences were ordered chronologically, they would run: 4a, 2, 6, 1, 7, 3, 4b, 5. Sequences 1 and 7 partially overlap and are presented from different points of view; the same is true of sequences 2 and 6. In Philip Parker's description, the structural form is "an episodic narrative with circular events adding a beginning and end and allowing references to elements of each separate episode to be made throughout the narrative." Other analysts describe the structure simply as a "circular narrative"( Wikipedia).

This “circular narrative” style keeps Tarantino’s audience engaged and calculating for themselves. It also creates additional plot layers and nuances that allow for greater understanding of the film after it’s viewed multiple times. Many of Tarantino fans sight these plot layers and nuances as a reason for the director’s success.

At the end of the Prologue, Tarantino kick-starts his opening credits with one of the strongest dialogue into score transitions I have ever experienced. He moves from the character Honey Bunny’s line: “Any of you fuckin' pricks move and I'll execute every one of you motherfuckers”, and overlaps her last words with a remixed, amped up and modernized version of a traditional Greek song from the 1920’s Misirlou, preformed by Tim Rothh, Amanda Plummer/Dick Dalee & His Del-Tones. Tarantino skillfully, with the ease of the change of the dial, or in this case plugging an audio sample of an FM dial change, moves into "Jungle Boogie" by Kool & the Gang weaning his audience off the adrenalin of the last scene and preparing them for a windows-down car ride with Samuel Jackson and John Travolta. This scene is a great illustration of how Tarantino orchestrates a soundtrack that covers a gambit musical genre.

The dialogue in “Pulp Fiction” is signature Tarantino scripting. One of the subtle but consistent strategies that Tarantino employees, is excessive explanation or rudimentary descriptions. This often takes place between two characters in a personal exchange and functions as a verbal jockeying heightening the ambient tension in the air. An example early in the film is the exchange between Samuel Jackson (JULES) and John Travolta (VINCENT) where Jackson is explaining what a

TV pilot is:

VINCENT “What's a pilot?”

JULES “Well, you know the shows on TV?”

VINCENT “I don't watch TV.”

JULES “Yes, but you're aware that there's an invention called television, and on that invention they show shows?”


JULES “Well, the way they pick the shows on TV is they make one show, and that show's called a pilot. And they show that one show to the people who pick the shows, and on the strength of that one show, they decide if they want to make more shows. Some get accepted and become TV programs, and some don't, and become nothing. She starred in one of the ones that became nothing.”

Tarantino not bound by traditional notations of film genre is free to make aesthetic choices that impart nostalgia in his audiences. He does so in a multitude of scenes in “Pulp Fiction.” When Vincent arrives at Mia’s house a prominent reel to reel stereo is in the background disorienting the viewer and creating a doubt as to the time period during which the movie takes place. This is buttressed by Vincent’s attire which could come from a multitude of time periods. This whole scene functions to slightly dislodge the viewer’s opinion of the era and transition them for the fifties dinner scene Picture 1.png

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Tarantino continues to sample a multitude of time periods throughout “Pulp Fiction.” Another great example is the scene with the taxicab that Butch escapes from after winning the fight which he was supposed to lose. We see the cab skid around a corner just as another car slams on its breaks. Looking at the car it is obvious that it is a modern to late 20th century car. Because Tarantino has subtly mashed up time periods in previous scenes, we as the viewer barely notice the absurdity of scene, but rather, subconsciously absorb the nostalgic film cliché of the 1920 “ish” cab ride and confession. Even the cabbie has a Hollywood cliché appearance.

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Many of these signature Tarantino stylistic approaches are found in his other movies. In the “Kill Bill Volume One,” Tarantino adopts and samples an even wider group of filmmaking styles. He uses strategies of Italian spaghetti westerns, Japanese chanbara films and Hong Kong martial arts films. The Mexican standoff is common scene in both volumes of “Kill Bill”. Tarantino takes this Hollywood cliché and adds a sense of parody to it. An early scene where Uma Thurman (The Bride) and Vivica A. Fox (Vernita Green) are engaged in a knife fight is a great example of the parody of the Mexican standoff. Excerpt from the screenplay:

The Bride backs up into the mess of the now totally demolished living room. The two woman stalk each other, each holding her blade, each looking like they know how to use it, each waiting for the other to make a mistake so they can plunge their blade deep into the other one. Blood and sweat drip off of the faces of the two women locked in life and death combat.........When the back kitchen door opens, and a FOUR-YEAR-OLD LITTLE GIRL, carrying a lunch box steps inside.

FOUR-YEAR-OLD GIRL Mommy, I'm home!

The two warrior women, whose eyes reflect only combat concentration, suddenly switch upon hearing the four-year old's voice. The Housewife's eyes flash a look of pleading to the eyes of The Bride. The Bride seems to answer back; "Okay." The Black woman and the white woman hide their edged weapons behind their backs, as the Four-Year-Old Little Girl walks into the newly destroyed living room.

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Again Tarantino throws the viewer a curve ball when he depicts the background of The Brides first target O-Ren Ishii (Lucy Lu) on her list of revenge killings. The narrator is not a different character, but rather the main character The Bride, in her voice we hear this dialogue as the scene is illustrated in a Japanese anima style:

It was at that age, a half-Chinese, half-Japanese American Army brat witnessed the murder of her Master Sergeant father. And the rape, then murder of her mother at the hands of Japan's most ruthless Yakuza boss, Boss Matsumoto. She swore revenge...luckily for her, Boss Matsumoto was a pedophile.

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The illustration flash back allows Tarantino to take a stylistic license embedding an epic nature to the circumstances surrounding the orphaning of O-Ren Ishii creating compassion and respect for Ishii’s antagonistic role. Another one Tarantino’s signature dialogue scenes appear when the narrator describes Ishii’s accent to the crime syndicate of Tokyo. An under boss has just spoken a grievance against Ishii during this aside scene:

O-REN “Silence! Of what perversion do you speak, Tanaka? “

BOSS TANAKA (JAPANESE) “I speak, Mistress Ishii,....of the perversion done to this council, which I love more than my own children, making a female half-breed Chinese American bitch its leader.”

Then... Faster than you can say Jiminy Cricket,... O-Ren's samurai sword is unsheathed... Boss Tanaka's head is liberated from its body... The head hits the floor... And from the spot between its shoulder blades, a geyser of blood shoots up in the air. The BOSSES who were shocked at Tanaka's words are even more flabbergasted at O-Ren's response.

O-REN I'm going to say this in English so you know how serious I am.

As your leader, I encourage you to -- from time to time and always in a respectful manner, and with the complete knowledge that my decision is final -- to question my logic. If you're unconvinced a particular plan of action I've decided is the wisest, tell me so. But allow me to convince you. And I will promise you, right here and now, no subject will be taboo...except the subject that was just under discussion.

O-REN (ENGLISH) The price you pay for bringing up either my Chinese or my American heritage as a negative is, I collect your fuckin head. (now completely American) Just like this fucker here. Now if any of you sonsabitches got anything else to say, now's the fuckin time.

O-REN (ENGLISH) I didn't think so. (pause) Meeting adjourned.Picture 15.png

Scenes like this and the previous animation allow Tarantino to develop his characters backgrounds in a way that is not possible in a linier story telling fashion.

As Tarantino’s films become more mainstream, the potential for them to become diluted increases. In the coming years it will be interesting to see how Tarantino handles his popularity. As for now though, Tarantino’s awareness and use of Hollywood clichés, his blending of popular culture and unrivaled score sensibility has allowed him to define himself, in crowded lineup, as one of the most revered of independent directors of our time.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Directives for the Final Stretch

Between now and the final, there will be no more additional blog-posting assignments. Use the time to finish your final projects, and to catch up on any blog-posting assignments you haven't completed yet.

Recommended Viewing/Reading, related to Walkabout

Clips from a documentary on the Yolgnu actor David Gulpilil:

Gulpilil (who was known as an accomplished dancer), performing some traditional dances:

Two articles on, and a review of, a multimedia theatrical "re-imagining" of Walkabout:

Tom Block, "The Face on the Barroom Floor"

I chose to write about this article because I think that Tom Block has a sincere, realistic take on depictions of violence. He talks about the prevalence of violence in film and television, noting that despite its popularity, violence is rarely depicted in a way that affects us as it should. He points out that film directors seem to care more about the number of deaths in a film than about how much impact a single act of violence can have on an audience. A pile of corpses won’t even make us flinch if we are not shown the real ugliness that it takes to put someone in that state. Block believes that the entire point of depicting gruesome violence should be to show us how terrible and sickening that side of humanity can really be, and yet that point is usually glossed over by the highly dramatized fight scenes found in films, so that we are left with violence without any substance.

Block’s writing style is fairly straightforward and casual; he makes his point without coming off as long-winded or disinterested. Here is a phrase I found interesting: “Our contemporary filmmakers tend to care only about body counts, without ever following through on their punches or actually affecting us emotionally with their maimings and gorings, which is surely the only legitimate excuse for such bedlam to begin with. In Chinatown we never quite recover from seeing Jack Nicholson’s nostril bisected by Polanski’s switchblade before the movie is barely a quarter old, while in Die Hard and the Bruckheimer movies bodies are stacked up like cordwood, yet no one in the audience thinks of choking on their popcorn. It’s unreal.” This sort of writing is really engaging because it feels like Block is giving his sincere opinion on the subject, without dressing it up or down.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Final Project

For the final project I would like to do an installation/sort-of performative piece that responds to the question does art/cinema need the real. Throughout this class we have watched such an eclectic mix of films and I have been thinking about this question quite a bit. My goal is to be able to give my answer to this question through this piece.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Film Blog Examples

Required Reading/Writing

For this week's assignment, I want you to pick ONE reading from the below list of online articles on film. None of these articles are directly related to the film we watched today -- they are simply examples of what I think is good writing on film. I'm hoping they can provide you with inspiration on ways of writing about or dealing with film -- none of them are really "academic" or "book-report-y," they just show writers who have an interesting perspective, and who are genuinely engaged with their subject matter. Hopefully it will provide some inspiration for your final project. There is no common theme among the writing, and they show various styles, and also various uses of still and film clips, to make their arguments.

Before next week's class, I want you to read one of the below articles, and write a two-paragraph response to the article on the class blog. In the first paragraph, address the content of the article: what do you think are its most interesting points? What do you most agree (or disagree) with? And in the second paragraph, write some remarks on the writer's style. How would you describe their writing style? What are some sentences or phrases that stand out to you, and why?

Here are the articles:

Tom Block on depicting violence:

"Arbogast on Film" on subtext in the 50s "giant bug" horror film Tarantula:

Mike D'Angelo on Spielberg's suspense technique in Jaws:,45876/

David Bordwell Jackie Chan's action-film editing, versus the lackluster action editing in a late James Bond flick:

Outlaw Vern on the absurdities of Tron Legacy:

The "Self-styled Siren" on Paul Newman's acting career:

Chris Fujiwara on the use of the zoom in different films:

Final Project....

When I first read through the final project assignment my mind immediately went to the last movie I saw in theaters which is already one of my top favorites and that is Sucker Punch... The movie deals with such a fine line between reality and what's not... I think this plays perfectly into the argument that cinema does not need to be real or feel real but it does need to TOUCH upon human emotions or we wouldn't relate or enjoy the film one bit.. I'd like to write a paper with my conclusions using a movie such as this to back up my reasoning as well as doing some kind of photo/video tribute.... hmmmmm

kasey hartsock!


1. Can you detect any traces of Cassavetes style or sensibility, as it appears in "A Woman Under the Influence," in this episode? If yes, explain the commonalities you see; if no, explain the differences in tone and treatment.

I think after looking hard enough I could find small commonalities but overall the tone and treatment were completely different! The private eye TV show was pretty typical in set up, interesting, and over quickly.. Very fast passed and over quickly due to the fact it was just an episode versus the long and drawn out film. "A Woman..." does not follow any certain set up, seems to carry on longer than necessary, and is not predictable (in a certain way). The style of film was comparable though... the lighting technique very important and certain angles at fault for certain moods portrayed.

2. The format of a private eye TV show has to follow a formula to some degree -- in his independent films, Cassavetes tried to break away from the idea of formula. Why do you think Cassavetes wanted to break away from formula, and what do you think are some of the pros and cons of working within a formula?

In my own opinion I think there almost has to be a formula for a "private eye" type show, and if not specifically a mystery, a detective, and an interesting plot, suspects, and hopefully a solution at the end! I do not think it has to be in any specific order though, and if there is a way to spice up the events then please do! I think Cassavetes was a different kind of director and actor and mostly wanted to break away from formula because he wanted to be different. He didn't produce works like other directors and stood out for that reason alone.. I think there are definite pros to working within a formula and thats the basic hope of not getting it wrong.. of having interesting points, characters, and plot all may be formulaic but reaching out beyond those goals is when the film really sells. The cons of formula may be too confined for some, and breaking it leads to greatness.. (Sometimes)

Kasey Hartsock

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


1) Can you detect any traces of Cassavetes style or sensibility, as it appears in "A Woman Under the Influence," in this episode? If yes, explain the commonalities you see; if no,explain the differences in tone and treatment.1. Can you detect any traces of Cassavetes style or sensibility, as it appears in "A Woman Under the Influence," in this episode? If yes, explain the commonalities you see; if no,explain the differences in tone and treatment.the Tv show that Cassavetes acted in

Cassavetes style and sensibilities was different in the TV show. firstly looking at the differences formally, I can see that the environment played a crucial part in the movie 'A Woman UNder the Influence', in the TV series the set is fake, the lighting fake, and dramatic, the extras seemed homogenously beautiful and all together the set was stilted. this influenced the plot, the tome and the delivery of Cassavetes in the TV show.

2. The format of a private eye TV show has to follow a formula to some degree -- in his independent films, Cassavetes tried to break away from the idea of formula. Why do you think Cassavetes wanted to break away from formula, and what do you think are some of the pros and cons of working within a formula?

"the workings of theatrical people as they are' was important to Cassavetes. He wanted a raw, real and intelligent delivery, that he felt was lacking in the modern day films.
- trying to break away from formula driven work, is the refreshing quality and real artistry of film directing and producing. If it is an art form one must stay true to one's vision or becomes a sell out.
the pros of working within the formula, is the effortlessness of theme and narrative. It can easily be put of the shelf and picked up by any viwer to digest. Mass market baby.

Final Project

For my final project, I'll be painting a mural on the third floor landing of the back staircase in David Hall. I want to address surrealism and how truth can still be found (and is sometimes more obvious) in deliberately non-realistic films/art. To do that, I'll be mixing black and white imagery with color imagery to bridge the gap between the real world and the imagined world.

Thoughts on John Cassavetes

1. The only thing I felt the TV show and the movie had in common is that they were both dramatic. The movie was dramatic because of the mother's craziness and the effect it had on her family. The TV show was dramatic because it was a mystery/detective show and I wanted to know who was going to do what to whom. This reminded me of clue: Ms. Scarlett in the library with a candelstick. The TV show was plotted out like this, as any detective show would be. The movie however unfolded slowly and I was not quite sure what she or her husband was going to do next.

2. To have a detective show, you have to follow a formula. I'm not too sure if it would be successful if you did not. Events have to happen in order to create something that needs to be found out so a formula makes perfect sense.
I think Cassavetes tried to break away from a formula in his movie so that he could leave people in a little bit of supsense as to what she was going to do next or what was going to happen to her next. Watching the events un-fold slowly was interesting and kept me waiting for the next thing to happen.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Thoughts on Meshes of the Afternoon

'Meshes of the Afternoon', was a creepy short film. I had no working speakers at the time I watched this film so I watched it silently. It was interesting and I actually enjoyed the film because I was able to make sense of the different events happening to her.

The first image I really liked was her taking the key out of her mouth. To me this symbolized her holding the key to her destiny, which ended up being death.

The second image that struck me as interesting was the grim reaper figure with a mirror face. I loved this. Its weird, creepy and sort of scary, especially if you're watching this alone, at work, with no sound. I also have an active, wild imagination so that works against me sometimes. I would be pretty freaked out if I walked up stairs here at work and found a person standing in a black cloak who turned to me and all I saw was myself in their face. I felt this symbolized herself and what she was about to do to herself.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


For your project for the final, I want you to address yourself to this question: what is the relationship of art to reality (and in particular what is the relationship of cinema to reality)? What are the uses of reality for art --in formal and/or ethical terms? Of course, "reality" can be a very ambiguous term -- sometimes when people talk about "reality" that word is a stand-in for associated words: truth, sincerity, authenticity, subjectivity. For the purposes of this project, you can define "reality" as you see fit -- but be clear about what that definition means to you.

We've seen a variety of approaches film-makers have used to attempt to bring films into closer contact with reality, among them:

• The use of improvisation
• The use of real locations rather than sets
• The use of non-professional actors (using instead people who have had experiences similar to the experiences of the characters they play)
• Giving performers leeway to draw upon their own experiences to inform the dialogue and situations of the characters they are creating
• Documentary-style filming techniques (such as handheld camera work)
• A "transparency" of style: straight-on framing, no camera flourishes, just letting events play out in front of the camera without imposing a flashy style
• "Subjective" style -- using camera and editing techniques to make the viewer feel the subjective states the characters are feeling (of course this is in direct opposition to the previous approach -- each approach serves a different idea of "realism")
• Digging into subject matter (whether types of characters, classes of people, or even difficult emotions) that are ordinarily ignored by mainstream cinema
• Doing research into a place or a social situation, and letting that research shape the story
• Letting a story follow its own organic logic, without fitting it into a formulaic structure

In your final project, you can make a broad argument about reality and cinema. Some choices for a theme could be: Does art need the "real"? Does society need art that attempts to come to grips with reality? Some of the film-makers whose work we've watched use art as a way of combating what they see as an artificial, delusional or hypocritical mainstream culture. Is this a legitimate use of cinema, or is it a misunderstanding of the social function of cinematic fictions? Do people just naturally go to the movies to escape reality, rather than to encounter it?

If questions of this type seem too abstract, you can be far more specific in your project -- for instance, focusing on a film-maker (or making a close reading of a particular film), and describing the way the relationship between film and reality is worked out -- through film technique, through script, through performance. Describe the way reality is either approached or repelled by the film-maker's choices (and perhaps it's not an either/or: for instance, "Do The Right Thing" presents an interesting hybrid -- a script and dialogue that feels very real and conversational, placed in a visual style that is very deliberately artificial).

You are not restricted to "realism" as subject matter; if the surrealistic or deliberately non-realistic films were more interesting to you, you could make your final project about non- or anti-realistic films, film-makers or strategies. This could still be framed in terms of the "real" (though not in terms of "realism"); some anti-realist film-makers address themselves to truth, using their surprising or shocking images to materialize ideas that ordinary films would ignore, suppress or repress. And yet, even beyond this, perhaps it's the very flight from reality that appeals to you -- perhaps you feel it's important that art isn't contained by reality, that art is a space for the impossible to happen, a space where a new, more flexible, more strange reality can be invented.

Again, you can take a broad approach (as indicated in some of the ideas in the previous paragraph), or you can be more focused and specific, narrowing down to a film-maker or film, and explaining what techniques and choices are used to break reality, or it re-invent it toward the film-maker's ends.

If you're most comfortable writing a paper for the final project, then write a paper -- it should be at least 2,000 words (and be prepared to post it on the blog, with accompanying stills or clips from the work or works you're writing about). However, I'd be equally (if not more) interested in a non-typical way of addressing these questions. Feel free to make a video essay (of a duration somewhere between 4 and 10 minutes), or to give an artwork response (just give me an idea of the intention and scope of your artwork by next week's class). You can talk about your own art, and the relationship it has to reality, as well as drawing on examples from other art disciplines (painting, photography, sculpture, etc) -- but I do want you to address cinema directly. You can use the films we've seen as class as examples or jumping-off points, but don't restrict yourself to those films -- I want you to cast a net that's wider than what we've watched in class. On the day of our final (scheduled for Thursday, May 5, 3-6pm), be prepared to present your paper or your artwork with the class, as an oral presentation

Instead of responding to a short film or piece of criticism for next Wednesday's class, I want you to write up a one-paragraph summary of your ideas for your final project, posted to the blog.


I found the episode and the movie to be very dramatic, thus they related. Although I did not feel they truly related because of the pace. I found the pace of the episode to be rather quick; maybe because it was for television, while the movie, Women Under The Influence, was a lot slower; again maybe because it was a movie. Murder for Credit, seemed very scripted and formulated. I guess what i am trying to say is; theres a beginning scene, introduction to the murder case, the investigation, the arrest, the pleed of guilt, and the end. While Women Under the Influence seemed to have a unique plot. One thing I enjoy about the television show and the movie, they were shot beautifully, great natural light and depth of field in the camera.


As I mentioned earlier, Murder for Credit, followed a formula, a beginning scene, introduction to the murder case, the investigation, the arrest, the pleed of guilt, and the end. While Women Under the Influence had a similar movie plot, although the way the movie actually played out was some unconventional in my eyes. I think having a formula for television is great! The audience can follow what is going on, if one were to change it each episode people would be lost. Where as a for a movie, people are expecting twists, although they do expect to see a beginning, middle and end. The stuff between can be all sorts of mixed up, this in my eyes makes a movie great. I’m sure Cassavetes wanted to break away from this formula after working x amount of television episodes; who wouldn’t.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Cry of Jazz

1. Cry of Jazz portrays the use of music as a political statement in a very compelling way. It directly explains the reasons jazz sounds the way it does, down to some of the more minute nuances and sub-genres, and uses frank imagery to support its case. These various elements combine to paint jazz as a whole in an admirable, disparaging, bleak, then hopeful light. It is also interesting, though, to see the case it presents for the death of jazz-while the relevance is eternal, there is only so much evolution the form itself can make before it becomes redundant and, consequently, stagnates.
2. I really enjoyed listening to the more authentic jazz throughout, as well as looking at the imagery presented. Tribal idols accented the boundless creative merits of the negro people, while Jim Crow signs and decrepit project apartments portrayed their miserable state of being in 1930s America, as well as modern America. It was interesting to see how drastically using the origins and meaning of jazz as context changed the feel of the performances, a feel further driven home by close-up editing and quick scene changes that make the frantic music seem even more frantic.
3. The film is definitely still relevant. Looking at the film, it's easy to take the points raised about the death of jazz and apply them to the ever-changing, yet ever-repeating landscape of music. Perhaps rock as a whole is dead. Perhaps pop and rap as a whole are dead. Perhaps even music itself is dead, or at least dying. Besides that, more relevance is found in looking how white corporate America takes various genres of music, absorbs them into itself, and presents its own take on them, for better or worse.

John Cassavetes

1. Can you detect any traces of Cassavetes style or sensibility, as it appears in "A Woman Under the Influence," in this episode? If yes, explain the commonalities you see; if no,explain the differences in tone and treatment.1. Can you detect any traces of Cassavetes style or sensibility, as it appears in "A Woman Under the Influence," in this episode? If yes, explain the commonalities you see; if no,explain the differences in tone and treatment.

I feel that the styles were not very similar between "A Women Under the Influence" and the episode I watched. I felt like in the movie he seemed more "real" and not as much like an actor. In the TV episode he felt like he was playing a character that he didn't understand or relate to as well as the character he played in the movie. He seemed like he didn't have much life to him in the TV series compared to the movie. It was interesting to see how different he was on TV and in a movie.

2. The format of a private eye TV show has to follow a formula to some degree -- in his independent films, Cassavetes tried to break away from the idea of formula. Why do you think Cassavetes wanted to break away from formula, and what do you think are some of the pros and cons of working within a formula?

I think Cassavetes wanted to break away from formula because he was trying to do something different, something that would get peoples attention. If you go out of the box and create something new and exciting it is gonna generate attention. He doesn't just want to tell you a simple story and have it end there. He really wants to create art that makes you think about that you just saw. In a way he is interacting with the audience by allowing room for interpretation which in the end creates a more interesting story unlike a stock TV show. Working with a formula can be tough. Looking at the pros it can produce a a good piece of work that people will enjoy but not be flattered by. The con of using a formula is the fact that there is not much room to try different things or reach out with new ideas that some might think are crazy. It doesn't allow for as much freedom or to take as much risk unlike not using a formula.

John Cassavetes: Assignment Response

Victor G.

1. Can you detect any traces of Cassavetes style or sensibility, as it appears in "A Woman Under the Influence," in this episode? If yes, explain the commonalities you see; if no,explain the differences in tone and treatment.

There are few similarities. How calm he looked while saying his lines made it feel real. He makes a certain look when he is puzzled that I think is recognizable in both films. But there are certainly some differences, In the TV show he didn’t change the tone of his voice at all, not much emotion in it besides playing cool. In A Woman Under the Influence he is a completely different person. His character has a lot of personality and made watching him enjoyable. Seeing the different emotional roles he was playing was very believable.

2. The format of a private eye TV show has to follow a formula to some degree -- in his independent films, Cassavetes tried to break away from the idea of formula. Why do you think Cassavetes wanted to break away from formula, and what do you think are some of the pros and cons of working within a formula?

In his clip about television sucks it shows a lot about him. In how he doesn’t want to be just another TV show or film. Not just and other film where they blow your head open then that’s all. He wants to make a film that make you think and dive into the story. Pros and cons about working with a formula. Well with a formula you follow the steps and once you’re out of steps you’re done and bam a finished product similar to all others that used the same formula. Not much space to mess around with. But when you stay off the formula you get the chance to explore you thoughts and ideas. The final product may take longer without the steps to guide you but it will be your own and not just another answer to the formula.