Ava Changnon Intro to Film Studies Blog

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Battleship Potemkin

September 26th, 2018

Battleship Potemkin is full of interesting editing choices. The Kuleshov effect is the most interesting to me because it can change a view of a character with only a cut to a certain subject. In Battleship Potemkin, cuts of a captain on the ship to a cut of a piece of rotten meat and the sailors provides viewers with a perception of the captain as evil and not having the sailors interests at heart. I find this so interesting because it sets up characters that could’ve viewed been differently with a different edit. I also thought that the jump cuts at the end of the sections compelling because it ended a section dramatically with time for viewer reflection before the next section. I also notices the establishing shots within the movie and appreciated the extent because they allowed the viewer to visualize where the scene was taking place.


The most striking scene to me was on the stairs of Odessa as the police shoot at the civilians. The pure violence of the scene makes it one of the most memorable of the movie. The editing makes it one of the most memorable as well because it cuts to so many different people within the crowd shielding themselves as well as the police who are shooting. It’s definitely a scene I will never forget.

Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans

September 19th, 2018

Close up shots are an important part of Sunrise because they dramatizes the emotions of the characters. Being a silent movie, it is hard to correctly interpret the motive and feelings of the main characters. The tight shots of characters faces allow the viewer to see the small expressions that a character is making and interpret the feeling of that character. For example, when the husband first slips away to his mistress, their is a close up shot of the wife with tears rolling down her face. This makes her feeling very clear about the situation and lets the viewer interpret that she knows what going on. Throughout the movie, whether the character is happy or sad, the close up shots gives a clue of how the character is feeling in the moment. This shot is key for the tone of the movie.

Another technique that is used multiple times in the film is the superimposed shot where two shots are places over each other creating an overwhelming effect. In this film, I believe the superimposition is used to prove the theme of the city and the hustle and bustle. At first the filmmakers use this superimposition to contrast the city with the depressing landscape of the country where the characters are living. It creates a dreamlike idea of what the city represents. Next it’s use to create another dreamlike setting but within the city with the husband and wife. This technique is used in a really intreating way in order to provoke a feeling from the viewer. The city represents a dream for many and the superimposition elicits that.

The Royal Tenebaums/ Trip to the Moon

September 13th, 2018

In the Royal Tenebaums and Trip to the Moon, there is a emphasis on the costume design as well as the colors that make them both a spectacle to watch.The vibrant colors create a feeling of eccentricity and this is a purposeful addition the the Mise-en-Scene. In the royal Tenebaums, the costumes provoke a sense of nostalgia that gives the movie a familiar feel. In the Trip to the Moon, the costumes are ridiculously absurd and add the the over the top nature of the film. The first scene with the men in wizard looking robes planing the trip adds a sense that the director is in on the joke and has made this film for comedic purposes. In the Royal Tenebaums, another aspect of the Mise-en-scene is the human figure. All of the actors in the movie are successful in this own right. The view can feel familiarity with the characters because they have most likely seen the actors in other big movies. I read this aspect of the movie as an attempt to meld actors from numerous genres of film and create a story that incorporates of their quirky styles. I think this was an interesting film choice because going in to the movie, Wes Anderson had to tackle to role of creating a world in which these famous actors took on a new role and blended in to the Tenebaum family. I found the movie compelling because of this. The way the actors took on these roles as estranged family memebers with load of unique quirks and managed to convey a message about family, legacy and forgiveness.

Hail, Caesar!

September 5th, 2018

In the Coen Brother’s Hail, Caesar!, religion plays a major role. The film opens up with an image of the cross and precedes with a confessional from the primary character, Eddie. Later on in the film, Eddie calls in four religious leaders to check that the script of the studio’s new film is not offensive. In this scene we have a debate within religions about the representation of Jesus. There is also another representation of the cross and Jesus at the end of the movie when George Clooney’s character encounters him on the crucifix. Following this another confession from Eddie. I interpret the images of religion as a crucial juxtaposition to the film business. As we in movie, the studio is corrupt with all sorts of “sins” including lying, homosexuality and sex before marriage. I think the religion is a way that Eddie grapples with his tough job and a way the film makers expose the shady world of old Hollywood.

Another intriguing motif is the clock/watch. From the beginning there is a repeated shot of a watch on Eddie’s arm. Throughout the film there continues to be shots of a clock or watch. I think this is really interesting because it gives the viewer a little bit of anxiety and forced them to the edge of their seat. I read it as a way of representing the every changing nature of Hollywood.



Ava’s First Film Blog Post

September 3rd, 2018

I have been watching movies for a long time. My mother has worked for Turner Classic Movies for as long as I remember and since I was a child, she would sit my sister and me down in front of the television to watch her long list of must see class movies. When I was younger I found this annoying because it meant that I wasn’t watching shows that all the other kids at school were watching but when I reached high school, I realized that it was actually a special power of mine that I knew the plot to every Buster Keaton movie. As I grew into a young adult, my parents started to take me to the movie theater to see the new movies with Oscar buzz. I also remember being annoyed with this because they would discuss the movie afterwards and I would ask them why they continued to talk about the movie after they had watched it for two hours. They explained that movies were like books that could be dissected and evaluated on its themes and purpose. After finding this irritating for so many years, I took a film based class in high school where we watched movies like Do The Right Thing and Thelma and Louise. It was in the class that I realized how compelling it could be to dive deep into a movie you had been faced with. To sum that all up, I used to not understand the depth and importance of movies and now I have some understanding.

The two short films we watched in class were both very new to me. I had never seen a film so simple at first glance but deeply intricate and both of them represented that for me. The most compelling to me was the “Light is Calling” because of the creativity of the director. The found film feel proved to be intriguing because as a viewer I was anxious to figure out the source of the original film. It was also captivating because of the ambiguity of the narrative. As a viewer, I was trying to decode the story and to find something to interpret the entire film. I am still pondering on the narrative and I think that is the purpose. To leave the interpretation up to person watching it. I really look forward to watching the rest of the movies in the syllabus.

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