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The Grandmother

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The Grandmother (1970) is a film by David Lynch.  Lynch first collaborated with sound editor, Alan Splet, who later became his main source of sound editing for the majority of his collection.  When this film was initially shown, it was unfinished and was given such a great response, Lynch was offered more money to finish it and the final product was what he ended up watching in class.

David Lynch strikes again with something a little off-putting and somewhat uncomfortable to watch.  I think this film has a lot of personal issues possibly relating to Lynch, himself.  The saturation of the film was the main focus for me while watching it.  It certainly enhanced the film’s story and it really made up for the lack of detail just in the sense that it set the tone as this dark family story that can be incredibly familiar to a lot of people.  It’s disappointing, especially in a case like this with abusive parents, that this is something relatable for some people, but grandmothers do have this comfort that can help as an escape from parents.  This film just accentuated that idea very darkly and in a different light – oddly enough.  I’m not really a fan of David Lynch and his work but I really appreciate the originality of this film and the mix of animation and really interesting effects, like the process of growing a grandmother and the boy and his parents growing out of the ground.  I think I’d be interested in possibly seeing something new and enjoyable for me to watch out of Lynch’s collection.

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Written by madieshortfilm

April 21, 2011 at 9:38 pm

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Precautions Against Fanatics

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Precautions Against Fanatics (1969) is a film by Werner Herzog.  It was filmed at a Harness Racing Track in Munich, Germany.

This was hilarious almost in a mockumentary kind of way.  It’s similar to him eating his shoe because it’s got to do with mocking reality and these people who really are strange because they just are.  They just exist because they just are, and they’re perfectly normal to themselves.  This film was very down-to-earth and much more simpler than I initially took it.  It was comical because it was almost unbelievable for this old man to keep cutting into frame after frame and trying to block any other person of getting an interview but I notice, once it was his turn for an interview, he spoke right up and was into it.  It just points out those types of people that anyone can come across, anywhere and make their own judgments towards them for being so, for a lack of a better word, abnormal.  I honestly felt as if I was there and he was cutting off my shot as the filmmaker and it made me want the shot of the men with the horses, or the guy in front of the stable to just be as it was, without another guy coming in and ruining it.  I feel like Herzog purposely made this guy out to seem like a fanatic while his intention (in the film) was to stop the fanatics.

Written by madieshortfilm

April 21, 2011 at 9:28 pm

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Lumiere & Company

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Lumiere & Company (1995)

These films are a collaboration between 41 different directors who were given a camera and asked to follow 3 simple rules.

1. A short cannot be longer than 52 seconds long

2. No synchronized sound

3. No more than 3 takes

I think in most of the films, these rules were probably broken just for style purposes.  We only watched 4 different ones in our class and they all were easy to signify as different styles and personalities pulled through.

David Lynch

His signature was quick to point out and simple to name, strange.  It was almost dream-like because it all just seemed completely unreal and distorted to something that would be pleasant or typically (for me) interesting to watch.  I’m not necessarily a fan of David Lynch and this is only because we later viewed a film of his that I really didn’t like but after recapping this particular film, it just furthers my reasoning as to why I don’t like his style.  I think he’s brilliant in the sense of his stories being interesting and original but just for my personal insight, I wasn’t a fan.  I think the concept of this, though; with the same camera for 40 different directors were pretty cool and an interesting way to look at film through a director’s viewpoint with just a very short amount of time.

Spike Lee

I liked this one, he obviously broke the 2nd rule though, but I think it’s okay considering these were meant to portray the director’s particular style, even if the whole idea behind it with rules had to be distorted.  I think I like them more because the rules were broken. I thought it was nice that Spike Lee used a very personal subject to him for his main idea and he executed it well.  It was simple but had a lot to it.  It was his son, so I’m sure it was easier to film someone he was so comfortable with, and I’m sure even for his son, it was more comfortable for him to be filmed by his father.  The whole “Say Dada” part as the only dialogue gave it the family affect and made you feel as if Spike Lee was sharing a small part of his own world.  This one would probably be my favourite out of the ones we watched in the collection.

Theo Angelopoulos

This was hard for me to understand throughout the film.  It was noted afterwards that Angelopoulos’ style was the sense of a journey and discovery, which I definitely got while watching it but it was still not as easy to understand.  And I think that has a lot to do with the Greek culture and not knowing a lot of their history or the stories that they grow up with.  I liked the concept of watching a film while the character in the film is kind of interacting with you or looking into the lens at you, or into the “future.”  I think this film had a lot of underlying tones and wasn’t nearly as simple as the first two we watched and was just far more complex and unless you know Angelopoulos’ style from the start, it can be extremely hard to understand or interpret, as it was for me.  I especially liked this film in black and white though, while the others are in black and white as well, I feel like this, if it were an option, wouldn’t need colour, and the story was already enough.  It added more of the historical aspect to it, too.

Abbas Kiarostami

This was just another simple film out of this collection.  It portrayed the idea of realism and how an everyday occurrence can be something that is worth filming and I think this particular director did it well.  It was obviously an instance in anyone’s everyday life that he filmed and it was obvious that the phone call was some sort of a significance to the main character and possibly the director since it was his vision for just a small amount of time and with a specific camera that was given to him to experiment.

I think the concept of these films was really inventive and interesting to test the directors to display their styles in less than 52 seconds.  Out of the one’s we saw, Spike Lee’s was my favourite because his was more personal and much easier to point out a specific sense of style.  In the sense of style, I think David Lynch’s was pretty successful in terms of identifying what his particular style was.  Theo Angelopoulos made me want to discover exactly what his style was, which may have made his film successful because his style is noted as a journey or anything relating to a discovery.  Abba Kiarostami was the simplest out of all of them but was still completely relevant in anyone’s life, as a film buff or not.  It made sense the most just because it was familiar and made something so simple, something beautiful to view.

Written by madieshortfilm

April 13, 2011 at 4:46 am

The Discipline of DE

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The Discipline of DE (1978) by Gus Van Sant

Gus Van Sant is an American director, screenwriter, photographer, musician and author. He made a few short films along with The Discipline of DE  and a few well-known feature films such as, Good Will Hunting (1997), the re-make of Psycho (1998), and Milk (2008).

I really liked this film. It was funny and sarcastic. It really pointed out the fact that these are all simple tasks that people do take advantage of and forget that it really is that easy to keep up with those simple tasks.  I wrote in my notes that it was “informative” but that it was all sarcastic and I didn’t quite understand the real purpose of the film until everyone discussed it afterwards.  If it is in fact about film and how making a film truly needs discipline, just as living with simple tasks that you need to do everyday, then Van Sant did a great job by sarcastically informing the viewer of how simple things can be.  It’s hard to talk about this film without sounding redundant but I think as a film itself, it very much had the feeling of a student film and was a cool short from someone who is typically known as a director of feature films.

Written by madieshortfilm

March 19, 2011 at 3:07 am

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