BSA306: Life is Beautiful

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Directed by Roberto Benigni | Released 1997 | La vita e bella

I love this film. I didn’t fully understand it when I first watched it because I was a child and I don’t think children are meant to understand this film completely. Watching Life is Beautiful now as an adult, I do understand it. It is about innocence, and keeping it alive, it is about sacrifice and how love means you will do anything to make life better and more beautiful for those you love.

Even though I now realise the horrors depicted in this film, I am still glad that I watched it as a child, because I have been able to see this story from both sides. When i was younger I couldn’t comprehend what was going on, I didn’t realise the seriousness of the situation. I saw this film through the eyes of little Giosué and giggled along with him at the silly jokes his father made. Now my heart breaks a little at these moments, because I understand Guido.

Although this film received heavy criticism for “trivializing the holocaust”, I don’t think that should put anyone off watching it. It is difficult to know whether it is insensitive, but I definitely do not think that was Roberto Benigni’s intentions. I will always love this movie and would definitely recommend it, but would also suggest to bring a box of tissues… You’ll need them!

 


 

Won the following awards (and more):

  • Oscar for Best Actor in a Leading Role – Roberto Benigni
  • Oscar for Best Music, Original Dramatic Score – Nicola Piovani
  • Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film
  • BAFTA for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role – Roberto Benigni
  • Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role – Roberto Benigni
  • AFI Fest Audience Award for Best Feature Film – Roberto Benigni

And was nominated for the following awards (and more):

  • Oscar for Best Picture – Elda Ferri and Gianluigi Braschi
  • Oscar for Best Director – Roberto Benigni
  • Oscar for Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen – Vincenzo Cerami and Roberto Benigni
  • Oscar for Best Film Editing – Simona Paggi

 

 

 

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BSA306: Reservoir Dogs

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Directed by Quentin Tarantino | Released 1992

Reservoir Dogs is the story of a group of thieves who come together to pull of the perfect diamond heist. It turns into a bloody ambush when it is revealed that one of the men is an undercover police officer. This is Quentin Tarantino’s first feature film and quickly became a cult classic after its release in 1992.

The opening scene in the coffee shop really grabbed my attention and drew me in with the way the camera constantly circled the characters and the witty dialogue they shared. What I particularly enjoyed about this film, besides the fact that it’s a Tarantino film and everything he does is brilliant, was the names the characters gave to each other in order to keep their identities hidden. They are all named after colours (Mr. Brown, Mr. White, Mr. Pink), which added a hint of humour to every scene which was an otherwise serious situation.

Sally Menke was the editor on Reservoir Dogs. She worked with Quentin Tarantino on eight of his films before her death in 2010 (Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, Jackie Brown, Kill Bill:Vol. 1, Kill Bill: Vol. 2, Grindhouse, Deathproof, Inglorious Bastards).

 

BSA331: The Journal

This post contains all the work I have currently done in my journal for this class. I realised that handing this in in its physical form probably wouldn’t be the best idea as I may not be around to be able to collect it. Instead I decided to post pictures of it. I haven’t photographed all of the scripts that are in the journal because I didn’t feel comfortable posting them. However, I have written a little something about each piece that was written.

 

Enjoy.

 

BSA306: A Scanner Darkly

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Directed by Richard Linklater | Released 2006 | Rotoscope

 

A Scanner Darkly (2006) is based on Phillip K. Dick’s novel of the same name. The film tells the story of identity and deception in a near-future dystopia constantly under intrusive high-tech police surveillance in the midst of a drug addiction epidemic. The film was shot digitally and then animated using interpolated rotoscope, an animation technique in which animators trace over the original footage frame by frame, for use in live-action and animated films, giving the finished result a distinctive animated look [1].

While I found the rotoscoping impressive, I found it quite distracting. For me, it took my attention away from a story that I might have otherwise been quite engaged with. However, I don’t particularly enjoy Keanu Reeves, Robert Downey Jr. or Winona Ryder so I guess that put me off from the start.

I wanted to like this film, because of the trippy yet impressive rotoscoping, but the reality was that I just didn’t. Even though, as I have said, I don’t very much like the cast of the film, I don’t think this was the reason. It turns out that films about drugs aren’t really my thing. This being the focus of A Scanner Darkly, it didn’t draw me in. Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean it isn’t a good film that deserves recognition for it’s unique approach and thought-provoking story.

Los Cronocrímenes

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Directed by Nacho Vigalondo | Released 2007 | Timecrimes (English release title)

 

The title is a bit of a giveaway for what this film is about. The audience knows from the start that there is going to be time travel and some sort of crime involved and, because of that, you’re anticipating it and it’s not a surprise when it does happen.

As soon as the ‘Pink Mummy’ appeared, I guessed it might have been the main character. I was right. I guessed just about every plot twist long before it happened and I found that really frustrating. I think the reason each and every plot twist was so easy to predict was because the main character was written to be a bit of fool, meaning that every decision he made was sure to be foolish. This is lazy writing. It creates an easy-to-predict plot line and, in turn, a boring movie.

The whole plot of this film feels very similar to the time travel sequence in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban where Harry, Ron and Hermione are present in several places at once and must not bump into themselves in order to not damage the present/future, but eventually manage to make things right with each leap back in time. Similarly, everything Hector does effects past present or future Hectors and he must not communicate with any of the other Hectors. Although Hector causes all of the problems he faces, he also manages to right his world, even though he doesn’t do this in the best of ways.

BSA306: My Body of Work

I aimed to create three kinds of trailers for this project; the theatrical trailer, the non-dialogue trailer and the sneak peek trailer. Unfortunately, time was against me and i was only able to complete two – the theatrical and non-dialogue. I still plan to continue editing and put together the sneak peek, in fact, I filmed enough to make two of these.

I would love to be able to share both of these trailers with the world, but at this stage that is not possible. The reason being that I do not have the rights to use the music I have edited my trailers to. Yes, I know, this is extremely unprofessional of me. However, I have not, and will not, be posting these videos for the public to see, I am only using them for assessment purposes. Sometime in the near future I would like to reedit my trailer using music that I do have rights to whether this be through commissioning someone to write music for me or purchasing the rights to a piece already in existence.

Now that this project is at it’s end, I can say that I am quite happy with what I achieved. I do think that the theatrical trailer was the better of the two. For a student work I feel it looks very professional and reads well as a trailer. I do wish I had had more time (and more skill) to work on the audio, but that is something else I can tackle in the future. The non-dialogue trailer I think had potential, but I think it became a little boring when edited to the same music as the theatrical trailer. In order to make it more engaging I believe a song with lyrics may be beneficial, or perhaps a different instrumental piece and some titles. I also believe it would benefit from being shorter, perhaps closer to the 1 min to 1 min 30 mark.

All in all, this has been an enjoyable project as I have been able to have complete freedom with how I presented my trailer and discover different and interesting ways to present it.