Archive for Slinger’s Notes

Where Does the Time Go?

So I haven’t made any major updates in at least a week. But there’s been some cool stuff, as a recap, I’ll list what I’ve done:

Put up 5 videos:

The Devil May Cry Tribute
Car Trouble
Music Video: I could Have Lied
Music Video: Microwave Man
Some MEga64 video

I put up my presentation for International Cinema- a little bullet point/picture reference for the film “Hero”. It’s a tad bit incoherent, but hey, if you have any questions, feel free to ask me.

Today I should finish up my Graphic Button for CMAT 136 (Television Studio), and that will be on the web within the next two weeks.

Other than that, there’s not much else to say. I’ve taken in a small dose of films lately though…

SERENITY- You guys need to see this, but I recommend watching Firefly first just so you can love the characters even MORE than you would as a noob.

CURSE OF THE GOLDEN FLOWER- this is a beautiful film, it’s score on IMDB is absolutely unfair, it’s a typical family drama with insane intensity and brilliant battles.

THE COVENANT- this is the worst movie I’ve seen in a long time. Completely worthless film. How do you screw up this concept? Worst action film I’ve seen since Ultraviolet, and since I can tell there was no soul behind this one, I’ll actually say its worse.

GOD OF WAR 2- this is a video game, not a film, and it drives me freakin’ bonkers. I’ve played at least 13 hours in just 4 days. I haven’t done that since Devil May Cry 3. That was two years ago. I hate the first game, but this one is just SO GOOD it’s nearly perfect…heck it just might be.

That’s it for now, I’ll post more in the days to come, then a trip to Boston!

jackie and jet

From Dark Horizons, I’ve just recieved one of the most important news stories of the martial-arts cinema to date. There has finally been a title and casting proposed for the Jet Li and Jackie Chan project. Thanks to Garth Franklin at Dark Horizons for finding this out! Check his site out- it’s where I get a lot of info on the movie world.

    The Jackie Chan and Jet Li team-up project finally has a name – “The Forbidden Kingdom.”

    Lionsgate and the Weinstein Co. will domestically co-release the action epic based on the Chinese legend of the monkey king.

Read the rest of the article here.

The Zhang Yimou film, Hero portrays multiple viewpoints and possible perceptions of the story, from the unreliable narrations of Jet Li’s character, Nameless.

This article I am writing takes some basis in an article from American Cinematographer, in which Christopher Doyle states in journal entries,

      “We chose white to suggest the truer sequence, and we chose red to suggest that passion has a different truth. Like the West from Aristotle until Newton, Chinese conceptual systems associate color with elements, objects, parts of the body and sounds.

In the Chinese tradition, green is wood, anger and the eyes. Red is fire, the veins and joy. Yellow is earth and desire. White is metal, skin, hair and sorrow. Our basic color, black, is water and fear, not the negation of color some would assume.

    I guess someone deserves a PhD if he applies all of those concepts to Hero. As far as I’m concerned, these colors are nothing more or less than what they are.”

Hero Basic

Nameless’s primary color is black. This is what the director settled on for his main film color, along with cinematographer Christopher Doyle. It represents a more down to earth tone in some scenes, the scenes where the unreliable narrator’s events may speak some truth (at least more than others) in a fact sense, rather than emotional sense.

donny yen black

Black is the filmmaker’s representation of Fear and Water. In scenes with the King, or fights with Nameless, the colors are black. The fight between Sky and Nameless takes place in the rain- water. Water is also a symbol for purity in a symbolic sense, and black is used in the pure, factual truth scenes, such as the fight with Sky and Nameless’s meetings with the King. Nameless wear’s black- factual truth, in scenes that supposedly actually happened, such as the final fight with Snow.

Red and Yellow

hero yellow gold

Yellow vs. Red- when Moon and Snow fight over the affections and death of Broken Sword, they are red fighting in a sea of yellow. In this essence, they are fighting for their combined, conflicting passions in a field of desire, as yellow represents desire. Decisiveness, in which, had the true motivations of the characters not been what the story was leading towards, the proposed fight between Moon and Snow would make very much sense, considering both their passions for Broken Sword.

moon and snow fighting

tony leung hero green
Green is anger, and during the fight with Broken Sword, the King’s green veils are ripped down, stripping the palace back down to black. If Black represents fear in China, and the King has become black over the next ten years, then his fear is two fold- he creates fear for the other countries with his massive, black army, but his palace has been stripped down to Black- without the green it is obvious (as with the help of the nearly empty chamber), that the King has become quite afraid for his life, in something as simple as his chamber’s natural color tone.
hero king

Blue and White

Blue is primarily the King’s perception of events. The second fight between Nameless and Snow has her dressed as blue- translucent, as described by cinematographer Christopher Doyle. In the perception of this fight, as the King still believes Nameless has come to assassinate him as part of a plot between him, Snow, and Broken Sword, he sees all three as blue, as on the same side. After killing Snow, Broken Sword fights Nameless in blue as well. The final iteration of the past events in the story is told in white- with the final fight of Snow and Nameless being in a brutal, one move of sorrow. She lives, but she knows she has in a sense betrayed her love for Broken Sword, and has felt betrayed with his decision to leave the king alive. The truest emotion in this movie is sorrow.

white sorrow

It is a movement back to white and black by the end.

king's courtroom
The candles in this shot, at the very last scene, have become white to our view, when throughout the movie they were black and orange, flowing in front of the king. The King has been moved to the task of executing Nameless, something we see in his eyes as a regretful action. His candles, in the same place as the archers afterwards, represents his sorrow for calling death upon Nameless with the final arrow volley.

ESSAY: A Street Car Named Desire.

    Like I said, I’ll post this, it’s very long, but hopefully some people who read it will get some interesting stuff out of it. I dunno, just wanted to post an essay for a long time. NOTE: This is a 4 Star movie.

The Desire for Magic

Streetcar Postter “I don’t want realism. I want magic!” This line is bawled when, in the play A Streetcar Named Desire, the delusional character Blanche DuBois confesses to her lies, to her insanity, and furthermore to her desire to feel life through dramatic intensities. The motion picture, based on playwright Tennessee Williams’s visionary masterpiece, pushed this statement even further with a stunning new set of cinematic visuals and camerawork in 1951 under the direction of Elia Kazan. To this degree, the movie greater communicates to the audience the madness and beauty of Blanche in her most desperate and seductive moments than the original play in its derived presentation.

Scene six of the play places Blanche on a date with her new beau, Mitch. The coming together and falling apart of these two characters can be seen as one of the major tragedies of the play. Towards the conclusion of this scene it is shown that Blanche does in fact need Mitch, and in a way- though far less severely- Mitch needs her. The film helps establish to a greater degree than the play that Blanche is constantly spinning a web around Mitch through deceitful fantasies and her own unnoticed inner delusions.

There are many differences between the text of the play and the text of the screenplay inevitably seen in the film. One blatant change in adaptation comes in the setting. In the original text, Tennessee Williams wrote Blanche’s victory over Mitch’s heart to take place inside the empty Kowalski’s house while the lord and lady of the residence are out on their own late night prowls. Instead of showing the remaining struggles of Mitch’s affections after a frustrating date with Blanche, it takes a liberal step backwards into an actual date- a move which actually gives the audience a peak into the very brief and shallow social interactions that guise the true troubles of this doomed relationship. Underlying changes in dialogue, such as Blanche citing her need to stay formal as a reaction to being in public, help show that she tenaciously wishes to keep her façade prevalent even when away from her sister Stella.

There is also one drastic change in the script that for a moment changes Blanche’sstreet car attack character completely from the text in a way to offer more sympathy towards her. Both the play and the film have Mitch pose the personal question in reference to Stanley, “Don’t you get along with him?” (92). In the play, this launches Blanche into a tirade about her feelings of abuse from Stanley, to call forth such words as “The first time I laid eyes on him I thought to myself, that man is my executioner!” (93). In the film, this lengthy proclamation is shortened to a simple fear of Stanley’s brutal desire towards her in a nearly inaudible mumble from actress Vivian Leigh. The lack of detail and nit-picking from the monologue that has been cut almost changes Blanche from the attention starved damsel in distress as she appears in the text into something more akin to a lonely and quiet relic of beauty- more tarnished in her silence and simplicity and thus quite possibly even more alluring to the protective Mitch. This way there is almost somewhat more mystery added to her character- an added depth through the removal of reiteration of things already scene throughout the play.

Taking this one step further, the monologue Blanche uses to describe her relationship with her late husband Allan is cut immensely. This primarily could be a result of censorship at the time that would have been against any mentioning of homosexuality in a film; however this did not phase the success of the film’s expression of Blanche’s plight. Removing her direct description of events such as “Then I found out… By coming suddenly into a room that I thought was empty- which wasn’t empty but had two people in it… the boy I had married and an older man who had been his friend for years…” (95), helps to add more of a cloud around her motives as to her distress. In the film, all her reasons for loathing Allan are spoken only after one direct phrase: “I killed him.” This takes Blanche’s character to a whole new dimension, putting an exclamation point on her guilty conscience- appealing to the protectiveness demonstrate by Mitch throughout both mediums of the story. This one substituted line of dialogue places her into a new category from damsel of outside distresses, to damsel of her own distresses. She has become even more sympathetic because of her own self-hatred, and the blame that can be put on her for Allan’s death is harder for the viewer to place. By taking away words, her character’s dream and vision has become more complete.

Dame Blanche’s key goal is to create an illusionary world of her own, filled with magic of both joy and despair. In order to survive in this world she needs to draw in others- her next victim being the hapless, hopeless Mitch. The direction crafted with the mis-en-scene and camera work of this scene elevates her ability to draw Mitch into her surreal with her own form of smoke and mirrors. The first obvious gesture towards the dream world is Blanche’s leading of Mitch out of the swing club and into the quiet, calm and lonely dock area, where the two are isolated only to Blanche’s dramatic whims. The scene begins with Blanche and Mitch sitting outside the club, with dirty blinds and a curtain that leads out towards the docks- always placed behind Blanche as if emphasizing that she is about to lead Mitch into a dramatic performance. As the couple moves towards the docks further, the people inside the club can be vaguely seen through a window, until the camera shifts and the whole world disappears. One last couple drifts by and as Blanche recalls he

This is a review from another site, you might have heard of it: Aint It cool News.

300 shrapnel

Well, here’s an except to the review :

The movie takes place about a million years ago, and it’s sort of like a prequel to SIN CITY. Except way less guns and cars but twice as much skull splitting. If you watch this movie and go into a Taco Bell, and say to the cashier, “I need some extra sauce packets” guess what? You’re getting twenty sauce packets because your face will punch him in the brain.

This is pretty much a non-sequiter review of the movie, and its funny as hell. Its also almost completely accurate. It lists the reasons why other critics hated the movie, but also points out pretty much why they’re wrong. If you like Maddox (The Best Page In The Universe), then you’ll enjoy this.

Oh well, I’m deliriously fudged up on Sudafed. I’ll talk more later.