All posts by Natasha Decena

Homework #7

In this clip of the film, The Royal Tenenbaums, one of the Tenenbaum brothers, Richie, attempts suicide after he discovers truths about his adopted sister’s (Margot) secretive life; Richie recently realized that he has fallen in love with his sister. The jump cuts in this clip preview the gradual change of Richie’s look as he removes all the hair around his head, then flashback scenes of his family and life. Despite its technical use to create flashbacks and the anticipation of his emergency, the use of jump cuts in this scene, expressed in rapid pace, is emblematic of Richie’s realization that his world had changed after his discovery about Margot.

Click to view clip, The Royal Tenenbaums.

Homework #5: The Animated Sequence

Citizen Kane’s “photo to life” sequence was done well with strategic timing. It seems as though Welles may have filmed the sequence in reverse order as shown. Welles could have filmed the scene with the photo shoot of the former Chronicle paper staff, and then used the actual frame of the shot as the photograph featured in the close-up. Welles achieved creating the sense of a time lapse by filming the scene in that order. Also, he achieved a convincing notion that the photograph became “live”.

In Disney’s short Laugh-o-gram series, the story of Alice in Wonderland remains similar to the film version in that Alice falls into a sleep and dreams of her experience in wonderland. I thought Alice’s interaction with the cartoons and cartoonists in the illustration room was a fitting scenario of the film story. Although the plot revolves around the theme of imagination, it was realistic of Alice to conjure dreams of a cartoon world, Cartoonland, after her visit to the cartoon studio. I liked that the term for cartoons on the first intertitle was referred to as “funnies” – when I researched to see if it was an actual term, I discovered that the term was used as the name of two American publications, “The Funnies” and “New Funnies”; it turns out that were the precursor of the comic book. I was not comic book reader but it was interesting to learn that comic books were discovered during the roaring twenties.

Homework #2 – Opening Scene: Apocalypse Now (Clubs)

The opening scene of Apocalypse Now can certainly be described as “intense”. The scene opens with an aerial view of a forest of Palm trees. Simultaneously, you can hear the chopping sound of a helicopter propeller cutting into the wind – and in the background, the start of the song “This is the End” by the Doors. As the introduction to the song progresses, elements in the film change and smoke enters the scene amongst the palm trees. It isn’t until the very start of the first set of lyrics to the song that the forest completely incinerates into flames. The lyrics begin with the sentence “this is the end…” Then, the scene begins to fade and, therein, introduces a cross-cut scene including a very young Martin Sheen.

The premise of the film is based on the Vietnam War (1955-1975). In my interpretation of the movie, the opening scene was the precursor for the way chaos and war was going to be depicted in the film; the viewers are immediately introduced to aspects of war, such as chaos and catastrophic events – circumstances very real in a war setting, at the start of the movie. Bits of information would reveal itself throughout the opening scene. On a night stand are formal documents fanned out and a vintage photograph of a female; additionally, the viewer is shown a bottle of cognac, a lit cigarette in the character’s hand, and a gun resting just below his pillow.

The camera primarily focuses the viewer’s attention onto the characters forehead and eyes, while simultaneously showing the previous scene of the trees caught on fire and helicopters. Perhaps, insinuating the character’s involvement in the catastrophic event. From the viewer’s perspective, it’s easy to infer that the film takes place during a time of chaos. Likewise, chaos becomes a continuous aspect presented throughout the entire film.

Movie Link:

Homework #1: Introduce Yourself Reply

Hello, I’m Natasha. I am a senior, and this is my last class before graduating. I major in Hospitality Management but I really have a fondness for art, especially for film and photography, which explains my interest in this course. I enjoy an array of genres of film, from comedy, fantasy to film noir. I particularly enjoy watching films in the comfort of my home, as opposed to the movie theaters. Sometimes, I feel that I miss certain elements of a film watching it from a big screen because my eyes cannot simply cover the entire screen at once, whereas, a television or computer screen makes it easier. I also admit to being that person with the habit of rewinding back to certain scenes when I feel I may have caught on to an insightful clue, or a very subtle but important action that may be occuring in the background of a film. Yes, I actually enjoy dissecting apart films for analysis (but not always). I have taken a Films from Literature course, here at City Tech, which I highly reccommend to anyone who enjoys reading/writing and watching movies; however, this will be my first experience learning about the origins of film making. Therefore, I am really looking forward to this course. :)