Sunday, May 19, 2013

The Story of Film: An Odyssey Part 2

As we continued watching the odyssey of film, we learn of the new innovations by filmmakers and the birth of a new glamorized idea called Hollywood. I was very interested in the discussion of censorship in Hollywood and did some research on the subject.

From March 31, 1930 to July 2, 1934 was a four-year interval marked as the pre-Code era, a time before American motion pictures were censored. Before July 2, 1934, Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America only pledged to abide by the Production code but never adhered to it. It wasn't until July 2, 1934 when the Production Code Administration enforced the code to be abode. The pre-Code era lays bare what Hollywood under the Code did its best to cover up and push off screen. It portrayed the raw stuff of American culture, unvarnished and unveiled.

Now that Hollywood was fenced in by censorship, it found another way to capture the audiences attention through use of glamour and appearance. Stars were adorned in beautiful and extravagant costumes. Hair and makeup done to make an actress' face look flawless. This would become the look and feel of Hollywood, a glamorized world and lifestyle only few can obtain. And even though most Americans did not look like Greta Garbo in Anna Karenina, they took hold of this idea fast and represented it as Hollywood.

Monday, May 13, 2013

The Story of Film: An Odyssey

And what an odyssey it is.

The Story of Film: An Odyssey takes you through the journey of film and how it became what we know today; making it something I'm excited to watch.  I love film and movies. I always have. I love how a film can capture a story or a feeling and make it ten times more magnified and breathtaking through use of music, innovative camera angles, etc. etc. The emotion you experience and sensation you feel as you watch someone's art through a lens is quite extraordinary.

I could honestly go on and on about my love for film. I probably make it all sound really cheesy and corny too. But I must say, these innovators, throughout "the odyssey" that is film to today, are truly brilliant. My hats go off to the daring and wonderfully unique people who make film into an art-form. The people who can create something cerebrally stimulating or draw out an emotion that feels so realistic, are true artists. Not only that, but to fit it all into a television, computer, or theatre screen is  quite impressive in my book.

In The Story of Film: An Odyssey, they discuss examples of the then new, creative shooting and screening tricks that we have all become so used to today. At the time it was almost described as magical, but for me, if done right, it can seem just as "magical" as it was when first shown. That is what great film is. That is the art of film. To create the same image and experience every time you see it.

Monday, January 28, 2013

A thousand origami cranes

An ancient Japanese legend promises that anyone who folds a thousand origami cranes will be granted a wish by a crane. Some stories believe you are granted eternal good luck, instead of just one wish, such as long life or recovery from illness or injury.

Between the Folds

"Everything folds." That is one of the many messages this story conveys. In the film Between the Folds we discover that there is more to origami than just folding paper into a crane. It really is an art-form unlike any other and has a lot of truth behind it as well. I personally was intrigued by how much origami can be related to human life.

As humans we always feel the need to change things. Origami is a good analogy to this topic. Rather than other art forms, origami is just a square sheet of paper and that is all that is needed. No scissors, paints, molds, clay, adding to anything or subtracting from anything etc. All you are doing is changing the paper to form something else. And what you change it to does not have to be realistic. The first thing to most that comes to mind when speaking of origami is the paper crane or other animals. But many spectacular artist in the film have shown us that there is more than your typical paper crane. Yes, there is a thing as abstract origami and it truly is wonderful art. One artist believed that it is harder to do something simpler (i.e with smoother lines) than something much more representational. What defines right and wrong; art and not art?

Something that really stuck out in my mind was the discussion of emotion in origami and frankly in other art forms as well. As our techinical skills become more and more highly evolved so does origami. Much more elaborate paper folds can be created, but we lose something in this more high tech process. Too much technique can take away the emotion. It takes away the art-form. I believe this to be a surprising parallel to life. When things become too planned do we lose our spontaniety? Our natural human choas? Focusing too much on work and getting by, we lose the emotion and passion. We lose art. With all this growing knowledge of the world is it possible we need a limit before we are over-run by its effects? Lose our emotional touch with the universe?

An interesting film that surprises you about the art of origami.