Monday, February 22, 2010

Movie Week Extravaganza

During the Movie Week Extravaganza I viewed One Hour Photo, Manufactured Landscapes and O Brother Where Art Thou? I thoroughly enjoyed all three, along with all the junk food consumed (2 bags of popcorn, a Mars Bar, and one juice box in total, not bad)...

One Hour Photo
One Hour Photo is a fabulous film. My viewing during movie week was not the first viewing I have had; in fact I have now seen the movie 3 times, and every single time that I see it it does not fail to fascinate me. I am a big movie goer and have seen many Robin Williams films (as I am sure many of us have), and still cannot get over what a diverse role he pulls off in this film. The opening monologue on the role of photos in people's lives is quite interesting, my favorite part being:

"Family photos depict smiling faces. Births. Weddings. Holidays. Children's birthday parties. People take pictures of the happy moments in their lives. Someone looking through our photo album would conclude that we had led a joyous, leisurely existence, free of tragedy. Nobody ever takes a photograph of something they want to forget..."

The way that they adjusted the lighting in various situations for Sigh is really neat. When he is working in the photo lab, it is very bright and clean and clear. Shots of Sigh at home sort of have an off tone to them that accentuates the loneliness that he feels. Overall, the movie definitely gives off a creepy feeling! It never really occurs to you that when you take prints to a photo lab, a complete stranger is viewing them. I often wonder what kind of stuff those photo technicians must see in just one day. The movie really incorporated these wonders when there was the fun scene of the crazy cat lady, the new father, and the up and coming porn photographer. One hour photo labs are definitely not something that many of us give much thought to, but after seeing this film it definitely got the wheels spinning in my head.

O Brother, Where Art Thou?
This movie was also great! To be honest the only reason I chose to watch it was because I love George Clooney. I had never been interested in seeing this film, and I am happy that Clooney enticed me into seeing it. The three men traveling together are funny beyond words, and it gives you an interesting glance at what things were like at this time in the United States, during the 1930's. The story line kept me drawn in, and the director of photography definitely knew what he/she was doing. The opening scene of the men working on the rail road is really neat with how it goes from black and white to color, and then you see the three men escaping through the field. The angles that they shot the rail workers at were neat, using silhouettes and implied lines quite a bit. The film was humorous and light while being moving and deep at the same time - something that does not happen too often! I was laughing throughout most of it, and when we were shown the extra about how they created all the edits in the film it gave me a whole new respect for what film makers have to do to create the final product, just like photographer's and our post processing.

Manufactured Landscapes
Manufactured Landscapes really scared the heck out of me. When I chose to watch it, I went in not knowing a thing of what it was about. Although the movie frightened me (and I do mean that it literally did frighten me - almost as much as One Hour Photo but in a different way), I really enjoyed it because global warming / globalization is a huge issue facing our world today, and it also happens to be an issue that fascinates me. In Creative Imaging we had seen a bit of Edward Burtynsky's work before, and I instantly recognized his industrial landscape images in the film. What I found interesting is that the film conveyed two message to me: all of the waste in the world, and the factory workers who create all of the objects sporting the "MADE IN CHINA" tag on them in our Western World. I mean really - the majority of what I own is "MADE IN CHINA". It is something we do not pay a lot of attention to, and that is why when they interview the president of one of these manufacturing companies in China, I feel bad for them. I feel bad because the president had so much pride in the work they do and so many goals, yet we barely give them any recognition. The only recognition that we see in our Western World is the "MADE IN CHINA" tag. Some of the conditions that these workers work in absolutely stunned me - like the young males working in the oil. I found this film extremely effective, and the way in which Burtynsky photographs all of this is beautiful in a very strange way. Since viewing the film, I have been viewing more of his work online and learning more about what he does, because shooting industrial landscapes is something that intrigues me.