Movie Lessons III.ppt

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					Movie Lessons III
           XI. The Director’s Style
• President Wilson stated about The Birth of a Nation, “It is like
  writing history with lightning.”
   – Movies are powerful and accidental
• The director is the unifying force for many different creative
  people and ideas
• The amount of control depends on the director
   – Some are just hired to shoot the film
   – Some are auteurs: create the idea, write the script, cast the film,
     shoot it, and edit the final copy.
       • Most are somewhere in between
• A. The Concept of Style
   – The director’s personality is reflected in almost every decision made
       • They must choose the emotion, pacing, mood, truthfulness, and the
• B. Subject Matter
   – No other element reveals the style that the subject picked by a
       XI. The Director’s Style cont.
• C. Cinematography
    – Oversees the camera work
        •   Directors usually choose their cinematographer
        •   Objective camera: a camera that views action from a remote location
        •   Subjective camera: views a scene from the point of view of the character
        •   Factors of color, light, and movement
• D. Editing
    – Determines the pacing of the film
• E. Setting and Set Design
• F. Sound and Score
• G. Casting and Acting Performances
    – Most directors have a hand in picking this
    – Almost every aspect of the actor’s performance can be influenced by the
• H. Screenplays and Narrative Structure
    – How to tell the story: pacing, point of view, and structure
• I. Evolving Styles and Flexibility
    – Directors change over time and even try different genres
    – Steven Spielberg or Stanley Kubrick
• J. Special Edition: The Director’s Cut
    – Includes footage that had to be cut and often commentaries
                 The Godfather, 1972
• Based on Mario Puzo’s novel
• Directed by Francis Ford Coppola
• Stars Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, Robert
  Duvall, Diane Keaton, and James Caan
• Follows the mob family, the Corleones
• Coppola took the job on the advice of
  George Lucas
• Paramount did not want Marlon Brando
   – Preferred Laurence Olivier
       • Frank Sinatra was considered
   – Jack Nicholson, Warren Beatty, Martin
     Sheen, Dustin Hoffman, Robert De Niro,
     Sylvester Stallone, Anthony Perkins, Burt
     Reynolds, and Mia Farrow auditioned for
• A real horse head was used from a dog food
• Highest grossing film in the U.S. until the
  release of Jaws
The Godfather cont.
      •   Nominated for eight Academy Awards
           – Won three: Best Picture, Best Adapted
             Screenplay, and Best Actor (Brando refused
             to accept the award)
           – The Godfather Part II was the 1st sequel to
             win best picture
      •   Inspired the gangster genre
      •   AFI Lists:
           – #2 Greatest Film
               • #3 in 1997
           – #1 Greatest Gangster Film
               • The Godfather Part II is rated #3
           – #11 Most Heart-Pounding Film
           – #5 Greatest Film, Score
           – “I’m going to make him an offer he can’t
             refuse.” is the #2 Greatest quote
           – Marlon Brando #4 Greatest Male Film Legend
      •   TSPDT List: #7
      •   EW List: #1
      •   Time Magazine All-Time Top 100 Movie
      • List: #1
     The Godfather Response
1. Marlon Brando initially refused to be
   considered for the role of Don Corleone, saying
   “I won’t glorify the Mafia.” Does The Godfather
   indeed “glorify” organized crime?
2. Who is the “hero” of the movie? Why?
3. What does this film say about the American
   Dream? Can the dream be corrupted?
4. What role do women play in the film? Is the film
   sexist because of this or is it an accurate
   portrayal of the Mafia?
5. What character or scene stood out the most for
   you in this film? Describe why. Are you
   interested in watching The Godfather II now?
                The Graduate, 1967
• Based on a novel by Charles Webb
• Directed by Mike Nichols
• Starring Dustin Hoffman
    – Only six years younger than Anne Bancroft
      (Mrs. Robinson)
    – Only his 2nd film, his 1st major role
• Music by Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel
• Warren Beatty, Robert Redford, and Burt
  Ward were considered for the part of
  Benjamin first
• Huge box-office smash
• Some scenes and themes are deeply
  imbedded in the popular consciousness of
    – Often copied or spoofed
• The 2005 film, Rumor Has It… spoofs the
  film about a real-life Mrs. Robinson family
  that inspired Charles Webb to write his
The Graduate cont.
        • Nominated for seven Academy
          Awards, including Best Actor and
          Best Picture
           – Won one for Best Director
        • AFI Lists:
           – #17 Greatest Film
               • #7 in 1997
           – #9 Funniest Movie
           – #52 Greatest Love Story
           – “Mrs. Robinson” is the #6 Greatest
             film song
           – “Plastics.” is the #42 Greatest movie
           – “Mrs. Robinson, you’re trying to
             seduce me. Aren’t you?” is #63
        • TSPDT List: #215
        • EW List: #55
        • List: #147
      The Graduate Response
1. What is the conflict in this film? Does Benjamin
   resolve his conflict or conflicts?
2. What do you think happened to Elaine and
   Benjamin after the film? Explain.
3. Who is the hero of the film? Who is the villain?
   Give brief reasons why.
4. Did you like this film? How would you rate the
   humor in it?
5. This film is often quoted, spoofed, and copied.
   Is it justified in being apart of the cultural fabric
   of America? Why or why not.
     XII. Analysis of the Whole Film
• A. The Basic Approach
   – Watching, Analyzing, and Evaluating the Film
       • Easier to analyze movies when they are viewed twice
       • One viewing is hard to get involved and still study the picture
            – Films are too complex as well
   – 1. Theme: the first step of analysis
       • The film’s unifying central concern
   – 2. The Relationship of the Parts to the Whole
       • Story, dramatic structure, symbolism, characterization, conflict, setting, title, irony,
         cinematography, editing, film type and size, sound effects, dialogue, the musical score,
         the acting, and the film’s overall style
            – If there are clear relationships to all of this, then the theme is valid
   – 3. The Film’s Level of Ambition
       • Entertainment or art?
       • What is the film’s purpose?
   – 4. Objective Evaluation of the Film
       • Given the film’s level of ambition, does it succeed in what it tries to do?
       • Why does the film succeed or fail?
       • Be prepared to defend the evaluation
   – 5. Subjective Evaluation of the Film
       • What is your personal evaluation and reaction to the film?
       XII. Analysis of the Whole Film cont.
• B. Other Approaches to Analysis
   – Evaluation and Discussion
   – 1. The Film as Technical Achievement
       • More concerned with how the film was made, not what was in it
   – 2. The Film as Showcase for the Actor
       • The Personality Cult
       • Focus on the who of the film
   – 3. The Film as a Product of a Single Creative Mind
       • The Auteur Approach
       • Focus on the creator
   – 4. The Film as Moral, Philosophical, or Social Statement
       • Focus on the message of the film
       • The humanistic approach
   – 5. The Film as Emotional or Sensual Experience
       • Did the film create feelings in you?
   – 6. The Film as Repeated Form
       • The Genre Approach
       • Compare to other films in the genre
   – 7. The Film as Political or Gender Statement
• C. Developing a Personal Criteria for Films
   – What are your standards for a good film?
                          Star Wars, 1977
• Created by George Lucas
• Inspired by Flash Gordon serials, samurai
  movies, and the books; The Hero With a
  Thousand Faces, Dune, and The Lord of
  the Rings
• Starring Harrison Ford, Mark Hamil, Sir Alec
  Guinness, and Carrie Fischer
• Lucas showed a “used universe” rather than
  sleek, shiny and new science fiction
• Huge box-office hit
   – The all-time biggest hit until E.T.
   – Currently #2 all-time
   – All the films have made $4.3 billion
       • $2.2 billion in the U.S.
       • $3.7 billion in the U.S. when adjusted for
            – $1.1 billion alone for Episode IV
   – America needed escapism after Vietnam and
Star Wars cont.
       • Ralph McQuarrie’s paintings helped
         develop the visual side of it
       • Lucas secured the sequel and
         merchandising rights
       • The cast and crew thought it would
         be a huge bust
       • Lucas used his own company,
         Industrial Light & Magic to create the
       • The release was delayed from
         Christmas, 1976 to May, 1977
       • Lucas wanted Orson Welles to be
         the voice of Darth Vader, but instead
         chose James Earl Jones
           – David Prowse, the physical actor
             had an English accent
       • Kurt Russell, Burt Reynolds, Nick
         Nolte, Billy Dee Williams, and
         Christopher Walken tried out for the
         part of Han Solo
           – Jodie Foster tried for Princess Leia
                             Star Wars cont.
•   The film led to five sequels
•   A major portion of the cultural fabric of the U.S. and
    the world
     –   Cited in TV, movies, music, politics, and video games
•   Nominated for ten Academy Awards, winning six
•   AFI Lists:
     –   #13 Greatest Film
           •   #15 in 1997
     –   #2 Greatest Science Fiction Film
     –   #39 Most Inspiring Film
     –   #27 Most Heart-Pounding Film
     –   #1 Greatest Film Score (John Williams)
     –   Han Solo is the #14 Greatest Hero
     –   Obi-Wan Kenobi is #37
     –   Darth Vader is the #3 Greatest Villain
     –   “May the Force be with you.” is the #8 Greatest Movie
•   TSPDT List: #104
•   EW List: #16
•   Time Magazine All-Time Top 100 Movie
• List: #12
     –   The Empire Strikes Back is #7
•   UK’s Channel 4 ranked Episode IV and V the
    Greatest Films ever
           Star Wars Response
1.   Even though this film was a tremendous box-office hit,
     does it deserve to be among the all-time great
     cinematic features? Why or why not.
2.   How did this movie influence Hollywood and America
     after its release? Give three examples.
3.   What made this film so successful? Was it the script,
     the cast, the music, or some other factor?
4.   Was there something you didn't understand about the
     movie? What was it?
5.   Describe the use of color in the film? Did it advance
     the emotions the film makers were trying to evoke?
     How would you have used color in the movie?
                              XIII. Adaptations
•   A film based on another work
     – Can come from a novel, short story, play, biography, TV series, video games, graphic
       novels, children’s books, magazine articles, and other films
•   A. The Problems of Adaptation
     – Impossible to recreate the experience from the original source
     – 1. Change in Medium
          • Films often leave out parts of books to save time
     – 2. Change in Creative Artists
          • No two creative minds are alike
     – 3. Cinematic Potential of the Original Work
          • Some works are harder to adapt
•   B. Adaptations of Prose Fiction
     – 1. Literary vs. Cinematic Points of View
          • Books’ points of view are usually a character, films are where the shot comes from
          • a. First-Person Point of View
                 – Cannot truly portray this style
          •   b. Third-Person Narrator Point of View
          •   Difficult to recreate thoughts, emotions, and moods of characters
          •   c. Stream of Consciousness or Interior Monologue
          •   d. Dramatic or Objective Point of View: not an actual narrator, but the story is told
     – 2. Problems with Length and Depth
          • Films are usually only a fraction of what’s in the book
     – 3. Summarizing a Character’s Past
          • Tough to fully describe the past
     – 4. Other Factors Influencing Adaptations of Fiction
          • Was the novel popular?
              XIII. Adaptations cont.
• C. Adaptations of Plays
  –   Not as many differences compared to book adaptations
  –   Plays only have one point of view
  –   Films can get closer
  –   1. Structural Divisions
       • Faster pace in films, no breaks for a change of scene or act
  – 2. Sense of Space
       • Sets of a play are very limited
  – 3. Film Language vs. Stage Language
       • Ex. Shakespeare plays as films
• D. From Fact to Film: Reality to Myth
  – Based on True Events: What does it mean?
  – Most mix fiction with fact for entertainment
  – How historically accurate is the film?
                     Raging Bull, 1980
• Directed by Martin Scorsese
   – Addicted to drugs before the film
   – Stated that Robert De Niro saved his life by
     insisting he do the project
• Starring Robert De Niro
• Based on the memoirs of Jake LaMotta
• Film was shot in two parts
   – 1st the boxing scenes
   – Then De Niro gained 60 pounds to play the
     older LaMatta
• It was shot in black and white for
  authenticity and to set it apart from Rocky
• Most of the boxing scenes take place in the
  ring to give the audience the emotion of a
  real fight
• Didn’t do well at the box office
   – Conflicted with the popular fantasy films of
     Lucas and Spielberg
• Nominated for eight Academy Awards
   – Won two: Best Actor and Best Film Editing
Raging Bull cont.
       • AFI Lists:
          – #4 Greatest Film
          – #1 Greatest Sports Film
             • #24 in 1997
          – #51 Most Heart-Pounding
       • TSPDT List: #19
       • EW List: #5
       • Time Magazine All-Time
         Top 100 Movie
       • List: #68
         Raging Bull Response
1. How did violence and aggression benefit and
   hinder Jake LaMotta? Explain.
2. How does Raging Bull compare to other sports
   movies you’ve seen, specifically to the Rocky
   films, if you’ve seen them? Explain.
3. Did Jake make the right decision in throwing the
   fight against Billy Fox? How did this ultimately
   change the perception of LaMotta?
4. What element of the film stood out the most for
   you (sound, music, cinematography, editing,
   acting, script…)? Explain why it was memorable.
5. Does this film deserve to be in the top-five
   critically acclaimed films of all-time? Explain why
   or why not.
         Some Like It Hot, 1959
• Starring Marilyn Monroe, Tony
  Curtis, and Jack Lemmon
• Directed by Billy Wilder
• The film helped break down
  the production codes of the
   – Released without their approval
• The movie was planned to be
  shot in color, but Curtis’ and
  Lemmon’s makeup looked
  green in the initial shots
• Nominated for six Academy
  Awards, won one
   – Best Costume Design
Some Like It Hot cont.
           • AFI Lists:
              – # 22 Greatest Film
                 • #14 in 1997
                 • #1 Funniest Movie
                 • Marilyn Monroe is the #6
                   Greatest Female Legend
                 • “Well, nobody’s perfect.” is the
                   #48 Greatest Movie Quote
           • TSPDT List: #32
           • EW List: #9
           • Time Magazine All-Time Top
             100 Movie
           • List: #77
   Some Like It Hot Response
1. This film helped break down barriers in
   Hollywood by defying the MPAA. What do you
   think was most controversial in the film for
   1959? Why?
2. What aspect of the film appealed to you the
   most? (story, characters, music, comedy.)
3. What is your opinion of Marilyn Monroe? Did
   this film change your thoughts at all? How?
4. Is this the greatest comedy of all-time? Did you
   find the film funny and relevant to audiences
   today? Would you recommend this film to
             Apocalypse Now, 1979
• Directed by Francis Ford Coppola
• Starring Martin Sheen, Robert Duvall,
  Dennis Hopper, and Marlon Brando
• Adapted from Joseph Conrad’s novella,
  Heart of Darkness
• The film takes place in Vietnam and
• George Lucas was first considered to
  direct the film
• Coppola financed the picture himself
    – He said of the picture, “My film is not
      about Vietnam, it is Vietnam.”
• Despite the troubles making the film, it
  was a box-office hit
• Nominated for eight Academy Awards,
  winning two
    – Best Sound and Best Cinematography
Apocalypse Now cont.
          • AFI Lists:
             – #30 Greatest Film
                • #28 in 1997
             – Marlon Brando is the #4
               Greatest Male Legend
             – “I love the smell of napalm
               in the morning.” is the #12
               Greatest Movie Quote
          • TSPDT List: #44
          • EW List: Honorable
          • List: #37
Apocalypse Now Response
              Cool Hand Luke, 1967
• Starring Paul Newman and George
• Directed by Stuart Rosenberg
• Based on a novel by Donn Pearce
• Contains the theme of a character unable
  to conform to society
• The film was a critical and commercial
• TV, films, and music often reference the
• The song “Plastic Jesus” has been
  covered by many musicians
   – Including The Flaming Lips and Jack
• Nominated for four Academy Awards,
  winning one
   – Best Supporting Actor: George Kennedy
Cool Hand Luke cont.
          • AFI Lists:
             – #71 Most Inspiring Film
             – Luke Jackson is the #30
               Greatest Film Hero
             – “What we’ve got here is
               failure to communicate.” is
               the #11 Greatest Movie
          • TSPDT List: #906
          • List #115
Cool Hand Luke Response
                         Spartacus, 1960
•   Directed by Stanley Kubrick
•   Starring Kirk Douglas, Laurence Olivier, Peter
    Ustinov, John Gavin, and Tony Curtis
•   Douglas created the film project after he didn’t
    get the lead role in Ben-Hur
     – Olivier wanted to play Spartacus, initially
•   The film is based on true events
     – The film does include many historical
•   Screenwriter, Dalton Trumbo openly defied the
    blacklists of Hollywood
     – The first film to do so
•   The film had a cast of 10,500 people
     – Hired 8,000 Spanish infantry to play the Roman
•   The re-release of the film in 1991 included more
    battle scene and the infamous bath scene
     – It was cut for being too lewd by the MPAA
     – Tony Curtis had to re-record the scene
     – Anthony Hopkins voiced for the deceased Olivier
Spartacus cont.
       • Nominated for six Academy
         Awards, winning four
           – Best Supporting Actor, Best Art
             Direction, Best Cinematography,
             and Best Costume Design
       •   AFI Lists:
           – #81 Greatest Film
               • Not rated in 1997
           – #5 Greatest Epic Film
           – #44 Most Inspiring Film
           – #62 Most Heart-Pounding Film
           – Kirk Douglas is the #17 Greatest
             Male Legend
           – Spartacus is the #22 Greatest Hero
       • TSPDT List: #378
       • List: #196
            Spartacus Response
1. How does this film portray slavery in the Roman Republic in
   terms of the economy? How did Romans generally treat
   their slaves?
2. What was the most memorable scene in the film? Explain
   what you remember and why it stands out.
3. How does this movie parallel American History? What
   connections can be made between Rome and America?
4. Does this film show the coming problems in Rome with
   dictators and private armies? Can you see how it could lead
   to the downfall of the Republic? Explain.
5. What does Spartacus’ son symbolize? Explain. Why is it
   significant Spartacus died on the cross?
                  Braveheart, 1995
• Directed, produced, and starring Mel
• Based on the life of Scotsman William
   – Contains many historical inaccuracies
• Filmed mainly in Scotland and Ireland
• A box office hit
• Nominated for ten Academy Awards,
  winning five
   – Including Best Picture, Director,
     Cinematography, Makeup, and Sound
• A statue of Mel Gibson was erected in
  Scotland in 1997
   – It was vandalized and now is in a cage to
     protect it
• AFI Lists:
   – #91 Most Heart-Pounding Film
• List: #95
        Braveheart Response
1. What was the theme of the movie? How does
   it relate to the U.S.?
2. How does the movie portray medieval life and
   politics? What role did the nobles play in the
3. Even though the film won the Best Picture
   Oscar in 1995, it has been largely ignored by
   critics for acclaim among the all-time great
   films. Do you think it belongs with the greatest
   films ever? What factors may make the critics
   react this way to the film?
4. What was your favorite scene in the movie?
   Describe it.

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