Monday, October 31, 2011
It’s that day of the year when everybody is allowed to dress up and be somebody else for a day. As the weekend has progressed, I couldn’t help but notice how heavily film and television inspired Halloween costumes; everything from gory and disturbing to sweet and childish.
Every year, new television series and films come out that really catch the eyes of the population, causing them to dress up like their favorite characters for this fun holiday. Here are some of the iconic costumes that always seem to be around:
This is a very popular costume for little boys and males in general. What’s great about superheroes is that there are so many to choose from. There’s the original comic book heroes like Batman, Superman, Spiderman to ones like real-life heroes like firefighters and cops. The possibilities are ever-growing.
Princesses and Queens
When in doubt, a girl can always resort to classic Disney tales for inspiration for their costumes. It’s very popular among girls of all ages because most of us have grown up relating to at least one princess—or desiring to be like her. On the other hand, it’s also fun to go a little dark and instead of being Snow White or Jasmine, dress up like the Queen of Hearts or Cruella De Vil.
Some very popular options are characters from classic movies—ones that most people will recognize. Among those are characters like Dorothy from “The Wizard of Oz” and Holly from “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.” It’s always good to have a good twist though, and dressing up like your favorite antagonists is always fun—this weekend I saw people dressed up as Alex from “A Clockwork Orange” and the classic killers, Freddy and Jason.
Taken from the Television
Perhaps the characters from television are the most obscure. This weekend I saw an evil version of a person—a reference straight out of “Community” (Abed and Troy become Evil Abed and Evil Troy.) Last year, Dexter was a very common costume, which was very creative and simple. In the past I have also seen groups dress up as the Mystery Gang and impersonate all of the characters from “Scooby Doo.”
I hope all of you had a fantastic Halloween! What were some of your favorite costumes inspired by television and films? Feel free to share!
Now onto some analysis. The movie They Live, released in 1988 speaks of issues relevant today. In the movie a lower class construction workers stumbles upon a bunch of sunglasses that are more than they appear to be. They interpret the world as it actually is, and it's a scary world. All advertising is broken down to simple commands such as "Obey" or "Consume", all television programs and media had subliminal messages. To make matters worth, all people with a great deal of wealth or political power were revealed by the sunglasses to actually be aliens. The main character got fed up with all this and it led to this
I think that the general concept of They Live is a very blunt metaphor for what many people in the country are angry about. People are mad about the state of things. The middle class is disappearing as the wealthy get wealthier and the poor get poorer. Wall Street has its hand deep in politics, along with bankers, pharmaceutical companies, and defense. The Republican candidates fielded against Barack Obama seem like jokes, all while congress struggles to overcome 14 trillion dollars of debt. At times its hard to believe that some of the people in positions of power aren't actually aliens. But so many people are distracted by the media and being consumers that often times its hard to create change.
Sunday, October 30, 2011
15 GREAT SHORT FILMS
One aspect that has hindered our project this semester is scheduling. When you have a group that is larger than 3 people it can be very difficult to have everyone able to help out every time. As a group not only do each members schedule need to be in sync, but you have to think of when the locations are available, when the actors are available, and when transportation is available.
I have found that even though most groups finish their project on the deadline, they wish they had more time to make it better than it actually turned out. I think having these fast deadlines help us and give us the ability to make the best finished product with what we have, so when we get a job, and hopefully it's a good one, and we have more opportunities and time with experienced people, we can make superb films and do a much better job.
Hopefully others feel the same and hopefully
Saturday, October 29, 2011
This is a documentary by Juliane Lorenz on the making of the film "World on a Wire" (1973) by R. W. Fassbinder which has recently been restored after being "lost" for more than 10 years. It is a clear predecessor of films such as The Matrix but made when the concept of a personal computer was not in the public's mind.
This is Juliane Lorenz (Fassbinder's editor and the head of the Fassbinder Foundation) talking about his working method, with some shots showing him at work on the set of "Berlin Alexanderplatz", a 14 episode TV film, totaling 15 1/2 hour film, which according to IMDb is the longest narrative ever made (I have not confirmed that)
Courtesy of the RAINER WERNER FASSBINDER FOUNDATION.
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
To many people Community is a television series about a group of students at a community college but it is so much more than that. The series heavily uses pop culture references and meta-humor often parodying film and television clichés. These episodes include a holiday stop-motion episode, a clip show of memories that never happened, a parody of westerns, and even a recent episode that had seven alternate timelines. Every single of one these are worthy of an entire blog post but today in the spirit of Halloween I am focusing on their annual Halloween episodes.
In the first season their Halloween episode was called “Introduction to Statistics” and dealt with Jeff and his decision to blow off his study group’s Halloween party in order to score with the young Statistics professor. However the b-plot of the episode is a great parody of superhero films and Batman. Abed is a student that is obsessed with pop culture and entertainment, much like the show’s creator Dan Harmon and the writers. At Halloween he dresses up as Batman and more specifically as the Christian Bale reboot version. At the end of the episode he saves the day as a chair and desk fort begins to collapse on Jeff who is trying to comfort Pierce about realizing he is old and “un-hip.” Jeff is usually the first to complain about the absurd behavior of Abed but at the end of the episode after he made his decision to choose the study group over the teacher he accepts Abed, his behavior, and his new batch of friends. The ending moment is then a straight parody of the heroic music and narration Batman will often do which was just recently seen in the movie The Dark Knight.
Last season the Halloween episode was called “Epidemiology” but most fans know it has the zombie episode. In this episode the study group is left to fend for themselves when their classmates become “zombies” due to tainted food the Dean cheaply bought. While it was actually an outbreak of rabies instead of them actually being zombies, the episode features numerous horror movie clichés the would be seen in a zombie or horror movie. First was a cat rustling in an abandoned area. Many times in movies characters are often spooked by some animal like a cat flying past them when they are trying to hide and escape the real evil outside. Community parodied this by having the cat constantly keep reappearing and showing it unconvincingly flying across the screen. Another funny comment on horror movies the show made was on music. Usually horror movies have scary, dark, and very intense music but on Community the music was the greatest hits of ABBA mixed in with the Dean’s voice memos. Unable to leave that section of school to change the playlist, upbeat songs like “Dancing Queen” played as the zombies attacked and bit the study group. Finally another comment on horror movies (or any movie in general) came when Troy tries to run through crowd to save the day and turn down the thermostat (which is believe to slow down the symptoms of the zombies before they suffer brain damage). While normally the action hero will burst through the group and destroy all the bad guys in his path, Troy is immediately attacked and stopped. He ends up reaching the goal but after he was bit himself.
I love Community and their themed episodes like their past two Halloween episodes. Tomorrow night at 8 pm on NBC their third episode airs called “Horror Fiction in Seven Spooky Steps” and I am sure based on the title and the prior history of the show that it will continue to make fun of and comment on horror movies, pop culture, and entertainment in general. I for one can’t wait for the hilarity and references to ensue.
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
w version of Batman has blown my mind. First off, the character looks awesome
Monday, October 24, 2011
idnight this morning. For all those who are not gamers Battlefield three is the newest first person shooter game. My roommate, being a big gamer, bought the game right at midnight. He started playing it when he got back and I have to say it has amazing graphics.
As creators of media we deal with copyright law and public domain very often. At a student level it can be as simple as finding a good royalty free song or sound effect. But this can make or break a television studio.
This October break I drove to Burlington Vermont to visit a friend at UVM. It’s a 5-hour drive through a lot of radio dead spots, but while seeking through the stations I found an NPR story about television I found interesting. The program started by quoting television exec’s that fantasized about how great it would be to create a Twilight or Harry Potter television show. The royalty’s would be ridiculous and obviously impossible. The program then quoted the creator’s of the new television show Grimm asking “What can we do that is in public domain?”
I actually found the exact radio program again and you can read it or listen to it here. The two shows talked about in the show are Grimm and Once Upon a Time.