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Sunday, 1 May 2011

Nothing Else Matters

Hi folks.

Got up to quite a bit over this Easter break which is good cause then I'll actually get to talk about things I got up to this week, haha. The bad part about breaks though is that they must all come to an unfortunate end. I've already adjusted to having been away from uni for a whole week so it's gonna be a little bit of a challenge to get back into the funk of things. No more staying up late.

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A mate of mine had his birthday on Tuesday. Turned 19, he did. I hadn't seen him in well over a year so it was good to catch up with him as well as everyone else. It was a bit of a high school reunion for a lot of us there. We had a barbeque during the day which wasn't as organised as I was lead to believe but everyone had a great time it seemed. The girls all left when it was night and us guys kinda just cruised around for the rest of the night and chilled in a park by the city afterwards just shooting the shit. A good day for me and an even better birthday for him I would say.




















Can't remember the last time I shared photos of outings like this on my blog. Cheers to Ellen for these crazy awesome photos. Unfortunately those are the only IRL photos that will be posted today. I should have more photos just so to make my blog look more nicer.

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On Wedensday, I went to the city to do some extra sound recording for one of my media subjects. I feel like I'm not gonna do very well in that particular subject but I'm confident in my ability to pass at least. Anyways, I did the live recording of arcade sounds out at Galactic Circus which was good and decided to have some fun and go to the casino afterwards with my mate and fortunately made a profit of $70 (lololol). Winning that was great of course cause now I have enough to buy "L.A. Noire" when that hits games stores. I feel like going back to try my luck but it's probably not the best idea to visit Crown Casino so soon.

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And then on Thursday, I accompanied Tran to the Melbourne Museum. That place has changed sooooooooo much since the last time I was there (two years ago). We got there pretty late though as the museum was less than an hour away from closing which was unfortunate as I did want to get more time browsing through the folios from this year's Top Design. Some of the folios I did quickly see though were damn impressive. Looking at those folios kinda makes me wish I chose to do something in visual communication/graphic design instead but oh well.

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I also finished watching the first season of "Damages" this week. Pretty good first season and I really can't wait to get into the second season of it. Glenn Close and Rose Byrne work off each other so well in the series and I love how the series progressed with two timelines in the past and present.
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WHAT I'VE BEEN WATCHING

As promised I would be going through three of Hitchcock's films this week and these three are arguably his most famous works on film. At least now I can say that I've seen his films.

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"Psycho" is one of the most famous and iconic films in the history of cinema for many reasons. It's typically hailed as the first slasher film which has had much success over the years with the likes of Freddy Kreuger, Jason Vorhees and Michael Myers emerging from this bin of iconic film villains. It's a precursor to horror films that we're accustomed to seeing now that capitalise on it's use of sound and image to instill dread and fear. Hitchcock's understanding of film allows for some fantastic shots and Bernard Herrman's score for the film is as brutal and terrifying as the murders themselves. But the standout here is not Hitchcock's direction but Anthony Perkins' performance. His performance alone is absolutely sinister - Norman Bates' friendly, unassuming, charismatic nature can immediately be thrown out the window as soon as any other character mentions "going away" or suggests otherwise about his mother. It's a performance for the ages that haunted Perkins everywhere he went because audiences only saw him as the murderous Bates and not the actor which is pretty sad. Fantastic film, I can see why it's an absolute classic.



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"Vertigo" was not the film that I envisioned it would be when I sat down to watch it. At first I thought it would be an interesting take on the detective story, maybe even a noir as interpreted by a master of suspense. But no, it was something that was a lot deeper than that. It's an evaluation of the human psyche and how guilt and obsession can corrupt even the most noble of men. Again, Bernard Hermann's score appropriately suits the film and is a fantastic score. The score just repeats itself over and over in a dizzying cycle of repetition that speaks volumes of our hero in James Stewart's detective character, John Ferguson. Stewart's performance is fantastic to watch as the unraveling of his character is strongly felt and very tragic. Hitchcock's use of what now is known as "the Vertigo shot" is used to startling effect and puts you right in the position of a man whose crippling fear of heights almost destroys him. The one criticism that I will make of "Vertigo" however is that it moves at quite a slow pace which didn't do it for me all too well. I understand why the film is intended to be as slow as it was but felt quite bothersome to me at times. Aside from that minor criticism, what Hitchcock does provide us here are some very interesting and multi-faceted characters, making this most character-driven of the three films I saw. A deep and thought provoking film. Repetitive viewing may lead to a much greater appreciation for the film, I feel.



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Finally we have "Rear Window" and probably my favourite of the three Hitchcock films I saw. As mentioned earlier, Hitchcock only allows you to see what he wants you to see and this idea is ever so prevalent in "Rear Window" as the film is about a disabled man who spies on his neighbour and increasingly becomes suspicious of murder most foul. Again, performances are top notch all around and Hitchcock is able to maintain steady momentum throughout, leaving us on the edge of our seats, curious about wanting to know what's around the corner. What's fantastic about is that it the entire film practically takes place from James Stewart's apartment and involves him looking out the window or talking to the beautiful Grace Kelly about love. I've previously shown my adoration for films that can utilise one location for most of, if not, the entire film. "Rear Window" also has some very brilliant touches of humour sprinkled throughout the film which is a relaxing change of pace from "Psycho" and "Vertigo" which were much more serious. A pretty fun and enjoyable film, I must say when compared to his more serious works.



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I also watched Wong Kar-wai's short, "The Hand" a segment he contributed to the omnibus film "Eros". Wong's short has been praised as the best and the one that lives up to the expectations of the title. I hadn't gone out of my way to watch the other two but I hear that Steven Soderbergh's one is pretty decent but Michelangelo Antonioni's segment is very poor. Anyways the short stars Chang Chen as a tailor who routinely visits the nesting quarters of an aging prostitute in Gong Li and gives her beautiful handmade garments. I would say that this is one of Wong's best works and ranks alongside "In the Mood for Love" (my fourth favourite film of all time) and "Chungking Express". "The Hand", much like "In the Mood for Love" has a lot of that eroticism pouring from every frame which is a credit to Wong's team of cinematographer Chris Doyle and set designer William Chang. If anything, it's much more haunting than "In the Mood for Love" but as with all of Wong's films, it's subject matter and characters resonate with you long after the credits. My only problem with the film is that it's hard to gauge time as most people have suggested that the film takes place over several years. Otherwise it's a fantastic short and another worthy piece of cinema from Wong. Which reminds me that I should get a start on select Gong Li films which I was meant to have started some time ago...

No trailer unfortunately. Although if you're curious to watch the short, you can find it in it's entirety on YouTube.
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TIDBITS OF FILM NEWS

Some new trailers this week. Harry Potter and the Death Hallows: Part 2 got it's first theatrical trailer as did the third of the "Transformers" films, "Transformers: Dark of the Moon". A new "X-Men: First Class" trailer also got showed off this week and looks a lot better than the previous trailer which has gotten me into all kinds of excitement. So basically three big blockbuster trailers for the Summer (or Australian Winter).







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It's also been confirmed that Quentin Tarantino's next film, "a Southern" as Uma Thurman had once described it, will be called "Django Unchained". Sign me up for anything Tarantino brings to screen, especially if it's in similar vein as a Western.
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So that's all this week. It's nice having to write a proper blog post like this again. Anyways, I leave you with this awesome fan-made trailer entitled "The Batman Complex". If this film actually existed, I would watch the hell out of it because the trailer makes it looks absolutely amazing and is an interesting take on the man of bats. Everyone wants to be Batman once in their life, right?



End post.

1 comment:

  1. Glad you liked Psycho. One of my favourites.

    After watching that Batman Complex video I started thinking "this movie looks awesome" then I realised it's a fake trailer LOL!

    Can't wait for Harry Potter!

    ReplyDelete