This is the first post for my Short Script Analysis blog. It's so nice to be back in a class that requires intellectual discussion (a lot of me making crap up that sounds amazingly good), debate (oh, that eternal question of "What is Art?" Answer: NOT Marcel Duchamp), and writing (I totally type 90 words + a minute, FYI).
- The Lumiere Brothers' first films: I find very little that is comment worthy in these early shorts. I mean, it's not like a clip of people streaming out of a building is esoterically profound or significantly meaningful in any way other than HEY this is possibly the first film ever and it's kind of well done! What I did like was how the Lumieres did a good job demonstrating movement. They were smart enough not to pick a slow moving subject. The dozens of people leaving the building do a great job demonstrating exactly how different this new media was from the previously existing still photography. Also, their attempt at comedy is not exactly a demonstration in subtlety or wit, but hey, what else can you do without sound or dialogue?
- The Great Train Robbery: This film wasn't too bad, except I found it a bit slow for my tastes. That's saying a lot I think, because I'm not a fan of superfast editing unless there is a purpose for it. I feel that using editing to speed up the entirety of a movie is sheer laziness and the ideal technique is to create the pace more through the acting and direction (Slumdog Millionaire, I'm looking at you). The point was that I think the cuts could have been a bit shorter without sacrificing anything, and that they could have added in a few more shots with different angles. The addition of color was a nice touch, although I felt that some of it was a meaningless. Adding color to the gunshots was great, but the little girl's dress didn't mean much to me. I loved the final shot of the film when the guy raised his gun and fired at the audience, breaking the fourth wall and creating a quasi 3D experience that leaves the audience ducking.
- Anémic Cinéma: Oh my god a world of NO. I rarely find radical experimental films well done, interesting or meaningful, and this was a perfect example. For me, art should either entertain or educate (and if I could remember the original quote from Milton I think? I would sound so awesomely intellectual). I do allow some leeway for pure visual aesthetics, but if that means I have to sit through another six minutes of spirals and nonsensical words that hurt my head, then I'm totally BANISHING art for art's sake. I adore "didactic, moral or utilitarian function." "L'art pour l'art'" pssssh. And I'd totally sit here and argue art theory but I can't remember anything my art history teacher said other then body mutilation and graffiti are totally acceptable forms of art expression. Whatever, long story. The point is that is that I absolutely loathed this film and it would be a really great help to insomniacs. FYI, I think the title of Anémic Cinéma means the same thing in english, anemic cinema. Which is a great palindrome, but it totally works for this film with anemic being defined as "Weak; listless; lacking power, vigor, vitality, or colorfulness" - that is definitely how many people feel about the film.