Stephanie's Blog

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Bonnie and Clyde- Film Analysis

I just had to do a film analysis on Bonnie and Clyde because after watching it it fully in class the other day, I have such a greater appreciation for this film. I’ve see only bits and pieces of this film and that includes this infamous ending, but after watching this film in its entirety it had everything I wanted in a film. The chemistry between Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty was undeniable, the action was great, and this film just hit all the right spots.

Bonnie and Clyde is a 1967 film directed by Arthur Penn and based on the true exploits of notorious robbers Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow. One of the first films of the New Hollywood Era, it broke many taboos, with its portrayal of sexual innuendo and bloody violence, this film became very popular among the younger generation. I personally loved this film because it was fast paced, the actors were phenomenal in each of their roles, and the taboos that were broken made this film even more intriguing. It made me want to know what other “rules” were broken to make this film. The actors brought so much personality in their characters. The characters were bad people but their qualities made me identify them as human beings instead of cold hearted killers.

That one scene that made me connect with the characters was when they stealing a car from Eugene Grizzard, played my Gene Wilder. It was just a normal, lazy like day and Grizzard was with his girlfriend Velma Davis (Evans Evans). The scene was comical although the crime wasn’t.  Grizzard and Velma were getting intimate on the porch as the C.W. was stealing the car. Using long shot, the camera focused on the couple but also on the theft in progress in the background. Although Barrow Gang successfully stole the car, Grizzard and his girlfriend chased after them. I liked how they used medium and close up shots of them inside the car. Usually shots outside the car can’t really give the audience a sense of connection with the characters. These shots were inside the car so I was able to see their reactions.

The Barrow Gang were like reckless teenagers, simply chasing after their victims. They were having this sort of childlike excitement. When they pulled their victims over, being the cold blooded killers, one might think they would shoot them right there. Instead they allowed Grizzard and Velma to join them. It was like they were having a break from robbing and the violence, to have just one day to make acquaintanceship with regular people.

The scene consisted of medium shots and close ups of each of the character’s faces. The scene was tense in the beginning, after all the Barrow Gang were criminals and their actions were unpredictable. As Clyde and his brother were pointing their guns at their theft victims, they tell them to join them. I personally found that weird and amusing. It was like they were trying to form a bond with the new people they met.

I believe this scene is important because although they chose this life of crime as a way to escape their boring  reality, they still long contact with people outside life of crime. Grizzard seems to find this encounter more amusing while is girlfriend looks more uncomfortable. He seems more open and answers their questions. They’re laughing, cracking jokes, and eventually spent the entire day just driving in the car talking.

I chose this scene in particular because it showed a very relaxing atmosphere. The Barrow Gang was on the run, always on the edge and moving from one place to another, depending on each other. And this chase gave them a chance to introduce themselves and form a civil acquaintanceship with these two people. To see them laugh and form conversation with civilians was interesting. Deep down, they wanted to get away from crime and be normal people and befriending two innocent people was an escape in a sense.

French New Wave- Breathless

I really liked this film. I loved the story, the tongue in cheek humor, and the actors. Their characters were mysterious and intriguing and had this sort of tragic quality to them. They were drawn to each other. It’s hard to say if it was love or not. The relationship they had is best to say complicated. The male lead was charismatic and a prick. I don’t even know how he pulled those off together. His attitude and lifestyle just screamed PRICK but this interaction with the girl lead said charming; yes he was still an asshole but had this sort of magnetic thing about him. The girl was phenomenal. She was independent and book smart and street smart. She didn’t play a helpless girl in love. If anything it was like she made sure she didn’t invest herself fully into the relationship. It was more like having fun and sticking around to see what happens. What i liked most about these characters was how unpredictable they were. Their attitudes towards each other was unpredictable. I’m still clueless of whether they were in love or not. They were with other people, they lied to each other, and many times they treated each other quite bad. No matter though this was a very good film and really showed the tension of the violent situation and between the leads.

Indian Cinema- Charulata Review

I have to admit I was dreading and kind of excited about Indian films. I have a love hate relationship with them. It’s like a bad relationship, no matter how repetitive the drama was I always go back to give it a chance. I grew up watching Indian films i appreciate the campy-ness that is Bollywood. I didn’t know what movie we were watching but was waiting for a musical of epic proportions and drama that would put soap opera to shame. TOTAL 180. Instead we watched Charulata,a story about the life of the financially struggling high caste family. It was a good story and it had it’s moments. Very few moments. Watching this film made me miss campy Bollywood films. I don’t know what to say about this film. I don’t like it, but I didn’t hate it either.

Psycho review aka MY FAVE THRILLER EVER :D

This is like the second or third time i have seen this movie and it has always been one of my favorites. I loved everything about it from beginning to end. The soundtrack was amazing and fit the film perfectly. It always gave me that “jump” when something dramatic or shocking happens. I wish we were able to see more of Hitchcock’s films because his films got into the human psyche. I don’t really know what else to say. It’s one of those film that make you speechless because after watching it, it leaves you with that “WTF?! Did that really happen?!” feeling. Especially during Hitchcock’s time, movies like that were so rare and still are. Most directors try to give viewers that “shock” value but very very few succeed.

Invasion of the Body Snatchers

We all know it was in the Halloween spirit that we had to see a horror/sci-fi film. I was secretly hoping for Rocky Horror Picture Show, especially since it was made in the 1970s, but Invasion of the Body Snatchers was actually really good to watch. Sure it was no musical but the suspense and the effects and the camera angles, they meshed so well together to make a really good thriller, especially for a film from the 60s. This one of the few films that i actually enjoyed. I never saw this movie because when i thought 60s sci-films i thought cheesy effects like “saucers” flying with the visible strings being shown. But when i saw this movie i was surprised how advanced the effects look. From the pods to the process of them looking like the humans, it looked pretty realistic. Deep down i still wished we could have see Rocky Horror, but watching this film was worth it too.

Early Summer review

My God i hated this film. I mean I appreciated seeing that the movie was portraying the women as independent figures in their society and having the ability to make their decisions but the movie was so drawn out and boring. It did have its funny moments with the younger boy and the people he interacted with, but it still wasn’t entertaining as I hoped it to be. The understood that the director was going along with a different film technique but it was so LONG and BORING. When i heard we were watching a Japanese film I guess I was in over my head expecting the film to be like Hayao Miyazaki except less catoonish (no pun intended). I tried to find a positive outcome to this film as i was viewing it but all i thought was pretty  good was the acting and that cut little boy would the film fairly delightful. And the fact that the woman was able to choose her own suitor especially during those times. I didn’t think women in that country had that much freedom.

Film Analysis- M

One of the first films we saw together was the movie M and in my opinion the most interesting. The reason I chose M was because out of all the films we have seen so far, this one had me intrigued and had an amazing story. The recent movies we have seen such as The Lady Eve, and The Public Enemy were good but I found the films predictable. M is a great example of suspense thriller and and for a film made as early as 1931, the cinematography was  better than exceptional and was the director’s first sound film.

M is a 1931 film directed by Fritz Lang, whose thrillers were highly influential in the film noir style. This film is considered one of his finest works. The film tells the story about a child murderer on the loose and the pressure of trying to catch the murderer has the townspeople, the police, and even the crime world on the edge. The child murderer, Hans Beckert is played by Peter Lorre. Lorre’s portrayal shows two sides of the villian; one was a sadistic man who preyed on helpless little girls and the other as a mentally disturbed man who could not control his desire to kill because of his “demons”.

The scene that best describes this is the finale, when Hans is finally caught by the town’s top criminals and put to “trial”.  I realized that in usually climatic scenes like this use mostly close-up shots. However, this particular scene consisted more of long shots, medium long shots, and medium shots. It starts off with a medium long shot of Hans, his head covered by his jacket so he would not know the location,  being forced by two men to go up a set of stairs. Hans is livid, screaming and demanding to be freed but he gets quiet after entering the underground room. The camera then took  a long shot and scanned the room which to his horror was filled with his victims’ families and townspeople and underworld criminals. Hans still continues to play innocent and beg for his release. As he is doing this, the camera is medium shot of Hans’ face. Suddenly,  a hand reaches out and grabs Hans’ shoulder. Hans’ face is filled with surprise and fear . The camera pans out and in medium shot there is an old man next to him holding a balloon. It was the blind man who sold a balloon to Hans, who in turn gave it to one of his victims. Based on Hans’ voice the blind man could identify Hans as the man who was with the latest victim, Elsie.

Realizing he’s been caught, Hans once again tries to escape and  goes up the flight of stairs and out the door. However, there is a guard there and he’s beaten and thrown on the floor. There he is given a “trial” which is basically made up of angry people as the “jury” and his “lawyer” being a poor man. However, this sort of trial iss unfair, because it was obvious by the way people were yelling “Kill him! He isn’t a human being! He has no rights!” that the decision by the “jury” is death even if Hans tried to defend himself.

Using shot and reverse shot, it reveals how the large mass of people accusing Hans of murder is intimidating. Yelling, booing, and taunting him, it is obvious these people are showing no mercy especially as Hans is trying to defend himself. In the beginning of the film, we obviously see Hans as an evil man who preys on defenseless little girls and looks like he is in control of the situation. In this climatic scene however, we see a a man broken down by his demons who he himself doesn’t know why he would do such heinous acts.  He only follows the voices in his head. Hans has to murder, he cannot control his urge. Because of this statement, the jury finds no reason why he should be spared, after all they can’t allow a man who will continue killing to live.

However, it is after these statements, that his “lawyer” actually puts effort in trying to get a fair conviction from the “jury”.  Han’s “lawyer”  explains that since killing has become an obsession, Han’s has no control or responsibility over his actions. Han was simply acting out on impulse. Because he is mentally disabled, Hans should be placed in an asylum, and be cured before being placed back into society. However, because of the severity of his crimes and a mother’s anguish they insisted that he be killed. This puts in question what the true conviction should be. Here is a man whose crimes without a doubt is so severe that he deserves to be punished. However, his actions were due to a mental disability so is this man truly at fault for what he has done?

As the violent protesters corner Hans, the police break in and take Hans away to be dealt with by the law than by vigilantes. The final image of the film is that of five judges about to give Hans his sentence. Before the sentence is announced, the shot cuts to three of the victims’ mothers crying, with Elsie’s mother saying that either sentence will not bring back the dead children.

I believe the reason that Lang did not show the viewers the sentencing was because he wanted us to decide the fate of Hans on our own. This scene really brings up a lot of controversial questions on whether this man should be punished by death or taken to an asylum to be cured. I really like how Lang brings up the controversial topic of whether a man should be punished for heinous acts he cannot control. Especially since this was in the 1930s, it shows that Lang like to push the limits in the cinema industry.

So addicting <3

Heylow :D

My name is Steph 🙂

I love all things film and considered a random information/wikipedia to many of my friends. You could say I know more about films than about my own school work, but since this is a film studies class I’m pretty hyped for this. 😀

I’ve watched old films before but most of them consist of Bollywood films.

I never really thought I’d be interested in the films we have been watching for a time now (M and The Public Enemy).

I really don’t know what to write because I’m one of those people you have to meet in order to understand. I’m considered “vociferous” by my parents (that’s putting it kindly). I hope that through this class i get to meet new people and have great experiences< corny i know -_- but it’s true!


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