The Story of a Dude

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I watched the Coen Brother’s The Big Lebowski (1998) and I thought it was a great movie! I decided to treat myself lol by paying the $2.99 and rent the movie from Amazon and I’m happy I did. This is considered a film noir and according to Encyclopædia Britannica, “Film noir, ( French: “dark film”) is a style of filmmaking characterized by elements such as cynical heroes, stark lighting effects, frequent use of flashbacks, intricate plots, and an underlying existentialist philosophy. The genre was prevalent mostly in American crime dramas of the post-World War II era.” (*See citation). This particular film which was produced nearly 3 decades after the genre really hit it off with the movie watching crowed. Obviously, times had changed and along with what the people wanted to see in a movie. I would like to start off with the movie poster that was used to advertise the film to the public.

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This doesn’t really represent the noir genre that I have started to get accustomed to with the black and white element, with a hint of mystery and suspicion. I would say it almost gives off a comical look and I would credit that to the time period change correlated to the peoples wants. Looking at this poster made me look forward to the movie in the sense that it is going to be comical and light. The alternate movie poster portrays a completely different message.

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This is Dude. He looks like he is mean mugging the camera making him look like a total badass. This is more classic noir in my opinion. This poster DOES portray that dark, mysterious, crime feel that many would expect. Both of these posters really give off a different message and I think that is an appropriate discussion question.

Moving on, The movie had a mix of dark and light scenes that keep you guessing whats going to happen next. The Build up of LA allowed for an advancement in the noir genre concerning this movie. With bigger, more modern buildings and structures, it allowed to explore different dimensions of crime and mystery, but on the other hand, comedy as well!

My last quick thought is in the opening scene with the tumble weed rolling down the street in the gentle wind… I would say that was a metaphor for the friend’s bowling team and death. Dude, Walter and Donny were a great team. Im sorry to see they couldn’t all make it out together.

“film noir”. Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online.
Encyclopædia Britannica Inc., 2015. Web. 15 Feb. 2015
<http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/206993/film-noir>.

 

Great scene, one of my favorites from the movie. It does have strong language. Enjoy!

The Vignelli Canon

I started reading a short booklet by Massimo Vignelli called The Vignelli Canon, and the first thing I did after reading the introduction was learn the actual definition of typography. According to Wikipedia, typography is the art and technique of arranging type to make written language readable and beautiful. I then looked back at the reading and instantly appreciated it more for the design concepts and principles it had within. Anyways, I was reading through and I read “Whatever we do, if not understood, fails to communicate and is wasted effort.” I instantly thought to myself of how I disagree with that statement. I believe half of the communication of your work is to yourself, not 100% towards your audience. Now, going back on what I just said, I would say one exception to that is when you are marketing a product with your graphic design. Once I got down to the tangibles section, I tried to link how all of the item listed can go together with the intangibles listed. For example, you need to have patience (intangible) while using a ruler (tangible) or else your product may be flawed in the end. it may sound simple, however, its true. Lastly, I liked how Massimo Vignelli expressed how freedom within this practice inspired him. I am a huge believer in that everything you do, you need an inspiration and be able to realize what it is. “Freedom of choice can only happen with knowledge and that is an ongoing process that requires structure and determination, not happenstance.” – Vignelli. I thought that was a great line that he included to really bring together what he is trying to accomplish with his book.

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One last note… Im a fan of the simplistic aspect to the cover. Just thought I would add that quick opinion of mine.

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So… My impression of the Copyright law, fair use doctrine, and the Creative Commons movement? I need to give you my opinion on them without just summarizing the three and comparing and contrasting. I think the copy right law needs to have a more defined definition and less case by case decisions. I would bet that many people understand the concept of the Copyright law but wouldn’t be able to give a clear and precise answer if they were asked what it is. We were asked to watch A Fair(y) Use Tale which did a fantastic job explaining provides this informative, yet comical, review of copyright principles delivered through the words Disney movie characters. I would highly suggest you take a look at this as its really well done.

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I believe that we do need the copyright law to reward people’s creative work. I do believe if someone needs a piece of copyrighted work for beneficial reasons to society that will enhance the quality of life, they should have access to it as long as the original creator is rewarded in some way. Going back on that, if that particular person is enhancing quality of life in society for a profit, I do not believe they should be able to have access to the piece of work. Now for the Creative Commons movement, I like it. I found this video at http://creativecommons.org/about which is another video I recommend watching!

These laws and rules are restrictive, but all for good reason in my opinion.

Audio Reflection

This reflection blog post is about the use of audio in storytelling, the way audio is used in film/video, and the use of audio in noir. The gift of hearing is something that many take for granted as many around us have impaired hearing or are deaf. Audio is related to the sense of sound and is a key component to process information. The use of sound in storytelling is to enhance the experience as well as portray a better message to the listener. At any point in movies, tv shows, and or radio shows, the audio used can effect then entire outcome of the piece. The audio can impact the mood drastically. For example, we had to compare two clips of the same opening scene of the same movie, Touch of evil, but had different audio playing. This first one has street sounds vs the second one with themed music. Check them out:

Street sounds

Themed music

My thoughts: comparing the two, I liked the opening with the themed music better. It added a mood of mystery while I was watching it where as the street sounds were more playful. I do not know which one was the original but depending on the mood the directer was trying to achieve, both were good!  Since I knew what was going to happen while watching it the second time with the themed music, I feel like I was expecting more of that mysterious crime feel to it… also impacting my decision to like the music more than the street sounds.

I read Radio Noir in the USA and came to the conclusion that radio noir was just as popular as tv shows with the noir genre! Im guessing this because 1.) I wasn’t alive to live the moment to say it was true. And 2.) Jesse Schlotterbeck mentioned it the reading. I also noted that sound/audio for this genre has been slacking in many case studies and literature concerning noir. Another point I started to think about during the reading was how the radio shows were presented live, unlike the tv shows. It was mentioned that this provided a certain intimacy in the story telling process. Two sentences  I thought really had an impact on me was “Radio noir represents a fruitful and scarcely explored iteration of the noir genre. Studies of radio noir stand to expand our understanding not only of this genre but of the use of sound in film noir more generally.”

Lastly, I participated in listening to the ds106radio on Wednesday night. First off, I was stoked to hear my bumber on the show! Anyways, the theme of that nights show was husband insurance… Some sketchy stuff if you ask me haha but yeah, audio played a massive role in this show as it would for any other radio show. With no visual to process, your ears are working over time with your brain to paint that picture you need to grasp the ideas. the biggest note i remember is that there was a lot of dramatic music from an organ or similar instrument which gave it that creepy sound noir desires. I tweeted about the show, check it out, and follow me if you aren’t already! some good examples of audio can be found in The Shadow, a piece we had to read earlier in the semester. Obviously you don’t hear audio when you read a script so I posted the radio show version of it below. Enjoy!

A Storm Be Brewin’

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Brain storming for radio show ideas.

In a couple of weeks, my class and I will be forming groups and creating a radio show as pre-recorded audio. In preparation, I’m brainstorming ideas for a 20-30 minute radio show—somehow related to or inspired by noir.

I like a talk show concept with a few interviews. In between interviews that will relate to the genre of noir, there can be commercials that also relate to something in the noir genre. There can be a single host that interviews all the guests and might ask them some questions, ranging from serious to comical. Im not sure if guests would be our fictional characters that we created or perhaps famous actors in that performed in popular noir films. We could have multiple guests being interview at once, comparing times they’ve been in trouble or danger in the past or future plans of suspicious activity. I would like to see the interviewer to be able to get a detailed description of noir from the guests being interviewed. I think that would be important.

I have this picture in my head of interviews that are similar to Jimmy Fallon’s The Tonight Show… Just without the video aspect.

 

Movie Time

I watched the Killer’s Kiss and The Hitch-Hiker, as both pieces demonstrate popular techniques in cinematography to achieve the noir genre.

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Killer’s Kiss

This is the “Venetian blind” effect. I have noticed this in other movies I have watched before but never put much thought into it. I learned only earlier this week that the popular shadows have a name. I think it adds a mysterious mood/feel to the scene due to the fact that blinds on a window deal with the combination of privacy and light. Light obviously plays a huge role in any movie however, film noir may take the cake in the importance factor of light. The privacy side of it because it adds to the mystery & suspicious feel.

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Killer’s Kiss

From the same movie, This screen shot of a scene of Gloria in a flashback while talking to Davey. The lighting from one particular side is also a common technique in film noir. I found a cool website that has a page solely on lighting tips for noir. THE BASICS OF LIGHTING FOR FILM NOIR. Check it out, might learn something like I did.

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Killer’s Kiss

In the photo-safari I had to complete this week, an urban nightscape was on the list. Im still new with this noir genre, but i’m guessing it must be a popular scene in noir movies. It shows that the world is a big bad place if you’re not carful and also emphasizes thats its night time, a time of danger.

Screen Shot 2015-02-01 at 2.40.27 PMThe Hitch-Hiker

Everyone knows that when the only subject in a particular scene is a weapon, much less a gun, actions are soon to be dangerous. Unlike the Killer’s Kiss, this movie has a lot more dialogue to listen to and comprehend. a quick bold showing of the gun leaves a greater impact than that if it was the gun and the hitch hiker. This scene stuck with me, keeping it undoubtably clear that he is the antagonist.

The art of making movies is a complex one, an art that I have little experience in. Yet, it is a growing interest of mine. Its interesting to see the differences of movies from 1955 to 2015… 60 years difference!

Telling a story with Pixels – Photoreflection

Photography has always been a part of my life because of my dad. He has been a photographer for a majority of his life as a hobby and has a lot of knowledge about a wide array of photography topics. We actually have a photo-studio in our basement at home for portraits that he uses quite often. Throughout the years, he has taught me the basics, allowing me to be pretty confident with a camera.  I also took a photography class in high school for an entire year growing my skill set. I dont have a fancy DSLR (digital single-lens reflex camera) like my dad who has 3 or 4 of them, rather, I just have my iPhone 6 plus which has a 8-megapixel iSight camera with 1.5µ pixels and a new Gopro HERO 4+ Silver camera. These meet my needs so Im happy.

white-apple-logo-images-6gopro-logo-TRUE-BLACK-BACKGROUND-smallI take a lot of action photography with my GoPro including all kinds of sports from soccer shot on frame in the summer to skiing down the slopes in the winter. With my iPhone I take a lot of photos of friends and random things that catch my eye. I like clean, sharp photos. if its any bit blurry, I’m not a fan. I like a large depth of view and the GoPro offers that. after reviewing the resources on the noir106 website, I think I want to improve the emotion shown on photos; even if its my own emotion with the choice of subject or the actual emotion of the subject I choose. Also, I liked the idea of instead of searching for the perfect photograph, let the perfect photograph come to you. What I mean by this is that I might pick a location and let the subject enter at random. Might be an exciting activity!