Sunday, June 5, 2011

My thoughts on 308J

I had very little experience coming into the class pertaining to film and writing. Basically my formal writing experiences include high school English and English 151 freshmen year. I had to take a psych class that was all about writing research papers but it is a lot different than regular writing, and way less fun. Being an avid movie-goer however made analysis of films somewhat an easy transition. By somewhat I mean that I took some getting used to trying to analyze a movie and not just watching it for entertainment which was what I used to watch movies for. However it did come with some bumps and bruises along the way. But once I got the hang of it writing about films became somewhat easier and I find myself analyzing movies that I am just watching for fun.
I was most interested in the first assignment because it forced me to look back to my childhood and see how movies have affected me. Sometimes it’s neat take a whole introspective look at oneself. Plus I have always liked to reminisce about times past and memories from before. I have often been accused of being a day-dreamer so that may have something to do with it but who knows. The movie I was most interested in was Inception because every time I watch it I can’t help but wonder about dreams and the power of the mind. Plus I just love the movie and just about everything about it. Even now writing this blog I am listening to the masterful Hans Zimmer work his composing magic on its soundtrack. I have noticed in recent years that I am really attracted to movies that very powerful and resounding soundtracks and I actually download them and listen to them quite often. Mainly when I am typing a paper (such as now) or when I need to study for a test. Hans Zimmer is an impressive portfolio and I listen to a lot of his stuff, but nothing beats Randy Edelman and his soundtrack from The Last of the Mohicans. But I digress, Inception was just an awesome movie and that raised many questions with a lot of people, and it was interesting listening to people’s on takes and opinions on it.
Writing about and talking about some of the movies did change my opinion of some of the films, Suspiria in particular. Now we can all agree that Suspiria is a pretty campy movie with some hokey scenes, but sometimes I like these old campy movies. Most of the time I have to be in the mood for a campy movie and read up a little but before watching it so I was semi prepared for what the movie was going to be. Now I am not saying Suspiria is a great movie and deserving an academy award but it is at least entertaining and is somewhat enjoyable to watch and talk about. Amelie was another that another movie that kind of changed my mind on movies. I have never really considered myself a foreign film fan and sometime I find myself avoiding them but Amelie was actually really good and I feel it might have opened me up to foreign films. But I do realize that some of my favorite movies all time are foreign, such as Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels, and Snatch but I don’t really consider these foreign because they speak English and they were released to American Theatres. But I did like the whole feel that Amelie had o am glad that I had to watch it because if I didn’t I probably would have passed on it like a lot of other movies. I think without talking about or writing about the movie I would have had my doubts about the director’s competence. I probably would not have been aware of the direction that Dario Argento was going for if I wasn’t told about it and just would have assumed that he wasn’t a very good director. Now I know he was more along the lines of a misunderstood director not a bad one. But after doing these things I realize that some of the things done were done on purpose.
The ability to think critically about movies and how/why things are done the way they are in movies. With the knowledge from class I can better understand what directors are trying to accomplish in their films rather than just assuming the good or the bad about them. My writing is more or less the same it has just become more clear and concise. I have always been a decent writer I just have trouble articulating my thoughts into coherent complete sentences on paper. So this class for the most part just helped me solve that problem.

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