Blog Prompt #9 (April 12, before class)

Let’s try this again. Use this blog post to suggest a film for one of the TBA dates on the schedule. Your post must include specific frames, shots, and scenes from the film and a justification for how those examples reflect principles discussed in class (mise en scene, camera angle, composition, light/dark, etc.).

(I should let you know that I am leaning toward including two romantic comedies, so I suggest that you lean that way, also.)

Okay. I’ve made up my mind. We will do a romantic comedy for Thursday, April 19. I want folks who go that route for their second short paper to be able to see at least one so we can more specifically discuss the tropes, themes, etc. associated with the genre. I haven’t entirely made up my mind yet, but I’ll need a pretty strong argument to move off of When Harry Met Sally, which is fun and almost a satire of the genre.

The film for April 26 is still undecided.

11 comments for “Blog Prompt #9 (April 12, before class)

  1. Kymberly Conaway
    April 10, 2018 at 7:44 pm

    I suggest that we watch Irreplaceable You for one of the TBA movies. Irreplaceable You is a romantic comedy about the journey of a fortuitous couple that meet at a field trip in elementary school. The female lead, Abbie, has an emotional/ personality flaw that causes internal and external conflicts. The film is set in New York so the movie is well lit for emphasis on happy times and quite dim when the scene is dramatic or gloomy. The plot follows the demise of the main characters’ relationship and the tale of their ’til death do us part relationship. The second or third scene of the movie is a montage of their relationship maturing and their love story (of course the mood is set with poppy music describing the story). There is an external force driving a wedge in the relationship. As for the comedy, the film is quite humorous for it to have such a serious story line. (Spoilers start here) Three minutes into the movie, the students are on a field trip at the aquarium when the guide is asked about monogamy by a class of eight year olds, needless to say they share a bit of family business about their parents. At 11:38, the couple is discussing the news about her cancerous tumor and they joke about the situation because they thought that she was pregnant. All the group therapy scenes are funny because Kate McKinnon, Christopher Walken, and Steve Coogan create lighthearted banter during these dramatic sessions.

    This movie is a typical ‘cancer’ movie so we all know how it ends but the director does a really good job at telling the story. It is available on Netflix and it was released on February 16, 2018. Runtime is 96 minutes.

  2. Justin Boneparte
    April 10, 2018 at 11:47 pm

    I suggest we watch Pretty Woman starring Richard Gere and Julia Roberts. Pretty Woman is a romantic comedy that was released in 1990. It is the classic Cinderella like story line where a man rescues a woman. Julia Roberts is a prostitute and she runs in to Richard Gere in his fancy sports car while he was looking for directions to his hotel. This film is well lit as it takes place in L.A. while Edward Lewis is on a business trip and he meets Vivian. Much of this film uses three point lighting except the scenes where the two are intimate. Once meeting her he decides he likes her company so he wants to spend more time together. One of my favorite camera angles is when she goes to a high end store dressed in her prostitute clothing. As she walks toward the store the camera shows people in the streets staring at her in disgust because of her outfit. As she walks in the store the camera goes from each of the three sales woman faces as they looked her up and down. Vivian is at first oblivious and keeps looking and asking prices. The women were rude to her and basically refused to serve her. As she leaves the store the camera sort of looks down upon her capturing her sadness and she was being treated rudely. Vivian eventually gets some help from the hotel staff and visits another store where she spends lots of money. She of course walks by the store that turned her away and told them what a big mistake they made. The looks on the ladies faces was by far one of the funniest scenes in the movie to me. Richard and Vivian end up spending a lot of time together and by the end of the movie he was chasing her not wanting her to leave. He comes to rescue her in a white limo with flowers. She is upstairs and he pushes aside his fear or heights and goes up a ladder to rescue his woman. Like every comedy, they met in the beginning and by the end they are madly in love.

  3. Lilly Lightsey
    April 11, 2018 at 8:53 am

    Sure romantic comedies can be good, but I still suggest we watch The Sixth Sense. One of the best scenes in the whole movie comes at the 52:11 mark when the camera is lowered to Cole (the main character’s) point of view as he walks down a hallway. The camera is eye level with Cole and filmed like the watcher is Cole. It slowly moves down the hall as eerie music plays and you can hear Cole breathing, but it feels so much like it is happening to you. Either side of the hallway is dark and you cannot see anything on the walls, the only source of light is the kitchen at the end of the hall. When Cole enters the kitchen and has his first encounter with a ghost, we the audience also get to see, it is such a shocking moment. Cole then turns and runs back down the hall and once again the camera moves to become his point of view. The camera fades to black as the ghost screams by way of Cole pulling a blanket over his eyes to hide from the ghost. Even if the ghost herself is not that scary to watchers the scene becomes much more frightening when it is filmed from the perspective of Cole.
    Around the 42:11 mark comes a really good scene too. In it, Cole is at another kid’s birthday party. He is hiding from all the other kids as he watches a balloon raise the ceiling from the bottom of a spiral staircase. We watch him get up and then the camera cuts to a new angle. You can tell it is higher up on the staircase, but the wall is dark with only one little section lit. This section is quickly covered with Cole’s shadow who we see a few moments before Cole. As Cole comes into frame and climbs the stairs, his shadow behind him moves from the section of light and disappears into the shadows. It is this moment of foreshadowing that something bad is about to happen that is so quick, but such a neat trick with light and dark.
    Another great scene happens around 1:20:33 which plays with both camera angle and light. Cole and Malcom have gone to the wake of a ghost who came to see Cole for help. They walk upstairs to her bedroom and stop before the door. The camera is angled up to look at both Cole and Malcom from about where the door handle is. Since Cole is much smaller than Malcom, this camera angle put him more in focus, but makes Malcom look awkward and out of place. As Cole reaches for the door handle, we get a close up of it in which you can see Cole fully reflected and just one of Malcom’s shoulders. Cole’s hand edges closer and closer until the reflection of the handle is totally covered by his hand. The camera then cuts to an overhead shot of the girl’s bedroom in which we watch the door creek open. Her room is totally dark, but as light enters, we watch Cole’s shadow joins the dark as it stretches out into the dark room. However, we do not see Malcom’s shadow. (Which foreshadows what the true ending to the movie really is.)

  4. Anthony Hanks
    April 12, 2018 at 11:30 am

    For starters this could very well be the hardest blog prompt ever because picking a Romantic Comedy that I want to watch just goes against my nature. That being said though there was one that I thought was kind of funny and it does have a pretty interesting story line. I am going to suggest While You Were Sleeping. The movie is 103 minutes and was released in 1995, it will be 23 years old on April 21st. I like (I use the word like with hesitation) this film because the “love” story is funny and doesn’t end as one would think from the way the film starts. Lucy (Sandra Bullock) ends up falling in love with the brother of the guy she was “destined” to marry which is one of my favorite actors (Bill Pullman) because he plays in one of my favorite movies, A League of Their Own. Anyway there is one scene in this movie that is pretty cool in a foreshadowing sort of way, it takes place when Lucy goes to see Peter (Peter Gallagher) in the hospital in the middle of the night and the camera moves from her to Saul (Jack Warden) Peter’s said to be Godfather when he is standing behind the glass hinting that Saul heard the truth so now the viewers know that Lucy’s secret is no longer a secret from everybody. I like this scene because the camera angle and lighting off of the glass are manipulated in a way where in one shot you can see Saul standing behind the glass and you can see the reflection of Lucy talking to Peter at the same time. I’m not a huge fan of Romantic Comedies, but if I had to choose one to sit through I would choose this one.

  5. Samantha Fox
    April 12, 2018 at 12:46 pm

    I don’t watch many romantic comedies but the movie I think we should watch is Legally Blonde. It is on the border of being considered a “romantic comedy” but I feel like this movie is one everyone needs to see at least once in their life. This movie is about a girl who is all about fashion and everyone just assumes she is a “dumb blonde” even her boyfriend. Her boyfriend leaves her when he goes to law school for another girl at law school so she takes the test and gets accepted, which is a shock for everyone. throughout the whole movie she learns that she is smarter then people put her out to be and she gets through everything she is going through by her own knowledge. She also learns to love herself before she finds love in someone else. The movie is more about self love and self confidence and then near the end finding real love.

  6. Kallen A Miles
    April 12, 2018 at 2:18 pm

    If there is any romantic comedy that should be watched, it should be the film Before We Go. This film is Chris Evans’ directorial debut, in which he also stars in alongside English actress Alice Eve as his love interest in the movie. The movie is 95 minutes long and was released in September 2015. There are some aspects of drama in this film as well but it is overall a light and heartfelt movie. To keep from spoiling the entirety of the movie, I will not be giving out important details. Eve’s character Brooke is a woman on a mission to make it back to Boston after finding out that her estranged husband (who was cheating on her), is coming home early to save their marriage. Nick (played by Evans), is musician who helps Brooke find a way back home after she is robbed in New York. The two spend most of the night on a path of discovery, both about each other and themselves. They spend a night together at a hotel room and wait until the morning for Brooke’s ride to Boston. They share another kiss and when she leaves, Brooke reads the letter that Nick left for her and smiles (the message is left ambiguous). The best thing about this film is that the characters aren’t “in love” with each other. They still have feelings for other partners that they are/were with. They are mostly exploring the possibility of a relationship with each other and enjoying the company of the person they are with. The heartbreaking aspect of this is that they aren’t able to explore the idea of a relationship with each other because of the fact that they are with someone else. Nick is still heartbroken over his ex and Brooke wants to make her failing marriage work, putting both of the leads in a position that no one wants to be in. One of the most important scenes in this movie is shown at the end of the film when Nick is riding with Brooke to the bus stop. This scene is amazing because the actors convey a large part of the emotion through their actions. Where at one point they were close together, they sit a little bit apart, solidifying the fact that they are about to go their separate ways. The lighting in the shot is centered in the back, bringing the shadows of Nick and Brooke’s faces out more and giving the overall scene a more melancholy feel. It is a break away from the more stereotypical romantic comedies that people see and I highly recommend it as a film for everyone to watch.

  7. Erica Dovre
    April 12, 2018 at 2:32 pm

    Punch Drunk Love is one of the best romantic comedies put on screen, and not just due to the surprising fact that Adam Sandler can actually try to act. Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, the film tells the story of Barry Egan, a business owner, who is living a lonely and dull life. However, his timid lifestyle is disrupted when he falls in love with his sister’s co-worker.
    The great cinematic elements of the film, done by Robert Elswitt, can be shown in the very first frame. The first shot of the film works to characterize Adam Sandler’s character. He is seen in a dark blue suit, which matches the background, shown by a wide angle shot. He has a desk in the corner of the room, seemingly surrounded by the only ounce of light in the whole area. This makes Barry blend into the background, showing that he may like to be camouflaged from the outside world. This is only one of the many examples that can be used to describe the excellent cinematography implemented throughout the film. The score of Punch Drunk Love is acts as a character in itself. The music really expresses the emotion throughout the film. This love story is indeed an odd one and Jon Brion really worked to make the music match the story perfectly.
    There are many other reasons as to why I believe you should show Punch Drunk Love as our final romantic comedy. The story is cute and everything you would want a romantic comedy. Adam Sandler and Emily Watson end up being the two actors you didn’t know you wanted to see together, and they did it so well.

  8. Shemar Muirhead
    April 12, 2018 at 2:47 pm

    I suggest that we watch Hitch as the romantic comedy for April 26. Hitch is a 205 American romantic comedy film directed by Andy Tennant and starred by the infamous Will Smith. Will Smith plays the main character of Alex ‘Hitch’ Hitchens, who is a dating consultant who coaches guys the do’s and don’t’s of dating as well as how to evolve into a relationship. Quite a few scenes were shot at typical dating locations such as a bar and restaurant. During this film, Hitch finds himself falling for a woman and tries his romantic methods to capture her (Eva Mendes as Sara Melas) interest. Eventually, Hitch captures Sara’s attention and they start dating briefly before she discovers his occupation and break things off with him. In the end they resume their relationship and are seemingly a happy couple.
    Hitch is a typical romantic comedy based on various concepts. The typical romantic comedy plot is followed whereas Hitch meets Sara by crass casualty, the love at first sight principle comes int play, Hitch tries to sway Sara, they eventually start dating, an “unforseen” intervention causes them to part, they both miss each other and confide to a friend, a mystical intervention reunites them, happily ever after.
    The lighting aspect of the film also aided in the establishment of this romantic comedy. Most of the scenes were shot in the daytime and little to no key or fill light were used because the film is a romantic comedy and there is more emphasis on the plot and the characters than effects.

  9. April 12, 2018 at 2:50 pm

    I personally think we should watch the film How To Lose a Guy in 10 Days. This is a perfect example of a romantic comedy because it fully demonstrates the “guy meets girl” element: They meet, they fall in love, something happens to pull them apart, and then they reconcile at the end. This film is about young magazine editor, Andie (Kate Hudson) who has to come up with a new idea for their company’s next article. Fortunately, she decided to come up with “dating don’ts” in order to lose a guy in 10 days to validate the article. Since she needed to test out this theory, she picked the unlucky and unknowing volunteer Ben (Matthew McConaughey). As she is trying her best to lose him, ironically he is trying his best to keep her due to a bet he made with his boss. He told his boss he could make a girl fall in love with him within 10 days, but it becomes difficult as Andie is trying to push him away. Amidst the drama, they eventually end up actually falling for each other. Soon the truth comes out as to what they were both up to. One of the last scenes shows both of them outside having an argumentative confrontation about the situation. As Andie gets flustered too much over the conversation, she walks away and the camera shows a long camera shot. This is symbolic of showing how far away Ben is from her now, not just physically, but emotionally as well. By the end of the movie, he realizes he truly needs her and chases her down. I find this very cliche in the form of a romantic comedy, so it fits perfectly. All in all, this film is a lighthearted comedy of love between two people who care about each other more than any job, any bet, or any conflict.

  10. Cecil Maddox
    April 12, 2018 at 3:26 pm

    Firstly, my original choice was Pretty Woman but someone already did that, so I picked another movie. The movie I think we should watch is One Day, starring Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess. The movie begins with a one night stand between two students and follows their on and off friendship/romance over the course of almost 20 years.
    One of the best things about the movie is the foreshadowing with similar scenes. In the beginning, we see Anne Hathaway’s character riding her bike throughout a muggy London, looking unhappy. In the end of the movie, there’s another scene with her character riding her bike again, but this time she’s in a different city where it is sunny and she’s smiling. This shows the difference between the character’s life at the present day (2006) and 18 years before.
    I also really enjoy the rapid changes in costuming and setting. Since the movie takes place over almost 20 years, the clothes they wear, hairstyles, etc. change so much. It sort of keeps you on your toes.

  11. Michael Anzalone
    April 14, 2018 at 2:26 pm

    If we are going the way of romantic comedies, I would suggest a great movie that borders more on romance than romantic comedy: Before Sunrise. It is a fantastic film co-written and directed by Richard Linklater that provides possibly the best two-way chemistry ever put on screen with Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy. The film is a real exercise in dialogue, something I don’t feel like the class has focused too much on outside of possibly Life is Beautiful.
    A lot of the shots in the film are mainly medium shots. The common event that occurs within the film are Hawke and Delpy walking through the streets of Vienna, which makes dolly shots very common throughout, such as the scene where they walk through the graveyard around 28:50. There are a multitude of long takes provided in the film, including but not limited to the scene in the record store while they listen to one of the songs together shortly after leaving the train (26:50).
    While this movie may not provide a lot of the conventions that you want to focus on for a specific genre, I think it could add a different dynamic to the class that focuses on naturalism in acting and takes a deeper look into dialogue for one class.

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