Sunday, November 27, 2011

Movie Talk on Sunday: the Blog-Time Travel

Since #MTOS always happens during the middle of the day here in New York, I tend to miss out on some awesome twitter movie talk. So to throw my two cents in, I will blog my Movie Talk opinion here. Especially since this week was time travel films and I love me a good time travel movie. Movie Talk was hosted by one of my twitter friends @Zack_Parks. The questions are posted here on his website:
1. Back to the Future. Also, the Terminator. But mostly Back to the Future. And I would also say Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban but just because I have to say Harry Potter. 
2. Obviously sci-fi. It's one of my favorite genres in general.
3. I would want one that would be fool proof so I could get back. Time turners seem pretty good. Also, I would not mind traveling in the TARDIS (not movie related I know, but it is going to be! Plus, I've recently become a Doctor Who fan.)
4. This one's a bit fuzzy, do they have to be in a time travel movie? If so, then definately Doc and Marty. I have an unholy love for Michael J. Fox. Also, I would go anywhere with Sirius Black. Or any of the Harry Potter cast. Or Captain Jack Sparrow. Or Alan Rickman in any role he's ever played.
5. I love 80's things in general. I think that answers this question...It also confuses me. Curses for having to miss MTOS.
6. I love dark, depressing futures ala The Road and Blindness (I'm thinking about the books in both cases, I haven't seen the films). I think it makes more fun, but also scarier at the same time. A bright, happy future would be boring.
7. The Time Traveler's Wife. Made absolutely no sense in terms of time travel. I like when films make rules and then stick to them.
8. Hershey's chocolate bars, kettle corn, and honey mustard pretzels.
9. I would prevent both the book and movie form of Twilight from being created. The world does not need sparking vampires and sickeningly dependent, suicidal females. Also, there are several rebooted movies that I would like to prevent from happening such as the before-Nolan's-even-done-with-his-franchise-Batman. Any Alvin & the Chipmunk film (just saw the preview, kind of want to barf.)
10. 1960's to see the Beatles in the Cavern Club, then 1945 to celebrate V-E Day in Times Square. I would also like to see if dinosaurs really existed. There's so much history I would want to see, but I would be scared to go forward in time. I don't want to see how the world ends.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

I Think You Should Know Thursday

This Thanksgiving Thursday the band I think you should know is The Shins. This band may not be as obscure as some of the other artists I have shared, but they are not as well know as they should be. If you know them, it's probably because you heard them on the Garden State soundtrack. Or because you have good taste in music.
The New Mexico indie rock band is known for their catchy, upbeat tunes. There music works well for days of both sunshine and rain because it is mellow while still remaining happy. I'm trying to listen to more happy music since most of my friends tell me my music is too depressing.
"Girl Inform Me" is from the Shin's  first album, Oh! Inverted World. It has a poppy sound without being too sugary sweet.
"Girl inform me all my senses warn me 
Your clever eyes could easily disguise 
Some backwards purpose 
It's enough to make me nervous. 
Do you harbor sighs, or spit in my eye?"

"Kissing the Lipless" is a bit more mellow but with great lyrics. It manages to be beautiful and serious, but also non-depressing.
"Called to see
If your back was still aligned
And your sheets
Were growing grass 
All on the corners of your bed
But you've got too much to wear on your sleeves
It has too much to do with me
And secretly
I want bury in the yard
The grey remains of a friendship scarred"

Thursday, November 17, 2011

I Think You Should Know Thursday

This blustery and cold Autumn Thursday I present to you the acoustic folk artist City and Colour. City and Colour is actually a one man band lead by Canadian singer Dallas Green who is accompanied by a rotating group of backing artists. The band's name comes from Greens own: Dallas-a city and Green-a color.
To me, Green's songs have the perfect sound for fall. There is just a feeling that goes along with his music that evokes images of falling leaves and flannel (or maybe that's just me). His voice can be best described as sincere; you can feel the emotion spilling into his every chord. Like most of the artists I like and have presented here, the Green's focus is on the music. He is a man with a guitar and his heart on his sleeve, nothing more.
"The Girl" is my favorite City and Colour song. It's one of those songs that you wish someone would sing to you or you wish you had someone to sing it to. It's also just plain beautiful.
"I wish I could do better by you, 
Cause thats what you deserve."
"You don't ask for no diamond rings, 
No delicate string of pearls, 
That's why I wrote this song to sing, 
My beautiful girl."
I also love "Comin Home." Plus, that's what I'm going to be doing a week from today for Thanksgiving break, so I had to share it as well. I love the yearning that seems to come from this song, anyone who's ever been away from the one they love can relate.
"I know that we're takin' chances, you told me life was a risk
But I just have one last question...
Will it be my heart or will it be his?
I'm comin' home."

Monday, November 14, 2011

Adventures in Filmmaking: Final Cut & Feedback

As the semester has progressed, my adventures in filmmaking have continued. I have left super 8 behind and ventured into the modern era of filming learning how to use a mini DV camcorder and da da da dah...FINAL CUT PRO 7 (go figure, it's the version my University uses).
Using a mini DV camcorder is a bit more difficult than I expected, I think I actually prefer super 8 cameras, just in terms of style. I love the feeling that comes from black and white films and the silence that accomplices them. Having to think about sound and color composition is a much different experience. It has really made me aware of the sounds that occur around me and how they can be used to tell a story.
Also, learning Final Cut Pro has been interesting. My professor tries to cram so much into a given class period that sometimes we are left without enough time to go really in depth in how to use all the functions of the program. I consider myself a slightly computer savy person, but there are so many functions that I have to learn (not to mention just learning how to turn on a mac). However, I am a person who learns by doing; the best way for me to learn Final Cut is to just play around with it once I am done shooting my final project which is the biggest and most challenging of the semester.
We've already done our first project using in camera editing. The project was to test our use of the camera while focusing on sound and image combined. If my film had a title it would have been "Chasing Cars" (I name most of the things I do, whether it be poems or films after song titles) because I recorded the sound from cars on a street while not actually filming any cars themselves. I captured images of streetlights and neon signs and traffic lights all the while with the sound of cars and trucks driving. I thought it came out really cool and I got some great feedback from my class. Once I get it back I will try to figure out a way to post it on YouTube or something because I am really getting into the sharing part of cinema. I have become more willing to let people see my work and to receive feedback.  I think it's also really great that I have awesome friends who actually want to see what I am working on.
Just getting feedback has been really great for me in gaining confidence as a filmmaker. In his grade report for my last project (the super 8 one that I did all the editing for) my professor said that I "have a good eye for framing" and that my "comparison...between a train and a boat, slow and fast motions, nature and man-made machines, and organic and geometric shapes is amazing." (He gave me an A- on the assignment if anyone was wondering.) It is just another one of those affirmations that tells me I am moving in the right direction. I am having such a great time in this class, I really feel like I am actually learning new and important skills. I have already signed up for Video Production II for next semester so I can continue my adventures in filmmaking. Who knows where this will all take me...

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Shake It Out

I love Florence + the Machine. I listened to Lungs pretty much on repeat the entire summer.  If you see me listening to Florence music it can mean one of many things: either I'm heartbroken, happy, angry, confused, or I just need something to put as my facebook status. It all depends on the song, she has one for every mood. She's never been an artist I think you should know because I assume (and dearly hope) everyone has already heard of this amazing band.
The new album Ceremonials that was released Tuesday here in the US has been playing on my computer and ipod on repeat this entire week. I absolutely love it. I wrote a review for it for my school's blog:
Some of my favorite lines have been edited out, but I guess that is the price of getting published. That's why I have my own blog as well. So I can say what I want completely uncensored and (occasionally) unedited.
My absolute favorite song of the album (and potentially of all her songs) is "Shake It Out." Not only are the song and video fantastic, but the lyrics are pure poetry. I also feel like this song fits my life pretty well.
"I am done with my graceless heart 
So tonight I'm gonna cut it out and then restart
Cause I like to keep my issues strong
It's always darkest before the dawn"
"And I'm damned if I do and I'm damned if I don't 
So here's to drinks in the dark at the end of my road 
And I'm ready to suffer and I'm ready to hope 
It's a shot in the dark and right at my throat 
Cause looking for heaven, for the devil in me 
Looking for heaven, for the devil in me 
Well what the hell I'm gonna let it happen to me"

I Think You Should Know Thursday

The artist that I think you should know this fine Thursday is The Black Keys. A two man band that plays a mix of rock, blues, and jazz, I discovered the band only last year through a friend (I get a lot of my music from my friends). The Black Keys have been around since 2001, but have only gained popularity and success with their 2010 album Brothers. 
I like this band because they have a harder sound than what I usually listen to; no mellow stuff here, The Black Keys are pure rock. I love the use of percussion and bass, the instruments really add to the tracks; it seems like there are many more people involved than just two guys. They lyrics are also generally not as depressing as things I usually listen to. I wouldn't call it uplifting, but its definitely toe tapping.
Their new album El Camino is coming out December 6th so look out around then because I will be purchasing and reviewing the album.
"Everlasting Light" was the first song I liked by The Black Keys.
"Let me be your everlasting light
The sun when there is none
I'm a shepherd for you
And I'll guide you through"
I just really love the sound and swag of this song "Ten Cent Pistol." The lyrics are also pretty fun. 
"There's nothing worse in this world
Than payback from a jealous girl
The laws of man don't apply
When blood gets in a woman's eye"

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Moive Talk on Sunday- War Films

I want you to participate in #MTOS
What is Movie Talk on Sunday (#MTOS) you may be asking yourself? Well it is the reason Sunday is the best day of the week. At 20:00 GMT  (3:00 EST, which is me) every Sunday on movie buffs, fanatics, and occasional watchers join together on twitter to talk about different genres of film. A different blogger hosts each week and posts questions for discussion. There are 10 questions, with one posted every 10 minutes.
To get involved all you have to do is go to twitter on Sunday at your designated time and search #MTOS. Make sure all your tweets have that hashtag as well so others can find you and join in on the conversation. Also, be sure to number your answers with A1, A2, etc.

This Sunday I will be your lovely host as we foray into the world of war films. Here are the questions:
1. What are your favorite war films?
2. Is historical accuracy important in war films?
3. What is the saddest scene in a war film?
4. What is a war movie you have not seen but should have?
5. Why do you think we find entertainment in war films?            
6. Who is your favorite actor in a war film?
7. What is the most underrated war film?
8. What is the most memorable scene in a war film?
9. Who is your favorite war film hero?
10. What is a war that deserves more attention in cinema and why?

Hope to see you all Sunday. Over and out!