Day 33: 17/09/2019
Suleiman Mountain, Elizaveta Stishova
A road trip movie on the outskirts of beautiful Kyrgyzstan, with very unusual characters. Starts off with a woman picking her son from an orphanage, then her dad comes to see him, and the dad’s mistress who claims to be pregnant. They are on the road, sleeping at the back of dad’s truck. Very dynamic story because every scene introduces a new turn of events, there’s almost no non-events in the story. Very impactful scenes such as the dad stealing money from a relative after a traditional gathering of celebrations. The money he steals is a gift for a newborn baby and when his son learns what he did, he throws himself from his dad’s truck. His mom goes to save him and their dad leaves them there and drives away with his mistress. However the mistress gets sick and they need the mom to heal the mistress. It doesn’t work and the mistress loses her baby. She is always suspicious that the boy does not belong to her lover but that he is a random boy from the orphanage. So even though the mom saved her life she goes on to research the boy and informs her lover that the boy’s parents have died when he was four. Dad gets really upset learning that and gets mad at her for saying it, he confronts the mom who accidentally falls from a cliff and dies.
Beautiful shots and mise-en-scenethat grab the viewer’s attention
Color grading: tones of blue
Great film to learn about Kyrgyz culture, hear their songs and see new scenery.
Day 32: 15/09/2019
Réponse de Femmes: Notre Corps, Notre Sexe, Agnes Varda
The most innovative and original visual artist + filmmaker I know, Agnes Varda, never disappoints. Many original techniques used in this short film: the glass she holds herself at the beginning of the film, on which she writes questions as topics directing the movie. Shooting images of women instead of a women that would make the whole idea look like a banal interview. Inserting images from magazines. Half of the people on shots naked. Voice of “men” as replying to women. Also interesting how smoothly she moves in between questions to create a whole portrait.
I could do a similar one where I ask people what they wanted to become when they were younger and what they are doing now. Why? (The backgrounds should somehow match and not distract the audience – could be a funfair).
Day 31: 17/07/2019
Before Sunrise, Richard Linklater
Last night I watched this movie again, I think for the 3rd time. Because I want to make a similar short film soon that takes place in a small Albanian city, I broke up the script in parts as I see it on screen.
This movie is in the form of a beautiful essay as they walk around Vienna. A lot of human-space relationship. As they move through places, they change the topic of their conversation accordingly – when they go inside a church they start talking about religion, when they walk around a fun fair they talk about the way their grandparents lived love, when they have to say goodbye they talk about the concept of goodbye. So many ideas – like feminism having been invented by man. This film is like an essay full of arguments – mostly contradicting, being voiced by people coming from very different backgrounds. Since they both usually have contrasting arguments, this Vienna-walkthrough essay feeds my academic heart.
I also like how they encountered local people along the way and incorporated them into the story. Rather than following a touristic route – since they are in Vienna – they follow their own path.
He wanted to walk around like a ghost -anonymously- in unknown cities. I sometimes do that too. It must be a common feeling. It should have a name.
Here’s even an A-Z guide for many things they talk about: https://www.vulture.com/2013/05/before-sunrise-before-sunset-conversation-guide.html
Day 30 : 21 / 06 / 2019
The House That Jack Built, Lars Von Trier
– full of spoilers ahead –
I am so glad I watched this movie without knowing anything about its style, because the Picasso painting that comes at the end of the first incident is pure genius and it shocked me on my seat. I love the structure of this film, a crime story kind of mixed with art video essay but not that simple. Photography => the negatives showing the devil in you Hunting => all the information about hunting orders, dogs and blood trails which connects back to the bone of the story. History, German soldiers trying to kill many people with one bullet => connects back to the story. Super experimental, yet super successful in giving its message without getting lost in different tracks. The Bob Dylan reference. Love the black and white animation that shows his feelings, moving like a waves, their depth explained through shadows. Also love how red is emphasized in each story and connects them together. Uses the negation of negation and it is not scared to show exactly what the audience does not want to see like a kid being shot or breasts getting cut off. Pure insanity, one of the most original films I’ve ever seen.
Day 29: 13/04/2019
Her, Spike Jones
Somehow this movie is very parallel to a short movie I’d like to make called O Buradayken. The way two main characters connect who don’t even share the same dimension – they are in different time frames – , the way they bond, the colors used, the angles, the walking shots, the disconnection protagonist feels from his own world and both move with the voice of a female who is not of that world – it is so interesting to see an idea in your mind to find a completely different form. It is so fun to watch. It’s also great that I haven’t watched this before I wrote my own script.
Great metaphor / or food of thought for the digital relationships we have with people around us. Love => how they shut the screen to black in the scene they are making love, it is two dimensional and you can feel it as a viewer this way. Love the big city views seen by his home, and that also emphasizes his individuality within the big city to me. Also love that she composed a song as a photograph – a song to capture the moment.
Day 28: 28/03/2019
Les Dites Cariatides, Agnes Varda
There is a cinematheque opening in my neighborhood very soon, and they started showing movies by devoting this month to Agnes Varda and a huge selection of her films. Yesterday, I watched couple short films by her, unfortunately today I learned she passed away.
There are many things about her cinema that affects me, like the way she interacts with cities and uses statues, stairs, objects in comparison to subjects in our lives. Watching these shorts by her made me want to grab my camera and just walk around in my own city, Istanbul, recording everything I love about it and commenting on them. Her take on the caryatids of Paris, how they can be compared to naked people walking around, how they are trusted “to carry” subjects like law on their shoulders, how she strengthened her storytelling with poems by Baudelaire and the music she used with those shots was very inspirational.
Interesting article: http://cleojournal.com/2018/04/11/wandering-in-the-presence-of-womenles-dites-cariatides/?fbclid=IwAR0YkIwlPhm2S_MTVdnmbTTVWsvscA13VW2KOVOsajsUE2QrdKW-IrAOVt8
Day 27 : 28/07/2019
La Casa de Papel, Alex Pina
Just started watching this popular series, here is a couple points I want to remember in the future.
- The Characters: After all, the success of a story always goes back to its characters. La Casa de Papel is full of original and multidimensional characters. Since it is a series and more story hours are allowed on camera, we get so see many different characters from opposite points of views which makes the story even like a documentary in that sense. We have the perspective the team (the burglars), the hostages and some of their private lives, the police and the intelligence services. Usually we are presented with the angle of a single standing point, which makes us empathize and root for their sides. If it’s a story about genius burglary, we want to see the intellect and the ability of the characters, be wowed by it and that’s it. But here, the situation is different. There are many characters whom we can root for, and who stand on opposite sides of the story.
- The Character Dynamics and Facing the Antagonist: Here, the main characters have a genius plan too, it is entertaining to watch. What makes the story more dynamic is internal and unexpected. Their plan goes just as they plan, they can overpower the police and other forces pretty easily because they got prepared for it for months. What they did not prepare for is their dynamics between each other and what makes their whole plan progress with bumps is caused by their own actions towards themselves such as getting into a forbidden love affair or neglecting behaviors of hostages. Presented in the first ten minutes of the show, we know that each team member have strengths of their own in their own field – except the profesor, we don’t really know who he is – and that they are all divergent. We see that among themselves they can become each others antagonists and create tension: like the time Berlin asked Denver to kill a pregnant woman after Denver just helped her or the times the love affair between Tokyo and Rio put them in trouble.
- Motive of the Characters: Throughout the series backstories of every character is revealed and we see that all of them has a motive to rob the bank, and that they have to as a salvation: Nairobi wants to get to her son, Moscow wants to give his son Denver a better life and so on. It is personal, then a group matter to them which creates many dynamic within the story – Nairobi says I won’t let anyone blow up this plan for example. They turn to each other as well as the police at times. It is also an answer to the question: why don’t they let go?
- The Timing: The timing of shows is correlated to their success. This is the case with Breaking Bad (2005) ( a small, masterful artisan succeeding against the big powers, against industrial material with lower quality) as well as Casa de Papel (2017). After a decade of economic crisis in Europe, the protagonists of the show is attacking capitalism, playing Robin Hood in 2017. They are not attacking or hurting the innocent, they claim to get what should belong to the masses of people where the profesor explains it as: “You’ve been taught to see good and bad guys. But what we’re doing is okay to you when other people do it. In the year 2011, the European Central Bank made 171 billion Euros out of nowhere. Just like we’re doing. Only bigger. 185 billion in 2012. 145 billion Euros in 2013. Do you know where all that money went? To the banks. Directly from the factory to the pockets of the rich. Did anyone call the European Central bank a thief? No. “Liquidity injections”, they called it. And they pulled it out of nowhere, Raquel. Out of nowhere”.
- References: From just a glare it is easy to see that the show got influenced by the Reservoir Dogs by Quentin Tarantino (in the case of random nicknames picked by a group of people who never knew each other before) and V for Vendetta by James McTeigue (the Dali masks). Salvador Dali is an interesting choice for the masks they wear, probably because he is a painter who goes against the structure accepted in terms of art forms. Trojan Horse => I love the genius in it and that they reference history. Doubles the power of the move!
- Color Palette: The red uniforms demonstrate boldness and courage to me, also signify a group of people who are not afraid to be right in front of the eyes, they don’t have to hide and sneak out – they are going to master their plans in front of everyone. Also, red contrasts with the theme color of the series, green, the color of calmness as well as cash 💸 .