The Florida Project (2017)

Day 10: 24/02/2018

The Florida Project, Sean Baker 

A great example of “Show Don’t Tell” : we are being shown A LOT and said nothing directly. We can see that even though these people are living in those conditions, just around their corner there are beautiful abandoned condos looking over the river and the government is doing nothing to help out, we can see that we don’t need anything material to be happy – indeed you can give the rainbow as a gift to your friend, we can see that people who are in worse conditions than we are may be trying their best to get out of it and can’t (like how Halley is trying to be a waitress to earn money but she can’t, like how she decently tries to sell perfumes but gets threatened to be delivered to the police) => so they would even be doing things they wouldn’t like (like prostituting), we can see that people can be really cruel and even if they are closer to them in terms of social class they could be cruel to each other. It really hurt me as a reality how the police and the social security could come to their door when they wanted to but does not actually help these people out when there are abandoned houses really close to them – we see that Halley really likes her daughter but she is stuck in a circle that she can’t get out of – and if those people can come to her door, they can also help people like her to be out of that cycle.

The scene that affected me the most is when Halley takes Moonee and Jancey to a roadside by hitchhiking, we realize that it is Jancey’s birthday because they have a candle on a cake for her but it is not quite certain why they are at that place – and suddenly fireworks start lighting up the sky. All us lucky kids can understand where they are coming from, Disneyland. 

The characters in this movie could easily be taught in cinema class – both by their own characteristics and their relationship to other characters are really valuable to me. Halley and Ashley are great friends but Ashley is slightly better off than Halley since she manages to work in Waffle store – and this underlines the hardship of Halley even better. Or how Bobby is tough on Halley but always keeps an on the kids.

Also loved how this movie was almost in the form of a documentary – just showing life as it is, no melodramatic scenes, no heavy music, no music to give you a clue on what is gonna happen next – it is almost as if we are being shown raw footage in an order and I really like that in this sense.

I love how the whole world they created is in tones of pink, the motel is painted purple, the sky is always in tones of the golden hour, kids are really colorful and even Halley’s hair is blue. Such a nice take on a difficult condition – doesn’t force you have a bad time watching it, it manages to make you get lost in its own world by giving you the messages it likes to give. This is the sort of a movie I would like to watch again to see the things I haven’t realized the first time.

 

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