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.


The Post (2017)

Day 8 : 13/01/2018

The Post, Steven Spielberg 

There are world famous events, big moments in life that we are familiar enough in one sentence – we know that Graham Bell invented the phone, Michael Phelps won 8 awards at the Olympics or we know history enough to be able to talk about it. But if we don’t have a particular interest on those subjects, we barely know the backstories, the intensities, the sacrifices or just the casual day to day lives of those characters. That’s why I love watching them written in intriguing ways – and since journalism is a very passionate side of me I really enjoyed every bit of this movie. This movies makes me remember how much I value seriousness about a subject – as boring as it may sound, being intensely connected to something and being able to work with people who try to do their best sounds like heaven to me. Tom Hanks is one of my favorite actors whose movies I would chose to watch without hesitation – he is like a sensor for good quality. So seeing him together with Meryl Streep and directed by Spielberg sounded like a good dream which actually came true. This is undoubtedly a compelling movie that deepens your perspective on journalism through its invisible questions.  When you are a journalist and close with the political people can you really know if they are your friends or if they just like to keep you close? Can you give up on their friendship and go against them publicly if needed? If what you have to write is against the government is it better to just risk being closed down and not be able to write at all or are you just gonna go with it and publish your stories? On that note, the most memorable scene for me was when Kay confronted McNamara. It was just so intense that you as a viewer understand the magnitude of what really is going on. The Post, just like Rush (directed by Ron Howard), shows that your rival can also be your best ally and make you a better version of yourself. As the shots, it was a delight to see papers, typewriters, the newsroom environment, the buildings with nice architecture – and those trucks throwing newspapers on the sides of newsstands driving away at dawn. I think the women empowerment side of the story was also at the right dose – it was fun to watch the character arc of Kay. The music is so nice but of course it is – it is by John Williams. A great movie with a pleasant rhythm to go along with.

Loving Vincent (2017) – The Making Of

Loving Vincent broadens the horizons of cinematography with paint – check out how they did it.

The making of video:


Behind the scenes:

Loving Vincent (2017)

Day 6 : 29/12

Loving Vincent, Dorota Kobiela, Hugh Welchman

This was one of the most special moments of my life, I would love to meet the filmmakers and thank them for making me feel that way. Immersing myself in a Van Gogh world! That’s something beyond the limits of my imagination in cinema and it happened. Because when you break your limits and merge existing technology with “What IFs” (I guess one of Pixar’s favorite phrases) magic happens on screen. For every post I put a frame that captures the essence of the movie for me – so here I wanted to do the reverse, because that’s what Loving Vincent does: reverses what we expect from a medium. So here is a moving image of paintings above.  It just felt really really exceptional to be able to watch this movie, while I was in the theater I couldn’t believe this was a widespread release, the experience itself felt too exclusive almost like a dream. The whole mood of the film was amazing : The artistic style of Van Gogh, his colours; his yellows and greens and blues, and the music… Getting introduced to Van Gogh’s mind was also very influential, looking at the world through an artists eyes. Especially the closing credits felt really heavy on me: he said “I wish one day the world could understand how tenderly I felt”. When the movie was finished, I just wanted to rewatch it immediately.  Probably I will watch this again sometime soon – and every possible day that I can see in the cinema. It is not easy for me to get over this film – the music for example, was just magnificent. How soft “Starry Starry Night” starting playing at the end was such a contrast to how people made him feel in his lifetime. This movie is especially influencing if you stop thinking about the paintings and how many painters have worked for it and all that – it’s magic starts the moment you leave yourself to the world of the movie.

=> Loving Vincent Cinematography Journal

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