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.


180° South (2010)

Day 9: 14/01/2018

180° South, Chris Malloy

A beautiful travel movie with very chill music and narration all along – about surfing, mountain climbing and ecology. I love how this movie combines all these in one place. It is really relaxing as we see them move around the South American continent and even get to the Eastern Island due to a problem with their boat in a storm – but then this chill docu-drama shows young people caring about our environment and teaching us to reconnect with the nature – because that’s where we belong, but if we can’t understand the nature, we will fail to love it too.  I love the commentary along with the movie and the beautiful visuals. Loved the modest 2D animations. Also the analog looking footage and how they connected their story today to Yvon Chouinard and Doug Tompkins’ trip back in the 60s. It is a unique narrative style.  180 South is a movie composed of good music mostly by the Ugly Casanova, nature sports and a care for ecological problems – all these taking place in South America. How better could it be?




Hotel Chevalier (2007) Cinematography Journal

This scene shows how he likes to (and pretends to) blend in with this new environment he created for himself.

It’s not just the color of his bathrobe to the overall tone of the room but also the way he tries to order his food in French – but that needs some help. He is happily messy in his room until he gets a phone call from his ex – after that everything starts to change.

Screen Shot 2018-01-11 at 4.22.46 PM

He cleans up the room and puts on a suit that is in complete contrast with the room – the way he likes to portray himself is different than his inner world.

When she comes, we see that she also wears grey – could we say he tries to match her by putting on a mask? Over prepared with the music and everything. Could this be the problem? People usually love to put on masks to make themselves look “better” than they are in their minds – but maybe if they would let others in and just be themselves, other people would find them way more original.

She comes in with flowers. Is she the “Chevalier” and him “the damsel in distress” waiting in his comfort castle?

Being the dominant character, she easily takes over the power in the room. She slips something in his luggage – will we know that this is in The Darjeeling Ltd?

Confrontation looks like this.

Is she over me? Does she know that I’m over her? Because I’m totally are. 

Does he still love me? Does he still care? 

Now they both stand out in the room – and slowly get closer.

Where many people reviewed this film as being vague, to me to me it is a really clear representation of vague relationships.

“Whatever happens between us, I don’t want to lose your friendship at the end”. 

“I never see you as a friend”

In terms of colors, they still belong to different worlds in the end.

Here is the Wes Anderson signature in the titles.

Hotel Chevalier (2007)

Day 7a: Forgotten 

Hotel Chevalier, Wes Anderson

I guess for everyone there must be someone who have entered their lives that they can’t get over, wouldn’t like to get over even if they could because in an imaginary world they would dream that with that person they could just live the way they wanted to – and if they are honest enough, another part will tell them that that would never happen – that they are not for each other at all and that them not being over each other is just a pointless waste of time. Isn’t that what love is anyway? Is it not?

HC is Wes Anderson’s expression on those and more with a pinch of yellow, Peter Sarstedt and a feeling of not having time for each other in 13 minutes. This short is also Part 1 of Darjeeling Ltd., his feature film that takes place in a train journey in India.  

What makes it a great short film: creates a deeper and greater meaning for the feature, one extra bite of a delicious meal with a different flavor. It serves a purpose and connects to the core of the story.

Watch it here:

Ah this song ❤

=> Hotel Chevalier Cinematography Journal