Sunday, 19 February 2017

The English Review Vol. 3 | Film Studies

I actually studied Film Studies for my Art History minor, but it is an English course technically. I really enjoyed my film tutorials and learning a little about a lot of different things you need to know for film studies, such as film history and filmic techniques (a little bit I already knew from photography and my previous Art history course).

In Bruges (Dir. Martin McDonagh, 2008) & The Cabinet of Dr Caligari (Dir. Robert Wiene, 1920) 

In Bruges was an odd, funny film. Unnecessarily gruesome in unexpected places, it was also silly and funny.

I would never have gotten through The Cabinet of Dr Caligari if Mum hadn’t volunteered to watch it with me. A slow film with an odd story, making for a slightly bizarre introduction to silent film.

 

The Third Man (Dir. Carol Reed, 1949) & Chicago (Dir. Rob Marshall, 2002) 

One of my two favourite films of the course. I really appreciated the complex female character of Ana in The Third Man. She wasn’t a simple love interest that fell for the main character. The whole film was good. It had a fun plot, great writing and an unusual soundtrack.

Chicago was an entertaining musical that cleverly weaved the musical numbers within the story. It really got going half way through.

The Intouchables (Dir. Olivier Nakache & √Čric Toledano, 2011) & Rear Window (Dir. Alfred Hitchcock, 1954) 

Lighthearted, The Intouchables was an enjoyable French film. It was interesting to look at how the cinematography reflected the characters’ emotions.

I really liked Rear Window. It was an entertaining movie with a vibe in similar to Agatha Christie adaptions, which I love. It was nice to see active female characters, even if they were motivated by the male protagonist.

Chinatown (Dir. Roman Polanski, 1974) & Once Were Warriors (Dir. Lee Tamahori, 1994)

Chinatown was a good film. It looked good, had an interesting plot, a touch of humour and a dramatic end.

 I’m not sure how I feel about Once Were Warriors. It’s quite a violent film and some scenes were hallowing. The dialogue was often a bit clunky and you could tell it was made in the 90’s. But it was a good film to address and think about Postcolonial theory.

Thelma and Louise (Dir. Ridley Scott, 1991) 

My other favourite film of the course, Thelma and Louise wasn’t the happy-go-lucky roadtrip movie I was expecting, but it was as good as I hoped. Thelma and Louise is known as a feminist film and it doesn’t disappoint in that sense. The central relationship in the film is the female leads’ friendship, which is refreshing, and the film plays with female and male stereotypes.
Unfortunately, despite what some feared and some hoped, Thelma and Louise didn’t quite revolutionise film, there is still plenty of inequality. However, it is an inspiring, iconic film.
 
Honourable mention to Battleship Potemkin, which screened as an extracurricular activity. It was a much easier silent film to watch than The Cabinet of Dr Caligari and was my first experience with soviet montage.


And that was Film Studies, a really fun course!

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