Archive for October, 2008

The Prestige

Thursday, October 23rd, 2008

This is the third time watching this film and I think its gotten better each time. In terms of the narrators, I think there were multiple ones. The film starts out with Cutter (Michael Caine) introducing the three different parts of a successful magic trick which made him the initial implied author. He also concludes the film with the same voice over speech as in the beginning. However, we get other perspectives when we hear voice overs from Robert (Hugh Jackman) and Alfred (Christian Bale). It is interesting with Alfred because we are not sure who the real Alfred is and who and when the twin brother is featured. We get several voice overs from Robert starting with the one in the beginning that indicates a time shift. I was confused with some of the aspects of time in the film in my first viewing which is also a similarity to Memento. Nolan uses a discontinuous narrative which left me confused in my first viewing. I was confused about why Alfred was in jail and when the story was in the present. It all made a lot mores sense in the second viewing and is remarkable to watch now. I picked up a little more on Fallon (also Christian Bale) and his role and many of their magic tricks made a lot more sense. He also looked like Christian Bale and Alfred had a cue when he he quotes, “you live live for both of us”. This happens towards the end of the film when he’s about to be hung. Overall, it is a film I really enjoyed and i do not think that there is just one narrator. Also, I am still looking for a partner for the Video essay assignment if anyone is interested?

Narration/ The Prestige

Tuesday, October 21st, 2008

I was thinking a lot about this question of agency in narratology. The definition of narration in the Chatman article is the process whereby the film’s syuzhet and style interact in the course of cuing and channeling the spectator’s construction of the fabula. Bordwell then goes on to say that the narrator computes human being to him meaning that he questions if no voice or body gets identified as a locus of narration can there still be a narrator present in the film. I understand the narrative as the elements and devices to tell stories and also that the narrative is constructed by the thinking of the audience members. Is the main protagonist the narrator is no voice is identified as the narrator? Also I was thinking about this week’s film, The Prestige. i saw this film when it came out and it was a little confusing. This time when I watch it, I will try and view it for the different types of narrators and the agency in narrartology.

Paper Topic

Sunday, October 19th, 2008

I am still thinking about some ideas to use for my paper and have seen some great ideas on other blogs. I was thinking that maybe I could analyze the fabula, syuzhet, and style of two films that we have not studied in class and compare and contrast them. I think two films with similar qualities but different ways of telling the story. I think a more specific idea would be to analyze two films that begin the movie by showing the ending and then going back with an inter title of for example “four years earlier” and then telling the story of how they got to that point in the film. I could explore aspects of such as character representation and how other cinematic structures help tell the story. I do not have the two films in mind that I want to study yet, but I wanted to make sure I am on the right track before I look at possible movie choices. Thoughts professor Mittell?

The Sixth Sense

Thursday, October 2nd, 2008

I will start off by saying that this film is the scariest film I have ever seen. It terrified me ten years ago, and it still terrified me seeing it for the second time tonight. Anyways, I noticed some significant differences in this viewing. The first time i saw the film, I did not realize that Bruce Willis’s character was dead until he found out at the end. I thought he was divorced from his wife and that he was still a working doctor. We never see him with any other patients, but he does mention to Haley Joel Osment’s character that he wanted to transfer him to another doctor which led me to assume that he was alive the first time i saw the film. However, watching it the second time I realized that there were inferences that he is dead. The biggest one is that the boy’s mother never acknowledges or talks to Willis. They never have on conversation or interaction.  Another inference is when he meets her for there anniversary dinner and she acts as if he is not there. It did not seem like she was just simply upset at him. Osment also states that the dead people he sees are unaware that they are dead which is another clue. The one thing that I didn’t understand was why Osment was was not afraid of Willis? He was scared every time he saw a dead person, but not when he saw Willis. I thought there was one really interesting scene that provided a unique film style. Osment and his mother are talking at a table in the kitchen and instead of using traditional editing the director takes a different approach. He moves the camera back and forth without cutting in a medium shot when each character talks taking the other character completely off screen instead of using shot reverse shots or close ups. The scene goes on for a few minutes without cutting. Also the use of the color red is evident throughout many shots in the film. I thought this was very unique.