Annie Hall

September 24th, 2008

Seeing Annie Hall for the second time was much better. I really enjoyed the film a lot more this time maybe after reading the article from the editor or maybe just because I have grown to enjoy Woody Allen’s humor. I thought that he offered a unique style in terms of character. He constantly talked to the camera and asks the audience questions. During some arguments, he turned towards the camera and asked the audience to help solve them. I also thought that his use of sub titles during the conversation between Alvie and Annie was an interesting approach. Thomas’s chapter on Dialogue has a statement about how it is rare to see characters in novels interrupting each other and rarely do we see multiple people talking at once. I think the sub titles scene is also rare because it is difficult to follow both what the characters were thinking internally and what they were actually saying. He kept the viewer updated with how the characters were feeling with these techniques. The characters are in the storyworld, but Alvie’s dialogue towards the audience removes him temporarily.

Video Games

September 22nd, 2008

A friend lent me the video game Madden 2009 that I have played on Xbox 360 over the last few days. The first thing I noticed is that Brett Favre is on the cover. I found this interesting because Favre announced his retirement a few months ago and then came out of retirement and changed teams. The jersey he is wearing on the cover is the incorrect jersey of his current team. I then checked to see if he is in the game and after and concluded that he is not after looking on every team and in the free agents. So the creators put a player that is not in the game on the cover assuming that strategy would help make the game more marketable. Anyways (in relation to the narrative), I was curious to see if the commentators would mention Brett Favre. I played the next game with the Green Bay Packers (his team) and did not hear the commentators mention his name at all. It was all about the new quarterback. I thought this was interesting because I figured that they would mention it several times.

I also tried to figure out a way in which I could get a different kind of response from the commentators than there usual programed opinions and play by play. I decided to pick the same defensive play every time for the entire game. However, the narrative was pretty much the same from the game before. One of the commentators even said, ” The defense has tried many different things trying to stop the Raiders on third down but not much has worked.” This quotation was striking to me because it is completely false. I did not try any new plays or options on third down because I picked the same play every single time. I thought it was interesting how the game is programmed for the commentators to make specific comments depending on the teams and score of the game, but they could not pick up on something as simple as picking the same exact play every time.

Lost episode

September 18th, 2008

I thought that the Lost episode was mostly mimetic. The events were showing. For example, the first two shots are shots of Mr. Locke lying down. There is blood on him and he appears hurt. The next shot is of a woman screaming and immediately we learn of the predicament that the characters are in because of the mimetic construction. Most of the characters have blood on there face and we learn of the plane crash in the beginning. It also background’s the main character’s (i forget his name) role by providing the information of him being a doctor and how he was born into a family of doctors.

For this episode, the story world is the island that they are on and the events that take place. First they have some arguments about what to do with the bodies of the dead. The next event involves them panicking over the fact that they need to find food. Three of the characters than go and hunt and they face adversity with the wild animals and environmental elements which leaves them injured. While this is happening, the main character is trying to comfort the woman who is in a state of shock over the plane crash and the separation from her husband. All of these events are part of the story.

The narrative is the process and the way of representing the events. For example, the director uses flashbacks to introduce us to Mr. Locke’s character and constantly uses medium shots of him laying down on his back with his feet closest to the camera. The narrative introduces the conflicts and finds ways to keep the viewer interested in the narrative by building suspense before commercial breaks.

The plot is what is told. The plot is a type of story. The plot was dealing with the many adversities that they have encountered from the plane crash. I think there are two sub plots. One involves the characters trying to find food by hunting and fishing and the difficulties they encounter. The second one is dealing with the deaths of the other members of the plane and this includes the memorial service and the burning of the bodies.

Stonger than Paradise

September 10th, 2008

I found both of tonight’s films to be strange but they also had unique ways of narration. Many of the elements and devices that are used to tell stories from our list from class were evident. Camera angles is one of these devices and the director of Stronger than Paradise used many long shots with limited cuts to help tell the story. Some shots go on for minutes without any editing. The characters¬† move toward and away from the camera as well as off-camera and on-camera without any editing. I think that this was a rare thing for films made in the 1980’s to have such reduced editing. I do not remember any close-up shots or medium close-up shots in the entire film. When he wanted to end a shot, he would often cut to a completely black screen and then introduce the next shot. Another element of story telling that we discussed is the notion of inter-titles. I remember two titles in the film. The first one said “one year later’ to indicate a time shift which is significant towards the narrative. The second one was the word ” paradise” which I believe indicated the main characters’ trip to Florida. Ryan’s writing on the definition of narrative from the reading states that narrative is about conflict, narrative is about problem solving, narrative is about interpersonal relations, narrative is about human experience, narrative is about the temporality of existence. I think that using really long shots can be tough to effectively keep a narrative flowing. For example, I think that close-up shots allow for a better way of learning about the interpersonal relations of a narrative.