Author: <span>Penny Flores</span>

Dark Passage (1947), a back alley plastic surgeon tells Vincent Parry (Humphrey Bogart), “There’s no such thing as courage. There’s only fear, the fear of getting hurt and the fear of dying. That’s why human beings live so long.” He is lady from shanghailooking straight at Parry and — through the use of the subjective camera — straight at the audience. His statement is especially striking because it dismisses courage as a myth soon after World War II, rejecting a basic cultural belief that all of America and all of Hollywood had just spent four years trying to build up. Such an attack on society’s (and Hollywood’s) most cherished values is characteristic of film noir, and perhaps its favorite target is the most fundamental value of all — the family.

Film Noir

Film noir began to take shape just before the United States entered World War II with films such as Stranger on the Third Floor (1940), I Wake Up Screaming (1941), and The Maltese Falcon (1941), but it did not develop fully until the late stages of the War and flourished in the immediate post-War years. Since noir films generally question social and governmental institutions, it seems likely that wartime pressure to represent the United States and American society in a positive light and to keep up the people’s spirits prevented Hollywood from exploring the darker aspects of noir while the outcome of the War was still in doubt.

Film Noir

The Postman Always Rings Twice
Transgressions against the traditional family lead to death. The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946)

Many critics have argued convincingly that film noir follows much the same pattern of rewarding “good” women and punishing “bad” women as conventional Hollywood films. The rewards and punishments for women (and men) in film noir are especially serious — characters who willingly play their proper roles tend to survive beyond the end of the film, while characters who resist playing these roles often die violently or, less commonly, go to jail. On rare occasions, these films even deliver a Hollywood happy ending, when a family or a relationship that was threatened or torn apart during the course of the film actually is restored in the final scene. Meanwhile, critics who find a conservative message in film noir point out that these films endorse the family not only in their narrative content but even in their visual style, which creates a negative contrast between the noir world and the world of traditional family life.

Film Noir

The Killers
The good woman loses the hero (and the audience) to the femme fatale. The Killers (1946)

Film noir‘s subversive view of family life and women’s accepted role in society extends to its portrayal of the “good” or “normal” woman. The good woman embraces her traditional “place” in the family, but she is out of place in film noir. Although she offers the hero a chance to escape from the sexy, destructive femme fatale and the dangerous noir world, the good n proves to be a mirage that the hero cannot reach. She functions as a foil for the femme fatale, not as a realistic alternative or a prescription for female behavior. Indeed, Janey Place argues that “the lack of excitement offered by the safe woman is so clearly contrasted with the sensual, passionate appeal of the other that the detective’s destruction is inevitable.” 38 Ultimately, the good woman suggests that society’s prescription for happiness, the traditional family, is uninteresting and unattainable. The world of the good woman and “normal” family values contrasts sharply with the dominant world of film noir in both visual style and narrative content, as if the cultural ideal of family life — the dominant image of most Hollywood films at the time — is a mere fantasy for the noir characters. In film noir, the American dream is indeed a dream. The good woman often lives in an idealized country setting or in a well- kept apartment, outside of the dark, rain-soaked urban streets associated with the noir world. She is filmed using the visual techniques of classical Hollywood cinema: high-key lighting, eye-level camera angles, and open spaces — free of the disturbing mise-en-scène that surrounds the femme fatale. 39 And she remains passive, nurturing, and non-threatening — a redeeming angel for a hero hopelessly tempted by the active, independent, and dangerous femme fatale. 40

Film Noir

If there is something called magic, I would say, it’s right here in movie business. Why?? The prime reason is – You are in your world of imagination. I was not that avid movie watcher until the summer of 2010, when I saw, Good Will Hunting (1997), I just simply fell in love with the movie for its simple message, of hunting yourself within the sea of competition. Ever since, I have followed and watched movies, every single day of my existence so far. Now, I say, we learn many things from movies. Below is my list of life lessons that we learn from Hollywood movie.

Elements

Leonardo DiCaprio is one of the most popular movie stars. Even if one is not much into movies, they do know DiCaprio, the actor. Starting his acting career as a child artist in a TV series, the talented actor began his film career with Critters (1991).

The biggest breakthrough for the actor was the epic romance movie, Titanic directed by James Cameron. The film brought recognition and more offers for the budding actor. After nearly 25 years since his debut, there are a lot of memorable performances from the talented star. Here is the list of movies starring Leonardo DiCaprio which you must see.

DiCaprio

Beach Pillows is a movie written and directed by Sean Hartofilis

which tells the story of Morgan Midwood (played brilliantly by George Arend), a young man who once dreamed of becoming a writer, who has ended up working in his father’s furnishing store, his dream trodden on by the drudgery of everyday life, saving up every bit of his well earned money to by his (very) long term girlfriend an engagement ring. When he discovers she’s been having  a bit of how’s your father with an acquaintance behind his back his life spirals out of control, but his good friend Nick (played by Vincent Kartheiser from Mad Men, or as I know him, Connor from Angel, does that make me old?) is there along for the ride, with a somewhat ingenious idea up his sleeve.

I came across this movie on twitter the other day and I was intrigued, and once I started watching I couldn’t stop, Morgan Midwood really IS everyone, and that’s why you are so invested in him as a character, there is at least one scenario I’m sure everyone can relate to in this movie, from the bad relationship, to enthusiastic but somewhat of a bad influence friend. The cast in this film are great, from Annette O’Toole’s (playing Morgan’s mum) expressions, to Richard Schiff’s (Morgan’s dad) love and hate relationship with Facebook.

I really loved this movie, heart warming and funny, and if you can spare an hour and half head over to iTunes to give it a watch and ask yourself.. what is the difference between beach towel and terry cloth?

Reviews

Being an extra is very exciting, you are on huge sets and beautiful locations in all sorts of incredible costumes (usually corsets if you are me, I must have a period look about me).

However, they can be very long and sometimes tedious days, especially if you are not being used in a particular scene. It’s usual to be waiting anywhere between 3-6 hours (and if you are very unlucky, sometimes you are not used at all), so I have put together a quick list of things to bring to help make your day a bit easier.

Phone Charger

Whether you are allowed to take your phone set with you or not (some productions are relaxed whilst others will tell you to leave it with your other belongings) you will need a fully charged phone to keep you entertained while you are waiting or for when make your way home.

I once booked a coach for 10pm at night thinking this was plenty of time, having originally been told wrap time would be between 6-8pm as it was a Sunday, unfortunately it took a while to get all the scenes needed and we did not wrap until 10pm, cue frantic phone calls while the hair and make up lady was pulling out headpieces and about 1,000 Kirby grips trying to sort out another coach home.

Battery life dwindles so quickly these days, even if left with the rest of your things, so its worth the investment to make sure you are never stranded without communication. You can get some really handy phone case and charger combos these days which are ideal.

Book/Magazine

You’d think this is obvious, but it really is not on your list of priorities when you are trying to get across London to the location or pick up point, but you will be glad you brought something for in-between scenes or while you are getting hair and make up done (my last extra job took 4 and half hours to get into costume, make up and hair).

Just in case the production doesn’t let you take a bag to the location I would always advise buying a magazine as they do not usually have lockers or anywhere once you get there, and if you are in a costume where you can’t store things you will be at a bit of a loss, at least you won’t mind losing a magazine.

Snacks

I can’t stress how important it is to make sure that you are not hungry during the day. Most productions will provide breakfast, but it is usually pretty basic, we are talking porridge or bacon butties, so if neither of them tickle your fancy then bring in cereal bars, bananas, but do make sure they are foods with a slow energy release which will keep you going until lunch, there is nothing worse than having to stand around waiting for a scene and getting increasingly HANGRY.

Eyedrops

This might seem like a weird one, but believe me, you will be having some early mornings and late nights when you are doing extra work, and if like me you are a contact lens wearer you will need something to relieve the dry irritability they and being overly tired can cause. It’s amazing how much of a difference they can make to your mood.

A Smile!

OK it’s not something you can physically bring but I think I need to stress how important your attitude is on set, everyone on set will be tired and hungry at some stage, you are not special, treat everyone with respect and smile.

Some productions will pick out extras to be in more prominent spots in the scenes they are shooting, and they are more likely to pick someone amiable and easy to work with if the opportunity arises. No sulking!

 

Film Making

After the success of “The Jazz Singer [1927]”, Talkies were no longer a joke to those who laughed upon the idea of the merging of sound and images. Possibilities opened for a long list of young mediocre actors who could speak their dialogues well. In Simple words, there were no limitations in cinema anymore. It was a great development and everyone in the industry had something to benefit from it except the stars of the silent era.

A lot of actors went out of work once the talkies completely took over and no one had more to lose than the biggest star of Hollywood then, Charlie Chaplin. City Lights was his ultimate test and the world was rather curious if he would be able to entertain like before now that dialogues are a viable option.

Charlie Chaplin used sounds in Citylights but not in the way people expected, as the film started, there was a political speech where the characters are saying something, which sounded nothing more than a harsh squeal, this is how Chaplin took a dig on talkies “silently”.

City Lights is the story of a tramp, played by Chaplin who falls for the blind flower girl [Virginia Cherrill]. The blind flower girl mistakes the tramp for a rich man and the tramp promises the girl to pay for her eye operation.

The tramp saved a man who was going to commit suicide; this man turns out to be a millionaire [Harry Myers] and becomes his friend. The millionaire is mostly drunk and has a dual personality; he despises the tramp when he is sober while he becomes a really caring and protective friend of the tramp when he is drunk.

The Tramp was quite a familiar character by then as Chaplin used to play the tramp in most of his films of the 1920s. However this time, Chaplin deepened the character and gave him more meaning and a subtle amount of Fragility. In a time when Talkies was such a rage, Chaplin retained the tramp’s charm by not indulging him in words. Also, Words and Voice limits one’s connect to those who can understand, but it was the silence that gave Chaplin and The Tramp a universal appeal.

Charlie Chaplin used to work with accomplished and beautiful actresses who were equally beautiful; either it is “The Kid” or “Modern Times” or “The City Lights”, the lead actresses were quite a charmer. Virginia Cherrill was brilliant as the blind flower girl, she deliberately underplayed her part showing the right amount of innocence as you’d expect from a poor blind girl and later displayed a little carefree attitude as the circumstances of her life improves.

Citylights is a treasure of classic comedy scenes; the open elevator scene on the streets, the attempted suicide at the canal, the parties with the rich millionaire and of course the boxing scene where Chaplin fights a boxer for money and does everything to avoid being hit. These were some of the greatest scenes in cinema and they were all in one single movie. My favourite is of course the heart wrenching climax, which is perhaps one of my favourite scenes from any Charlie Chaplin film. And I have seen a lot of them.

A great scene after another great scene, that’s how masterpieces look like. These scenes from Chaplin’s career has been imitated in one way or the other by so many film makers that you can easily say that Charlie Chaplin was one of the most influential person in Cinema.

“One night the Piazza San Marco was darkened, and “City Lights” was shown on a vast screen. When the flower girl recognized the Tramp, I heard much snuffling and blowing of noses around me; there wasn’t a dry eye in the piazza. Then complete darkness fell, and a spotlight singled out a balcony overlooking the square. Charlie Chaplin walked forward, and bowed. I have seldom heard such cheering.” wrote Late Roger Ebert in his review of City Lights.

Movies

Much of the credit for the success of the Captain America films must be laid at the feet of Evans, who performs Steve Rogers decent and empathetic but with a powerful sense of melancholy befitting a guy out of time. The greatest superhero narratives come when the heroes are faced with challenges they will not be well-equipped to confront and a villain with a vision that is enough to turn the stars’ strengths. When he’d to tease out friend from foe inside the authorities, he’s given everything to function the greatest outside danger, Captain America, the superb soldier created to fight the Nazis, located new depth.

My expertise can be summed up by me in four words: Marvel’s greatest film yet.

And it is not even close.

The launch of Spider-Man, the best character creation of the Marvel comic book empire, is only one demonstration of how exceptional the Marvel touch would be to the DC regime. The Russos understand we have seen Spider Man’s origin story onscreen twice in this century, so when Stark requests Parker how he got his powers, he only mumbles “It Is Complicated,” and leaves it at that. Holland’s variant of Parker is closer as opposed to Andrew Garfield iteration, which can be a massive development to the goofy character of Toby Maguire.

The changing allegiances give an opportunity to rebound distinct pairs of characters off of each other to the Russos, and it is evident where their interests lie this is. Unusually high collectively are Renner and Downey, who catch the raw fury of a longtime friendship.

Civil War is stuffed with broken storylines and characters meant to link to the universe that was larger but which bogs down the narrative that was current. Captain America: Civil War is an enjoyable time at the pictures, and among the finest of its breed, if you feel superhero exhaustion setting in however you can be excused.

Movies Reviews

Films are a big part of our lives. Movies have always entertained us, whether in cinemas or at home. When the movies are good, you love to see them over and over again. You even think about the characters even after the movie is over. A lot of talent and creativity goes on to making a great movie. Here are the elements of a great movie.

Good characters

Characters are the most important part of storytelling. They are the life of a film. When you watch a film, you need to like some of the characters in the film. You should feel like you can relate to those characters. The central character of the film is very important. If people don’t like the central character, then the movie won’t do well.

Simple plot

A simple plot is enough to win people’s heart. People don’t like an elaborated plot. A plot can make or break your cinema. You shouldn’t over crowd the film with too many characters.

Theme

Your message should be clear. It is what you want the audience to take away from your movie. You should weave the theme into the story. No audience should leave the room with a bad impression about your film.

Attention to details

Details of the movie are very important. It starts from the point the script is being written. The casting, shots, etc. must be considered in detail. The audience will appreciate these details.

Good ending

The ending of a story is crucial to the success of a movie. Films often get ruined for their bad ending. The ending must be put nicely; it must wrap up the story well. Don’t drag the ending too long. It will lose the tune of the movie.

These are the critical elements needed for making a good film. Film making is an art. You need the right knowledge and experience to make a good film. Practice these elements in making your film and one day you will make some great movies!

info….and always remember this quote.

“You’re not a star until they can spell your name in Karachi.” –
Humphrey Bogart

Elements Film Making

There are some movies which remain popular generations after generations. I’ve come up with a list of the best rated movies. These movies are ranked according to their success (awards and nominations) popularity, and ratings.

1. The Shawshank Redemption

1

Year: 1994, Rating: 9.2

It is an American drama film adapted from the Stephen king novella Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption. It was directed by Frank Darabont and starred Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman. The film tells the story of a banker, Andy Dufresne, who is sentenced to life in Shawshank State Penitentiary for the murder of his wife and her lover. But he claims to be innocent. During his time at the prison, he befriends a fellow inmate, Ellis Boyd ‘Red’ Redding. The guards protect him after the warden starts using him in his money laundering operation.

2. The Godfather

2

Year: 1972, Rating: 9.2

It is an American crime drama directed by Francis Ford Coppola. It starred Marlon Brando and Al Pacino. They portrayed the leaders of the fictional Corleone New York crime family. The story is about how Michael Corleone, just a family outsider, turns into a Mafia boss. The movie is based on Puzo’s best selling novel ‘The Godfather’.

3. The Godfather II

3

Year: 1974, Rating: 9.0

This movie was also directed by Francis Ford Coppola starring Al Pacino and Robert De Niro. It was a sequel to ‘The Godfather’. It won the Oscar for ‘Best Picture’. The story is about the new Don Michael Corleone (Al Pacino) protecting his family business and his fathter’s (De Niro) journey to finding the family enterprise in New York City.

4. Pulp Fiction

4

Year: 1994, Rating: 8.9

It is an American black comedy crime film directed by Quentin Tarantino. The movie has been popular for its ironic mix of violence and humor and it’s strong dialogues. It has won the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay. It starred John Travolta, Samuel L. Jackson and Uma Thurman. This film is about Los Angeles mobsters, small-time criminals, fringe players and mysterious briefcase.

All these movies are timeless. People of every generation still love watching these movies again and again. These movies always inspire movie makers.

Movies Top Rated

Leonardo DiCaprio won the Oscar for Best Actor this year for his move ‘The Revenant’. Previously, he has been nominated for Oscar four times. Here is his journey to winning the Oscar.

DiCaprio wasn’t surprisingly nominated for ‘Titanic’. He first got nominated for Oscar for his supporting role as Arnie Grape in ‘What’s Eating Gilber Grape’ in 1994. His second Oscar nomination was for the film ‘The Aviator’ in 2005 for the leading actor. In this movie he portrayed the role of famous Howard Hughes. The third Oscar nomination was for the movie ‘Blood Diamond’ in 2007 where he played the role of Danny Archer. He got his fourth Oscar nomination for the 2014 film ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’.  He played the character of a playboy Jordan Belfort. Finally, this year, he won the Oscar for his leading role as badass adventurer Hugh Glass in ‘The Revenant’.  His performance has been the best so far in this movie. His performance was very matured which showed his commitment towards acting. In the past, he has won the Golden Globe award for best actor in a drama, the Critics’ Choice award and the SAG Award for best actor. But it is the first time ever that he has won an Oscar.

The DiCaprio fans are dancing with joy and DiCaprio has finally got the reward he deserved after so many years of hard work and brilliant performance. We hope to see him grab many more Oscars in the future.

DiCaprio Oscar