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Blog / FIM110.2 Kimi no Na wa. (Makoto Shinkai, 2016, Your Name.)
« Last post by Acans on November 09, 2018, 04:05:48 PM »
Kimi no Na wa. (Your Name., 2016) is a Japanese anime film written and directed by Makoto Shinkai. It currently holds the title of highest grossing anime film of all time (Boxofficemojo.com, 2018). Kimi no Na wa. tells the story of Mitsuha and Taki, two high school students whose minds begin switching body’s during their sleep. However, we are taken on a much deeper emotional story with Makoto Shinkai using film form, specifically mise-en-scène, cinematography and sound, to create its rich subtext. In Kimi no Na wa. The subtext refers to how we are all connected, people, places and times.

-Lines-
Once you are aware that the lines are the central motif of the movie, you begin to see them everywhere through the use of mise-en-scene and cinematography. The first line of the movie is created by a falling meteor heading towards Itomori, a connection between the meteor and the comet Tiamat that it broke apart from. However we soon learn this isn't the only connection, and that the comet possesses an orbital period of 1,200 years past earth and that meteors have broken away and has at least hit the area twice. Once during the formation of Lake Itomori and another creating Goshintai, the crater where the body of the Miyamizu family shine's god lies. So from the opening seconds we are exposed to the subtext of connections through the mise-en-scene of the sky above Itomori and the cinematography capturing the meteor and the tail creating the line in the whole shot. This shot also shows the connection between the Comet Tiamat and the small town of Itomori, something that we learn of later in the movie. Immediately following this first opening shot, we are introduced to Taki and Mitsuha. Awaking from a dream crying, unable to remember what the dream is, feeling that they are connected to something but unable to remember what it is. So they are left with a sensation that they have somehow lost something. As a result, they are always searching for someone, something, ever since that day five years ago they both stared at the sky seeing that great celestial line cross the sky. We later learn that not only are Taki and Mitsuha connected to his great line, but all of Japan is through various shots of different mise-en-scenes used to show people all over Japan either looking at this line in the sky or watching it from their televisions. So if we later find this line connects all of Japan and not just the protagonists, how are they connected? The answer, they are connected by the most important line of the movie which is depicted by Mitsuha's hair braid, which I believe represents the red string of fate. For those unaware of this legend, the following is a quote from The legend of the red string of Japan by (MONASTERIO, 2015). "According to this myth, everyone's pinky finger is tied to an invisible red string that will lead him or her to another person with whom they will make history." We first see this during the films opening sequence, the characters back to to back against a white background in a mid shot surrounded by Mitsuha's red hair braid. Also the last shot of the opening sequence as they step away from each other, being connected by this line, the red string of fate. Outside of the opening sequence while dreaming, just before Taki wakes up in Mitsuha's body of the first time, we are shown the first time they also 'meet' in Tokyo. During this exchange, Mitsuha unties her hair braid, and extends it towards Taki to grab and take it. During this shot, the mise-en-scene changes from her departing the train onto the station surrounded by people to the people surrounding the two fading and disappearing from the shot as they form their connection.






Boxofficemojo.com. (2018). Your Name. (2017) - Box Office Mojo. [online] Available at: https://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?page=main&id=yourname.htm [Accessed 6 Nov. 2018].

MONASTERIO, L. (2015). The legend of the red string of Japan. Retrieved from http://www.faena.com/aleph/articles/the-legend-of-the-red-string-of-japan/
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Blog / Wade's Notes
« Last post by Acans on October 25, 2018, 02:05:19 AM »
SpiderMan: Homecoming (2017, Jon Watts)

This is the Analyst for the first half of the car scene, called the greatest scene of the movie by (Cavna, 2017).

What is the Context of my half of the scene? Peter being driven to the homecoming dance with Liz by her father Adrian, who Peter just discovered in the previous scene is Vulture, the antagonist of the movie. Vulture doesn't know that Peter is Spiderman yet. Vulture beings the scene with the "Dad interrogation" but becomes suspicious over the cause of the scene until he knows for sure that Peter is Spiderman, which Josh will cover in his piece.

Now lets look at some of the editing techniques used in this scene.


Firstly, L and J Cuts (and the emotion they build during this scene):

The L and J cuts from these scene are used against Peter when transitioning between shots. First to show his anxiety and fear, but then later in the scene for Intimidation as Josh will be covering. As their are used against him, we the audience are given time to see this anxiety and fear in his face before he has a chance to respond, thus creating the subtext in the scene of fear/anxiety from Peter. They are also a great from of transitioning between shots instead of using a hard edit as mentioned in (Renee, 2017).


CLIP


Second, Montage:

Rhythmic Montage (also referred to as Continuity Editing) is used throughout the scene, with the content of the shot in question determining the length as illustrated in (Fusco, 2017). An example being the cuts between the dialog.


CLIP


Dimensions of Film Editing:

The scene has two dimensions of film editing as described (BORDWELL & THOMPSON, 2013).

Temporal - There are No Flash Backs or Flash Forwards. Each dialog piece moves the story forward like A to B to C etc.
Rhythmic - Different Rhythmic patterns used for editing between the standard "Dad Interrogation" at the start to Vulture suspecting than figuring out Peter is SpiderMan. The example of the last clip, besides Spidermans anxiety and fear, Liz and Vulture are going on like nothing's out of place. That's the Rhythm created by the Rhythmic editing but in this next clip, the Rhythmic Editing changes to create a new Rhythm of heighten tension, that is aided by the addition of a new background music added. More on the sound later but first, the clip.


CLIP


Now keeping that clip in mind, lets talk about The Rule of Six:

The scene follows The Rule of Six as defined in (Murch, 2001) as "The ideal cut is one that satisfies all the following six criteria at once". The criteria of Emotion, Story, Rhythm, Eye Trace, 2D Plane of Screen and 3D Space. Emotion is the strongest in the scene evidance by Peter's Facial Expressions, followed by the Story of vulture suspecting peter being spiderman, than Rhythm, slower paced cutting holding on the faces longest, reinforcing the emotion and story. The eye trace between the two characters, the 2D Plane of Screen i.e the 180 degree rule and the 3D space i.e the car.

P.S I don't count the shot from Peter's POV looking at Vultures face in the centre car mirror as breaking the 180 degree rule, as no dialog was happening during the shot and when dialog resumes, they hadn't changed positions. Which makes my statement of "The Scene Follows the Rule of Six" correct and not "The Scene Closely Follows the Rule of Six" by giving up on the 2D plane of screen.


Sound:

Throughout the scene with dialog, the car engine and traffic sound is turned down. Sound of car horns while focused on the actors is also turned down, becoming louder when the scene transitions to a long shot of the cars in traffic. At the beginning of the scene you can hear a siren in the background, adding subtext of warning and danger ("Definition of SIREN", 2018). Lastly, as I mentioned when talking about The Dimensions of Film Editing, as Vulture get's more suspicious new ominous music appears which Josh will elaborate on in his piece.
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Blog / Edit Analyst - SpiderMan: Homecoming Car Scene
« Last post by Acans on October 20, 2018, 04:24:47 PM »

SpiderMan: Homecoming (2017, Jon Watts)

Analyst for the first half of the car scene, called the greatest scene of the movie by (Cavna, 2017).

The Context: Peter being driven to the homecoming dance with Liz by her father Adrian, who Peter just discovered is Vulture, the antagonist of the movie. Adrian beings the scene with the "Dad Interrogation" but soon figures out that Peter is Spiderman.



L and J Cuts (and the emotion they build during this scene):

The L and J cuts from these scene are used against Peter when transitioning between scenes. First to his anxiety and fear, then later in the scene Intimidation that Josh will be covering. They are also a great from of transitioning between scenes instead of using a hard edit as mentioned in (Renee, 2017).


Montage:

Rhythmic Montage is used throughout the scene, with the content in question determining the shot length as mentioned in (Fusco, 2017).


Dimensions of Film Editing:

The scene has two dimensions of film editing as described (BORDWELL & THOMPSON, 2013).

  • Temporal - No Flash Backs/Flash Forwards. Each dialog piece moves the story forward like A to B to C etc.
  • Rhythmic - Different Rhythmic patterns used for editing between the standard "Dad Interrogation" to Vulture suspecting than figuring out Peter is SpiderMan.


The Rule of Six:

The scene follows The Rule of Six as defined in (Murch, 2001) as "The ideal cut is one that satisfies all the following six criteria at once". The criteria of Emotion, Story, Rhythm, Eye Trace, 2D Plane of Screen, 3D Space.

Sound:

Throughout the scene with dialog, the car engine and traffic sound is turned out. Sound of car horns while focused on the actors is also turned down, becoming louder when the scene transitions to a long shot of the cars in traffic. At the beginning of the scene you can hear a siren in the background, adding subtext of warning and danger ("Definition of SIREN", 2018).




Bibliography:

Cavna, M. (2017). Let’s talk about that single greatest scene in ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’. Retrieved from https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/comic-riffs/wp/2017/07/12/lets-talk-about-that-single-greatest-scene-in-spider-man-homecoming/?utm_term=.c05364af6658

Renee, V. (2017). Editing 101: What Are J and L Cuts (and Why Should You Be Using Them)?. Retrieved from https://nofilmschool.com/2017/10/editing-101-what-are-j-and-l-cuts-and-why-should-you-be-using-them

Fusco, J. (2017). Watch: 5 Essential Types of Montage to Use in Your Film. Retrieved from https://nofilmschool.com/2017/08/film-montage-types-eisenstein

Definition of SIREN. (2018). Retrieved from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/siren

BORDWELL, D., & THOMPSON, K. (2013). Film art : an introduction (p. 221).

Murch, W. (2001). In the blink of an eye (pp. 17-20). Los Angeles: Silman-James Press.
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Blog / The Documentary Filmmaker
« Last post by Acans on October 19, 2018, 07:58:32 PM »
Quote
"Anna Broinowski likens the role of the filmmaker to a con artist, using ‘slight of hand’ to trick the audience. Do you think this is true of the documentary filmmaker though?"

I believe the documentary filmmakers and audiences interpretation of 'slight of hand' is what decides if they are truly a con artist. Some argue that any edit to a documentary footage is a 'slight of hand'. I personally believe that a documentary filmmakers job is to create both an entertaining and educational piece for the audience. To accomplish this, edits are required! Just talking about a male lion and how it defends it's pride all in one, uninterrupted shot. Sure it may exist, but with male lions sleeping up to 20 hours a day, not likely.

Personally what I find to be a 'slight of hand' comes from Introduction to documentary (Bill Nichols, 2010) and that is:

Quote
"Is it all right to make Miss Michigan look foolish by asking for her opinion about local economic conditions in order to mock the irrelevance of beauty pageants to the damage caused by automotive plant shutdowns in Flint, as Michael Moore does in one scene from Roger and Me?"


I absolutely believe that asking that kind of question in a documentary to a surprised person is something a con artist would do. I would advertise for meetings or at the very least asking first if this is something they want to comment on. The reason for this is not everybody would have strong feels either for or against this sort of thing I surely don't have strong feelings towards everything that happens around me, but again maybe that's just me. Like I mentioned earlier, I believe everybody will have a different interpretation on if a documentary film makers is using 'slight of hand' tricks and all I can say is what I believe the 'slight of hand' tricks makes a documentary film maker a con artist.

References:

Nichols, B. (2010). Introduction to documentary, second edition. Retrieved from https://ebookcentral.proquest.com

Myhrvold, N. (2018). LIONS: AFRICA'S MAGNIFICENT PREDATORS | Edge.org. Retrieved from https://www.edge.org/conversation/nathan_myhrvold-lions-africas-magnificent-predators
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Blog / Genre Reflection
« Last post by Acans on October 12, 2018, 09:49:01 PM »
Quote
Do you agree with the criticism that genres can’t be artistic? Or are they a helpful framework for filmmakers to write and sell their films?

At first I thought completely the latter, however after some pondering I'm leaning 20% towards artistic and 80%. I came to this realization after thinking about how two different action movies can have the same basic plot, but a completely different tone to each other. This tone I believe is the filmmakers own artistic input for that action movie. I also believe this to be completely necessary. If every "western" movie had the same tone to it, they wouldn't have kept getting made as audiences would eventually stop going to see them. However because enough had a different tone to the last, it allowed the genre to stay popular from the early 20th century to the 1960's.

However that was the 20%. Now comes the reason I lean so heavy towards the latter of the quote, and it can be summed up in one word; money. Film's can be quite expensive, from the smallest short to the biggest blockbusters. To fund these, where you get the money from wants to see a return for their investment. The returns to keep skilled individuals in all aspects of the film-making industry employed and making a living, to the company's producing returns to share holders or investors. This is why I lean 80% towards being a helpful framework to sell films. If you come up with an idea but cannot fit it into a genre, than trying to have it green lit without knowing an audience to sell it to becomes a very tall task. One last reason I believe using genre as a framework is inspiration. If you're trying to fill in some blanks for your story, you can take some inspiration from other films of that genre, or sometimes other genres. To give you're spin, you're take on it.

References:

Indick, W. (2007). The Psychology of the Western (p. 2).
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Blog / Kimi no Na wa. - Musubi + Shrine Scene
« Last post by Acans on October 05, 2018, 04:25:31 PM »

The Musubi explanation and visiting the Shrine scene from Kimi no Na Wa. (Makoto Shinkai, 2016) not only beautifully shows off Makoto Shinkai's animated world, but is rich in subtext through it's use of Cinematography and Sound. During this scene, the movies exposition hero Hitoha asks Mitsuha (currently Taki in her body) and Yotsuha if they know what "Musubi" is. As she explains the audience is given a series of shots in a montage, of nature, of the braids they create and of leaves wilting than falling onto water. I believe these shots are to help show the passage of time, especially the leafs falling into water as the first shot is of one leaf, than the last shot of multiple leafs. A representation of time moving forward in the Autumn season in relation to Hitoha's speech but also holds the deeper meaning that we, as people are very small in the grand scheme of the world and the gods. I believe this is reinforced further with the close up of Mitsuha face in awe of the Shrine, followed by the wide shot of all three characters and the Shrine, and finally the extreme wide shot of Shrine atop a crater. The ultimate view of this spiritual place itself being shown as a small part of the world.

All of this is complemented by the beautiful background music that plays throughout the scene. The song is called Goshintai, named after the crater where the Shrine is located. The sound has a kind of serious, yet soft and calm tone. I personally found it very spiritual, especially when it builds to show the awe of Mitsuha seeing the Shrine for the first time and the two wide and extreme wide shots that follow before returning to it's previous tone as they cross "kakuriyo" and slows further as they enter the Shrine.

References: ‎Your Name. by RADWIMPS. (2018). Retrieved from https://itunes.apple.com/au/album/your-name/1434005560
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Blog / Chungking Express - Opening
« Last post by Acans on September 28, 2018, 12:01:49 AM »
The start of Chungking Express (Wong Kai Wai, 1994) is definitely an interesting one, at least of me. I cannot recall the last time an opening sequence made use of a slow shutter speed on the camera to show a fast pace environment and movement. This type of cinematography caused confusion at first as I'm not accustomed to it but after discussing it among by peers to make sense of it I've decided I quite like it. Normally this is done by lots of fast cuts, usually accommodated by shots of a large crowd. I feel that Wong Kai Wai choose these settings to get across to the audience the fast paced nature of not only the chase between the two leads, but also of time moving fast as she covers a long distance due to the large city in which the film is set. Below you can see the screenshots from the opening, the blur caused by the slow shutter speed.



The mise en scène for Chungking Express comprises of a 1990's poor Asian neighbourhood. This is reinforced by the dark, dirty, grimy feel of the location. No bright colours, the people are wearing either dirty closes or just plain white singlets for as far as the eye sees. The only two characters in the opening sequence that are dressed are the male and female leads. The male, a cop wearing a richer set of clothes signifying & the female lead, a drug dealer the same. The storm sounds overhead also signifies that either a big storm is coming, or perhaps it's already here, and that the next few days are going be tough.

Yonde itadaki arigatogozaimasu.
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