Archive for the ‘analyzethis’ Category


My Fair-ly Analyzed Post

Monday, July 30th, 2012

The movie that I decided to critiqued is My Fair Lady, it is a film made in 1964 staring Audrey Hepburn as Eliza Doolittle (one of my favorite actresses), and Rex Harrison as Professor Henry Higgins. My Fair Lady is a drama, family and musical.  After reading  Roger Ebert’s article “How to Read a Movie”  I’ve concluded that he was right in his analysis of films. In the this scene you will notice that the camera starts off on the main females character, who is an absolutely lovely person, then it begans to rotates left to a least favoribe person. Which Ebert says “in simplistic terms: Right is more positive, left more negative. Movement to the right seems more favorable; to the left, less so.”

In this scene you will see what Ebert was talking about when he said, “Movement is dominant over things that are still.”

Over all in my opinion this movie was very well made. I am not a fan of musicals, but after seeing this movie when I was a child, I would watch it anytime, anywhere. The relation between the two characters is very funny, which gives the movie a comic edge, but we all know there can not be a movie involving a male and female role without a touch of drama. Also, it is a very family friendly movie, because it was made in the time where family friendly meant family friendly.

Reading The Lion King

Thursday, July 12th, 2012

If some of you guys haven’t already noticed, I LOVE The Lion King. I think it is an amazing movie! Animation, soundtrack, storyline, the morals and lessons being portrayed and taught, and its appeal to all ages. I think it is truly a work of art.

The first scene I picked was the one where Scar is first introduced, and he has a chit chat with his older brother Mufasa.

The scene opens up immediately showing Mufasa on higher ground, head up, and in light. While scar is hunched over, and in the dark shadows of his cave dwelling.

As the scene continues and Mufasa’s dominance and goodness is shown over Scar, The scene concludes with him getting a bit angry at Scar and asking if he was challenging him. Mufasa races in front of scar growling “is that a challenge?!”… Mufasa is on the right, in light, and the POV is at his eye level showing how much more powerful and dominant he is to Scar. Even Scar verbalizes this, all while cowering back and below Mufasa’s eye-level. Even throughout the scene Zazu takes refuge beneath, between, and behind Mufasa’s paws. This shows his position as a protector and unshakable figure in the movie in a sense.

The second clip I picked is that of Mufasa being murdered while struggling to get out of the stampede in the gorge. Mufasa is on the left in this scene, and below scar – helpless. Scar is dominant over him in this situation, and in a portion of the clip just as Scar claws over Mufasa’s paws they are diagonal from each other. This tilt (w/ Mufasa on the lower end) shows opposing forces and a shifting of direction. And finally as Scar lets go of Mufasa, music climaxes, and it screen blackens out. Indicating the defeat/death/demise/defeat of Mufasa. Everything just fades into nothing. This scene in its culmination I feel is more moving and powerful than most live-action scenes.


SN: I used Windows Movie Maker to edit and clip these scenes to keep em short and sweet.

Heart Wrenching

Monday, July 9th, 2012

We had an assignment to pick a movie that represents the best qualities of a compelling film, I choose “Schindler’s List.” It was listed on AFI’s list of 100 best films, and I remember seeing it in high school and how, well heart wrenching it was. If I had to classify it into a genre I would say documentary. I mean the movie is called SCHINDLER’S List, it is mostly about the actions of Oskar Schindler during World War II. Based off of the TV Trope Site, it could also be specifically classified as a Military and Warfare Troupe, a WWII troupe. The story itself is what initially makes this movie stand out amongst others, but after doing some reading from Roger Ebert, I realized that there was much more to it.

The above video is of some different clips I put together from Schindler’s List. In the first few scenes you see Schindler, played by Liam Neeson who I am a big fan of, being shot at an angle that is above us, the audience, and he is to the right. This  could symbolize his superiority over what he is looking down upon, which is the chaos from the Nazis attacking the Jews. Since he is positioned to the right of the screen I think it is symbolizing that he is above his fellow Nazi Germans. He is different, good. Following this we see a little girl in red, she is the only color in the scenes. The fact that she stands out from the chaos and oblivious represents her innocence, and at this point in the movie, Schindler’s view on the treatment of the Jews is changed.

The next segment we have a man offering a ring to Schindler and the man says “whoever saves one life saves the world entire.” He and everyone else is thanking Schindler for saving over a thousand Jewish lives. The fact that Schindler is to the left in the scene probably represents the guilt he feels for not saving more lives or changing his attitude about the Jews sooner.

Analysing the Basterds [sic]

Monday, July 9th, 2012

I really didn’t want to believe it. Wouldn’t films that follow rules just seem formulaic? How could following the “rules” still produce a good film after over 100 years of cinematography? I hoped it wouldn’t work but as I completed this ds06 assignment, I realized it was more true than I thought!

Week 7′s assignment encouraged us to

Write a blog post that explains your selection by identifying key scenes that use some of the elements described by Roger Ebert in his article “How to Read a Movie” essay

As I started to think about movies I liked, I came up with just about everything by Quentin Tarantino. Yes, there tends to be a lot of violence in his films and, as someone who doesn’t generally condone gratuitous violence, I find it amazing how much I enjoy his movies. I am always really impressed with how he can often make me laugh at what should be the most inappropriate times (i.e. often in the midst of a very violent act).

I decided to see what clips I could find of Inglourious Basterds. Since I was really impressed with Christoph Waltz in this film, I watched one of his opening scenes and couldn’t believe that it followed Ebert’s rules to a T! Maybe that’s the genius of Tarantino – combining very familiar camera work with an complex character, setting and/or plot.

Following the Rules

In the movie, Colonel Landa is both charming and evil. In this early scene that dichotomy is set up according to Ebert et al’s rules:

I neglected to mention that Colonel Landa is constantly moving in and out of the light. This is confusing as the audience isn’t completely certain if he is a good or evil character.

Although I couldn’t find a version of this scene with English subtitles, maybe it’s better that way – you can see the full effect of the visuals and the music regardless of the dialogue.

Great opening sequence!

Breaking the Rules

Part of this assignment was to also determine and justify the genre. Is this possible with a Tarantino movie?! My best attempt would be to go with “Alternate History”. This is a Tarantino re-visioning of World War 2 that, thankfully, allows for some complex characters that are neither wholly good nor wholly evil. The world is rarely black and white; it is usually many shades of grey.

Analyzing The Lord of the Rings

Monday, July 9th, 2012

The first time I went to see The Fellowship of the Ring I was only 9 years old so even though I really liked the movie I could not fully appreciate it mostly due to that fact that the wraiths really creeped me out. I have watched all of them many times sense then and I think they are three of the best movies I have ever seen. I think they were successful for many reasons the most of which is how I was dragged into the story and how they used so many elements to portray what was happening. The first thing that pops to mind when I think of this is the music choices for lord of the rings. Below I have an example of how they used slow sad music to portray the death of Haldir. The music selection in this movie was excellent and I believe that was key in its success the producers did an excellent job of using music that properly portrays the emotions they are try to portray to the viewers.

The other element I wanted to talk about was the coloring or lighting used in the Lord of the Rings. Below I have a clip of Gandolfs charge at Helms deep, the whole sequence of scenes before this were of the intense battle to hold the fortress and the whole time it was night and dark which portrayed an dark feeling of lack of hope, it leads you to thinking that there is no hope. Then finally in this seen it is dawn and just when it seems they are riding out to die on the hill there is Gandolf in all white with the light of the rising sun behind him. That picture just changes your perspective immediately, you all of a sudden believe that there is hope and they will win. All of those emotions are enhanced by the great use of color and lighting in the movie if you take away that contrast and make everything bright and sunny there would the movies would not have been as intense or entertaining. I chose these to topics because they were the easiest to show with videos but there were many other factors that are the reasons why this movie was so compelling that it made it to the top 100 such as the acting, special effects, and plot/story but I just chose two so maybe another time on the other ones.

Reading Toy Story

Sunday, July 8th, 2012

The goal was to pick a movie, preferably a classic. Toy Story, in my opinion, is one of the most creative films made so far. I chose two segments from this film that Roger Ebert’s discusses in his journal about “How to Read a Movie”.

Toy Story falls under the genre of, Animation, Action, and Comedy.

The first segment I took, was the introduction of Buzz Light Year to all the other toys in Andy’s (the “leader” or child who plays with the toys) room. Ebert’s discusses how the angle of a shot can determine the anarchy between two characters. In this specific scene the image of Buzz Light Year standing in Woody’s spot shows that his presence will be significant in comparison. Woody is now being replaced by Buzz. He stands below him, basically hiding from this new toy that is being presented.


The second segment is the use of color, contrast, and bright vs. dark. At this point in the movie, Woody is clearly jealous of Buzz and schemes a plan to temporarily get rid of Buzz Light Year. The lighting through out the movie has always been daylight, sunny, an overall nice feeling. However, in this scene, the sun is setting and its starting to get dark out. This depicts the transformation in attitude for Woody. He is starting to look like the Villin of the film. All of the toys that were once faithful to him are turning against him after he pushes Buzz out of the window. There change in lighting reflects the mood that the movie has taken towards Woody.

Link to the segments^^

This process of putting clips together was a bit confusing at first. I have NO experience with video and editing at all. I used iMovie to edit all the pieces together but it was trial and error. I couldn’t at first figure out how to even get movies into iMovie, then found the import/export tab. I used to download the youtube movies. I then used Photo Booth to record myself talking just a bit about each segment. The hardest (but now the most obvious part) was to get the file to be small enough to actually download onto YouTube. In the end all I had to do was change the file to Mp4 manually.

How to Read a Movie: The Sound of Music

Sunday, July 8th, 2012

For the Week 7 “Reading Movies” assignment, I chose The Sound of Music from AFI’s 100 Years…100 Movies, a list of the 100 best American movies determined by The American Film Institute (Where is Mean Girls on the list? Kidding…). The Sound of Music was one of my favorite movies as a child, and continues to be. The movie contains wonderful music, great actors, and a rich history. There is so much more than what is shown on the screen. When I was younger, my dad and my grandmother insisted that I watch The Sound of Music. I was furious with this, as I thought it was “an old timey movie.” I wanted nothing to do with it. I would have much rather watched a cheesy pre-teen romance with Mary-Kate and Ashley, or so I thought! Needless to say, I did not get my way and was stuck watching The Sound of Music. I fell in love with the timeless storyline and the catchy tunes. When familiarizing myself with the film, after not having seen it for a few years, to this day it still encapsulates me. Time has told, Mary-Kate and Ashley movies were just a fad. The Sound of Music has proven to be a movie that stayed close to my heart. I guess my dad was right, yet again. Often times, I find myself singing to my parakeet, “The hills are alive…” You could call me Cinderella. Or how about Maria?

Though IMBD lists the genres of The Sound of Music as Biography, Drama, Family, Musical, and Romance, I have identified the film genre as Family/Musical. Not only is it a film that can be appreciated by all ages, hence the family, it’s storyline is about a rather large family! I also included Musical as a genre, because the actors often participate in the production of the music (singing, etc.). There is a lot of it, and it is not simply background music.

As far as the TV Tropes genre, I chose a few. I actually researched The Sound of Music on the TV Tropes website and they already had genres listed. I read through them and narrowed them down to the following group of four. I felt as if some were too specific.

World War II: Time period

Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Captain Von Trapp

Magical Nanny: Maria (Julie Andrews, who also assumes the same role in Mary Poppins)

Happy Ending for everyone

“One of the reasons I started teaching was to teach myself.”

In Roger Ebert‘s essay, “How to Read a Movie,” there were some points that definitely stood out to me as a future teacher, in addition to my role as a DS106 student. When Ebert talks about the class he taught in 1969, after being inspired by movie critic, John West, I noticed that he had a very democratic attitude toward education, if you will. This is something that most influenced me in the essay. No matter what age, race, gender, etc. someone is, they can be influential to you and challenge you to think. As John West recommended, I treated the clips I found from The Sound of Musicas a football coach may as he examines footage from the game. I paused the scene multiple times in order to analyze the set and positioning of the actors. I think the football analogy is a really good way to explain how people like Ebert and West analyze movies. I never knew that the way actors are positioned in scenes had so much meaning! But after this assignment, I noticed some of the points were proven true. I’ve included a few shots whose “visual compositions have intrinsic weighting,” something Ebert discusses in his essay.

“A person located somewhat to the right of center will seem ideally placed. A person to the right of that position will seem more positive; to the left, more negative… general terms, in a two-shot, the person on the right will ‘seem’ dominant over the person on the left.” -Roger Ebert

Captain Von Trapp is positioned to the right of his children, showing dominance.


Maria is to the left of Captain Von Trapp and the Baroness is to the right, making the Baroness seem more favorable. The Baroness on the right “seems” more dominant over the person on the left, Maria.

Ebert writes about his experience doing this exercise with his class. He says, “I wasn’t the teacher and my students weren’t the audience, we were all in this together.” Beyond the analysis of movies, this attitude towards education is very inspiring to me. Bringing people together creates a collaboration of knowledge and ideas, enabling them to learn many more things. Everyone has a different bank of knowledge, it’s important to have a variety of contributors. Like Ebert said, when pausing the movies, his students would notice a multitude of things. Anyone can state an opinion about a movie and give even critics a different perspective, something they may have not before considered. Ebert writes, ”Everything worth noticing on the screen will eventually be seen by somebody.” This applies to digital storytelling and the internet. I appreciated the humility Ebert showed when referencing Giannetti and David Bordwell. Though they may not use the same terms or have the same beliefs, he stills respects their opinions and writings; the three of them possess “the same intense curiosity,” for films, which is what really matters. In the readings we have had for DS106, I have noticed a common theme of encouraging collaboration.

Readin’ Gone With the Wind (the Movie, not the Book)

Saturday, July 7th, 2012

This week, a we start the examine video in DS106, we examined some movie reading tips from Roger Ebert’s blog “How to read a movie“. our challenge was to apply these concepts to a favorite movie or other compelling film. I chose to examine one of my all-time favorites, a classic in cinematography, Gone with the Wind.

I’ve read many books that later became movies. This is one of the very few where I did not intentional read the book first. Reading a movie is very different from reading a book. Instead of translating the words to images in your imagination, the scene is given to you and you are reading the placement of characters, positioning of people and things, camera angles, lighting, music, etc. to interpret underlying or hidden messages, intentions or influences.

In clip below, Rhett declares to Scarlett in his domineering style: “No, I don’t think I will kiss you. Although you need kissing badly. That’s what’s wrong with you. You should be kissed, and often, and by someone who knows how.”

Though some of the dialogue is antagonistic, both characters start by continually moving to the right, evoking a positive perspective on the scene. Rhett is positioned on the right appearing dominant over Scarlett on the left. Scarlett’s severely upturned face is tilted upward and to the right, into Rhett, expressing imbalance in the exchange. I think in this case, Scarlett is presenting herself submissively to Rhett, despite her sassy attitude and declaration to the contrary. At the end of this segment, she walks away from Rhett, into the camera’s foreground in a left sweeping movement. This accentuates a helpless, resigned feeling for her, but I think it fails to make her dominant. I found it interesting to note that despite Rhett’s rejection, she is still glancing to the right, back at him, indicating a continued positive regard for him.


The next scene I examined is the famous “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn” ending to the movie. Here, Rhett walks away from Scarlett and seemingly out of her life. Scarlett is now positioned on the right with Rhett on the left suggesting she is the more positive one in this situation. During and immediately following his departure, she is facing and looking to the left, negatively into her past. After she collapses on the stairs and hears or remembers previous dialogue about her home, Tara, she begins to face right. Speaking the infamous line “after all tomorrow is another day”, she is looking dreamily to the  right with the camera angled slightly from below her eye line, enhancing her in this scene and expressing a positive attitude toward her future. This is also reinforced in the closing shot, where she is silhouetted against the sunset overlooking Tara, again facing right toward Tara. Tara position on the right in this scene suggests it is her positive influence and hope.

Gone with the Wind fits nicely into the drama genre. Within any given genre, there are tropes, or storytelling conventions. This classic film from 1939 is an example of a Bittersweet Ending trope, more specifically the Senseless Sacrifice trope. There are many more tropes at play in this film, throughout different scenes and characters. Discover more about what trope are at play in your favorite movie at




Reading [TAKEN]

Friday, July 6th, 2012

My favorite movie of all time would have to be “TAKEN” that came out in 2008. It is a movie about a retired CIA agent, who’s daughter gets kidnapped when she goes on a trip to Europe.  He has to go to Europe and use his skills to hopefully find is daughter alive. The reason why I love this movie is about it is action packed, it taught me little techniques to find hidden clues, and it showed just how much a parent would do to save their child. The first time I watched this movie, I fell in love. I have probably watched this movie 100 times LITERALLY.

In Ebert’s journal, “Reading A Movie” , he made a lot of points about movies that I have never payed attention to. The reading was very interesting and it made me want to watch more moves and pay more attention to them. Mainly for the “A shot a time” ; which is just pausing the film at random times and telling what you see. I picked up other key points from the reading that I want to elaborate one.

The first point I want to make is how Ebert talks about how the tilting of a shot can make a difference. Tilt shots symbolize that the world is out of balance. In this scene from taken, Liam Neeson plays the CIA agent/father, and he is talking to the kidnappers. You can tell by the look on his face that he feels helpless that someone has taken his daughter and he cannot find her. I am not a parent but I am sure that having someone take your child and you don’t know where they are leaves you helpless.

“Left tilts to me suggest helplessness, sadness, resignation. ” – Roger Ebert.

The next point Ebert made in his journal was how the standing positions can make a difference in the scene. When a actor/actress just stands in the middle of the screen it seems weird because it doesn’t really create a mood. If the actor/actress is standing to the right or the left they can make the scene negative or positive . A person that is standing to the right seems positive, a person standing to the left seems negative. I personally, never paid attention to that, until I thought back to “TAKEN” and found it present. In this scene, he is interrogation someone that might know where his daughter is. The “might be kidnapper” is negative, and the father is positive in this scene.

“the person on the right will “seem” dominant over the person on the left.” -Roger Ebert

I originally looked up the genre of this movie and then used the TV Tropes Site to see if they were the same. Sadly, they weren’t. Online the genre for “TAKEN” was an Action, Crime, Thriller. But in my opinion, and my research from the Tv Tropes Site and I think it is an Evidence Scavenger Hunt.  The definition of a Evidence Scavenger Hunt is “the section of a crime and punishment show where the cast chases down clues.” Throughout the whole movie the father, keeps finding clues that lead him to new people and places. Each time he gets to the next place, he finds more evidence that leads him someone else. Until he finally reaches his daughters location. I am not at all saying that the genre I found online was wrong, I just think the Evidence Scavenger Hunt suits the film more.