(Ch.11) Response Post due Nov. 12

11426429_1507764769472229_1977576128_n(Repose due: Nov. 12 before 11:59 pm) Read all materials from Chapter 11

1.Getting Access to Film Screenings

2. Tips for Reviewing DVD/Blu-Ray

3.  The Brief History of the Western

4. The Western A-Z.

After exploring each section answer the  following questions as listed  (your post should reflect something different and original from other student posts in the strand):

  1. After listening to the interview with S. Craig Zahler (writer & director) of the unknownWestern/Horror film “Bone Tomahawk” – share some things that you found interesting about his approach to filmmaking and the Western. Remember you must write something different than other students.

Now, answer any (3) three of the following in an original post. Make sure you are not repeating what other students have already posted; think critically about your responses. 

  1. Why do you feel the Western genre has continued to survive for over a century on film since it is img_8493but a small snapshot of American history?
  1. Based on the Western hybrid formulas mentioned – can you name two other films (not mentioned in the readings) you feel would fit one (1) of these categories (other than a Western/Comedy or Western/Musical)? Why? You must give examples that are congruent with what you’ve learned about Western themes, ideas, storylines, etc. (within this chapter).
  2. Of the new tips (and observations) presented for the reviewing critic in this chapter, which ones provide new insight, additional support, or increased info that you feel will be most beneficial to you. Explain.
  3. What are the most beneficial lessons (or knowledge) you gained from our guest speakers Adam Long (film critic) or Violet Dukes (The Real to Reel Film Fest)?

8 Comments Add yours

  1. Celia García Martín says:

    1. After listening to the interview with S. Craig Zahler (writer & director) of the Western/Horror film “Bone Tomahawk” – share some things that you found interesting about his approach to filmmaking and the Western. Remember you must write something different than other students.

    He mentions the script as one of the most –if not the most- important elements in any film. Regarding the selection of the cast, the script is often the decisive point for actors to decide their participation in a certain project. It is very important that actors consciously want to participate in a film since they will be much involved in the project and in making their characters believable. S. Craig Zahler also explains that he chose actors who had skills relevant to the story of the film, such as riding horses. Although these skills are not compulsory for a film to work, they contribute to add realism. Likewise, the fact that some of the actors were good horse riders allowed them to make every scene themselves and managing without doubles, what in the end also contributes to the realism of the film.
    Another of the challenges of filmmaking is the requirements or changes imposed by the big film producers. Director S. Craig Zahler tells about his struggles with some film companies that were willing to accept his project exclusively under their conditions. In this regard, he mentions the importance of believing in oneself and resorting to smaller film producers that usually give more freedom to directors. In his case, trusting in himself resulted in one of the most successful movies of the year, which was awarded in different film festivals, being one of them The Sitges Film Festival, specific to horror movies.

    2. Why do you feel the Western genre has continued to survive for over a century on film since it is but a small snapshot of American history?

    Western has a strong personality that has made this genre survive until the present. Even if we have never seen a Western movie before, we are able to imagine the settings, the costumes and even the music characteristic of this genre. Likewise, Western is a very flexible genre that can adapt to many different types of stories. One good example is ‘Bone Tomahawk’, which mixes styles as different as Western and Horror. Western movies usually deal with the conflict of having to fight foreigners, being the latter either Native Americans or rival cities. With that initial idea in mind, action is served. On the other hand, there are many stereotypical roles attached to Western that contribute to give different elements to the story. Thus, we often observe a sheriff, a gunman or a damsel in distress who can play the roles of heroes or villains depending on the film. In brief, Western has got all the elements to build an entertaining story and, what is more, is a flexible style that can share many features with different genres.

    3. Of the new tips (and observations) presented for the reviewing critic in this chapter, which ones provide new insight, additional support, or increased info that you feel will be most beneficial to you. Explain.

    This chapter focuses on reviewing DVDs or films that have already been released. While this type of film reviews deal with the difficulty of being compared to previous reviews or to our own perception of the movie, they also count on more resources to comment, such as the extras often included in DVDs. These extras are new elements that can be significant to the movie or not and that should be determined by the reviewer evaluating the DVD. On the other hand, having the chance of reviewing a film some time after its release might also give us a new perspective on the film. It is possible that we saw the movie at the theater the first time and we got certain conclusions. However, when we review the film again, our opinion might have changed or we might recognize new elements of the film to include in our review. Therefore, one of the most important elements when evaluating a DVD should be to be aware of our perceptions of the film and realize whether they have changed or not.

    4. What are the most beneficial lessons (or knowledge) you gained from our guest speakers Adam Long (film critic) or Violet Dukes (The Real to Reel Film Fest)?

    They both talked about baggage and subjectivity when doing reviews and how film festivals have developed different mechanisms to fight against those problems. For example, Violet explained that each movie must be seen by, at least, three committee members in order to provide the most objective opinion possible.
    In the case of Adam Long, he explained how he still fights against his own baggage when reviewing films and how to give an accurate film review might be more relevant than many people think. Wile many movies are “just movies”, meaning that their main purpose is to entertain the audiences, there are some that are life changing and can make us change our opinions, learn life lessons or become better human beings. We must not forget that cinema is one more way of expression that allows us to give shape to our thoughts and feelings.

    Celia García Martín

    Liked by 1 person

    1. noeltmanning says:

      S. Craig Zahler honing in on script and talent goes back to the beginning our semester as we focused on story foundation and character.

      DVD Reviewing – Rewatching films with new perspectives and appreciations allow you to dive deeper, and explore the “b-story” in more detail. I just watched the film “Roma” in NY, and now that I know the story, I’ll be able to explore it a second time with a focus on foreshadowing and easter eggs.

      “Baggage” – it continues to dominate our dialogue throughout the semester.

      Thanks Celia

      Like

  2. jalissa9 says:

    1. After listening to the interview with S. Craig Zahler (writer & director) of the unknown Western/Horror film “Bone Tomahawk” – share some things that you found interesting about his approach to filmmaking and the Western. Remember you must write something different than other students.

    2. Listening to what Craig had to say what stand out was how he picks out people with certain skills. Like if they knew how to ride a horse they fit the profile more. Which I agree with the whole point of a movie is to have the characters feel and be realistic as possible. You want the audience not to recognize that the actor is uncomfortable or timid doing certain things because he isn’t trained. Also, the whole script is one of the most important aspects he mentions. A script can make or break you and shows how active you will be during the film itself.

    3. I feel it’s still important today just because it gives you a glimpse of that time in America. Most films don’t show what went on during the time unless the genre is western. Which is why they are keeping it alive as much as they can. They cover certain time periods and it’s just gives us an opportunity to see those times threw a Len. It’s also a very predictable genre when you say western you automatically refer to cowboys are the “West”. Which as horror or comedy you know it will be scary or funny, but not so much the plot when the word is said.

    4. It would probably just be the brief history of westerns it just helps you see what exactly westerns were from different years. It also gives you how westerns have changed and what they do not do anymore. Reading it just gave me more specific insight on what westerns actually were rather than me just assuming cowboys and Indians.

    5. What I learned from violet dukes. What stood out to me was the movie process she does as a critic. She explains that her committee has to sit through the whole clip or film in one sitting. It actually surprised me that most directors film for the purpose of you watching it and not pausing it and coming back. You will not get the full effect and that’s actually very true. I started thinking of times where I just paused and left and came back. This might be something I have to start. Paying more attention to and see what effect it has on me and if it helps film have a better outcome.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. drewpeden says:

    1. After listening to the interview with S. Craig Zahler (writer & director) of the Western/Horror film “Bone Tomahawk” – share some things that you found interesting about his approach to filmmaking and the Western. Remember you must write something different than other students.
    • After listening to the interview, I found his take on filming western movies is how he wanted to capture the natural human interaction in the film. This technique required him to use a wider angle lens on set, that way he could get the natural human conversation in, which usually people use hand movements when they talk, so he wanted to be able to pick that up! I found that very unique and different than other directors styles, but it works!

    1. Why do you feel the Western genre has continued to survive for over a century on film since it is but a small snapshot of American history?
    • In my opinion, western films have been able to survive because they are not as common as many other films. There are multiple superhero films released each year, a wide variety of comedies and sometimes an overabundance of horror films. These films all seem to just run over eachtother. With western films, you see maybe 1 or 2 per year, and that is exactly what keeps them alive. Since people aren’t burnt out on dozens of them per year, whenever one is released, it’s the first one in a while, and people are drawn to it to see something different than what they have been seeing all year.
    2. Based on the Western hybrid formulas mentioned – can you name two other films (not mentioned in the readings) you feel would fit one (1) of these categories (other than a Western/Comedy or Western/Musical)? Why? You must give examples that are congruent with what you’ve learned about Western themes, ideas, storylines, etc. (within this chapter).
    • Based on the Western hybrid formula mentioned, I sat and thought about what other films might fit these categories, and two films instantly jumped to my mind. Django Unchained and Shanghai Noon. Both of these films are western at heart, but are very different from each other. Shanghai Noon is a comedy featuring Jackie Chan and Owen Wilson, and while it has western aspects, it is riddled with comedy that entertains the viewers as well. Django Unchained, while much more of a serious film, still has underlying comedy in it. The comedy in this film is much more adult and much more dark than the dry humor of Shanghai Noon. Both of these films could easily fall under the Western/Comedy Hybrid film.

    3. What are the most beneficial lessons (or knowledge) you gained from our guest speakers Adam Long (film critic) or Violet Dukes (The Real to Reel Film Fest)?

    • What I found most beneficial about listening to Adam Long, was that not everyone will like the movies that you like, and in turn, you may not like the movies other people like. It is all based on taste of film, and even in the cases of Oscar voting film critics, some people will be the oddball out and not like a film that everyone else is in love with, and that’s okay.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. 1. After listening to the interview with S. Craig Zahler (writer & director) of the unknown Western/Horror film “Bone Tomahawk” – share some things that you found interesting about his approach to filmmaking and the Western. Remember you must write something different than other students.

    One thing that really hooked me while listening to the interview with director Zahler, was when he talked about how short of a production Bone Tomahawk. When he said it took 21 days to shoot, that really surprised me because normally most movies take about 8-12 weeks to finish principal photography, and considering the cast, the budget, and the location involved in this movie, you’d assume that it would be about the same. It was interesting to see how much time consumption went into the movie, prior to shooting because it seemed that Zahler took a good amount of time and delicacy in the pre-production phase.

    2. Why do you feel the Western genre has continued to survive for over a century on film since it is but a small snapshot of American history?
    I feel as if the Western genre was so popular in the mid to late 20th century because Westerns Westerns provide many timeless pleasures, such as tough guy heroes, action set pieces on horseback, adventures in magnificent landscapes, good triumphing over evil. Through the past century of Western movies, we can trace America’s self-image as it evolved from a rough-and-tumble but morally confident outsider in world affairs to an all-powerful sheriff with a guilty conscience.

    3. Based on the Western hybrid formulas mentioned – can you name two other films (not mentioned in the readings) you feel would fit one (1) of these categories (other than a Western/Comedy or Western/Musical)? Why? You must give examples that are congruent with what you’ve learned about Western themes, ideas, storylines, etc. (within this chapter).

    One of the first movies that came to mind was a movie that doesn’t get the credit it deserves, and that’s 2011’s Rango, starring Johnny Depp. Obviously, this is categorized as a kid’s movie, but if you really get in-depth with it, it’s a great Western, with a good number of laughs to it. It plays on Western tropes, whether it’s a dry and desolated area, a villain with a black hat, and a tower the rings at high noon. The other movie I instantly thought about was Blazing Saddles, starring Gene Wilder. Now, this was a movie that was way ahead of its time because of how much it flips the binaries of what most people think of Westerns.

    4. Of the new tips (and observations) presented for the reviewing critic in this chapter, which ones provide new insight, additional support, or increased info that you feel will be most beneficial to you. Explain.

    From someone who is a massive Blu-Ray collector, I’m always to think of the how different it is when I watched the movie in theaters as opposed to watching it at home because there is a difference. I think this idea does propose a different point of view because it suggests two different experiences, even if it’s the same movie.

    -Zane Gray

    Liked by 1 person

  5. After listening to the interview with S. Craig Zahler (writer & director) of the unknown Western/Horror film “Bone Tomahawk” – share some things that you found interesting about his approach to filmmaking and the Western. Remember you must write something different than other students.

    I was amazed at the various obstacles he had to overcome in order to complete the production of this film. There were many issues in garnering financial support, mostly due to the fact that there were serious doubts about the potential of this film’s success. A lot of technical aspects and details of the film could go horribly wrong. All of the stunts on the horses were real and authentic, the makeup and costume design required hours of preparation and focus on detail, and the final script was basically the same as Zahler’s initial draft. Also, rather than CGI, practical, old-school effects were used in the action sequences. This was partially due to the limited budget, but also because Zahler did not want the CGI to look out of place in a Western film. In looking at these things as a whole, it is even more astounding that the film shoot itself was only 21 days long.

    1. Why do you feel the Western genre has continued to survive for over a century on film since it is but a small snapshot of American history?
    The “Western” storyline is fairly simple and formulaic, so it has been incorporated in more modern films in order to keep the genre alive. As was mentioned in the readings, there are various subgenres in the Western category, like Post-Apocalyptic Westerns, Space Westerns, and Western Comedies. Some of the elements from the original Western tales have been modified to fit in with the evolving film landscape. This reminds me of the previous lesson in this course with Jay Forry, blind film critic. He was not a huge fan of James Cameron’s Avatar, despite its status as the most financially-successful film of all time. Being blind, he could not appreciate its cutting-edge visual effects, which were some of the primary reasons for its success. He judged the movie based on other elements, like the storyline, which he considered little more than a Western. This is a perfect example showing how the Western genre is still thriving today, but in disguise. The casual movie-goer would walk away completely impressed by this cinematic marvel, but being an analytical critic forced to rely primarily on sound, Forry recognized the recycled plot.

    2. Of the new tips (and observations) presented for the reviewing critic in this chapter, which ones provide new insight, additional support, or increased info that you feel will be most beneficial to you. Explain.

    Often times during a film’s initial viewing in theaters, it can be difficult to evaluate every detail properly and fully appreciate all of the aspects of a film. Yet, when you have the chance to watch a film on Blu-Ray or DVD, you have the luxury of pausing or rewinding, giving you more opportunities to gather your thoughts and truly reflect on what you are viewing. There is also the matter of the spectacle of watching a film on the big-screen. You might be blown away by the CGI and sound design while sitting in a theater, but if you get the chance to watch the same film without surround sound on a smaller screen, you are likely more focused on the story, acting, and character development. If these components are weak, you might change your tune from your original positive reactions based on the visuals and sound elements.
    3. What are the most beneficial lessons (or knowledge) you gained from our guest speakers Adam Long (film critic) or Violet Dukes (The Real to Reel Film Fest)?
    I was very fascinated by the concept of the film festivals in which Violet Dukes works. The majority of films at these events are relatively unknown to the general public, with producers, directors, and actors unheard of to those outside of the film profession. However, these festivals can be stepping stones to brighter stages. I feel like many people look down at these small-budget films as “unworthy” of their time. Yet, some of the biggest names in Hollywood today came from a background in indie films showcased at film festivals. An example specifically mentioned in the dialogue during class was Amy Adams, five-time Oscar nominee who made her way to her current position through the film festival circuit. I am much more interested in film festivals in general after the discussion with Dukes. I look forward to possibly attending them in the future, with the chance of discovering a diamond in the rough of the film industry.

    – Ryan Reynolds

    Liked by 1 person

  6. 1. After listening to the interview with S. Craig Zahler I feel very much in agreement with his view of CGI and film creation. I love to have real images, shots and angles that make me feel like the actor is actually involved in action scenes. I also feel like having a stunt double takes away from the films trueness.

    1. I feel like Westerns have survived partially due to the fact that they portray that time period in a positive and exciting time. The films show the old frontier and also how the American constitution was used. Many audiences find that entertaining.

    3. Honestly, I have never really considered reviewing a film professionally if it’s not in theaters. In the past, I have viewed professional or semi-professional film reviewing as a way to tell audiences whether a film is worth going to a theater to see or not. In other words, after reading the content, I have started to look at films reviews in a different way. They are also used for films that have been out for a while, but most people haven’t seen. This could be because there wasn’t a wide release of the film or because it could just be a film that was underappreciated. For this class, I have been reviewing older films, but I have had a slight discount. I feel like if I were to review films for a newspaper or website that I would probably only review newer films. But now I also believe that it is important to review films that aren’t in theaters but are instead on DVD or Blue Ray.

    4. I rather enjoyed both of the speakers that we had last week. I really enjoyed listening to Adam Long and hearing how he critically looked at the new movie, “Bohemian Rhapsody”. I too find historical accuracy an important part of my viewing experience. It was also very interesting hearing about his journey of being a film critique. In terms of our first speaker, Violet Dukes, I really enjoyed watching and evaluating the two short films. I found it very valuable to see the different categories that a film festival evaluator looks at.

    -Samuelle Grove

    Liked by 1 person

  7. noeltmanning says:

    LUKE REsponse:
    After listening to the interview with S. Craig Zahler (writer & director) of the Western/Horror film “Bone Tomahawk” – share some things that you found interesting about his approach to filmmaking and the Western. Remember you must write something different than other students.
    – After listening to the interview with S. Craig Zahler, one of the more interesting things that I found about his approach to film making was in regards to his history with scary films. He mentions a bootleg film he got when he was younger called “Hong Kong” that had a impact on how he enjoyed the delivery of the gore and horror in a film. Zahler mentions that he loves when gore is presented in a way that is realistic and not shoved in your face so to speak. I think it is interesting how these old films impacted his current film making today.

    Why do you feel the Western genre has continued to survive for over a century on film since it is but a small snapshot of American history?
    – The western genre is one that has lasted for a long time and has seen its ups and downs at the box office. However, as a genre, the films about the wild west are still captivating and often the genre assimilated with Americana type films. I think part of the reason that such a genre has lasted for so many years is simply the impact that time period had on everyone. America is made up of so many different people and it’s the beauty of this nation. The time around which most western films are set, is also the time period where many people from around the world were beginning to migrate to America. Everyone at that time was diving head first into the untouched potential of an American land. The heroes and stories that arise from western films are about those that were able to thrive in such a hostile land and time. Such a diverse and large group of people were able to experience America. It impacted so many people across all demographics that it became a staple film genre in American culture.

    Of the new tips (and observations) presented for the reviewing critic in this chapter, which ones provide new insight, additional support, or increased info that you feel will be most beneficial to you. Explain.
    – Of the new tips that were presented in this chapter for the reviewing critic. I think the most beneficial insight that I was provided was a guideline or template so to speak, for reviewing movies on DVD/Blu-Ray. Though the list of 5 guidelines isn’t very detailed, the overall structure in itself will be most beneficial to me in beginning the review process. When I am personally writing a review, I can sometimes struggle to start. Once I get going and things get down on paper, I am much better off. The guidelines offered will be the perfect way to start a review and will be very helpful to my own reviews.

    What are the most beneficial lessons (or knowledge) you gained from our guest speakers Adam Long (film critic) or Violet Dukes (The Real to Reel Film Fest)?
    – I think the most beneficial lesson and knowledge that I gained form our guests Adam Long and Violet Dukes is their passion for what they do. I don’t necessarily aspire to be a film critic; however, I can appreciate someone who has a love for what they do and commit themselves. Both Adam Long and Violet Dukes showed immense amounts of passion and drive for what they did with film. They both had smiles on their faces and were so delighted to talk to us about what they do, it really was a pleasure to see. It is always inspiring and beneficial for me to be reminded of the benefits of taking pleasure in your work and interests.

    Liked by 1 person

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