15/12/2009

Halloween

I missed the showing of Halloween on monday, but i managed to borrow it from a friend just so i could recap. Im not the greatest fan of horrors, i think this may be because im very jumpy and even though i know what;s coming i still get scared lol... However having seen lots of horrors, i feel that the original old school films strike a lot more terror into the audience. I dont know if this is because they make films like Saw which i think doesnt serve that good watching, or because the old school writers can tell a much better story..



The film itself always freaks me out because the suspense builds to such high levels and no matter how many times i watch it and know whats coming i jump out of my skin.. The way in which the camera follows the movement of Michael Myers and manages to keep his actual identity hidden, i think is brilliant.. The only complaint i have to make is that you dont find out why he is attacking these people. But maybe you have to watch the sequels to understand the story properly.

The soundtrack is very powerful, it gives the film extra suspense, also the mask Myers wears is nightmarish. I think you could interpret the mask as an uncanny object because you never see his face until the end, so its down to your imagination as to why he has it, or what his face looks like...

The suspense in the film reminds of something that Alfred Hitchcock would have produced. Even at the end when you think Myers is dead, and you hear his breathing it just gives you shivers..

6 comments:

  1. Online Interim Review - 15/12/09

    Any of your proposed scenes have the potential to create an evocative environment; I'd suggest the alleyway is a bit 'easy' - in so much as it is already a site for anxiety, and so the inversion aspect is diminished; alleyways are always associated with crime, so I wonder how much you can add to this; you could use this against itself, of course - but that would require combining the alleyway mise-en-scene with something unexpected or out-of-place: I don't know, say a bouncy castle... anyway, you get the gist.

    The interior spaces have great potential; you've just watched Halloween, so will appreciate how easily domestic spaces can be rendered threatening or full of suspense (incidentally, I LOVE the fact that Michael's pursuit of the baby-sitters is never explained, and it's why I hate the sequels - and the remake especially; in the original Michael is some primal force that just 'happens' to the world - the bogeyman - in the remake, they turn him into a mixed-up social services candidate - talk about mundane...).

    I suggest you further develop your ideas as they are currently a little generic; consider the following strategies for sharpening up your focus; think about putting your scenes into particular time periods; think about generating a story, out of which your scene is a 'wafer-thin' slice - come up with some back-story or set of circumstances surrounding the moment depicted; also, maybe characterise the pov of the camera - who is doing the looking, and does that help you resolve the content of the scene?

    In terms of your written assignment, focusing on waxworks is solid stuff, but I think you'll need to widen your angle a little to include narratives that make use of waxworks' uncanny qualities; there a number of movies about waxworks or set in waxwork museums, and a great short story by A M Burrage; if you're going to talk about waxworks, you're talking about 'excessive likeness' - as referred to in the Freud essay on myUCA - which you must read first.

    See the next 2 posts for more general info re. the written assignment.

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  2. Written assignment Unit 3 Part 1

    Consider carefully the following learning outcomes for your essay and structure your assignment accordingly. You must demonstrate:

    1) Knowledge and understanding of ‘the Uncanny’.

    You should begin your essay by defining ‘the uncanny’ in theoretical terms (i.e. according to Sigmund Freud, Jentsch, and anyone else with a helpful or clear definition). You will be expected to include a quoted source by which to demonstrate your understanding; the essay, ‘The Uncanny’ by Freud is rich in useful observations – so use it; you’ll want to consider the concept of the ‘unheimlich’ and the sorts of motifs/artefacts that create the uncanny experience.

    2) A developed ability to engage in research.

    At this stage of your course, you are expected to research your subject area in order to enrich your discussion and corroborate your analysis. No essay at this stage should be written ‘off the top of your head’ or without a clear research agenda. Research might include a variety of film reviews, artist statements, images, books, critiques and articles. Research requires that you READ and take notes! For instance, if you are looking at Invasion of the Body-Snatchers in relation to the uncanny, first cross-reference lots of reviews/articles about the film. Make a note of any recurrent terms or ideas and when you come across a term you don’t understand or are unfamiliar with – investigate it! Try google searching associated terms together– for instance ‘Invasion of the Body Snatchers & uncanny’ – as you may find research material that relates very specifically to your discussion.

    There are no short-cuts to an intelligently written assignment – focused research = successful essays; without research and a body of evidence, your essay is simply ‘chat’ and of no academic significance. Be significant!

    3) The ability to synthesise a range of research applied to arguments.

    Put more simply, this means that once you’ve completed your research and gathered together your key ideas, you are then able to use them to ‘unpack’ your chosen subject; think of your research as a precision tool-kit especially selected by you to ‘dismantle’ your case-study or studies (i.e. the film, image, programme, artwork you’ve chosen to discuss)

    4) The ability to clearly and academically communicate ideas.

    This is all about your writing style and your ‘voice’ – too many of you are writing as if you’re talking, and it’s a habit you need to lose asap in this context. So you must avoid slang and clichés; you’re not on the street or down the pub, you’re in a formal space with formal conventions.

    Avoid the first person; instead of writing ‘I think that Invasion Of The Body-Snatchers is about the fear of conformity’, consider instead ‘It is arguable that Invasion of the Body-Snatchers is about the fear of conformity’.

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  3. Written assignment Unit 3 Part 2

    Please don’t ‘narrate’ your own research – for instance ‘I looked on the internet and found this interesting article’ – No! No! No! Your reader doesn’t give a damn about ‘how’ you came by your research – just use it effectively and formally.

    Punctuation – please use it! Try proof-reading your paragraphs out loud – if you’re gasping for breath by the end of them, you’re in serious need of some full-stops, commas and semi-colons. If you’re uncertain how to use them properly please visit http://www.grammarbook.com/english_rules.asp - and that goes for apostrophes too!

    Capitalisation – all film titles, book titles, artist names etc – should be capitalized every time you include them; Invasion of the Body-Snatchers, The Nightmare Before Christmas, The Cook, the Thief, his Wife and her Lover etc… Likewise, when first referring to a film please include director and release date.

    Footnotes are NOT to be used to reference quotes within the body of the essay; use Harvard Method. Footnotes can be used to include additional information external to the main body, but useful for the reader’s broader understanding of the subject area.

    Italicize your quotations!

    Double-space your document!

    If you refer to something visual as part of your argument – you must include a supporting illustration as supporting evidence.

    Finally – PROOF-READ your assignments before submission; I am not an English teacher so don’t want to be forever correcting spelling mistakes, typos or ‘right’ words wrongly substituted by a spellchecker. Make time to polish your written work, as you would your creative project work.

    Good luck!

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  4. Also - if you haven't done so already, can you add the CG Arts central blog to your reading list - if you become an author, you can use it post problems and get answers from your classmates on all three years - just post your email as a comment, and Liam in the third year will set you up so you can post.

    Please join & follow http://ucarochester-cgartsandanimation.blogspot.com/

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  5. Hi All,

    Go onto MyUCA and check out the class files that would have been for today – Its Merry Christmas fun with Fur!!! Watch the videos and see what you can come up with. I’ll give you a full explanation in the New Year.

    Merry Christmas everybody.
    Alan

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  6. Matt,

    Please contact your tutors immediately.

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