Thursday, February 28, 2013

Le fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain - Jean-Pierre Jeunet

Le fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain -  Jean-Pierre Jeunet

       Amélie est sur une pièce importante du temps dans la vie d'une jeune femme. Amélie Poulain a grandi avec une mère froide qui meurt quand Amélie est jeune et d'un père impersonnel. Amélie ne va pas à l'école en raison d'une «maladie du cœur» qui n'existe pas, et à cause de cela, elle grandit solitaire. Quand elle est plus âgée, elle sort et commence à travailler et à un bar. Un jour, elle regarde la télé et il est annoncé que la Princesse Diana est morte. Amelie tombe une casquette et il frappe ouvrir une brique en vrac. A l'intérieur du trou dans le mur est une boîte en fer blanc avec des pièces anciennes et Amélie décide qu'elle va donner à l'homme derrière ses articles. Cela commence son attitude d'aider tout le monde autour d'elle.  Elle fait tout, de la création de romans pour la défense de ceux qui sont victimes d'intimidation. En aidant les autres, elle devient meilleure et trouve son seul et véritable amour, une autre âme bizarre.

       I loved Amélie.  It was kind of difficult to get used to in the beginning, as it has its own very unique pace.  Amélie seems almost unreal in the beginning, a sort of distant person, very alienated from society.  She is extremely imaginative because of this alienation and has created her own little world, something that is both beautiful and terrifying.  The movie was very interesting for many reasons.  It was sweet without being sugary sweet, it was a love story without being all about romantic love, and it made the world seem like a little better of place while still being realistic.  One of the most interesting parts is the lack of time.  It is almost always day (I do not remember any scenes with night, other than when she is in bed) and that with the combination of confusing, yet wonderful, editing gives it a feeling of endlessness.  I would recommend it to almost anyone.  It has some more mature subject matter, but the scenes are so short you could just cover a child's eyes for the 5 seconds of scandalous actions.  Other than the brief seconds of adult subject matter, it is extremely lighthearted.  It is very easy to watch, meaning both that it keeps your attention and that it does not leave you feeling heavy after.  You become so emotionally attached to all of the characters, even though most of them you only have a minute introduction and then 5 minutes of screen time with them.  It was extremely fun to watch and I would watch it again in a heartbeat!

1.  One of the things that I noticed as soon as the movie began was the choppiness of the scenes.  It was mainly shown during the introductions of the characters, during which the narrator would state the characters name and it would proceed to flash images that described the person.  Her imagination often contributes to the choppiness.  Also, it is shot on location and has no clear climax.
2.  Color, light, camera angles, and surroundings all play key roles in Amélie.  The film has very bright colors, all typically primary.  Every so often it changes to black and white, disrupting the flow.  There are almost no shadows, with the exception of the mean vegetable salesman's room, which also has dark colors.  The camera is typically at strange angles, creating a fantasy and unreal feeling.  The surrounding are often one base color, such as Amélie's room being all red or the grocer's being all green.  All of these add the storybook feeling of the movie.

3. There are many themes or lessons that could come out of this movie.  The main one that I got out of the movie was about effort.  Amélie wanted to do something fantastic, like helping the world, but she didn't decide she was going to protest or change anything big.  All she did were little acts of kindness that brightened people's day and made their lives a little more enjoyable.  It shows how little things, along with imagination, can help others in bigger ways than we planned for them to.

4.  Amélie felt extremely french as I watched it, from the music to the style, but one movie gave me a slightly similar feeling as I watched it.  500 Days of Summer also has an endless feel to it and creates an ethereal feel.  They accomplish these through different means, but both are on the light side and very interesting. 


David Guetta: The International DJ

David Guetta: The International DJ

               David Guetta was born on November 7, 1967 in Paris, France.  His father is of Jewish-Morrocan descent and his mother is of Belgian heritage.  Guetta grew up in Paris well off, supported by his father's work as a restauranteur.  He began mixing vinyls at 13, and, after some practice, began having parties in his basement.  At 17, he took his DJing skills professional, working at clubs all around Paris.  Guetta then began to develop his own style.  His influences at the time were many, as house music was really beginning to take off.  House music is a genre that originated in Chicago and is typified by up-tempo beat and repetitive hook.  Synthesizers are often used in production, but live instruments are employed as well.  Also, while vocals are sometimes on house records, it is not strange for house songs to be purely instrumental.  In particular, Guetta sites Farley "Jackmaster" Funk as his introduction to house after hearing one of his songs on the radio.  Hip-hop has worked its way into Guetta's production as well, and today he features hip-hop artists heavily on many of his songs. 
            Guetta's popularity rose significantly throughout the 2000's.  He released a few singles that charted in France and gained more and more recognition with almost every release.  In 2007 he released a song called "Love is Gone" that reached number one on the American dance charts.  However, his biggest success came in 2009.  It was then that he did the production for the Black Eyed Peas' number one hit "I Gotta Feeling".  The song set a record for digital downloads in the US and had great popularity internationally.  Guetta now has settled into his own as one of the top DJ's and producers in the world.  In 2011 he was voted as the number one DJ in the world in a fan's poll for the magazine DJ Mag.  He has also won two Grammy's.


1.  What about your musician's sound do you like? How does the sound affect your mood? What does the song remind you of?

I like the change of tempo he uses in his songs.  His ability to know just the right moment for a shift gives his sound a unity and flow.  His style is also, in general, upbeat.  So, when I listen to him, it makes me feel more energized and active.  This song in particular reminds me of just letting go and relaxing.

2.  How does your musician's music reflect his or her time period? Was there anything happening in the world or music industry that influenced the music or sound?

Guetta has a very modern sound.  His use of synthesizers and other electrical instruments distinguish that much.  Thus, his sound carries some of the early 2000's late 1990's dance club feel to it, as that is his genre.  Undoubtedly, he was heavily influenced by the house music movement that was popular when he was developing as a musician.

3.  If your musician does not sing, how can you interpret the music or sound?

I interpret him simply through his up-tempo and foot-tapping sound.  That type of music, with its pulsating beats and catchy tune elicits an energized response and tries hard to do so.  Guetta's main goal in making music is to help others have a good time and let loose.

Les Quatre Cents Coups, Mise en Scéne de François Truffaut

By Chandler Rhea

Les Quatre Cents Coups est un film au sujet de la vie difficile d’un adolescent, Antoine Doinel. Sa mère pense qu’il est inutile. Avant Antoine est né, sa mére veut avoir un avortement. Son pére est un ami d’Antoine, et il l’aime. Son profs le déteste. Quand Antoine fait les mauvaises notes en l’école, sa vie tourne  à l’envers.
Antione est un fauteur de troubles en l’école. Son malice le cause faire mauvaises notes. Son parents n’aime pas son notes, si ils devenit plus dur sur lui. Un jour, Antoine plagie et son père le gifle pour il. Aprés cet incident, Antoine fuit de son maison. Il va habiter avec son ami de l’école et devenit un voleur. Après il vole un machine à écrire de son père, il est pris et il va au établissement correctionnel. Fin.

I thought The 400 Blows was a very true to life movie. All the events that happened to Antoine seemed real, not made up. Everything that he experienced could happen to anyone. This French New Wave film did not have a Hollywoodesque feel to it; it felt like a real story to which people can relate.  This movie could very well have been a documentary. Actually, it was based on some of François Truffaut’s childhood experiences, so it had some truth in it. Truffaut wanted this movie to have a personal touch to it so it could in turn touch the audience.
The music in The 400 Blows was lovely. All French music is particularly amazing, but I feel the music in this music was brilliant for its time. It felt like a soundtrack that would be played to life. It’s like life’s elevator music: pleasant, calm, and encouraging. The music gave the movie a down to earth air to it, again separating it from the big movie studios, as characterized by La Nouvelle Vague.

Critical Questions:
What qualities of French New Wave cinema can be seen in the film?
            Les Quatre Cent Coups was filmed on location. The school and the apartment of the Doinel family was not recreated in a studio. It was real. The movie, also, had one very prominent jump scene where Antoine and his father are in the kitchen laughing and preparing dinner, and then it jumps to the living room with Antoine’s father yelling at him because he thinks Antoine stole one of his magazines. I think Truffaut filmed it that way to show how quickly emotions can change between family members. The movie also used direct sound with the children playing in the schoolyard.

How do the colors, light, and surroundings affect the overall mood in the film? 
            Since my movie was in black and white, color is hard to discern, but the environment and lighting played important roles in setting the mood. The school was very cramped, dirty, and dark. This saddens the mood of the story. The apartment was very small and also had little light. It could barely house three people. Somehow the Doinels managed. This establishes sympathy toward Antoine for enduring his current living conditions. The friend’s house was a mansion and was well lit, which lightened the mood for a brief period until he was arrested.

What messages or themes is the film trying to convey?
            One dominant theme of this film is unjustified hardship. Antoine endures many problems that he does not deserve. His teachers hate him for no reason, his mother treats him like she never wanted a child, and his father abused him. No child should have to face that, and yet Antoine did. Antoine had no choice in the matter of setting his life, it just happened. He did however make the choice of improving it by escaping all his hardships. He chose to run away.

Can you compare this film to any particular American film? How so?
            The only American movie I can think of that is remotely like Les Quatre Cents Coups is Cheaper by the Dozen. In Cheaper by the Dozen, one the characters run away from home because he felt like he didn’t belong there. He wanted to try to find a way to improve his life by escaping the one he was already living, just like Antoine. Although Cheaper by the Dozen is a comedy, it still relates to The 400 Blows.


Django Reinhardt: Fondateur du jazz swing manouche

                                                      Born on January 3 1910- 1953.

 As a child Django Reinhardt grew up a gypsy, born in Liberchies, Belgium died on May 6, 1953 in Fontainebleau, France. He was had no proper education and was pretty much illiterate. Although it is hard to tell, but some say his father was a musician and his mother a dancer.  He taught himself a combonation of a guitar and banjo. When he was in his early teens he was already playing at clubs in Paris. In the begining of his career he played popular french pop songs but became interested with American Jazz, especially Duke Ellington. Whom I would say is one of his inspirations along with Louis Armstrong and Joe Venuiti.  He made a mix of American Jazz and traditional Roma and European music. There was a tragic fie in 1928 where Django lost the use of two fingers on his left hand; a tragic thing to lose for a guitar player. It took him 2 years to recover but he slowly began to play his guitar/banjo again. He had an interesting way of playing with his thumb and two fingers. He toured with Duke Ellington in 1946 but he did not win over the American crowd. He also toured with the famous violinist Stephane Grappelli and formed the Quintet of the Hot Club of France.

                                                          Djangos with Grappelli - Minor Swing

Question 1. What about your musicions sound do you like? How does it affect your mood? What does your sound remind you of?

Answer: I love the combination of guitar and banjo, to me it is unique and I don't listen to it very often. The music puts me in a peaceful mood, it makes me relax. It reminds me of an old jazz club or an old movie or the 1920's.

Question 2. What does your musician sing about?* What are some of the major themes or subjects of the songs? If they do not sing, how can you interperate the music or sound?

Answer: Since Django does not sing in his songs, I can interperate the music by the type of music, so if it puts me in a certain mood. Or whether it's a fast happy sound or a slow melancholy sound.

Question 3: How does your musicians music reflect his or her time period? Was there anything happening in the world or music industry that influenced th e sound?

Answer: I would say he started his music career around the 1920's, that is when jazz was becoming popular. He was playing in French clubs during World War Two, which he expressed his somber mood through his music. He wrote a song called Nuages which means clouds in French.


Entre les Murs par Laurent Catet

Entre les Murs

L a u r e n t      C a t e t

L e     s y n o p s i s
Entre les murs est l'histoire d'un professeur de français. Il s'occupe de ses «élèves en difficulté». L'histoire commence à l'automne, le début de l'année scolaire, et se termine à l'été. Les élèves qui sont difficulté dans sa classe sont Esmerelda, Khoumba et Souelymane. Le professeur veut ses étudiants d'être bon. Ils sont bavards et grossier. Il veut savoir ses élèves mieux, donc il leur donne des devoirs à écrire un "autoportrait." L'histoire se termine avec Souleymane être expulsé. Les élèves aussi commencent à respecter Marin.

R e v i e w
Entre le Murs is an award winning film about a French teacher dealing with his problem students. This movie has won multiple awards, however, I personally did not like it at all. It was the longest two hours and ten minutes of my life. I found it boring and uneventful. It could be the fact that my American taste in movies requires more of a "Hollywood effect." I did notice deeper meanings throughout the story, which was interesting. The movie seemed to drone on and on with no actual point. It never reached a climax and everything was completely realistic. The movie did not end with tying all of the loose ends up, as an American movie would have done. It just ended. While viewing this movie, I noticed I had to assume a lot of things about the characters and their lives. The usual background info prevalent among American films, was not present. I'm sure other French movies are excellent, I just happened to pick the wrong one. 

What qualities of French New Wave cinema can be seen in the film?
There was never a large, life-changing event. The set consisted of just a school and the camera was handheld.

How do colors, light and surroundings affect the over all mood?
The lights and colors remained the same throughout the entire film. The surroundings never actually changed, as well. It seemed as if the lighting used in the movie were the lights in the classroom, giving it a more realistic appearance.

What messages or themes is the film trying to convey?
I recognized two themes within this film. 1) In order to gain respect, you must respect; making the respect mutual. 2) There is a lot more to a person than what you receive on your first impression.

Can you compare this film to any particular American film? How so? 
I could not find any American film that related to the story Entre les Murs tells. Not many American movies have realistic, untidy plots dealing with problem-making students.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Au Revoir Les Enfants, Louis Malle By Jordanna Segal

Au Revoir Les Enfants directed by Louis Malle

Au Revoir Les Enfants a commencé avec l'introduction de Julien, un garçon français va à l'école. Les garçons de l'école sont des brutes. Ils ont frappé un autre garçon, Jean Bonnet. Une nuit Julien se réveille pour voir Bonnet prière en hébreu. La père (le prêtre) demande Julien d'etre gentil se Jean, mais porquoi est un secret. Julien aide à Bonnet devenir plus sociale et aimé. Dans la période de temps, les Allemands traquent les juifs. Inconnu des autres enfants, Jean Bonnet est en fait Jean Kippelstein. Jean est un Juif. Joseph, un cuisinier, a déclaré Juifs sont à l'école où Julien et Jean est allé. Les soldats allemands viennent prendre les Juifs y compris Jean Bonnet. Julien vient comme Jean Bonnet est pris par les Allemands. Il est dit plus tard que Bonnet est mort à Auschwitz.

This movie started out as every other French movie I've watched...slow. The movie portrayed a real situation which I was not expecting. I was thinking that this movie was going to be a comedy with some funny scenes, but I was wrong. Personally I don't like when a movie or a TV show makes the viewer become attached to a character only to take or kill the character away later on. I became a fan of Jean Bonnet especially because his name (or alias) is Bonnet (which is a funny last name). Bonnet was cruelly taken back to Germany and later killed in a concentration camp. Mood killer. I still enjoyed the overall story that the movie told, which was a movie of a friendship growing. This movie made me realize how much I appreciate my cheaply made Hollywood movies and TV shows. They give the happy ending that I like unlike this movie with a death. The movie was made with decent editing skills and sounded as though the sounds were real. Another plus to this movie was seeing snow because I love snow. All in all this movie was decent (without having to read an hour and forty-four minutes of subtitles) and I would recommend this movie to probably my mother and not a person my age. 

         a. What qualities of French New Wave cinema can be seen in the film?  
                   A few qualities included were that it was taped on location and jumpy scenes. Several locations include a church, boarding school, and in the woods. This is opposed to what Hollywood usually tapes in (a set like Warner Brothers Studios). The jumpy scenes were included in the editing process because it went from one scene suddenly to a different scene. 

         b. How do the colors, light, and surroundings affect the over all mood of the film? 
                 The colors used were mostly dark which effected the mood by setting it a little depressing and made the viewer not expect a sudden burst of happiness. The light in the rooms and in the woods effected the mood by also setting up a theme of darkness and sadness. The surroundings included bad looking food, cold showers, peg sticks (used to play on), and cots to sleep on (frequently wet by Julien). These surroundings also contributed to the over all dark tone of this movie. 

         c. What messages or themes is the film trying to convey?
                  The film is trying to convey an event that happened in history (WWII and incorporation of Natzis along with Jews). The major message I think is that the Germans hated on Jews and ruined many lives by sending them to their deaths. Another message could be that Jewish children are like other children so they shouldn't be treated differently. Also, that non-Jews can be friends with Jewish children. A theme is innocence. Julien was naive to what Jews are and what Germans want with them for the majority of the film. 

         d. Can you compare this film to any particular American film? How so?
                  This film could be compared to Inglorious Bastards (sorry for the language, or a punny joke: pardon my french [get it? because it's a French project? haha]). I have never seen the forementioned movie, but it is a WWII based movie and it has people hunting Jews. Although they have little in common (just people looking for Jews to bring back or kill), they both take place in about the same time period. Other than Inglorious Bastards I cannot think of another movie that Au Revoir Les Enfants relates to. 

Vocab: Brutes- bullies
             Les juifs- Jews
             Traquent- to hunt
             Prière- to pray
             Prêtre- Priest (father) 
             Inconnu- Unknown

Sources: My memory