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Showing posts from January, 2015

The Film List Project #16: Vertigo

It's been a few weeks since I wrote about James Stewart or Alfred Hitchcock, so I thought I'd write about both today.

My post-wisdom teeth doppelgänger and my new favorite actor have made a masterpiece in Vertigo. It plays with your mind in your emotions in the best way possible, keeping you gripped through all 128 minutes. It kills me that it was a box office failure in its day.

Despite being a commercial failure, this film is considered one of the greatest Hitchcock films of all time. I think it may be my new favorite.

A lot of people who watch it now might comment on the fake backdrops used for the scenes where we look down from high places, but I love looking at these old painted backdrops. Even without today's special effects, the audience can still feel the fear that Scottie (James Stewart) feels when he looks down at the view.

My favorite thing about a Hitchcock film is the environment he creates. You're immersed in the story, and every little decision he's …

The Film List Project #15: The French Connection

This is my 15th post! That's actually pretty cool...Now back to your regularly scheduled programming.

This week, I watched The French Connection. Now, for those of you who have been reading this for a while and/or know me in real life, you know this is not my type of movie I like to watch. I don't seek out car chases, people shooting at each other makes me nervous, and I think the story of "the complicated cop" has been done over and over.

I gave this one a chance for two reasons: 1) it was on the list, and 2) I was curious to see what made this movie different from other cop stories I've seen.

I thought a lot during this movie about something we have been talking about a lot in the screenwriting class I'm taking: American films are very character driven. In other words, a great character makes a great movie. With that in mind, I've come up with a list of five things I love and admire about our protagonist, Popeye Doyle. Here's that list:

1) Popeye is…

The Film List Project #14: West Side Story

"Something, something, something, America."

That's how a friend described the movie to me when told I was watching West Side Story for the first time today. It's also probably how you'll remember this blog post.

I haven't even seen West Side Story on stage before, but I'll definitely seek it out after this viewing. Despite my ignorance, I couldn't help feeling a strange sense of familiarity with every number that came along. I guess this film, the story, and its music are that present in pop culture, even after 50+ years.

The thing that sticks out to me about this film is how authentic it is. Here's what I mean: with a lot of play/musical adaptations, a certain magic that you feel when you see it on stage is lost. However, I didn't feel like this adaptation lost any of the stage magic. I have no idea why I feel that way. It's just a vibe I get.

There are a lot of things that stick out about this movie to other people, but the thing that st…

The Film List Project #13: Dr. Strangelove, North by Northwest, and The Philadelphia Story

Not one, not two, but three movies this week! Don't get used to it!

Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

I was pumped to finally get to watch what's considered one of the greatest comedies of all time. Stanley Kubrick is one of my favorite directors. However, upon finishing the movie, I couldn't help but feel something was missing.

It had nothing to do with the film itself, but the environment I was viewing it in was lacking something. This is a movie I would have loved to have seen with an audience.

Anyone who knows me well knows that I like going to the movies. I like sitting with people and communally sharing a laugh, a scream, a tear, etc. I will not, however, share my Buncha Crunch. Don't even ask.

I think this movie calls for that kind of environment. Alone, I felt funny (no pun intended) about laughing at certain scenes. I don't know why I was anxious about laughing, but an audience full of people would have made it a bit easie…

The Film List Project #12: Election

New year, new blog post date: Starting next week, I'll be posing my blog on Fridays instead of Thursdays. Now back to your regularly scheduled blog post.

On this first day of the year, a flood of new programming came to Netflix. Amongst the hours of entertainment was Alexander Payne's 1999 film Election.

This is one I've wanted to watch for a while. I've read and heard a lot about it over the last couple of years, so I jumped at the chance to watch it. I loved it!

The movie revolves around that one girl everyone went to high school with (who could have easily been a guy at your high school): Tracy Flick. The overachiever. The star student. The member of every club. The girl who gets up early to bake cupcakes in order to win SGA president.

It was really interesting to see Reese Witherspoon play Tracy, someone who's completely in control (or pretends to be) after I just saw her play Cheryl Strayed, someone who's trying to take control of her life, in Wild. Both a…