Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Watching short films

This was a task to see what kind of short films we liked and to explore what I personally found interesting about films.

The first film I'd kike to talk about is this film called "Table 7".

To start off, I enjoy how this this film starts off seeming like a typical romance genre short film, where a couple has a problem. The film begins to start being interesting though when we find that someone is actually spying on this couple's conversation, which starts adding a sense of mystery to the film, intriguing me and making me wonder what kind of secret plot is afoot. From the setting and lighting in the basement, the eavesdroppers look shifty and suspicious. However the direction of the film changes as soon as the couple begin to heatedly argue at which point the man hurriedly types out something and orders for it to be delivered.

At this point we also zoom out a bit from the couple and the decor remind us that we're in a Chinese restaurant of some sort, and the cut away to the fortune cookies finally reveals to us what the man in the basement was up to. I think this is really effective as the whole setting and the cuts all work together to make a clear narrative- the men in the basement are trying to give the people at their restaurant helpful advice to help them. Not only is this really clear in the film, I also think this idea and message is very sweet and heartwarming.

My personal favorite scene is at the end when we see the man who was listening in hear the end of the couple's conversation and we see him smile. Not only is it really nice becuase he's just helped their relationship, but it's also touching becuase we can see how good the man feels himself for being able to help and that he actually genuinely cared about them. At that moment, it's as if he's saying "And this is why I love my job", and then he moves on to the next table to keep on helping people. I think this is a very touching and effective film becuase of the tight plot and the well thought out setting and editing.

The second film I'll talk about is "Memories"

This film is a student film but it's still quite visually interesting, using the film as representations of memories of this man. I really like how there isn't any speech in this story, and instead we;re introduced to this elderly man through his memories of past events and how he fondly remembers them while "Picking up" the film. However, as he goes home, he shuts the door and accidentally snaps the films in half and then begins forgetting memories as he looks through an album, with the pictures fading to show how they are being erased. I think that this is a very simple and often used technique, but it's still commendable as here it's used quite effectively and does tell a coherent story.

I also like how this story can be interpreted in a variety of ways. In one way, it can be the man is suffering from memory loss- he takes a walk and begins to remember himself by visiting places that remind him of key events in his life. However, after he's gathered up all his past memories, going home actually triggers him into forgetting them again and thus the films are cut short and eventually his memories fade out completely as he forgets everything for good. I also think it can be interpreted that the old man is dying and as he lives out his final moments in life, he remembers all the positives. However he doesn't really "Go Home"- rather the going home and looking through the album is a metaphor for him taking a final look at his loved ones before he finally passes into the void.

Both of these interpretations I think are shown and I think the fact that the raw emotion in the film is so apparent is it's strong point, and how it uses visual metaphors of the film is really effective.

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