30 Day Movie Challenge: Day 6: Favourite horror

19 06 2011

Um, right.  Horror.  My least favourite genre.  Hmmmm….

Well, I had a scroll through the top 250 movies on imdb and at #1 is the Hitchcock classic, Psycho, which I actually really enjoyed, especially because it was reinvented horror for its time.  It was a toss-up between this film and Tod Browning’s Freaks, which I studied in my English Lit. class (the class is about freaks and freakery).  Though the film is still debated whether or not it’s a true horror or not — just click on the imdb forum and there are various threads debating its categorization — what happens in the film is pretty horrific.  But we’re not talking about Freaks.  Maybe another day.

On the other hand, I don’t really know what to say about Psycho that no one’s said before.  It’s possibly the classic horror film.  I read the script back at VFS and saw clips of it but I finally saw the full movie last Halloween with some friends, and it was still quite frightening, way more than the gratuitous gore and slash of today’s so-called horror films.  I may not like horror much, but a good horror film should be atmospheric, not just blood and guts.  I swear, I could probably write a good horror film if I put my mind to it but alas, I don’t have it in me to write a full-length screenplay, let alone create a horrific story.  So yeah.

Here’s the trailer for Psycho that someone made:

30 Day Movie Challenge: Day 4: Favourite drama

16 06 2011

Before I watched Citizen Kane, I heard, basically from everyone who had seen the film, that it was boring and overrated, which, admitedly, made me not really want to watch the movie.  Despite this, while I was at VFS, in one of my classes, we talked about some top 10 lists of films and Kane had made the top of the American Film Institute’s list twice in a row, and was the only film to do so, according to my teacher.  Anyway.

I probably shouldn’t have listened to people without even knowing what the movie was about.  At last, in my Survey of Narrative Film class at Langara, Citizen Kane was on the list of films we would be studying.  I’d finally get to see it for myself.

It’s important to know the background and historical setting (such as what was going on in society at the time) to really “get” a film.  As the teacher at VFS would tell us before watching any “old” film, “It’s time to take off our 2008 caps and put on our [insert whatever year the film was made] caps”, which I’ve found is really important to any film.  So in our film class, we learned about all the film techniques that had been popular up until Orson Welles made the film as well as all the things he pioneered and experimented with, such as showing the ceilings of rooms (because most films were made in the studio where the ceilings were open), using different angles like the broken snowglobe, and even things that we take for granted today like people talking at the same time (whereas previous to Kane, actors would say their lines nice and neatly).

After I saw the film in class, I was speechless.  There were no words to describe what I had just seen.  I thought it was absolutely brilliant.  The story is great, and for me anyway, holds up for its time because of the key themes in the film, like really knowing people.

Citizen Kane remains one of my favourite films of all time.  I should get the DVD sometime…

30 Day Movie Challenge: Day 3: Favourite comedy

15 06 2011

Monty Python is hilarious, way more hilarious than the Hollywood comedies today (think any Adam Sandler movie).  The humour is witty instead of relying on physical gags or slapstick, which is harder to write — Monty Python is intelligent.

I’m a fan of Life of Brian as well, but Holy Grail is my favourite.  Here’s one of my favourite clips from the film:

30 Day Movie Challenge: Day 2: Least favourite movie

14 06 2011

I don’t think I’m allowed to say how I found this movie, but I will say it’s very bad; terrible acting, terrible story and writing.  It’s cliché-filled and unintentionally-hilarious-at-how-bad-it-is funny.  I know gay-themed movies don’t have the biggest budgets in the world and can be bad, but oh jeez. This is a whole new level of bad.

30 Day Movie Challenge: Favourite Film

13 06 2011

Not knowing what to do after the 30 Day Music Challenge, I decided to take a friend’s advice to do another challenge on facebook.  The first thing I thought of and searched for was a movie challenge of some sort and lo and behold, the 30 Day Movie Challenge popped up.

First up: the favourite film.  Well, as difficult as it is to choose one, I also find that my favourite film changes every now and then, what with my mood and with new movies I watch. Maybe it’s because I wrote about it in a short story I wrote a week or so ago, but I went with the 1960 Billy Wilder classic The Apartment.  Jack Lemmon plays a guy who lends his apartment to his bosses — they get to sleep around and he gets on their approval and promotions.  He likes Shirley MacLaine’s character, an elevator operator working in the same building.  It’s clever, cute, and actually romantic, unlike today’s rom-coms.

As per the rules, here’s a clip from the film.