Archive for September, 2010

Sep 29 2010

Comments on ‘Citizen Kane’

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I have watched ‘Citizen Kane’ for two times. At the first time, I didn’t really like the movie at all because of those people talking in high pitch, they were talking so loudly and made me feeling sick…But today, after I followed what Prof. Herzog had asked me to do – be aware of the overlapping dialogue, deep focus, unreliable narrators, temporal jumps and why call Citizen Kane as American Baroque, I watched it in a different way.

It started with a morose sense. Things around the Xanadu were creepy and dark, like hell.

Talking about overlapping dialogue, most of it was used when people were arguing. I think with using it, it can show whose speech is most important in a scene and who is in charge of that situation, so it can also show how important one is during the arguing/ in a scene.

For deep focus, I did found a lot of it, but almost every scenes in the movie was ‘deep focus‘… In one of the interviews we were assigned to read before the movie, Welles said he used to talk a lot about ‘giving the audience the choice’, but when he made the movie, he didn’t talk much. He used it a lot but he also used something else to make certain actor be a focus: lighting, hair style, color of clothes and position. Honestly, I am very impressed by the use of the color of clothes. I mean, when there were many people in a scene, usually the protagonist was in white clothes or the lighting mainly focused on him/her.

And I think at the beginning of and at the end of the movie, it showed the Xanadu (the castle). I think it’s kind of like ‘we exit where we enter’.

For Kane’s dying word – ‘rosebud’, I don’t really get it. Maybe he was missing how innocent he used to be before he left his parent or something, I don’t know.

Didn’t it first show a newsreel about Kane? I think showing how generally Kane’s life was is a good arrangement so when people are watching, they may not be confused by the time order – ‘temporal jumps’.

Scene with using the color of clothes:

Baroque style:

 I am not sure if they are in Baroque style.


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Sep 26 2010

‘Leaving Barstow’. Feeling lost.

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So I was watching ‘Leaving Barstow’ few days ago.


‘Growing up in Barstow, CA, high school senior Andrew hopes for a bigger world — but his devotion to his mother, Sandra, and his awakening attraction to newcomer Jenny, combine to keep him tied to home. Andrew’s loyalties become confused and his prior ambitions begin to fade as he realizes he must make the most difficult of all decisions — choosing between himself and the people he loves.’ –

‘Leaving Barstow’ is about a teenager named as Andrew. Andrew has a lot of problems – family problem, girl problem and school problem. I mean, ‘teenager’ is always one of my favourite topics of films. Because I can always feel the same way they did in the films – feeling lost.

At the beginning of the movie, a girl keeps singing ‘…nobody knows me at all…’, and I was thinking what if I could go somewhere else and start all over again, I bet it would be very great. Maybe it is one of the ideas that the film tried to express.

At first, Andrew decided not to go to college until his teacher has come talk to him in the bookstore. I think this scene is kind of showing an adult trying to pull a kid from his fancy world and forcing him to face the reality or life which is ‘suck’. ‘…sometime we are happy, but mostly, it’s suck…’, though this line didn’t come from Andrew’s mouth but I could see that Peter Paige, the director of this film, was trying to bring messages out from every single actors’ mouths in the film.

‘Leaving Barstow’ is just more than talking about teenage problems. It also talks about adult problems and discusses about ‘life’. A single mum falling in love with a young country singer who is only older than her son 4 years old. A girl used to want to go to Los Angelus and used to have dream to become whatever but somehow, don’t know why, she has still never been to that place and leaves her dream incomplete. And a broadcaster always complaining about not getting promotion and no one talking to him during the show blablabla…

Of course, every problem has its solution, and in the film, it doesn’t matter what the solution Andrew has got, it’s about how happy he was when he figured it out and it’s just like seeing the light in the dark. In fact, when Andrew got the letter from the college, he was smiling and his back was facing the sunset. I really like that scene!

This movie is absolutely an encouragement and stated how people start chasing their dreams though they are not sure if their decisions are right or not. I mean, everyone must has sometime felt lost. But that’s okay, that’s life.
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Sep 25 2010

‘M’ by Fritz Lang

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After I have watched ‘M’, I could read a lot of messages from this film.

At the beginning of ‘M’ , children were singing song which contains the idea of racial superiority and complexion. It is obviously that in the period of Second World War, German children were implanted some awful ideas, maybe through education (which was controlled by Nazi government )and they even didn’t realize how awful they were. ‘M’ has shoot many street scenes and I could barely see women on streets. As a result, I think the social status of women in that period are shown through these shots which women were mainly responsible for taking care of children. The scene in which the mother waiting for her child, I was getting more and more nervous, and was drawn more attention, since the mother kept wandering in the house and kept asking people if they had seen her child for several times.

My favorite part of the movie is about the detective thinking what the workers ( or labor union) were doing in the building where the murderer hided. I like that scene because Fritz Lang used long shot, medium shot and close-up and music to indicate the thinking process of the detective and to show how close the detective to the answer that is those workers was trying to catch the murderer who had already interrupted their working routine for a long time. I also really like the scenes that the music was played every time when the murderer was trying to find the next victim. The music is showing something ‘invisible’ !

In the scene of the murderer being caught and justified by the people. He was saying something like ‘…in present, it is so hard to be myself…’. Since Frtiz Lang fled to America during the Second World War, I think that Lang might be trying to show his opinion through the murderer‘s mouth. He wanted to show that , at that time, being himself and opposing to Nazi government were as guilty as the murderer. And through the plot of the murderer killing those children, he might be trying to represent that he wanted to ‘kill’ those nasty ideas about racial superiority just like the murderer killing those children.

And I do have a question about the beggars in ‘M’. I don’t understand why they could walk around the street without being suspected in the film?

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Sep 17 2010


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Hi, I am Cindy and I am from Hong Kong. I really like the media class because I have never had a class like this which we can watch movie every class and discuss about it. But what I don’t like about it is that there are too many people in it! Anyway, forget it! I still like the class!

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