a qwriting.qc.cuny.edu blog

Breathless, directed by Jean-Luc Godard and release in 1960 and most importantly dedicated to Monogram Pictures, a U.S. B-studio that made gangster films. This film, is known for the French new wave for breaking many rules, but in the world of Godard this was not breaking the rules, this was making the audience aware and to think critically. This new wave was marked by theoretical, political and philosophical concerns. Since in those times the Vietnam War was occurring, the French had a complex relationship with United States by the presence of them. It all comes down to colonizing the region by the time of President De Gaulle. And the anti-communism by the United Sates. The new wave was meant to demonstrate to United States filmmakers that the French filmmakers can do gangsters films in a new and rebellious way and directors of the era didn’t have to follow the American way, but to follow an owned trend. The scene that shows this rebellious attitude is at the moment Patricia Franchini is telling Michel Poiccard to run away from the police because she called them, Michel doesn’t want to, he worries about Berruti, his friend, the police shot Michel and then he runs the whole street down until he falls. This ending scene represents the whole aspect of the French new wave.

The scene opens with a black and white film, a medium close up shot of Patricia, panning left towards Michel to end up in a 180 degree rule. Right at the moment Patricia is in his right, a camera movement of tracking out appears and then we have a two medium shot. Here we have a much lighted room, this is because is daytime with big windows. Just to keep in mind this type of films tried to take advantage of the day light. Then we have Michel closer to the camera and Patricia is out of focus. While he is walking almost towards the camera all disappointed by being betrayed, the camera tracks out, we still have Michel in a medium shot, keeping him in the same frame.  We have some overlapping. He stars walking to the right of the camera and we see panning to the right to the point of making a 270 degree walk. I have never notice that in a film. The lighting is dark because there is not natural coming in where the walls are. He walks in a line from the 270 degree and his right side is all dark. Then we have a harsh camera movement, like a horizontal tracking out line, Michel walks to her.

Here, a close up shot of Patricia’s profile looking right, talking to Michel. The camera pans right when he talks in a close up shot too. Michel is in a profile looking left. So we can see that there’s not eyeline match rule. A broken rule shown, that proves the rebellious attitude.

Voila! We get a lovely jump cut, right away when Patricia is talking back to him, he is going to look down, but the next move is a mismatched shot. We see a long shot of both of the characters; he is already turned to the camera. He just remembers Berruti, turns back to her. The emphasis of Godard was to force the audience to focus on the film, rather than losing themselves in the narrative.

And then voila another jump cut, this time he is already outside. Lots of natural lighting, long shot of Michel, looking to his right. The most important thing in here is that the sound is direct, so we get a sense how low budget the film is. The purpose of it was always to make a deconstructing and reflecting aspect of the conventions of mainstream narrative cinema. Berruti is passing by with the car and then the camera pans right, following Michel and Berruti. We obtain a long shot from both.

Right after the long shot we have a medium long shot from Michel, “the cops are coming” there is a lot of discussion going on, we see a sped up motion moment, both are talking in a rush, Berruti insist in Michel to get in the car, but he refuses. A close up shot of Michel, then the magic moment, he directs to the camera, so the character is speaking to the audience and we see how the political revolution format appears, to better refer to this, the French leftist don’t want to be manipulated by the government. Berruti talks back to him and Michel looks back to him, but we don’t see a shot reverse shot.

What we see next an abrupt shift, because before the establishing camera was in front of the two characters, then out of the blue the camera is looking from behind of them. This is another stylistic technique of the new wave.

Berruti offers his pistol, when this happens a camera movement occurs, it pans suddenly to the right, then harshly the left at Michel. He rejects the pistol and out of the sudden we get a high angle of the car police approaching. It breaks roughly and let’s not forget is direct sound so it sounded incredibly real as it is. Then a medium shot of Berruti in his car, he gets the pistol. Then we get a shot reverse shot, because it goes back to the high angle at this time the policemen are getting out of the car. Then reverse shot reverse of Berruti throwing the pistol. We get a match on action, we can see at the time that the pistol falls in the floor. Michel is in that shot, in a medium shot right away a long shot, then picks up the gun looks back. Shot reverse shot to Berruti, he takes off. Michel is still in a long shot with the gun in his hand.

Later on the fun begins, the bold policeman shoots once, very loud shoot, we have a three medium shot. Then voila music appears, an intense Jazz. We get a long shot of Michel running away, a little out of focus, because is not well clear what his hands are doing. The camera since is hand held, the camera makes the movement of running behind Michel, the jazz picks up even more, the beat follows Michel movements of Zorro style. I say this because he is running in continuous ZZZZ’s. To be more specific when he touches the first car with his left hand, which is a truck, a drum beat appears, this is when he goes to the left. Second another instrument that I cannot identify, but it seems to be a timpani, follows around seven steps he makes to the right. The trumpet goes erratically the timpani reappears, Michel is still running, when he is running to the left the trumpet makes same bit as before and then Michel turns around. We see a shot reverse shot of Patricia in a medium shot running towards him. To keep something in mind a car is behind her, so we don’t see the police car nearby. We go back to the long shot of Michel turning around again running in a stumbling way, goes to the floor, doesn’t give up he continues running in a funny way back to right, left, right. After this the camera is getting closer to him, we get to see that he is bleeding from the back and he is holding the wound. The music does a nice effect when he is about to fall. To go down the trumpet beat goes down, to go up trumpet beat goes up. When Michel is getting closer to the end of the street, the saxophone makes a sound beat of escalating down. So we can tell that he is going to fall down in any second. The trumpet starts picking up the pace and he finally is down.

Then the camera is tracking in to him in the street floor, he is on his chest, long shot, high angle. We still see Patricia running from a bit far, but we can get a medium long shot. Michel turned on his back, a big high angle; smoke is coming out of his mouth. The policemen are approaching and end up surrounding him, and then Patricia arrives. Next a big close up on Patricia looking down for a long time, then we see Michel in a high angle starring at Patricia, then he makes faces. Shot reverse shot, same big close up of Patricia, reverse shot. Then he says “makes me want to puke” and he covers himself his eyes, reverse shot to her and then voila another direct address to the camera. The jazz again appears when she kind of gets his identity by passing her thumb in the lower lip, like he used to do, but this time is a calm jazz piano mood and then she turns around and the film fades out.

In conclusion, this scene demonstrates how juicy the lighting, the angles, camera movements, and the music gave life to the politically rebellion against following up the American cinema. Through the art of filmmaking Godard makes sure to show it off to the audience. Cinema was seen as a tool for the revolution; against the rules of de cinema de papa, gave a light to have ideas and make them great to defend the right of expression and self defined thinking. Godard as other filmmakers created this type of films to avoid manipulation in the way to follow rules in filmmaking and in politics.

December 10th, 2010 at 11:17 pm | Comments & Trackbacks (1) | Permalink

THE TRIP A Lovely Sort of Death by Roger Corman

The Trip, is one of the films released in 1967, by American International Pictures and with starts like Peter Fonda, Susan Strasberg and Bruce Dern. This film shows us how the 1960’s is known for the DRUG CULTURE used mostly for the hippies. Just to keep in mind this movie is in color (pathecolor) and was made around the times of many movements like the Vietnam War, where we the civilians end up so much in the disillusion of the government, because it fails us. Especially in the political sense where many positive leaders were killed, the ones that created a positive and honest believe in the people, such as Martin Luther King, JFK, FRK and others. To my interpretation the connection in the history to the movie connects in the movement of the deception. Paul being cheated and failing in the drugs because that’s what makes him feel good and who knows, maybe makes him forget about the reality.

Plot:  Paul Groves Peter Fonda takes his first dose of LSD while experiencing the heartbreak and ambivalence of divorce from his beautiful but adulterous  wife Susan Strasberg, in the movie is Sally. He starts his trip with a “tourist guide,” John, Bruce Dern

Scene analyzed shot by shot: we have a establishing shot, then a point of view from Paul, looking everywhere so, we see everyone, dancing with all this luminous lights in the night club. The movement of the camera is panning left. Then we see a medium close up of Paul in the table smiling and looking everything around him; with this energetic Jazz and electric guitar.

This shot shows medium close ups of dress breast, joy moment, blurry faces, going sideways up and down. Then it becomes close ups and lights all over the place with more dress breast. Oblique shots of guys playing musical instruments. Then we see women on stage dancing naked with weird forms of paintings in their body, strong and expressive make-up.

Another shot is a guy in the nightclub smoking pot and passing to share a little bit, how nice…the distortion is carried away with extreme close ups and blurriness. The people moves faster and faster and the camera pans left, back to Paul’s table. Here Paul is in the mode “high look.” Then a shot point of view again from Paul, we see more about the dancers with close eyes and feeling the rhythms. More close ups in the dancers and the expression of their faces show a relax momentum.

As the end of the clip approaches, it becomes very interesting because it becomes a mess when he leaves the nightclub we have a very long shot from him running away; we get to see Paul in the stage of hallucination and desperation. The images are too fast, too close, too lost, all over the place and it moves from one thing to another and then goes back to it. Like the sign that is hard to get what it says. Is the object and then him simultaneously. Clearly the shot reverse shot appears in a great amount. The pace of the music goes faster, the only thing that can be read is “the book worm”, twisting camera and poof out of the sudden a day time scene of a huge crow of young people in what it seems to be a park. Then is night time, so we see a progression of different places at the same time. It almost looks like Paul is running behind them, but he is not.  A lot of objects appear and show meaning like: love, breast, flag and breast again, play boy rabbit and the music is picking up the pace. It shows like he is there, but at the same time he is not.

It becomes blurry and then we have a type of comic image, moving in fast motion and there is a lot of him appearing and disappearing.

In conclusion this is a scene that is very extreme and it gives a great insight of how the effects of drugs especially LSD feels. And this is what the director wants to show, how drugs were used, like an everyday normal habit. But most importantly, he delivers what he is a master at in trash cinema, there is a lot of improvise jazz and rock blues. A lot of blurriness and instability in each piece study. Distortion is form between the running scenes and he watching a big crowd in the daytime, when he was actually running at night time. So we see how the pleasure of the drugs takes him to a passionate ecstasy and what seems to be a wild illusion.

December 9th, 2010 at 5:43 pm | Comments & Trackbacks (4) | Permalink

Arthur Penn, wow what a movie very crazy context. a lot of  things going on like:

  • sex
  • drama
  • romance
  • crime

let’s start with sex, isn’t funny the scene where Bonnie Parker starts touching the gun that Clyde takes out to rob. i mention this scene because we have her gazing down with an intense look. then approaches her hands to it, and touches it with pleasure. pretty awkward and clever to show sex, without having sex. is for us to notice the romance that is going to grow through the whole movie.

also what about the moments that he couldn’t accomplish his man job… sad moments is like he was able to be a man to steal, but not to make love to Bonnie. maybe is to shows us that in some way stealing takes away his values and honesty. the guiltyness of feeling wrong for what he does.

Drama: well one moment that shows us drama is Blanche, Jesus Christ, she was always yelling, yelling and yelling. it was annoying maybe was her job to break the calmness. we also have the moment where she is in the hospital and describes C.W. then right after that the sheriff doesnt pay attention to her.

then the romance, this part shows increasingly because they are just co-workers  at the beginning, then friends then something else. we never see when they become a real couple but we notice it. and the love flourishes because each other takes care of the other and look out for each other. they both listen to themselves and obey each other in some way. isn’t that sweet?

finally the crime wow great images of crime. the chasing the shooting the killing the robberies. wow overloaded with it. they were a full time active robbers. lovely scenes, that show comedy and drama. comedy at the beginning with that music and then drama with that ending. very rough context. it seems to be a couple of shots weren’t enough to kill anybody. people had it to get shot continuously to make sure they die.

The end was a complex situation because, if we think about it the director makes sure we see how criminals are, but then we forget about all the bad stuff they and then we love them. the sympathy that we have with the characters is so strong that we dont care at all what they did previously… so to me it was a great ending in the sense that not always you can win and get away with the bad actions you commit.

in reality we all know that this ending wouldn’t work at all in the present. this will be consider suicide for anybody involve in the film, the audience always wants happy endings. and even though i am one of those, i will prefer to see what i don’t want to see.

December 8th, 2010 at 9:57 pm | Comments & Trackbacks (0) | Permalink

Directed by Kenneth Anger (1965)

i have many questions for this film, first of all was Kenneth gay? was he trying to make a commercial?

well i think he was not gay, but maybe wanted to cause conmotion for anybody in the audience. the whole pinkish colors and baby blue was very strong and it was clear to us that he wanted to show that off. he amkes it happen.

if he was trying a commercial maybe not, but it looks like. i think his point of view in this film was to show how some guys are in love with their gear. some guys are in love with their TV, gaming consoles, laptop, phone in this case the CAR.

I personally know guys who get their new car and they have certain stupid rules, excuse my french, but is ridiculious. they would say something like:


those are the ones i know, i’ll be scare if there is more…

and other one some men do is they clean the car all the time with a special rag. please man that looks anoying.

After this talk it makes me realize that the message could be that man love their cars and if they could they will make love to their cars…

December 8th, 2010 at 2:37 pm | Comments & Trackbacks (0) | Permalink

Directed by Stan Brakhage, is a film where we see the creativity aspect grow. i say this because is amazing how some people come themselves with challenging ideas of putting moths paste then in the filmstrip. that should have been a lot of labor work.

i wonder how long it take him to get this project ready, but in the long run it was worth it. we can appreciate how much work is put into it and how danger cn it be if it burns.

It is very sad that some artist like him can not make it in the sense of money to feed his kids. that is very sad because it makes doubt soes it make sense to get into the industry of film in a way or is it only for people with money…

but like everything in life, we have to make it work one way or the other.

December 8th, 2010 at 2:27 pm | Comments & Trackbacks (1) | Permalink

very interesting visual. it gives us a sense of how a city looks with a 8mm camera or is it 16mm?

is very interesting to see how fast movements can gives us the sense of great interaction. great visuals, and color and we dont need sound to understand that we are folloing up the pace of a big city.

the scenes that are more interesting are the ones from the building with an almost an eyebird view, not too high but high. we can see the flow of the rutine of an everyday life.

another scene that is interesting is the cargo ships that scene seem to be from the cartoons because they move like there is a coordination among them. maybe their is. but it fast motion looks almost like a musical.

 finally, the scene of his husband struggling to write something in the typewriter machine. we see the desperation , frustration and if this is fast pace that means is taking him for ever to write a paper. so we can see that sometimes it takes a longgggg process to be inspire and put the ideas in paper or even to come out with the idea.

so it was a very attractive film to see ny in its own movement.

December 8th, 2010 at 2:20 pm | Comments & Trackbacks (0) | Permalink





December 8th, 2010 at 2:09 pm | Comments & Trackbacks (0) | Permalink

Cornell and Jodan a found footage. a very clever film. especially the part where the footage is cut in half, shows us that this people were thinking in many possible ways to show what you can do with film.

also why they showed the kangaroo fight? from my understanding was to show a funny fight between human and nature and beyond that to show the muscles of this kangaroo looking almost chiesel up. and at the same time makes it looks to be a very smart animal. i think all animals are smart in their own way.

December 8th, 2010 at 11:30 am | Comments & Trackbacks (0) | Permalink

No we have Maya Deren, MESHES OF THE AFTERNOON  (1943) I havent been able to watch the whole movie, but from one famous scene that every professor talks about; it seems to be a movie of a lot of crazy ideologies.

this movie (104min) seems to be one huge mystery from what i saw if we were in this world we would be able to see ourselves in multiples meaning 3 or 4 of ourselves at the same time, to fly in the ceiling, to see maybe the dead, but some how the dead becomes a person, but wait the dead has a mirror as face. so if im interpreting this my own way, is the dead somebody that we know, is you, is myself, or is the dead playing with you?

from all this explanation maybe you are lost as i am, but tell me didnt that happened to you? it happen to me and this scene that we see no dialogue has a lot of rich context, with that humming sound and maybe one drum and i dont remeber what else, but is a movie that we lose you all the time.

is funny that i have notice that the some of the movies watched on class gives us the feeling of discomfort, in my case i like that discomfort, because in takes out of your comfort zone and thats the way we learn in real life. i know a movie of this type is not real, but it gives you a highlight of the impossible being possible inside the screen. sometimes i feel that i want to be in that world.

December 8th, 2010 at 11:21 am | Comments & Trackbacks (0) | Permalink

I  am impress how Jonas Mekas, stars giving importance to the art of film by creating Anthology Film Archives.

if we wouldnt have this critics and filmmakers we wouldnt be studying this exeptional art.

the experimental film post WWII, make a little bit life easier by using hand held cameras 16mm and poratable sound equipment. the great deal of expansion in distribution, the rise of university programs and strong ties with otjher artist. i believe the value of expresionism is one of the best feelings you can have to improve lifes. to shows us the world. i know that the best option to see reality is a documentary, but a fiction movie takes us to the impossivble and at least seeing it, makes us feel somehow awake in a dream. i guess humans beings would love sometimes to feel the dream for real like INCEPTION, jesus christ the writer and director and master minds. i dont know if is the same person, but it really is a movie that you should have in your collection.

December 8th, 2010 at 11:08 am | Comments & Trackbacks (0) | Permalink