Clifton Powell's blog

May 12, 2010

The Evolution of Technology

Filed under: Uncategorized —— powellclifton @ 11:44 pm

As I read Anne Friedberg’s article “The End of Cinema: Multimedia and Technological Change” I agreed with her views on technology constantly advancing in America. Since the 1950’s technology has advanced at a rapid paste. Every 10 years there’s a new form of technology that takes over or substitutes the last form of technology in America. In the 1950’s most American households did not have television sets. Fewer than 300,000 American households owned television sets. Over a ten year period the households drastically changed. In the 1960’s the television became a lot more popular and in the late 1960’s over 50% of American households owned a television set. The television replaced the radio. Before the television set became so popular the radio was the primary form of media. Before the invention of the television Americans listened to the radio and people would get their daily news and even listen to there shows on the family radio set. At that time the family would sit around the radio at night to listen to their favorite radio program. That form of technology was utilized the same way we utilize television today in the 21st century.
As time passed the television became less popular because the VCR came along and many people were amazed about the new form of technology. People wanted to watch movies on tape because they could fast forward and reverse back the movie when they wanted to. The VCR was commercial free unlike the television movies and shows. People could watch films with no interruptions. That was the most appealing factor.
On the contrary, as time passed the DVD was created and people did not want to use the big VCR tapes because they were able to get better quality films on a thin CD. The DVD player replaced the VCR in a drastic way. Most people did not want to rewind tapes manually anymore because on the DVD player it was automatic and it was much faster to rewind opposed to the VCR. Today in the year 2010 the DVD player is slowly fading out. The invention of the BLUE-RAY films has arrived and it’s slowly becoming popular. The BLUE-RAY films are popular because of the film quality. The BLUE-RAY films are usually in 3D which gives it an edge over the DVD films. However, the BLUE-RAY is not as popular in America because in order to feel the effects of the BLUE-RAY player you have to have an HDTV which is costly for most Americans in the year 2010.

March 18, 2010

THIRD CINEMA!!!

Filed under: Uncategorized —— powellclifton @ 4:11 pm

Third cinema is a Latin American film movement that started in the 1960s-70s which depreciates neocolonialism, the capitalist system, and the Hollywood model of cinema as just entertainment to make money. Third cinema is totally against the Hollywood model because the main focus in Hollywood is making money opposed to taking different risks within the various genres and the ways films are put together. Third Cinema refers to popular memory and it’s connected to world folklore and its purpose is to pass memories down from generation to generation.
Third Cinema filmmakers are always struggling to stop Hollywood from taking over their local film industries. Despite ethnic and political diversity, Third Cinema films from different regions and have many common characteristics identifying them as part of a international movement unlike in Hollywood. Third cinema is a revolutionary form of cinema and it’s described as guerilla warfare and it’s a underground form of cinema. The most important thing for third cinema filmmakers is to have their own identity and to be who they are. On the contrary, in Hollywood cinema there’s limitations for directors while making a film opposed to Third Cinema because their main focus is making a box office hit that increases revenue. In my opinion, Hollywood cinema sugar coats their films. However, in Third Cinema you receive the real underground lifestyle that’s not usually depicted in any films that are box office hits.

March 10, 2010

On Epstein

Filed under: Uncategorized —— powellclifton @ 4:10 pm

In Epstein’s article he emphasized on the different movements of the face within close up camera shots. Epstein explained how the face can give him a different impression depending on the cameras angle and how far or close up the shot is. This is accurate in the majority of films. In order to bring the audience in closer you have to utilize the close up shots in ceratin scenes while creating that particular film. To create an authentic feel for your film a filmmaker should use close-up shots in order for the audience to capture whats being shown in a much more detailed way. As you watch a close-up shot in a film, the audience tends to be focused in a intense manner because they want to capture everything that’s being shown in that shot or scene. Filmmakers want the audience to be a part of of the movie opposed to just watching and following along.

When the audience is paying close attention to the close up shot the filmamkers have successfully did his/her job. On the contrary, when a close up is no longer being utilized the audience may not pay as much close attention to the character on the screen. This is very true because when i first saw “I am legend” I personally felt included in the film during the close-up shots. However, when the close ups were not used in other scenes I felt as if I was just viewing the film like the rest of the audience. Another film that made me feel included was the “Blair witch project”. Not only did the close ups keep me included but the lighting was also a big attraction. The “Blair witch project” had numerous close up shots and if the filmmaker changed the close up shots and used less i might not have been that interested or included in that film.

Epstein also explains that the landscapes have no importance which is true in some cases and false in some other cases. The landscapes and close ups vary depending on the filmmaker and what’s being portrayed in the shot or scene. In some films in order to have a detailed close up you will actually need the landscape, vice versus.

Facial Expressions and bodily movements?

Filed under: Uncategorized —— powellclifton @ 11:01 am

While reading “From Stars” by Richard Dyer he explains how important it is for actors or actresses to use their body language. Dyer feels that an actor or actress should use all expressions. He refers to facial expressions and bodily movements and how it can change a way a character is depicted. I also feel it is important for actors and actresses to use different facial expressions because it gives the character emotion. In order for an audience to understand the characters personality it has to show emotions.  Actors and actresses have to use facial expressions and gestures in order to communicate a range of ideas and emotions about their character. For instance, in the film “Jerry Maguire” Tom Cruise used extreme facial expressions and different bodily movements to convey to the audience what his character was about. Without the use of his crazy bodily movements and facial expressions the audience probably would not have been able to completely understand what his “crazed sports agent” character was depicting.

 Dyer also explains, while an actor is performing they should not just memorize a script because it would be very hard for the audience to connect themselves with the character the actor or actress is trying to fit into. The many different expressions and body movements communicates directly with the audience because it tells what a person may be thinking or doing.  While reading Dyer I asked myself what the great film “Scarface” would be like if Al Pacino did not use his phenomenal facial expressions and rear bodily movements. The facial expressions, gestures, and various bodily movements Al Pacino used made the character “Tony Montana” the center piece of the film. Without the use of the middle finger Al Pacino constantly used or his cocaine addicted facial expressions, the film most likely would have not been as brilliant as it is.

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