Monday, March 31, 2014

Lone Survivor - The Best Based-on-a-True-Story Movie I've Seen




     Movies based on true stories are among my favorites. It takes a lot for me to actually get emotionally involved in a movie, but when the stories are true, I realize that it could happen to anyone. It could happen to someone I know. It could happen to me. Lone Survivor is one of the best based-on-a-true-story movies I've seen in a very long time.
     The movie opened with a montage of a real, or seemingly real, training camp for the U.S. Navy. Trainees were pushing through training exercises and tests, getting screamed at, bonding, helping one another, struggling, succeeding, and completing the rigorous training with beaming smiles on their faces. The bond the forms between training marines is unlike any other. They are brothers. They're all each other has during training and when deployed. They need to love each other and protect each other at all costs, and that takes a type of love many of us don't experience. Opening with this montage grabbed my attention and reminded me and all of the audience members that this story is true and it happened to an average American Marine, not Mark Wahlberg or any other Hollywood actor. I think that was the best decision the creative team made when making this movie, because after that, the rest of the movie seems so real and you're emotionally involved in a different way than you would be if it opened with an A-list Hollywood actor like Mark Wahlberg, who portrays Petty Officer First Class Marcus Luttrell, the man whose experience in Afghanistan this story is based on.
     About halfway through the movie, I admit I felt a hint of boredom. I began wondering if the entire movie was going to be one long gunfight. It seemed to go on for a while, though it was moving along and changing scenery. The action was not boring, but I wondered if anything would change or something new would happen. I wondered why they would base a movie on only a lengthy and somewhat interesting gunfight.
     That boredom vanished almost immediately when something wildly unexpected happened between Luttrell and some Arab men who were not involved in the Taliban. Without spoiling the major turn of events of the story, what happens is beyond my imagination and it touches my heart in a way I wouldn't have expected. I understood what the story was about now, and I was even more obsessed.
     At the end of the movie they brought it back to real life by showing you pictures of every soldier you met during the movie and explained their rank, their families, or their lives or their families' lives after the military. It was important for the creators of this movie to remind the audience that this was not about Hollywood and cinema, it was about America and real-life Marines. It creates an emotional attachment to the movie that would otherwise not be there, and it's what makes this movie amazing.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Cheaper is better

Many people think that to make a great movie or tv show you need millions of dollars. I disagree with this whole heartedly. Some of the best movies and shows were created because a bunch of friends had a camera and thought filming something sounded like fun. If we first look at tv there are many examples of this. One of my favorite shows, Trailer Park Boys, is a very cheaply produced shows that is one of the most popular comedies in Canada. Even after a couple year hiatus the following is still great enough to make 3 more seasons and 2 more movies. 



This is a stark contrast to a tv show like Mad Men. Mad Men had an astronomic budget in comparison and many well known actors. I find this show to be boring and slow developing. For a show that spends so much money on production they don't produce an exciting or very original story or product. The over arching story is pretty stagnant and characters not so dynamic.
 

Next is movies. A cult classic that almost everyone has heard about, Clerks, was filmed by a very small crew with a roll of cheap B&W film. It still wildly popular and beloved by many people. This shows perfectly that you don't need money to make something great.




Enders Game had a budget of 115 million bust was ultimately a flop. This movie was an adaptation from the popular book with the same title and didn't find much success. They lost millions of dollars and many fans of the book were very disappointed.


Music Videos

     Music videos were created as a way to promote an artist and their music. Although music videos have existed for much longer they were not really popular until the 1980's with the advent of MTV. Music videos use a variety techniques such as live action, animation, and non-narrative. Most music videos are based on the lyrics of the song and create a story that coincides. Others are simply the band playing their music.

     In 1894, sheet music publishers Edward B. Marks and Joe Stern hired electrician George Thomas and various performers to promote sales of their song "The Little Lost Child". Using a magic lantern, Thomas projected a series of still images on a screen simultaneous to live performances. This would become a popular form of entertainment known as the illustrated song, the first step toward music video.



Twin Peaks: Something to Watch

             So as always, I was scrolling through Netflix the other week looking for something to watch, and I came across Twin Peaks. I had heard about the show before, but all I knew was that it was very strange. It had always in the back on my mind to watch, so I finally decided to watch it. I am so sad that this show is only two seasons, because I honestly don’t know what I will do with myself once it is over. I will agree that this show is a bit strange, even corny, but it is extremely interesting, and I have always been one to enjoy a good dream sequence. I won’t go into to much detail about the plot of this show because honestly, it is a bit hard to describe, but ultimately it is a murder mystery that from beginning to end, keeps you guessing.

            Like I mentioned, the dream sequences in this show are one of my favorite aspects. There are many of these dreams shown through the point of the lead detective Agent Cooper, and at first glance, they seem to make zero sense. But what is truly fascinating about this show is that each dream holds a series of riddles that lead to specific clues pertaining to the murder trying to be solved. I think they are extremely creative and interesting. They are very strange, but intelligent at the same time. Here is an example:







Twin Peaks is a great show, but definitely an acquired taste (like most of the things I watch). Nonetheless, I definitely recommend that you give this show a chance. 

Where the Wild Things Went: The Art of Adaptation

"There is no such thing as a new idea." Mark Twain knew it, and Hollywood knows it too. The best you can do is put your own spin on an old tale. Or, you can just realize that you'll never be good enough to think of anything on your own and adapt a piece for the screen.

In all seriousness, there is a true art to adaptation. Taking someone else's work and turning it into a visual and auditory experience is extremely difficult to do successfully. For time's sake, let's talk about books and short stories specifically. There are just as many challenges as there are benefits to adapting a written work into a screenplay. Here are some of the biggest ones:

Challenges:

Condensing/Expanding - So you have a 1000 page novel and somehow you have to turn it into a 120 page screenplay. Or on the contrary, like Spike Jonze, you have a ten sentence children's book and need to pull out a feature length film.
Bye, bye Max...
Where the Wild Things Are, a classic story written and illustrated by Maurice Sendak, is a perfect example of expanding a written work into a film. Jonze had to give each of his character's their own depth, and lengthen the plot to keep the audience's interest for a longer period of time. Almost the entire first act of the film wasn't even in the book, but it was well done and implicitly supplied us with information of Max's home life, and the motivation for the rest of the film.

Externalizing the Internal -  Screenplays consist only of action, whereas novels include the interior thoughts of its characters. The job of the screenwriter is to take the emotions and internal motivations of the characters and translate them into something visual. A great example of this is Lawrence Hauben and Bo Goldman's take of another classic, Ken Kesey's One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. The entire novel is told in the first person from the perspective of one the patients, Chief Bromden. Instead of having Bromden narrate the movie, the screenwriters decided to tell it in the third person so that we can see all of the characters' experiences.
It's a third person party!

Benefits:

Insta-Plot - Most of the work is done for you. The plot, the characters, a lot of research and even some of the dialogue. Although the plot and many of the characters may have to be tweaked due to length and elements added to the story, the main concepts are there. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, the first installment of the Harry Potter film franchise, is known for its loyalty to the novel. 
The Boy Who Adapted
Although there is some criticism that it stuck too closely to the book and didn't offer anything new, it is a good example of staying true to the novel's plot and characters.

Built-In Audience -  Okay, I know I said to stick to novels, but let's consider comic books for a second (that's a book, right?). We've all seen superhero movies. Superman, Batman, Spiderman, the list goes on forever. But these were all adapted from comic books at one point or another. The great thing about producing these films is that you already have a guaranteed number of viewers. Avid comic book readers will pay money to see their favorite heroes come to life on the big screen. This applies to regular books as well. For example, The Hunger Games was extremely successful because of the giant success and following of the novel it was adapted from.
"Shout out to all my fans."
So go out there, find yourself a popular book, and adapt it into a screenplay before anyone else discovers it. Then get yourself to Hollywood and sell it for as much as you can get your hands on. It can't be that hard, right?

The Office(s)

I'm a sucker for sitcoms, especially sitcoms done mockumentary style.  Shows like Parks and Recreation, Modern Family, and Trailer Park Boys are among some of my favorite mockumentary-style sitcoms.  One of television's greatest sitcoms, The Office, also took advantage of the comedic spin this style offers shows. Michael Scott (played by Steve Carell) is a regional manager at Dunder Mifflin, a paper company in Scranton, PA.  The show follows him and his employees through their day-to-day lives in and sometimes outside of the office.





Over the years, there has been much debate between TV fans over the "better" version of The Office: the US or the UK version?  Perhaps it's because I first watched the US version, but I prefer The Office: US over The Office: UK.  This is not to say one is better than the other.  They're both excellent shows, and the UK version contains (in my opinion) better acting and a more realistic setting/reactions. Despite this, I find myself drawn to the American version.  They illustrate a more present/in-your-face type of humor, versus more subtle comedy in the UK version. I enjoy the silliness of the characters; Michael Scott is quirky, ignorant, and sometimes downright stupid.  His employees have contrasting personalities all over the board, from Angela's strict charisma to Dwight's nerdiness to Kevin's idiocy.  In comparison to the UK version, the characters in the US version are much more dynamic and exaggerated. This creates hilarious dilemmas and causes ago clashes within the office. 


While both shows have almost identical settings, characters, and story-lines, they're completely different in terms of tone. The Office: US hooks viewers by layering moments of sincerity within the humorous structure.  The show transitions focus to the characters and their personal lives as the seasons progress.  We follow Pam Beasley's love life as she struggles to choose between Roy Anderson and Jim Halpert; we watch Jim build up his dream business; we see Michael obsessively strive to create friendships and relationships.



The last episode aired almost a year ago, on May 16, 2013, and The Office: US unfortunately came to end.  Luckily, Netflix has all 9 seasons ready to be watched!  It also has the UK version of the show. The length of The Office: US series would make one believe that is was the better (or at least more popular) show, but that's for you to decide for yourself.  The first season of both versions of the show are nearly identical (literally -- script, blocking, framing, etc. is all the same).  Try watching the different versions back-to-back and you'll see the differences in the tones of the show.  Which version do you prefer?


                                         The Office: US cast                   The Office: UK cast

Modern Family Cultural Similarities


In the show Modern Family on ABC there are several instances that happen in our culture now. Every time I sit and watch the show with my family, we always say that it hits close to home. Modern Family is a show about three different, but related families that face their own obstacles in unique, comedic ways. Each episode has a different conflict or situation that the families are facing and they are all very relatable to just about every family. 

Some shared meanings I perceive is: 

Running late to certain events. Married couples usually bicker back and forth about several different situations. Such as the dishwasher, cleaning the house, doing groceries, who is going to cook dinner, etc. One major conflict that they encounter is lateness. It is very common to have one spouse be late more often than the other.  For example, my father is very rarely ever on time. My mom constantly has to argue with him and tell him to get out on time. Usually there is a lot of honking involved while waiting for him in the car.

Sibling rivalry. Alex and Haley are sisters that live in the same household along with their parents and their younger brother. They are constantly bickering with each other. Alex is all about her grades and doing well in school while Haley is all about her looks and having a perfect social life. They are complete opposites and even though they love each other, they argue all the time. I personally am an only child, however I have several friends who have siblings that they bicker with.

 Father tries to act like a kid. Phil Dunphy is a fun, outgoing, caring dad that wants nothing more but the best for his kids. He will do just about anything for them and wants to keep them safe. Even though he is the dad, he tries to act “cool.” He is hanging on to his childhood and sometimes acts as immature as his kids. I can relate and perceive this as well. My dad is great, he is outgoing, caring, loving and would do anything for me. However, sometimes he acts like a big kid again. He is always up to date with the new technology and wants in on practically everything in my life. He will watch shows that younger children watch, such as SpongeBob and loves doing impressions. It is very common to see parents try and act younger than they actually are in our society; especially with the way technology has risen in our generation.

Always Sunny


A huge part of taking on the roll of director is to be inspired with other works of great films or television shows. For a raunchy comedy about incompetent, low class kids taking on a major heist, television show Its Always Sunny in Philadelphia is a major inspiration on the outlook of my film. They’re delusional, alcoholic losers with a superiority complex. They live in filth and huff glue and do many, many idiotic things. They live a very similar lifestyle to the characters in my film so a ton of the diologue and character relationships are based off of the three main characters in Always Sunny.  Mac, Dennis, Dee, Charlie and Frank are selfish, but they are honest to one another. They bicker and backstab and yell—and there is quite a bit of yelling. Yet, no matter how much blood is shed and bullets are fired in a twenty-minute episode, the gang sits around shooting the shit in the end. These people are the definition of BFFs. This show I can never get sick of, and apart of who I desire to be in the future stems from there work.

A Scene No One Else In Their Right Mind Cares About

There's not much else to say about Martin Scorsese. I mean, come on. The guy's basically film royalty now. He made some of the most artistic films of all time while also making some of the most entertaining ones. This isn't about the guy, his movies, or even his style. Nah, this is about one single shot that over the last four years I have become totally obsessed with. And I'm not sure I've ever met anyone else who's cared about it.

The movie Goodfellas is great. Yeah, what a unique, culturally distinctive opinion. Cinematography is like nothing else I've ever seen. Blah blah blah blah. One shot stands out to me to this day and every time I watch the movie I count the minutes until I get to watch it.


It's a small moment, and it doesn't even stand out to you when you see the movie the first time. But oh ym god, this shot absolutely drips with cool. On an artistic level, it's a perfect melding of story, acting, cinematography and song choice. De Niro doesn't overplay the moment overplayed, but between the steady dolly in, the slow motion, and the blunt blues guitars, you can tell something is about to happen. The story carries an entire plot movement, which could have been an entire scene of arguing between character, and deftly executes it in a matter of seconds.

And the song. Scorsese has a bunch of iconic scenes set to song, but this one just stands out from most. It just feels like some bad stuff is about to go down.

This scene perfectly illustrates how story is not just dialog, which is a lesson I fear many young film makes forget. So much of a film is built on small moments like this, and I think this type of film making is the type that most often resonates with an audience.

The Secret

I watched a documentary called The Secret recently. It was supposed to be motivational and parts of it were. However some of the stories were a little too far fetched for me. One woman claimed that she was cured of breast cancer in 3 months without chemotherapy, radiation or any other medical attention. She was cured because she decided she didn't have cancer anymore. That's not how cancer works.

Despite the exaggerated stories I did enjoy the production aspects of the The Secret. I found the framing story of the film to really draw you in. It starts out with this woman finding the secret trapped away and then searching for others who knew the secret. It causes you to be curious about the secret and you begin to crave the knowledge this woman came across when she needed it most.

I also appreciated the way the different stories were connected. The transitions between them were typically a famous quote relating to or regarding the secret being whisped across the screen as a low voice whispered it aloud. I liked this because it was really warming to watch. It connected the end of one story to the beginning of the next while tying it into the theme.

The stories that were reenacted were more enjoyable to watch than the stories that were told just by someone sitting in front of  a camera talking. It was more believe able when you saw it happening. Except cancer lady. I didn't believe her story even a little bit.

Pranksters With a Heart of Gold

Some of my favorite YouTube celebrities are those involved in pranks. People like MagicOfRahat, Vitalyzdtv, and RomanAtWood cleverly come up with ways to prank people to either give them a laugh or piss them off (depending on the victims' sense of humor) . Here are some of their videos.

MagicOfRahat


Vitalyzdtv



Roman At Wood






These guys are hilarious. They know life is about having a good time and it's okay not to take everything so seriously sometimes. They really don't give a rat's ass about authority, and knows just enough about the law to get them out of any huge trouble.

Although they may seem like assholes to some, they really have a heart of gold. They enjoy helping out those in need whether it be those in need of a good laugh, or money and food for the homeless . Some of the videos that involve helping out the homeless amazes me and I cant help but give these guys some major respect. Here are some videos to show what I'm talking about.









Is it all a publicity stunt? That is up for you to decide. But nevertheless these guys are hilarious, and real genuine people.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Another Superhero Movie


Last weekend my roommate forced me to watch The Punisher. It's about a Marvel superhero with no actual superpowers, just a lot of anger, strength, and White Turkey bourbon. If you take it for what it is, it's not terrible, but I'm not sure I'd say it's a high-quality film.

My main problem with this movie and others like it is the level of believability. A team of gangsters/hit men are seeking revenge for the mob boss' son. They go after the killer, Frank Castle, later a.k.a. The Punisher, and murder his entire family, including his extended family. They finally surround him on a dock. He has nowhere to go, he's already injured, and he has no weapons. a shot is fired into his chest and he collapses. The dock is then doused in gasoline and blown up, sending Frank far out into the ocean. He washes up onto a log or a shore and is discovered, alive, by a sailor who just happens to be passing by.

I didn't allow myself to get too worked up about this convenient series of events because it is a superhero movie, but as a television-radio/film student, I struggle to move past things like that when I watch TV or movies. I notice every detail, every plot choice, and every editing choice, and if I disagree with it, it distracts me from enjoying the movie as a casual consumer.

My favorite part of the movie was the character of Bumpo, played by John Pinette. The first time we see Bumpo, he is in the kitchen making and testing sauce. This struck me on a personal level, as an Italian-American who craves sauce while away at school and away from my mother's cooking, but it also struck me on a comedic level, because the rest of the movie had been so serious and depressing, and then Bumpo shows up, happily cooking and dancing and singing without a care in the world. Every interaction Bumpo has with anyone is humorous, particularly his interactions with his roommate, Dave.

The most hilarious scene in the movie, in my opinion, was when Frank was fighting the Russian in his apartment, violently and loudly, while Bumpo, Dave, and their third roommate, Joan, were next door cooking and dancing and singing an Italian opera song on full volume. The contrast between the two simultaneous events, though happening feet away from each other, and the cutting back and forth from one to the other, was the most interesting part of the movie for me.

Taking it for what it is, a superhero movie, I was generally satisfied with The Punisher. I am a dedicated Avengers fan, so I understand the genre of superhero movies, but this movie is best viewed as a casual consumer rather than a critical viewer.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Syndication at its finest

The Simpsons, one of the greatest shows of all time is at it again with its debut on FXX cable network. With a whopping 530 episodes, the Simpsons can be played for 52 weeks without repeating one show.  As a conglomerate trying to air a syndicated show, the Simpsons is definitely one worth looking into, but how much is it worth it? The financial terms with FXX were not disclosed yet it is estimated that anywhere from 800 million to 1 billion dollars was spent on its purchase. Not bad for a animated T.V. series don't you think? The show has never before screened on a cable network so it is bound to grow an even larger audience than it already has. Other media conglomerates like Time Warner Cable Adult Swim, and Viacom bid for the show but ultimately left empty handed. To have a syndicated show is a cash cow for everyone involved. The owners of the show make millions off the 200+ channels who purchase rights to air the show, the affiliates make money off advertisement money, companies make money off the advertisements selling products, and the viewers are happy they get to view a popular T.V. series. It's not always as perfect as it may seem though. Many times in hopes of reaching syndication many shows are dragged out with poor scripts just so they can reach that 100 episode mark. Many could argue that the newer Simpsons episodes are not as good as they use to be but that comes down to personal opinion. Overall FXX made a very large purchase and I hope it works out the way they planned. 

Friday, March 21, 2014

Frozen

Over spring break, I finally got around to seeing one of the most popular films of 2013: Disney's animated Frozen.  Like a majority of the audience, I absolutely adored the film.  I thought the characters were simply adorable. Olaf was the cutest snowman I've ever seen! The music also made the film entertaining and likable.  Despite Frozen's overwhelming popularity, I was left feeling a bit empty.  Throughout the film I kept waiting for something more to happen, and it left something to be desired.  The plot was based on the past and Elsa's secret powers. I was also left a bit confused by a few aspects.  The Screen Junkie video below perfectly addresses some of those confusions.  While I don't necessarily agree with everything in the video, I must admit it's pretty creative and hilarious.


New Comedy


Writing comedy for today's youth has become more of an art than a science. Some genres of television can be written by following a basic template and will not stray much from the norm, but comedy can't. Successful comedies like Workaholics and It's Always Sunny... have found success in chaos. These shows are unpredictable and sometimes incoherent. They will tae the smallest comedic idea or story and build an entire episode around it. This episode to Workaholics shows this perfectly.

In this episode the take the one prank of wrapping a dollar in poop and leaving on the street for bystanders to grab and draw it out into a whole episode. This in-cohesive and random seeming writing style is the new type of comedy. It takes less formal skill to write and allows many actor and actresses to break into the business by writing and starring in these types of shows and sketches.

Why Do I Continue Watching These?



Last night before I went to bed I decided to watch a movie on Netflix. So I began looking through Netflix and came across a documentary called "Ghost Adventures". I love watching paranormal type films, but to be completely honest with you I get pretty freaked out after watching these movies. I have to sleep with some lights on and face towards the room because I am scared that I will be attacked or a ghost will find me. I then began thinking why the hell do I still watch these types of movies even though I get scared each and ever time. 


So I figured out why I continue to watch them. I found Psychologist Dr. Glenn D. Walters who identifies three primary factors of the horror film allure.

The first is tension – created through mystery, suspense, gore, terror, or shock. This is pretty straight forward elements of horror, the craft and technique of filmmaking.

The second factor is relevance. In order for a horror film to be seen, it has to be relevant to potential viewers. This relevance can take the form of universal relevance – capturing the universal fear of things like death and the unknown, it can take on cultural relevance dealing with societal issues. Audiences can find subgroup relevance – groups like teenagers which many horror films are about. Lastly, there’s personal relevance – either in a way that identifies with the protagonist or in a way that condemns the antagonists or victims to their ultimate fate.

The last factor, which may be the most counter intuitive is unrealism. Despite the graphic nature of recent horror films, we all know at some level that what we are watching is not real. Perhaps its because when we walk into a theater we know what we’re seeing on screen is fabricated reality. Movies are edited from multiple camera angles with soundtracks and sometimes horror is tempered. 

So I am now I am off to watch another scary movie alone in the dark! :)

Camera Angles and Movements

     When setting up a shot and shooting something the camera operator or DP always has to be aware of what is in the shot and how the shot will be perceived. Using different camera angles and camera movements will have a wide range of psychological affects on the audience. First lets compare the difference between a zoom in and a dolly.

Zoom:
     Zooming in on a camera is the act of changing the focal length of the camera lens during a shot. Going from a wide shot to a close up of a character creates a dramatic feel. The zoom makes the object in the shot appear to grow in size and look as if it is coming towards the audience. Another affect the zoom has is that it will simply crop out other objects and people in the shoots. With a zoom in shot the positions of objects and people also do not change relative to the movement. These two effects, objects getting cut from the frame, and objects positions not changing relative to the camera "movement", create a very artificial feel.

Dolly:
     A dolly in or out is similar to a zoom in or out in the sense that by the end of the shot the subject will be closer or farther from the screen. However the action behind dollying the and zooming the camera are different and create a different feel for the audience. Where the zoom shot adjusts the lens to change the focal length a dolly shot physically moves the camera. This is a much more dynamic shot for the viewer because it is the actual feel of what it is naturally like for peoples vision. The dolly gives the audience the feeling of moving toward the subject instead of the subject moving to the audience. The objects in a dolly shot don't feel as though they are getting cropped out of frame, but rather that the viewer is moving past them. A dolly shot also creates a better feeling of having dimension on the z-axis as background objects do not just appear to get larger with the foreground, but rather move in perspective to the subject.

Video Comparing Zoom In and Dolly In

video


Some Camera Angles:

     Shooting Upward/Downward At Subject:
          A very basic trick that is used in movies and television is angling the camera upward or downward to make the audience perceive a character one way or another. Shooting from a low angle and looking upward at the character makes the character appear to be larger than life and seem very powerful and dominate.


Low Angle Shot

          And obviously a high angle shot where the camera is pointed down at the subject does the opposite by making the subject appear week and insignificant.


High Angle Shot


     Dutch Shot:
            This is a type of shot in which the camera is tilted to one side and makes it look diagonal. This shot displays an uneasy feeling and high tension of the subject in the shot.  


Dutch Angle


   

#GIRLS

Recently, when watching my weekly episodes of my favorite shows, I realized that I tend to watch shows that somehow relate to my life. One of my favorite HBO Shows is Girls. A show that follows the very intimate and very real lives of four twenty-somethings, living in New York City. They deal with internal conflict, as well as social conflict with each other and other supporting roles. The issues demonstrated in the show relates to not only my life, but of the lives of girls within the same generation as my own. I think that this ability to relate is what brings so much love to the show, and makes it so attractive to our generation. Recently found on BuzzFeed:
The questions within this quiz, ask about favorite snacks, pet preference, guilty pleasures, romantic life, style of coffee, etc. The quiz then generates a general response based on the multiple choice answers and posts a picture of the character you are most alike. Charlie was the character I was matched up with.
Not only was I surprised, I was slightly disappointed!I was hoping to be most like Jessa, or Marnie (my two favorite characters). But then the whole concept of this quiz had me thinking. Am I supposed to be relating to only one character?Then it was sunday night. So, I logged into my HBOGO account and I binged watched Season 3 of Girls. I realized, that the girls in this show have multiple aspects of a girls' personality, but divided up into separate people. I think that instead of trying to figure out which character I am most alike, I should be thinking about how these characters are most like me. In this interview on The View, the girls of the show describe the "feelings" of the show the most relatable part.

Even though the characters are going through various situations, as a girl, we can feel for the characters as if they were our friends, or even ourselves because the feelings are so familiar. Lena Dunham does an amazing job in getting her audience to relate to the characters in her show. I think that thats what makes this show so great. Girls has a very real flow to it that makes everything seem like real life, but with a little more drama added to it.


The Grand Budapest Hotel: Set Design Done Right

Over spring break, I was lucky enough to visit the AMC movie theater in NYC. What’s special about this theater is that, unlike the normal, relatively comfortable seating that is generally in movie theaters, this place had beautiful, plush, reclining seats. I cannot begin to express to you how much more enjoyable my movie experience was, and I would go into further detail, but I don’t want to get sidetracked.


What I really wanted to talk about was the movie that I saw. I went to see the Grand Budapest Hotel, written and directed by Wes Anderson. If there were a way to describe this movie, I would say that it is very “Wes Anderson” (if that makes any sense). The entire movie was very fast paced both in dialogue and in action. The storyline was interesting and there were a ton of stars such as Ralph Fiennes, Adrien Brody, and of course the short appearance of Bill Murray. But although the story and cast were captivating, the real star aspect of this movie was the set design and art direction. The entire film was flooded with bright colors and large, detailed spaces. Here are a few pictures to show what I am referring to:




If only for the set design and art direction, I would highly recommend you see this movie. The colors are beautiful and detailed. The cinematography is creative and the costumes are fitting. I would also highly recommend seeing this film in a movie theater because all of these things are much better seen on such a large screen (and of course if you can go somewhere with comfy reclining chairs, I would recommend that too).