Film Analysis: Michael Mann’s “HEAT”

****SPOILER ALERT: THIS 15th ANIVERSARY ANALYSIS OF “HEAT” CONTAINS STRONG SPOILERS**** Michael Mann’s “Heat” ranks right up there with the best of the crime genre from “Rififi” to “The Godfather”. In fact, it is in my opinion the single greatest Los Angeles crime epic of all time, for it encompasses themes and visuals rarely achievedContinue reading “Film Analysis: Michael Mann’s “HEAT””

The Dark Side of the “Moon”

*WARNING: THIS PIECE CONTAINS STRONG SPOILERS TO DUNCAN JONES” “MOON” * With “Star Trek”, “Avatar”, and “District 9” coming out within a year, there’s no question about it; 2009 was a great year for scifi. However, the one I admire most is also the most underrated, Duncan Jones’ “Moon”. Here’s a film that appears toContinue reading “The Dark Side of the “Moon””

Hitchcock’s Symphony: “PSYCHO” A Shot-by-Shot Commentary

It’s quite easy for someone to enjoy film. Loving film is completely different. For those who see film enjoy them, yet only those who can read film truly love it and understand it as an art form. Hitchcock is probably the most well known director of all time. There is no absolute answer to whatContinue reading “Hitchcock’s Symphony: “PSYCHO” A Shot-by-Shot Commentary”

Film Analysis: Alejandro Amenábar’s “The Others”

*WARNING CONTAINS STRONG SPOILERS*           Alejandro Amenabár’s ‘The Others’ opens with a series of spooky hand drawn title shots. The last of these images is that of an old house. An excellent use of transition follows, as the hand drawn house fades into an actual house. ‘The Others’ feels like a Victorian ghost story writtenContinue reading “Film Analysis: Alejandro Amenábar’s “The Others””

Cairo Station “Bab el Hadid” (1958)

Youssef Chahine is the most important director in Egyptian film history. Egyptians know what they are in for when they choose to watch one of Chahines’ movies, for his pictures never fail to shock. Any Chahine directed film is controversial and ahead of its time. Now regarded as a genius and the father of EgyptianContinue reading “Cairo Station “Bab el Hadid” (1958)”

European Art Film: An Analysis of Luis Bunuel’s “The Exterminating Angel”

Whenever people utter the word ‘movie’, the first thing that pops into the listener’s mind is a narrative fictional movie, be it horror, thriller, crime, romance, comedy, or so on. However, there’s an entire genre dedicated to art movies, and the reason why they aren’t as popular is because they are targeted to a limited audience, rather than the typical mass audience. Most people go watch a movie, to kill time or escape the harsh reality yet in order to fully understand an art film one should keep an eye on the highly symbolic content within the movie, and try to makes sense out of the movie, even though it might seem impossible to do so. The Golden Age for art films was the sixties, for it was when rebellious European movies broke most of the rules of the traditional classical cinema established by Hollywood. Movies suddenly appeared without having a satisfying ending, in addition to that, the characters within the European art films would often go through a serious of events that they have no control over, and unlike in narrative fictional movies, they have no choice. In the midst of that age, a director by the name of Luis Bunuel reached his peak, and at the age of 60 through 70, he directed probably the greatest surreal European art films of all time, for he is to art films what Hitchcock is to suspense movies.

The Power of Sound and Editing (The Conversation and Psycho)

When most people think about movies, they usually judge them in terms of acting and directing, rarely does a person judge its editing or sound mixing. The reason for that being is because most editors and sound editors do all they can to make their editing as smooth as possible for the audience. When editing and sound mixing is used correctly there’s a certain flow that’s required in a good movie, the movie seems to fit better, and the truth is without editing and sound mixing most great movies wouldn’t be nearly as good as they are regarded. The 1974 Francis Ford Coppola thriller The Conversation and the 1960 Alfred Hitchcock horror movie Psycho are perfect examples of movies largely depending on the process and technique of editing and sound mixing. Each of those movies can be seen as perfect examples where the editing and sound mixing were used to perfection.

Strokes of Light and Shadow: The Impact of Citizen Kane

When one thinks back to the turning points of film history, the first few events that come to mind are the first edited fiction film, ‘Jazz Singer’ and the transition to sound or the first feature film in color. Some even mention the extensive use of deep focus in ‘Citizen Kane’ and while all these events are clearly revolutionary in terms of the development of film as a medium, the use of lighting creatively is often overlooked. Exploiting light and shadow inventively to express meaning and establish a desired atmosphere made Orson Welles’ ‘Citizen Kane’ a significant historical event that impacted both audiences and film genre in many ways. (Continued)