Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Continuity Project: Book Chase

Written, Directed, Edited and Photographed by Perry Goldsmith and Jetta Weinstein

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Blog Assignment #4: Out of Sight


The love scene from Steven Soderbergh's Out of Sight (1998) is constructed in a nonlinear fashion. The scene is shown in a bifurcated way, showing the characters Jack Foley and Karen Sisco both while they're in their hotel room and also before they go to the room. Editor Anne V. Coates (who edited my all-time favorite movie, Lawrence of Arabia) pieced the scene together in such an obvious way that the viewer is always aware of the scene's back-and-forth energy, swinging like a pendulum between the hotel room and the conversation leading up to it. Because Coates cuts back and forth between Jack and Karen's conversation leading up to the love scene and the love scene itself, the scene effectively shows both thoughts and actions simultaneously. Dialogue is sometimes used in voiceovers, further blending the two parts of the scene. The non-diegetic music, an original score by David Holmes, fits the scene in a slow, moody way, never overpowering the visuals onscreen.

Color in Out of Sight differs depending on where the scene is set. In Florida, for example, the film focuses a lot on red and green, whereas Detroit focuses on shades of blue (like in this great shot). The hotel love scene is in Detroit, so its colors are muted and dark, if not actually blue, although there is a bluish tint to the restaurant where Jack and Karen are talking during part of the scene.

There are freeze frames at the 2:18 and 2:34 points. Coates utilizes that stylistic choice at other times in the movie, always to emphasize a particular feeling. When the scene freezes at 2:18, it's to underline how crucial this sex scene is; it's what the movie has building up to for the past hour or so, ever since Jack and Karen met. The freeze at 2:34, leading into a fade out, emphasizes how potent the characters' chemistry is, so strong that time itself stops.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Project #3 Treatment

Book Chase – Jetta Weinstein and Perry Goldsmith

     Joe sits at a school desk, staring straight ahead, his face seen in profile. A young woman, Anna, in the desk at his left, sits up straight and looks attentively in another direction; the two of them are seen in a medium shot. A bell rings and Anna gets up from her desk, walking out of the room. Joe looks over at Anna’s desk and sees that she has left a textbook behind, with a close-up on the book's title. Looking at the classroom door as it shuts, he picks up Annas textbook, grabs his own books and scrambles for the door.
     Exiting the classroom, Joe looks all around him. He sees Anna walking off in the distance (long shot). Joe starts to run after her but other students exit their classrooms. The students filter into the hallway, obscuring Joe's view of Anna. Joe pushes through the crowd.
     Anna stops for a drink at a water fountain. Joe continues to make his way through the crowded corridor. He stops and focuses (in a close-up on his face), noticing Anna at the fountain, then fights through the throng to make his way over to her. Joe taps Anna on the shoulder and shows her the textbook, gesturing that she left it behind in class. He hands her the book. Anna - in close-up - smiles, mouthing the words “thank you.” Joe and Anna smile at each other, not saying anything for a moment. Joe nods and backs away. They each turn around and walk off in separate directions, leaving the now empty hallway.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Museum of the Moving Image Trip

I must admit that I was incredibly excited to go on a class trip to the Museum of the Moving Image. I have been going there for probably my entire life (which is twenty years), and many of my early movie experiences happened there. I'm proud to say that I am a member of the museum and I actually go there pretty often - nearly every weekend so long as I can manage it - since they show such excellent films there. If you're lucky enough to have one or two friends who also love MoMI, as I do, then the experience is all the more fun.

One interesting section of the tour was when we stopped at a music exhibit showing film clips and various pieces of music that could possibly be used in those scenes. My group's guide showed us the museum scene from Vertigo, along with four possible scores. I must admit I was a little embarrassed to feel show-offy when I said that I knew that the fourth piece was the "right" music - I'm far too shy to just shout out that "I've seen Vertigo half a dozen times! I know the music! I'm a huge fan of Bernard Herrmann!" - but all the same, I wish there had been at least one other person in the group with some knowledge of Hitchcock films. I don't generally speak up much when I'm afraid it will sound like bragging, but it's a little weird when your group hasn't seen any Hitchcock films and I could have said I'd seen two dozen.

Still, I don't mean to harp; I love the Museum of the Moving Image and any trip there is a special one. You can't argue against its innovation, both in content and architectural design (though I do miss certain aspects of the pre-renovation, more low-key MoMI and its truly awesome video game arcade). It gives me great joy to see people discover the museum's wonders for the first time. Seeing all those amazing collectibles and props, especially the costumes from film and TV and also the fascinating accumulation of masks, shows how enduring and beloved those objects are for the dedicated film/TV/video game fan.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Blog Assignment #2: What I Hear

Yesterday I walked down Avenue M, which is near where I live in Brooklyn. I stood near the entrance to the Avenue M train station at about 3:00 pm, when all the high school kids from Midwood and Murrow are either leaving Murrow (which is nearby), walking to the the train station or waiting at the bus stop in front of the station. I listened to the conversations of girls complaining about other girls; complaining about guys; smacking their boyfriends for clinging to their waists; laughing about how boring some math teacher's wardrobe is.

I heard the thunderous sounds of the trains coming into the elevated station above my head, and the pleasant automated female voice telling the train's passengers, "This is a Manhattan-bound Q local train. The next stop is Avenue J." I hear some girls shriek up in the station, even though I can't see the platform; they were probably running for the train and missed it by seconds. A group of pigeons poked at some crumbs and other assorted garbage on the ground, communicating with each other and making almost inaudible pecking noises as they did so. A young mother and her toddler son passed by, pushing a stroller with a wailing baby. The stroller tread the ground carefully but the mother's high heels click-clacked on the pavement, with each slap against the concrete growing fainter as she walked away.