Tag Archives: film

E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial

| 1982, US, dir. Steven Spielberg |

First, let me apologize for the delay on posting again. I watched many films, I just did not get around to write about them. I will try to knock down one or two a week. Let’s get to it.

E.T. is E.T. I always loved this movie but it had been years I hadn’t watched it. I saw it in my Directing the Composer class with professor Kenny Hall. Kenny just happen to be the Music Editor for the movie and he gave us some insights of his experience working on it and it was amazing, but let’s talk about the film.

A great buddy story between E.T. and Elliott Taylor. E.T. gets left behind by his ship here on earth and finds Elliott, who helps him get back home. Elliott is an outsider who is always misunderstood, but once he finds a companion with the similar problems, his goal becomes to keep him. They share such a bond that it actually is shown physically in the narrative. When E.T. is sick, Elliott is also sick, when E.T. gets drunk so does Elliott. Elliott’s initials are also E.T. Basically, Elliot is E.T.

This is also a story against growing up. The kids hide this creature from the adults, which they know are a threat to E.T.’s well being. The camera is low almost the entire time because it’s seen through the kids perspective and only a few adults are ever shown in the picture.

Something that I also find very interesting is that E.T.’s arrival and discovery never becomes a world-wide story. The media doesn’t get to it, it stays a local event. This enables the story to be concentrated within the confines of the town and focused on the kids’ reaction to it. If the media had gotten involved, it certainly would not have been as effective as it was.

John William’s score is absolutely brilliant. Who can’t tell E.T.’s theme when they hear it somewhere? It just sneaks up on you and gives you such joy as it builds to the climax during the incredible bike sequence.

Definitely watch this and re-watch if you haven’t done in a while. It is absolutely worth it.

Please share your thoughts!

MD

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The Big Lebowski

| 1998, US, dir. Joel Coen |

Updated:

The Big Lebowski…I mean what more can I say of a movie in which the conflict is incited by a rug that’s been peed on? I mean, really? It is amazing what the Coen Bros can do with a simple incident like that. Jeffrey “THE DUDE” Lebowski, an unemployed, bowling-loving, lazy bum is mistaken for another Jeffrey Lebowski who just happen to be a millionaire. The “bad guys” are looking for money that the millionaire’s wife owes them. The Dude is a pretty mellow guy (just look at his name) but when they pee on his rug, he decides enough is enough so he tries to collect it from the Big Lebowski.

Jeff Bridges is the key for making this loser: The Dude. His inertia is surprisingly interesting and consistent. His attempt to look pro-active takes the character development to a total different level. His buddy Walter (John Goodman) adds another dimension to the picture, though his excesively dirty-mouth takes me out a bit, but that’s just me. He does add so much to the comedy though, he is the spark that moves The Dude along, albeit often in the wrong direction. When The Dude tells him something happened, he immediately assumes he’s in it too and takes over the plans without telling him. He’s like the guy who was not invited to the party, yet he goes anyway and tries to change everything to his taste.

Oh yeah, and the bowling…lot’s of bowling. Each time the story gets more urgent, instead of getting to work on it, they go bowling. It’s hilarious.

What is even more amusing is the blatant use of they typical story formula: “Dude with a problem.” The Coen Bros take it to a literal level and I just think it’s awesome.

You have to watch this movie!

MD

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film #1 | Linha de Passe

| 2008, Brazil, dir. Walter Salles & Daniela Thomas |

Linha de Passe is a depiction of a lower class family composed of 4 brothers and a single pregnant mother in the city of São Paulo, Brazil. It tells story of each member as they struggle through their suffocating circumstances in this unforgiving metropolis. What I love about this movie is that although it explores the theme of survival, it doesn’t concentrate on the over portrayed drug-controlled favelas as we’re so used to seeing, instead it shows what real characters go through and how they help each other keep their lives going.

As the title suggests, “Linha de Passe” is a term in football (or soccer for the stubborn ones) that means the line where one player can pass the ball to another with the least probability of interception. That’s what happens in this film. The story is passed character to character and each one has interesting traits. Denis is the older one who works as a motoboy and has a hard time providing for his son. Dinho is the more serious brother who seeks to cover up his shady past through religion. Dario is the football player who dreams of going pro, and Reginaldo is the younger one who is fascinated with driving a bus while constantly searching for his father.

To be honest, I did not like this film in my first viewing but this time I came to appreciate more each of their journeys. Maybe the quantity of characters obstruct a deeper development of each, diluting the narrative down a notch. Whatever it may be, one can still appreciate a pretty realistic picture of what it is to live in a cruel part of this city.

MD

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