The Onion | Short Film

Hello all! I’ve been away for a while. But believe me, there have been some incredible films coming out lately, that I am hoping to write about!

But for now. I would like to share with you all a short film that I was director and cinematographer for! It’s a dark comedy about a man who falls in love with an onion, but alas…everyone has their layers. I would love to hear feedback from you all. This was a really enjoyable process from start to finish. I really enjoyed doing the cinematography for this, with the simple camera movements that just give a little bit of tension to the scene.

Soon, there is going to be a director’s cut, and a possible re-score for the short. Unfortunately, there were some clashes in opinions in the process, which is the reasoning for this re-cut, but I’m still so proud of the process and everyone involved. So please. Enjoy, and let me know what you think!

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The Onion | Short Film

Gravity

Firstly, I apologise if my writing is a little sketchy for this entry. I’m three months out of practice so it may take a while for me to get back into the swing of writing like a coherent human.

So, after months of not posting and stressing about uni and generally not getting off my lazy ass to find things to write about, I’ve finally been to the cinema to see none other than Cuaron’s latest hit Gravity. I will start simply by saying this; its films like this that are the reason why film and cinema will not be dying any time soon. Its films like this that make young filmmakers strive to better themselves in the hope that they will create something of this magnitude one day. Its films like this that re-ignite my passion for film and inspire me to no end. Just. Go and see it, as soon as you get the chance.

I feel like I won’t be able to write anything about this film that isn’t painfully obvious to everyone anyway. Let’s just great to talking about the visuals, shall we? I need to research into the exact method that they used to create such a realistic look and feel of being in out of space, but I remember reading back that they filmed pretty much the entire thing using green screen and wire. And there is at no point in the film where you can tell that either has been used. Honestly. I’m just waiting for it to be revealed that Gravity was the first film shot entirely out of space. Absolutely everything in the film is so aesthetically beautiful that it would be offensive for a mere soul like me to describe it to you. I can say that I 100% believe that Gravity will be a film that future generations will look back on as a breakthrough in visual effects and technology. For instance, when one of the first films was shown to a majority of the public being simply a train coming towards the camera, at that point, the audience truly believed that the train would come out at them from the screen, because they had never seen anything like it before. I believe that Gravity will have a similar, long-lasting effect on its audience, for I struggle to find how anyone can currently surpass its visual brilliance. The attention to detail in this film is mind-blowing. Baring in mind that in real life, the reflections would’ve been either green-screen or a heck load of LED lights, the reflections off the helmets were something I was perhaps most impressed with. As I went to see this in 3D I feel I can say that the film lent itself fairly well to the effect. At points, the camera transitions into Bullock’s point of view, and so the 3D allowed me to differentiate between what was the helmet and what was outside, which was particularly interesting. I can imagine that without 3D, it could be fairly difficult at certain points in the film as to what it is exactly that we are supposed to be paying attention to in terms of space shuttles and orbiting debris. In my opinion, 3D is always a fairly weird way to experience movies, but I think in this case, it just helped to really create the outer world experience of a place that hasn’t been explored in such a way in film before (will explain more on this later.)

As we have very well established in the past, I do not know much about sound in film. But I can safely say that I have never been so impressed with the exploration of sound in a movie before. Again, another case of the extent of the attention to detail and the research that must’ve taken place to make the film as realistic as possible. It’s easy to forget with films like Star Wars that there really isn’t sound in space and so it’s hard to imagine a film that in this generation of film making, excluding the sound-track, has very little diegetic sound being at all enjoyable. But I really feel that Gravity 100% hit the nail on the head. In fact, the lack of sounds adds to the films intensity, as you are perhaps almost as surprised as the characters when faced with an onslaught of orbiting space junk. It’s rather unsettling and conflicting as you watch explosions taking place and huge amounts of metal being shredded up, yet hear next to nothing. It was a very interesting and peculiar effect and added to the imminent sense of peril and intensity of Bullock’s situation. The soundtrack is beautiful, to say the least, and accompanies the on screen events so well that at times I was almost moved to tears. What am I like.

I think what I enjoyed most about Gravity is just how real it is. It’s not that we haven’t had films in space before; filmmakers have been there, and done that. But I think that, because this isn’t a movie that is set in a time where humans have conquered space, it just felt more real for me. There was always the motivation to return to Earth that fuels the character’s actions and provides hope. It was nice for a difference to be shown the vulnerable side of the human state. The fact that the events in the film even take place due to human error is very interesting as well. To be honest, overall, the film was actually quite spiritual. It is about the test of human strength, and keeping faith in yourself, or perhaps something bigger, to be able to overcome huge obstacles, and also about the acceptance of death. The theme of death was explored a lot in this film, but it didn’t make me feel at all uncomfortable. Despite the fact that the events of the film were generally pretty stressful and tense, the moral of the film is actually rather refreshing and relaxing.

Perhaps the only downside I could say about Gravity is that, similar to Avatar, whilst the visuals stand to be perhaps the most amazing I’ve ever seen, the film falls just a little bit flat at the narrative. I’ve come to the conclusion that this is because the narrative of the film has a relatively small time frame in which the events take place there’s an extremely small cast for a film so huge. There is only really one point to the narrative; to survive. It’s a film that’s much more concentrated on one line of events as opposed to relying on complex narrative strands to entertain the audience, which, although I did actually enjoy, I can see how this might bother some people who are used to more commercial strategies of story-telling.

Needless to say, Sandra Bullock and George Clooney’s performances were incredible. Really. I will be extremely surprised if we don’t see Bullock with at least a nomination for her role here. The film in general will absolutely 100% be bringing home the bacon this year at the Oscars and I can’t wait. Gravity is well and truly a break through in film making, and urge those of you who haven’t already to stop what you’re doing immediately and go and see it. I say this purely because, if you don’t go and see this in the cinema and don’t have some sort of home cinema, then the effect of the film’s visuals will be completely lost on you. Although having said that, I sometimes forget that it’s only me and my family that have an extremely ancient TVs and none of these, what you call, ‘flat screens’, psshht. So yes. Go and see it. If perhaps the story falls flat just a tad, you won’t regret it for the effect of the visuals. They truly are nothing like you’ve ever seen before.

Gravity

Lars and the Real Girl | Review

Not so long ago, I was expecting Drive to come through my letter box after waiting over a week for it to arrive. When I finally got a package, I was rather surprised, and not in a good way, to see Taken 2, sitting there in the packaging just staring back at me like YOU BETTER WATCH ME. WHAT’S THAT; YOU HAVEN’T SEEN THE FIRST TAKEN? YOU BUFFOON.  It was a rather offensive and uncomfortable time of my life, but I lived. About three/four weeks ago, I ordered District 9, which is easily one of those films that you should just have as your own. When the mysterious package arrived, after waiting an abnormally long time for it to come, I discovered it wasn’t District 9. FOR CRYING OUT LOUD, I thought. at this stage, I was going to be borderline quoting Wikus by the time I got the damn DVD; ‘3 fuckun yarss?!?’ But as opposed to the unpleasant Taken 2 experience, I was happy to have receivedLars and the Real Girl, which…if I’m honest I don’t remember ordering (though its likely I did). Perhaps I went on some Amazon DVD ordering rampage. I guess we’ll never know.

I present to you, Lars and the Real Girl; with the marvellous Ryan Gosling playing the title role as a cripplingly lonely man with second to none social skills who lives in the garage of his older brother’s house. Now, this on its own sounds just like a painful 1hr30min character study, where nothing much happens and ends with some kind of suicide. But how about we spice it up a little with, say…a life-size sex doll? Now, I know what you’re thinking. Why WOULD you want to see a film about the adventures one lonely guy has with his sex doll? Well, quite frankly, I don’t know, but all I know is, when it comes to this film, you do. If I’m going to be honest, Lars and the Real Girl has been one of the most interesting films I’ve seen this year so far. The subject matter in hand could so easily be handled distastefully and could end up being an embarrassing and cringey teen flick much like American Pie, and not really dealt with seriously. What it all boils down to is that Lars doesn’t use Bianca (the ‘real’ girl) for what she was created for. It’s much deeper then that. The connection between the two is really rather sweet, be it totally and utterly one sided, but the audience, as well as the characters in the film, begin to accept that this IS a thing that is happening. Bianca is a physical representation for Lars’ emotional torment and provides an emotional escape as he lives out this delusion.

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http://theculturalgutter.com/screen/linus-and-the-real-girl-an-anatomically-correct-security-blanket.html

Although this film in many places is hilarious, as we witness full blown arguments between Lars and Bianca, the community’s struggles to accept Bianca as a real person and Lars’ general awkwardness, the film actually deals with some pretty deep seated issues, such as mental illness, rejection and acceptance in equal measure, but perhaps the most important though most subtle theme of them all is that of loss. As the story of Lars and, brother, Gus’ family unfolds, the audience are inevitably sucked into trying to figure out why Lars is the way he is; and, boy, is it complex. But we’re with him every step of the way.

Although the performances of all involved are extremely impressive, Ryan Gosling officially steals the limelight, forcing the audience to believe the connection he has with Bianca is completely real, despite how odd it really is. The DVD even features him in interview with Bianca, still speaking to her, outside of role! What’s most impressive about his performance is that he manages to create this believable story line, on his own; Bianca isn’t exactly going to help, is she? As part of his character, he rarely has much interaction with other characters in the story that isn’t awkward chit chat, but when we do, it is raw and painful, and makes you want to leap into the screen and give him a big cuddle. The story allows us to see tender moments between Lars and Bianca, one being one of the most adorable scenes I’ve seen that shows just how awesome Ryan Gosling really is; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v9Rmv3t2e7o Although the character of Gus appears to be a douche right from the off, the audience begin to understand the situation from his point of view. How else would you react if your sibling introduced a sex doll as his disabled, Brazilian girlfriend who speaks barely any English? But this just goes to show how the film-makers have manipulated the audience response in such a way that we are automatically on Lars’ side, even against a stance that we would probably take, if we were put in the situation.

Overall, I found this film thoroughly enjoyable. It is a lot deeper than it would first appear, and is pleasing and satisfying to watch the town bend over backwards to make Bianca feel welcomed. Its interesting to see the emotional journey Lars takes using Bianca as an outlet, and though to he probably wouldn’t want you to be, you find yourself rather attached to Lars. This has definitely shot up to be one of my favourite films, and, naturally, I would recommend it to everyone! Whether youre fanatic about film or just like to watch it casually, this film is enjoyable to all.

Thank you for reading, until next time!

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http://flaresnfocus.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/lars-and-real-girl.html

Lars and the Real Girl | Review