Thursday, December 22, 2011

Observations on Spielberg

I am from the Spielberg generation, if you want to call it that. I graduated from high school the year Spielberg's career skyrocketed to fame and fortune with Jaws and his popularity hasn't let up one iota. (I love that word!)

As a fan and movie buff, I've noticed a few things about Mr. Spielberg over the years.

1) Likes kids as the main character -- E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial (1982), Gremlins (1984), The Goonies (1985), A. I. Artificial Intelligence (2001), Super 8 (2011).

2) War is a Big Deal -- 1941 (1979), Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), Empire of the Sun (1987), Schindler's List (1993), Saving Private Ryan (1998), Eyes of the Holocaust (2000), Band of Brothers (2001), Letters from Iwo Jima (2006), War Horse (2011).

3) He's a big Sci-Fi Guy -- Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977), Poltergeist (1982), Back to the Future (1985), *batteries not included (1987), Men in Black (1997), War of the Worlds (2005), Cowboys and Aliens (2011).

4) Monster movies Spielberg style -- Duel (1971) Jaws (1975), Jurassic Park (1993), Twister (1996).

This is list is just a partial sampling of his prolific filmmography. What Spielberg flicks are your favorites?

Monday, December 19, 2011

Movie Music Monday: Psycho

Bernard Herrmann's amazing score for Psycho is brilliant. In my book, it ranks as the best film music of all time. Like Jaws, it is clearly identified with this movie alone. I'm also impressed that the entire score features only strings!

Friday, December 16, 2011

"Coming Attractions"

Here's my contest entry for the Database Security Video Smackdown. It's called "Coming Attractions" and is a movie trailer parody. Although we didn't win the contest, we had a blast making the commercial. Click here to see winner.
We were inspired by Hitchcock. North by Northwest is apparent in the theme of mistaken identity and we shot our version of the crop duster scene and the climbing Mt. Rushmore scene. We also included the names of Hitchcock characters: Rupert - from Rope, Thorwald - from Rear Window, Bruno - from Strangers on a Train, and Crane - from Psycho.

I couldn't help adding lines from Hitch's movies as well:

"A murderer would never parade his crime in front of an open window" (Rear Window)

"I admire people who do things. (Strangers on a Train)

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Trouble with Small Town Theatres

So the nominations for the Golden Globes have been announced (The Artist, The Help, The Descendants, Moneyball and Midnight in Paris) and only one of the films ever made it to our theatre here in Cheyenne, Wyoming -- The Help.

That means I have to keep my fingers crossed that they might show up later. Or else I'm stuck watching them on DVD. As an avid movie-goer, I much prefer watching movies at the cinema. It's my thing.

Other films that I'm very interested in seeing but have not come to our theatres is 50/50 (a comedy about cancer diagnosis - not sure how that plays as a comedy) and My Week with Marilyn (gotta check out Michelle Williams "Marilyn" impersonation).

Nevertheless, small theatres have a lot going for them. Here in Cheyenne we have a 9-plex, a 12-plex and an historic downtown cinema with only one screen that plays current releases at later dates and offers a discount. The 12-plex is my favorite. It's a newer building with comfortable seating and fairly large theatres. Hubby and I always sit in the back row on the right hand side.

It's interesting to see the audience demographic for some of the movies. At "Twilight: Breaking Dawn" the place was packed, but "The Ides of March" was sparsely populated with older couples. Hubby and I fit right in. 

As for the concessions, I always get a small unbuttered popcorn and small Pepsi. DELICIOUS!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Movie Music Monday: Jaws

As fabulous as this movie is on every level, it would not be the same without John Williams' compelling score. Bravo! Dedicated to beginning cello students everywhere.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Movie Music Monday: Eye of the Tiger

I couldn't resist. I just had to create a special day of the week to pay tribute to the great movie music of all time. My first choice for Movie Music Mondays is "Eye of the Tiger" by the band Survivor. The song was written at the request of Sylvester Stallone to be the theme for Rocky III (1982).

This video introduces the movie in a dramatic montage that takes up where Rocky II left off. Without one word of dialog, we see Rocky defending his title, his leap from a poor, Philadelphia contender to fame and fortune as the Heavy Weight Champion of the World. We see his love for his wife and son. All his dreams have come true. Meanwhile, Clubber Lang is training hard, demanding to fight Rocky and gain the title. We also see a nervous Mickey who knows how tough Clubber is. This is how you use visuals alone to tell a story. And the music carries the punch. No pun intended.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

What Inspires You?

As a creative person, I get inspiration from everywhere. Books, movies, TV shows, food, clothes, magazines, children, nature, art, music, dance, theatre.

More specifically: ballet slippers, Frankstein's monster, Labrador puppies, lemons, note cards, graduation caps, tea kettles, witches, polar bears, wedding cakes, wild horses, Bach, lipstick, the Empire State Building, light houses, guitars, baseball bats, wine bottles, chili dogs, ice cubes, Rene Magritte, okay that's all for now but you get the idea.

Just keep your eyes open and you will see amazing things that will ignite a spark and turn into a sizzling fireball of brilliance. No, I am not over-reacting.

Which reminds me. The key is PASSION! If you don't feel passionate about your creation, you may as well give up. Passion will keep you going when your body and mind say "NO! I can't do this anymore!"

Definition of Passion: a strong or extravagant fondness, enthusiasm or desire for something.

The opposite of passion is indifference and apathy.

Something to think about.