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Two or Three Things I Know about Bollywood September 30, 2009

Posted by Prof. RR in Uncategorized.

1) High drama: Bollywood films exaggerate . . . everything. It seems there are no truly low-density moments in a Bollywood film. If something happens, it must be really important and therefore must be highlighted, underlined, italicized, and put in bold. Why? Is it because the filmmakers want to make sure the audience knows about the gravity of each scene? Are they following a more expressive (almost out of silent cinema) aesthetic?

2) Causal logic versus diegetic logic: Most Bollywood films are not conventionally logical. Sometimes the characters’ motivations don’t make sense (you’ll find yourself saying “I’d never do that!” quite often) outside of the diegesis. That’s because the films are not meant to be realistic. The events unfold based on the kind of world the film has created; it’s the internal diegetic logic that the films adhere to rigidly. For instance, is Anjali really in love with Aman or Rahul in the second half of Kuch Kuch Hota Hai? Is she picking Rahul for love or out of familial obligation?

3) Song and dance: Well, you can’t really comment on Bollywood without talking about the song-and-dance sequences. But how are these sequences different from a Hollywood musical? Are they more or less fantastical? Do they add anything to the plot? Or are they merely offering visual spectacle?


Lost in Translation? September 24, 2009

Posted by kellyparry111 in Uncategorized.

Hey everyone!

I was surfing YouTube and found this interesting video! I’m not sure where this video came from or how legit these translations are, but I think its interesting to see that people have translated this scene in so many different ways. Also, read the comments below…it is funny to see the arguments about translation!

Film Noir September 16, 2009

Posted by Prof. RR in Uncategorized.

To begin our discussion of generic remakes, it’d be great if we could define the vexed term film noir. There’s been much disagreement about noir over the years. Some believe that it is a genre, like a Western or comedy or melodrama; others argue that it is only a historical cycle (lasting from 1940-1958) or a visual style or a mood. For me, even if the term is hard to define, certain images clearly signify noir. Like this one:


Let’s try to unpack this image and determine how we might think about classic noir.

Yojimbo’s (non)-remakes September 14, 2009

Posted by Prof. RR in Uncategorized.
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Verevis describes how Yojimbo is transformed into A Fistful of Dollars and then Last Man Standing. Perhaps their posters will give us a sense of what gets transformed and what stays the same in these (non)-remakes across cultures, genres, time periods, and so on.


A Fistful of Dollars:
A Fistful of Dollars

Last Man Standing:

non-remakes September 14, 2009

Posted by payjr in Uncategorized.

I was caught off guard when I came across this in our reading.  Is a film that is dubbed a non-remake still considered a remake?  Why is it necessary to disassociate a film from its original in this way?  What does a film need to do in order for  it to be classified as a non-remake?

Tale of Two Psychos September 10, 2009

Posted by Prof. RR in Uncategorized.

Gus Van Sant’s version of Psycho is supposed to be an almost shot-for-shot remake of Hitchcock’s film. Yet, their previews are shockingly dissimilar. You can see the trailer for Psycho (1960) here, and the preview for Psycho (1998) here. How can two films be so similar and yet advertised so differently?

Remaking Angels September 8, 2009

Posted by Prof. RR in TV Remakes.

What exactly is being remade here?

Charlie’s Angels in the 1970s:

Charlie's Angels 1

Charlie’s Angels now:

Charlie's Angels 2

Far from Heaven September 2, 2009

Posted by Prof. RR in Uncategorized.

Two things, for now. First, I haven’t quite figured out what Far from Heaven says about the 1950s (yes, I’m still obsessing over the 1950s; more on that in class, if you like). I think it’s truly conflicted about the decade. On one hand, it does seem keen on exposing the restricted nature of those times. And yet, the film does not offer a blanket condemnation. I like the notion (also in our article) that Haynes is commenting on the processes of history or change or progress. The film won’t allow us to look back and simplistically suggest that those were the “good old” or the “bad old” days. And we can’t quite say that things are all better now. In fact, I’m not sure if Haynes puts much stock in the possibility of progress itself. Is he saying that various types of oppression and inequities are intractable? That they only change in form, but not really? Is this a case of “the more things change . . .”?

Second, I LOVE the moment when Cathy Whitaker (Julianne Moore) poses as Mrs. Magnatech in her living room. There’s something awesome about Moore posing next to her (silent) TV set, just as in the advertisement, but without her husband by her side, and shyly protesting that she’s just like every other wife and mother and that she doesn’t think she’s “ever wanted anything . . . .” Before she can finish articulating her desire, her voice trails off. Noticing Raymond (Dennis Haysbert) in her backyard for the first time, she abandons her seat by the TV set and walks out to see who he is. What, then, is this new desire she’s just discovering?