Moviefellas

We Were Movie Gangsters


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Miranda’s Favorite’s: 2. The Shining

Now I will admit I have not read the book, nor will I in the near future (I have so many other books on my list already) but I am a die hard fan of this film and I don’t think the book will ever change that. The interesting thing is that film and literature are not the same, nor should they be. Yes, we all love to complain how films do not exactly follow the novel, but film is another art medium of itself.

The Shining, in my opinion, is one of the best films ever made (and much to my relief, BFI has it in its Top 250 so I have some backup for me:) ). When I finished watching it for the first time, rather than being completely freaked out, I was amazed, thrilled and puzzled. Each element in the film seems like a puzzle piece; they seem to not fit together but they do. However it leaves the viewer completely dumbfounded (what IS with those two, um, men that Shelley sees in the bedroom!).

I was determined to believe that there was a meaning behind the film, and I still do even though some people say there isn’t. I find Kubrick interesting in that sense, and I think he had to have some underlying plot or theme to it. The two that make the most sense to me are the parallels to children fairy tales (ex. Room 237 like Hansel and Gretel and most obvious Jack Nicholson as the Big Bad Wolf chopping down the door. There is a great gifset here that shows how similar the two scenes are to one another).

I can’t tell you how many times I have seen this movie and each time I watch it I find something new. My favorite scenes to analyze are the scenes in The Gold Room. Jack’s seemingly pleasant attitude when talking to Lloyd, the bartender, the reflection of the light in Jack’s eyes, even the paleness of Lloyd, as if he’s not really there; I love it!

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Miranda’s Favorites: 1. Annie Hall

By Miranda (missjazzage)

Endearing, sweet, subtle, and reflective, this film holds all the elements that allow me to say “Yes, yes this is my film.” I’m not quite sure how to describe it, but when you watch a certain movie there is something about it that appeals to very part of your personality that it, in essence, IS your personality. If that’s not true for you, then it is for me. Actually most of the films on this list I feel about the same but Annie Hall does so more than the others.

I was completely engrossed in this film right from the very moment it began when it started. The first thing the viewer sees is a medium close-up shot of Alvy Singer (Woody Allen), placed in front of a tarnished gold backdrop, he tells two jokes that describes him and then proceeds to tell the audience in essence what the film is about: his relationship with Annie Hall (Diane Keaton). Even in these first few minutes, Singer’s personality shows and the viewer already can begin to characterize his being. The only thing we know about Annie at that moment is that she is completely different from Alvy’s personality.

And, indeed, Annie Hall is completely different than Alvy. The viewer is given an introduction to Alvy’s early life and into his present day life. Where Alvy is paranoid, cultured, and a bit judgmental, Annie is relaxed, naive, and open to new things. I suppose one way to contrast the two is in their clothing: Annie wears the loose fitting clothing (especially the outfit known as the “Annie Hall” look) and Alvy wears more fit clothes. I would believe that in one way it would express their personalties while also expressing the contrast of the two.

Overall the two of them are on such different levels from one another that they can’t be together.

A relationship, I think, is like a shark. You know? It has to constantly move forward or it dies. And I think what we got on our hands is a dead shark.

They don’t move forward because together they cannot function. It still makes me sad to be honest. In that last scene where they’re saying good-bye. The sun is setting and, rather than being up close with Alvy and Annie, the camera is inside a restaurant looking out onto Alvy and Annie saying good-bye. This indicates the end of their relationship and that perhaps the true good-bye is almost too painful and sad to watch. The lingering of Alvy watching Annie walk away, the crosswalk’s signal “DON’T WALK” and Alvy’s short, lower tone of voice evokes the true love and emotion he has for Annie. Then, once Alvy leaves the frame and the story is Annie and Alvy is complete, the crosswalk changes to “WALK.”

After watching a few of Allen’s other movies, I feel that this one is truly a masterpiece. It’s quirky unity somehow seems to fit nice and snug that the viewer is satisfied with the overall form. I highly recommend this film to any person new to film as I believe, especially for those who’ve experienced their first love, could relate. For me however, I don’t think that’ll be for quite some time! :)