Archive for May, 2015

CiNECiTY – NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD

This Wednesday at 3:20pm CiNCiTY will screen this groundbreaking zombie original….

Director: George A. Romeronightofthelivingdead

Cast: Duane Jones

Judith O’Dea

Karl Hardman

Marilyn Eastman

Written By: George A. Romero

John A. Russo

Genre: Horror

Duration: 96 min

Colour: Black and White

Released: 1968

Country/Language: USA / English

BACKGROUND NOTES:

  • Before NOTLD  “zombie” films were centered around “voodoo zombies”. This involved living victims being transformed into slaves by mystical forces. White Zombie (1932) and I Walked With A Zombie (1946) are two examples. NOTLD transformed the “zombie” into a resurrected corpse with cannibalistic intent and initiated many of the tropes of the genre we’re familiar with today – the rest is history.
  • In the USA in 1968 the copyright symbol had to be present on the actual print of a film (e.g. in the credits or title) in order to be covered by copyright law. NOTLD was originally called Night of the Flesh Eaters and this title appeared on the early prints of the film along with the copyright stamp. It was later changed by the distribution company because an earlier film had a similar name, but the copyright information was not put back onto the theatrical release prints leaving the film uncopyrighted and in the public domain. Though unfortunate for the filmmakers this has possibly contributed to the proliferation of the “zombie” genre and allowed others to freely use and build upon the original ideas from the film. Do you think copyright helps or hinders creativity?

THINGS TO THINK ABOUT:

  • Why do you think this film was such a success in the horror genre? Was it because a premise this frightful had never been brought to the screen before or was it skillful filmmaking?
  • The filmmakers insist that they were just trying to make a scary movie. Do you believe (like some critics) that the movie is actually trying to make a point about society? Think about when and where the film was made… consider events like the Cold War and the Civil Rights movement.

THE BOAT – Interactive Graphic Novel

The Boat by Nam Le is a critically acclaimed book of short stories which won many awards including the Prime Minister’s Literary Award in 2009. The last story in the collection is about a girl who’s parents send her to Australia by boat after the fall of Saigon in 1975 at the end of the Vietnam War.

SBS has commissioned an interactive graphic novel adaptation of the book by artist Matt Huynh who talks about the process of creating the artwork in the video below.

CiNECiTY – RUN LOLA RUN

Director: Tom TykwerRun-Lola-Run-1999-movie-poster

Cast: Franka Potente

Moritz Bleibtreu

Herbert Knaup

Nina Petri

Written By: Tom Tykwer

Genre: Action / Crime / Thriller

Rating: M

Duration: 77 min

Released: 1998

Country/Language: Germany / German (English subtitles)

BACKGROUND NOTES:

  • This film was critically very well received, with 41 award nominations when it was released including an Academy Award for Best Foreign Film. It didn’t win the Oscar but did win 26 other accolades including the Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival, Best Film at the Seattle International Film Festival, and seven separate wins at the German Film Awards.

THINGS TO THINK ABOUT:

  • Motifs are objects or images that appear throughout a film and have a special meaning to do with the narrative. One of the motifs apparent in ‘Run Lola Run’ is the colour red, which is used frequently. Lola herself has red hair, which signifies that she is a powerful, charismatic character, who stands out from everybody else. What other motifs can you identify and how do they help to bring meaning to the narrative?
  • Run Lola Run uses flashbacks, flash forwards and three alternative narratives to bring to mind themes of fate, chance and free will.  What do you think the film is trying to illustrate to us? Do you think we have a choice over the outcomes of our lives or is it up to fate to decide?

CiNECiTY – BACK TO THE FUTURE

Director: Robert ZemeckisBack to the future

Cast: Michael J. Fox

Christopher Lloyd

Lea Thompson

Crispin Glover

Written By: Robert Zemeckis

Bob Gale

Genre: Sci Fi / Adventure / Comedy

Rating: PG

Duration: 111 min

Released: 1985

Country / Language: USA / English

BACKGROUND NOTES:

In the early drafts of the screenplay the time machine was written as a refrigerator but was changed because Zemeckis was worried that impressionable kids would lock themselves in fridges.

THINGS TO THINK ABOUT:

This film contains some great examples of the literary device known as foreshadowing. Foreshadowing is when there are hints about what is coming up in the book or film. This is also known as Chekov’s gun after the famous playwright’s quote:

“Remove everything that has no relevance to the story. If you say in the first chapter that there is a rifle hanging on the wall, in the second or third chapter it absolutely must go off. If it’s not going to be fired, it shouldn’t be hanging there.”

For example – before Marty goes back to 1955 we learn that his uncle is in jail. Later in the film (but in the chronological past) he sees his uncle as a baby behind the bars of his cot and tells him he’d better get used to that. Many instances of foreshadowing in Back to the Future are for comedic effect but some are integral to the narrative.
How many can you identify?

FOR OUR FIRST CiNECiTY OF 2015 WE’RE GOING BACK 30 YEARS!

Back_to_the_FutureThirty years ago, in 1985,  a little film called Back to the Future was released. It was the highest grossing film of that year and has since become a pop culture phenomenon. In it, Marty McFly goes back in time thirty years to when his parents met. We will celebrate the 30th anniversary of this ground breaking film by screening it for our first 2015 CiNECiTY session this Wed 3:20pm in the cinema. Sign up with Dan in the library if you want to go Back to the Future with us.