Archive for August, 2015

CiNECiTY – A Fistful of Dollars

This week we screen A FISTFUL OF DOLLARS, the classic spaghetti western by Sergio Leone.

A-Fistful-of-Dollars-Poster-antiheroes-21516449-1005-1564Director: Sergio Leone

Cast: Clint Eastwood

Marianne Koch

Gian Maria Volonte

Wolfgang Lukschy

Writers: Victor Andre Catena

Jaime Comas

Sergio Leone

Genre: Spaghetti Western / Action

Duration: 90 min

Colour: Colour

Released: 1964

Countries / Languages: Italy, Spain, West Germany / English, Spanish, Italian

BACKGROUND NOTES:

  • This film was identified as an unlicensed remake of the Akira Kurosawa film Yojimbo which was released 3 years earlier. Leone says Yojimbo was an inspiration, along with other classic Hollywood westerns and Servant of Two Masters, an Italian play by Carlo Goldoni in 1746.
  • Like most Spaghetti Westerns, this film was a lot more violent than American westerns due to Europe’s lack of censorship codes such as were around in Hollywood.
  • Though made on a low budget, Leone ushered in a then-groundbreaking filmmaking style, emphasising long, tense close-ups, widescreen camera compositions, and hauntingly unusual music by his old schoolmate, Ennio Morricone. Leone’s films have been likened to action based operas, and his style was much imitated.

THINGS TO THINK ABOUT:

  • American audiences were shocked by this film on its release in 1967. Why do you think Eastwood’s character caused such a ruckus in the 1960s? Is the Man With No Name truly “amoral,” as many commentators have called him? What are his motives?
  • Can you see the influence of this film’s style on today’s action movies? Think of modern directors like Quentin Tarantino, John Woo and Martin Scorsese…

The new Early Harvest magazine from 100 Story Building

Early Harvest is a yearly literary journal produced by an editorial board of upper-primary students from Melbourne’s west. It’s created during an after school program facilitated by 100 Story Building  which is designed to give young writers and illustrators a platform to share their voice, and to give them confidence in their own creative output. This year they need help collecting the funds to publish the new magazine and have started a crowd-funding campaign on Pozible.

Three of FCC’s talented year 7 students, Ilan, Halima and Greta, were editors of the magazine last year and were asked to help Lachlann and the team create the video below to promote the campaign and newest edition of Early Harvest. So why not pre-order a copy via the Pozible site and help support the young writers in this fantastic program?!

Support Early Harvest issue 4! from 100 Story Building on Vimeo.

CiNECiTY – REAR WINDOW

This Wednesday we screen Alfred Hitchcock’s classic voyeuristic thriller, Rear Window. You won’t believe your eyes….

rear_windowDirector: Alfred Hitchcock

Cast: James Stewart

Grace Kelly

Wendell Corey

Raymond Burr

Writer: John Michael Hayes

Genre: Thriller / Mystery

Duration: 112 min

Colour: Colour

Released: 1954

Country / Language: USA / English

BACKGROUND NOTES:

  • The whole film was shot on one huge set, which took months of planning and construction. The apartment-courtyard set consisted of 31 apartments, eight of which were completely furnished and had power and water connected. To fit this enormous set in the studio, a higher ceiling was needed. Hitchcock had the entire floor of the studio torn out, revealing the basement. What you see as the courtyard in the film was originally the basement level of the studio.
  • A critical and commercial success this film influenced many others like Brian DePalma’s Body Double, Richard Franklin’s Road Games and more recently, Disturbia, directed by D.J. Caruso. It has also been parodied many times including by The Simpsons and Saturday Night Live.

THINGS TO THINK ABOUT:

  • Take careful note of the opening scene. How does it set up our expectations of what will happen in the film? How does it introduce the characters? The closing scene is a replica of the opening but with a few changes. Were your expectations met?
  • Consider the use of perspective and point-of-view in this film? Notice that many of the shots are taken from Jefferies’ POV. How does this affect the tension in the film? Consider what Jefferies knows as opposed to what the audience knows…

CiNECiTY – TEN CANOES

This Wednesday 5th August, we’ll be transported to an Australia prior to white settlement and even further still into the Dreamtime when we screen the film Ten Canoes…

ten-canoes-movie-poster-2006-1020409339Directors: Rolf de Heer

Peter Djigirr

Cast: Jamie Gulpilil

Crusoe Kurddal

Richard Birrinbirrin

Peter Minygululu

Narrator: David Gulpilil

Writer: Rolf de Heer

Genre: Drama / Adventure / Comedy

Rating: M

Duration: 92 min

Colour: Black & White / Colour

Released: 2006

Country/Language: Australia / various Yolŋu Matha languages, English

BACKGROUND NOTES:

  • A lot of the shots in this film were inspired by or are recreations of photographs taken in the 1930s by Donald Thomson, an anthropology professor who spent nearly two years with the Arafura Swamp people. He took more than 4,000 photographs during this time, carefully recording every aspect of daily life. One of these photographs—a picture of ten men in bark canoes—became the key image around which the film’s story was developed.
  • This was the first ever major Australian feature film completely filmed in an Indigenous Aboriginal language. Only the voice over of the storyteller is in English.
  • The canoes used in the shooting of the film were made using traditional techniques under instruction from tribal elders.

THINGS TO THINK ABOUT:

  • This film uses layered narrative – there’s a story within the story and multiple objective and subjective viewpoints. What techniques do the filmmakers use to successfully achieve this?
  • The stories in the film are from a long ago time and from very different cultures to our own. What cultural elements do we share with the people in the film? What is different?