Sunday, October 31, 2010

A Dog's Breakfast

Patrick meets Ryan, his future brother-in-law. He doesn't like the fact that his sister is marrying someone. To further escalates things, Patrick overhears Ryan talking on the phone about conspiracy against his future wife, Marilyn. At the mini-climax, Patrick attempts to kill Ryan and while his initial effort fails, Ryan is killed. This creates a transition between acts where Patrick is forced to hide Ryan's body.

In Act II, Patrick hides Ryan to prevent his sister from discovering that he has died. Things complicate as Ryan has horrible thoughts about the death, and believes he has gone crazy when Ryan's corpse shows up multiple times in and around his house. Marilyn is concerned because Ryan has been missing for some time and decides to call the police. Detective Morse, coincidentally Ryan's aunt, is sure that Ryan has been killed and suspects both Marilyn and Patrick at different times. This adds to the stress and effort to hide the death of Ryan.

In Act III, Ryan's body appears again, but this time Marilyn discovers it with Patrick. Because the detective already suspects them, they decide to hide the body by shredding it into small pieces and feeding it to their dog. Looking back at it all, Patrick realizes that he actually liked Ryan. As soon as this happens, Detective Morse reveals herself to be Ryan, and that he had never died at all.

27 Minutes - Patrick discovers Ryan is dead.

65 Minutes - Detective Morse suspects Ryan is dead, not missing, and suspects Marilyn.

78 Minutes - Patrick discovers Ryan isn't dead.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

TV is Full of Itself

Television is a self-reflexive technology that builds off of itself. By this I mean programming on television talks about other things on TV. For example, this often occurs on a comedy sitcom where a person will joke about how their station is better than a rival broadcasting station. A more common instance where TV speaks about itself is shows that literally just review what happened on other shows, generally reality shows and news programs. Programs like Entertainment Tonight and The Colbert Report are examples of recaps of what has happened recently on TV.
In a sitcom, self-reflection of TV can be seen in the Procenium arch, where an implied TV is. The Procenium arch is essentially the wall that is open to us to see the show, from the well-known basic living room set up of TV sitcoms. This is often a focus on shows where a character looks to this implied TV.
Two examples of this in shows are That 70's Show and Family Guy. In That 70's Show you can see a scenario where the classic living room is viewed, with the 'missing wall' being the angle from which we view the scene. The TV is smashed by the bowling ball and becomes the conflict of this episode.

In Family Guy, often times the characters offer their take or input on a show in a sarcastic and humorous way as seen in this scene;

Even though I completely disagree with Family Guy hating on the best show known to man, The Office, this clip shows yet again how a sitcom can involve other programming into its own.
Now here are a few more clips that relate to other shows;

And here are a few more where characters from other shows have appearances;

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Breakfast Club LS MS CU

In The Breakfast Club, the first scene shows a long shot of the high school where the movie takes place. It is a still shot, with narration dubbed over by one of the main characters in the film who is explaining the time and location of the event. This long shot was created in order to explain the setting and orientation of what is going on, as well as to show how it is the weekend and the school is abandoned and quiet.

The next set of shots are medium shots, and show some information about the situation. Several still scenes of the empty, boring, and plain looking high school inform the viewer of the dry situation the students find themselves in. Narration continues, further explaining they're situation and punishment.

Finally, close-up shots are shown of several of the characters. Their emotions are clear, all feeling ashamed, sad, and perhaps a little angry as well. Everyone is clearly frowning and upset with their current problem; detention.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Star System

The Star System in the early era of movies was a way in which the "Big 5" (MGM, Paramount, 20th Century Fox, Warner Bros., RKO) employed actors and actresses to work specifically for their studio. They contracted actors and actresses so that they could use their talent most efficiently. Movies were produced on a much quicker pace than in the current movie industry. They became the faces of specific studios so they were very important in keeping revenue up, and to compete with the other studios. Although they were contracted to a specific studio, talent was often "loaned" out to other studios. The star became associated with a specific genre of film and even a certain role that they repeatedly played. The type of talent that a studio employed often determined what kind of movie was to be made over any other deciding factor. In one specific example, John Wayne, whoever he was working for at the time, often had Western films constructed around his talent and fan base.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Old Family vs Modern Family

All In The Family, a situation comedy that ran throughout the the 70's, based many episodes on then-controversial topics that were rare on television, all while maintaining top ratings. In the specific episode we watched, a man with an artsy flair to him was assumed to be gay by the main character, Archie. Many different words with negative connotations were spoken about Mike's friend to insinuate his homosexuality. All In The Family can be compared with the new ABC comedy; Modern Family. In this show, two regular characters are a gay couple raising an adopted child. The two shows are similar in that they can cover some uncomfortable topics, depending on who the viewer is. Many episodes feature how the gay couple, Cam and Mitch, create awkward situations based around their orientation. Just like in All In The Family when Archie learns from his experiences with homosexuality (that to be gay doesn't necessarily mean you can't be tough as seen with his friend, an ex-football player), the father of the family in Modern Family, Jay, often learns from his previous assumptions of gay men (his son-in-law who is gay is good with construction work and played football in college). All In The Family addressed equality with women through the scene where Archie was in disbelief with the situation where he couldn't lift a chair that supposedly only women could lift. He found it completely unrealistic to assume that a woman could do anything physically that a man couldn't. In today's shows like Modern Family, this issue wouldn't ever really surface. Women's equality has really been done to death in media, and only a minuscule part of the population still have any problems with it, so unlike gay's rights, women's rights isn't a huge focus like it was 30, 40, and 50 years ago.