TEDxTalks. Colin Stokes. In this presentation, Colin Stokes effectively discusses how films suggest ideas about manhood and gender identity and how we should be raising children using the films we watch with them.
[TW: Rape culture]
Why your kids should see the Wizard of Oz & Netflix as a parenting resource
So much of TRF is shot with a low level frame close to the ground (without the camera being angled up or down.) In the case of these scenes in TRF, the camera is on a very low tripod.
During the first scene between John and his therapist the camera is low and static as John asks “D’you want to hear me say it?” Near the end of the episode when we return to the session, the therapist is actively trying to get John to say what’s on the tip of his tongue, what he’d wished he’d said to Sherlock. “Say it now,” she commands. He refuses and the camera zooms out over the silence between them.
It’s hella disconcerting because we can’t help but associate it with Sherlock’s point of view on the ground after the fall and with John’s point of view after he’s painfully leveled by the cyclist.
We’re meant to feel knocked to the ground, to absorb the most painful of blows, to be psychologically concussed.
We share the point of view of two living dead men, our buried protagonists.
Films for Lent 2014: Ash Wednesday - About Schmidt and/or The Seventh Seal
At the imposition of the ashes the priest says “you are of the dust and to the dust you shall return.” We set a regular time to repent and aspire because our time is short. Here’s two movies that carry the notion of mortality and using well the time we have. I will try to always have two recommendations: mainstream and stretching. Naturally the films won’t be identical but complimentary - for best results know yourself when choosing or watch them both
The Seventh Seal
This pick is from world cinema and serves as a good introduction to Ingmar Bergman, foreign language film, and art house cinema as well as a meditation on mortality. In the famous opening sequence, a Crusader plays chess with Death.
In this film we wrestle with the brevity of life and the silence of God. Burning bushes are rare (and suspicious) while most of us hurtle toward death with very little divine intervention. This was also a film I watched when I gave up God for Lent last year.
Can we live in faith in light of so many challenges? How do we respond when faith feels empty? These seem to be Bergmans questions which are answered by embracing love over nihilism. Love of living and experienced with others helps us reckon with life’s (and death’s! ) absurdity. This is not an answer but a way of living with the unanswerable.
This film is more about the mundaneness of life than problems of faith, but like The Seventh Seal is haunted by the specter of death.
This film affirms that much of life is meaningless and absurd but it is the responsibility of humans to make sure it is not entirely so. The challenge is to make those differences we can in the lives of other human beings. You are going to die anyway, so why not be a source of love and joy while you can?
Much more cheerful than the Seventh Seal, this film is strong enough to resist sentimentality and schmaltz-iness that is typical of these “life is for living” films.
In a similar vein, check out Kurosawa’s Ikiru
Films for Lent 2014
This Lenten season I will be recommending films of repentance and aspiration as I prepare for Easter. Feel free to journey with me as I watch seven films in corporate repentance of sin and spiritual aspiration- conversation on Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter, and Letterboxd.
Up Next: Week One Ash Wednesday Film…
Saw for the 1st Time 2014: 12 Years a Slave (2013)
Oh dear God forgive us! This is one of the most painful, powerful films I’ve ever seen. The twisting of institutions and scripture is utterly disgusting. I am ashamed.
After studying at the Institute of Industrial Arts and the Marionette Faculty of the Prague Academy of Fine Arts in the 1950s, Jan Svankmajer started working as a theatre director, chiefly in association with the Theatre of Masks and the Black Theatre. He first experimented with film-making after becoming involved with the mixed-media productions of Prague’s Lanterna Magika Theatre. He began making short films in 1964, and continued working in the same medium for over twenty years, when he finally achieved his long-held ambition to make a feature film based on Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland (Alice (1988)). He has also exhibited his drawings, collages and ‘tactile sculptures’, many of which were produced in the mid-1970s, when he was temporarily banned from film-making by the Czech authorities. He has been a card-carrying member of the Prague Surrealist Group since 1969.