Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Fools For Love

       After watching the two movies Double Indemnity and LA Confidential, I was able to make many parallels between both the plots and characters.  In the two movies the main, men characters fall for the mysterious, women figures.  In Double Indemnity the main character Walter Neff falls for Phyllis Dietrichson.  She convinces Walter into killing her husband in order to get money.  He kills Phyllis's husband because he feels bad for her.  He wants her to be happy and he has strong feelings towards her.  The only thing Phyllis ever wanted was money and Walter eventually figured this out.  In the end they both killed each other.  Walter regretted what he did, but fell for the girl instead of sticking to his morals.
      In LA Confidential, Bud White and Ed Exley work together to solve a case.  In the end the person responsible was someone from their own work force.  Bud White was known as the partner who took action and used physical actions to help a case.  Bud particularly enjoyed helping women.  He fell for one woman in particular.  Her name was Lynn Bracken and her job was to dress up like a celebrity and sleep with many men.  Bud found her interesting, but also felt bad for her.  He slowly started to grow feelings towards her.  Buds partner, Ed Exley was known to be the brains behind a case.  He always followed the rules and played by the books.  One night Ed Exley went against his morals and slept with Lynn Bracken.  Little did he know it was a set up to turn Bud and him against each other.
     The two movies are both very similar.  Both of the main characters in each movie fall for women who end up bringing them into trouble.  Ed Exley, Bud White and Walter Neff all go against their morals to help or get with women.  In the two frames below from each movie, it shows the women looking up towards Walter and Ed.  Both of the women have a mysterious look on their faces and are gazing into the mans eyes.  They both give off a vibe that they are trouble by their facial expressions.  Ed and Walters faces are not shown in these frames because the camera is angled over their left shoulders.  The focus of each frame is the women.  The director wants us to recognize the emotions being shared from the women and how they are effecting the two men's decisions.
    Overall, LA Confidential and Double Indemnity are very similar.  The two movies both have women who trick the men into going against their morals.  The two shots below are very similar and show the power these women had over the men.  When it comes to women men are just fools for love and in these two cases they forget their morals.                                                                   

Monday, October 28, 2013

Pre-Crime vs. Iranian Secret Police

In the movie The Minority Report Pre-Crime was discussed as being an invasion of privacy.  It assumed crimes before they were actually committed.  The Iranian Secret Police was an organization from 1957-1979 and was Iran's most hated and feared institution.  It practiced torturing and executing opponents of the Pahlavi regime.  They practiced surveillance on the Shahs opponents so that they would not go against them.  This was an invasion of privacy because the civilians did not know this was going on.  Muhammad who was the Shahs ruler at the time did surveillance of the Iranians in their homes and abroad.  In the movie The Minority Report the Pre-Crime agents also went against the peoples rights by going into homes and spying on families without their approval.  In both cases crimes were assumed before they were committed.  The Iranian Secret Police would arrest people just from judgement that they were against Muhammad's regime.  The Iranian Secret Police were responsible for censorship of press, books, film, interrogation and torture of prisoners and surveillance of political opponents.  This can be compared to Pre-Crime because they both did illegal surveillance of innocent people and assume illegal activity before a crime was committed.

The Importance of Last Names

" A thousand years of history and tradition behind this family, A thousand years and these upstarts refuse to recognize my nephews death?  As if Mehdi never existed!!"  On page 205, Mehdi's uncle wanted to post an obituary in the Keyhan newspaper.  The newspaper was strictly told that they were not allowed to post any deaths in the newspaper from the protests.  This made the uncle mad and he responded by saying "If you think you can wipe this family's name off Iran's map, You've got another thing coming!"  In this case the uncle wanted his nephew to be remembered and be a part of history.  In every culture a name identifies you.  Generation after generation last names are passed on with different reputations that they carry.  My last name is McGuire and I know that the first McGuire's that came to America were immigrants from Ireland.  I am fifty percent Irish today and my families history and culture are still remembered and celebrated today.  In Zahra's Paradise chapter 18 emphasizes the importance of a persons last name.  Zahra's Paradise suggests that we construct our identity through history and that a last name carries on and remembers a families history.   

"Words, words, words..."

In the graphic novel Zahra's Paradise words are used in most of the frames.  The only times when words are not used in the frames are when they are action shots that can be described without words.  For example, in chapter 12 on page 164 Sepideh is looking for his brothers grave and a guard comes up and yells at him.  In that framer there were no words, but from the facial expressions in the shot I was able to understand that the government guard was upset with Sepideh.  Certain words are bolded or larger than others.  This makes it more noticeable on the page and is usually used when describing a noise or something that is being screamed or emphasized.  As a reader I unconsciously read the dark, bolded letters with more emphasis which gives the characters more personality.  The location that words are inserted in each frame also has an impact on how the reader reads Zahra's Paradise.  When there are words placed at the top of the frame those are read first.  When the words placed at the bottom of frames with no words on top I view the picture before reading the words.  The author intentionally puts words in certain places for a reason which I find very interesting.  This was the first graphic novel I have ever read and I loved it.  Every word placement is for a reason and it gives the author control on how the viewers read the book.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Zahra's Paradise Shots

    In chapters three through six of Zahra's Paradise I analyzed different shots on each page and studied their meaning.  At the beginning of chapter three there is a very strong medium shot of Khamenei (the leader of Iran) looking down at his people.  The people are staring up at him in fear.  This shot in particular shows that Khamenei has lots of power over his people.  On the next page there is an establishing shot of Khamenei behind a large podeium saying " My Dear Children" and above him are the words " The Word of God".  This also emphasizes how powerful Khamenei is and that his power goes hand in hand with religion.  Many shots throughout chapters three through six are shots looking upward towards powerful men figures.  This shows the power men had in this society and as a viewer I can see in each shot that these men are above other people.  There are also many large frame, birds eye view shots which help establish a scene.  Birds eye shots also make it easier to capture all the action within the frame.  On page 65 of Zahra's Paradise there is a large birds eye shot that captures chaos in the streets.  A birds eye view shot helped this frame show all the action at once and it was a very interesting frame for me to view as a reader.  The different shot angles shown throughout Zahra's Paradise make this graphic novel fun to read and easier to have a visual understanding of what it was like in Iran during these times.      

Zahra's Paradise Frames

    The size and shape of frames in the graphic novel Zahra's Paradise can change the way the reader views the novel completely.  In this particular graphic novel there is often one larger frame which establishes the setting of the story on that page.  There are then smaller frames that surround the large frame and these frames explain the action that goes on at this certain place shown in the largest frame.  The small frames also focus more on introducing main characters rather than showing an entire plot.  In this graphic novel there are some frames that are split up into even smaller rectangles and squares which focuses in on the action being done in each frame and how important it is.  The bigger the frame the more noticeable it is.  Therefore, the frames are purposely larger so that the plot is identified to the reader before the reader sees the smaller action shots on the page.  It is very interesting that a frames size can determine what order it is noticed and its importance.  

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

The Three "Oracles"

In this scene of the three precogs they are all sitting in their set places in a round tank.  The blueish, bright water brings attention towards the dark precogs.  This shot is a high angle shot that looks down on Agatha and the other precogs.  The water in the precog tank is brought up many times throughout the movie.  The repetativeness of the bright water tells the viewer that the precogs are important throughout the film.  The precog tank is in the middle of the shot which also draws focus towards the three precogs.  Usually brightness represents good and dark blacks and greys represent evil.  In this shot the precogs are dark which makes them mysterious and amost spooky.  The citizines of 2054 in  The Minority Report do not know much about the three precogs but look up to them as godlike creatures who prevent crime and murder.  Little do they know, sometimes the "oracles" are not always right and can make mistakes.  Many people also fear the precogs since they have so much power and are able to predict the future.  Therefore, the dark shade in this shot put over each oracle floating in the curvy, bright tank makes the precogs have an evil,dark, mysterious feel.  By making this shot a high angle shot it makes the three precogs have power and effect.