History of Cinema 2

October 26th, 2010

Umberto D.

Posted by dmaldonado in Uncategorized

This is by far, my favorite film we have watched in class. As simplistic the film appeared to be there were many hidden undertones incorporated about wealth, politics, and society. There was a good balance of drama and comedy. I loved the music playing throughout. The music really helped create a certain atmosphere, melodramatic. At times I found the film to be cute, then depressing, so many mixed emotions. The lighting in this film I found lovely. The fact that Umberto D. was about ordinary life of everyday people didn’t make it boring at all to me. This movie actually inspired me to get a netflix account and check out more movies. Definitely will watch again.

Flike!

October 26th, 2010

Out of the Past

Posted by dmaldonado in Uncategorized

I really enjoyed this film, I especially enjoyed Bailey’s narration throughout the film, which was new in comparison to the films we have seen so far. I found the ending to be pretty sad, I wanted Kathy and Bailey to run away together secretly. Although Kathy is considered a villain I can’t help but find her likable. Overall I can honestly say this movie kept my attention and I wouldn’t mind watching it again. I definitely see characteristics of style of noir films, particularly mainly night time setting. Moral ambiguity also being an obvious theme in the film. I kept questioning all of the characters throughout the film.

October 22nd, 2010

Film Analysis

Posted by dmaldonado in Uncategorized

Vittorio De Sica’s Umberto D. (1952) by Dear Films, appears to be a film of the mundane, but also addresses many key social and political issues people faced during this era. In the scene where Umberto is contemplating whether or not to beg for money, music is used to create a mood in order to express the characters struggle, along with many other techniques which were characteristic of Italian Neorealist films. The film was intended to bring to life the harsh realities that everyday people face in an artistic way.

The scene keys in with music which plays throughout the film and Umberto and Flike are seen walking. The use of  non diegetic sound creates a certain mood in the film which represents the mood of Umberto, because the music is more prominent during certain events Umberto faces. The architecture of the scene is at a slope, making the shots appear very photographic. The fact that Umberto and Flike are sitting at the end of a slope can be symbolic for how Umberto may be feeling at the moment. Possibly feeling as though he is quite literally at the tip of his breaking point, he decides to do the unthinkable.

There is then tracking leading to a close up of Umberto allowing for us the audience to dig deeper into his psychology. With the gesture of his hands and the close up of him rubbing his forehead, his frustration is evident. The man who Umberto is about to beg for money enters the scene, and the camera does not move to accomodate space for the character, so he is a bit cut off the edge of the frame. This was certainly done intentionally in order to feel the discomfort Umberto felt approaching this man and beg him for money. Visually this scene showed us Umberto’s physical discomfort when encountering the man.

When the man walks away, he dissapears off the edge of the frame the same way he was introduced into the frame. The focus then returns with a closeup of Umberto but then quickly changes to a wider shot of the location when Umberto gives the hat to Flike so he can beg for him. The focus is no longer on just Umberto which is why the camera can show the rest of the location. This scene is particularly showing Umberto’s psychology so now he is concerned with the public which is now being seen in the shot. Point of view shots are also being shown because it’s from Umberto’s perspective, especially when he is hiding behind the pillar and he keeps looking towards Flike.

Once Umberto notices his friend the take is filled with shot reverse shots in order to show the characters going back and forth with their conversation. Once his friend boards the train there are high angle  shots of Umberto and low angle of his friend showing the inferiority Umberto is feeling at the moment because of his financial situation. I found that the lighting was very soft on Umberto in that shot as opposed to his friend in order to emphasize Umberto’s emotional state.

This scene can be related to many different themes. It can be solely described as a scene describing Umberto’s psychology, or a scene reflecting on society and what is considered acceptable. Throughout the film, Umberto shows time and time again the importance of retaining his integrity and although tempted to beg for money, he managed to fight it. This scene shows moral values of the society during this time, despite the hardships many people faced, Umberto choose to hold on to his dignity because he concerned that to be more valueable.

Many elements were characteristic of Neorealistic films. Umberto D. used musical scores in order to create a melodramatic tone to the film, as well as using long takes. A common theme in Neorealistic films was depicting everyday life of everyday people, particularly poverty. Umberto D. definitely contained these elements which were key to this style of film and presented them in a very artistic and photographic way. This film took place after the war which shifted away from escapism which was popular during the war, and now brought about the brutal reality of many peoples lives. As opposed to avoiding reality and using film as a distraction, film was now being used to call attention to everyday struggle and having a more realistic approach.

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