Senior Goodbye 2011

December 13, 2011

My time at the Daily has been limited, and as I look back on the past year and a half, my words, articles and meetings tend to blur together; the stack of papers coalesces.

A Cinematic Fade Out

April 11, 2011

I’m Truman trying to break out of Seahaven, long trapped and devoid of effort but renewed with a sign of what could be. I’m Jerry Maguire looking to be complete.

How I learned to stop worrying and love the film

March 28, 2011

When I watch a film now, it doesn’t wash over me like it used to — I am constantly engaged in the tricks, the structure and the details within. While that helps me in my classwork (not to mention film journalism), it also takes away from the very reason I study film in the first place.

Hollywood’s franchise frenzy

March 14, 2011

Film franchises now aren’t necessarily like franchises of decades past. Before, sequels were universally inferior to their originals, lost in trying to recreate an existing story but characterized by consistent failure. In a risk-averse, recession-minded film industry, sequels like “The Dark Knight,” “The Bourne Supremacy” and “Toy Story 3”are the goal. These films not only increase the size of their original films, but creatively pursue entirely different courses in plot and thematic focus. While sequels may still tend to disappoint, there is more hope for these films than Hollywood has ever seen.

How to handle the critics

February 11, 2011

The function of critics in our viewing choices isn’t unexpected or surprising. Hollywood is a machine, and much like movie marketing, critics direct viewers. To push against that is, to some extent, to lose touch with society’s view of the medium.

Feeling ambivalent about studio digital distribution

February 7, 2011

It’s likely that you have, in some form, experienced early — albeit already wide-scale — forays into digital distribution. It’s inevitable that these will become, probably very soon, more than a service for the tech-savvy, and expand to become main distributors of high-quality home video.

THE SOCIAL NETWORK and the social network

January 24, 2011

Saverin grabs Zuckerberg’s computer and smashes it to the floor, breaking through the digital wall Zuckerberg has set up for himself. No matter how Zuckerberg tries to talk his way out of this one, the unexpected look of pain as he loses his only friend is remarkably telling, a poignant lesson on the worst effects of seeing friendship as nothing but a digital connection.

And the Oscars go to…

January 10, 2011

In many ways, the Academy Awards became like an election, wherein voters didn’t choose the the best film. Instead, the one that fit with the Academy’s image of the award was crowned the winner. Among true film fans, the Academy Awards, and specifically its Best Picture crown, is among the most flawed awards in the book — likely amplified by ceremony’s prominence in the industry as a potential red-herring sign of quality. That said, the Academy, like the community of filmgoers as a whole, is evolving.

Happy holidays, Hollywood

December 6, 2010

My love of snow and the holiday season is largely based on movie depictions — that kid rejoicing last Wednesday wasn’t actually me, it was Fuller (Kieran Culkin) in “Home Alone 2.” Film has historically exploited the season to the fullest extent, and yet has perpetuated holiday family values in direct, easily understood fashion.

The HARRY POTTER generation

November 21, 2010

College-aged viewers — the ones old enough to remember every moment of the last 12 years of “Harry Potter” but young enough to relate to the boy-wizard’s plight — are the lifeblood of the series, no matter how many times older generations chastise us for obsessing over “a kids’ book.” Some (older) people really just don’t get it. I’m not obsessed, but I fully understand that “Harry Potter” is our story — we grew up with it, and we’re seeing it reach a fittingly epic end with its seventh and eighth films.

Making musical memories in cinema

November 7, 2010

Whenever I hear the piano exit to “Layla,” it’s not that I see the entire montage from Goodfellas; the importance of the combination is that each form informs and changes the other. For me, just as much as “Layla” is an essential part of “Goodfellas,” the film has become an essential part of my experience of the song. The same way that people relive their memories to music, my experience of music often returns me to a film. That said, music in film is more than mathematical and the combination is far more than the sum of its parts. Music combined with a visual medium can change the way we move, the way we respond to real situations and most importantly, the way we remember.

From avid film viewer to struggling screenwriter

October 24, 2010

When I watch a film, story can take a back seat, and the macro film’s fatal flaws matter little in the context of the micro scene’s emotional connection. In every subsequent moment, the film has a chance to win me over. I don’t watch anything with a cynical urge to throw it away, and I don’t make a judgment until the closing credits roll. I’m an easy sell. And I’m the type of viewer that movie studios love. That said, much to my chagrin, my viewer identity doesn’t translate well into a creative one.

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