Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Copyright Law

In general I believe that copyright is too strict and borderline ridiculous. Every mainstream artist throws a fit about there music being "stolen" or "pirated." I just feel like so many people are over sensitive about there own creations. Many lawsuits have been filed against Dj's and other musicians who remix things simply because the artist or more likely the record company feels cheated out of a dollar and twenty-nine cents. Many of the people using the music others create are not doing it for profitable gain. They do it just to do it and let the listeners enjoy it with worries about profit. There are too many double standards in what constitutes fair use or not these days.

If you aren't receiving money for it it is not a copyright violation. It's only copyright infringement if the person redistributes the work as entirely there own. But it's also hard to determine who will care and who won't. There are many rich musicians who get angry if people pirate there music or use it in personal projects of there own. Then there are other artists who only care about there fans getting a hold of there music and don't care, or sometimes even encourage downloading there music for free or remixing it or whatever.

There are too many exceptions to the rules when it comes to copyright laws and personally i feel they need to be changed. It's kind of just one big confusing contradiction and people wouldn't have to fear lawsuits simply because they wanted to upload a mashup to youtube. People aren't always trying to cheat the artist out of anything. Just trying to combine pieces in order to make something new. Is remixing and pirating wrong? In the eyes of the law yes, but as for the real answer to that question we might actually never know

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Life Lessons

Martin Scorsese's short film, Life Lessons covers many aesthetic concepts over the course of just one small film. The director uses color cinematography and music in order to tell his story in the most emotional and meaningful way possible. The story is basically about a painter named Lionel who is hung up on his artistic muse. A girl named Paulette, who honestly  isn't very nice to him. He loves her throughout this film, which portrays the most one sided relationship ever thought possible.

The director uses many iris shots throughout the entire film to establish the important things to focus on through out the film as Lionel tries very hard to get Paulette to stay in his life so he could stay inspired to continue painting. She threatens to leave throughout the entire film and eventually ends up leaving in the end. The colors and the music convey Lionel's emotions throughout the piece as Paulette messes with Lionel's head. The melancholy nature of the music guides us through the film helping us feel what he feels, until it crescendo's to a satisfying end. Leaving Lionel with a new muse, and a new outlook on life without Paulette.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Today's Film Era.

I believe we are in a hollywood era of realism, complete with gritty plots, with really dark and violent content. However I also argue that we are in an era of Hollywood known as "The Dry Spell." I say this because the amount of sequels and remakes that have been released since 2008 has been almost shameful. It might of been well made, it might have had a cool plot. But it wasn't anything new. It was something that had been done before. Just between then and now, we had a Boondock Saints sequel, two Saw sequels, a remake of Nightmare on Elm Street, a Halloween remake (plus a sequel to that released two years later) I could go on but the list is too long.

But even with the remakes, there is a much darker element about them. For instance the Halloween remake. Now we are familiar with Michael Myers, but we never knew his backstory before 2008. In this version, we show Michael as an 11 year old sociopath who lives with his abusive white trash family. One day he just snaps and kills his family. Now, we were familiar with a small part of this backstory. But I don't think anyone was expecting something this dark. Same with Nightmare on Elm Street. Nolan's Batman movies, and pretty much anything that isn't a kids movie is really dark or gritty in some way or another. I think its just a period of realistic thinking actually. People are throwing a realistic human struggle in their films which i personally love.

I think the power in film lies in honesty. Back ten or twenty years ago, it was all about a hero who went the distance, and always followed a strict moral code. I prefer this side of the Hollywood eras. These are movies that don't show your typical "Oh just pick yourself up and try again."These movies show that sometimes it's ok to stay down, and that sometimes things don't always turn out the way the hero wanted. That's life. So in this day and age, even though the remakes got a little out of control, todays modern movies are very dark, realistic and powerful. Power is how we influence and inspire. Isn't that kind of the point of being an artist? I do believe it is.

RIP: a remix manifesto

Throughout this documentary, I felt some surprise and most of all I felt frustrated. What caught my attention the most is that like very media company is owned by the same six companies, and that those six companies are owned by two corporations. What caught my attention the most is that when you download songs or something for free, those major corporations nickel and dime the people who downloaded media in spite of financial situations. That's just wrong. The corporations make a lot of money without their lawsuit earnings in the first place, so it makes you wonder about how much greed there is in those corporations.

Girl talk is an artist. No question about it. He takes sounds he likes, and combines them to make something new. That is what all artists do. There is no such thing as a guru in art anymore. All artists take elements of things they like, and throw them together in order to make something new. Does the phrase "draw from what you know" ring a bell?

The copyright laws are so extreme though that it's makes it harder for artists like Girl Talk to create without paying a ridiculous amount of money. They say "when you download a song for free, you hurt the artist." No we don't. The corporations that basically own a musicians music make all of the lawsuit money though. So your not screwing over the artist when you download music for free, your cheating millionaire corporations out of maybe ten bucks an album and for some reason they get off on screwing over the little guy. I wasn't aware of the business food chain until I saw that movie and read that article. I used to feel bad about downloading some songs for free and using them for my artistic purposes. I don't regret it anymore just because the system is so warped. The artist is getting ripped off by his record label, not us. They say "those who pirate music are a musicians worst enemy." We are not the enemy, the corporations are.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Bicycle Thief by Aaron Russell

Made in the Italian Neorealism era, The Bicycle Thief is hailed as one of the best foreign films ever made. The protagonist, Mr. Ricci is a poor man who is just trying to make ends meet. He has almost lost everything to begin with and is forced to sacrifice a little more in order to buy a bike for work. He gets his bike and gets his job. A job that would allow him to get his family back on their feet. However his luck runs a little lower when an unknown thief robs him of his bike. So he and his son set out on a journey to find the bike. They spend a whole day hunting for clues, and begging for help from whoever is willing. While he is on this hunt, he angers many people. He gets more and more desperate as the day goes on, leaving him getting more frustrated and more apt to making rash choices. His relationship with his son is tested as well as his relationships with his neighborhood. After searching all day with no luck, he breaks and tries to rob a bike. He gets caught though and is shamed in front of his son. His luck doesn't get better though and the movie ends he's caught and he doesn't achieve his goal of finding his bike.

The ending isn't the happiest ending in the history of film, but that is just part of the style. The Italian neorealism films where typically a little more depressing both in setting and emotional vibe. The Bicycle Thief  is a perfect example of this. For instance, the depressing ending. A common characteristic of this film era was that the protagonist didn't always get what he wanted.

 These films were shot almost exclusively on location in these more run down cities and some rural areas to depict the "post war" setting. The topic was mainly set around the lower class and what living was like for them. It's because of this that most of the actors in these films where common working people. The filmmakers wanted a more self conscience vibe from the actors so that their struggles seemed more realistic. A trend that paid of greatly in the long run because the it made the emotion so much more raw and the struggles so much more apparent. The history of Italian cinema was dominated by this technique of filmmaking. It's impact, as well as the impact of the French New Wave films had a lasting impact on films all over the world.

Monday, October 7, 2013

German Expressionism response

I watched German director Robert Wiene’s film, The Cabinet of Doctor Caligari.He also made many other films during the expressionist era such as Raskolnikow, which was an adaptation of the novel Crime and Punishment. The German Expressionism period was what inspired more modern films such as Tim Burton’s films Batman, Edward Scissorhands, and Sweeney Todd. This film technique hit it’s peak after world war 1. The films were meant to depict the suffering and destruction that followed the war. The sets we sometimes cluttered and dull, and the stories where darker. The composition depended almost entirely on the mis-en-scene, which often included abstract details to depict emotional states.

Considering all these factors of the german expressionism period, I have written a script that I have weaved in some of these factors. I tried to paint a picture of a war torn country, and the desolation and sadness that the people lived in. It follows an ex soldier in a dead in job after the united states are divided in half by panic and fear.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Film History Post 2

Lumiere's Actualities

I chose these films because I felt like they would've had the most vocal reactions from the viewers. The violence and absurdity would've caused some outrage. People back then where much more shall I say conservative on issues such as graphic violence and such. So that's Why I gave my previous port the tone that I did.