Her movie explanation


In the beginning there was only the Self, like a person alone … But the Self had no delight as one alone has no delight. It desired another. It expanded to the form of male and female in tight embrace and then fell into two parts…. She thought, “How can He have intercourse with me, having produced me from Himself?”

Alan Watts, OM: The Sound of Hinduism

There’s quite a few “braids” in Spike Jonze’s HER. Just looking at a screen cap from the movie, it’s obvious that there’s purely visual messages, verbal ones, and even some post-verbal (transcendental?) ones.

1) Color, saturation, light. The use of pastel colors in the background and strong saturated hues in the protagonist = simple joy of being alive.

2) Remote interactions. With Skype, Facetime (video calls in general) and Facebook, Twitter (async communications), we’ve become accustomed to an always ON, always available contact, even if it has some limitations when it comes to interactivity.

3) Machines already beat us in most cognitive tasks (chess, Jeopardy), what form will their love take? Will it be multi-threaded, cloud-based, etc. Maybe it will be exclusive and permanent (Steven Spielberg’s AI).

4) What form should a relationship take. In the midst of the discussion of gay marriage, the conventions for what constitutes a relationship will be challenged. Is Samantha in love with the other 641 people as a female AI called Samantha? I don’t think so but it’s up to us to decide.

5) In one way, the movie is a response to Lost in Translation; it’s also a commentary on Spike Jonze’s relationship with Sofia Copolla, Lost in Translation’s Director. Consider that Scarlett Johansson is central to both movies – as a platonic ideal.

6) The Future is warm, light, and optimistic. Even funny at times. This is in contrast with the latest wave of adolescent fantasies: Hunger Games, Ender’s Game, and now Divergent.

What else?

Metallica: Through the Never meaning

I saw Metallica: Through the Never yesterday and I was blown with the production.

However, because of the narrative (i.e. story) that takes place, it seems that the discussions seems to center on the bag and what’s inside it. In other words: what’s the MEANING of the story? Here’s the gist, you’ll find some support below it:

Metallica is all about the fan; the fan, who goes to Hell and back, so s/he could be with them.

Getting the bag is a quest and just as the Holy Grail, it’s not about the item itself, it’s about the journey and the faith. If the thing that Metallica absolutely needs for the show. That single fan.
metallica through the never meaning
Sir Ken Robinson quoted a drama guy, who said that the core experience in a theater is just the actor and one person in the audience. You can get rid of lighting, scenery, even director and playright.

I’m pretty sure that the director, Nimrod Amtal, studied this back in Hungary, it’s a probably a European perspective.It also goes back to something Lars said in the interviews. They are doing it for the fans and as a creative challenge for themselves. James also stated clearly that breaking even is not likely and paying it off will probably pass to their kids.

So yes, it’s basically a private show for just you, the real Metallica fan, like Trip did in the last “scene”.

Let’s highlight a few of the elements that the director used to communicate this message:

  • The opening shot: the fan that couldn’t get to the show because it was sold out. He is NOT the ideal fan, he was late, besides sporting a beer belly.
  • The fears: the fears that Trips is facing are the “normal” things that every fan faces going to a concert: the crazy headbangers, on one side, and the police, on the other.
  • Last (titles) scene: a look at the artist, as opposed to the performer; the four members forming a closed circle, the focus being on them loving what they do, even if there’s no one watching.

Leave your comment, if agree or disagree.

Canon EOS C300 1080p Camcorder

Canon has done quite a bit of “different” thinking when coming up with its new EOS C300 camera/camcorder. Some in-depth reviews can be found here and here.

If you are one of the people who own a DSLR from Canon, you are aware of their current trend to allow the camera to function as a camcorder as well (especially, the 5D Mark II). So the new C300 shows that the Canon can drop their hybrid approach and focus fully on a camera that is like DSLR in terms of form factor but has the feature set of a full-frame movie camera.

The important question is this: “Is Canon EOS C300 going to replace Canon X line, HVX200 or Sony’s new generation of indie video camcorders“. I think the answer is pretty clear – only if you have a pretty impressive budget! The list price of the new camcorder is 20,000 USD with the “real” price being in the 14,000-15,000 range.

So amateur filmmakers can forget about this camera but if you are shooting even a (semi) professional documentary, you could definitely go for it.

So You Want to Be a Filmmaker

Is it time in your life to consider a career direction – and you just can’t the idea of filmmaking out of your head? Perhaps it is a recent producer (Thomas Langmann), director (Michel Hazanavicius) or cinematographer (Robert Richardson) who won at the 2012 Oscars (for The Artist, The Artist and Hugo, respectively) who inspires you. Or, you are a natural storyteller and feel drawn to the power of film on an instinctive level.

If that is the case, what do you have to do to get there? Wikiversity.org says a few things about training to be a filmmaker, including the following:

1. “Filmmaking is not rocket science. Everything about filmmaking is extremely easy to learn. Anyone can do it if they wish.”

2. “The challenge is filmmaking requires learning a huge number of skills. Each skill is easy to learn but the number of things you must learn is huge. If you want to be an independent filmmaker, you must learn the equivalent of 20 different careers. Even if you are a fast learner, it can take you years to learn everything.”

3. Filmmaking is intrinsically a hands-on experience, so long-distance education even if it’s WebEx video conferencing, cannot replace the feel of being there.

That should be both encouraging and instructive. An education in the art is almost certainly required. So the next question is where to get that education? Is a four-year university degree required? Can filmmaking and related skills (cinematography, directing, producing, screenwriting, etc.) be learned in a technical-school environment without trying to earn a bachelor’s degree?

For better or worse, there are many options to choose from. Consider whether the university or arts school environment – as well as the physical location and costs – matter to you most. Here are some thoughts on the topic of film schools:

• University film schools or arts academies? There are many “name” universities that have a filmmaking program (U. of Arizona, UCLA, USC, Northwestern, City University of New York, Columbia University, and many others), while other schools have a clearer focus on arts and entertainment (Berkeley Digital Film Institute, New York Film Academy, California Institute of the Arts, Columbia College Hollywood, and others). What’s the difference? Some people want to study with non-arts people, while some prefer it the other way around. And some students’ parents insist they get a dual major with film in “something practical” such as accounting or teaching – not the most confident approach, but perhaps it won’t hurt to pursue one’s art with a broader worldview.

• Physical location of the film school. It goes without saying that film students will be shooting a lot of digital video on location as part of their study. The actual geography, people, architecture and weather of that location can be both backdrop and subject of their films. So the student might consider whether a rural, urban, desert or forested location provides them with the kinds of environment they would like to develop their skills in (certainly, a student could travel just about anywhere to shoot, but that would likely be at their own expense).

• Cost of the film school education. As a rule of thumb, a four-year university degree will be twice that of a two-year degree. Also, room and board fees generally follow the cost of living for anyone living in that particular city or town. Columbia University, in New York City, charges $24,724 per year for students in their MFA program, plus an additional $16,200 for room and board. In contrast, the Colorado Film School, part of the Community College of Aurora, will cost a Colorado resident only $9,200 to achieve a two-year Associate’s degree ($28,900 for non-state residents).

Not everyone is going to be the next James Cameron (Titanic, Avatar, Aliens) or Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker), although a handful of aspiring filmmakers studying the art today may well be. It’s important to know that filmmaking doesn’t begin and end at the Cineplex. People with any of the many skills associated with filmmaking can find work in commercial shoots, documentaries, corporate productions and in education, in addition to the plethora of jobs in the traditional film industry. With the value of video on the Internet, savvy marketers are employing short films to draw traffic, sell products and educate consumers. Even trial lawyers produce films (i.e., they do hire filmmakers, though you won’t using an ARRI) to make their case in front of judge and jury in large-ticket litigation.

Filmmaking always has and always will be an exciting career for those who love the medium and love to tell a good story. As Wikiversity says, it’s a challenge involving a huge number of easy-to-learn skills and yet it might take years to learn. But in case it looks like fun to you, you’re right. It is.

Update: Post with the assistance of New York Film Academy and Wikiversity.org

Sony NEX FS100

Sony’s new NEX-FS100 camcorder is positioned exactly where Z series was a few years back. It is a wedding photographer’s wet dream come true but also a tool for many indie videographers who can finally afford a “real” 35mm camera.

The list price for the new Sony camcorder is just below $6,000. This is exactly the price point where you start wondering if it won’t be better to own it, instead of renting it every time you need it.

A detailed review as always comes from ProVideo. A few highlights:

  • The camera can record 1080/60p, 1080/60i, 1080/30p, 1080/24p, and 720/60p in AVCHD, at data rates from 5-28 Mbps depending on format.
  • In 24 frames per second, the FS100 allows shutter speeds of 3, 6, 12, 24, 40, 48, 50, 60, 96, 100, 120, 144, 192, 200 288, 400, 576, 1200, 2400, 4800, and 10000
  • The FS100 uses a single “Super35mm” CMOS sensor with a color filter array; it’s 23.6 mm × 13.3 mm.