Saturday, 16 December 2017

Film Reviews | All Links

Film Reviews:

'What We Do in the Shadows' - Documentary/Mockumentary

The film 'What We Do in the Shadows', directed by Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi, is a Mockumentary created in New Zealand. The film follows a group of vampires as they go about their lives. It's filmed in a way that parodies the conventions of documentary making however with entirely fictional subjects it is a mockumentary.

The film is shot as a series of short sketches that are stitched together to create the whole film. The scenes fit together to tell a comedic account of a group of vampires that live in a flat together and the struggles they face in their daily lives. Examples of this include things such as not being allowed to enter buildings without being invited first as well as more trivial things such as their clothes being several years out of fashion.

The film is shot as if there is a film crew there that the characters frequently refer to, talk to and interact with as well as with scenes that are almost interview style moments with each of the vampires. The film crew have no lines but are always present and occasionally shown on camera, such as in the scene where the vampires run into werewolves on a full moon and some of the crew gets eaten. The film is shot as if through hand held camera's and the combination of that and the use of purely diegetic sounds create a sense of realism which is juxtaposed by the ridiculousness of the vampires themselves.

Illustration List:

Fig, 1. Movie Poster. Found at:

Friday, 15 December 2017

Exploitation and Mad Max Fury Road

The film 'Mad Max: Fury Road' (2015), directed by George Miller, is an example of an exploitation film. 'Mad Max: Fury Road' is the fourth Mad Max film to be created. The first falls into the category of B-movie while the more recent ones moves away from d-movies. 'Mad Max: Fury Road' is the most recent sequel to the film.

The film's plot is simple, a group of characters drive from point A to B and back again, however the way the story is told is what makes it more interesting than that. The film uses exploitation in it as it exploits violence and vehicles consistently throughout the film. This is something that's followed through all the mad max films as they have a focus on cars and bikes as well as on gruesome violence. Examples of the exploitation of vehicles can be seen in the vehicles the war boys use and in the war rig driven by Furiosa. Another key example would be the scene where we are first given a look at the war boys, specifically Nux. This is because they are given orders to chase the war rig and thus go to collect their steering wheels from a shrine to the V8, praying to it as they do. This glorifies a car engine to the status of a deity.

Violence is also exploited within the film with scene of war boys killing each other and one of a mans mouth being ripped off. Body horror and body modifications are seen throughout the film in many forms beginning with Max being chained and branded. Other examples include the war boys many modifications as well as Immortan Joe himself having what amounts to an oxygen mask on at all times as well as a clear chest piece used to cover his mutations..

Collaboration | Reflective Statement

The collaboration project was something I found enjoyable for the most part. I think that it allowed for a new and interesting working experience and allowed me to learn from my group mates. I found that it was difficult as well due to having to compromise and wait for other people's work. During the project one thing I felt went well was that we communicated with each other well and didn't argue over decisions regarding the work. We had discussions and found compromises well and this allowed us to get along with things easier. I think one thing we could have improved on is having a more stern approach in that we often tried to be nice to each other when we should have been a bit more stern in asking for things to be finished. I feel this is one reason we were unable to completely finish the animation.

If I were to redo the project I think the first thing I'd change about how I worked would be to work faster as I felt that I worked fairly slowly to begin with. Another change would be to have a more detail schedule to follow so that everything had time to be done. This was something that wasn't done during this project that I feel we would have benefitted from.

Overall I think the project went well as we managed to work together constructively however I feel that there are things that could have gone better. I think our ideas and designs were good and the way we communicated those at the start worked well but that we should have continued working at that pace instead of slowing down when we were uncertain. In conclusion I think that while there are many things about the project that could have gone better, we managed to arrive to a place that showed our intentions for the animation and conveyed our ideas.