Friday, 13 November 2009

Box Office Figures of Similarly Themed Films to 'Judgement'

Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992)

Budget: $40,000,000

Gross revenue-
Total in USA: $82,522,790
Total worldwide: $215,862,692

Interview with the Vampire (1994)

Budget: $60,000,000

Gross revenue-
Total worldwide: $223,664,608

The Sixth Sense (1999)

Budget: $40,000,000 (plus $25,000,000 for prints and advertising)

Gross revenue-
Opening weekend: $26,600,00
Total in USA: $293, 506, 292
Total Worldwide: $675, 806, 292

Memento (2000)

Budget: $4,500,000

Gross revevnue-
Total in USA: $25,544,867
Total worldwide: $39,665,950

The Skeleton Key (2005)

Budget: $43,000,000

Gross revenue-
Opening Weekend: $16, 057, 945
Totall Worldwide: $47,907,715

Jennifer's Body (2009)

Budget: $16,000,000

Gross revenue-
Opening Weekend: $6,800,000
Total in USA: $16, 149, 944
Total Worldwide: $18, 726, 525

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Opening Film Analysis- Jennifer's Body

The film begins by slowly zooming in on a house. It is set at night and the non-deigetic sound is eerie, creating tension. We then see a close up of a hand picking at a scab, which to most viewers would be repulsive and disturbing. As the camera continues to pan towards the house we hear wind chimes in the background, this sound is usually an indexical reference to peace and relaxation, so it is used out of context, however this technique just adds to the creepy atmosphere. There is then a close up shot of a girl's mouth sucking on her long hair, another image intended to disgust viewers. In the shots of the scab and hair chewing, the diegetic volume is accelerated so we can hear the sound of ripping skin and the saliva in her mouth. Further accentuating the effect of nausea being created.
Next we pan up to the window of a girl's bedroom, the television is playing an exercise work-out programme and this noise once again doesn't correspond with the tension of the scene. After this there is a long shot of the girl, the lead protagonist called Jennifer played by Megan Fox, sat on her bed and the movie title appears in pink, fancy font. This indicates that this film may be mostly aimed toward a female audience as the font is feminine.
We then see from the long shot the character of Jennifer lying on her bed writing in a notebook as the television continues to play. The upbeat tone of a woman's voice emitting from the television doesn't match with her sad facial expression.
All of a sudden we see a long shot of a hooded girl stood outside Jennifer's window, staring at her with intense widened eyes, the sound pauses as this happens as if time is standing still. We assume that the panning shot through the front garden to the house was from this girl's point of view. A mid shot then shows Jennifer turn her head to look out the window, but nothing is there, as she rolls onto her side the camera zooms in on her face. This is when the narrator begins to speak, it is the voice of the girl stood outside.
In the next scene we are taken to an entirely different location, the shot pans out from barred windows into a small room to see the back of a girl sat on a stool. She is is wearing what appears to be a hospital gown. She starts by saying "Hell is a teenage girl" and talks about receiving letters and gifts from her 'fans', the camera pans over the mise-en-scene of opened mail and an array of obscure items.
We assume from the setting and costume that she a patient in a mental institution, a mid shot shows one of the workers then come to the door and ask her to get ready. Whilst she gets changed there are close up shots of scratches and injuries on her body, showing she must have been through a traumatic, violent experience. Before she leaves, the camera zooms in on a picture of a boy, we don't know who he is or his significance in the story yet. During this, her narration talks about how people are telling her to "embrace Jesus Christ into her heart", but says it has made no difference, this makes us think she must have done something bad and is seeking forgiveness.
A mid shot shows her putting on fluffy bunny slippers, this connotes innocence, an unexpected image to see in such a grim setting. A tracking long shot follows her walking through a courtyard wearing a bright orange jumpsuit, as are other women around her, further showing this is an institution. She is alone, evidently unhappy from her facial expression.
A jump cut then shows a close up view of a medical chart, we assume of the girl, with the word 'KICKER' written on it in capital letters and underlined several times, she narrates this description with a proud tone. The next is a mid shot is of her looking longingly outside through the barred windows of a cafeteria, connoting that she craves freedom.
A female doctor then approaches and tries to start a conversation with the girl, for no apparent reason she kicks the woman across a table in a fit of rage, referencing back to her 'kicker' reputation. A close-up shows blood dripping on the floor from the doctor's mouth. The troubled girl then screams "I recommend you shut the f**k up!" and spits on the woman as we see from a low angle shot to show her overpowering status at that moment in time. A long shot shows the entire room of other inmates start cheering her on, and then a mid-shot as the other staff try to restrain her.
She is dragged down a hallway, a birds eye shot shows her being thrown into a concrete cell. She crawls up to a wall and sits against it with her legs crossed, the camera zooms up to her distressed face from the corner of the room and we hear the sound of her breathing heavily. Her narrated dialogue is saying that she wasn't always this "cracked" and that it all started "when the murders began", we assume this is what the movie will be about. All the lights fade away and cheerful music starts playing from ceiling speakers that we see a quick close up of, this is contrapuntal use of sound. The shot then returns to a mid shot of her covering her ears and commenting on her hatred for the song, finished by a mid shot her curling into a fetal position.

Friday, 6 November 2009

History of Film

The birth of film began in the late 19th century, the Frenchman Louis Loumiere is credited as the inventor of the motion picture camera in 1895. To be precise, he created a 'cinematograph' which served as a film projector and developer as well as a camera. For the first 20 years in the beginnings of motion picture, films were silent and lasted for only a few minutes. However in 1927, after years of experimentation, a means of recording sound that would be synchronous with the moving imagery was discovered. Before this there would sometimes have been live musicians or a commentary spoken by a showman in the cinema as the film played. The first movie containing dialogue was The Jazz Singer. The first Academy Awards ceremony took place in 1929.

After this technological breakthrough a high majority of films were shot in sound from the 30s onwards, exceptions to this are the films of Charlie Chaplin, who refused to conform to this new era of non-silent films. Famous movies made during this period include: The Wizard of Oz, Gone with the Wind, Dracula, Frankenstein, King Kong and The Public Enemy (beginning of 'gangster' films). This time was also the beginning of Disney's animated motion pictures when they released Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in 1937.

After the introduction of sound in films the industry continued to grow in popularity. Going to the cinema was becoming less of a luxury and more commonplace amongst western society. Hollywood was now becoming the principal producer of films to large audiences. Several major studio corporations were beginning to form such as Paramount, MGM, Warner Bros., 20th Century Fox, Universal and Columbia. This all led to what is now known as 'The Golden Age of Hollywood' during the 40s. American cinema was at its peak of emitting an image of glamour and appealed to international viewers. The first classic 'movie stars' during this period include Clark Gable, Audrey Hepburn, Humphrey Bogart and Shirley Temple.

Due to the industry's success it was not much affected by the Great Depression, World War Two brought on a proliferation of movies as both patriotism and propaganda. Well-known films released at this time include: Casablanca, Citizen Kane made by Orson Welles, It's a Wonderful Life, Great expectations and Oliver Twist.

The 50s Cold War era zeitgeist led to a series of near-paranoia themed films, such as some with plots based on invading armies of evil aliens (War of the Worlds). After this period there was a revival of 'epic' movies, to entice audiences, including Ben-Hur and Spartacus. The fad for 3D only lasted 2 years (1952-1954) and helped sell films such as House of Wax and Creature from the Black Lagoon. During this time a turning point commenced in society of questioning the establishment and societal norms as well as the Civil Rights Movement, this reflected in some films such as 12 Angry Men and On the Waterfront. Other notable movies throughout this decade include Oklahoma!, Around the World in Eighty Days and Cleopatra.

In the early 60s Hollywood films were still aimed at family orientated audiences with box office hits like Mary Poppins, The Sound of Music and My Fair Lady. However as the decade progressed more violence and nudity was allowed to be shown on screen. This was the time when the James Bond films were first introduced. The nuclear paranoia at this time prompted the making of films such as Stanley Kubrick's Dr.Strangelove and Fail Safe. By the late 60s however more revolutionary and groundbreaking movies were being made including- Bonnie and Clyde, The good, the bad and the ugly, The Graduate, Midnight Cowboy and documentary films including one about the Vietnam War called In the Year of the Pig.

The 70s onwards is now seen as 'New Hollywood' or post-classical cinema, story lines contained more shocking twist-endings and 'noir' tones. These include Rebel Without a Cause, Hitchcock's Psycho, A Clockwork Orange, The French Connection and Dirty Harry. A new group of filmmakers emerged: Steven Spielberg (Jaws and Close Encounters of the Third Kind), Martin Scorsese (Taxi Driver), Francis Ford Coppola (The Godfather trilogy) and George Lucas (Star Wars movies). Disaster films were also popular including The Towering Inferno and The Poseidon Adventure. Other cultures were now starting to create popular films such as Bruce Lee's Enter the Dragon which inspired many martial arts films after it and the Australian Mad Max films.

Blockbuster films made in the 80s include the Indiana Jones films, E.T, Scarface starring Al Pacino, Terminator and Tim Burton's Batman. In the 90s special effects were more widely used in movies like Titanic and Pixar's animated Toy Story, but more independent films were still popular such as Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction.

Today in the 21st century movie makers continue to entertain and amaze audiences. Notable achievements of modern cinema include The Lord of the Rings based on the novels by JRR Tolkien, The Matrix, Gladiator and The Dark Knight featuring the late Heath Ledger's portrayal as The Joker and the first film to be filmed at least partially with IMAX technology.