Analyzing Film Paper

Jomack Miranda

4/12/13

Prof. Huaser

Analyzing Film Paper

            (Word count: 683)

 

The Human Reach

     It is a human characteristic to desire. Humans are obsessed with bettering their circumstances, whether it is within an occupation or within recreational circumstances. In the short film Reach, a robot, which reflects many human qualities, illustrates the human yearning for betterment within a much smaller world. The robot unsuccessfully journeys to freedom, destroying itself in the process and manifesting how humans tend to disregard important aspects of their lives for the pursuit of a goal. The robot’s journey (from learning how to walk in the beginning and then failing to reach the window at the end) parallels the existence of a person who is blinded by the attainment of a goal (i.e. reaching the window). Reach employs a humanized robot in order to draw attention to the over-ambitious, or self-destructive, nature of human beings.

     The stack of books and the screws depict how blind humans can be to the repercussions of being over-ambitious. In the beginning of the film, the robot first spots the screws, running to them and ignoring the books (1:58). The screws signify the means of production, a metaphor for the tools one needs to succeed. Yet, the way the robot childishly handles the screws (exemplified by how the robot throws them up in the air in celebration [2:01]) suggests that humans rush to be successful without truly understanding how to carry out their plan. There is a certain naivety in rushing to complete a goal and not taking the time to meticulously organize one’s way to success. Essentially, by ignoring the books, which represent education or the ability to act wisely, the robot sets itself up for failure.

     The screws end up inhibiting the robot’s success; furthering the argument that acting blindly in pursuit of a goal can only be detrimental. Mesmerized by the bird and the freedom that exists beyond the window, the robot goes through a trial and error process to get out of the room. It pulls the cord that connects it to the power source until the power source lodges on a screw (2:43). The robot never even looks back at the screw let alone contemplates whether it should try to remove it. This inability to think during the pursuit of the goal is detrimental, eventually killing the robot. Essentially, Reach shows that without reflection humans will hurdle themselves toward their goal without regard for their lives in a robotic and mindless fashion.  

     The film’s final mise-en-scène (3:31) shows the robot under the window, the books and an errant screw from left to right. The close but significant physical distances between these three objects express how humans do not always see the tools, the knowledge, the goal, as interconnected. This is not to say that humans do not value education as a means of achieving success, but it is natural to be enticed by instant gratification. Essentially, this final scene illustrates how being consumed by immediate success leads to demise. The window above the robot shows how the goal is literally out of the robot’s reach. The untouched books represent ignorance of the value of a slower, more gradual process to success. Lastly, the lone screw, which is small and almost insignificant in appearance, represents the stupidity of not considering the use of certain tools that could aid in achieving the goal. 

     Reach uses a human-like robot to underline the over-aspiring, or self-damaging, tendencies of humanity. The Victorian wallpaper existing in the background of the main mise-en-scène antiquates the room, suggesting that humanity’s over-ambitious nature should be abandoned. Reach mainly communicates the need to substantiate one’s journey to success with knowledge and wisdom. If the robot had stopped to think about its circumstance, it probably would have waited to be charged and then detach itself from the cord in order to travel a further distance. Its urgency to reach the goal, however, prevailed, leading to its death. Much like transitory battery life that made the robot doomed to fail the window from the beginning, a human only lives so long. Reach thus ultimately comments on the fleeting nature of humanity and how goals are rendered meaningless by death.

 

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hw for 4/12

I think image Metrics is a great thing. Why not have the capabilities to create almost-real looking people through the utilization of computer graphics? That being said, I do think using real life actors to play younger or even different looking people then themselves is a little weird. While so much of film is fabricated and spectacle oriented, I think there is something to say about the natural qualities of an actor and what he or she can bring to the film being made. Using the image metrics in this way creates a disconnect between the actor and character. No old man or woman should be playing a 15 year old version of themselves; I think the animated representation would have to be manipulated to a point that would render that actor’s talent meaningless. For video games, however, Image Metrics offers a great opportunity to fabricate real life on a level never before seen. To add humanistic facial expressions and increase how relatable these characters are can only benefit the gaming industry. 

Hw for 4/10

Hushlak believes that mistakes lead to new avenues of discovery. Herbst, however, believes that by causing mistakes intentionally one can redefine the culture around computer generated imagery. Herbst thinks that through the abstraction, or subversion, of computer code, one disrupts the masculinity of CGI, which “is linear and hierarchical in structure, enforcing singularity over multiplicity, thus mirroring patriarchy” (Herbst). I think the Hushlak argument is more convincing because it seems more practical for an artist to understand. Herbst’s argument is very political and, while probably true, is not very relevant to an artist’s understanding of how he or she can use CGI creatively. 

Hw for 4/8

In a nutshell, why might people be afraid of VR?  Does VR have an indexical relationship to what it represents?

A: Basically, people are afraid of virtual reality because it makes people feel cheated. People are mad at the fact that what they are watching is untruth and that it has no material place in the real world. This idea of immateriality, the fact that VR doesn’t give us anything to ‘hold’,  thus crafts an internal reality through computer stimulation/animation. This, obviously, has stark differences from our external reality. 

B: Virtual reality is not indexical in nature because within a movie that has aspects of VR, nothing is physically representative of our external existence. Rather it relies on a simulacra reality (a reality that is not physically existing by made by software to appear like it is). Sometimes people find this unpleasant and deceiving.

Analyzing Advertising Paper

Image

Jomack Miranda                                                                           (Word Count: 643)

Analyzing Advertising Paper

Prof. Hauser

4/1/13

Carlsberg Beer and Customer Alienation

            In today’s advertising world, targeting new, adult heterosexual male drinkers by objectifying women and by projecting the sexual fun associated with the consumption of alcohol is a norm. The Carlsberg Group, which is the 4th largest beer company in the world located in Copenhagen, Denmark, follows this business formula (Chaisson). However, one specific advertisement seems outrageously sexist and portrays men as too naïve. While Carlsberg targets young, male beer drinkers, this specific advertisement seems to alienate its audience by unintentionally ridiculing their childish behavior.

            The use of camouflage in the advertisement presents a mixed message; it displays the men as childish voyeurs, yet because they are adults their sexual intentions can appear predatory. While the scene could have been intended to create a sexual fantasy to attract young males, the men breach this naked woman’s privacy and spy on her, which is somewhat disturbing. The men are also naïve because they think their camouflage is successful. Yet, the woman can easily turn around and see the floating beers. Not only are the men naïve but they also are predatory. Camouflage is traditionally paired with hunting or as the Oxford English dictionary states, “the disguising of military personnel.” The advertisement, following beer’s sexist presentation of women, then puts the woman at risk of being ‘caught’, much like animal prey. This prey idea dehumanizes the woman, which furthers her objectification. Through the blatant objectification of the woman and the immaturity of the men in camouflage, Carlsberg could make its beer unattractive to men who find its content pushing ethical boundaries.

The three towels and the two vases with bamboo plants illustrate the tension between the subjects in the advertisement. The red towels, like the red chair and the red floor mat, pop, guiding the eye of the viewer to see the entirety of the advertisement. Like a rose, the redness of these elements signify romance and furthermore, feminine sensuality. Because of this, the draping red towel in the upper right corner connects to the woman. In addition, the vases appear phallic, representing the camouflaged men. The plants within each vase indicate the ‘seed’ of men or sperm. What is most significant, however, is the relationship between the draping red towel and the plants. The plants seem to be caressing the red towel, depicting what the men hope to do to the woman. While covert, this micro-scene containing these objects exhibit the sexual desires of the men, providing additional female objectification.

The bathtub is designed to complement the modernistic characteristics of the room, which further sexualizing the advertisement. Its curved bottom and white color make the bathtub look like a split egg, representing an ovum. Moreover, the bubbles, which are fluffy, can signify sperm. Like the towel-vase interaction, Carlsberg uses inhuman icons to perpetuate multiple subtle sex scenes. Such scenes, however, appear to crowd the image, making the advertisement’s message too grotesque for appreciation.

            The modern décor of the bathroom appears sophisticated, juxtaposing the childish behavior of the men. The room is spacious and has luxurious red velvet furniture. The room also appears very organized; items like the bottles of soap and the towels appear in groupings of threes. The modern construction of the room then makes the men’s intentions much more visible. Physically, the camouflaged men disrupt the neat qualities of the room; their outlines distort the two shelves on the back wall. The visibility of their bodies and their intentions could make the viewer not take the advertisement seriously, which could cause customer alienation.       

            The Carlsberg advertisement could alienate its customers by placing a naked, bathing female as a ‘centerpiece’ who is being spied on by three invisible men. Instead of attracting customers, the advertisement unintentionally satirizes drunken characteristics of men. Lastly, the female’s objectification and the men’s predatory nature create ethical issues that can backfire, distancing the intended audience from the product.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Selected Bibliography

Chaisson, Gail. “Carlsberg Canada Chooses GJP”. Feb 2009.            http://www.pubzone.com/newsroom/2009/3x090130x090839.cfm

 

 

 

 

 

Hw for 4/3

The last time I changed the aspect ratio was when I was watching a movie on an old t.v of mine. Whenever I would watch a movie, It would give me the option to watch it wide-screen or regularly. Currently, I have a plasma-flatscreen that enhances the shot to fit more horizontally no matter what. On another note that doesn’t really have to do with aspect ratio but still relates to how images are depicted on screen, my T.V. uses high definition imagery. This makes all the movies and t.v. shows really sharp, making it appear like a soap opera, which is quite annoying!

hw for 4/1

 

1)I watch T.V. on my television in my living room at home mostly. At school, I am finding it hard to watch regular t.v. simply because the T.V. in my room doesn’t have cable. I do, however, watch a lot of episodes of shows on Netflix. I find it very very addicting! 

2) I have briefly watched reality T.V. shows but I really do not enjoy watching them. There is nothing like a good scripted drama (late nights on sunday, usually on HBO) to put me in a good mood. I think reality TV is literally the demise of entertainment and furthermore, artistic film.