Frangled: How Frozen and Tangled Overlap

This is my final video project for Introduction to Multimedia Composition! I used iMovie to create the video and I used audacity to create the soundtrack.

As you know I am a Disney freak, so I wanted to create a new way of looking at two movies that have created a phenomenon. Enjoy!

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Rough Draft Project Proposal

So if I haven’t made it obvious already, I’m obsessed with all things Disney. I love the movies, the theme parks, the music, just everything that Disney has created. They have so many genius works, and I want to take a closer look into their latest phenomenons, Tangled and Frozen.  Both these films have joined the ranks as “Disney Classics,” as Pixar is not involved and they are in a musical format. However, Disney presents them both in computer animation, much like in Pixar movies. In other words, they put a modern spin on the classic musical movies that Disney is famous for. These movies are similar in so many ways, which highlights the idea that Disney has figured out what people are most entertained by, and used that to their advantage.  This is in no way a drawback about Disney because despite the similarities, they managed to create so many great films, each with their own prestige and entertainment value.

For my project, I want to draw the parallels between the two movies, since they are very similar in characters and themes.  I will most likely do this in video format using iMovie on my computer, since I know that program pretty well. I am going to find clips from both movies that I can cut together to show each aspect that I want to compare.  Then I’ll use text in between clips to introduce each new idea.  I don’t think I’m going to superimpose the clips together, as I would rather show the audience the clips separately to really give them a chance to see how similar the ideas really are.

To take it a step further, I am going to cut together the soundtracks, since they are an integral part of both movies. Although the music in each is composed by different people, I believe that they still have a similar sound and will flow together smoothly. I’ll probably use audacity to edit the music together in a way that shows this parallel, and have it playing behind the clips and images that I put in the video.  If there is dialogue I want to use in the movie clips, I can have the music volume decrease for that part.  I don’t think it would work well to completely cut the soundtrack out for clips with dialogue because it might make it a little choppy sounding.

At the end of the video, I want to show the one real difference between that two movies and that is the idea of true love saving the day.  This is a common theme in Disney, so of course it shows up in both these movies too. However, usually true love implies a romantic relationship between a man and a woman (Rapunzel’s kiss saves Flynn), but Frozen completely blows this cookie-cutter idea out of the water when her sister’s love is what save’s Anna, not her crush Christophe. I really love this plot twist because Disney “did what they always do” but at the same time, they changed it up to keep everyone on their feet. Girl power for the win!!

 

 

Becoming the Swan

BLACK-SWANEver hear the expression “getting into character”? Well Nina (Natalie Portman) in Black Swan takes this old saying to a whole new level.  Nina, a reserved, professional ballerina in New York, finds her career taking off when she is cast as the Swan in Tchaikovsky’s classic Swan Lake that is being put on by her dance company.  However, she struggles to really capture the essence of both the white,  innocent swan, and the black, seductive swan because, as the director keeps reminding her, her personality is really only that of the white swan.  You can tell right from the beginning that something is slightly odd about Nina.  Maybe it’s that she still lives with her mother in her bedroom decorated for a 12-year-old, or that she barely says more than two words to anyone.  In any case, she begins to crumble under the pressure of her new role and begins to slip into some sort of weird psychosis where she starts having hallucinations, like seeing an alternate version of herself as she walks down the hallway or taking skin off her own fingers.  My original reaction was that this girl is schizophrenic and she needs serious medical help, but in seeing the movie a couple times at this point, I have begun to realize the truth behind her insanity.  Nina herself actually becomes the Swan and begins to subconsciously act out a real-life version of the classic tale: the white swan falls in love, but she can never let herself go enough to seduce him until her “evil twin” comes out and steals him out from under her, so she kills herself and as the movie says “she truly finds freedom.”  It’s hard to tell at first, but Nina goes through almost this exact story.  She begins to slowly let herself go as she battles her inner demon and her director (who she seems to fall in love with when he tries to teach her the art of seduction), both of whom tell her she can never fulfill both roles, until the final scene when she plays the Black Swan perfectly, only to find out that she has stabbed herself with broken glass in her dressing room in a fit of psychotic rage before going onstage to “die” in the production.  At this moment, the story and her life overlap, and both her and her character find the inner peace that they had been longing for as their lives slip away.  At this moment, Nina truly is the Swan:

A Wordless Love Story

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Paperman (2012)

The only thing I can think in my head when I see something like this is: AWWWWWW! In my opinion, this one screenshot tells an entire love story.  At the first glance, you can tell that there is a connection between these two. It is undeniable that he’s looking down and clenching his fist because he’s nervous and she’s playing with her hair because she is equally as nervous. Meanwhile, she’s also trying to get a better glance at him, clearly checking him out to make sure that he’s as cute as she first thought.  They’re kind of an awkward distance away because they don’t really know what to do and who should make the first move.

2014-02-20_15-32-16Call me a hopeless romantic, but I’m a big fan of the classic love story, so I when I saw the power of this wordless exchange, I just had to capture it.  From this one shot, they’re whole love story is already unfolding before my eyes.  Now, I can’t say for sure just from this that they’ll end up together and live happily ever after, but I think what draws me is the possibility of it. That feeling when you meet someone and you know by some weird instinctual gut feeling that they are someone special, and you should not let this opportunity pass. You see later that, by a strange force of magic, they do indeed end up meeting again.  The film leaves off with them gazing into each others eyes, and you can only assume that this is the beginning of a beautiful relationship. If only it were this easy in real life!

Framing the Story

There are many film fanatics out there who are recently coming up with different ways to summarize movies than just writing about their plot.  Bloggers are now taking to the internet to attempt to visually represent movie plots through pictures, screenshots, and even title sequences.  One of them in particular caught my eye; a tumblr account entitled Movies in Frames.  This site features an extensive collection of movies for which the author attempts to capture a movie’s essence and meaning by pasting together only four frames from the entire film.  Now I say attempt here because although very creative and interesting to look at, I don’t think the creator chose the best frames for really any movie I looked at.  I posted a few of the best ones I could find below, but as someone who has seen these movies probably a thousand times, I feel there are much better shots to represent the movie as a whole, as a lot of the chosen frames seem somewhat insignificant to me.  Overall, these posts just seem a little too clipped and concise.  There is not nearly enough information to get a sense of what the movie is about, and you lose a lot of the meaning, depth, and more importantly, entertainment value of the film by cutting it down so extremely.

Despite all this, though, the site did still catch my attention for it’s efforts in showing movies in a new perspective.  I think it is very interesting (and probably very difficult) to condense a full-length feature into only 4 screenshots, while still covering the entire span of the movie, so I have to commend the author for taking on this feat.  It makes me think about whether a movie really can be broken down and presented as such.  Maybe it doesn’t tell the whole story, but for movies I’ve seen it was kind of cool to see parts I recognized and imagine what was happening at that very moment. Alternately, if the shots for a movie I have not seen are captivating enough, it might just persuade me to check out the film.  So although a little too much of a short-cut for me, these works are definitely thought-provoking and worth perusing.

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Beauty and the Beast (1991)

Grease (1971)
Grease (1971)

Tweeted Top Five

My top five favorite movies in 140 characters or less (with visual aids).

Image@randomreviews Silver Linings Playbook is an inspiring and humorous movie that almost de-stigmatizes mental illness. JLaw and Mr. Cooper are a great pair.

Image@randomreviews There are so many words to describe Frozen. Fun, awesome, great music, Broadway-like, includes Idina Menzel. Another great one by Disney.

Image@randomreviews Tangled became a favorite before Frozen. Disney makes a classic in digital. I love the music and the plot. Surprising but great cast.

hunger games meme@randomreviews I would volunteer to watch Hunger Games any day! Fast, exciting, based on a great book series and again JLaw steals the show. Worth it!

bridesmaids gif@randomreviews One word describes Bridesmaids: HILARIOUS! Love the cast including some SNL veterans. One of the most quoted movies and for good reason.

Adaptation or Imagination?

“You are what you love, not what loves you.”  This heartfelt line in the movie Adaptation from the main character’s seemingly basic twin brother caught me by surprise when oddly placed in the middle of one of the strangest movies I’ve ever seen.  The plot line is based on the story of how Charlie Kaufman “adapted” a movie from the somewhat dull, slow-moving book The Orchid Theif, which turns out to be a whole different world completely from its text.  Clearly, he completely let his imagination run wild when he spiced up the story with romance, conflict, drug addicts, and other hollywood themes; ironically, all things that he, the main character of the movie (played by Nicholas Cage), says he doesn’t want his movie to include.  In the movie, Charlie just wants his movie to be simple and to do justice to the novel he is trying to portray, but the plot gets out of hand when the people brainwashed by “Hollywood ideals” start giving their input on the project, including his own twin brother Donald who is in the process of writing the exact kind of overused mush that Charlie wants to avoid.  At first glance, this movie is extremely bizarre and misleading, and I’m pretty sure I had no idea what was going on for most of it.  However, in retrospect, Adaptation actually presents much more depth than originally meets the eye, as it serves to comment on the exact principles that Denby describes in his work “Do the Movies Have a Future?”  In this book, Denby comments on the fact that film has become a business venture rather than an art form.  He claims that writers and producers just want to create huge spectacles for as many people as possible rather than making a picture that really  means something.  The character Charlie seems to represent movie purists like Denby who feel that Hollywood is just one giant movie-making machine that has lost its artistry in pursuit of big hits and even bigger incomes.  By adding the crazy, over-the-top elements to the uneventful plot of The Orchid Theif, Kaufman sets out to satirize this downfall of cinema.  However, in turn, he then creates a much more interestingadaptation1_10241 story than the book provided for him.  I think the issue hits a brick wall here though because if he had followed the book exactly, the movie would not have attracted any audiences due to its dull nature, but with all the extra nonsense comes a more attractive finished product.  It seems like Hollywood has gotten itself into a dangerous loop here as either way seems wrong, and  it comes back to whether it is truly important to have a huge hit or to make a work of art.  So the question then stands, do hollywood writers create works based on what they love, or do they only work for an audience that will love them?