Wednesday's Crit

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Things to think about for Wednesday's class:

Try not to use adjectives during the critique. (i.e. descriptive words we assume others can relate to) For example, what might be "creepy" or "fun" to you may not have the same associations to another.

Instead, try to say, "This was successful because..." and explain why you found it worked or didn't work.

Think about things we've been discussing throughout the semester such as sound, moving and still image, artists we've viewed and things you've liked or disliked about the way the work flows together and discuss your fellow classmates' work critically based on past assessments of previous work we've viewed and talked about in class.

Each student will be expected to comment on the other students being critiqued in class tomorrow, with constructive feedback regarding their final project.

For those being critiqued:

Bring at least three questions to the table.

Think about things you maybe wanted to do with the project or weren't sure about. Things you thought needed more work, different camera angles or themes you wanted to approach, or different sound you may have wanted to use.

You may also structure your critique in any way you like. You can have us discuss your work first and ask questions afterward, or present the questions first and have us talk after. Use your peer group to your advantage. You will each have 12 minutes per critique, so make it count!

5 objections

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I am not usually a fan of foreign films in which I have to read subtitles, but this one was different. I really liked how the movie was laid out. It was almost like a "making of the movie" documentary type movie. I really liked the 3rd obstruction. Either go back to Bombay or film it based on how you perceive it. I think Leth did a great job of portraying that portion of the story in a more modern tone. Often times using split screen camera angles depicting an older gentlemen as he went about his daily business. Leth showed how he got ready, how he walked through the town, and how he got around town. I liked the modern twist on a otherwise simple story. I think me least favorite was the 2nd obstruction because it just seemed so degrading to have someone in the middle of the slums eating a elegant meal surrounded by extremely poverty-stricken people. I enjoyed the original piece because of its simplicity but did not think it was the best. I enjoyed the white backdrop because it made the man seem almost god like, but i don't think it gave an accurate representation of the perfect human in the real world. I think the point of giving these objections was the try to get Leth to think outside the box and reinterpret the story in an entirely different context. I feel that Leth did a great job battling the objections. Each of these short stories told a different tale that helped explain who the perfect human was. If I had to give another objection to Leth I think I would ask him to film it in black and white with people he meets off the street. In regards to the meaning behind the title, I think that the perfect human is one who can do all those items discussed in the movie. Generally I feel that everyone has a bit of the perfect human in them. These were all things that ordinary people do.

Out of the five, the first one I liked the most. It seemed out of all of them to be the most like how I originally thought the obstructions would be. The Idea of putting the person in a place they've never been in, putting odd limits on the movie itself, and even doing something directly opposite of the original movie was to me the most "obtrusive" to making a re-make. The obstruction where he had to pick between going back to Bombay or doing one without any limits just seemed lazy, because of the uncreative "punishment".
I prefer Jorgan Leth's version more merely for the sake of seeing someone re-make an interesting movie, but with limits set on purpose to create a vastly different version.
The point of the obstructions was to put Jorgan Leth to the test, and as said in the movie to act as "therapy" and help him think in a new way. Jorgan Leth worked with the obstructions very well, especially with the India one where he had to show a miserable scene without actually showing it(though admittedly I'd agree that he went about it the wrong way) and also having the courage to have an extravagant meal in an area where people are begging for money.
If I had to set obstructions for another film, I'd probably have him make an old classic movie modern with internet clips, or make one genre of movie into another.
In the movie the idea of "The Perfect Human" seemed to be a semi-normal person doing regular things, yet I can't get my head around the idea that the "perfect human" was depicted as rich--or at least fancy. To achieve a "perfect human" in any media would have to be extremely opinionated and not meant for an audience, for everyone has a different idea as to what "perfect" is and even then if they thought about it they could still continuously find flaws with their own idea of "perfect".

5 Obstructions - Nate Morris

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My favorite version of Leth's five obstructions would be the animated version. I really liked how they took real images and made them seem unrealistic. It almost seemed to be like a dream state to me, because of the animation. I really liked how it separated the realistic aspect and made it more innocent almost, because I felt as though it was just some cartoon, rather than having a meaning. Overall I enjoyed the simplicity. My least favorite version was the Indian one, for somewhat obvious reasons. It was mildly disturbing to see him ignoring poverty and suffering like that, while he enjoyed wealth and good fortune. I thought the obstructions were what really made the film interesting. I found myself wondering how he was going to manage to work around all the different rules set for each version, and it was neat to see the final outcome. I also believe that it created much more of a challenge for Leth, because when limitations are set, that is when one must start thinking outside the box. If I had to set obstructions for Leth, I'm not exactly sure what I would set. Perhaps I would ask him to only use non-living things, because we have found out firsthand in class how hard it is to make non-living objects come to life. In accordance with the film, I feel as though the perfect human is a normal person. No disorders, sicknesses, deformations, nothing wrong with them, mentally or physically. It was not that they are extremely beautiful, strong, and intelligent. It seemed to be more about lacking problems than it did possessing talents.

5 Obstructions - Nate Morris

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My favorite version of Leth's five obstructions would be the animated version. I really liked how they took real images and made them seem unrealistic. It almost seemed to be like a dream state to me, because of the animation. I really liked how it separated the realistic aspect and made it more innocent almost, because I felt as though it was just some cartoon, rather than having a meaning. Overall I enjoyed the simplicity. My least favorite version was the Indian one, for somewhat obvious reasons. It was mildly disturbing to see him ignoring poverty and suffering like that, while he enjoyed wealth and good fortune. I thought the obstructions were what really made the film interesting. I found myself wondering how he was going to manage to work around all the different rules set for each version, and it was neat to see the final outcome. I also believe that it created much more of a challenge for Leth, because when limitations are set, that is when one must start thinking outside the box. If I had to set obstructions for Leth, I'm not exactly sure what I would set. Perhaps I would ask him to only use non-living things, because we have found out firsthand in class how hard it is to make non-living objects come to life. In accordance with the film, I feel as though the perfect human is a normal person. No disorders, sicknesses, deformations, nothing wrong with them, mentally or physically. It was not that they are extremely beautiful, strong, and intelligent. It seemed to be more about lacking problems than it did possessing talents.

The Five Obstructions

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My favorite of the five obstructions was #2. I was inspired by Jorgen Leth's take on a miserable place without showing it. Reenacting the jumping and shaving scene was much more interesting with people as background noise, interacting with him indirectly. My least favorite was the Cuba scene, not because it was too challenging to recreate or too simple, but I think he could have pushed the idea further. I would like to see more animation because his execution was beautifully composed and original. I believe that achieving "the perfect human" is possible in any media, considering that human beings are so complex, similarities can be found anywhere in nature or synthetic nature. The original film captures the fragile beauty of our being, asking lingering questions like Why is joy so whimsical? And happiness to brief? An obstruction I would place on Leth for another film would be to represent the perfect human using anything but a human being as subject matter.

The best obstruction was misery. Here, Vontrier was faced with more than an artistic decision; he was face with an ethical decision. He had to decide to put art before ethics. His decision to make the population visible in the film may have been, in my opinion, a selfish decision, perhaps to ease the guilt of taking advantage of the slum's residents, but it was the right decision. It captured the surrounding misery but also Vontrier's misery.
My least favorite obstruction was re-animating the original. It was well done, but it was simply a compilation of Vontrier's footages from other shoot. Had it been original animation, even if simplistic, it would have better. That might have been the intention of the obstruction: to create something completely different from the Leth's original through a new medium.
Leth's original film is my preferred version. I like it for its simplicity; it was shot in black and white with minimal sound, and its purpose was to portray a human. Vontrier's rendition were held back with a the obstructions, and a lot of experimentation.
If I was to give Vontrier an obstruction for recreating The Perfect Human, the film must be as stylized as possible while keeping the simplicity of the original.

5 Obstructions

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My favorite obstruction was the Cuba one. I enjoyed seeing the challenges that Leth was forced to overcome, and how well he did on it. Only allowing 12 frames per shot really limited his choices, along with having to shoot without any created set.
My least favorite obstruction would be the animated one. This is not because it wasn't well done; it is because I didn't feel that it was really animated. Animation to me is drawing figures, rather than using a computer to make previously filmed shots look like a cartoon.
I think the original was a great starting point, but not necessarily the best. To me, it was too simple, and almost pointless. The new films had challenges to overcome that made it interesting. The point of setting obstructions is to exercise one's ability to make do with little elements. The obstacles make it interesting and challenging.
If I were to give Leth obstructions, I would have him use completely random people for his "perfect," characters. I think this would be interesting to see how Leth works through this.
I think the idea of a "Perfect Human," was to show a person can be portrayed as perfect. To me, it is more about the filmmaker and how he makes people look perfect in appearance and actions. It is really an ironic statement, because no human is perfect. I see it as no more than a filmmaking experiment. I don't think it is possible to truly achieve this, but I do think it is possible to strongly convey this idea to the audience.

The Five Obstructions

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I liked most of them but in different ways. I didn't like the Indian one, it seemed to exploit the people's poverty and taunt them. The Cuba one was the most matched to the perfect human I think, it was just a more ethnic version, which was more interesting I thought. I don't know why they hated animation so much, but that one was fun to watch as well. They could do a lot more with illustrating the words. The Belgium one worked, but I thought the prostitute was unneccessary. The last one tied them all up together nicely, it offered a great review on the director's personality as seen by his friend. I think the original was a good starting point, but it was too flat. The black and white was engaging, but I couldn't help but think the tone was slightly racist because all these "perfect humans" were white. I liked the diversity that came about because of the 5 obstructions. I thought that the obstructions worked well, they got the director to think outside the box and inspire him to make films he might not have otherwise made. I think that the art he created is special, it shows him overcoming these great obstacles like they were nothing and making good films. I would say that for future obstructions Leth must make a stop motion animation. Then he would really get frustrated. I think that the "Perfect Human" is really just traits that all humans exhibit in some form. These humans just represent what we look like in ideal form, and some general ways in which we act. I think that they get the message across in film, it would be harder to do in other media just because film captures life as we normally see it, and it makes the message clearer because we can relate it to daily life.

The Perfect Human

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My favorite version was the Cuba version because it was humorous. Also, it had the most obstructions but Jorgen worked with them all to make a very interesting film.
Although I enjoyed all of the different versions, my least favorite was the version in India. It was disturbing to watch Jorgen eat a fancy meal in a suit while there was so much poverty around him.
I think that the original is the best. It is the most simplistic and I prefer to watch something simple and "uncluttered."
The point of these obstructions could be because the original artist didn't want his work copied exactly. It was all right for Jorgen to use it as inspiration though. The obstructions were put in place so Jorgen had to produce his own film. The obstructions could also be for entertainment of the original artist and to push Jorgen to get really creative and help him create a great work of art.
The "Perfect Human" is an average person with two legs, two arms, one head, etc. They move in common ways and would not stand out in a crowd. I think the artist achieved the movement and looks of his version of the perfect human. I think that everyone has different thoughts on what a perfect human would be, so it is possible to portray one's thoughts on perfect humans i