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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.

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.


I like how Jan Svakmajer used his own films inside his this one, blending the acting film with animation. His film meat love on was TV and was the movie poster one of his films? Also Jan animated the cultural story of the Otesanek. The film remained me of the American musical Little Shop of Horrors. Otik and Audrey was loved so much despite the people they ate. This film fit the classic horror movie which I really liked.
The Quay Brothers and the film Street of Crocodiles used lots of found objects. It gave a creepiness to the film. However, I could not follow the story with spit, spools of thread, ice cubes, and screws. What was the cult of puppets trying to do? The interview with the Quay Brothers helped explain the use of light and the found objects.

Inspiration

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Tim Burton inspires me just because he creates this amazing other worlds. He thinks of all the details, and the storylines for his movies are very weird & creative. His work has kind of a dark touch, which I like but I don't think I use too often. His characters are really developed and well thought out. I like this scene from Across the Universe just because it touches on so many different levels of sadness, and I think it's one of the better music scenes in the movie. I love every part of this movie, and the director's previous work (Frida). She uses lots of color and emotions which really appeal to me. Her movies are so creative and unique.

For Next Week!

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I'd like for you each to post a link or a video (or both) to a film/video/animation/sound artist you are inspired by. It can be anyone from a Hollywood director to a video game graphic artist to a cartoon animator. Don't worry about art historical knowledge. Be able to include a link, picture, or video and be prepared to discuss why this person inspires you. Please post before class on Monday.

Here's mine!

Marina Abramovic

Jan Svankmajer/Brothers Quay

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Jan Svankmajer's film "Food" was a really unique film. I liked the idea to take a an assembly line format and infuse it into the process of eating. It seemed like a critique of fast food and modern society, how we're always looking for something quick and cheap to eat, and it's all pretty much the same food. The stop motion was really well done, it articulated the idea of a person as a vending machine perfectly.
I wasn't a big fan of the Quay brother's "Street of Crocodiles". I didn't really understand the plot much at all. Their stop animation was good, but pretty creepy. I thought that I understood it, but it just got more confusing as it went on.
Little Otik was pretty disturbing. I thought it would be more scary than it actually was. It was like an old film from the 70's in the way of special effects. I think that Otik was well done, but it really didn't fit the genre of horror, since it made it look so outdated. I really grew to hate the mom and the girl, they kept this monster alive. The plot was so simple I already knew what was going to happen. I think Jan Svankmeyer's talents could have been used on a better project.

Quay Bros. and Svankmajer

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The movie "Little Otik" was actually a decent movie to me. The concept of a fairy tale brought to modern times is one that I enjoy. However, the movie at times really irritated me such as with the hell-bent mother and young girl on protecting Otik. The procedures used to bring life to Otik however were well done, especially when one is so used to movies just using C.G.'s. It gave it a more realistic creepy feeling by even though you know it's fake it's not as familiar to you.
As for the Street of Crocodiles, I didn't like it much. It seemed interesting, especially when you think of Tim Burton's movies, but in the end it was hard to follow and way too dark. I indeed however could see that a lot of thought was put into it, I just couldn't fit all the pieces together. The movie itself didn't creep me out, it just had me thinking "so when is something going to happen".

Initially, I really disliked Svankmajer's "Little Otik" because of it's carnage. Every time that a person was killed I cringed and waited for the film to end. I hated the mother for allowing the events to occur. But after a break from the film and being able to think about it objectively, I really liked that movie! Every character was very unique and really brought something great to the film. Also, Svankmajer did an amazing job bringing every last fiber of the story together. Whenever you thought something was totally tangent, like the old man, it was connected to the main story line - I just loved that! Also, the humor that he used was very dark, but also very funny - like the old man :)

I also liked Svankmajer's "Food", despite it being so strange. It was really well done and was a very interesting idea, despite it being so bizarre. I loved how he combined humans with claymation, it definitely gave the film a sense of cartoonishness. If it was not like this, and was more real, I do not think the film would have been as effective in telling the story.

I really disliked Brothers Quay's "Street of Crocodiles." It was extremely dark and seems to have no real redeeming qualities. It was hard to follow and I couldn't really figure out what story/message the film was trying convey. On the other hand, technically it was very well done. The lighting and music were very dramatic and really contributed to the feel of the film. They really set the mood and gave the film a real eeriness.


In the first video we watched by the brothers Quay, I was thoroughly creeped out. It reminded me of something that Tim Burton would have made. That was the tone I saw in the video. The figures were odd, in that a lot of them were broken toys, put together with random parts. Those made me think of Toy Story, during one of the few odd parts. The lighting and music effects in this video did a lot to set the scene. Without them, I don't think it would have delivered a tone even close to the one it did, if any at all. Overall I was not that interested in this video, but I can appreciate the work these brothers did.

In the second video we watched, about Little Otik, I was amused by the story. After picking up on the story line, I immediately related it to Little Shop of Horrors. I'm not a huge fan of watching movies in subtitles, so that probably influenced my opinion on the film. A lot of the characters were difficult to stomach, because they frustrated me. I did enjoy the cultural differences, small as they may have been. In American movies, death is rarely downplayed as much as it is in this movie. There seemed to be a lack of innocence, which I have noticed is somewhat common in foreign films. In terms of stop motion, I enjoyed how they integrated the stop motion, with Otik. They did a great job, because even for an older film, he seemed very lifelike. I was expected a 'cheesier' film, but I was impressed with the life of the tree monster. Overall, I was a little thrown off by the whole concept of the movie, annoyed by the subtitles, but impressed with the film and stop motion production.

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