[end scene]; FADE OUT

end scene sunshine

Image: [Sunshine (2007)]

It’s time for this story to come to an end, unfortunately. The final scene has ended, and we’ve begun to fade out.

As this class ends, so does this blog. I’m not sure if I’ll pick it up again one day, when I’m bored and have other things I should probably be doing. Maybe I will, maybe I won’t. Only time will tell, right?

To be frank, this assignment seemed a bit terrifying when it was first introduced. But over the past ten weeks, I’ve learned so much, both about blogging and about the topic, and I’m forever grateful for that. So, thanks for watching me learn and keeping up with me along the way.

My departure is nothing compared to the world of film. We’ll see great films come out this year, see it grow and develop and change as it always does. Pay attention to film. Don’t ever forget to watch a movie now and then. There’s no better medicine than immersing yourself in a different world for a little while. If nothing else, I hope my blog has gotten you, even a little bit, interested in film and all its diversity. Film is forever, yeah?

There’s a movie out there, based off a Kazuo Ishiguro book, called Never Let Me Go. I’m not sure about the book, but the film is horribly sad. The last line, though, without context makes just as much as sense as it does in context. Especially in this situation. The ending of this blog is a little bittersweet, much like the end of that film. So, folks, I’ll leave you with a quote. Talk to you again, one day.

We all complete. Maybe none of us really understand what we’ve lived through, or feel we’ve had enough time.

A Video Reflected

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Image: [Pinterest]

My video didn’t really have a set theme, other then the theme of films + quiz. Which, in retrospect, is kind of a reflection of what this blog has been like. There hasn’t necessarily been a set theme I have followed in these past ten weeks, just like there wasn’t a solid steady, diverse theme of the questions asked during Super Duper Fun Quiz time.

I think it was important in relation to my beat because of how chill, and in my not so objective opinion, and how fun it was. When one thinks of film and discussing film, you think of a dark room where people shout at what that certain framing meant, or what the director meant with that lighting, or whether that was a motif or just a mistake.

It was like I was saying have fun with film, because that is really the most important, isn’t it? Film shouldn’t be a headache, it shouldn’t be something to dread or groan over. It should be fun! You should laugh! And cry! And get angry!

And most importantly, you should know that like with most things in life, people make mistakes. In film, too. And although the questions varied from silly to a bit more serious (honestly, that Marlon Brando fact is legendary!), they all stemmed from the mistakes made during film or the mistakes of other people that were addressed during the Oscar’s.

If you’d like to learn some more random facts that you can share over a tense dinner, here’s a link! (I got a handful of questions from there, I’ll be honest).

(Fun fact: if I had included all of the questions I asked, the video probably would’ve ended up being six minutes long. So what you saw was literally only half of it.)

Super-Amazing-Spectacular Fun Quiz Time feat. My Parents

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Alright, so it took me a while to figure out what I wanted to do for this video. There was an intial thought of “oh hey, maybe I could do a reaaaaaaaaaaaaally short film” but there was hardly enough time to plan that. What followed was the idea to interview a few people about films, but I wanted it to be more amusing than that.

Which is how this came about. I forced my parents to participate in a hardly fair quiz organised by yours truly about films. That may or may not have run a little overtime. Oops?

It matters because it has to do with film. Because it teaches y’all a little something-something about film. And because it’s fun! Who doesn’t like fun, right?

All that being said, enjoy! Please don’t judge too harshly.

Expanding the channel!

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It’s been almost ten weeks of blogging (though, admittedly, I think we did get this assignment week two or three — I cannot recall) and I think I can finally say I mostly understand WordPress.

Now, I know my way around tumblr, no problem. Tumblr is easy. Tumblr, I’m used to. I’ll have been on tumblr 6 years this April 1st (disgusting, I know). So, when it was announced we were going to be used WordPress, I was a little bit less than enthused. It wasn’t that I had anything against WordPress. I just didn’t know it! I was, how do you say, afraid of the unknown?

Well, as it turns out, there wasn’t a whole lot to be afraid of. Sure, there’s a lot more to offer if you pay, but there’s also a lot to offer with the free WordPress. Heck, that slideshow post was one of my most popular! Over at tumblr, all there is are photosets and gifsets. Which, is cool, but not as cool as that slideshow format.

If we’re talking about Channel Expansion Theory, I think I can honestly say I have expanded that channel. Or, rather, this medium — wordpress — has become, mind my french, hella richer to me. As I’ve been able to understand this blogging medium more and more, I’ve been able to format my posts how I like them, and more importantly, format them to how my visitors like them–both physical and in terms of content. Based on the feedback I get on any particular post, I can take that post idea and further it in a new post.

Perhaps I haven’t expanding the actual channel (as its a giant body of water), but this particular medium has become richer to me with everything I have experienced.

Walther, J. B. (2011). Theories of Computer-Mediated Communication and Interpersonal Relations. In M. L. Knapp, & J. A. Daly, The SAGE Handbook of Interpersonal Communication (pp. 443-468). Texas: SAGE Publications, Inc.

What will 2015 bring?

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We’ve already passed the pretty major film award shows—The Oscar’s, the BAFTA’s—this year, so what about film is there to look forward to?

Oh, right, films!

If nothing else, 2015 has a great and interesting looking year of sequels and original films. The Hunger Games Saga comes to an end with Mockingjay 2, we’re finally going to see Jurassic World, Disney has a Super Secret project being released in May, Tony will have some explaining to do in the second Avengers, and the year will end with a visit from some Jedi’s (maybe? I’m not actually sure) in Star Wars: Episode VII.

Of course, on the flipside of that, there are new films starting their production. The new Harry Potter series is being casted for as we speak, Blade Runner 2 got a director and a promise from Harrison Ford (get well soon!), there’s apparently going to be a The Conjuring 2 (yikes!).

Moving past films, in the middle of May there’s the yearly Cannes Film Festival, and fantastic director sibling duo Joel and Ethan Coen will be judging the films, so that’s definitely something to look forward to. SXSW, the film and interactive portion, is actually happening next week! Very jealous if any of you are going. The music of SXSW is happening the week of finals, wah wah.

And youtube is happening! There are hundreds of short films and vlogs on youtube that I eagerly encourage you to check out. This is how young filmmakers are getting their big start nowadays and I beg, beg, beg you to support them. There’s nothing more important that supporting the underdog, right?

Above everything, though, films are happening. And go see ’em! Enjoy them! Try your best to ignore the price of the ticket! There are genuinely decent films coming out this year and I encourage you to see as many as humanly possible. Whether it be legally or not-so-legally. Just watch movies. Doesn’t matter where, doesn’t matter how, just watch.

I’ll finish this off with a nice, little list of some of the big name movies coming out this year.

Avengers: Age of Ultron (May 1, 2015)
Pitch Perfect 2 (May 15, 2015)
Tomorrowland (May 22, 2015)
Jurassic World (June 12, 2015)
Fantastic Four (June 19, 2015)
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (July 31, 2015)
Peanuts 3D (November 6, 2015)
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 (November 20, 2015)
Star Wars: The Force Awakens (December 18, 2015)

(Shhhhh, video coming next week.)

1994, S. (OST)

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So, sad news! My three months of only paying 99¢ for Spotify expired today. Meaning, I lost premium. Hello necessary-but-super-annoying ads. I’ll come back to why this is relevant in a little while. First, I have a question to ask.

What makes a great movie?

Now, there are dozens among dozens among dozens of answers to this, and they’re all correct. However, the answer I’m looking for is a great soundtrack.

At least half of the movies I’ve seen, I’ve only seen because I’ve been introduced to the soundtrack and I’ve loved it. Another handful of movies are fantastic and stand out to me because of their soundtrack. Scripts and words and award winning acting is obviously necessary, but without the right music — scores or otherwise, a movie can be that much less appealing or memorable.

Off the top of my head, a handful of films that were definitely improved by their soundtracks/scores: About Time (Richard Curtis is honestly a genius when it comes to picking out the appropriate music), Pride, 2001: Space Odyssey, Star Wars (we all know the score!), Where The Wild Things Are, Psycho, Guardians of the Galaxy, etc etc. Movies without their soundtracks, and the right soundtracks, are incomplete.

That being said, while I still figure out what to for my video, I thought I’d give you something music related.

Like I said, my Spotify premium trial ended, so I just spent quite a while listening through hoards of ads, but it was for a good cause, so. I was going to just give you a cheeky little playlist of what I thought would be a playlist for my own life thus far (both appropriate songs and songs I love), but then I thought, why not also give them a playlist of all (okay, most) my favourite soundtrack tracks/scores! You’ll need Spotify to listen, but I highly recommend it — and it’s free. I mean, if you don’t mind ads. But in this day and age, I think we can all handle ads.

The first playlist is the favourites, the second playlist is 1994, S. My poorly named lifetime movie soundtrack, apparently.





We’re Only Stardust

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The thing about films is that its very purpose is to evoke emotion. One is supposed to spend however many hours feeling a certain way about this or that. The very concept of film, at its core, has to do with emotion. Sadness, anger, fear, happiness, excitement. Film is emotion. So what’s there to say that evokes you any further?

Oh, yeah. People die.

It’s such a casual statement, such a simple pair of words: people die. And it’s hard, it’s so hard when it’s friends or family, because it’s there and it’s immediate. But we know we’re mere mortals. We know our time will come. But, when we see a legendary funny man kill himself, or a singing, dancing child overdose, something stops us in our steps. Because we die, yeah, but they’re… they’re famous. How does pain and hurt and trouble touch them the same way it touches us?

The first time I cried over a celebrity dying was Heath Ledger. January 22nd, 2008. I’ll never have to look that date up, and when it comes and goes, I’ll remember it with nothing but sadness. The world becomes a little dimmer when someone you worship or adore, but don’t know, passes on. Everything becomes a bit realer. With Heath Ledger, I was nearly fourteen and I was sad, but it didn’t really hit me, y’know? I didn’t think ‘oh, I’ll never see him in anything again’. It wasn’t until much later that I understood that with his death, he left behind so many people who loved him and a daughter who would barely remember him. He left behind the world.

We’re not invincible. Up to a certain age, in one context or another, I think we believe we are. We look at the world and we shout ‘do your worst’ because we know we can survive. But then someone doesn’t. Someone doesn’t survive and you have to pause, and fell your flesh, and remember that you’re human and not indestructible. There’s something admirable about feeling invincible, even if it’s in a Oh, I Can Have Another Pizza kind of way.

What changed that mindset for me (or started to) was not Heath Ledger’s death, but rather Cory Monteith. He was in his early thirties, but he played a young adult on Glee. I wasn’t ever your standard Gleek. I watched an episode here and there, enjoyed some of the covers, but nothing past that. It was a general enjoyment, if anything. However, I was there when the reports started coming in. When me and a bunch of other people were insisting it was a hoax, because it’s the internet and not even the internet could be that cruel. But then. It wasn’t? It wasn’t. There was confirmation. There was the Vancouver Police giving out statements. There were people begging for this not to be true. There was Mark Salling’s, who played Puck, chilling tweet that contained but one word:

mark-salling-twitter-response__oPt

And then suddenly, there were millions of people heartbroken. Absolutely and completely heartbroken. Because this was Finn. This was Cory, but this was Finn. This was the kid they had all grown to love in a show that revolutionised TV. And then there was people like me, who just didn’t understand. I got it, y’know? I understood that he was dead, but I didn’t. I didn’t get why it was fair. Why this young man — because he was young, he was one of us, he was a Millennial — died. And suddenly I was mourning with this people because I was just so angry and sad. I still don’t wholly understand what came over me that night, and what a truly horrific night — nothing I’d ever want to relive. Because above everything, I hurt for this lost life. I hurt for the people in his life, for Lea, for everyone. I hurt for myself. And I wondered why anyone would ever think life is fair.

I suppose Cory was the River Phoenix of our time, though I can hardly understand how people felt about River’s death, whether they went through the same mourning, whether it was a mass mourning. The internet provided me with a safe place to mourn, and I’m not quite sure River’s supporters had quite the same comfort.

I found out Robin Williams had killed himself while I was at a gas station. I got a news alert, and I read it, and you know when you read something but you can’t really believe it so you kind of just laugh? Well, that’s what I did. And then I showed my dad, who looked confused. It didn’t really hit me what had happened until I got home. There was something different in Robin’s death than there was in Cory’s. With Cory, I was angry that he didn’t get to live out the rest of his life, that he was barely even an adult (even if he was in his thirties). I was angry at how short everything was.

With Robin Williams, I felt a little lost. I grew up with him. I didn’t know of J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan until after Hook. Flubber, as weird as it was, was the best movie when I was a child. Jumanji! It gave me nightmares and scared me away from board games for months, but it was so good. When I got older, it was Good Morning, Vietnam (an excellent wake up call, if you ask me), and Jack, and Mrs. Doubtfire, and The Birdcage! And Good Will Hunting (it’s not your fault), God, Good Will Hunting. And What Dreams May Come, something I watched far too young but never forgot. Jakob the Liar, a look inside a Jewish Ghetto during World War 2 that taught me about the absolutely unfairness of war. Robots! A sincerely underrated film. August Rush, where he played a man I’d never want to come in contact with and he played him so well. And Lord. Night at the Museum. All the respect to T. Roosevelt, but Robin Williams with always be my Teddy.

When I had truly sat bad and reflected on how integral this man had been to my growing up, I felt like the world had done an injustice. I wanted to know how such a funny man who’s wanted nothing more than to see the world laugh, couldn’t laugh himself. But then, the rational part of me knew that sometimes people with the biggest hearts, the biggest smiles, have the saddest minds. I wish someone could’ve reminded him to laugh a little.

I had cried when I heard about Cory, but it was the sort of cry that was desperate and confused and scared. When I cried for Robin Williams, it was out of love and loss. It was me feeling like I had lost someone very dear to me. Once those tears began, it was a bit difficult turing them off. And for the next couple of days, it seemed like the whole world felt the same way. The skies seemed a bit darker, the sun a little duller. A light had disappeared from this world too early.

Sometimes it isn’t the celebrities you mourn over.

July 20th, 2012, Aurora, Colorado. A man with armed weapons and grenades walked into a movie theatre in playing The Dark Knight and killed twelve people and injured over seventy others. Suddenly, the United States became the war ground of the Gun Control debate. But while politicians and liberals and conservatives argued over what was better, what would’ve happened if A was allowed, Hans Zimmer, the composer for The Dark Knight, released a song.

It was titled Aurora and all of the proceeds went towards the family of the dead and the hurt. Listen above.

I know I mentioned him last post, but we lost another actor yesterday. Leonard Nimoy was beamed up for the last time, finding his home again in the stars. Rest in peace, Mr. Nimoy. Long live and prosper.

Is film dying?

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Many of you may be sitting down tonight, ready to binge-watch the new season of House of Cards on Netflix. Maybe some of you already have. Maybe that’s your weekend plans. I am not, but that’s not important. The point is that you are sitting down and immediately and consecutively watching thirteen brand new, immediately available episodes.

That fact — the fact that it’s possible to have season upon season of shows at your grasp — is an argument as to why people believe the movie industry is in danger of collapsing. The feature film (i.e. going to the theatre, getting some snacks, sitting there for the full length) specifically.

The immediacy of such programs as Netflix and Hulu and Amazon aren’t the only factors in the apparent dying film industry. YouTube isn’t helping, either. The fact that creators are able to put out web series or short films on This specific date, or every other day, again adds to the immediacy the people are growing used to.

With film, there’s a lack of immediacy. You wait for film. And it’s not something you watch over and over again, like you can with episode after episode. You see the film once, and then maybe, if you like it enough, you buy it when it comes out on DVD or on iTunes.

There’s also the fact that studios have started to become more and more particular about the type of movies they fund. Studios have started to crave franchises (i.e. MCU, 50SOG, The Hunger Games) and are less likely to fund a stand-alone project, or a project from a newly established director.

Despite all this, there’s no indication that films are dying. It shows that the way the film industry functions is changing and evolving and adapting based on what is developed and what new customs humans create. However, dying? Nah, it’s not dying. There were films before TV and there will be films after TV. The world might view them differently, or pay less (or in the case on non-franchises, more) per ticket, but film will always be there. It won’t give you six seasons (and a movie — brownie points if you get the reference) worth of material, but that’s how TV and movies differ. Sometimes people just want to sit in a theatre for two and a half hours, rather than on their couch (or bed) for 72 hours+ as they binge-watch all of Archer.

TV, web series, and film are all different and, for lack of better wording, special in their own way. Sure, the world is craving that immediate access to TV nowadays, but that doesn’t mean they’ll forget about films. To say one thing would replace another is to indicate that Thing A and Thing B are identical, which they’re not.

Film is eternal.

(In unrelated news: Rest In Peace Leonard Nimoy. Long live and prosper.)

Allen, A. (2014, April 24). Is the feature film dying?. Retrieved February 27, 2015.

Tweet Tweet!

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I don’t imagine hosting The Oscar’s is all that easy, so, kudos to Neil Patrick Harris for keeping us all somewhat entertained over the course of (almost) four hours.

That being said, there was something… off, about this Oscar’s. There seemed to be an overlaying tension to the whole thing. Maybe it had to do with the controversy of American Sniper, or the Selma snubs. Maybe it was too political for some actors/actress/directors/etc., maybe Sean Penn’s horrifically racist “joke” was too much. Maybe John Travolta invaded too many people’s personal bubbles. Whatever it was, it was definitely present and heavy.

But livetweeting! That was fun in its own right. I didn’t realise how long the red carpet was going on, so I think I ended up livetweeting for around five hours. It was enjoyable, to say the least.

Because I hadn’t seen a large majority of the films, most of my tweets during the red carpet consisted of me praising different people on their dress or suit choices. As the show started, I alternated from making general comments about the show (and the occasional really lame joke) and stating who won what.

After 10:30 came and went (by this time, I was running on pure exhaustion), there was still four minutes left in the show and a grand majority of the people who I follow had given up tweeting/watching altogether. But I stuck it through!

What was interesting was the number of “traditional” news outlets that were tweeting along with me. Sure, I knew they’d run their respective stories about The Oscars in the morning, but it was interesting to see their candid reactions as the show progressed. There’s something about livetweeting that gives people a better perspective as to what is happening/what has happened. News stories are summaries, but livetweets generally recount most (if not every) things that are happening/have happened. Honestly, if it wasn’t for the fact that I was looking at my twitter feed right now, I would’ve totally forgotten about that fact that Eddie Murphy presented something. It’s the little things — the details that slip through the cracks with traditional news.

Anyway! Who wants to hear what I thought was the best and worst parts of the night? No one, I’m sure, but I’ll tell y’all anyway.

BEST: John Legend and Common’s Glory performance.

WORST: Sean Penn.

CUTEST: Eddie Redmayne’s winning speech.

MOST UNCOMFORTABLE-EST: John Travolta. Or seeing NPH in his whitie-tighties.

HONORARY MENTION: The fact that winners over and over again effectively said: screw the Cutting Off Music.

(To check out my #Oscars tweets, look over at the left sidebar for my feed!)