The Mixed Tape


The White Ribbon by Andy Motz
March 19, 2010, 12:27 am
Filed under: Film, Reviews, Thoughts | Tags: , , ,

The final moments were near. I could feel the film coming to a close, yet I was still on the edge of my seat. What I had seen and what I hadn’t seen left me disturbed and unsettled. Then, there it was, the last shot of The White Ribbon, so powerful, meaningful, and stunning. After two and a half hours I had become immersed in Haneke’s world, his characters, and the layers he reveals along the way. Simply put, The White Ribbon is a masterpiece.

The story of a small German village in 1913 and the strange disturbing events that happen to its citizens may not sound like a film that covers the themes of sin, secrets, innocence, fascism, religion, evil, sexism, and apathy, but it is. It is a story of about festering evil. It is a story about purity amidst evil. Yet with  all of it is cleverly portrayed, none of it preachy. The film actually raises a lot more questions than it gives answers to. Therein lies the brilliance and beauty of the film. It is such a breath of fresh air, and it is a full on movie experience that will pull you in and shock you.

The film is in black and white, giving it more power.  Haneke lets his continuous shots linger just enough to build tension and terror, but not to the point of tedium. An important aspect of The White Ribbon is what we see and what is implied. At times we only see the aftermath of the crimes, at others we see it happening on camera. There is a shot of a boy walking into a room, he shuts the door, and the camera lingers outside the door. We the audience knows what is going to happen, but it is never shown, leaving us to our imagination. This film constantly makes you think about what is going on in the story and on the screen.

I cannot recommend this challenging film enough. It will create a lot of discussion and people will come away with different opinions than your own. So much to talk about and discuss. So much to analyze and ponder. The White Ribbon is a film I could write about for pages, but the best thing to do is to experience it for yourself.

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Oscars 2010: Best Actress Categories by Nolan Wilson Goff

So the moment I’ve been waiting a long time for is just a few days away. That’s right, the Oscars are here this Sunday. Over the next coupel days, we want your thoughts on who YOU think should win statues come Sunday night.

First Up: Best Actress Categories!



Trevor’s Top Ten Favorite Films of the Year 2009 by jedismith89

-by Trevor Smith-

1. District 9


Newcomer Neil Blomkamp really impressed me with his compelling storytelling in District 9. Amazing performances by an unknown cast and a great Special Effects Department who made the most out of a small budget.

2. UP

Pixar never disappoints and with another addition to their perfect track record, Up is  a must see adventure movie and an Old man and young boy.

3. The Road

Viggo Mortensen gives an Academy Award worthy performance for this tale of father and son set in Post-Apocalyptic America

4. Adventureland

Set in the 80’s Greg Mottola’s follow up to Superbad takes a more dramatic tone and draws from his past to bring a version of himself stuck at a lame summer job

5. Star Trek

J.J. Abrams doesn’t disappoint with the best reboot of a series ever. He brings a fresh look and feel to a dying universe

6. Up in the Air

Jason Reitman, in his third feature, shows some major directing chops with this gem starring George Clooney.

7. Avatar

James Cameron’s 12 year in the making epic adventure starring Sam Worthington suffers from a weak script but might be the most visual appealing movie of all time.

8. Inglourious Basterds

Hitler in a cape, violence, and Quentin Tarantino. Do I need to say more?

9. Moon

Be on the lookout for another young director, Duncan Jones, with his sci-fi dramatic thriller starring Sam Rockwell. His performance is worthy of a Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor nomination.

10. Zombieland

I had to squeeze this movie in. I have never had so much fun in a theater. It had likable characters, engaging and hilarious dialogue, and of course zombies.

Honorable Mentions:
A Serious Man
Fantastic Mr. Fox
The Hurt Locker
Watchmen
The Informant

-Trevor Smith



James Cameron’s Avatar coming this Friday. by Nolan Wilson Goff
December 16, 2009, 2:20 am
Filed under: Film, Thoughts, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , ,

So the hype is big. Even, dare I say it, Titanic big. Already receiving some Golden Globe nominations today, Avatar is arguably the most hyped film of all time. It’s been years since a Cameron film has graced the screen, and the world has been waiting. Armed with new technology, and $400 million dollars, James Cameron will present his masterpiece this Friday.

So how are you feeling about the hype? Chime in below.



The Characters of The Road by Nolan Wilson Goff

The most startling and mind blowing aspect of The Road is without a doubt the characters. Drawing from the foundation Cormac McCarthy provided, screenwriter Joe Penhall and the cast created vivid performances and lifelike characters. Here is a look at three of the characters:

The Man (played by Viggo Mortensen):

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It is an archetype seen often on the silverscreen: a father protecting his loved ones. What is different about this father? The difference lies in the man behind the character. Viggo Mortensen‘s emotionally driven performance is the best of his career and the best of the year. The Road’s central characters, The Man and The Boy, are on a journey to an unknown place specified as the coast. The Man repeatedly proves his love for his son, despite the adverse circumstances. Many of the conversations in the story are real life conversations Cormac McCarthy had with his son.

Picture 1The secret to Viggo’s moving performance is his eyes. His eyes communicate everything the audience (and his son) need to know. Everything one feels in this film, is because of Viggo’s eyes. He will do whatever it takes to protect and prepare his son to “carry the fire.”

The Boy (played by Kodi Smit-McPhee):

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What would it be like to be born into a post-apocalyptic world? With innocence and his childhood lost, The Boy is lost, and Smit-McPhee behaves just so. Smit-McPhee’s performance was good (not great), but his chemistry with Mortensen is what is extraordinary. They were truly a father and son. The Boy’s arc from innocent and afraid to carrier of “the fire” is a direct reflection of Mortensen and Smit-McPhee’s relationship.

The Earth:

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Wait. Can the earth ACTUALLY be a character? Yes. Much like the deterioration of our protagonist father and son, the earth is also deteriorated. It is empty, void, and gruesome. Just like the main characters, at times, the earth’s disgusting underbelly is revealed. The sky, is gray and dark, a mirroring of the character’s faces and emotions. As they reach the coast, a place that should be a place of refuge, peace, and tranquility, they witness more of the same. The deteriorating earth is every bit as large of a character as The Man and The Boy.

Further evidence of the fantastic characters is Robert Duvall’s short, but Oscar worthy performance as an old man along the road.

Carry the fire,

– Nolan Wilson Goff

P.S. Next up: The Visuals of The Road



The Road. by Nolan Wilson Goff

Last night we had the chance to catch a pre-release screeening of The Road, starring Viggo Mortensen. Following the screening, Viggo, director John Hillcoat, and screenwriter Joe Penhall participated in a Q&A, which brought further clarity to the film.

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The Road is the best film of 2009 (so far), in large part due to its emotional density and characters. The film has its flaws, but no other film (The Lovely Bones, Invictus, and Brothers could be exceptions) will reach the emotional levels of The Road.

There is no way we can discuss the density of Cormac McCarthy’s masterful story in just one post.

Therefore, over the next week we will take an in depth look at the various astounding elements of The Road.

First up: The Characters of The Road – The Man, The Boy, and The Earth

– Nolan Wilson Goff

p.s.

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Trevor snuck a picture of Viggo, from the 3rd row.



5 Films This Summer You Probably Didn’t See by Nolan Wilson Goff

This past summer featured the fantastic (J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek) and the awful (Michael Bay’s Transformers 2). Amongst the successful box office hits, were many hidden gems that may have escaped the public eye.

Here are 5 films this summer that found critical success, despite their limited releases.

The Hurt Locker

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A near lock for a Best Picture nomination, Kathryn Bigelow’s brilliantly paced Iraq war thriller awed everyone who saw it. It featured fantastic characters with fantastic performances by Jeremy Renner and Anthony Mackie. “The rush of battle is often a potent and lethal addiction, for war is a drug.”

(500) Days of Summer

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This film is the best representation of post-modern love ever seen on screen. The performances by Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel, have been widely acclaimed, and for good reason. “This is the story of boy meets girl…but I must tell you up front, this is not a love story. It is a story about love.”

The Stoning of Soraya M.

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Wow. As heartbreaking as this film is, it is a story that must be heard.  The title says it all, and this film must be seen. You will be awed by the power of this true story, and the importance of journalism. The Stoning is a true example of the mistreatment of women in Muslim society, and Shoreh Aghdashloo’s breathtaking performance will floor you. “Voices of women do not matter in here. I want you to take my voice with you.”

Moon

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Starring Sam Rockwell and the voice of Kevin Spacey, Moon is the terrific directorial debut of Duncan Jones.  Moon is much like a interesting, action filled version of Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey.  The film is essentially a one man show, but Rockwell’s performance grabs ahold of audiences and grants us entry into the psyche of his character. Aditionally, Clint Mansell’s score is the best of the year. 250,000 miles from home, the hardest thing to face…is yourself.

Sin Nombre

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The Sundance Film Festival darling, and directorial debut of Cary Fukunaga, is a foreign road movie detailing the trevails and passions of those venturing to the American border. Complete with gang violence and love, the story is a tragedy exploring themes of atonement and sacrifice. The greatest sin of all is risking nothing.

What was your favorite film of the summer?

-Nolan Wilson Goff

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