The analogue connection

This blog is not only about movies. If I find something interesting in any moving image, I may post it here.

British electropop band Ladytron takes its name from a famous 1972 Roxy Music song with the same title.  One day, as I was exploring music around youtube, I noticed this:

Ladytron-Ace of HZ (2010)

Roxy Music-Ladytron (live, 1972)

Brian Eno (seen here dressed in full Brian Eno gear, because, why not ? it’s the 70’s after all) and Ladytron’s Mira Aroyo are both playing the same analogue synth, an EMS VCS 3, 38 years apart.

Fun Fact: Brian Eno designed the Windows 95  sound.

Categories: Uncategorized

Why I started this blog

One of the most iconic images in cinema. Ethan Edwards ( John Wayne) heads back out into the wild after returning Debbie to her parents at the end of The Searchers(John Ford, 1956)

Shosanna running away from the home that sheltered her, as jew hunter Hans Landa finds out her hiding place. Inglourious Basterds(Quentin Tarantino,2009)

14-year old Mattie Ross heads out to join Rooster Cogburn in search of her fathers killer. True Grit (Coen Brothers, 2010)

The idea to finally start a blog about movies, and images in general, came to me while watching True Grit in the cinema some time ago. I saw the shot above and I smiled to myself. Why ? Because I only went to that cinema one time before to watch a regular movie ( watched a bunch of movies there at a film festival). And it was Inglourious Basterds . And I remember recognizing that shot from Tarantino’s movie as an obvious reference to the one in The Searchers. Funny is that I have never seen The Searchers. I just knew that image of John Wayne from reading around the internet about movies, and I was always impressed  with how much power this single image taken out of context had. Sometimes it’s this other image.

A lot of movies I know by still images before I actually see them. Like when you know a certain places from pictures before you actualy go there. But more about this in the ‘About’ section, once I actually write something there.

Fun Fact: John Wayne played Rooster Cogburn in the 1969 adaptation of True Grit .

A matter of existence

April 18, 2011 7 comments

This is the last post in this opening trilogy about 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Let’s take a minute and observe something about the monolith. Each appearance of the monolith triggers a jump in man’s evolution. Man discovers the tool, reaches the Moon, then Jupiter and the beyond. It is very interesting how the first two monoliths work. The second one, the one on the Moon, just sends a signal towards Jupiter and man just follows and the first one just exists. It does not use any mechanism or supernatural power to teach primitive man how to use tools. What happens is that faced with this unnatural object, that stands out in a purely natural landscape, the ape man realises that objects can be created, that there are ways with which one can manipulate matter. It’s the monolith’s material existence that triggers this next step in man’s evolution. And how do we interact with matter? What sense gives us the certainty that on object is indeed there? By reaching out and touching it.

Also, before the Stargate sequence, Bowman approaches the monolith in the little utility pod. It looks like this.

It almost looks like a baby with little arms. Babies always reach out and grab whatever is in front of them, it’s a basic human instinct.

Speaking of babies…

The famous closing shot

So, after these three posts, we can draw the conclusion that, by hiding a monolith in the opening , Kubrick marks the movie as having a similar role to the monolith in it. That’s not that much of a big surprise considering it’s content.

Anyway, time to move on to other movies for now.

(Also check out this parody of 2001 I once did)

Categories: Stanley Kubrick

And then there was the second shot

One of the ideas behind this blog is to get people interested in movies they haven’t seen yet. So, for those of you who haven’t seen the Space Odyssey, here’s a shot from the movie that is not a black screen.

The opening of 2001: A Space Odyssey (Stanley Kubrick, 1968)

And for those who have seen it, what I was suggesting in the previous post is that the black screen at the beginning is actually a Monolith. Just look at proportions of the monolith. They match the aspect ratio of the movie.

And if you are still not convinced:

Note: I did a bit of reasearch and the original aspect ratio of the print is 2.20:1, the aspect ratio of the 35 mm print is 2.35:1 and the aspect ratio of the Blu-ray I took the stills from is 2.22:1.  In the book, the dimensions of the monolith are 1x4x9 feet. Those translate into an aspect ratio of 2.25:1.

Categories: Stanley Kubrick

And then there was the Shot

April 12, 2011 3 comments

Opening shot of Stanley Kubrick's "2001: A Space Odyssey"

What’s that you say? The opening shot of 2001 is the Earth and Sun rising behind the Moon ? Not a black screen? Hmm…

 

When people think of the opening shot of  A Space Odyssey they usually think  of the famous shot that comes in right after the MGM logo: the Moon, Earth and Sun align while we hear Strauss’s Also sprach Zarathustra. They usually ignore the first 2 minutes of the movie  that appear to be a black  screen over the sound of an orchestra warming up.

But what if it’s not just a black screen ?

Try tilting your head or your monitor. Do you see it now ?

And since we are talking about an opening shot in the opening post of this blog, why not have a look at Jim Emerson’s Opening Shots Index ? According to him (and others), the opening shot is one of the  most important shots in a movie because it tells you how to view to movie, how to make sense of the actions that follow.

So, given what we just discovered above, how does it change the way we watch A Space Odyssey?

(Fun fact: Strauss means ‘ostrich’ in german)