Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Warriors of the Rainbow: Seediq Bale (Wei Te-Sheng, 2011): Mini-Film Review

Warriors of the Rainbow: Seediq Bale 賽德克•巴萊 is a four and a half hour epic account of resistance in Taiwan during an era of Japanese colonization in the 1930s. Directed by Wei Te-Sheng, director of Cape No. 7 (2008), the story follows Mona Rudao as he leads a mission--that he knows will eventually fail--with 300 Seediq aboriginal warriors against Japanese civilians and ultimately the Japanese military who eventually crush the uprising.

 

Mona Rudao is instilled with certainty that he is on the right side of history and that upon his death he will see his ancestors, so the film's most tragic and genuinely heart-breaking depictions are those of women and children on both sides of the multi-faceted conflict who are caught in the crosshairs of colonization. Most of the depictions of the Seediq peoples resonate with authenticity on the screen; however, the small scale depiction (despite some 1500 extras) of the Japanese colonial machinery is not as impressive compared to other historical war films. Over all, a few narrative gaps and a handful melodramatic depictions of nature clearly created via CGI make the film difficult to concentrate on consistently--similar to what happens to viewers who disengage from Zach Snyder films--even though numerous scenes are as memorable, moving, and impressive as any recorded on film today.

Slow Dance (Dane Reynolds, 2013): Mini-Film Review

Surfing is pretty much impossible to describe to people. So it's fitting that surf films are similarly pretty much impossible to describe to people who don't know what a surf film is. Is it a documentary (sometimes), is it a music video with surf footage thrown in (sometimes), does it have a story (sometimes)? Fortunately, there is person named Dane Reynolds who is making the best "impossible to describe" videos over at Marine Layer Productions.


Dane Reynolds film "Slow Dance" is an awesome, avant-garde snapshot of surfer Craig Anderson and his influences. Running at around 30 minutes, it throws together all kinds of mediums and still works. Umberto Eco once wrote: "The artist who protests through form...shows his acceptance of the world as it is, in full crisis, by formulating a new grammar that rests not on a system of organization but on an assumption of disorder." (The Open Work, 141). This quotation applies to this film Slow Dance, I believe.

Here's one more Dane Reynolds video for our collective viewing pleasure.

Come Hell or High Water (Malloy, 2011): Mini-Film Review


Come Hell or High Water (Keith Malloy, 2011) is a Woodshed Films release that depicts the unmarketable, and thus unpopular & generally disregarded, activity of bodysurfing. As the 41 minute film shows, its tough for transnational surfing corporations to make money off of something that only requires a body and swim fins--and only if desired, a contraption of any shape--to plane across a wave. Yet this is at the same time bodysurfing's richest quality. It takes skill, courage, and passion. And it's in the ocean (and sometimes, rivers). It's fun and freeing. The sensation of bodysurfing is communicated here so completely that "torpedo people" will get it, but so will anyone whose happiness ensures they won't get those frown lines that crease the faces of grumpy folks when they're old.

Come Hell or High Water Trailer

Uncharted Waters (Griffin, 2013): Mini-Film Review

Uncharted Waters: The Personal History of Wayne Lynch (Craig Griffin, 2013) is an 87 minute documentary of a pioneering Australian surfer whose influence is imprinted today on surf culture around the globe whether surfers are conscious or unconscious of this fact. Wayne Lynch, from Lorne, Australia, was an innovative surfer in terms of both board design (shorter) and style (vertical surfing) and politics (anti-Vietnam War) in the 1960s and 1970s. Just as importantly, today Lynch's anti-establishment ethos is embodied by anyone who thinks they are sticking it to the Man by catching a wave, including, without any irony, the surf companies who have capitalized on selling this idea for decades. The film resorts to platitudes and generalizations instead of fully uncovering Lynch's demons. Still, it's the most intimate and captivating account of Lynch available. It's well-crafted as well as essential, inspiring viewing.

Uncharted Waters Trailer

Mean Streets (Scorsese, 1973): Mini-Film Review

Martin Scorsese's third feature film, and the first Scorsese film with Robert De Niro, is a stunning early work that deserves continued attention. And not only because it is indicative of what the director would eventually produce, but because it is great in its own right. Even though the title, Mean Streets, sounds epic in scale and scope, in fact the film is an intimate character sketch of a young gangster named Charlie (Harvey Keitel) who aspires to own a restaurant in Little Italy.

Charlie embodies the values of dying traditions, yet he also tries to reinvigorate and re-imagine them in a sexist, racist, and homophobic New York environment; for example, he believes that brotherly bonds should supersede financial relationships and that one atones for one's sins on one's own terms rather than following Christ and the church. This means that Charlie stands close to the fire, both metaphorically and literally, in a film that slowly ratchets up the tension as Charlie's ideals and his reality intersect.

See this link for the New York Times review of the film in 1973.


Basic Chinese Cinema Studies & Film Analysis Terms


電影理論詞彙  //  中英對照
Basic Chinese Cinema Studies & Film Analysis Terms

When I started studying Chinese film history I would have benefited from having list of film terms to memorize so that I could read through articles, interviews, and documents more fluidly. So recently, with this in mind, I created a list of often used terms used in film related books and articles.

What makes this and the following posts in this series unique, and hopefully fairly comprehensive, is that the vocabulary lists include terms that help one describe a film scene (開場   kāichǎng   opening scene) and analyze a film scene (意味著   yìwèizhe   signify) in addition to providing typical film personnel (攝影師    shèyǐngshī   cinematographer) and film production terms (中景  zhōngjǐng  medium shot).

The terms are divided into five categories for Chinese language learners. Each category below links to a specific page with its own vocabulary set:

1) Learning Chinese: Film Genre Terms
2) Learning Chinese: Film Technique & Production Terms
3) Learning Chinese: Film Personnel Terms
4) Learning Chinese: Describing a Film Scene
5) Learning Chinese: Cultural Studies and Film Studies Terms, Part 1 and Part 2

1) Learning Chinese: Film Genre Terms


電影理論詞彙  //  中英對照
Basic Chinese Cinema Studies & Film Analysis Terms

============================================================

This post features film genre terms. Additional learning Chinese links include:

1) Learning Chinese: Film Genre Terms
2) Learning Chinese: Film Technique & Production Terms
3) Learning Chinese: Film Personnel Terms
4) Learning Chinese: Describing a Film Scene
5) Learning Chinese: Cultural Studies and Film Studies Terms, Part 1 and Part 2

============================================================

Film Genre Terms

悲劇     bēijù  tragedy
动作片  dòngzuòpiàn  action film
動畫片  dònghuàpiàn  animation
短片     duǎnpiàn  short film
諷刺     fěngcì  satire
改編     gǎibiān  adaptation
歌舞片  gēwǔpiàn  musical
賀歲片  hèsuìpiàn  Lunar New Year movie
經典     jīngdiǎn  classic
記/紀錄片 jìlùpiàn  documentary
恐怖片  kǒngbù piàn  horror film
連續劇  liánxùjù  TV series
通俗劇  tōngsújù  melodrama
愛情片  àiqíngpiàn  romance film
色情片  sèqíng piàn  pornography
文藝片  wényì piàn  melodrama
喜劇片  xǐjùpiàn  comedy
續集     xùjí  sequel
藝術片  yìshùpiān  arthouse film
預告片  yùgàopiàn   trailer

2) Learning Chinese: Film Technique & Production Terms


電影理論詞彙  //  中英對照
Basic Chinese Cinema Studies & Film Analysis Terms

============================================================

This post features film technique and production terms. Additional learning Chinese links include:

1) Learning Chinese: Film Genre Terms
2) Learning Chinese: Film Technique & Production Terms
3) Learning Chinese: Film Personnel Terms
4) Learning Chinese: Describing a Film Scene
5) Learning Chinese: Cultural Studies and Film Studies Terms, Part 1 and Part 2

============================================================

Film Technique and Production Terms

編劇  biānjù  screenwriting, screenwriter 
編輯  biānjí  edit, compile
大遠景  dàyuǎnjǐng  (big) long shot
底片  dǐpiàn  film negative
淡出  dànchū  fade out
淡如  dànrú  fade in
道具  dàojù  movie prop
電影節  diànyǐngjié  film festival
電視  diànshì  TV
俯瞰  fǔkàn  look down at/ crane shot
服裝  fúzhuāng  costumes
服裝設計  fúzhuāng shèjì  fashion design
化裝  huàzhuāng  makeup
海報  hǎibào  poster
剪接  jiǎnjiē  edit, montage (v.)
剪輯  jiǎnjí  edit, montage (n./v.)
劇本  jùběn  script
劇照  jùzhào  film still
焦點  jiāodiǎn  focus, focal point
監製  jiānzhì  producer
聚焦  jùjiāo  focus
膠卷  jiāojuǎn  unexposed film
膠片  jiāopiàn  film
近景  jìnjǐng  close-up
鏡頭  jìngtóu  camera lens, shot
寬銀幕  kuānyínmù  widescreen
快鏡頭  kuài jìngtóu  fast motion
開麥拉  kāimàilā  camera
立體  lìtǐ  3D
錄音  lùyīn  sound recording
媒體  méitǐ  media
慢鏡頭  mànlùyīn  slow motion
拍攝  pāishè  shoot/film
票房  piàofáng  box office
取景  qǔjǐng  viewfinder (on a camera)
人物  rénwù  character
攝影機  shèyǐngjī  movie camera
攝製  shèzhì  produce a film
數位  shùwèi  digital
數位化  shùwèihuà  digitalization
首映  shǒuyìng  (first-run movie)
文本  wénběn  version, text
印片  yìnpiān  film development (printing)
影城  yǐngchéng  film studio/center
影片  yǐngpiàn  film
遠景  yuǎnjǐng  long shot
遠鏡頭  yuǎnjìngtóu  long shot
音響  yīnxiǎng  sound
中景  zhōngjǐng  medium shot
自傳  zìzhuàn  autobiography
製片廠  zhìpiànchǎng  film studio

3) Learning Chinese: Film Personnel Terms


電影理論詞彙  //  中英對照
Basic Chinese Cinema Studies & Film Analysis Terms

============================================================

This post features film personnel terms. Additional learning Chinese links include:

1) Learning Chinese: Film Genre Terms
2) Learning Chinese: Film Technique & Production Terms
3) Learning Chinese: Film Personnel Terms
4) Learning Chinese: Describing a Film Scene
5) Learning Chinese: Cultural Studies and Film Studies Terms, Part 1 and Part 2

============================================================

Film Personnel Terms

布景师  bùjǐng shī  art director
編劇  biānjù  screenwriting, screenwriter
編劇  biānjù  write a script/ scriptwriter
場記  chǎngjì  clapper loader or 2nd AC
導演  dǎoyǎn  direct/director
電影明星  diànyǐng míngxīng  movie star
巨星  jùxīng  star
女主角  nǚzhǔjué  female lead
男主角  nánzhǔjué  male lead
評論家  pínglùnjiā  critic
配角  pèijué  supporting role
審查  shěnchá  censor (censorship), examine
攝影師  shèyǐngshī  cinematographer
協理  xiélǐ  assistant manager
影評人  yǐngpíngrén  film critic
演員  yǎnyuán  actor, performer
主演  zhǔyǎn  leading role
主角  zhǔjué  leading role
作曲家  zuòqǔjiā  composer
助理  zhùlǐ  assistant

4) Learning Chinese: Describing a Film Scene


電影理論詞彙  //  中英對照
Basic Chinese Cinema Studies & Film Analysis Terms

============================================================

This post features "describing a film scene" terms. Additional learning Chinese links include:

1) Learning Chinese: Film Genre Terms
2) Learning Chinese: Film Technique & Production Terms
3) Learning Chinese: Film Personnel Terms
4) Learning Chinese: Describing a Film Scene
5) Learning Chinese: Cultural Studies and Film Studies Terms, Part 1 and Part 2

============================================================

Describing a Film Scene Terms

包圍  bāowéi   surround
扮演  bànyǎn   perform, act
背景  bèijǐng  background
表演  biǎoyǎn perform, act
表現  biǎoxiàn  display
場景  chǎngjǐng  scene, setting 
場面  chǎngmiàn  scene, appearance
成份  chéngfèn  components
長鏡頭  cháng jìngtóu   long take
地點  dìdiǎn   site, place
對白  duìbái  dialogue
縫合  fénghé  suture
構想  gòuxiǎng   visualize, conceptualize
觀念  guānniàn   concept
觀眾  guānzhòng   audience
觀點  guāndiǎn   point of view
畫面  huàmiàn   tableau
黑白畫  hēibáihuà  ink-painting
劇情  jùqíng  plot, diegetic
基調  jīdiào   central theme
技術  jìshù   technology, technique
景色  jǐngsè   scene, landscape
景觀  jǐngguān   landscape
景觀鏡頭   jǐngguān jìngtóu landscape shot
極其  jíqí   extremely
結構  jiégòu  structure, composition
角度  jiǎodù  angle, perspective
角色  juésè   role
階段  jiēduàn   stage
客觀  kèguān   objectivity/ objective
空間  kōngjiān open spaces
開場  kāichǎng   opening scene
領悟  lǐngwù   comprehend, understand
類型  lèixíng   type
媒介  méijiè   medium
片段  piànduàn   fragment
配樂  pèiyuè   dub background music
情景  qíngjǐng  scene, circumstance
情節  qíngjié   plot
實驗性 shíyàn xìng  experimental
聲音  shēngyīn  sound, voice
視覺  shìjué   visual, visual sense
視界  shìjiè  visual field
視角  shìjiǎo  visual angle
視野  shìyě  field of vision
說故事 shuō gùshi  tell a story
飾演  shìyǎn  perform a role
題材  tícái  subject
物質  wùzhì   matter, substance
寫實  xiěshí  realistic
形象  xíngxiàng  image, imagery
心境  xīnjìng  state of mind, mood
敘事  xùshì  narrate
現場  xiànchǎng  scene
現實  xiànshí  real, reality
細節  xìjié    details, particulars
肖像  xiàoxiàng portrait
虛擬  xūnǐ   fictitious, virtual
鮮明  xiānmíng  bright, distinct
仰角  yǎngjiǎo  angle of elevation
原本  yuánběn  original
原著  yuánzhù  original work
影像  yǐngxiàng   image, portrait
影壇  yǐngtán  film circles (in the industry)
影子  yǐngzi  shadow
影展  yǐngzhǎn  film festival
影評  yǐngpíng  film review
意境  yìjìng  creative concept
意象  yìxiàng  image, imagery
樣貌  yàngmào  appearance, shape
議題  yìtí  topic
運動  yùndòng   move, movement
音軌  yīn guǐ    soundtrack
主觀  zhǔguān  subjectivity/ subjective
主觀鏡頭  zhǔguān jìngtóu subjective (POV) shot
仔細閱讀  zǐxì yuèdú   close reading
作品  zuòpǐn    works, productions
展現  zhǎnxiàn  unfold, develop
狀態  zhuàngtài  condition
組成  zǔchéng   compose
縱橫交錯  zònghéngjiāocuò   crisscross

5) Learning Chinese: Cultural Studies and Film Studies Terms, Part 1


電影理論詞彙  //  中英對照
Basic Chinese Cinema Studies & Film Analysis Terms

============================================================
This post is part 1 of a list of terms which might be used to analyze a film scene or cultural studies topic. Part 2 can be located at this link here.

Additional learning Chinese links include:

1) Learning Chinese: Film Genre Terms
2) Learning Chinese: Film Technique & Production Terms
3) Learning Chinese: Film Personnel Terms
4) Learning Chinese: Describing a Film Scene
5) Learning Chinese: Cultural Studies and Film Studies Terms, Part 1 and Part 2

============================================================

Cultural Studies and Film Studies Analysis Terms

A-O

暗示   ànshì   suggest
曖昧   àimèi  ambiguous, shady
不具   bùjù   incomplete, insufficient
不息   bùxī    incessantly
不自覺   bù zìjué   subconsciously
不變   bùbiàn   fixed, constant
保守   bǎoshǒu  conservative
保持   bǎochí  maintain
保留   bǎoliú   retain
捕捉   bǔzhuō  seize
本質   běnzhì   essence, nature
標榜   biāobǎng   flaunt, excessively
表情   biǎoqíng  expression
表達   biǎodá   convey
邊界   biānjiè   boundary; border
邊緣   biānyuán   margin, edge, borderline
傳達   chuándá   transmit
出現   chūxiàn   appear
創造   chuàngzào   create
呈現   chéngxiàn  appear
層面   céngmiàn  layer, surface
差異性  chāyìxìng   difference
採用   cǎiyòng    use, adopt
揣摩   chuǎimó   speculate
次要   cìyao   secondary
穿插   chuānchā   alternate, insert
超越   chāoyuè   exceed, transcend
錯亂   cuòluàn   in a state of confusion
動人   dòngrén  moving
單 純  dānchún   simple, plain
多層次  duōcéngcì   multilayered
對比   duìbǐ   contrast
得知   dézhī  v. know, learn about
調度   diàodù   manage, control
顛覆   diānfù  subvert
分析   fēnxi  analyze
反射   fǎnshè   reflect
反應   fǎnyìng   respond, reaction
反映   fǎnyìng   reflect
彷彿   fǎngfú  seem
氛圍   fēnwéi   atmosphere
符號   fúhào   symbol
複雜   fùzá   complex
豐富   fēngfù  rich
負面   fùmiàn   reverse side
風格   fēnggé   style
公式   gōngshì  formula
功能   gōngnéng  function
感言   gǎnyán    impressions
概念   gàiniàn  concept
歸納   guīnà   sum up, conclude
溝通   gōutōng   communicate
觀察   guānchá  observe
觀看   guānkàn   view
過於   guòyú   excessively
關懷   guānhuái   concern for
關連   guānlián   connected
高度   gāodù   high degree, height
含意   hányì   meaning, implication
含蓄   hánxù  contain
喚起   huànqǐ   arouse, recall
回應   huíyìng  response
回顧   huígù   review, retrospective
宏觀   hóngguān  cosmos, macroscopic
忽略   hūlüè    neglect, overlook
恆久   héngjiǔ  constant, persistent
核心   héxīn   nucleus
毫無   háowú  completely lack
混亂   hùnluàn    chaotic
混沌   hùndùn   primal chaos, muddled
基本   jīběn   fundamental
境界   jìngjiè   boundary, state
建構   jiàngòu   construct
接受   jiēshòu  accept, receive
接合   jiēhé    connect, link
檢視   jiǎnshì  inspect
激賞   jīshǎng  praise
積累   jīlěi    accumulate
節奏   jiézòu  rhythm
簡單   jiǎndān  simple
精確   jīngquè    precise
精華   jīnghuá   essence
經歷   jīnglì   experience
經濟   jīngjì   economy
緊接著  jǐnjiēzhe  immediately after
解構   jiěgòu  v. analyze, deconstruct
解讀   jiědú   decipher
記憶   jìyì   remember, memory
解釋   jiěshì   expound, interpret
刻意   kèyì   meticulous, painstakingly
考古學  kǎogǔxué   archeology
跨國   kuàguó   transnational
跨文化   kuà wénhuà  transcultural
屢屢   lǚlǚ   repeatedly
歷史性  lìshǐxìng  historic, historicity
理解   lǐjiě    understand, comprehend
理論   lǐlùn  theory
論述   lùnshù   discuss, expound
連結   liánjié   join, link
類似   lèisì  similar to
描繪   miáohuì depict, describe
描述   miáoshù   describe
明確   míngquè    clear
模擬   mónǐ   imitate, simulate
模糊   móhu   vague, blurred
美學   měixué  aesthetics
美術   měishù    fine arts
馬克斯主義  mǎkèsī zhǔyì Marxism
內涵   nèihán  intention, connotation
濃厚   nónghòu   strong, pronounced
濃密   nóngmì   dense, intense
偶發   ǒufā   occasional, spontaneous

5) Learning Chinese: Cultural Studies and Film Studies Terms, Part 2


電影理論詞彙  //  中英對照
Basic Chinese Cinema Studies & Film Analysis Terms

============================================================
This post is part 2 of a list of terms which might be used to analyze a film scene or cultural studies topic. Part 1 can be located at this link here.

Additional learning Chinese links include:

1) Learning Chinese: Film Genre Terms
2) Learning Chinese: Film Technique & Production Terms
3) Learning Chinese: Film Personnel Terms
4) Learning Chinese: Describing a Film Scene
5) Learning Chinese: Cultural Studies and Film Studies Terms, Part 1 and Part 2

============================================================

Cultural Studies and Film Studies Analysis Terms

P-Z

判定   pàndìng   judge, determine
批評   pīpíng   criticize
旁白   pángbái  aside (remark)
普泛   pǔfàn  widespread, universal
評審   píngshěn  examine/evaluate
評論   pínglùn  review, critique
陪襯   péichèn   to enhance by contrast
頗為   pōwéi  somewhat
全球化  quánqiúhuà  globalization
區別   qūbié   distinguish
巧妙   qiǎomiào   ingenious
強勢   qiángshì  emphasis
強調   qiángdiào   stress
情緒   qíngxù   emotion
親密   qīnmì   intimate
仍舊   réngjiù    still, as before
善於   shànyú  be good at
實際   shíjì   reality, actual
庶民   shùmín  the masses
思念   sīniàn   long for
手法   shǒufǎ  skill, technique
散發   sànfā   diffuse, distribute
深刻   shēnkè   profound
深度   shēndù  depth
生存   shēngcún  exist
疏離   shūlí   become alienated, drift apart
設定   shèdìng   establish
試圖   shìtú   attempt
試論   shìlùn   deal with
詩學   shīxué  poetics
說明   shuōmíng  explain
凸顯   tūxiǎn   magnify
探討   tàntǎo  explore
推測   tuīcè   infer, conjecture
提供   tígōng   supply
提出見解   tíchū jiànjiě   state one’s opinions
特徵   tèzhēng   characteristic
特效   tèxiào  positive effect
突兀   tūwù   towering, unexpected
唯一   wéiyī   only, sole
宛若   wǎnruò   be just like
文化學  wénhuà xué cultural studies
為例   wéilì   as an example
無形   wúxíng   invisible, intangible
無法   wúfǎ   unable to
無窮   wúqióng   infinite
學術   xuéshù  academic
宣傳工具   xuānchuán gōngjù   means of propaganda
形容   xíngróng  describe
形體   xíngtǐ  form, structure
心理   xīnlǐ    psychology
性質   xìngzhì   nature
戲劇性   xìjùxìng  dramatic
系統   xìtǒng   system, device
象徵   xiàngzhēng  symbolize
顯得   xiǎnde  look, appear
顯示   xiǎnshì   show, display
一貫   yīguàn    consistent
仰賴   yǎnglài  rely on
優雅   yōuyǎ  graceful
元素   yuánsù   element
印象   yìnxiàng  impression
因果關係   yīn-guǒ guānxi  causality
娛樂   yúlè    amusement
寓意   yùyì   allusion, message
延續   yánxù  continue
引發   yǐnfā  evoke
愈發   yùfā   even more
意味著   yìwèizhe   signify
意義   yìyì    meaning
意識   yìshi  consciousness, mentality
有效   yǒuxiào   effective      
有系統   yǒu xìtǒng  systematic
游離   yóulí   dissociated, drifting
藝術   yìshù   art, skill
遠向   yuǎnxiàng   long time
隱含   yǐnhán   imply
隱喻   yǐnyù   metaphor
隱約   yǐnyuē   indistinct, faint
隱藏   yǐncáng   hide, conceal
韻律   yùnlǜ   meter, rhythm
預感   yùgǎn   premonition
預示   yùshì  indicate
主題   zhǔtí   theme, motif
仔細   zǐxì   careful
專訪   zhuānfǎng   report (n.)
指出   zhǐchū    point out
指涉   zhǐshè   refer to, reference
指示   zhǐshì   indicate
政治   zhèngzhì politics
暫時   zànshí   temporary
直指   zhízhǐ directed at/aimed towards
直接   zhíjiē  direct, immediate
真實   zhēnshí  real, authentic
真正   zhēnzhèng   genuine, real
秩序   zhìxù  order; sequence
自然   zìrán  natural
自覺   zìjué   conscious
著重   zhuózhòng   stress
質疑   zhìyí   challenge
重要性   zhòngyàoxìng   importance, significance
針對   zhēnduì  aimed at
雜亂   záluàn   disorderly