Wednesday, October 12, 2011


This is a story of a dark twisted man obsessed with girls of a certain, young age. When Humbert is a boy he falls in love with a girl his age, but she dies and he is heart broken. For the rest of his life he can’t move on from the death of his love when he was just a boy.
Now he is a grown man and is fascinated, better yet, obsessed with little girls. He takes things to a new level when he marries Charlotte Haze, a woman his age just so he can be closer to the woman, rather girl, he loves, Dolores “Lolita” Haze, Charlotte’s young daughter. She is his obsession and he is fully in love with her and wants nothing more than for her to be in love with him too. Charlotte finds out his plot of trying to be with her daughter but is tragically killed, so now Humbert really has a chance to be with Lolita. He is in love with her and takes her across the country and tries to make her fall for him.
This book is in no way a love story to me. Typically love stories are about two people who are in love and tells of their struggles to be together, but in the end they usually end up together very happy. This book has none of those romantic or tear jerking qualities. It’s about an old man who is obsessed and in love with a twelve-year old girl; he can clearly be labeled as a pedophile. Just because he is in love and goes through struggles to be with her doesn’t make it a love story. The love has to go both ways, but Humbert tries to force Lolita to love him and she does not, she even runs away when she gets the chance. Humbert was truly in love with Lolita and no one else, but Lolita’s mother, Charlotte, was in love with Humbert until she found out his secret. After her death Humbert takes Lolita across the country on an on-going road trip to try to make her fall for him, he takes advantage of her a few times but still she feels nothing for him. Eventually Lolita finds love, but with someone else, she runs off with a boy she met who wrote a play she was acting in, they leave town together and Humbert is without his love because she has found hers.  But even then it is not true love, the man throws out Lolita because she will not act in a pornographic film he is shooting. So now both characters are without their loved ones, but even if they were together Lolita would still be without her love. Eventually she finds love and actually marries the man. She gets pregnant and reaches out to Humbert asking for money, it has been years since he has heard from her. He thinks he can be back with his love now but she is in love with someone else. Humbert is jealous and wants her back, even though she was never really his because she doesn’t love him. He kills her husband and thinks now he can have Lolita again, but is arrested just after the murder is committed. Now they are both alone again, Humbert still without his love Lolita, and Lolita without the love of her husband. They both die alone, without anyone to love or receive love from.
There is a lot of love in this book, but none it connects with one another. Everybody loves someone who doesn’t love him or her back, except for Lolita and her husband, but he is a minor character. Nobody ends up happy in the end, mainly because everybody has died. They all wanted love, Humbert even killed for it, but in the end Lolita and Humbert died alone. Humbert chased love but he never received any from the girl he truly loved. 

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


            I have to admit, this was the first anime film I have ever watched. When I was younger I would watch an episode every now and then of Pokémon or Dragon Ball Z, but I’ve never seen a full movie.  I have never been into this style of art or even this culture stylistically, but this was a good way of forcing it on me.
            Ponyo is the story of a magical “goldfish” that wishes to become human after meeting and falling in love with a young boy. Her magical father and mother who is a goddess of the sea look for her by sending the waves of a giant storm to where she is. The scene where Ponyo is running on top of the waves is my favorite scene from the film. The waves grow up to massive sizes and are actually shaped like fish, all jumping on top one another and crashing down and breaking into water. The large purple fish-waves crash and flood the town but Ponyo is running on top of the waves chasing the boy she is in love with.  I really liked how the massive fish represented the power and force of the waves as well as showing how alive the storm was.
            It was also the first Japanese film I have ever seen. I was able to follow the story just fine because of the subtitles and think that if I watched the American version I may have turned it off because I would have thought it was absurd. But many many anime films come from Japan, this is their culture and style of art so I accepted what it was and watched it the way it was originally intended to be watched. Honestly I am not too much of a fan of this style of art but overall I enjoyed this film. 


            This was the first silent film I have ever seen but I was pretty amazed by it. The most amazing aspect of this movie to me was the grandiose sets built. Metropolis was made in 1927, yet it still had a budget of around 1.3 million dollars. The sets built were huge; part of the movie could have actually been a city. I feel like this movie was the Avatar of its time, the big movie with the huge budget that everybody went to go see.
            I enjoyed the movie’s story. About a rich man wanting to be equal with the workers who run his fathers city, and about a revolt by the workers led by and woman who they see as saint-like. They have secret meetings where they discuss how they can overthrow the metropolis, which they run because they operate the machines.
            My favorite scene from the film was when Freder, Joh Fredersen’s son, sees the workers and the machines for the first time. He witnesses a meltdown at one of the machine, in a cloud of smoke it transforms from a massive staircase full of men twisting knobs and pulling levers, to a gigantic sinister face made from machine parts, laughing as smoke fills the screen and men fall dead. The transformation from machine to monster in this scene made the whole metropolis look like and evil empire that needed to be shut down.
            It was a little hard to watch just because there was no monologue and because some scenes were missing, but overall I thought it was a beautifully done film and will remain a classic. 

Monday, October 10, 2011

The Day of the Locust

            I am not entirely sure what happened in this story. It tells the story of a man who moves to Hollywood to make it big. He befriends some interesting characters along the way and the story is really just about their somewhat mundane lives as they are trying to either become movie stars or are just trying to get by.
            The story is told by the main character, Todd Hacket, but then it shifts and is told from another character, Homer Simpson. The thing that unites these two characters and makes their paths cross and become friends is a woman named Faye. She is an inspiring actress who will never make it but Todd is in love with her but will never have her, and she takes advantage of Homer by living in his house rent free. It is a simple book that tells of these characters lives together for a short amount of time. The main focus is on Todd but just because he is the main character it doesn’t really make him the good guy. In fact I can’t put my finger on which the “good guy” or “bad guy” would be in this book. There was no real beginning middle or end, things just sort of happened.
            Todd is a painter; he came to Hollywood to pursue his career as an artist but winds up being a costume designer and set painter for films. He mentions that he is working on a personal piece entitled “The Burning of Los Angeles.” The last chapter of the book tells of the riot that breaks out just before a movie premiere. As Todd is being thrown around in the riot he imagines his painting, the flames glowing red, his friends running in the foreground. I really liked how in the end, since there was no true ending because nothing was resolved, Nathanael West brought back the painting because from the start of the riot it seemed possible that Los Angeles could burn that night. 

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

This film is pretty set in stone as to when and where it took place. There was an exact event, which they went to in a specific city where the events unfolded. I tried thinking of a new time, or place where this film could be shot but it’s hard to change that without changing the screenplay too much. Although I have never seen the film I have seen the poster and several screenshots so I have an idea of the characters, but still don’t know the soundtrack or style of shooting. After reading the screenplay and imagining the characters in my head, the film is seems pretty close to how I imagined them. Two guys in Hawaiian shirts with cigarettes hanging from their lips at all times and looking dirty and tired from the previous nights shenanigans. I imagine there would be a lot of bright colors, not just because it’s Vegas but also because the characters are constantly on drugs so adding a lot of color to every shot would further engage the audience and give them an effect of being on drugs like the characters. The cinematography could be almost loose in a way. Using a lot of handheld shots while the characters are high but combined with a modern style of shooting involving mounting the camera to the car and on rigs that could twist and turn it to give a new look and enhance the drugs in the film.
            I really enjoyed reading the screenplay; I would actually like to read more then watch the movie. It is more interesting ti read the screenplay rather than the book because if you read the book then watch the film you just point out what was different. But the screenplay is the script so you can focus on setting the scenes in your head then seeing how they are different on the big screen. 

The Hunger Games

            This book was definitely meant for a younger audience, even though the book is about killing. For what it was, it could have been written in a very dark manner, but even though it was about death and murder it was still written light enough for young teens to read. It was interesting enough to read the whole book and continue on from chapter to chapter, but I wasn’t glued to it, straining my eyes reading the print begging to find out what was going to happen next. This was the first book of the trilogy so it spent a long time introducing the characters and explaining their back-story. It was really good for character development but because I just read the first book of the series I thought too much time was spent on her at home then in training, it could just be that I am impatient but I wanted to get to the actual Hunger Games portion and read about players strategies and how they went after one another. I think if I read the other two books in the trilogy then I would appreciate this book more, but because it left on a cliffhanger and spent so long to get to the action I can only say I enjoyed reading the book but nothing more. I have recommended it to others but with some hesitation. It seems like it is written for early teens, leaving middle school and going into high school; that seems like the target audience. It was a good read and I am glad I read it because with the movie coming out next year I am going to hear so much about it and now I can finally be in the loop about what is going on with teen books and movies. 

Wizard of Oz

I am actually happy then I finally got to read this book after seeing the film so many times and hearing about it for so many years. In my film class in high school we talked about this film a lot, we even watched it while playing Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon, which changed the movie into something even more incredible. I do have to admit that I enjoy the film over the book though. The book created and solved problems too quick. A crisis would arise at the beginning of a page, but by the end of that same page it was solved for the most part. It was a very simple read, not just simple to read but there weren’t any complexities to the story. I may feel this way just because I know the film so well, but I can’t really think of a time when I was scared that any of the characters were in true danger and that any of them would actually die or be out of the story. Everything that happened was solved so fast and the good guys always prevailed so quickly and almost effortlessly that it took any true excitement out of the story for me. Unfortunately while I was reading the book I couldn’t stop comparing it to the movie, pointing out what the movie left out and what they changed. I did like the book better than the movie because more did happen, the only issue I had with is was how quickly every scenario was solved. Overall I’m happy I finally read the book but was a little surprised how much of an easy read it was.