Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Homework - Vanilla Sky

This weeks homework assignment is Cameron Crows Vanilla Sky, a remake of the Spanish film Open Your Eyes.

A film about revenge?
- No
 A film with guns?
- No
 An explosions?
- No.

So what gives? Well, Vanilla Sky doesn't have the same traits as other will be later Homework assignments will. It's not really a crime thriller, it doesn't have a killer gang, and a dead wife with a  vengeful husband. 

The film starring Tom Cruise,  is about a millionaire playboy who has everything he wants and also thinks he can have it all, including his best friends date to a party while still entertaining another girl on the side.

The films deals with consequence of choices, a theme that is currently very present the first draft of The One You Feed. The film also has two female leads, one blonde and one brunette - showing their contrast to each other, and our film will have the same. 

 One scene that has always has an impact on me is one in which Tom Cruise meets Penelope Cruz in the park. He has just been in a car accident with Cameron Diaz, at first is lost as to how he woke up in the park. In that moment, he finds that he is in a dream. That he doesn't actually have Penelope with him, and they are not together. 

I love the idea the scene because it shows that even after you have lost someone, you may continue to dream about them. In that dream everything seems real, and your significant other is with you again. However, soon you will wake up and what was a wonderful dream is now a nightmare, because in reality that person is gone forever. 

A scene similar to this will be in The One You Feed - but of course different and more in the context of our storyline.

Here is a trailer for the film, and be sure to complete your homework assignment before next weeks assigned film.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Word of the Day


As define by Wikipedia  - "Revenge is a harmful action against a person or group in response to a grievance, be it real or perceived. It is also called payback, retribution, retaliation or vengeance; it may be characterized as a form of justice, an altruistic action which enforces societal or moral justice aside from the legal system. Francis Bacon described it as a kind of "wild justice."

Also on the WIKI page -


The popular expression "revenge is a dish best served cold" suggests that revenge is more satisfying as a considered response enacted when unexpected or long feared, inverting traditional civilized revulsion toward 'cold-blooded' violence. In early literature it is used, usually, to persuade another to forestall vengeance long enough for wisdom to reassert itself. This sense is lost in recent presentations.[citation needed]

The idea's origin is obscure. The French diplomat Talleyrand (1754–1838) has been credited with the saying La vengeance est un mets que l'on doit manger froid. [Revenge is a dish that should be eaten cold.].[7] It has been in the English language since at least 1846, via a translation from the French novel Mathilde by Joseph Marie Eugène Sue: la vengeance se mange très-bien froide [sic],[8] there italicized as if quoting a proverbial saying, and translated revenge is very good eaten cold.[9] It has been wrongly credited[where?][10] to the novel Les liaisons dangereuses (1782).
Its path to modern popularity may begin with the 1949 film Kind Hearts and Coronets which had revenge is a dish which people of taste prefer to eat cold. The familiar wording appears in The Godfather by Mario Puzo (1969) and is quoted as if from an "old Klingon Proverb" in the film Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982) and in the title sequence of the Quentin Tarantino film Kill Bill: Vol 1 (2003).

Another proverb states: "Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves." The implication here is that a desire for revenge may ultimately hurt the seeker as much as the victim. Alternatively, it may imply that you should be prepared to die yourself in the process of seeking revenge.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Coffee of the Day - Janus Tattoo

Though I had previously owned Armageddon and The Rock on Criterion (I know big art house films right?) DVD, I had never been exposed to so much foreign and hard to find films than when working for my Bachelor in Film.

Many of the films that we watched came from the Criterion collection, and most of them all begin with the Janus image above. Seeing the Criterion's Janus film symbol before every movie left a lasting impression. There are several storytelling narratives that are simply my favorite, one being stories that are told in non-linier form, time traveling is another, and duality.

For those that are not aware of who Janus is, here is what Wikipedia has to say -

"In ancient Roman religion and myth, Janus (Latin: IANVS) is the god of beginnings and transitions,[1] thence also of gates, doors, passages, endings and time. He is usually depicted as having two faces, since he looks to the future and to the past. The Romans named the month of January (Ianuarius) in his honor. Janus presided over the beginning and ending of conflict, and hence peace and war."

The Janus symbol inspired me so much  that during my time at the Univeristy of Central Florida I made a a short film called Doppleganger, in which I named my main character Janus, a man with a split personality that talks to his dog about possibly killing his wife.

The myth of The One You Feed obviously deals with the internal struggle of duality,  good versus evil. In writing the script I have attempt to add several scenes that are, in a sense, duplicates of previous scenes. There are things that happen twice. Hitchcock did this in his film Shadow of Doubt and also in Vertigo.  Not that my story needed any more duality in it, but I thought that following in the same feet steps wouldn't hurt either.

In the script, John's wife Linda is killed in a brutal attack. The only distinct item that John can recollect from one of the thugs is a tattoo. I had long thought the tattoo to be a cross of some sort, knowing in my heart that I would change the design later to something more distinct. Something that we as the audience, and John, will recognize later when bumping into that thug again.

I scratched my brain for a long time about what that symbol could be, the tattoo that the thug has on his arm. I even researched gang tattoos in the hopes of finding something that would work. Then it finally dawned on me - Janus. A symbols of duality and a mise en scene that I was toying with anyways.

It was perfect, I thought. The character will have Janus tattoo. But what would that actually look like? Would that look plausible? After doing a little Google image search I found this image below - a person with a Janus tattoo on their wrist. 

 Ehh, not really what I was looking for. What do you think?

I am sure that the tattoo fulfills this person lifestyle and completes them, maybe.  But it's not aggressive enough for a thug character. Right? Doing a little more Google image search, "Janus Tattoo," I found the image below. 

More perfect than I could imagine. Dropping the facial feature and beard from the image and making it skulls gives it just the edge that it needs. And it seperates it from the Criterion image so it doesn't look like the Thug is a huge art house film fan. 

 Audience, I think I just found my tattoo for the thug character.  By the way, the thug character's name is Emil. The name is in reference to Robocop. You know, the guy that says, "I know you. You're dead. We killed you!" 

But more on that later - as it will be one of the homework assignments in the coming weeks. 

Please, let me know what you think, like, dislike and also please show your support by liking the Facebook page. 


Ryan McDonald