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‘The Red Balloon’ Short Film Critique: Relationship and Poetry Through a Child’s Gaze

A short essay for my Film Theory and Criticism Class The 1956 French short film classic “The Red Balloon” (Le ballon rouge) features a tender drama with a fine touch of flight of fancy. Its subdued setting features a lot of grays, suggesting the depressing quality of the film’s mood and tone, which is then contrasted with the blazing red balloon in mid air.  This post-war motion-picture classic written and directed by Albert Lamorisse features a seemingly cynical world that turns magical

‘Hedgehog in the Fog’ Short Film Critique: The Phantasm of Venturing Into the Unknown

A short essay for my Film Theory and Criticism Class The 1975 short animated film “Hedgehog in the Fog” (Yozhik v tumane) by Yuri Norstein offers an amalgam of terror and pleasure using the phantasm of venturing into the unknown. This evocative work of imagination features the journey of a hedgehog one evening to see his bear cub friend. As he travels in the foggy forest, he encounters many scary things that eventually become transformative moments of wonder. This 11-minute Russian

‘Tango’ Short Film Critique: Overlapping Routines as a Collective Ritual

A short essay for my Film Theory and Criticism Class Filmmaker Zbigniew Rybczyński presents his critically acclaimed 1981 Polish short film “Tango” as a rhythmic play set in a stage that gradually progresses. It begins with a vaguely minimalist room where there are three points of entrance and exit: two doors and a window. These points become the gateways of a plethora of characters that initially starts with easily recognizable parts until each one’s repetitive acts create layer after layer of

(Response Paper) Cinema as an Invention, Art, and Idealistic Phenomenon with Andre Bazin

In response to: “The Myth of Total Cinema” from the book “What is Cinema?” by Andre Bazin A response paper for my Advanced Film Theory and Criticism class The Andre Bazin reading “The Myth of Total Cinema” from his book “What is Cinema?” focused on the desire of humans to find a representation of reality as complete as possible, rooted from the innovations in cinema, by discussing techniques of mechanical reproduction of reality. This started in the nineteenth century, then carefully moved on

(Response Paper) Cinema and Ideology with Jean-Luc Comolli and Jean Narboni

In response to: The Jean-Luc Comolli and Jean Narboni essay “Cinema/Ideology/Criticism” from the journal “Screen” A response paper for my Advanced Film Theory and Criticism class This essay entitled “Cinema/Ideology/Criticism” by French writers Jean-Luc Comolli and Jean Narboni started with an introduction of the pioneering French film magazine Cahiers du Cinema, offering a general overview of its objectives, goals, and ideology. It also presented the perennial question “What is film?” and “What is cinema?” – questions that continue to linger around many

(Response Paper) Ideology, Reality, and the Apparatus Film Theory with Jean-Louis Baudry

In response to: The Jean-Louis Baudry essay “The Apparatus: Metapsychological Approaches to the Impression of Reality in Cinema” from the Leo Braudy and Marshall Cohen book “Film Theory and Criticism: Introductory Readings” A response paper for my Advanced Film Theory and Criticism class In this essay “The Apparatus: Metapsychological Approaches to the Impression of Reality in Cinema,” French psychoanalytic film theorist Jean-Louis Baudry asserted that cinema is, by nature, ideological. This is because films are created to represent reality and the mechanics

(Response Paper) David Bordwell: The Blurred Line Separating Art Cinema with Classical Hollywood Cinema

In response to: The David Bordwell essay “The Art Cinema as a Mode of Film Practice” from the journal “Film Criticism” A response paper for my Advanced Film Theory and Criticism class In the essay “The Art Cinema as a Mode of Film Practice,” American film theorist and film historian David Bordwell primarily discussed how art cinema can be considered as a distinct mode of film practice by comparing it to classical narrative cinema (which can be traced to studio feature filmmaking in Hollywood since

(Response Paper) Bela Balazs’ Physiognomy of Things: The Power of Close-up in Cinema

In response to: “Bela Balazs: From Theory of the Film – The Close-up” from the book “Film Theory and Criticism: Introductory Readings” by Leo Braudy and Marshall Cohen A response paper for my Advanced Film Theory and Criticism class Humans are curious creatures whose most dominant sense is sight. The art of looking beyond the ordinary allows people to discover the soul of things, and in the case of film, this happens through the use of shots. For Bela Balazs in this

(Response Paper) The Essence of Realism Through the Photographic Image with Andre Bazin

In response to: “The Ontology of the Photographic Image” from the book “What is Cinema?” by Andre Bazin A response paper for my Advanced Film Theory and Criticism class Reading “The Ontology of the Photographic Image” from the book “What is Cinema?” by realist film theorist Andre Bazin reminded me how a film makes a character immortal, and to a large degree, makes an actor immortal as well. One’s physicality, which eventually gets lost in time with aging, will always remain as is,

(Response Paper) The Rise of the Seventh Art: Cinema as Art and Language with Andre Bazin

In response to: “The Evolution of the Language of Cinema” from the book “What is Cinema?” by Andre Bazin A response paper for my Advanced Film Theory and Criticism class Andre Bazin expressed in this reading “The Evolution of the Language of Cinema” from his book “What is Cinema?” his conviction that sound is not there to destroy cinema – it is just part of the natural development of the medium. In discussing film as an art and language, he presented how the cinema

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