My Favorite Movie

March 28, 2013

Recently, an actor friend asked what my favorite movie is. Upon hearing my response, he replied that the director of this movie makes all fluff and no substance. He judged me because of my favorite movie.

His judgment irritated me. He made me feel like I must not know anything about movies because it is what he considers “fluff.”

The nature of the question set me up to be judged. I don’t think my favorite movie is the best movie ever made by any means. But it has sentimental significance.

This movie reminds me of a time in my life when I had a close group of girl friends. We spent our weekdays in school together and our weekends swooning over male movie stars because we were too embarrassed to talk about our real life crushes. The romance in my favorite movie made us believe that love conquers all and that we deserve to be appreciated by men.

Now life is a little more serious and there are “good” movies and “bad” movies. I guess the only movies that are supposed to matter are the award nominees, the rest is just fluff.

Well, I’m not going to apologize for enjoying movies that make me smile, whether they have “substance” or not.


An Afternoon at LACMA

February 8, 2013

LACMA did have one of his earliest masterpieces, “Saint Francis of Assisi in Ecstasy”

Just a few days before its closing, I finally made it to the “Caravaggio and His Legacy” exhibit at LACMA. Caravaggio is known for his undefined space and play of light. It seemed almost unfair to put his disciples’s paintings next to his, because he is the master. There were very few actual Caravaggio paintings; nonetheless, it was still an interesting exhibit. There was even one Velazquez painting from early in his career that was in Caravaggio’s style, which I was very excited to see.

I was also impressed to see a few works from Valentin de Boulogne, with whom I was not familiar with before seeing this exhibit. Particularly, I enjoyed his painting, “Judith.” It is clearly in the Caravaggio style, but it is in his unique interpretation.


I was similarly impressed with Simon Vouet’s “Saint Jerome and the Angel.” I did not know about him before this exhibit, either. I studied art history in Spain, which is why I’m obsessed with Velazquez and Goya and am less familiar with French painters.


HOT. But seriously, beautiful painting.

Finally, one more painting from the exhibit I really enjoyed was “The Denial of Saint Peter” by Gerard Seghers.


I love the use of light in this. That’s so Caravaggio.

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For our Visual Literacy: Painting to Life video project, Gretchen Kast, Thomas Wong, and I created an interpretation of Andy Warhol’s “Campbell’s Soup.”

Tensions rise between a couple, whose relationship is already failing, when the man reveals he hit a deer with his car on his way to work. The woman cannot believe his heartlessness because, instead of feeling bad for killing an animal, he only cares about the damage to his car. The underlying struggle is about the man’s apathy towards the slow death of their relationship.

A note about the movie: The film somehow came out to be overexposed. The coloring seemed fine as we were recording. We are learning film-making through our mistakes!

Shot List:

CU- hands cleaning up spilt soup, 4 sec.
MCU/Two Shot- planar staging, protagonists in kitchen, silence between them, 5 sec.
CU- hands washing dishes, 4 sec.
CU- hands stirring soup, 4 sec.
MCU/Two Shot- protagonists in kitchen, mise-en-scene, 1 min. 12 sec.
MCU- woman knocks over soup, 3 sec.
CU- pot of soup dropping to floor and spilling, 5 sec.
MCU/Two Shot- reaction to soup spilling, silence, 9 sec.
CU- hands cleaning up soup, male walking away, mise-en-scene, 24 sec.
PU- woman cleaning on floor and crying, pan up to soup on counter, 11 sec.
FS- painting by Andy Warhol

The scene in “Bicycle Thieves” where the protagonist, Antonio, is reporting the incident to an officer at the police station is exemplary of Italian Neorealism in several ways.

Beginning with techniques, all of the characters in the scene are played by regular men, not actors. The lighting is dark because it was filmed on location. Also, there is more than one instance of mise-en-scene. A notably effective use of mise-en-scene was a part of the seen where Antonio is being told there is nothing the police can do for him. The shot is static and is a medium close up of Antonio. Even though he and the officer are engaged in dialogue, the camera stays on Antonio, capturing his reactions to the officer’s dismissal of his problem.

In terms of plot, this scene shows the depressing situation Antonio is in. In particular, there is one point when another officer comes up to the officer who took Antonio’s complaint and asks in front of Antonio, “Anything?” And the officer who took Antonio’s complaint replied, “Nothing. Just a bicycle.” This line is especially in the style of Italian Neorealism because it expresses the cruelty of life. Antonio’s job depends on this bike, so it is extremely important to him, but his problem is dismissed by the officer. Also, the police station seems to be busy with activity, without being frantic, to indicate that there is enough crime going on in the city to keep them very busy, but nothing so important that urgency is required.

While this scene is one of the first steps Antonio takes to recover his bike, it shows the doom and gloom of his situation and the era expressed through Italian Neorealism.


1 MCU, Static; Antonio is sitting, just finishing reporting the incident; 4 sec.

2 Two Shot/MCU/TU, The officer stands/the camera follows his movement; The officer is distracted; 7 sec

3 PL/TD, The officer walks to the window and looks down/ camera follows his movement; The officer is told he has to go to a meeting; 12 sec.

4 DR, Following the movement of the officer; The officer returns to Antonio, 4 sec

5 Two Shot/MCU/ PR, Static, then officer moves; Antonio signs his statement and is told nothing can be done, 11 sec

6 MCU, Static; Antonio is asking the officer (who is out of the frame) to help him, 15 sec

7 PL, Two Shot/MCU, PR, Officer moves to Antonio, Static, Antonio leaves; The officer encourages Antonio to look for it himself, Antonio exits slowly, 27 sec


November 16, 2009



Begins with the image of a can of soup. There are two people, a man and a woman, cooking in a small, cluttered kitchen. The man is wearing a button down shirt, with jeans and the woman is wearing a red dress. The man is standing at the sink, washing dishes, and the woman is standing at the stove, stirring a pot. They both seemed to have had a long, rough day.

They’re chatting, casually. The woman asks the man about his day and the man explains how he accidentally hit an animal on the way home from work.

She stops stirring, a look of surprise crosses her face and she asks him what he did about the situation. He explains, nonchalantly, that he simply drove off. The woman gets upset and begins to shout at him, angrily yelling about animal rights. In her fit of rage, she ends up knocking the pot off the stove, spilling its contents all over the floor.

The man dives down and franticly begins to mop up the soup from the floor with a rag he grabbed from the counter. The woman stops him, saying she can clean it herself. She grabs a towel and pushes him out of the way, to begin cleaning the floor. He stands up slowly, clearly in shock. From the floor, the woman looks up and tells him that he should go back to check on the animal. He stands hesitantly, staring at her for a few seconds before obliging. He grabs his keys from off of the table and then barges out of the kitchen. The woman continues to clean. She sighs dramatically, and begins to tear. The scene ends with the tear drops falling into the red puddle of soup that is still on the floor.

Scavenger Hunt

November 9, 2009

Shots from around campus by Gretchen Kast, Thomas Wong, and myself. This was my first video editing project!