Saturday, January 10, 2009

Take (the movie)

Take (2007), starring Minnie Driver and Jeremy Renner. 

Inside every moment is a lifetime.

The writer/director (Charles Oliver) created a film that contains a strong message of revenge--as in those that seek revenge can become destroyed themselves--and forgiveness. The film contains no nudity, no profanity, and minimal violence. However, the movie is very intense and at times disturbing. Oliver did a superb job in creating tension and anxiety through the use of space, color, and setting.

Charles Oliver spoke to a group of film students at the University of Utah. I was privileged to be there. He explained that an approved PG-13 version was showing at the cinema that weekend, so I took advantage of the opportunity to see it.

WOW! Now that is the type of movie I am talking about when I say "quality film." It carries a great message in a powerful way. I rarely cry while watching movies, but rivulets of tears streamed down my cheeks during this one. It yanked emotions out of me, and left an impact. I think it is the best movie I have seen in a long, long time.  

Trailer: Take (2007)

Soap Box: The MPAA Rating System

I get irritated at the MPAA rating system. It seems out of whack. For instance, some movies are rated PG-13 yet have nudity, profanity (including the "F" word), and violence. Other movies are rated R only because the theme is intense. Consider the movie Take (2007)(see post: Take). The movie was rated R because of an intense scene. The writer/director (Charles Oliver) tried to fight it, but the rating stood. There is no nudity, no profanity, and only mild violence, but it is rated R. Go figure!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

What drives me to study film?

I am seeking a way to help bring about better quality films. I am not talking about milk-toast white washed topics. I am talking about quality. I define "quality film" as a movie that teaches, uplifts, or gets its message across in a non-preachy, entertaining, or thought provoking way. It can be hard hitting, it can be cutting edge, it can be powerful; but it does not need to be vulgar or violent! 
Film is the most powerful medium there is to date, and it should be used for good. There is far too much filth and graphic violence in movies--and there is no need for it. Consider the silent films of years ago...they handled deep topics and concerns without nudity, profanity, or extreme violence. The addition of sound and modern technology should enhance those topics now, not serve to demoralize or drag the viewers down.  

So, although my personal focus is on screenwriting, I am also seeking ways that I can contribute or help those in the film industry bring quality back. I told my husband before I began this path, "I don't care if I only help by bringing hot chocolate to the director...if it's for a quality film, then I'm at least doing a small part." (I had to laugh when that statement literally came true in October when I worked as Production Assistant and served hot chocolate to the director, cast, and crew of a short film. I'll tell more about that in a later post.)