Author Archives: vmmortati

A Woman is A Woman

This scene from Jean-Luc Godard’s film Une Femme Est Une Femme is one of my favorite fight scenes of all time. The movement of the shots surrounding the two characters is very fluid, and you feel as though you are experiencing a glimpse of life with this couple. There is a perfect amount of comic relief dispersed throughout their conversation, and the director also structures the sound design, lighting, and camera movement to add to the whimsical nature of this scene.

Once the couple is finally settled in bed, the lights turn off and dialogue is heard on a black screen for a couple moments. The light is then turned on, and in the scenes to follow, both characters use the lamp as a prop and as a spotlight, bringing it to different parts of the room. The movement of the light in the shots, playing a character, draws your eye around the area and beckons your eye to follow the action in the scene.

The idea to incorporate the lamp into the scene draws attention to the subject matter; and adds an additional element to the power struggle and the fight between the couple. Because the couple is not on speaking turns, they use the books from the bookshelf to illustrate their thoughts towards one another. The thunderstorm-like sound heard in the background of this sequence adds to the silence between the couple, and the light music heard scantly throughout helps lighten the mood slightly. This film perfectly demonstrates the benefits of playing with light, music, and actions, and how realism and practicality are not always the best approach to making a film enjoyable. Plus, Anna Karina is just so cute, she could do anything and the film would be great!


The Lunch Date

I remember seeing this short by Adam Davidson a couple years ago and falling in love with the simplicity of the story. The situation is unique and executed perfectly. I love the music’s effect on the film, and how it helps frame the emotions in the movie. There is a nice message to the film, and while short, both the characters develop, change, and learn lessons by the time the film is over. The woman is both a pain in the ass, and easy to sympathize with, and her reactions are priceless.

This short is the perfect example of how strong simplicity is when telling a story. A complex story line is not necessary in order to have character, climax, and resolution, in just ten minutes. The movie features an arc, with a twist, and I think all in all, it’s a feel good, well-made classic.


A Fool and His Money

I made this narrative short last semester in Anjali’s 16mm class. It’s essentially about a bum who finds money, fantasizes about what he’ll do with it, and then soon after realizes that money isn’t the key to his happiness. I wanted the story to have silent-film era humor, focusing on the actor’s physical comedy and facial expressions. The movie includes three different flashbacks, which we wanted to make highly stylized and over-the-top. They are my favorite part of the film, I think they’re the strongest and tightest in terms of style. We had one main actor throughout the film, with hopes of the audience sympathizing with his trials and tribulations. His incredible ability to show his emotions facially helped tell the story, as well as the somewhat vague, slightly confusing plot-line that transitioned between flashbacks and current time. The film starts at the same mundane, dreary world, but through his imagination you are able to travel to different places, times, and situations. The film’s strengths are definitely seen in the dream-like sequences of the film, and the story had potential however I don’t know if it was executed as well as it could have been.

If I had the opportunity to make this film over again, I would keep the actors and settings, however because of time constraints, shooting and editing was rushed, and not as planned out as it could have been. The film could use tightening in terms of the length of each shot and sequence, and moves rather slowly and redundantly in some areas. Working with my partner went very well, however a crew or one or more people would have made the experience run a bit more smoothly. I think a major regret I have about this film is not having the balls (and money) to shoot on 16mm. I hope I get the opportunity to do so again but I think it would’ve made the tone of the film a thousand times more authentic, and added completely to the general idea. All in all, I can say that for my next upcoming narrative project, I need to just spend time developing each and every shot and not rush for the sake of “just getting the shot”, because it’s very evident in the finished product. Lighting, costume, and setting also needs to be more thoughtful. I’m looking forward to spending alot of time on one particular project, and wish I could have done so for this film.