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Entries categorized as “The Fourth Wall” 31 results

Kevin Fullam writesThe Fourth Wall: The Thin Blue Line

Welcome to The Fourth Wall, CHIRP's weekly e-conversation on cinema. This week's subject is the classic 1988 documentary The Thin Blue Line.

This edition is written by CHIRP Radio volunteers Kevin Fullam and Clarence Ewing.

Clarence:

When I was an undergraduate, I took a class I think was called “Visualization and Reality,” or something like that. We studied a bunch of different topics like depth perception in painting, movie effects, holograms, etc. It was a fun, eye-opening experience, but for the longest time I didn’t think the class was worth anything other than helping me get credit toward my major.

Now, though, I feel that was one of those classes where I learned something that I carry with me to this day – that “reality,” or “truth,” may not be absolute, because it depends on perceptions, and perceptions differ depending on who is doing the perceiving.

This is the idea behind Errol Morris’ 1988 documentary The Thin Blue Line. The movie explores the answer to the question of who shot and killed police officer Robert Wood late at night in November 1976.

Two men, David Ray Harris and Randall Adams, were at the scene of the crime. But the answer to the question of who fired the gun differs depending on who supposedly saw the event as well as who was involved in the subsequent proceedings.

Along the way, the audience listens to the viewpoints, of witnesses, prosecutors, and police officers involved in the case. Everyone has their own motivations for what they believe in and the actions they take. “Getting to the truth about what happened” isn’t at the top of all, or even most, of these individuals’ lists.

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Share December 1, 2017 http://chrp.at/Spo Share on Facebook Tweet This!

Categorized: The Fourth Wall

Topics: the thin blue line

Kevin Fullam writesThe Fourth Wall: Thirteen

Welcome to The Fourth Wall, CHIRP's weekly e-conversation on cinema. This week's subject is the 2003 film Thirteen.

This edition is written by CHIRP Radio volunteers Kevin Fullam and Clarence Ewing.

Kevin:

Clarence, we were just talking about the challenge of writing for young folks during our discussion of The Florida Project, Penning lines for the teenage set seen in Thirteen might actually be tougher than constructing dialogue for first-graders? It's relatively easy for an adult to serve as a fly on the wall around tykes, but older kids are a far more guarded group. 

Cameron Crowe famously went undercover at a California high school in order to mine the material for his landmark book (and later film), Fast Times at Ridgemont High, but here director Catherine Hardwicke goes one better; her co-screenwriter is actress Nikki Reed (age 14 during filming), who mined her own life for this quasi-autobiographical tale. 

And what a life that is -- The Wonder Years, this ain't. Reed's Alpha Female, Evie, serves as the gateway for Tracy Freeland (Evan Rachel Wood), who decides to leave behind her nerdy circle of friends and make a concerted effort to move rapidly up her school's social ladder... though this comes with a hefty price. Before long, the two are ditching school, huffing, slugging each other (and self-harming when they're not), and engaging in sexual behavior far more mature than one would wish for a middle-schooler.

All the while, Tracy's relationship with her mom Melanie (Holly Hunter, in an Academy Award-nominated performance) steadily erodes. Melanie, a divorced, harried hairdresser, is bewildered by the hostile stranger that her daughter's become. As a recovering alcoholic who receives scant support from her ex-husband, Melanie is ill-equipped to keep on top of Tracy's life and reign in her wild behavior.

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Share November 17, 2017 http://chrp.at/RsI Share on Facebook Tweet This!

Categorized: The Fourth Wall

Topics: thirteen

Kevin Fullam writesThe Fourth Wall: Sexual Assault and Harassment in Hollywood

Welcome to The Fourth Wall, CHIRP's weekly e-conversation on cinema. This week's subject is the recent news reports of sexual assault and harassment in the arts and entertainment worlds.

This edition is written by CHIRP Radio volunteers Kevin Fullam and Clarence Ewing.

Clarence:

Kevin, I’m sure you’ve heard about what’s going on with Hollywood mogul and serial rapist Harvey Weinstein. I've been following this story along with the string of others after it and thinking about what it means for the film industry.

While I never followed the details of the personal lives of Harvey or his brother Bob, for the last few decades I have been a huge fan of the company they founded, Miramax (producer and/or distributor of a string of '90s landmarks like Pulp FictionGood Will HuntingThe Crying Game, and Clerks).

To me, this was a company that proved quality and profitability are not mutually exclusive in mass-market filmmaking. Even after the Weinsteins sold Miramax to Disney in 1993, they represented the idea that an independent operation could not only compete but be successful in movies, an idea that was inspirational to me and many others.

With the architect of this media miracle now hiding overseas, it’s impossible to ignore the fact that the “casting couch” mentality that so many people (myself included) dismissed as just a fact of life of Tinsel Town is, literally and definitively, rape culture.

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Share November 10, 2017 http://chrp.at/T23 Share on Facebook Tweet This!

Categorized: The Fourth Wall

Kevin Fullam writesThe Fourth Wall: The Babadook

Welcome to The Fourth Wall, CHIRP's weekly e-conversation on cinema. This week's subject is the psychological horror movie The Babadook.

This edition is written by CHIRP Radio volunteers Kevin Fullam and Clarence Ewing.

Clarence:

Amelia is a young woman whose life is enveloped in tragedy. Seven years ago, her husband died while driving her to the hospital to give birth to their son Samuel. Raising a child alone has meant a lot of stress and sleepless nights. Samuel has always been a handful behavior-wise, but things get even worse when one night he and Amelia find a peculiar book to read for bedtime, The Babadook, about a darkly mysterious figure whose malicious intents directed toward this mother and child are made clear in the nursery rhyme text.

What is this thing? What does it want? And how did that book get in the house? Amelia must figure it all out and do something about it before it’s too late.

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Share October 27, 2017 http://chrp.at/Scd Share on Facebook Tweet This!

Categorized: The Fourth Wall

Topics: the babadook

Kevin Fullam writesThe Fourth Wall: The Florida Project

Welcome to The Fourth Wall, CHIRP's weekly e-conversation on cinema. This week's subject is the film The Florida Project.

This edition is written by CHIRP Radio volunteers Kevin Fullam and Clarence Ewing.

Kevin: 

After seeing the terrific films What Maisie Knew and Moonlight last year, it struck me how rare it is for directors and screenwriters to capture authentic views of the world through the eyes of a small child. So often, when we see children on screen, they're essentially mini-grownups, with dialogue that's far too mature for their age*. Part of the issue is that little kids are rarely good actors, but also, how else would you keep their characters involved in adult-oriented plots that, in the real world, would likely mean zilch to someone that young?

[*There are a number of tropes which tangentially describe this unfortunate phenomenon, but the most common one is Most Writers Are Adults.]

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Share October 20, 2017 http://chrp.at/RKp Share on Facebook Tweet This!

Categorized: The Fourth Wall

Topics: the florida project

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