Arielle Edelman's Blog

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Irma Vep (Oliver Assayas, 1996)

March 13th, 2011 by Arielle Edelman · Uncategorized

My favorite scene from Oliver Assayas’ film Irma Vep, which was screened last Sunday was the one in which Maggie returned to her hotel room after witnessing Rene’s meltdown. Set to the song “Tunic” by Sonic Youth, the camera was incredibly frenetic, panning quickly around the room from the window to the bed to the floor, revealing outspread magazines, a running television, and open beer cans before committing to Maggie as she stumbles into the room. Setting a scene to music can often be overpowering and diminish the visuals of the scene. It’s not often that an (unoriginal) song works in a scene without being completely distracting to the viewer. In this scene, however, I found it completely hypnotic, stylish and brash. The lyrics “you ain’t never going anywhere” emphasized Maggie’s confusion and frustration with Rene’s project. For me, this scene embodied the major theme of the film, which I believe was ambiguity.

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Shadows (John Cassavetes, 1959)

February 28th, 2011 by Arielle Edelman · Uncategorized

John Cassavetes’ 1959  film Shadows succeeded in all areas in which it, whether intentionally or not, defied normative cinema of its time. The film offered commentary on race relations in a volatile era, using the cosmopolitan melting pot of New York as a backdrop. Allowing the actors to improvise lent a natural quality to the performances, also allowing for indulgently long takes and non-traditional editing.

Elbert Ventura writes in Slate Magazine:

Cassavetes had financed the production with his paychecks from Hollywood and made the film with a cast and crew of novice actors from his drama workshop. The finished product betrayed their inexperience: mismatched cuts, shots out of focus, audio out of sync. But it was also unlike anything audiences had seen before: a raw, kinetic, jazz-scored dispatch from bohemian New York that was frank about sex, progressive on race, and intoxicated with youth.

Cassavetes’ utilization of the DIY ethos lent an authentic grit and dark edge to the film that leaves the viewer in a directionless lull, much like the character Ben in the last scene of the film.

Slate Magazine:

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February 21st, 2011 by Arielle Edelman · Uncategorized


c0smic, rite?

what do u think


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