MUSIC AND FILM
The flash dance
It is a 1983 romantic music film which involved a collaboration of producers Jerry Bruckheimer and Don Simpson and its sequence presentation in style of music videos. This was an influence on other 1980s films due to their famous nature.
The Blue collar worker, 18 year old Owens Alexandra (Alex) played by Jennifer Beal's is a Pittsburg Pennsylvania dancer, tavern at night and during the day at steel mill with a welder. Her residence is a converted warehouse with her only companion the pet dog. She aspires to become an admirable dancer to the prestigious dancing school called Pittsburg. At one of her performances in Mawbys bar which is her place of work, she manages to attract the attention of Hurley Nick (Michael Nouri) the boss of the steel mills where he learns that actually Alex was one of the employers in his company.(Russell 200) Alex's best friend who worked with her in the same company shared a similar dream of becoming famous.Szabo Jeanie (Johnson sunny) who is a waitress is aspiring to be an ice skater professionally while Blazik Ritchie (Heffner Kyle) who is Jeanie's boy friend and also the cook is aspiring to be the comedian. Also a prominent character featured in the film is Johnny C. (Ving Lee) running the local strip club called the Zanzibar. Johnny C is accompanied by an unintelligent strong body guard Cecil (Donare Malcolm).Johnny.C. Pays a visit to Mawby's to see the dancers. In the process he tries to recruit both Jeanie and Alex to work at Zanzibar.
Alex goes to ask for application form for auditions at the conservatory. When he goes out of the conservatory he realizes that he lacks any formal training in the dancing field hence will be force to the specified section of the form unfilled. Alex's teacher is a retired ballet dancer called Long Hanna (Skala Lilia) and encourages him to continue pursuing his dream. At an audition Jeanie falls twice for ice show and losses confidence in herself. At the Zanzibar Jean become the dancer as she performs nude while Alex goes to the strip to rescue her.
Nick and Alex becomes lovers but later on Nick realizes that he has ex-girlfriend called Katie(Buer Belinda) and in the process have an hostile meeting in a local pub. Nick secures an audition for Alex at the conservatory using his number. Just before the audition Alex goes to see Hanna in her house and learns that she died the night before.
On the auditioning day just at the start Alex fells over but starts off again and completes it successfully. Finally in the last scene, Alex runs with a smile out of the conservatory building and he is hugged by Nick who hands her a bunch of roses and the film ends.
Flash dance… “what a feeling” was performed by Irene Cara.She also sung title song for 1980 film fame. The music for the dance was composed by Georgio Moroder whereas the lyrics were written by Forsey Keith and Cara Irene.. In May 1983 it reached the top position on the Billboard Hot 100m.Regardless of the song title the term flash dance is not used for lyrics. The song is for the introduction of the film and used by Alex in her audition at the end of the film.
Another song used in the film called Maniac also featured in the nominees' category of the Academy Awards. The writer was Michael Sembello and Matkosky Dennis who was inspired by the 1980 horror film maniac. Lyrics concerning the killer on the loose were later rewritten for the purposes of using in the flash dance. On realizing that the song was not specifically written for the purposes of filming the song was disqualified. Just like title song it managed to top on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1983.
The presige film
In this movie the rivalry between Angier and Border dominates the film. Secrecy Obsession and sacrifice seem to fuel the battle, since the two magicians contributes the good portion of their share to a fatal duel of one-upmanship with very disastrous consequences. The Obsession of Angier of beating Borden makes him to lose friendship with Cutter. On the other hand Borde's secrecy of his double lead makes Sarah to doubt about their relationship. This eventually results in her suicidal death. In the end Borden and Angier loses Olivia's love simply due to their obsessions. Struggle between the two is also seen through class welfare: The professor being Borden, a magician in a working class and dirtifies his hands, while Angier is playing the role of a great Danton, a classy showman with an accent which makes him appear like an American. Matt Brunson a film critic sees a complex theme of a dual nature exemplified by Borden and Angier. He notes that the film portrays simple notions of good versus bad characters.
The stealing of Borden's teleportation illusion by Angier brings out the picture of the real world about the stolen tricks of the magicians. Similar rivalries outside the film include magicians John Nevil Maskelyne and Kellar Harry's dispute of levitation illusion. Gary of locus online also notes that there is reflectivity for mayhem in the film at the expense of the novel. He cites the murder disposition by Angier as intensified acts of violence and duplicates of revenge and counter-revenge. This is connected to a more general event alteration and film tone instead of significantly altering the underlying themes. This may have had a connection to the cutthroat competition between the engineering wizards Telsa Nikola and Thomas Edison who fought over for an electrical current as it appears in the film parallel to that of Angier and Borde's competition for the supremacy of magic. According to Den Shewan the film attempts to ask the question of how far one can go to in devoting oneself to an art.Chung Ling Soo's character on Shewan's perspective brings out the methaphor.Alex Manugian calls this theme the “the true meaning of commitment”. For instance the Soo's pretense of being feeble and slow diverts the audience so that they may not see the true physical strength that can be used in the gold fish trick.However the cost of maintaining the illusion is the individuality sacrifice.The freedom and true appearance of Soo to naturally act are suppressed consciously in his continuous dedication to the magic art.
Rapold Nicolas of film comment sees the point raised by the Manugian and Shewman as film's refracted take on romanticism. The technological solution by Angier suggesting art as a sacrifice and more meat for Borden or potatoes type of stagecraft which embodies the division between the social being and the artist. According to Manugian the theme of central interest is Obsession. He supports the themes of nature of deceit also. Science to him is magic.Nolans is criticized by Manugian for trying to ram very many themes into the story.
The film music is composed by the English musician and film score David Julyan.He pennes the music for prestige. He had collaborated with director Christopher previously on memento and insomnia.Just like the film; soundtrack is divided into three sections, that is Pledge, Turn and Prestige. The score disappointed so many critics arguing that while it will work in the context of the film, it is not interesting by itself.Jarry Jonathan of soundtrack net describe the score as merely functional and establishes that atmosphere of dread but not taking over. Though the reviewer was interested in the notion of the scores, Jarry discovered the execution as highly disappointing.Tracksounds member Christopher Coleman felt that he was completely overwhelmed by the film although it was perfectly fitting score. Sometimes it was even totally unnoticed.Clemenson Christian of Film trackers recommended soundtrack for those enjoying Julyan's work concerning the film. He noted that it was not really meant for those who expected semblance of the intellectuals or score enchantment so as to match the story in the film. According to clement the scores were lifeless made up of simplistic bed with string chords with dull sound scapes electronics.
Slum dog millionaire
It is the story of Malik Jamal a Teen orphan who resides in Mumbai slums in India. He is about to encounter the biggest day ever in his life.As the whole Nation watches, he needs to answer only one question to win a whooshing 20 million Indian Rupees. As the show breaks for the night the boy is arrested by the police and he is accused of cheating. The assumption was that since he was a street child he must have not known much. In his attempt to prove his innocence, he narrates the story about his life in the slum where he grew up with his brother, their adventures on the road and a lot of vicious encounters with gangs in the slum and about the girl called Latika whom she loved but unfortunately lost her
Release and box office performance
In North America, the film was initially shown at Telluride festival on August 30th 2008.The positive reception by the audience generated a strong buzz. On the 7th of September the film was also aired at Toronto international film festival where it gained a wide fame success scooping the people's choice award. On 12th November 2008 the film debuted with a limited North American release. The DVD released was at the Blu-ray in U.S on March 31st 2009
In Europe the film was released at U.K. on the 9th of January 2009 and opened at the U.K.Box office at number two. In it's second weekend the film reached number one setting the record in the U.Ks box office movies while it's takings increased by 47%.This became the first biggest ever increase in U.K.saturation release out playing the record which was held by the Billy Elliot previously.By February 2009 the film was ranked among the top eighth in the U.K in a period of the previous twelve months.Following its success at 81st Academy Awards on winning the Oscars it returned to the first position in U.K box office.
Its success at the Awards prompted the film producers seeing large increase enough to take them else where in Europe. The biggest increase in a single country was in Italy. It went up 556% from the week before. Also in France and Spain the kings increased by a margin of sixty one and seventy three percent respetively.Also in the same week successful openings were realized in Croatia from about ten screens only making it the top film in the country in the last four months. It opened in the second place in Poland.
In India the show took place in Mumbai on January 22nd 2009 with an attendance of major Indian personalities from the film industry. About hundred major film celebrities attended the event. Another version dubbed Hindi was also release on that same day. It the Hindi version was just an alteration of the Slum dog millionaire in the sense that it was shortened. This was done because of legal reasons. Three hundred and fifty one prints across India were released on January 23rd 2009 in the first week the earning about two million two hundred thousand U.S.dollars. to Fox Searchligth.Althougth it did not became successful like major Bollywood movies, the first week alone earned the highest weekend gross than any Fox film as well as the third highest release of western nature in the country just after the spider man3 and Casino Royale.(Anthony 101)
Few analysts so far with their opinions concerning the performance of the film the Box office in India.Natha Komal a trade analysts commented that there was a problem in the title itself since the term slum dog is not very familiar to majority of Indians. Also other trade analysts Mehr Amod stated that the filmed lacked famous stars and ideally do not suit Indian sentiments. The owner of the cinema commented that it is not easy to hear a slum boy speaking good English. He says that acting in Hindi makes the film a bit real and much more believable.Annitional copies of the Hindi version following the success of the 81st Academy awards were released. This led to a tremendous increase in film taking in India by a bout four hundred and seventy percent making a total of up to six million three hundred thousand U.S dollars in a week.(Russell 300)
In the Asia Pacific Region the Academy Awards made then film to realize the increase in takings. The Australia takings went up by fifty three percent making the film to come up to the second position there. The Hong Kong performance made the film realized a staggering one million dollars in the opening weekend. This made the film to become the number two biggest opening of the year in the Pacific.
The use of the terms “jai ho” as well as slum dog in the movie is now in the international lexicon. This faster reception of the terms shows how much the movie has been enjoyed across the world by the fans.
Awards and Honors.
The film has appeared severally in the top ten lists of the most interesting movies in various news papers. The film scooped eight out of the total ten Academy Awards of which it had been nominated for. February 22nd 2009.The movie also took the best position in the category of the best director and picture. The film became even the eighth one to win eight Awards and the eleventh in winning the Oscar best picture Award without a single nomination.(Anthony 71)
The movie also won seven out of the eleven BAFTA Awards for which it was nominated plus the best film: all of the four Golden Globe Awards which it was nominated for. This much acclaimed title sequence has received honors through nomination at the prestigious Festival of Rushes Soho Shorts held in 2009 at the in Broadcast Design Award with Match of the Day Euro 2008 titles by Aardman together with Angela's two projects.
Reactions to the film
Nearly a universal criticism met the film. As of November 2009 Rotten Tomatoes gave the film a 93% rating with about one hundred and ninety seven fresh views and only fourteen rotten ones.Roger of Chicago Times gave the movie four out of four stars citing it as a breathless, interesting, exciting exhilarating and heartbreaking movie. The timely setting reflects a highly globalizing India and especially the country's version of who wants to be a millionaire show on the T.V. plus a timeless melodrama and a orphan struggling to make the ends meet regardless of all types of setbacks. The film is equated to the Charles Dickens' movie of the 21st century. Anthony Dod Mantle believes that Mumbai City with its population of fifteen million is suitable for story telling just like London. The emotional dynamics unlike the glancing details of the movie create a sheer fantasy.
Corbett.J.Intercultural Language Activities.Cambridge University Press.2010
Russel.W.Teaching Social Issues with Film.IAP.2009