Friday, September 29, 2006

Voila! The fourth-year review is submitted!

From the introductory narrative piece --

Cinema is rife with elements that come in threes. We talk constantly about classic Hollywood movies operating under a “three-part structure,” we venerate epic trilogies like Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings or Krysztof Kieslowski’s Three Colors films, and several notable films from the 1990s to the present play with the narrative structure of the triptych, as in Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction, Milko Manchevski’s Before the Rain or Alejandro Gonález Iñárritu’s Amores perros. In all of these cinematic situations, however, the crucial section is the middle. With the dazzling theatrics characteristic of an opening and the climactic finale still to come, the “middle” section in each of these permutations of three seems to hold the danger of lagging, making the piece as a whole uninteresting or, worse, irrelevant. In the examples I list above, however, the second section is often the most interesting section when held under closer scrutiny, providing convincing information to propel the narrative forward, even when the viewer knows the film is not yet complete. I view my progress toward tenure in the light of these cinematic examples and hope this portfolio, the second of an anticipated three, provides evidence of the continued rapid momentum of my teaching, scholarship and service.


KC said...

Sweet! I love your narrative.

But, regarding the picture, you need a little green hat and to be clutching a pot of gold!

Rusty said...

The middle section of Amores Perros and Pulp Fiction were the weakest part of those films.

And The Two Towers SUCKED. Although I can't judge how it affected the trilogy since I refused to see Return of the King because the trailer featured a ginormous spider and I will have NOTHING to do with spiders in movies.

Middento said...

Rusty, Rusty, Rusty.

For one, Pulp Fiction isn't the world's strongest movie, but it's the most familiar of its type, which is why I included it.

For another, The Two Towers isn't so very bad -- I thought Return of the King was worse -- but it had the difficult job of bridging that I discuss. The same goes for The Empire Strikes Back before we headed into the idiocy of the more recent "prequels."

And as for Amores perros, well, you're just wrong. And I have too many papers to grade right now to lecture you as to why. Just consider yourself bitch-slapped.

Rusty said...

The Empire Strikes Back is by far the best of the Star Wars movies.

As for the middle of Amores Perros, BORING. Maybe it had something to do with me hating the characters. I can't root for adulterers. I was rooting for Octavio to run off with the woman he loves. I was rooting for El Chivo to make peace with his daughter. The cheaters, eh, they had it coming.

And Lord knows I wasn't rooting for the dog. I love it when dogs die in movies. In fact, I am going to buy A Fish Called Wanda right this second.

J.J. said...

I am proud of you, but do not envy you.