Monday, October 28, 2013

The Importance of Expression: Double Idemnity and LA Confidential




After watching the two movies, Double Indemnity and La Confidential, I was able to make many comparisons with the plot, scenery, and characters within each movie. Double Indemnity is a movie about a man, Walter Neff, who falls under the scheming plan of Phyllis Dietrichson to murder her husband in order to get the money for the accident policy. After the plan goes through, both Walter and Phyllis begin to feel suspicious of each other's motives. Walter is ashamed of himself for breaking his morals for money and a girl. At the very end, due to there suspicions, both Phyllis and Walter kill each other.
Similar to Double Indemnity, La Confidential is about the teamwork of two police officers, Bud White and Ed Exely, who work together to solve a case only to find out the corruption and truth behind the dark world of L.A Crime. In both these movies, Ed Exely and Walter Neff break there morals. In La Confidential, Ed Exely always said to Dudley that he would never shoot, beat, or plant corroborative evidence on a person who he felt was guilty. This is what made Ed different from the L.A Police team. Ed was fair and always used his morals and brain before assuming someone was guilty. By the middle of the movie, we see Ed fall under his words and morals as he shoots a African American who the L.A Police team believes was involved in a crime. The expression on his face, as seen in picture 48, shows Ed after he shot the suspected African American. Ed's face is covered in blood. His expression looks as if he is a wild, hungry animal. Ed looks both out of control and stunned at the act he has just done. He feels guilty about the person who he has become while working for the L.A police department. This is completely opposite to the Ed we were introduced to in the very beginning of the movie who was clean cut, poised, and fair.  This shot is a low angle shot, were viewers look up to Ed. This makes Ed seem more powerful like Dudley and the other officers who were usually taller than Ed in beginning shots. This angle shows another reference to Ed being compared to the corrupt officers, who he has become, due to the angle the camera is positioned at. This shot is a one person shot and highlights Ed's face. Another important fact about this shot is Ed's apparel. Ed is in a suit. This represents the old Ed who was fair, and elegant. This is completely opposite to Ed's face which is tainted and smeared with blood showing corruption, savageness-- the new man Ed has become.

This shot of Ed's guilty face is similar to the shot of Walter Neffs in picture 19. This shot is a close up, single shot of his face. Walter's face catches the light by shadowing the background. This is important because viewers are only able to concentrate on Walter's emotions. This picture shows Walter's guilty and shameful face after he strangled Mr. Diertrichson for Phyllis and the accident policy money. Walter is disgraced at the person who he has become, similar to Ed in L.A Confidential. Walter went against his morals for a scheming girl and money. He no longer knew who he had become. This can be seen when Walter says "I couldn't even hear my own footsteps," showing that Walter no longer knows himself after he committed these crimes, just like Ed.

Overall both these pictures are similar in that they both represent two young man who fell under the influence of corrupt people. These two characters show the same shameful and guilty emotion on there face after they committed a crime against there morals

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Who is David?

Finishing Stitches, I noticed the theme of Identity throughout the novel. At first, David had no opinion or free voice in his household. His mother and father were superior and chose for him. David was not allowed to read books due to his mother's belief against them. David was an outsider in his world and grew up alone. In the final pages of this novel, David shows how he fought for his free will. Instead of living a depressing life without voice, he chose to become a painter in which he could express his feelings and emotions through picture. David left his household at age 16 in order to make a new life for himself. He didn't want to fall into the fate of his parents who lied and ostracized him when he grew up. David overcame his parents superiority and learned that he was able to make his own decisions without them. This was seen through David's dream at the very end. In the dream, his mother is sweeping the path from David's house to the state asylum where David's grandmother had been locked away. The mother wants David to follow her path. The last page, in my opinion the most important page in the book, says two words, "I didn't." This is shown with a white background and black lettering which contrasts the black background and white lettering that was seen at the start of each segment. Because David did not follow his mother's path, this shows how he has become a new person. David did not fall under the influence of his mother or grandmother. This dream is important because it shows how David has been liberated and changed. By having the background white, the last page represents freedom due to white being a symbol of purity, and newness

Size and Shape of Frames

Reading the fourth section of Stiches, I noticed the importance of size and shape of frames and the organization within them. Many times, Small will have small images of an object close up. As you continue to read on, he shows more of the image until finally you see the whole image on one page. I think the author does this to show the importance of the picture. This was seen on pages 180 to 181 when David wakes up from the surgery with no voice. At first Small showed different shades of grey and black in small frames. Gradually, he drew more of the mouth so that readers were able to piece together and recognize the object. Once readers could infer or guess that it was a mouth, Small zoomed out of the object and drew the entire mouth on one page with extreme detail. By doing this, I concentrated on the object more and tried to guess what it was. When I saw different shades of black and grey I was confused and took more time to analyze them. This made a great impact when I finally realized the object was a mouth on the next page because I was able slow down my mind and think.
This was seen again on page 258 to 259. At first we see David holding onto to the rabbits legs portrayed through a small frame. Gradually, Small zooms up and focuses on a single tear. Finally, on the next page, he shows a flow of tears. This was important because it made readers think about David and his emotions. Overall, if an image is important, Small will draw small sections of the image until finally he shows the entire image on a separate page. From this, I was able to infer that pictures in larger frames are more important than the ones in smaller frames. In larger frames, Small uses more detail than in the smaller frames. The smaller frames seemed to be the description or build up for the larger frames. Smaller frames help you to read quickly, while larger frames show more detail and make you stop to look and wonder.
This technique is important for literary novel authors to do because it shows meaning and voice within the picture.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

David goes Down The Rabbit Hole

Halfway through the literary novel, Stitches, I was able to make connections with David's fate and and free will with the book Alice and Wonderland. Small makes many references to Alice and Wonderland throughout the book such as on page 196 where a rabbit looks for his mother in the rain. This theme is brought up again in the first section where David pretends to be Alice. Small draws a sketch of himself jumping into another world, "wonderland," to escape his life at home. While many people would pass over this connection to Alice and Wonderland, I looked at it more closely. Alice and Wonderland was a book based on a girl who felt umcomortable with her body and size during puberty. She loses control of her body when it changes in different way as she grows older. In fact, during one of the chapters in this book, one of the body parts that grows to a abnormal length is her neck. Alice goes down the Rabbit Hole, in order to escape her life on earth. I think that Small uses Alice and Wonderland to show and tell readers how he feels different and ostracized than the people in his life and world. David goes to his "wonderland" world by reading books and using his imagination just like Alice did. The only place David is able to excercise free will is in his imagination or "wonderland." I think that David overall did not have any choice is his life. His parents completely used him as a science experiement and on top of that his mother would not allow him to read or do the activities that he enjoyed. Due to his upbringing, David quit on his life. David failed out of school, got arrested, and disobeyed his parents to try and become noticed. After his surgery, David was unable to talk. He was different from his peers and overall unoticed. David disobeyed in order to become noticed by his parents and fellow peers just like Alice.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The Importance of Repetition

Finishing section two in the literary work, Stiches, I noticed the repetition of two frames. Both of these frames were given an entire page, which made them stand out even more to readers. One of these frames was on page 123, a shot of a wave with a figure swept away from it. This shot appeared right after David and his mother got in a fight about the cost of seeing a doctor for David's tumor on the side of his neck. This same picture was brought up before on page 47 right after his mother was angry with David about losing his shoes at the hospital. Small quotes, "Her silent fury was like a black tidal wave, either you get out of the way or....." This description was led with a picture, taking up an entire page, of a tidal wave with David swept underneath of it. I think these two frames are important for readers to look at and understand, showing the characteristics of his mother. Both these photos occur after David gets in a fight with his mother, usually about money. I think this shows how his mother cares more about money then her two sons. Her mother insists they cannot afford for David to have the operation, yet she is able to buy a new car and clothing when her husband gets a promotion. I think Small does this to show us visually the priorities of the mother. The mother cares more about her image than the health of her two sons. The tidal wave represents the mother, and the little boy represents David. This overall shows how the mother has priority and first choice in the family, while David has no say-- also showing a important theme of Fate vs Free will.

Another picture that is repeated in the second section is on page 135. This frame shows the double mirrors of the hospital with the reflection of David and his mother in the background. This frame is after David and his mother go to the doctors due to the concern of David's growth on his neck. Before, this photo was seen on page 42 when David explores the hospital on the "Xray Floor." I think the double mirrors are significant in showing two sides to the hospital. The hospital is viewed as a place where one gets help, however, in David's case, the hospital represents a place where he was used as an experiment and offered no free will.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

"Words, words, words..."

After reading the first hundred pages of Stitches, by David Small, I noticed the vast difference of vocabulary and language presented in this book. Small uses very little words to describe the context of his pictures and mostly uses his artistic ability to tell his memoir. While this is different than most novels that I have read, I learned to enjoy and look at each frame discovering the hidden clues in the lightning and background of each picture. One thing I noticed was Small's use of Onomatopoeias. An onomatopoeia is the formation of a word through the imitation of a sound such as "Splat, Whack." Small uses these words to tell readers how we should feel about his characters. When we are first introduced to the mother, readers see the word "WHAP" bold and capitalized. Small says that "'whap' was the mother's language". He bolds these words to show the importance of them and there use of portraying the characters. For instance, after seeing the word "whap" I immediately thought of the mother as cruel-- someone who slammed doors and slapped her children. This word helped viewers be able to imagine the mother along with the picture rather than Smalls describing her through writing. Small uses this strategy of description through the use of Onomatopoeia in all of his pages. He makes sure readers notice these words by bolding and capitalizing them in contrast to the short, small context sentences. By doing this, it draws the readers eyes' to the frame. This technique is very important and helps readers be able to imagine the characters and book.