SlamDunk! Studios

"creative and analytical writing"


Rashomon (film essay)

Posted on September 3, 2010 at 12:45 AM Comments comments (7)

The film Rashomon (Kurosawa, 1950) challenges us to question the reliability of verbal narration and the assumption that what is seen must be believed. This essay will examine the question – are words or images more credible in Rashomon? We will begin by analyzing the visual and verbal narrative presented to the audience; before comparing and contrasting character perceptions, as well as the imagery and cinematography employed by the film.


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A Bittersweet Life (film review)

Posted on August 29, 2010 at 11:05 AM Comments comments (0)

A Bittersweet Life (Ji-woon, 2005) is a South Korean gangster flick that manages to transcend its own genre. Like John Woo’s The Killer, it is firmly routed in revenge/action territory, but just when you think you’ve got the film pegged, it springs into these moments of pure poetry. “Crime opera” may be a more suitable term to describe it, as the film combines stunning cinematography and gorgeous choreographed fight scenes, with one of the most mesmerizing film scores ...

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The Dark Knight (film review)

Posted on May 14, 2010 at 11:15 AM Comments comments (0)

Let me start by saying, this is an incredible action/superhero film. X-Men, Spiderman and Batman Begins were all impressive flicks. They combined immersive storylines, interesting and engaging characters and first-rate action sequences into a dynamite package that perfectly captured the comic-book mythology from whence they spawned ... but The Dark Knight (Nolan, 2008) blows them all away. While the aforementioned titles were all top-notch movies and faithful adaptations of their respective h...

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Run Lola Run (film essay)

Posted on May 13, 2010 at 12:35 AM Comments comments (238)

The multi-linear narrative structure of Run Lola Run challenges the idea that a situation can be resolved in only one way. This essay will discuss how relationships between cause and effect contribute to the film’s multi-linear narrative. The term “multi-linear narrative” refers to a story which is capable of branching off into different directions depending on the choices of the viewer or the development of events, dictated by set parameters within the me...

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Age of Innocence: Scene Analysis (film article)

Posted on March 26, 2010 at 2:05 AM Comments comments (0)

The opening scene begins with a pale-faced, young girl picking a yellow flower from a bunch, and clutching it to her breast. The bright, festive colours of the flower stands in contrast against the dark, sombre tones of the theatre. The pale-faced woman is singing in an opera, as her lover stands over her. As our perspective switches from the stage to the audience, we see yellow flowers juxtaposed against the white flower pinned to our protagonist’s (Newland Archer) vest. This transitio...

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The 2010 Academy Awards (film article)

Posted on March 9, 2010 at 1:00 AM Comments comments (0)

Wow, the Hurt Locker cleaned up at the Oscars this year! I haven't even seen the film yet, but I think it's being released this month in Australia. I almost felt sorry for Cameron by the end of it. Not only did his ex-wife beat him for Best Director and Best Picture, the hosts actually went out of there way to make fun of Avatar. Personally, Inglourious Basterds and District 9 were my favourites of 2009, but overall I thought the Academy pulled through.


The legendary Jeff B...

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Early Australian Cinema (film article)

Posted on March 5, 2010 at 12:55 AM Comments comments (0)

Australia was actually very prolific during the early days of cinema/silent film, along with France and America. Arguably the world's first film studio, The Limelight Department, operated in Melbourne from 1897-1910. Victoria also laid claim to the first full-length feature film, The Story of the Kelly Gang. Though for some reason, after WWI our industry evaporated. Some blame the rise in censorship, the lack of competition between studios, and the fact that American films were cheaper to scr...

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Worst Taglines (film article)

Posted on February 15, 2010 at 12:55 AM Comments comments (0)

After coming across a copy of The Phantom (1996) in my local video rental store, I noticed that brandishing the DVD cover was the laughably bad tagline: “SLAM EVIL!” After chuckling derisively for a few moments I was reminded of some of the other horrible movie taglines I’d seen over the years, and searched the store for a few more choice quotes.


Here are some of my personal favourites…

  • The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants: "Lau...
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Re-watching Munich (film article)

Posted on February 7, 2010 at 12:20 AM Comments comments (0)

After 4 years, I watched Munich again recently, and my God, what a film! If not Spielberg's greatest creation, then this is certainly his boldest. The acting was absolutely top-notch, and the tension was at times unbearable, but above all it had the guts to discuss the Israel-Palestine conflict and its relation to the modern-day War on Terror. Spielberg gets a lot of flak for his kid-friendly blockbusters, but Munich is proof that he is a master storyteller, unafraid to delve into dark, compl...

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Se7en: Scene Analysis (film article)

Posted on January 16, 2010 at 11:25 PM Comments comments (0)

[SPOILERS] This shot takes place at the end of the film, when the serial killer John Doe reveals to detective Mills that his wife and unborn child have been brutally executed. Mill’s, unable to restrain his grief and anger, empties his gun on the perpetrator. By enacting vengeance, he becomes the embodiment of Wrath, thus completing Doe’s “masterpiece”. Overcome from exhaustion, Mill’s drops his gun, and limps away. His partner, detective

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Sherlock Holmes (film review)

Posted on January 11, 2010 at 9:55 AM Comments comments (0)

Overall, I found Sherlock Holmes (Ritchie, 2009) to be a thoroughly enjoyable action flick, but fans of Doyle's original series will be disappointed. As always, Downey, Jr. is supremely charismatic as the titular Holmes, while (the often sickly smug) Jude Law sets the tone perfectly as his long-suffering side-kick Dr. Watson. The witty, crackling dialogue between the two leads is the heart of the film; at times suggestive of an old married couple. Unfortunately, the supporting performances ar...

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Has Television surpassed Film as an Artform (film article)

Posted on January 9, 2010 at 11:20 PM Comments comments (0)

A decade ago, such a question would be ludicrous. Television, better than film? Preposterous! Television is free to all and cheap to make; it merely acts as a means for corporations to promote their soul-destroying merchandise, whereas film... well film IS the product people are going out and paying for, and therefore its quality must be above reproach.


But these days... well, I look at shows like Dexter, Brotherhood, Mad Men, Breaking Bad, The Shield, The Office, 30 Rock, ...

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Avatar (film review)

Posted on December 22, 2009 at 9:50 AM Comments comments (0)

Let’s get the obvious out of the way first - Avatar (Cameron, 2009) looks incredible. The visuals in this film are breathtaking, and Cameron has successfully crafted a living, breathing, alien world from his revolutionary motion-capture technology. Unfortunately though, any semblance of plot or character development has been completely neglected. Once the initial spectacle of the CGI and 3D had worn of, I started to ask myself, “this is the same guy who wrote The Terminator?&...

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The Decade in Movies: Best of 2000-2009 (film article)

Posted on December 6, 2009 at 10:35 PM Comments comments (0)

With 2009 drawing to a close, I thought it might be interesting to look back on the decade that was and pick our favourite/most memorable films. As cinema history goes, I'm not sure how fondly the 2000's will be remembered, but as someone who spent their whole adolescence during this period and essentially had their love of cinema kindled by its offering, it will always have a special place in my heart; as I'm sure the 70's did for my parents' generation. Here are my favourite films from 2000...

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In the Twilight of my Sanity (film article)

Posted on November 16, 2009 at 10:35 PM Comments comments (0)

Argh! Is anyone else sick to death of glittery, emo vampires; shirtless, CGI wolf-boys; mopey, suicidal teenage girls; all wraped up in a plot so generic, boring, and devoid of artistic merit that it seems to be draining intelligent thought from the civilised world? AKA TWILIGHT!!!


No, okay, carry on then ;)

Red Dragon: Image Analysis (film article)

Posted on October 19, 2009 at 11:15 PM Comments comments (0)

This is a painting by William Blake called “The Great Red Dragon and the Woman Clothed with the Sun," and it depicts a muscular, winged demon waiting to devour the child of a pregnant nymph. The image was inspired by the opening verses of Revelations XII which describe a beast of “worldly power” standing over a woman (symbolizing Israel), oppressed in her innocence by the wicked. In the film Red Dragon, [SPOILERS] the serial killer Francis Dolarhyde (a.k.a. the ...

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Jedda (film essay)

Posted on September 30, 2009 at 12:20 AM Comments comments (116)

The 1955 Australian film Jedda examines the plight of a young Aboriginal woman as she wrestles between her place in “civilised” colonial Australia and the traditional heritage of her people. The story is told from the perspective of the indigenous people, and the audience is encouraged to sympathise with Jedda’s struggle for identity. This was quite a radical take on cinema during the time of its release, but what makes the film especially interesting is how much it reveals ...

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TV Shows Inspired/Influenced by Movies (film article)

Posted on September 14, 2009 at 11:05 PM Comments comments (0)

Recently I've started to notice how many movies of the past have heavily influenced, and possibly even inspired, contemporary television. It's strange, because I'll have been watching the show for years, and then stumble across a decade old film (sometimes classic, sometimes cult), that feels very much like its spiritual prequel. Four films in particular have struck me--Serpico, Annie Hall, Goodfellas, Swingers and Clockers--which contain many of the same overarching themes and character...

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Magnolia Misinterpretation (film article)

Posted on September 10, 2009 at 10:55 AM Comments comments (0)

After hearing so many great thinks about the film, Magnolia, I recently picked up a copy from my university library. And wow, did I completely misintepret the plot of this film. Early on, I figured that the events on screen [SPOILERS] were taking place in two seperate time frames - the 1960's and present day. I thought William H. Macy's character was the adult version of Stanley Spector, the "What do kids Know?" contestant. And I thought Jimmy Gator was the younger version of Earl Patrid...

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Thoughts on Inglourious Basterds (film article)

Posted on August 25, 2009 at 10:55 PM Comments comments (0)

Before seeing this film, I was sadly informed that I should, quote, "lower my expectation for insane WWII cool-ass violence." God damn it, thought I, can't we just see some Nazi's getting slashed and burnt without all of this nagging plot exposition and character development. For about 5 years, that's all video games were about. No doubt there's a 20 minute conversation about some obscure pop song, when we could be experiencing Jewish retribution.


Now having seen ...

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