Week 16, February 17th and 21st

Mi-do on subway train

Supervisor Meeting 17/02/2020

Attending: Ian Hunt , Bruce Bennett

Feedback on my essay notes –  Films in Flashback.

  • Wrong to state that the films have nothing in common, when they have so much in common.
  • Auteur directors’ films make good case studies and what is interesting about these films is that they are good examples of film form and playing with film form. You should use them to make your argument.
  • Not narrated entirely in Flashback – Yes, I corrected this statement on my blog page.
  • Flashback devices – must be much more detailed, you could easily make a 10,000-word chapter using these film examples. Lots of ways a flashback can be motivated – obvious is a problematic term. Explain in detail these devices.
  • Look in detail at the Limey as the flashbacks are not always memory related?
  • The question is what is a flashback showing us?
  • American film is realist, doesn’t risk itself with a narrative from a single character’s point of view. God like perspective, but in a flashback, we are brought into a single character’s point of view.
  • Flashbacks can be confusing, clarifying and disruptive, look in detail at this aspect, shot by shot, consider audio, visuals.
  • In the Limey the flashbacks try to emulate memory – faded, out of focus.

Actions

  1. Ongoing project – Write a chapter about the use of flashbacks in film. Use the same films and look in detail at some of the key sequences maybe the first 3 minutes or in detail of any flashback sequence. 10K+
  2. Ongoing project – Research and write a chapter about film as a memory piece.
  3. For the next supervisor meetings writing piece, write a detailed piece about one of these films in preference The Notebook or The Limey rather than then The Grand Budapest Hotel.
  4. OK to use flashbacks in my film practice (as I had originally planned). What about experimental use of flashbacks – investigate and experiment their uses in documentary.
  5. Check out the book from the library ‘The Classical Hollywood Cinema – done, read chapter 4.
  6. Watch Rashomon – it’s a good example of what we see in flashbacks cannot be real.
  7. I suggested watch Meet Joe Black (1999) as an example of causality.
  8. Watch Casablanca for examples of a classic films use of flashbacks.
  9. Writing Style – find a style that I like for example. Richard Dyer check out his books. He moves from close analysis of film, film theory and film history, simple writing style that is clear to read. But pick a style that engages me.
  10. I suggested going on the academic writing course if it is PhD level.

Flashbacks in film

Oldboy (2003) Movie PosterStarted writing an example chapter for my thesis on Flashbacks in films. I decided to use the South Korean Film Oldboy (2003) as one of the films to analyse along with a greater, more in depth analysis of The Limey (1999) and possibly The Notebook (2004). There are several other possibilities to consider primarily those films created by Auteur Directors, Independent films rather than mainstream Hollywood studio films.

 

Week 15, February 10th to 14th.

Networking

After the previous weeks meetings I had a list of people and organisations to contact as possible participants and future collaborations in the films production.

  • Contacted the Palace Cinema in Preston – they have cinema screenings for people living with dementia.
  • Contacted a small company that runs training courses and provides entertainment services in care homes using vintage objects from the 1940s.
  • Contacted a musician and songwriter to discuss future collaboration on the film.

Flashbacks

My research into the conceptualisation of their use in film has prompted my interest in incorporating them into my own film. I’m currently creating small sequences where these could be used as flashbacks in my own films.

One idea I’ve had is to set a poem about death, memory and loss to a dance sequence, after some research I’ve decided to use the poem Remember by Christina Rossetti. Although the poem appears to be more about death I believe it is also relevant to people living with dementia and their partners/carers who lose a bit of them each day as the memory loss increases.

Remember me when I am gone away,
Gone far away into the silent land;
When you can no more hold me by the hand,
Nor I half turn to go yet turning stay.
Remember me when no more day by day
You tell me of our future that you planned:
Only remember me; you understand
It will be late to counsel then or pray.

Yet if you should forget me for a while
And afterwards remember, do not grieve:
For if the darkness and corruption leave
A vestige of the thoughts that once I had,
Better by far you should forget and smile
Than that you should remember and be sad.

Christina Rossetti

 

 

Week 14, Feb 3rd to 7th Feb

The Limey

Film meetings

Lyrics and Lunch

Arranged to meet with the person running Lyrics and Lunch events at St Thomas’s Church this Friday. They run meeting for people and their carers living with dementia. Group singing and a meal. I’m hoping that there are interesting people with a story to tell and maybe some music for the film.

The Bay Information Hub

Met with Penny Foulds to discuss the next steps in making the film. Added a couple of new contacts who might be interested in a collaboration and participation in the film.Supervisor meeting on the Monday:

Supervisor Meeting

  • Supervisory meeting 03/02/2020
  • Attended by Dr Bruce Bennett and Dr Maryam Ghorbankarimi
  • Key points

1. Continue with my research into the use of flashbacks in films.
2. Research the history of flashbacks.
3. Research the function of the flashback.
4. Have another look at the film The Limey as an example of a film told entirely in flashback. I’ve seen it many years ago on TV but not looking for meaning in the flashbacks.
5. Revisit the experimental filmmaker Jonas Mekas films.

Look again at my writing style which can be interpreted as film review, rather than a scholarly analysis of a film.

Mulholland Drive

 

 

 

 

 

Are some filmmakers trying to confuse the audience in their use of flashbacks or just confusing generally? Dark City for example, a guy wakes up in a hotel room with no memory in a world with no sun and controlled by strange beings. Mulholland Drive, has been said to be like a series of short films with no connection to each other, a collage that in the end delivers no answers. Twelve Monkeys where to start? Bruce Willis is sent back in time to find out who created the virus which has devastated the future, which seems reasonable, but the film is wonderfully chaotic and confusing as hell to watch.

Continued writing an essay on films told seemingly in flashback, my film examples include:- The Notebook (2004), The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014) and The Limey (1999). On the face of it there seems to be little to connect these films other than they are a representation of memory but they are linked through there use of flashbacks to narrate the extensive parts of the film and 2 of these films use a book as a device for the flashbacks, while The Limey uses a letter and a collection of photographs.

 

Week 13, Jan 27th to 31st Jan

Emailed The Bay Information Hub formerly the Dementia Hub to arrange a meeting at the next session, which is on the 7th of February.

Researched other organisations, which may offer the opportunity to develop interest in my film. Including the Lyrics and Lunch sessions at St Thomas’s, which looks interesting in many ways.

Started a new analysis on the use of flashbacks in film. This time films told entirely in flashback.

The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014) Wes Anderson
The Notebook (2004) Nick Cassavetes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These films have very little in common other than that they are narrated entirely in flashback.

 

Week 12, 20th Jan to Jan 24th. Office Space

Moved into the new office space

It’s early days but have moved into the new office space and started to relocate my stuff, books, DVD’s etc. Added a few posters to the wall, which I swap in and out over the coming months. This made me think of the film of the same name Office Space (1999) by Mike Judge, which is very much a cult film now, definitely worth a watch on DVD.

Finishing off the critical analysis of films with memory loss and memory erasure using flashbacks. Still working on the conclusions from the analysis and adding images to make it more user friendly online.

Check it out here Memory loss, erasure and representation in flashback

Next project is to continue with the literary review and identify other ways that films have conceptualised memory, films like the Matrix, films that use non linear timelines.

Week 11, 13th Jan to 17th Jan 2020

First week back from the Christmas Holidays.

Arrived back on Wednesday, fastest drive so far about 4 hours 30 minutes to get to campus from Bournemouth, but still a long journey.

Started to write the outline for a critical film review, comparing the classic film Oscar winning film Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) and the Oscar winning film Still Alice (2017). The conceptualisation of memory and memory erasure using flashbacks to reconnect to lost memories.

Having written the outline I realised that flashbacks are a key tool in the filmmakers and writers toolbox and wondered how far I could explore this in films on memory loss and memory erasures. So my essay is now focused on films using flashbacks, the triggers and cinematic approaches directors use to initiate and represent past memories in the timelines.

Week 9, December 2nd to December 6th

The Bay Dementia Hub

Strike Action

No seminars this week due to UCU action

Literary Review

The accumulation of literary resources continues, sometimes I think I am building a library rather than conducting a review. At the moment the challenge is to input all my references and quotations into qualitative data analysis software. Unfortunately I still have to decide which option to choose, so I am repeating work by adding new data, to both Atlas.ti and NVivo, the same with the bibliography apps, Mendeley and Endnote, at some point I’ll have to commit to one or the other, or should I?

During my research, mainly online, I identified a good resource of information in the form of an eBook The Routledge Companion to New Cinema History (2019) and added a few others to the ever growing list of Journals and eBooks.

Biltereyst, D., Maltby, R., & Meers, P. (Eds.). (2019). The routledge companion to new cinema history. Retrieved from https://ebookcentral.proquest.com

Meeting at the Bay Dementia Hub

This is a monthly event held on the first Friday of each month alternating between a venue in Morecambe and Lancaster.

A place for people and their carers living with dementia can meet and get advice from a number of organisations.

Today I met with Penny who introduced me to Boris Segal who looks after the photography and video production for the dementia hub. Boris turned out to be a mine of information on local cinemas, many of which no longer exist.

I also met with a few people in the early stages of living with dementia who I generally asked about their cinema going experiences. One stood out, remembering a recent James Bond movie they had seen with the character Odd Job in it (Goldfinger 1964) and who they met at a function soon after.

Briefly met with the Mayor of Lancaster, David Whitaker a supporter of the Dementia Hub who expressed interest in my film proposal. I will keep in touch with David to discuss permissions to film in locations around Lancaster in the future. There are many interesting landmarks and buildings which I would like to feature in my films.

Touched base with Gil Graystone, Inclusive Film & Theatre Officer from the Dukes, she confirmed that she will also be at my meeting with Helen on the 16th December.

So, what did I achieve at this meeting?
◦ Identified a group of potential participants for my film
◦ Increased my Network of contacts
◦ Showed my face, which means while people do not know me, I am now a familiar face, and people who saw me interact with people they know and people who run the Dementia Hub (Soon to be renamed) will be easier to approach in the future.

Film Festival Update

My idea of creating a film festival for MAC Clinical Services has been passed upwards in the organisation for approval, which Penny thinks is likely to happen.

Watch this space for further updates.

Week 8, Nov 25th to 28th Nov – Atlas.ti and other things

Butterfly House Williamson Park Lancaster

Atlas.ti and other things

Strike Action

No seminars this week or next due to the UCU strike action, which is a shame as the FASS510 Interviewing in Qualitative Research – I & II would have been helpful as I will be conducting interviews for the documentary film. Fortunately, I will have the opportunity to take these again in the new year.

Atlas.ti and NVivo

So, for this week I concentrated on my reading and learning how to use the Qualitative Analysis applications, Atlas.ti and NVivo. I had already decided that I would most probably go with Atlas.ti but the more I use it the less it appeals. The user interface is not as friendly as I would like and the screen gets too busy with small text for me to view on a MacBook Pro’s 15” screen, so either I get a much larger screen to work on or consider using NVivo? NVivo seems to have a improved layout compared to Atlas.ti but I’m not sure if it is as powerful as Atlas.ti, this is going to be a work in progress for a while as I plan to run them together until a clear winner presents itself.

Supervisor meeting, 26th

Key points

1. Think about the style of your Documentary, will you be a participant?
2. Consider how using someone to act as the interviewer in the film, as they may become the most important part of the film and may influence how the film is produced.
3. Instead of using a go between (which is required by the venue) the best answer maybe to just become someone they know through attending several screenings a visitor who also makes films. Take time to get to know your subjects.
4. My synopsis for the 2nd film looks promising, maybe instead of a 2nd film it could find a place in the documentary so that the documentary has an experimental element to it.
5. Take the list of memory sequences in the experimental film and use these as questions in the documentary – ask people living with dementia about their dreams?
6. Look again at my proposal for funding and simplify it and make it more readable for people outside of the subject area. Explain (collective, cultural, new media) memory in simpler terms.
7. Reading list is progressing, and it is good that I am using a referencing software tool (Mendeley and Endnote).
8. Write short notes against your references to explain why it is important and why you have selected it.
9. Continue working and reading for the 2 set questions and think about how the written thesis and practical element will come together.
10. The competition details I received from is worth pursuing and would be a perfect opportunity for students.
11. Regarding the recent contact showing interest in having me make a film for an external charity, I will keep in contact with them and suggest my idea of creating a film festival and competition instead with the winner’s film as the film they could use for their charitable work.

Some interesting ideas came out of this weeks supervisor meeting, one of the best and the more I think about the more I like the idea is to try and incorporate my idea for the standalone experimental film into the documentary film. This would be unexpected and would add an interesting new way of looking at the documentary film format. Of course, I can always edit several versions so there could be films with and without the experimental film footage but as I said the more, I think about this the more attractive it seems.

Research and Reflection

Week 7, 18th November to November 22nd

FASS510 Engaging Data: Document Analysis +QR Analysis Final few weeks of the module in Qualitative data analysis. This seminar summarises a lot of what we were introduced to in the preceding seminars. I’ve been cherry picking what I think would be relevant to my projects, but I know think I should progress the project a little further before making actual decisions for example, induction or deduction?

Referencing software, Endnote or Mendeley? luckily I have access to both at Lancaster University so I have installed them both and integrated them into Word. I’ve been using them both simultaneously and think Endnote is the more powerful bu Mendeley is the most user friendly. I think at this time that I personally prefer Mendeley  and will use this going forward. However I’m not going to uninstall Endnote yet as it has a very useful search function and you can export citations directly from Onesearch. Mendeley also has a good search and you can add a export to Mendeley plugin to Opera and Chrome Browsers.

Documentary Film Pre-production: I have arranged to meet a professional actor to front my film, acting as the interviewer with  the people living with dementia screenings. I’m happy to pay a professional actor even though my budget is very small, but maybe I will consider running a campaign to raise funds for the film.

Week 6, November 11th to November 15th

Monday – worked on my funding application for year 2 and 3 based on todays seminar on funding for post graduate study. It’s a long process but managed to have a draft application by the end of the day.

Tuesday 12th Supervisor meeting: Focus is shifting a little away from collective memory and into the richer subject area of Cinema Memory, which was already becoming an area of interest for my research and films. Action points: continue with reading and research on film and memory and how films represent memory.

Submitted my funding application.

FASS510 Using Computer Software for Qualitative Data Analysis: Interesting seminar looking at the computer software available for research. I’ve decided to use Atlas.ti for my qualitative analysis. Sp when time allows I’ll spend time getting my notes in order and start adding them to Atlas.ti, although I have made a note of the warnings and will spend some time organising my work and codes before committing to data entry. But I am also a bit wary of the amount of time this will occupy that could be used elsewhere..

Wednesday – Dementia Hub: I contacted them earlier in the week just to see if I could come along to their next meeting (1st Friday of the month) just to get a feel of what goes on and whether there is any interest in and to my documentary. Had a reply and an invite to come along to the next meeting at Lancaster Town Hall.

Thursday – Spent many hours transcribing the supervisor meetings and reading through what we discussed. (3,500 words) A few points came up that offered the opportunity to make a film using a format and design that I had been thinking of making for many years now. Developed an outline and synopsis of the film, which while challenging to make would perfectly represent  a form of memory in an interesting and informative way. Details to follow soon.

Friday – Received email confirmation that filming at the Dukes would be possible with a small caveat in that I will need to use someone familiar to the audience to act as a go between, which was something I was thinking of myself. Of course there is a small cost to this but I should be able to arrange suitable payment for their time.

Watched the first episode of the BBC Documentary, The lost World of Mitchell and Kenyon by Dan Cruickshank in collaboration with the BFI. See my Journal entry for notes on the 1st episode.