Ian Fielding: The Difference between Comedy, Horror and Drama

After a great comedy, horror or Drama you should feel as though you have temporarily vanquished all the monsters that have oppressed you. Catharsis. So how do these storytelling strategies achieve this end?

For the example I’m going to take one of our times great unresolved terrors, cancer, and see how different story approaches, and in a wider sense, different life approaches, colour the subject in different ways.

First, comedy: it shows you the indifference towards the sufferers. The condition is made light of or ignored completely. Then in horror, we can given little more then the word cancer and the rest is left to our imaginations. Or our anxieties are given the horror image itself, cancer’s actual manifestation in the body, the visual of the tumour. Then finally, for tragedy or Drama, we are shown the crushed desires of the sufferer, the things that could have been done to prevent the illness and the people left behind. The subject remains the same but the attitude generates laughter, fear or tears.

My name’s Ian. I’m a writer and Filmmaker from London currently shooting my second feature film – a detective thriller called Dead Unicorns

To see pics, a trailer and what’s currently happening with Dead Unicorns click here:

http://deadunicornsfilm.wordpress.com

 

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David Campion: Top Films of 2010

1: THE HOUSE OF THE DEVIL

Ti West is the most important name in American horror right now. This is his first masterpiece.

2: THE SOCIAL NETWORK

Armie Hammer for ‘man of the year’.

3: AMER

Arthouse horror is on the rise. YIPPPEEE.

4: ANOTHER YEAR

‘Come Dine with me’ directed by Mike Leigh. Loved it.

5: SCOTT PILGRIM VS THE WORLD

A $60 million film, aimed at a niche audience. Probably won’t happen again anytime soon, so we’ll just have to saviour this one.

6: SHUTTER ISLAND

The best director in the world shows no signs of growing old. The long tracking shot of the nazi’s being gunned down is as good as anything Marty has shot before.


7: A SERBIAN FILM

Anything as ballsy as this is always going to attract my attention, but the film has merits way beyond its controversy. One to watch with the family this Christmas.

8: GREENBERG

Greta Gerwig. Greta Gerwig. Greta Gerwig. Greta Gerwig. Greta Gerwig. Greta Gerwig. Greta Gerwig.

9: A PROPHET

Was my number 1 for many months, but I haven’t graced it with a second viewing yet. Elegant, streetwise and brutal.

10: EXIT THROUGH THE GIFTSHOP

Funny, satirical and enlightening.

David Campion is the Co – Director of Patrol Men

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Ben Simpson: Top Films of 2010

1: House of the Devil

Ti West’s masterpiece.

2: Black Swan

Aronofsky finds it impossible to make a bad film (he might succeed with The Wolverine) and this may be his best yet. Chaotic while still grounded into reality.

3: Amer

Hypnotic. A great throw back to Giallo films of the 70’s (which I haven’t seen to many of).

4: The Social Network

A film about facebook, how could it have been bad?

5: Exit Through the Gift Shop

It was insightful seeing street artists at work and how far a lack of talent can get you

6: Red White & Blue

If Larry Clarke and Rob Zombie directed a film together it would probably turn out like this.

7: A Serbian Film

Punk cinema at it’s finest with some great cinematography thrown in.

8: Bedevilled

Heavy on drama with a brutal slasher twist.

9: Animal Kingdom

Subtle and subdued yet compelling. The police don’t take any shit and the mother is a complete bitch. Great performances with a shocking climax.

10: Shutter Island

Scorsese is still at the top of his game after all these years. The atmosphere and score is superb, It’d probably be higher on my list if I’d seen it more than once.

Ben Simpson is the Co – Director of Patrol Men

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Ian Fielding: Defending the Ending of Somewhere

Many critics have bemoaned the strained finale to Sofia Coppola’s Somewhere, Perhaps they are missing something. What? Let’s take a look at the film itself. The message is suggested: just because you’re rich and successful it doesn’t mean that you’re leading a fulfilling life. Then what sort of life? Our central character, Johnny, (Stephan Dorff) pursues his vices, drinks liberally, hires pole dancers to perform at the foot of his bed. He’s a Hollywood actor of some note and as such he fends of earnest acolytes, goes along with the occasional sexual advance and generally stumbles indifferently on a kind of drowsy autopilot through inane media questioning and sheets of flash photography. Salvation seems to arrive in the form of an unexpected visit from his daughter (Elle Fanning).

Johnny makes a casual success of his parenting. Although his successes seem to stem largely from leveraging his money and fame for effect rather than winning over his sceptical but supportive daughter with the nature of his character. Johnny summons guitarists to play for the pair of them and orders excessive amounts of ice cream. The portrait is at turns touching though, especially their playful exchange in the Chateau Marmont swimming pool.

So if Johnny is dead inside, what does he do to break from his impasse? He creates a drama in his life. He manufactures a crisis from a minor incident in order to feel alive again. He creates resistance within himself, the kind of resistance he fails to receive from the outside world.

Could this be why the ending of the film is a kind of masterstroke? The ending is forced, sentimental, unreal, a contrast to the gently natural series of observations we’ve been witness to. Then is it not just like Johnny’s own solution to his problem? He breaks through the ennui by forcing a classic Hollywood cliché upon himself.

If the ending is unsatisfactory it is because Johnny’s solution to his own problem is unsatisfactory. In a sort of Dr Phil, new age, LA quackery way he breaks through cheaply… but at least he breaks through? Sofia Coppola has discovered that redemption can be cheap. Remember the self help CD Scarlett Johansson was listening to in Lost in Translation?

 

 

 

My name’s Ian. I’m a writer and Filmmaker from London currently shooting my second feature film – a detective thriller called Dead Unicorns

To see pics, a trailer and what’s currently happening with Dead Unicorns click here:

http://deadunicornsfilm.wordpress.com

 

Follow FilmAche on Twitter