Mad Hot Ballroom

Mad Hot Ballroom

Last night I watched Mad Hot Ballroom, a documentary about inner city children who take lessons to compete in a ballroom dancing competition.  I have to say, these are some of the cutest little kids ever.  I loved how the camera people capture moments of there lives that had nothing, and everything, to do with dancing.  One part I thought was really precious was when they interviewed the boys and girls about their partners and how differently the two genders responded. Oh, and the little girl who said that girls are genetically superior to boys. So true. 

I thought that the documentary had really good establishing shots, that really showed the natural surroundings of the kids and where they live.  I also really liked that the camera was steady and not shot like the person was on rollerblades.  That is one of my biggest problems with documentary film, and I was happy to see it did not happen in this one.  

Although I really enjoyed this film, I thought that it was about 30 minutes too long.  The kids that I really liked in the beginning left halfway through and I lost interest in seeing it through to the end.  

Despite being too long, I recommend this film to anyone interested in children, dance or just to have a good laugh.

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Street Photography Part 2

After perusing the article on street photography and taking a few more pictures for myself I have come to some more realizations about street photography. 

One thing I noticed in the article was that many of the contributors lived or worked in places that were very interesting, like big cities or foreign countries.  I almost think that this is essential to good street photography.  People walking down the street is just a picture, you have to find something that makes that picture interesting.  Oftentimes the easiest way to do this is to find more interesting subject matter.  If that isn’t available, like here in Elon, then the photographer has to strive to create interest.  The article suggest that good ways would be to change angle, perspective, focus and others.  Instead of shooting standing up, try lying down, or climbing the stairs and shooting down.  

These things will help to create better pictures and I will keep them in mind as I continue to grow as a photographer.

Run Lola Run

Last night we watch the 1998 German Film, Run Lola Run.  While the film was not my particular taste, there were aspects of it that were very stimulating and different.  

One major aspect of the film were handheld camera shots.  While personally these drive me crazy, the shakey/grainy aspect of the film added to the hurried or panicked feeling of the main characters. 

Another aspect of the film that was different was how the plot revolved.  It essentially repeated itself three times, with slight changes at the beginning of each set, that lead to big effects later in the set.  This was sometimes frustrating, but something that I had never seen before in a film.  

One aspect of the film that I really liked was the way they put shots together, like in the screen capture below.  Lola runs toward her boyfriend Manni as the second hand ticks noon, all in the same screen. I thought this  really captured the plot and essence of the film and is something I would like to experiment with in some of my projects. 

 

Lola run towards Manni as the second hand clicks noon.

Lola run towards Manni as the second hand clicks noon.