Archive for the ‘Fakin' It’ Category

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Hey kids! It’s time for another short instructive guide towards pretending you know all about movies. This time on Fakin’ It, we’re going to look at the lost are of Film Serials.

What is it?
A series of short films, with chapters shown usually once a week in theaters. Normally they would be shown on a Saturday, and regularly they were for children’s entertainment. In the beginning though, they were considered good fare for adults as well. They only devolved into kid stuff after the initial craze died down and sound films became prevalent. The extra price of sound production meant that only the cheapest things could be serials and for the most part, kids are the most willing to put up with crappy cheap productions.


What is it?
That’s the first thing to address here. There are two kinds of movies that get lumped into the Samurai category in the West. Jidaigeki is a period piece. Normally set between 1600 and 1870 or so. These tend to be a bit slower, a bit more drama than fighting, but because samurai are such a big part of Japan’s history, you’ll find a lot of them are about those guys. Chambara on the other hand is your actual sword-fighting movie, an action piece that is named after the onomatopoeia of swords clashing. Either way, what you have is stories of men with swords, honor and the conflicts that come with maintaining both of those in a cruel and wicked world. It’s a huge tent, much like the Western is in America and as such, contains numerous sub-genres. Short version, one is fun to watch and the other is fun to talk about. However, just recognizing the difference between these two will put you head and shoulders above fully 50% of the other people you’ll be talking to.

Fakin’ It: Film Noir

Posted: February 4, 2010 in Fakin' It

People sometimes say to me “Weirdo, I’d like to be a movie snob like you, but I don’t have a lot of time to research or even actually watch the movies. Please tell me what movies would make me seem clever and witty. I don’t want a whole film class, I just want to seem more-artsy-than-thou at my friends.”

To which I say, “Did you just call me a snob?”

Then I do some navel gazing, find the label fits and come back to them saying, “Oh you charming scamp! Of course I’ll help you.” I then tell them that the Swedes make the best action films, as exemplified by the gun battle in Wild Strawberries, The Shaw Brothers in Hong Kong made the deepest and most moving dramas, and that despite what some American “critics” might say, Michael Bay is actually world renowned as the great cinematic genius of our age.

That teaches ‘em for calling me a snob.