me: 30 Rock is an American satirical television sitcom created by Tina Fey that ran on NBC from October 11, 2006, to January 31, 2013. It follows the life of Liz Lemon (Tina Fey), who is a writer for a fictional sketch-comedy, The Girlie Show. The series is loosely based on Fey’s experiences when she herself was the head writer for Saturday Night Live from 1997 to 2006. The series’ name refers to 30 Rockefeller Plaza in New York City, where the NBC Studios are located and where Saturday Night Live is written, produced, and performed.
If Attack Of The Clones remains the least satisfying of Lucas’s four Star Wars films on a dramatic level, it’s made up for by its being the most formally inventive of the entire series, and the most experimental structurally. Furthermore, it represents perhaps the peak of Lucas’s skills as inventor. While The Phantom Menace was still shot on 35mm, on locations and studio sets, AOTC is filmed almost entirely with green-screen, rejecting a filmed ‘reality’ for fully integrated CGI spaces and characters. Whereas the prior film integrated artificial characters into ‘real’ spaces, this second film now integrates ‘real’ people into artificial worlds. Taken in this sense, Attack Of The Clones is not only a revolutionary work, but one of the single most influential films of the 21st Century.
But more than simply being an outlet for Lucas’s unfettered imagination, AOTC is the most vivid demonstration of Lucas’s adoration of silent cinema, particularly the works of F.W. Murnau. At the films most liveliest it resembles a kind of 21st century, digital expressionism. One of the most striking examples comes in the middle of the film:
Real shadows against a CGI backdrop -
Followed by real actors in a real landscape:
Anakin walks to his vehicle - the next shot is full CGI, charging forward:
This cut from a still composition to a moving one turns Anakin’s rage into kinetic energy, and coupled with a significant shift in colour palette, Lucas attempts a expressionistic device to convey Anakin’s interior state.
One difference here again - ‘real’ Hayden Christensen racing through an artificial/emotional backdrop. The following shot isn’t ‘real’ or CGI, it’s a matte painting!
Another expressionistic tactic, this time closer to Ford than Murnau: the sharp edges of landscape once more are for the purpose of visualizing psychology. The final shot of this sequence is back to ‘real’ landscape, but with the colour denotations of all these ‘artificial’ shots, a ‘real’ sunset takes on the formal implications deigned by the preceding shots - quite a sophisticated achievement!
Lucas seems equally inspired by Ford as he is by Murnau, including a deliberate callback to Ford’s The Searchers:
Anakin’s character seems very deliberately designed after Ethan Edwards - he massacres an entire village in pure emotional rage - in the Ford because of the fear of miscegenation, in the Lucas because of the loss of a mother. Again, Lucas continues visualizing emotions: note the purple skies of Anakin’s massacre: (and Christensen’s 1920′s acting)
There’s even a classic Ford graveyard scene:
While the films romance take us back to 1927:
Already there is difference - while both Lucas and Murnau are manipulating the image with visual effects, Murnau is doing so to visualize the transition from a literal space to an emotional one, while Lucas is quite simply creating his world. Yet both ‘compositions’ serve the same purpose: reclamation of love in opposition to the world around them: both Anakin and Padme are about to engage in a literal game of death.
I’m making a mistake if this piece only focuses on the visual aspects of Attack Of The Clones and not the development of the politics Lucas develops in this world. In fact, there are perilously few set-pieces in this work, most of the film devotes itself to the development of the political elements first shown in The Phantom Menace and the growing romance between Anakin and Padme. TPM ends with Padme’s thwarting of a military coup manipulated by a Trade Federation:
But as history has taught us in both our world and theirs, all things in relation to trade will not stay solvent for long. Not unlike another notorious happening of the infamous 2016:
Odd as it may be, it’s only possible to fully understand the politics of Episodes 1-3 by having already seen 4-6, even though 1-3 ends up recontextualizing 4-6! However it is necessary to understand Palpatine’s position in the later films to be aware of the cloak-and-dagger ‘democratic’ coup going on here. In the face of uncertainty and chaos, Palpatine plays his cards perfectly to appear the most suitable candidate for the Republic, even as he openly states his intention:
Like Adolf Hitler, he is granted emergency powers placing him in full command of a military which he can (and will) easily turn against the Republic for his own means. This is applauded:
What is interesting about Palpatine’s character (and the idea of the ‘Force’/’Dark Side’) is that it returns to simple moral questions of good and evil. However these ‘spiritual’ concepts manifest both by being outside of the centre (centerist) government, and worm their ways in. Jedi (good) serve to (misguidely?) protect the Republic, Sith (evil) worms their way into the power of centre government itself, so Good inadvertently defends Evil.
Obi-Wan is the only character who becomes aware of this through the film, while Anakin feels it. The character of the latter is already tortured, facing the repercussions of the Jedi’s tearing him away from his family as a child, more and more having to face repressed emotion. The only solution he sees is to become more powerful. But still, the Jedi are right (but the council misguided) - to put emotions above logic increase the chances of your being manipulated.
What struck me most is that this films narrative structure is almost…non-existent. It’s a fully experimental work made with the budget of a major studio film (remember that Lucas is a complete independent, all the prequels were self-funded) and being such, things do not always match. But it’s in the films final moments where Lucas has found a way to fully merge his political content with the aesthetic choices he has been making, leading to an engagement far beyond anything in the film prior and delievers the syntax he will use for Revenge of the Sith:
A gradual shift from Purple to Orange to Red for Dooku’s successful escape:
Dooku then meets with Palpatine himself:
A wipe back to landscape - as though the colors are reacting to the deception:
Before Obi-Wan and Mace Windu stare out the window, sensing the deception by reacting to the colors:
Obi-Wan confirms this in dialogue:
And the next time we see Sidious, he is once again as ‘Palpatine.’ The costumes have changed, but the colours haven’t:
Palpatine is now in full control:
As Godard said in Goodbye To Language: “Hitler was elected democratically.” Fascists stand with centrists, victims stand with abuser. This finale is exceptional: Lucas succeeds at making a political statement through expressionistic means.
The Vessel: A Hudson Yards Architectural Sculpture
Architects- Heatherwick Studio Location- New York City Images- Forbes Massie Source- contemporist & 6sqft.com
Named ‘Vessel’, the landmark building will be covered by a polished copper-colored steel skin, and is a space that will allow people to have an elevated view of New York City. The Vessel, a public landmark, will open in Manhattan in 2018.
The cast & crew are back in the studio/on location…tomorrow, January 5th., 2017. They will continue filming episode 3x16 tomorrow, and finish the scenes not filmed yet (they filmed some bits before Christmas holidays).
Then they’ll move to filming episode 3x17 next week. #iapproveofthesets
A long time ago Eddie Murphy was shooting one of his Beverly Hills Cop movies at a location across the street from my (fathers) house. I was a big fan at the time. My father was a senior member of the staff at this location as well, so he had arranged to have a little surprise for me. As this was a busy city location, the movie studios would have to rent space for their trailers in parking lots (like where my dad worked) and put a few in people’s driveways and yards. Our house had a very long driveway with a rear parking area, which fit about 6 trailers. Our neighbor had a short driveway which fit one trailer, but then opened onto our lawn. There were no other nearby homes with long driveways for at least a few blocks - they were all much smaller properties.
Anyway, Mr. Murphy’s trailer just “happened” to be on our neighbors driveway, opening onto our front yard. Cool! I got to see him come and go a few times, and was allowed on set. It was very cool watching them film, and I even noticed a stunt double not wearing a watch when Mr. Murphy was. I mentioned it to the staff and they actually re-shot a scene because of it. I was ecstatic to have helped (and yes, the scene made it into the final movie).
Anyway, my dad suggested I go knock on Mr. Murphy’s door and invite him and his entourage to use our pool and hot tub. At the time I was in 7th grade, so I was just a kid, but I was thrilled to meet a movie star and maybe have him as a guest at our house.
I knocked and he answered his door, and after I offered … he told me to f*ck off, and slammed the door in my face.
Yeah, I was pretty much destroyed, and went crying back to my dad.
My dad was slightly less than impressed, and the next day at work he told the movie company what happened, and that they could no longer park their trailers on the business grounds! They also could no longer use our driveway, and he asked my neighbors to do the same (and they did). They had to stop shooting for a few days to move everything. As I recall, the nearest location they found to fit all their trailers was about 2 miles away.
I was thrilled my dad stuck up for me.
So, Eddie Murphy is an a**hole, but he got what he deserved.
“Ok, ok, quiet down y’all. This one’s from a new song yo boy been werkin on called Vagina Virtuoso” shouted Jay Park with a proud glimmer in his eyes. The sexy gang leader stood in the center of his professional dance studio located inside AOMG’s swag headquarters, surrounded by his devoted crew and adoring groupies.
“Yo, I need a Cha Cha beat boy!” screamed Jay in a high pitched voice as he tore off his shirt to reveal his ripped body, causing all the girls in the room, and Lil Boi, to scream with unbridled enthusiasm.