The Theory Of Everything: Review

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This film recounts the story of Stephen Hawking from the moment he meets his wife Jane until the moment he receives the honour of meeting the Queen of England after many years and numerous books and lectures being published and acknowledged world wide.

But the thing that captured my attention was that the film obviously addresses Hawking’s struggle with dealing and coming to terms with his neurological deficiency at the same time that it shows the impact that that has on Jane.

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As his capacity to walk, talk, dress and eat on his own becomes increasingly affected, Jane steps in almost as an extension of Hawking himself as to care for him and helping to make his life as normal and as easy as possible. She becomes quite literally his back bone.

And it is astonishing to see how she dealt with it all. I mean she married him knowing what laid ahead because she loved him. Truly and completely. There is no denying of that fact.

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Which only comes to showcase that the film tells the story not of Hawking’s ascent into professional stardom despite is illness (although that is still shown) but of Jane Hawking’s increasing descent into unhappiness due to the overwhelming notion that after having to take care of three children with no physical help from her husband due to his own inability to do so, having had to take care of a household in all manners, juggling to finish her PhD in Medieval Spanish Poetry  and the added bonus of having to take care of her husband, only came to an inevitable halt because the combination of all of that mixed with Stephen’s increasing expeditions to other countries either to receive awards or to give lectures, led them to drift apart emotionally.

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This led to her falling in love with the conductor of a church choir, Jonathan whom helped the family a great deal whilst Jane and Hawking still tried to mend their marriage which even led to a third pregnancy on her part. But the increasing difficulties continued even after a full time nurse came to take care of Hawking, only leading to him having a slight infatuation with her.

theory-everything-reviews-charlie-cox So I would say that the film is a brilliant depiction of how love can truly transcend the boundaries of disease, no matter of what level, and it can bring you up or take you further down depending on how you choose to live your life.

Stephen Hawking is without a doubt an incredibly inspiring man, not only because of his work but also of how he chose to live his life. Free of self imposed boundaries or of stereotypes imposed by society on how you should act or be seen by a major audience. He continues to change the world just by living. 

But then again, it is often overlooked that he only managed to accomplish so much because Jane was by his side every step of the way. Unwavering and strong.

It is undoubtedly a beautiful biographical film with a strong human facet.

Rating: 8/10

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4 Little Girls: Documentary introduction

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Hello!

Today we kicked off our Screenwriting module with a first glance of a genre we are going to be talking about for the next couple of weeks. Yes, it is Documentary time. When I first started in this module, we learned all that we needed to learn about Melodrama which was nice but I am glad that we can now move on to something different.

We learned that even though a documentary needs to be truthful and “follow the rules” in order for it to be an accurate representation of an actual event in time and space, it can still be creative. We, potential filmmakers, can still let our creative juices flow and let them show through it. It’s just a matter of editing: the cutting, the order in which we put the footage, photographs, locations, interviews, the use of diegetic and non-diegetic sound, amongst so many others. It is in post-production that we can make a masterpiece out of a documentary. And that was interesting to acknowledge.

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And to kick start our classes, we were shown a Spike Lee documentary entilted “4 Little Girls” which follows the story of four young children that were brutally murdered by a bomb explosion while at church in Alabama in 1963. This is the basis of the story yet Lee tells us much more than that, he tells us all the events that led up to this massacre as to show the audience the “why” this happened. He doesn’t condone these events but instead feels the need to justify and to bring a clarity to the world, of who, why and what happened or needed to happen to give a reason for these murders. I don’t know if he succeeded but at least he told a story that deeply moved audiences, well at least it moved me. Lee goes deep into the begginings of racial prejudice in Alabama with the showing of archival footage, still photographs and even interviews with victims or bystanders that were there at those times.

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Later on in the afternoon seminar, our teacher mentioned something that I found quite alluring, when he said “Film is a ghostly medium”, right when he said it, I felt a chill come over me. The complete truthfulness of that statement caught me off guard. It is something so obvious yet it had such a poetic meaning to me. The idea of each film, even the current one’s, are and will someday be mere ghosts of the past is something morbidly fascinating to me. Yet, I always knew that film was such a beautiful medium where some of the greatest stories and pieces and History are forever “trapped” in film stock (or SD cards!) is something beyond precious. That beautiful moment when you can watch your favorite movie from the 1940’s and feel yourself being immersed into the wonderfulness of the acting, story and location. It’s priceless.

Though this viewing, I learned the difference between the different types of documentaries that exist as well as the basis of what type of documents I would need to obtain in order to, try, and give justice to the piece of history I would like to portray on screen.

P.S.- And I also learn that I rant too much. I am sorry.

Here is an interview with director Spike Lee talking about his documentary film.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

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Yesterday I went to see the sequel to the worldwide famous “The Hunger Games”, and I honestly didn’t go with the idea of it being very good because even though the first one wasn’t bad, it still didn’t amaze me or made me feel as emotionally invested as I thought it would. But alas, it was a good film! Surprisingly so. I had read the book previsouly to have seen either of them and I have to say that the director and screenwriter have stayed up until now very loway to the books which pleases the fans. And for people who haven’t read them, then can still understand the storyline and relate to some of the characters. Now this in this film, we see a completly different Katniss. She is not the defenseless (well she was never really ‘defenseless’ but you know what I mean) little girl we saw in the first one who had no hope of surviving in the feared Hunger Games and yet she surprised everyone, most of all herself when she surpassed every single obstacle that came her way. And we can see how that eventually came to affect her in this sequel. We see her battle a somewhat post-traumatic disorder, where she has hallucination of the people she killed in the arena. Young kids, just like her. She sees them all the time, in her sleep and when she feels most troubled in her waking state. But out of all of them, the one she never forgets and that haunts her the most is the memory of Rue. The little girl who was her ally in the first film, and the one she couldn’t save from the hands of another tribute who killed her in cold blood. She never forgave herself, and probably never will, and it’s with that regret that when she apologizes for Rue’s untimely death to her family in District 11, when the Victory Tour commences, an old man just lifts of his hand with the three fingers lifted in a sign of respect, admiration, love, but most of all of revolution. That simple gesture triggers a whole series of events throughout the film, because that is where you see the first signs of the eminent revolution begin within the districts and the Capitol itself. We see Katniss trying to overcame everything and everyone that tries to break her down. Yet we do see her mental state starting to progressively start to deteriorate through the film and is it an incredible journey to be able to accompany. Later, when they existing victors are all reaped once again to fight till the death in a new version of the Games, we see the alliances form and we see that this time around, they all know what they need to do to win. Yet, this time it’s not about one of them winning. No. It’s about saving Katniss. Why? Because she’s the mockingjay. She’s the symbol of hope. The beacon of an eminent revolution to, finally, take down the power of the Capitol once and for all. and if she dies, the hope dies with her. So some of the victors have been assembled so their sole purpose within the Games is to protect Katniss at all costs. Even if it means losing their own lives in the process. This is all happening without Katniss having the slightest clue because they all know that if she knew, that was going on, that they were trying ti save her life instead of Peeta’s or someone else’s then things would have been very different. So we embark on this journey of pain, loss, fear and hope. I also quite enjoyed that in this movie they focused a lot on psychological pain rather than the physical part. We see the deterioration of the character’s mental states. The scene when Katniss and Finnick hear in the jaberjays the screams of pain of their loves one’s, specifically Prim (Katniss’s little sister) and Annie (Finnick’s beloved), we see the extent of how “damaged” they both are. And it is thrilling and very emotionally intense to watch, even if it is just on screen, people go through that.

So I can definitely day that The Hunger Games: Catching Fire was a very enjoyable experience and that Jennifer Lawrence was definitely the star in it without a doubt.

8/10