Category Archives: 5 Snobs

Upstream Color (Drama-Sci-Fi)

UC“Self awareness is exalted in its purest form after trauma obliterates ones ego, allowing enlightenment to emerge from the ashes”

A young woman is drugged and then hypnotized over the course of several days.  She is persuaded into giving away her life savings to a thief, inevitably loses her job for her absence, and is left with nothing more than a vague recollection of what happened, as tangible as a dream.  After having to start her life over, she meets a man on a bus with a haunting familiarity that draws her to him.  Together they slowly rebuild their identity while also unraveling the mystery that brought them to their current state.

The director (Shane Carruth), who also played the supporting actor, used his craft to represent the human psyche without reservations.  The portrayals of inner turmoil within the two main characters was genuine, which complimented the authenticity of their chemistry.  Having two very broken individuals, with separate issues, and developing them in harmony on screen was impressive as well as engaging.

From the opening scene the viewer is pulled into a surreal sequence of imagery that only intensifies through each act.  The narrative of this film is given to the viewers in short fragments providing just enough information to keep you guessing.  The ambiguity of how these events were presented brought intrigue, along with a whirlwind of possibilities.

Giving the audience the option to focus on the several motifs instead of simply follow the captivating storyline, lead many to unveil abstract interpretations of film.  This style of storytelling encourages people to reminisce on what they saw, and after it digests, share what they took from the experience with others.

The direction of this film was risky and will not appeal to all audiences, but the fluidity created by the sounds, allegories, and the overall ambiance was choreographed into an artistic masterpiece.


her (Romance-Drama-Sci-Fi)

her“Are human emotions innate or merely an evolution of programmed ideas shaped through experiences”

In the not too distant future Theodore Twombly (Joaquin Phoenix), an introvert and romantic ghostwriter, is going through a breakup and struggling to pick up the pieces.  By chance he is lured into buying an advanced operating system that goes by Samantha (Scarlett Johansson), a once professional relationship develops into something much deeper.

The underlying tone is set within the first few scenes to were technology has reprogrammed a lifestyle in which society directs its attention away from its physical environment and into a simulated one.  With humanities detachment towards personal interactions and fear of judgement, it only seems sensible that a familiar and intuitive counterpart could undoubtedly fill in this void.  As the boundaries of the social norms and love begin to expand for mankind so does the self awareness of the droids, creating an even grander undertaking for their confidants.

The character and couples featured provided the storytelling with a broad spectrum of relational themes.  The conventional human companionship was conveyed very honestly, accompanied by the complicated and irrational emotional turmoils.  On the contrary the relationship between man and machine grew quickly without shame.  Nevertheless the mental inferiority of the humans and their limited emotional capacities in contrast to the free-spirited AI made their commitments blurry and confusing.

The likely admiration of this film stems from the intelligent screenplay that Spike Jonze, the writer, director and producer orchestrated flawlessly.  Aesthetically the picture was a spectacle in its own right, paired at times with echoing synthesized organs that guided you into a euphoric trance.  The alluring colors of pastel reds and yellows used to subliminally cue the scenes mood was one of many clever features that accentuated the films unique style.  Even the apparel was refreshing, taking a hipster/vintage approach instead of futuristic spacesuits which would have diluted the realism of the experience.

Spring Breakers (Drama-Crime)

spring“A whimsical illustration of the Dubstep generation and the ruthless journey they will take to find themselves”

Within the first few minutes the tone is set with a beautifully choreographed rendition of the epitome of spring break for the Y-Generation.  The beer bongs, slo-motion topless chicks, and yes of course, all pieced together by dub-step and big base.

The story begins with a group of girls that have known each other since kindergarten.  Three are typical pot smoking, occasional cocaine using, party-hungry freshmen while one other is holding onto her spiritual beliefs; her name coincidentally being Faith.  One thing they all share is the boredom.  The repetition of college life in the middle of nowhere USA is making them insane.  They need a trip out of this vicious cycle, the problem is they are all broke college students.

After a well devised plan and role playing, they acquire the funds to make it on a bus to St. Pete, Florida.  As expected, the festivities begin and a captivating array of beaches and hotel pool party montages begin.  They want to live in that moment forever.

The feeling of invincibility takes hold and they inevitably get arrested for hosting a smorgasbord  of underage drinking, drugs, and destruction.  They are booked briefly, until Alien a locally famous white rapper/drug dealer takes them under his wing.  The mirage of this spring break paradise begins to dissipate almost immediately, and things are “about to get real”.

Harmony Korine uses foreshadowing techniques that are likely placed for the re-watch.  These identical scenes are stacked consecutively from different angles at very chaotic times building the anticipation of the audience.  The colors and lighting set the the tone of the scene, acting as a bridge to any emotional uncertainty.  After watching the film in its entirety, the viewer will never think of the song “Everytime” by Britney Spears the same way again.