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The AVI Top 10 Challenge!

August 2nd, 2011 | Categories: Intern Blog

Intern: Serena

It’s time for an update on my AFI Top 10 Challenge! See, last week Todd and Jeff at MVP Video Production challenged me to check out 5 of the top 10 movies on the American Film Institute’s Top 100 list. I am a cinema major, after all! 🙂

Well, thankfully, the Hiwatha Public Library had 3 of the 5 including “Singin in the Rain,” “Lawrence of Arabia,” and “Gone with the Wind.” This weekend I watched the first and last film. I can’t believe what I was missing!

So what did I learn from my experience?

Singin’ in the Rain

A new favorite! This 1952 movie produced by MGM in it’s golden years had everything a great musical should have. Gene Kelly, Donald O’Connor, and Debbie Reynolds dancing was superb! The now-over-60-year-old costumes and sets special effects were still believable! But, above all that, it told a good story. If you’re ever wondering what the transition from the silent film era to the talkies was like, watch this movie.

Favorite Scene: When the producer decided to make the silent film into a talkie, there was a hilarious scene when the director can’t get Lina Lamont to speak into the mic. After watching a short documentary that came with the film, I learned that many actors and actresses lost their job because they couldn’t sing or speak properly, others had to hire diction coaches!

This film is relevant today! Every time technology changes, there is going to have to be transitions. The director in the movie found the talkie to be a nuisance, but the producer knew that if they didn’t change, they would eventually be the only silent studio left. Maybe in a few years we could see this transition in movie theaters with 3-D technology?

Gone With the Wind

At nearly 4-hours-long, I watched this movie in segments. It was so good! Somehow, I thought a four-hour movie made in the 1930’s might be a yawner. But, not Gone With the Wind. The characters were so…alive! Scarlett especially, she was the perfect character to carry the storyline forward. She was unpredictable, passionate, and hot-headed. This movie gave me a picture of what the South may have looked like in the 1860s. There were no dull characters in this film (well, except the Ashley sometimes felt like the cardboard cut-out of a Disney prince!).

My only dislike was the ending. Scarlett had a beautiful life despite the war, and losing family members. But, she always made herself miserable longing for something she couldn’t have.

I experience first-hand that a character doesn’t always have to be likeable to be a good character.

What’s next on my list? Well, “Schindlers List” (with a full box of tissues), “Lawrence of Arabia,” and “The Godfather.”

Stay tuned!


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