- While interviewing Jessica Kyle, for her crossing boundaries meant being successful in the music industry at her age. That success means being able to constantly perform her own music instead of others. Jessy’s interview taught me how difficult it can be to chase a dream. Her interview also taught me to continue to achieve greatness if it’s an option. I discovered more about my cousin that I didn’t know. I knew the basic story of her success, but with her retelling her story, I discovered steps I would’ve needed to take to be just as successful. With Jessy not going to college- when most felt like she should’ve- and not going, she viewed that as crossing a boundary. Despite getting a college degree, she’s still successful by performing and composing.
It is clear that Drive will be one of the best movies ever by just watching the first 10 minutes of the film. Immediately the audience is greated by a dark Los Angeles skyline as the camera soars over the city, a shot that frequently appears, and by a man in a scorpion jacket. As more about his character is revealed it becomes clearer that the scorpion represents how he will never really let anyone through his hard shell and is always defensive and protective of his true identity. He also never carries a gun on him and only uses what is readily available to him (much like a scorpion because they only use their tail sting). He turned out to be a very compelling and intense character to follow and watch as he moved with such swagger and hardly talked, as he met the girl (Irene) he became even more interesting because there was now a romance to be invested in. One of the cutest scenes was where her son came in with a mask on, Driver just said very flatly, "Scary. Want a toothpick?" This opened him up in a new way and as a result made him more involved in that family which lead to different choices that character happened to make.
It may be because I have a soft spot for romances, but the best story happening was the one with Irene and Driver because she caused him to move out of his comfort zone in a few ways, but also gave him someone to protect. That said, the most important relationship in the movie was that between Driver and the little kid because all of a sudden everything that Driver was doing was for the safety of the kid. A scene where there was obviously a lot of character growth was where Driver and the kid where sitting on the couch together right after the incident with Standard in the parking garage. The kid was traumatized about what he had seen and was also given a small gold bullet, at that moment Driver knew that the kid's safety was one of the most important things to him because it would protect the family. It was where Drive really shifted gears to more of a gangster movie than a love story because Driver had a new purpose and decided to interject into the family's issues and help Standard out.
This scene also brought a new theme to the table: the lengths someone would go to to protect what they love. This was incredibly apparent in the elevator scene (without a doubt the best scene in the entire film) where Driver knew what he had to do to protect Irene and the kid. He first went in for what seemed like a two-minute-long good-bye kiss with holy music playing in the background followed by a brutal head smashing of the bad guy with a piece. It was completely nuts, and after that, Irene definitely didn't talk to him anymore, so their entire relationship was down the drain, yet there was a full sense of closure. After that, Driver was probably a bit freer to do all of his work because he could still use his passion for completing the deed of finding where the money went to, but I honestly was a little confused about the mafia the whole time and didn't really understand the whole role they played because it seemed like all they really wanted was for Standard to bring them their million bucks and to kill some people. That was definitely they only aspect of the movie that I was entirely detached from.
The kill scenes were all super epic because each time Driver had to kill someone we saw him from an extremely low angle which made him look so empowered over these people who would usually have the power over him. For example in the elevator scene, in the scene with the hammer in the strip club and where he kills the final gangster who stabs him. He also managed to stay somewhat anonymous in his work by never giving away his real name which meant that people looking for him could only find him through where he worked or where he lived, which he also kept very private. Every shot he was in was planned so that something new was revealed about his character even though he hardly talked, there was something that brought to life in his actions and the few words he did say. Another aspect of the film that brought his character to life was the bizarrely fitting 80's female vocal pop songs as a soundtrack to his actions. The words were so reflective of what he was doing, thinking and saying that it was almost difficult to consentrate on what he was really doing at times. It was definitely not the soundtrack I would have picked for the film, yet it seemed to work so beautifully as a contrast that it didn't really matter that it didn't fit the crazy murderous theme that was so prevalent.
I have not stopped talking about this film since we first started watching it and I don't think I'll be able to stop for a while either. Everything about this film was just about perfect, from the soundtrack and the score, to the romance and his personal relationships, from the intense kill scenes to the car chases. The title Drive acts not only as a motif where Driver is actually driving, but also as a theme of what drives certain people to do certain things.
For the third quarter, groups had to create a project for national history day. Maximilien and I made a documentary about the Stonewall Riots. Our process paper and bibliography can be accessed here. Below is our documentary Stonewall Riot: Achieving Equality One Sequin at a Time where one can simply click to watch the final product.
Originally, our topic was going to be fashioned around the idea of kids and fast food, and how it’s damaging their health, but we came into recognition that the NHD theme has to be in correlation to a revolution, reaction, and reform, in which I felt as though wouldn’t fit into the NHD theme criteria. So we decided to analyze another topic, one that would stay within that similar boundary of kids, and fast food. As a result, we decided to focus my topic more on fast food and how it revolutionized and reformed society today, and the peoples reaction towards such a huge industry.
Link to process Paper:
Within the movie Goslings' character, tended to keep to himself. As the movie progresses he begins to develop emotions for a woman, who is currently married due to her husband being in Jail. Despite that she continues to develop the relationship between he and Golsing they're relationship is what drives the film forward without Irene the movie would be completely different. The director of this movie has a very unique way in making the relationship between characters stand out; whenever two characters within the movie in general the author takes into account the type of views each character has of each other he uses, angles, lighting, and the music to his advantage.
As I watched the movie the Style of the movie gave you could say turned me on towards the movie. It was very retro style but it used it in all of the right ways no part of the movie was bad or unoriginal. Without a doubt as you watch may things will get you hooked but to me the thing that will have the largest effect on you is the musical note pad for each individual person.When it comes to the movie aside from being very retro its very dark. The colors always kept to a certain type of font along with a general lighting that was very well done. Like in the scene where the drivers boss arm gets slit. At that very moment it seems as if time slows down to the point where he could stop it but the lighting and the music end up making it unreturn able.
Overall Drive is a good move; one man, one car, one girl, and one life. This movie also consist of a very good back story to all the characters and is unraveled to the viewer as the movie progresses which allows it to make more sense.
Gosling's character, who remains unnamed for the duration of the entire movie, falls for Irene, a single mother, and when her ex boyfriend, Standard (whose thematically symbolic name is obviously not a coincidence) is forced to rob a pawn shop, the driver offers to help. The relationship between Driver and Irene was probably the most poignant in the film. The actors had very little dialogue onscreen, but still managed to establish a high level of complexity with just their body language.
Gosling keeps his hands in his pockets for a noticeably large chunk of his screen time, and maintains a constant nondescript, passive expression. I think that his control is what makes his character so fascinating. He manages to give his character a level of softness for the entire first half of the film. This creates a great deal of tension for the viewer, who knows what a dangerous man he really is. This tension is finally broken with his line "I'll kick your fuckin teeth down your throat" delivered to a former colleague at a diner. It is this line, in my opinion, that starts the second act of the film.
Refn spends a great deal of effort referencing other bodies of work. The central chase sequence, after the robbery occurs, is highly derivative of what is seen in Bullit in 1968: low angles of muscle cars, no music, and roaring engines. He also is heavily influenced by the work of Martin Scorsese, having dedicated the film to Taxi Driver. In fact, the film ends in a similar way: in trying to help a woman who he has had little contact with, he faces a near death experience, brutally killing everyone in his path. Like Taxi Driver, the climactic scene ends with him critically wounded, but still victorious, and, like Taxi Driver, there is ambiguity regarding whether he survives, or whether he dies and the final scenes are merely a dying vision of sorts.
Driver's transition from a cold, disconnected, businessman into a mythical superhero plays a very apparent role in the film. For instance, when he kills Nino, a Jewish gangster who originally blackmailed Standard, he wears his stunt-double mask. While he obviously doesn't need to hide his identity in order to kill him, there is still something inside of him that is ashamed. Perhaps this "hero" identity is not something that Driver is particularly fond of, having spent his entire criminal career emotionally detached from his crimes, and therefore the mask represents his discomfort around moral responsibility.
The soundtrack of the film, composed by Cliff Martinez, is heavily influenced by 80s pop music. The lyrics contain themes of heroism and redemption, emphasizing Driver's moral transformation throughout the film while at the same time trivializing it.
There is, however, a part of me that feels squeamish about such a heavy amount of homage. It seemed almost as if this film wasn't Refn, but more a "greatest hits" playlist of his predecessors. And while it can certainly be argued that all art is derivative, and therefore unoriginal, Dive does it in an incredibly self-conscious way. I see Drive less as a stand-alone film, and more as a comment of filmmakers of the past. I may need multiple viewings to decide how I feel about such a high amount of throwback.
But what makes Drive truly shine, is the film's iceberg approach to storytelling. By only explicitly revealing 10% of the film's identity to the viewer, the other 90% is up to us to decide. Refn is truly a master of minimalism, telling us a lot by only showing a little. Everyone has a something inside of them that drives them to do even the most radical things, and that internal drive is what makes this film so relatable, so heartbreaking, and so damn fun.
Topic: Women In The Navy
We chose this topic because we wanted to know how women got involved in the arm forces and what they had to go through to become involved. We conducted out research by going on google and asking people we knew that were apart of the movement and organizations that were taking place. We knew we wanted to do a video because it would be the best way to get our information across and clear with the topic we had. This project related to the NHD theme because we had to focus on the revolution that the women started when they wanted to join the navy, the reaction of America as a whole, and the reform of American when they finally decided to let the women join the arm forces.
1) . Women in the Navy. Navy Recruiting Command, 2011. Web. 7 Mar 2012. <http://www.navy.com/inside/winr.html>.
This was one of the best ones because it got straight to the point about everything that had to do with women and them being in the Navy.
2) . "Women in the navy." Naval History & Heritage command. N.p., n.d. Web. 7 Mar 2012. <http://www.history.navy.mil/special highlights/women/women-index.htm>. ("Naval History & Heritage command")
This is another website that links off to other websites that have to do with our topic which was extremely helpful.
3) Wilson, B.. "Military Women "Firsts"." Military women "firsts". AUG LINK Communications, 1996. Web. 7 Mar 2012. <http://userpages.aug.com/captbarb/firsts.html>.
This website shows the history and "firsts" of women in the navy
4) . "Highlights in the History of Military Women." Womens memorial. N.p., n.d. Web. 7 Mar 2012. <http://www.womensmemorial.org/Education/timeline.html>.
This website shows highlights and important moments from women in the military and navy.
5) . N.p., n.d. Web. 7 Mar 2012. <http://www.intrepidmuseum.org/CuratorsCorner/March-2009-(1)/Women-in-the-U-S--Navy.asp&xgt;.
6) NavyGirl, Women in the navy. N.p., 2002. Web. 7 Mar 2012. <http://www.navygirl.org/navywomen/navy_women_history_page.htm>.
8) , . "Early Women Soldiers." Women in the US Army. U.S. Army, 1996. Web. 7 Mar 2012. <http://www.army.mil/women/history.html>.
9) America's Navy, . "Ferquently Asked Questions." America. United States Navy, n.d. Web. 7 Mar 2012. <http://www.navy.com/faq.html>.
Requirements for joining the Navy.
10) . "Women in the Navy." A HALF CENTURY CHRONOLOGY. WGBH, n.d. Web. 7 Mar 2012. <http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/navy/plus/cron.html>.
11) . N.p., n.d. Web. 7 Mar 2012. <http://www.federalnewsradio.com/?nid=412&sid=2774527>.
12) . "Yahoo Search." Treatment Of Women. N.p., 2012. Web. 7 Mar 2012. <http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20120228065729AAb53Qn>.
13) Gerd W. Rodel, . "A VALIDITY STUDY OF WOMEN IN THE NAVY." . N.p., n.d. Web. 7 Mar 2012. <http://www.ijoa.org/imta96/paper57.html>.
14) . All navy women. N.p., 2009. Web. 7 Mar 2012. <http://www.anwna.com/>.
15) . "Women In The Navy." . N.p., 2008. Web. 7 Mar 2012. <http://www.whidbeynewstimes.com/news/22068474.html>.
The sound in this film is very natural I would say because the movie is very quiet. Most of the scenes lacked in dialogue not exactly creating much. I disliked the lack of dialogue throughout the film but the music in the background created so much. Tense building up in the viewer, the scene in the elevator where Ryan pushes Irene to the side and the song "A Real Hero" starts to play sung by College Featuring Electric Youth. The lyrics of the song creates the scene and I believe expresses what Ryan is bound to do at that very moment getting ready to save the one he has a great interest in. Irene automatically speeds out of the elevator right after her intense, spotlight scene kiss with Ryan. As soon as she notices the dramatic fight that goes on in front of her eyes and the close-up with Ryan stomping on a mans face she speeds out in shock. The lighting of this one scene is a spotlight because it only focuses on the two characters at the moment and just when the lighting expands and allows the next character comes in, you can feel the presence of something bound to happen. I don't believe this scene was as realistic as it could have been. The way Ryan's foot drove down onto the mans face I felt not connection or relationship to realism. I felt as though the characters could have grunted a bit more and actually had an angle on the mans face as Ryan was stomping down.
The props in the film I believe created the characters and made them look more scary and intimidating. The way Ryan gripped his hands around a bat while wearing leather gloves in the scene where he was speaking on the phone with Albert Brooks who is one of the most powerful men in the movie. This scene created how intimidating the characters are meant be. The style of the characters and costumes they wore from Ryan being casual and ordinary to the big bad "Gangsters" of the film wearing professional clothing such as suits creating how powerful they can be or how to present themselves to the public. The environment in, which each of the characters are set in is very private yet very open. I wish why the director chose these setting for each Ryan and Albert individually. The way the director chose to create the film is very traditional. A typical person acting on an ordinary lifestyle but finds a great interest in one but ends up getting into trouble and having to face the consequences by having the one they care about get threatened in some way.
Ryan Gosling's character takes great interest in his neighbor and as he gets to know her a dramatic twist occurs her husband is returning home from prison. Throughout the movie the husband gets into some kind of trouble involving money and Ryan steps in to save the day but a big problem occurs and later on the husband is murdered and now Ryan is ready to step up to plate in order to protect Irene and her son no matter what the consequences and what dangers step in his way. He is ready to end this. This all ends when Ryan tells his friend to leave and never return in order to escape everything going on. His friend is then murdered in garage where Ryan works as a mechanic. Ryan goes after the men after he realizes his friend was just murdered and gets his revenge. He makes one last phone call to Irene and she answers but never speaks and Ryan feels like its to late that she will never forgive him so he hangs up and kills the "gangsters." He then drives off in the end and a back and forth shot between Irene and Ryan comes up where Irene is walking towards Ryan's apartment realizing that she will forgive him while he is driving off.
The main scenes that grabbed my attention throughout the film was the elevator scene when Ryan had stomped the guys face continuously. I felt this scene is important because it showed a sign of protecting and wanting between who he really was and what he was willing to do in oder to protect those he cared about. Another scene was when Ryan had first met Irene's husband he came off as intimidating. I felt this was important because a the saying goes "looks can be deceiving." I believe this is what his character did. When Ryan saw his close friend murdered in the garage emotion finally appeared in his eyes and the yearning for revenge came along. When Irene's car broke down at the grocery store this I feel is important because this is when their entire bond connected. In the end I don't think it was about him developing a relationship with the another human being but the fact of him continuing his relationship with driving. It all connected in the end with him driving off. I would say this all developed because of both of his careers his one career of driving for movies and another for illegal acts.
The most compelling scene of the movie as well connected to the storyline was the relationship between Ryan and his skill of driving. Not exactly his relationship with Irene because it was obvious thats where the story was heading. The storyline I felt was more compelling with his relationship. I felt as though it wasn't obvious that he was going to drive to off. It left the audience guessing and left everyone wondering if Ryan would randomly pop up behind Irene after she knocked on his apartment after no response. But no, nothing I felt this was the mystery and the continuing of his life and wondering if he would continue the same path except in another city/town. "Human Curiosity" is what filled the air at the end of the film.
Our documentary consists of three different parts. Nick was responsible for his Industrial Revolution, Ginnetti was responsible for the Space Race and Allen for his Aerial Warfare Revolution (Airplane: Revolution in Warfare). We linked up all three topics together and created a time-line like video process. Using many videos taken from online and amassing lots of information from various sites to prove and also create an intense documentary. The entire documentary was created using iMovie, with the addition of voice overs to display our knowledge.
To view our process paper to our sources click here.
After watching “Drive”, my opinion of the film was somewhat unappreciative in a sense. Prior to viewing Drive, I was informed that this was a movie that received several different awards such as Best Picture and Best Director. This gave me in some respects what many would call great expectations that weren’t fully met. I acknowledge that this was a very creative film but I felt as if at certain points in the film, I was unable to appreciate its artistic value.One aspect of the film that I particularly admired was its fast-paced sequences during an overall seeming slow developing plot. There were many scenes where I felt on the edge of my seat for a long period of time. Although the feeling of being on the edge of your seat when waiting for a scene to climax is an amazing feeling, Drive in my opinion kept me feeling that often for what felt like an insurmountable period of time. One example of this, being the second of the three car chases where Driver is physically driving. I understand the wanting of the scene to have its authenticity, but a scene such as this that as fast paced as it was needed to give me more time to digress after each and every plot twist throughout the entire chase.
I also wasn’t a huge fan of the different auditory elements that went into the film. For example, Driver, who is supposed to be the main character/protagonist in the film, had what I felt was a very insufficient amount of dialogue to reinforce his vitality to the overall concept of the film. Yes some would argue the cliche phrase “actions speak louder than words” but as a viewer I like to see my protagonist captivate me with both actions as well as words. The background noise often times did help me keep interest in what was going on in their surrounding. But as I stated earlier, there were times where there was dead silence (such as the elevator scene after the kiss) when for a dramatic effect everything was slowed down before the climax of that particular scene which would have to be the brutal killing. As far as other auditory elements such as the soundtrack and musical score, I didn’t find anything that was particularly moving in its authenticity.
An accolade that I would give Drive is the strategic use of lighting. I felt as if many of the vital scenes in the movie contained a warmer toned light when something important was occurring. This allowed me to focus on a specific person or subject and feel comfortable during periods where I was forced to reflect on what happened in another scene. Because I am a fan of action, my biased opinion was that I appreciated the many different angles shown during driving scenes. I thought driving scenes had to have been a strong aspect of the film one because of the obvious title, and two because the driving scenes were what Drivers character was based on. After watching the extras and finding out more about many of the characters, I saw how different actors stepped outside of their comfort zone in this movie. At first I didn’t think that the acting was anything worth mentioning but after finding out a small background of them, I was able to appreciate the actors more than I originally would have.
My overall critique of Drive is that I wouldn’t have felt disappointed that I spent money to go view it in the theaters but this is not a movie that I would want to purchase on DVD/Blu-Ray. Yes it managed to entertain me for one hundred minutes but it was nothing that I am going to remember a year from now. Perhaps I set too high expectations for it but it didn’t move me in the way that it did many other people and I would choose not to recommend it to anyone who has the same opinions as me with this genre of film.
Drive thrusts us the audience into the world of Driver, played by Ryan Gosling, set in Los Angeles. He isn't given a name in the film, which in my opinion neither adds or detracts significantly from the film. The first ten minutes may as well take you hostage as you practically cannot leave your seat; and neither would you want to. Driver is introduced to us driving two crooks with their ill-gotten goods, out-driving and out-thinking the finest LAPD has to offer. Everything about it is meticulously thought out. And that doesn't just apply to Driver's thoughts. The cinematography and sound are beautifully engineered. The director chose to stay away from typical car chases with lots of shaking and aggressive camera usage to accentuate the speed. Instead, the camera stays inside the vehicle at all times, and is by-in-large static. Very much like Driver's expression. Even as he drifts across two lanes of traffic with police in hot pursuit, Driver is calm, cool and collected; no wonder he never gets invited to poker night. Driver and the thieves he is driving for escape smooth and clean, and Driver leaves without a word to his associates.
The sound of this film really makes it, in particular how quiet it is, and how much of the sound is natural sound, and not dialogue. One of my favorite examples of great sound in this film is in the scene previously described is Driver's watch ticking. It's such a small sound, yet at almost every lull in the action it can be heard, whether it's by itself or under the mixture of sounds coming from the car itself. This film did an incredible job of mixing audio that is muffled or drowned out. This can also be seen later in the film when Driver's love interest, Irene throws a party for her husband's return from prison, and the party can be heard through the apartment walls, becoming louder when the apartment door opens and vice-versa.
But it's not always about subtle nuances in sound and film, sometimes the best sequences are when the film diverts your attention one hundred percent to a single action. Oh yes, it's The Elevator Stomp. Where to start with this scene, it's hard to say. Driver has just been involved in a bad heist that, through no fault of his own got Irene's husband Standard killed. Driver realizes that he and Irene are both in danger. He explains what happened, and that she can have the money he made from the heist, only to be cut off with a sharp smack across the face that speaks volumes more than anything she could have said. Just as you're not sure where the interaction is going, the elevator door opens to a man who apologetically says "wrong floor". Irene steps into the elevator, almost in an attempt to get away from Driver who no doubt makes her sick at the moment. Driver follows her into the elevator and notices the man had in fact had exactly the floor he wanted, as he notices a handgun is stashed in the mans inner suit pocket. Driver understands very well what this means, and here's where the scene really picks-up. Driver gentle guides Irene into the corner with his arm before turning around and taking his only shot he has with her. They draw close in a way that makes you wonder if they'll ever even touch, or just share this moment for what seems like forever. Driver kisses Irene and she kisses back in a way that says that she wants more but realizes she shouldn't. Driver pulls away and savors his final moment before he will most definitely push Irene away in a manner more graphic than he ever could have imagined. He slams the gunman's head into the elevator wall to knock him down and proceeds to stomp his face until the job is irrefutably finished; that is to say the gunman's head is no more. We see only the initial stomp and the aftermath, but the sound alone paints a vivid, graphic picture enough. The heavy tones of boot to bone, give way to gruesome, wet slaps, in monument to Driver's commitment. The elevator reaches the garage level just as Driver finishes, only to look up at Irene wistfully as she stands outside the elevator, horrified by his actions. And without a word from either of them, the elevator doors slide across, blocking Driver from Irene in a manner that seems quite definitive, concluded by a hearty thud of the elevator doors closing.
The elevator stomp ties together two very different, yet equally important worlds in the life of Driver. The first being his love interest in Irene, and protecting that, and the second being his misfortune in being wrapped up with the wrong people. They are both tragedies in a sense, but in different ways. The story of Irene and Driver is a tragedy because complications drove them apart, despite obvious attraction and compatibility. Driver defends Irene and Benecio at all costs, yet when he pleads to speak with her she shuts him down coldly, no doubt still traumatized by her time in the elevator. When she realizes that his actions in her defense do not define him, it is too late and he is gone and out of contact. Driver's misfortune is a tragedy in the sense that he got swept up in other people's dreams, because he doesn't seem to have any. He spends a significant amount of the movie trying to dig someone out of a hole, which only digs it deeper and when it finally seems there is no one else left, it's apparent that he himself is the deepest of them all.
Of these two stories it's difficult to pick a favorite. His story with Irene is riveting as we watch this man who is almost inhuman in character grow in leaps and bounds, only to be rejected. But his story of mopping up other people's problems is incredibly entertaining because it shows more of the Driver that we were introduced to in the beginning of the movie who is wildly entertaining to watch.
But saying that one side of Driver is wildly entertaining is redundant, because frankly it's all entertaining. The entire film is a mesmerizing experience. Like I said, this film takes you hostage; you're just along for the ride.
My process paper and bibliography are right here.
In my 3rd quater American History Bm, I chose to do a performance to create my own interpretation of the reform in American society that came about from Charles Darwin's ideas of naturalism, through portraying a fictitious Realist writer transitioning into the mindset of Naturalist writer in 1890. I wanted to show what could have possibly been one of the ways that the literary style of Naturalism could have came into existence; branching off from the Realist style. Here is the link to my process paper, which goes into detail of how I went about this project.
Excerpt of my research:
"There have been many physicists that changed people’s point of views of the Earth. Isaac Newton discovered his three laws of motion that have been taught using the language of forces and pulls. He enlightened people’s questions about how and why physical objects behave the way they do on Earth. The atomic bomb’s equation, also known as Einstein’s “E=mc^2” was a profound discovery of the 20th century. Although that discovery was both great and destructive he has made the theory of relativity, which changed the way people think about time and space drastically."
Click here to view my Process Paper and Annotated Bibliography.
Drive isn't your typical "cops and robbers" film. The film bases its story around a guy and his car. Ryan Gosling is the driver for a getaway car which is evident in the opening scene. The opening sequence (the first 10 mins of the movie) gives you a first hand view on what it's like to be in "The Driver's" world. Showing close inside shots from the vehicle and no dialogue, you are on the edge of your seat while Gosling goes through obstacles to get away from the police.
The opening sequence is a very important part of the film. Little to no dialogue shows exactly what kind of person The Driver is. It's clear that he has done this before based on the silence and calmness he creates. This scene gives us a view of Gosling's character without directly telling us who and what he does. Throughout the movie, Gosling's character is referred to "The Driver" showing his separation from the real world.
Even though the opening scene portrays The Driver as a badass, of course the film creates some sort of love interest for this character. The Driver is asked to be the getaway driver for his neighbor who needs to pay back someone money, which he steals. In this important scene, the neighbor, Oscar Issac, conveniently gets killed during the robbery and conveniently leaves behind a wife. Of course this gives Gosling's character a chance to build a relationship with this woman. What kind of movie would it be if there wasn't a love story involved, especially one where she's in danger?
The lighting in this movie was always dark and colors were bland and solid, giving you the felling of lack of liveliness and of course, danger. The Driver lives a dangerous life, which gets even more dangerous when he becomes on the bad side of the mob. Gosling's character spends the second half of the movie defending himself from the mob and of course protecting Irene's life, even if it means ruining their relationship from stomping a man's head off in an elevator.
As the film's main storyline got more dramatic through the second half, so did the music. One particular scene where the musical score fit well was when Gosling goes to meet with the mob but ends up killing one of the members. As Gosling approaches the restaurant, which the gangsters own, a soft kind of creepy musical number plays while a woman softly sings. It gives you the vibe that something bad is going to happen, but without giving away how intense the next scene is.
The overall story of Drive was a good one; a man, his car and danger. However, the love story was typical and unoriginal if I may say. Gosling's character made no character development and the "love story" seemed to just be there to catch the attention of a more diverse audience.
Imagine taking the odd mystery and dark filming tone of "Fight Club" and combining it with the fast pace action and dynamic characters of "Transporter", Nicolas Winding Refn's "Drive" is the outcome. Given the two films' reputation, one could infer that a similar combination of the two could result in an action packed, jaw dropping film, which "Drive" certainly provided; but one could also expect an original storyline and in depth characterization within the plot of the film, which it significantly lacked.
Ryan Gosling's "driver" or "the kid" or whoever his name really was, was an over-exaggerated an uncomfortably sporadic character. The opening scene set up what appeared to be a thrilling scene with a getaway driver who was skilled at what he was doing, but slowly faded into a boring conclusion as driver casually parked a car in a packed sports complex and walked out suspiciously, but with no confrontation from the police.
The one piece of positive feedback I will provide for this opening is the use of music and rhythm. The camera angles were very close up but often focused on the background of the shot as the police helicopter searched for the suspects. The synchronization of the final seconds of the basketball game complimented the urgency of driver to get away from the cops. However, the only table setting that this scene was successful for, was introducing the lack of good dialogue and dull characterization of the protagonist.
In addition, there was a huge overuse of gore in this film. I'm sure that all action movie watchers enjoy seeing some nauseating murder scenes or destructive montages, but there was absolutely no build up to the action in this film. As a viewer, it was difficult for me to appreciate the girl getting her head blown off or Driver's graphic stomping of the guy's face in the elevator, when there was no set up in the dialogue. The elevator scene could have easily shifted this movie from a forgotten piece of cinema to a work of art, if there were some compelling dialogue prior to it, or at least some deeper description of driver's character. Imagine trying to bring this scene up in a conversation to a friend 20 years from now:
"Hey, remember that bloody scene in the elevator… with that driver kid… yea I don't know his name, and there was no dialogue in the scene for me to jot your memory… oh well".
Cinematically this was a great movie, and a compelling scene. But the writing was horrible. The subplots were non suspensful. The characters had no depth, and worst of all, the protagonist didn't have a name. If your a future film maker, and are looking for examples of character development, plot structure, and diverse scene elements, "Drive" will successfully set you up for failure.
-Jason M. Davis