Here it is, the match up of the century. With a 3-2-1 win in the semis, Arnold of Hey Arnold faces the California Raisin in the final. Thank you to everyone who has participated in this little competition. This is the final round, so don't hold back. The winner will be primarily traveling with me from now on, returning with photos of distant lands. The runner-up will probably get to go on a few trips too, just not as many.
13. Take a random picture once a week for a year and make a photobook at the end (15/52)
Inside the confines of El Patio.
35. Watch 20 films that I haven't seen from the AFI 100 Years...100 Movies (10th Anniversary) list (7/20)
Directors will work with hundreds of actors throughout their career and actors will work with several directors. It is just the nature of the film industry. Sometimes, however, a special relationship forms between an actor and director. The two may have really enjoyed working together and decide to collaborate again. Sometimes, directors like to use the same actors throughout many of their films. When this occurs, the viewers get the benefit of seeing an actor/director relationship grow into more and better collaborations. The flow that exists between the two provides a familiarity between movies, even if they are completely different.
Some of my favorite examples of director/actor collaborations include Tim Burton and Johnny Depp (8 films), Wes Anderson and Bill Murray/Owen Wilson (5/6 films respectively), Coen Brothers and Frances McDormand/Steve Buschemi/John Goodman (6/6/5 films respectively), Sam Raimi and Bruce Cambell (9 films), Robert Rodriguez and Danny Trejo/Antonio Banderas/Salma Hayek/Cheech Marin (8/7/7/7 films respectively), Luc Besson and Jean Reno (5 films), Kevin Smith and Jason Lee (7 films), John Carpenter and Kurt Russell (5 films), David Lean/Alec Guinness (6 films), Rob Zombie and Sid Haig/Sheri Moon Zombie/Bill Moseley (5/4/4) and John Ford/John Wayne (21 films!). In this particular case however, I am talking about Martin Scorsese and Robert DeNiro, who have collaborated on 8 films.
Sadly, of the 8 Scorsese/DeNiro collaborations, I had only seen one the I can remember (Goodfellas). Fortunately for me, three of them are on the AFI 100 Years...100 Movies List, though one of them happens to be Goodfellas. I recently got my act together and watched both of the Scorsese/DeNiro films that are on that list, Raging Bull and Taxi Driver.
Taxi Driver (1976) is about a depressed former Marine named Travis (DeNiro) who decides to become a taxi driver in Manhattan. He takes on the job to cope with insomnia, and it is implied that he hasn't gotten any sleep during the duration of the film which seems to be over the course of several weeks.
Travis comes romantically interested in a campaign worker (Cybil Shephard) but when things don't work out he starts to become more violent. Travis also encounters a young prostitue (Jodie Foster) and becomes angered by the illegal activities taking place around him.
Travis attempts to assassinate a presidential candidate, but is chased away by the [incompetent] secret service before he gets a chance. He decides to go find the young prostitue and save her from the life she is stuck in. He murders her pimp and a couple other men in the vicinity while being shot several times himself.
It is suggested at the end of the film that Travis was labeled a hero and survived the encounter. The ending is interesting though cause it can be interpreted in different ways. One could believe what they see is how it is, but one theory states that Travis had become completely insane at some point in the film and the scenes near the end of the film are figments of his imagination. Another theory is that he simply died during the shootout and the final scenes are his dying thoughts.
It's sometimes nice to have a concrete conclusion to a film, but I enjoy having something to think about and interpret in my own way. I enjoyed Taxi Driver and it's no surprise to me that it was nominated for several Academy Awards, though it didn't win any.
Raging Bull (1980) is a biography film about real life boxer Jake La Motta, portrayed in this film by Robert DeNiro of course. The films starts with an overweight and older La Motta rehearsing a comedy bit. DeNiro actually gained around 60 pounds to portray the older La Motta. The film then jumps back to early in La Motta's career. As the film progresses La Motta is seen dealing with rage and jealousy issues, all while he is becoming a successful boxer. La Motta dealt with issues such as throwing a fight for the mafia, abusing his wife and beating his brother Joey (played by newcomer Joe Pesci) thinking his brother and wife were having an affair. Eventually La Motta retires, becomes overweight, divorces and gets into trouble with the law. The film concludes with the scene from the beginning of the film.
This critically acclaimed film was nominated for eight Academy Awards, winning two for Best Actor (DeNiro) and Best Editing. DeNiro was very dedicated to the role, having both gained 60 pounds for the later years of La Motta's life as well as training with La Motta to be a professional-level boxer. The boxing scenes (there were many) were convincing and I really liked the way they were filmed. A majority of the film takes place through the 40's, and the black and white format fits the tone and time period of the film quite nicely. Another knockout (budum-bum) for the team of Scorsese and DeNiro.
13. Take a random picture once a week for a year and make a photobook at the end (14/52)
This photo was taken just after sunset. I was out trying to get some good shots of the sky and maybe the horizon. After looking through my pics when I got home, I really liked how this image came out. I like the way the lights are reacting as well as the red behind the volcanoes in the background. Clarity could be a bit better, but as you can see I was sitting at a red light and only had a couple quick chances at this. Anyway, hope you enjoy!
We are into the last of the semifinal match ups. The winner of this will move on to the final. I've decided to leave voting open for Match Up 1, so go vote if you missed it. Below are the final three winners from the first round.
As most of you should know, I am an avid jumping pic jumper. I love taking jumping pics all over the world. In fact, you can view all of my jumping pics, as well as some of friends of mine, here. A while back I discovered the jumping community on flickr, which is quite massive. There's so many different groups on there, my favorite being the Jumping Project. The group currently has over 20,000 members worldwide. Once I joined, I started interacting with various members of the community. I was even asked by a couple people to be included in their jumping blogs. That is how I discovered jumping blogs. The one I've been following the longest is Jumping Pics Will Save the World created by my now good friend Alex.
We have shared stories, and most importantly, jumping pictures. I've even been featured in her blog several times.
I keep a link on the side bar for this website, but I've been wanting to do a little more to spread the word. Whether or not you're into jumping pictures, please check it out. It is a fun little blog that gets contributions from people all over the world. The blog itself originates from an island in the pacific, so there are many beautiful pictures coming from that region. Check it out and feel free to share your jumping pics if you have any.
18. Get an object to take with me on travel to take pictures of
The last match up of round 1 finished in a 2-1 win for the Mutant from This Island Earth. We are not headed into round 2. To speed things up, I've decided to just have two match ups in round 2. One will consist of 4 winners from round 1, and the other will consist of the other three. The winner from each of the match ups will face off in a final round. So for your voting pleasure, here are the four contestants for round 2...
Comment on your favorite in the comments section. The top vote getter will reach the finals.
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