In the Urban Fantasy genre – Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, etc. – magic and magical creatures exist alongside humans, but humans don’t know about them. The Cosmic Horror genre – i.e. H.P. Lovecraft – has a similar rule, except if humans see "past the veil," what they see is usually terrifying and even madness-inducing. Meanwhile, in the Percy Jackson series, a demigod can see monsters just fine, but looking at a god or titan’s true divine form is hazardous to their health. This seems to be an overlap between Urban Fantasy and Cosmic Horror. Similarly, the existence of Squibs and Obscurials in Fantastic Beasts lore sometimes approaches Cosmic Horror territory. Compare and contrast the two genres. What other overlap exists between them? Where do world-builders and storytellers make distinctions between the genres and why? Do interesting themes and lessons emerge when you consider Urban Fantasy from a Cosmic Horror perspective or vice versa?
Examine the vein in various film media (especially Black Swan and Whiplash) suggesting pronounced suffering to produce great art. Both films, to this writer, state or otherwise imply that our protagonists must suffer under harsh instructors (especially in the case of Whiplash) to be successful in their respective fields. This ideology comes off as very unsettling, especially in an era where mental health and personal agency (especially for women) are becoming more recognized. A potential goal for the topic is to examine how movies of this sort condition young artists to burn themselves out in the pursuit of making art. Another film to examine could be “Lust For Life,” on the life of infamous tortured artist Van Gogh.
The goal in proposing this topic is not to condemn any movie mentioned wholesale, but to, instead, offer examination of less than wholesome implications in media that have not been fully explored for those purposes.
It will be necessary to explore mental health expertise to give structure to the topic. An important video to the formulation of this topic was the YouTube video “‘Rise and Grind’ Film Culture: A Rant” from content creator coldcrashpictures. Potential writers may find material for additional definition for this topic in said video.
The common trope of suffering as an obligatory driving force of creativity is purposeful implication by gatekeepers of media to ensure creative production remains under-compensated and under-appreciated. This becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy when creatives/artists feel a creative writer's block and can only be escaped by artistic success which is further aided by capitalism and ends in eventual demise and consequent 'fetishization' of pain. It's why mental health is becoming an increasingly discussed, but not acted upon, topic. – gemstokes4 years ago
Great topic. I really want to read this. It would interesting if you could find examples of "healthy" creatives who are able to create/follow their passions successfully and without a mentality of no-pain, no-gain. If you have access, I highly recommend the Netflix original series Abstract: The Art of Design, which highlights creators/artists and their creative process, and showcases both healthy and toxic relationships with the creative process and productivity. – Eden4 years ago
This is a topic that I've had in the back of my head. There's a lot to dissect here. You can go into the psychology of art, the philosophy of art, art theory,and art history. One can also write their opinion from a shared experience being an artist themselves. The fetishizing of pain might be an exaggerated form of representing how passionate people are about their art medium. This would be a great read, there's so many possibilities to go about this. – lfmejia4 years ago
I’d like to write this. Regarding the pain of others by Susan Sontag and on Photography analysed the imagery of pain and suffering. They would both be a good text to use for this article should someone snap it up 😬 – Lousands3 years ago
This topic has a lot of potential to impact the lives of younger musicians (my daughter is a percussionist) in a positive way if written from the standpoint of a "compare/contrast." Looking at artists who "kill" themselves to become the best, vs. those who become the best without the personal torture. – mjwright3 years ago
Great topic!! Examining the conditioning of young artists to burn themselves out in the pursuit of making art is something really interesting, I would love to read it. – allan reis2 days ago
A common critique of any new movie, book, tv show or anything, a common criqitue of any new story in the written medium, (whether script writing or otherwise) is the lack of originality. Originality is defined as 1) existing from the beginning, 2) created personally by someone or 3) not dependent on other ideas. But is anything at all independent of ideas, or ‘original?’ One can now start to argue that everything’s been done before, from new world with strange creatures, to magical schools, to a climactic battle between good and evil. I pose three question: Does originality exist any longer? Does originality need to be redefined? Or do we need to change the way we criticize storytelling?
The book 'Reality Hunger' by David Shields is exactly about this, him claiming that everything comes from somewhere and is a type of collage. For this, you need to define originality. Everything we have everseen, heard or lived does influence us. There are tales of people thinking that they've written something original and then being told that their original story is almost identical to another from a long time ago; usually they have just forgotten being subjected to that original story. – heath1 year ago
I think storytelling should be defined by the depth of the narrative, not strictly the originality of the idea. – BVIS9711 months ago
in the jacobean era (and probably other periods) people would bring 'commonplace books' to the theatre with them and just write down what they liked so they could use it themselves. obviously there are some plagiarism problems there but it might be interesting to examine how our views on originality has changed – lizawood11 months ago
I think it’s also possible for works to poorly received precisely for their originality. An Australian writer Michael Winkler was unable to find a publisher for his novel Grimmish, so self-published. But the book got great critical reviews, has since been picked up by a traditional publisher, and has now been long listed for the Miles Franklin award. It is dfefinitely original, but that’s what put it off in the beginning from being published. Writers and artists will often follow their passion to strange places, and publishers may take ‘risks’ and get their work out there. But often work that’s original is also misunderstood, or doesn’t quite find its readership. – MelHall11 months ago
As far as I can tell, successful art and originality need not be mutually exclusive. You rightly suggest that many that many themes, many topics have already been expressed by brilliant minds. Nearly all great literature could be distilled into variations on a few themes, if one wanted to be so minute. But, just to stimulate some thought, I'll pose you a question: is anything at all NOT original? If art is, as Marcel Proust contended, a reconfiguration of our experiences, and no two people experience life identically (or, at least, no two people have the same frame of reference), then how could a work of art fail to be original, since it is gestated from a particular consciousness which has contents that will never again take shape in a similar way? How could the expression of one's vitality, one's essence, be anything but original when seen in this light? Just a thought. – ethanwatts11 months ago
This is definitely a topic that is so relevant today because creators lack "originality". Especially since a lot has been written over time, we can never be too sure if a so called, "original," idea that we have had is actually original or if it is something we've been inspired by through the subconscious after having read/watched/heard it already. Originality is so hard to come by these days and is something that is so craved in the media. It really is a sink or swim situation, and, as most have said here, originality should be defined by depth and how the story is actually told. One concept could have so many different ideas and meanings behind it, so therefore each concept can have different means of originality. – saskiawodarczak11 months ago
One could wonder if a piece's originality must be [pure originality]. Does anything like that even exist? However, every piece has the potential to be original in at least one or more aspects. If it follows the collage format - think about the collage technique used in painting: Are all of these paintings unoriginal? Such a claim is contested by anyone. But what makes them unique in that case? It is not the elements; it is the structure! How the various, unoriginal, little components are put together to create a fresh picture, new system, or unique narrative. A different structure might also imply that the new collection has a different endpoint and objective. That's one scenario!
So, to discuss originality, we should slightly alter our understanding. There might not be such a thing as 100% originality. It's conceivable that there isn't such a thing as ultimate originality, yet there is originality in response to one or more aspects alone. Originality is not absolute; rather, it is relative. – Samer Darwich11 months ago
What's additionally interesting about this topic is an evaluation of whether originality in entertainment is really so different today than it's ever been. I see a note above that repeats a currently popular idea, that right now entertainment is particularly unoriginal. But when I think of movies from 90 years ago, there were countless remakes. Just look at how many Robin Hood and Little Women movies were made! Plus, when we think of really original storytelling from back in the day right now, how much of it struck audiences at the time as original as well? Star Wars or The Matrix might come to many fans minds as original, but there's strong arguments that neither is. All three questions are good, and in particular with the last one, just how useful is criteria of originality? – ronannar11 months ago
I believe that all new ideas sprout from an inspiration taken from the real world in some way or another. In that sense, I understand how you believe that nothing is "original" by the definition you provided. Therefore, when critiquing another story that definition should not be applied. – Aathi10 months ago
While arguably every piece of media is a derivative of some earlier piece of media, there is still plenty of originality out there to be had. Look at recent films such as Nope, which very explicitly shows its influences from films like Jaws and Close Encounters, or Everything Everywhere All At Once, a fresh take on the multiverse craze. Nope is highly original in its message and structure. Everything Everywhere is highly original in its world-building and story. I think that there is a big difference between these films and the constant sequels and prequels being spat out by Marvel or the remakes of old films. Sequels and remakes may offer some fresh perspectives--and the ones that do are often the best of these categories, but they do come from the same nucleus of an idea. Nope borrows heavily from Spielberg and others but creates a brand new way of displaying those influences and in some ways critiques them. But perhaps the criteria for originality is also based on how audiences feel. Personally, I am sick and tired of the constant trailers for new Marvel films and I do feel that the movie arena has been saturated. Does that just make the original films more novel or does it mean that originality is shrinking? Keep in mind much of this phenomenon is based on money and the fears of producers and studios that people no longer care for going to the movie theater or watching films in general. The sequels and cinematic universes pump out the most films because they work--they are a known quantity. Especially after the pandemic, it takes a brave studio or producer to splash out on originality. – zrynhold10 months ago
Magical realism is a literary genre that combines elements of the fantastical with the ordinary, blurring the lines between reality and imagination. When writing on this topic, one can explore the significance of magical realism in contemporary literature and its impact on storytelling, symbolism, and thematic exploration. Additionally, one can delve into how authors employ magical realism to convey deeper truths about the human condition, cultural identity and social issues.
Perhaps consider discussing this topic in relation to well-known magical realism writers such as Haruki Murakami or Neil Gaiman. As a starting point, consider the following: how is this genre defined and how does it differ from other genres like fantasy/surrealism? How does magical realism challenge readers’ perceptions of reality and provoke them to question the nature of truth and existence? How can magical realism allow authors to explore complex themes and societal issues that might be difficult to address through realistic fiction?
Occasionally, a music artist will release a song that is deemed unsuitable for radio play in its current form. It might contain profanity or profane subject material, have undesired instrumentation, or simply be too long for the radio to play. A new version of the song will be created as a "radio edit" that alters the original to meet governmental standards. These changes can range from inconsequential, like replacing one profane word with a sound effect, to substantial, such as replacement lyrics that completely change the original meaning of the song. Famous radio edits include Cee Lo Green’s "Forget You," d-12’s "Purple Hills," and Everlast’s "What’s It Like."
Usually these edits are not made by the artists themselves but by their record labels, broadcasters at the corporate level, or even individual radio stations. Whether minor or major, these changes produce a product that is not what the artist envisioned without the artists’ input. Without these changes, these songs would not play on the radio or in spaces that must abide by government guidelines relating to content standards. Is the radio edit process a necessary evil to becoming a successful artist? Or is the act of altering art in order to conform to public sensibilities harmful to the role of art in our contemporary culture that constantly encourages us to "express yourself?" Especially in the era of the internet and the seemingly endless ways to create and distribute art outside traditional distribution institutions, should corporations compromising an artist’s intended vision to please the masses be considered a malicious act? Or should this new-found freedom provided by the internet encourage society to support art as the artist creates it, even if it offends?
This is a fascinating point in the process of musical production that not many people consider. Much like the Hayes code of early Hollywood, such censorship can seem extreme and archaic in a modern society that no longer requires major industries to support success. The examples you give are telling ones since it's easy to classify which genres are more censored compared to others, which could be an interesting aspect to explore. This practice of radio edits may be a hangover of a previous era since tiktok seems to be the predominant platform dominating the music market today. Exploring the alternatives (youtube, tiktok, instagram etc.), which genres or artists are targeted, and the origins for WHY such edits were made, could be a good division of the topic.
– LadyAcademia1 year ago
This is such an interesting thought! As a lifelong hater of radio edits, I’ve never thought of it this way - I would look into which artists get censored the most and their similarities (if any). – kelleykilgore1 year ago
It's also interesting to think of what music never lent itself to radio edits to begin with, and what music was particularly pushed into it. The metro area I'm from has a radio station which used to have a motto "All the best hits, without the rap." For the most part it was true, the station played pop music by all sorts of artists. But when Macklemore's Thrift Shop became big, the station played it, despite the song featuring rap... Race and politics clearly play a role in determining what music is deemed "appropriate", a role that for the most part likely goes unseen and unacknowledged, just as many people observe never thinking of the impact of radio edits.
On a somewhat different note, I only recently discovered the song "I Dig Rock and Roll" by Peter, Paul, and Mary. For those unfamiliar with it, it seems to celebrate Rock and Roll while actually mocking it. It has a lyric incredibly relevant to this topic - "I think I could say something if you know what I mean/But if I really say it, the radio won't play it/Unless I lay it between the lines!" Very interesting lyric, it's stuck with me! – ronannar11 months ago
I agree that this topic is fascinating. I have never really thought about it, but just reading through the idea and the comments has me thinking of different ways things are edited and how heavily (and how times we might not know it because at some point we'd only ever heard it on the radio). Could be arguments that it's helped in cases, as well? Something like Let's Get It Started? How would that have been played in so many places without an edit? (And I suppose, is that right or wrong?) – rieder219 months ago
Denis Villeneuve’s Enemy ends with Adam being confronted by a giant spider in the bedroom. In a film that otherwise adheres to realism–despite its occasionally surreal quality–the scene stands out. Like most viewers, Adam is initially shocked, but then he lets out what can be best described as a smirk-sigh. Does he know something about the spider that viewers do not? The spider motif is not something that comes abruptly at the end; it exists throughout. So, what does the spider represent?
Villeneuve has his own interpretation of this issue, during the film there are several references to different types of spiders but also about their webs. This symbolism at first speaks about women but has an effect on the feelings of the protagonist. If there is a right answer, it is interesting to think why he leaves this question to the audience. – EllenPastorino1 week ago
It’s a tale as old as erotica: a girl sits down at a coffee shop and pulls out her e-reader because the cover of her steamy romance novels will be judged if she bought the physical book. In 2022 seven of the ten best-selling books were romance novels that contained erotic content. Adult romance and erotica are almost indistinguishable these days, for example the number one best-selling fiction book in 2022 It ends with us by colleen hoover contains several graphic sex scenes yet is labeled romance not erotica. Adult romance is the best-selling fiction genre of all time, yet despite the popularity of the genre, men and women still deal with romance reader shame. Why is this genre seen as trashy? Is it misogyny, classism, or something else?
Although the criticism of modern erotica may seem like a modern issue, this debate has been going on for centuries. It would be interesting to analyze the modern romance reader shame and its relationship to the criticisms of the 19th century sensation novel.
I do not think the unpopularity of Adult Romance can be directly attributed to misogyny, of all things. At best, there is an implicit connection there, and even that, I fail to see. If you think about it, a man reading a steamy romance novel with a suggestive title would be considered a creep if he did it in public--which is considerably worse than being judged trashy. The genre has a bad reputation because it is saturated with low-quality content. A lot of writers try to create erotic fiction. A lot of writers fail. If you compare erotica to historical novels, for example, you are significantly more likely to find tawdry content in the former category than in the latter, not to mention the fact that many people cringe at the believability and logic of most Adult Romance books. – Rahul2 weeks ago
This is really intriguing topic. I'm trying to think of 19th century novels that I would classify as erotica. Lady Chatterly's Lover by D.H. Lawrence (1929) comes to mind, but I haven't read it myself. I suppose Pamela; or Virtue Rewarded which is much older could work as well. But both of these novels are mainly a commentary on marriage and how sex can fit into it. I think maybe you could argue that erotica isn't considered literature because it seems like its only about the physical act and not the personal or cultural impact. – E. DeWitt1 week ago
The movie Annihilation (2018) has a pretty confusing ending with lots of interpretations. What happened to Lena? What was the significance of the mirroring alien? How does the ending tie in to the themes seen throughout the rest of the movie? Who is the Kane we see at the end of the movie?