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The death of Romanticism

The emphasis today is on getting through the day and we forget to romanticize life. Why have human beings lost connections with nature and self?

  • Discussing literary critic John Ruskin's ideas of the pathetic fallacy could work when building an argument around the emotional connection between nature and self. He noticed that the people in art (including poetry) had disappeared. As in, people were less frequently being depicted in art during this time. And so instead, human emotions were being assigned to aspects of nature. More than this though, he proffered that it was the emotional state of the human reflected into the natural aspects of the artwork. You can find this practice in the poetry of Keats, Wordsworth, and most of the big six. (This is a very rough summary of his argument, of course, Ruskin's book Modern Painters would be the text to refer to for the far more eloquent expression of his idea). – Samantha Leersen 5 days ago
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The Evolution of Frankenstein's Monster: The intelligent, the brainless, and back again

When first written by Mary Shelley, Frankenstein’s Monster was an intelligent, eloquent, and even sympathetic-in-some-lights character. The character underwent an evolution in popular culture to become an easily recognizable horror monster – a big, green, lumbering, incapable of speech or intelligence brute. Recently though, there has been a shift back to depicting Frankenstein’s monster as a misunderstood character who is equal to humans with emotions, intelligent thought, and a desire to belong. Why and how has this evolution has happened?

  • Covering the movies, Frankenstein and Young Frankenstein may prove helpful. – J.D. Jankowski 4 days ago
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The Desire for Fame in Dante Allegheri’s “Il Inferno”

In Dante’s fictional journey to hell with Virgil the poet as his guide, the vast majority of the damned that are encountered want Dante to tell of them back in the temporal world. Examples of this are Dido, Queen of Carthage (ironically written about in real life by Dante’s guide) and Ciacco the Glutton (blatantly so considering that “ciacco” is the Italian word for pig, and he behaves and looks as such).

Analyze why those in Inferno want to be remembered. Is it because this is the only joy that they have left in their horrid states (to be remembered and with the possibility of being remembered fondly)? Indeed those that do not want to be told of (mainly in the 9th Circle) did things so horrid that no fondness would be drawn in being remembered. Or is it for a more selfish reason? Does this express subtlety that pride both goes before the fall and is at the root of all evil and feeds all other evils?

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    What is the place of psychological horror and thriller in a world gone 'mad'?

    Depression, anxiety disorders, and other mental and emotional malaises are more rampant than ever. The stresses of everyday life and the constant feed of nearly apocalyptic news reaching us on a daily basis surely have something to do with our collective plight.

    How well do psychological horrors, like Psycho (1960), The Shining (1980), Jacob’s Ladder (1990); and psychological thrillers, such as The Machinist (2004); capture our current state of dis-ease?

    • Great idea. You could easily turn this one into a book, breaking the movies down by decade. You could also focus this idea into two articles: pre 9/11 and post. The major aspect is to research the experts of each era. Hitchcock, for example, is certainly guided by outdated notions concerning psychology, whereas Brad Anderson is attempting to be more informed with contemporary theories. – Michael J. Berntsen 2 years ago
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    • I second that. I'm intrigued about the respect aspect, too. That is, are these stories respectful to real people with mental illnesses? For instance, I don't watch Rain Man or many, if any films whose main characters have disabilities because they all seem to be saintly, severely affected, childlike, etc. That doesn't represent me and I don't think it respects me and other members of my minority group who are not that way. I wonder if people with mental illnesses feel the same way when they watch these films, or yet another film where the villain's primary raison d'etre is tied to psychological or psychiatric illness. – Stephanie M. 2 years ago
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    • Claims of mental illness being more "rampant than ever" would require some rigorous data research to back those up, but this is an interesting topic for sure. I wonder if this could be slightly re-framed. Instead of looking back at old films that have been rigorously analyzed for their symptomatic representations of political landscapes at the times of release, it would be interesting to try and explore films of THIS decade to try and determine a common trend in mental illness representation, and how these representations are in reaction to current events. JOKER is an obvious one, and would be an interesting centerpiece since it's just released now, and two months before the decade ends. A sort of retrospective look at this decade's cinematic view of mental illness could be very interesting and illuminating, especially with Trump's presidency taking place halfway through it. A comparative analysis between pre- and post-Trump administration films maybe. – calebwhutch 1 year ago
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    Why is it so difficult to make video game film adaptations?

    Movies based video games have a fraught past. From the goofy live action Mario Bros movies to the more modern and highly divisive Assassins Creed film, the level of success has not been high or constant for that matter. For the piece you could research a short history of some prominent video films and their failings, as well as any successful video game films, and give some insight on why the movie industry has such a strong disconnect from the gaming world.

    Is it because studio execs don’t think the gaming community wants movies based on their games? And do they?

    How does this relationship compare to the relationship between books and film? Why is it so easy to adapt a book but not a video game into film?

    One could be quick to jump to the idea that it’s simply economics: studios don’t think the video game adaptations will make money. But this all changes in 2020, with the video game market being worth more than film and sports as of recently. Video games are where the money seems to be, so why aren’t these films put in the right hands with the right funding?

    • I think one reason for this may be that the broad details of the video game’s plot aren’t fixed, whereas, in a novel, theatre script, or even a manga, it very much is. In this case, things would start to delve into a discussion of the script writer’s abilities as a creator of plots, as opposed to an editor. From here questions for an article can take a number of different directions. – J.D. Jankowski 2 months ago
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    • Additionally, video games are designed for you to be part of the action while movies are designed to have you be an observer. Some of the sequences that make video games really exciting don't translate as well to film. Character development in games may happen over 10 to 20 hours in a game like The Last of Us, but films only last 2 or 3 hours. – Sean Gadus 2 months ago
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    The Genre Blending of Benson and Moorhead

    Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead have been making horror films for almost a decade. At least, that’s how their films are classified. Upon watching them, there aren’t any jump scares, no masked killers, no creepy asylums, nothing like that. Instead, in their films Resolution, Spring, and The Endless, a large part of the running time consists of characters discussing their complicated feelings towards their situation, while the horror quietly unfolds in the background, leading to works that feel like they’re about ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances. With thick atmosphere and deep writing, the filmmakers instead seem to make other genre films with horror elements. Resolution is a character drama, Spring is a romance, and The Endless is science fiction, but all three have horror undoubtedly featured. Try to explore why each film might be called horror, and also why they might avoid the label. Also some points to keep in mind are how the character arcs are informed by the horror parts of the narrative, how the directors are able to maintain a grip on atmosphere, and why the scarier elements are essential to the development of the plot.

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      The American Context of Conspiracy Thrillers

      ’60s and Mid ’70s films made during the Conspiracy Thriller boom such as Manchurian Candidate (1962), Parallax View (1974), All the President’s Men (1976), and Stepford Wives (1975) seem to coordinate a critique or valorization of specifically American contexts. Manchurian Candidate demonstrates a stunning loss of American wartime innocence and domestic conspiracy in the same year John F. Kennedy was assassinated, resulting in the film being pulled from theatrical release. The Parallax View takes the notion of an American working against his/her own people a step further by enlisting an actual domestic cabal pulling the strings behind a patsy. All the President’s Men brings this fear of local threats home (literally and figuratively) with a very accurate retelling of the Watergate Scandal, a scheme that went right to the Oval Office. The purpose of this essay would be to select two to three of these films and identify what conventions used within these films spoke to an American context, and if possible, find what these films critiqued about American society in greater detail and how these concerns are relevant today. Some of the conventions include themes, characters, locations, symbols, and color coordination.

      • I would strongly encourage whomever decides to write this topic to pick just one or two of these films, maybe three maximum, to discuss in greater detail. The argument could become confused if the writer attempts to cover too much. By narrowing the focus, the writer will have more space to delve deeply. Of course, it is ultimately the writer's prerogative. – Samantha Leersen 1 week ago
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      • Thanks for the suggested revisions. It was my intention to give those films off as a list of possible examples to select from rather than propose to cover them all in one go. I went ahead and corrected it. – Runestrand 1 week ago
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      The Unpopularity of the Ebook

      Ebooks, despite being easier to access, quicker to arrive, sometimes cheaper, and easier to store than physical books, have never managed to outsell physical books. In fact, they do not even come close. Explore the possible reasons why this might be the case: material nature of print, satisfaction of flipping a page, ability to show books off, an examination of the differences between platforms (Kobo, Kindle, etc.), e-platforms (Kindle app, Google Play Store, etc.), and file types viability (epub, pdf, etc.), and the aesthetic/artistic parts of the physical book.

      Article about ebook sales: (link) you prefer reading an,print on paper still wins.&text=“The book lover loves to,the rest of the world.

      • Good start. Can you supplement with some statistics on the sale of print books vs. ebooks? – Stephanie M. 4 weeks ago
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      • Perhaps another point of discussion could be the artistic elements of books. The different kinds of binding, the cover art, etc. – Samantha Leersen 4 weeks ago
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      • I know that a study had been done, where reading comprehension on computer devices was lower when compared to physical books. Perhaps people are aware of this issue intuitively on some level. Just a thought. – J.D. Jankowski 1 week ago
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      • You might also want to explore some benefits ebooks have over printed books, to flesh out the argument. For one thing, they allow readers to choose fonts, font sizes, line spacing, margins, etc. Readers can even opt for the text-to-speech function (when available). These choices provide a flexible format that can be more accessible to readers, especially those who cannot read traditional printed books – Mya 1 week ago
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      • Perhaps one could, as you've already indicated, analyze the physical nature of completing a book. Dog-eared pages, bent spines, handwritten notes along the margins, etc., all contribute to the 'reading' of a novel. Can the ebook hope to replicate or replace this physical relationship between reader and text?Additionally, what is the impact of looking at a screen? The screen might appear as paper, but the reader always knows they are viewing something electronic. Does this change the way a reader might read a text? For instance, word-finding tools are immediately present within a ebook, whereas one must actively search for something specific within a physical text. Is the presence of tools something that helps the reader in their understanding, or does it hinder progression by allowing readers to read 'easier'? – hooooogs 6 days ago
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      Film

      Phantom Thread: The House That Always Changes
      Phantom Thread: The House That Always Changes
      The Green Mile: Exploring Emotional Responses
      The Quiet Man: A Classic with a Lot to Say
      Memory in Film: Mementos and Maneuvering Through the Past

      TV

      The Good Fight: The Real, The Plausible, and Donald Trump’s Legacy
      The Good Fight: The Real, The Plausible, and Donald Trump’s Legacy
      The Heartbreaking Symbolism of The Clone Helmet In Star Wars: The Clone Wars’s Final Episodes
      The Donald Show: Trump, Television, and Manufactured Reality
      The Portrayal of Feminism in Fleabag (2016)

      Animation

      Frozen: Letting Go of Gender Stereotypes?
      Frozen: Letting Go of Gender Stereotypes?
      Daria and the Clichéd Representation of Teenagers
      The Complex Lessons of Environmentally-Motivated Animation
      Story of Will Vinton and Laika Studios

      Anime

      Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt: Breaking the mold of classic feminism
      Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt: Breaking the mold of classic feminism
      Fafner in the Azure: Identity, Community, and Alienation
      Genkaku Azuma: Anatomy of a Tragic Villain
      Shiro’s Sexuality in Voltron: Legendary Defender

      Manga

      Elfen Lied’s Eugenic Underpinnings
      Elfen Lied’s Eugenic Underpinnings
      The Horrifying Appeal of Junji Ito
      One Punch Man vs. My Hero Academia: Reconstructing the Silver Age of Comics
      Manga: How to Travel Between Dimensions

      Comics

      Monstress: World-Building With a Feminist Twist
      Monstress: World-Building With a Feminist Twist
      Why Has Batman’s Origin Remained So Iconic?
      Feminist Criticism of Society and Comic Books’ Past
      The Batman/Catwoman Wedding Is Supposed to Upset You

      Literature

      Gothic Fiction and the ‘Regressive Evolution’ Anxiety
      Gothic Fiction and the ‘Regressive Evolution’ Anxiety
      The Persistent Allure of Victorian Literature
      Madness and Selfishness in Lady Audley’s Secret
      Books to Discover French Literature

      Arts

      How YouTube Commodifies Experience
      How YouTube Commodifies Experience
      Welcome to Night Vale: More Conservative Than It Seems
      Dragons: East versus West
      Social Realism, New Masses & Diego Rivera

      Writing

      Using Musical Theater as a Literary Muse
      Using Musical Theater as a Literary Muse
      The Pillars of Outstanding Stories
      The Impact of Writing on Well-Being and Self-Development
      Riddles in Rhetoric: Learning from Bilbo and Gollum about Linguistic Segregation