Kayleigh Hall

Kayleigh Hall

Film watcher, animal lover, girl from that Marillion song.

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    Latest Articles

    Latest Topics

    6

    Media Literacy and the Meta-Narrative

    Discuss the rise of self-referential, "meta" narratives in contemporary film and television, and the links to the rising media literacy of consumers. Considering the introduction of media education in schools, particularly on English syllabuses, how has the audience’s understanding of media conventions and tropes affected the writing of media?
    In the UK in particular, English education in schools now has mandatory coverage of media writing. People are growing up with a knowledge of story structure, tropes, and genre conventions. This is leading to a rise in films and television which make deliberate nods to these conventions. Some examples: Community (TV series), Deadpool (Film), Scott Pilgrim vs The World (Film), Black Mirror (TV Series), Spaced (TV Series).

    • It's a little vague, maybe through some definitions to help clarify? – Andi 10 months ago
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    • This is a really fascinating topic! You make a good point that "meta" narratives assume that the audience is knowledgeable about that form of media, including the tropes that constitute it. But this topic is a little broad. I would suggest picking one form of media (tv, film, books, etc.) and finding examples of meta narratives and then compare their critical and popular reception. Then, the audience's understanding of meta conventions and tropes could be more acutely analyzed. I would really like to read an article about this! – Eden 9 months ago
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    • The central idea is an excellent one, but defining forms of media will help give structure and clarity to your central aim. For instance, how do you specifically define “meta-narrative?” Does it refer to specific tropes and story-telling conventions, or is there something more to mention? Highlighting the odds and ends of these terms will help flesh out the article. Consider also the effects of online fan activity in pushing creators to cater to those interests, even to the point of altering story threads to avoid being predictable. – James Polk 5 months ago
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    • What this article needs is specifics. Giving examples of the so called "meta" narratives and literacy might give some context to what you are talking about instead of simply generalizing. – thestorydude7 3 months ago
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    Horror in your Front Room

    How does the experience of watching horror film differ when watching on streaming and on-demand services at home? With the rise of Netflix originals, is there still a place for cinema screenings of these films? In particular with the genre of horror, how much is the setting of your viewing an important part of the experience?

    • An interesting idea that's not often thought of. I feel like there might even be other factors that impact the experience of viewing horror--not just the location, but also the time of day, and who else is around you (if anyone is at all). – Debs 11 months ago
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    • I think the location when viewing a horror film is extremely pertinent in the viewing experience. Watching something alone in a cinema may give a completely different reaction than watching with someone in a brightly lit lounge room streamed to the TV. I think it's dependant on what kind of film you're watching, which influences what setting you should watch it with. – monbronte 8 months ago
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    Latest Comments

    Kayleigh Hall

    I loved Gilmore Girls, but unfortunately whenever I re-watch the series now I find myself disliking Rory more and more.
    Maybe it’s because I know how her character develops into a privileged tantrum-throwing (yacht stealing?!) brat towards the later series and it really casts some shade on her early characterisation. Not to mention the fact that Rory never has to answer for any of her actions and still gets everything she wants falling into her lap, because everybody in the entire on-screen world is inexplicably head-over-heels in love with her.

    5 Reasons to Watch Gilmore Girls
    Kayleigh Hall

    I think the problem with sex in video games is where the cut-off is with player involvement. Video games revolve around player controlled actions: walk here, hit this, kill him. You can choose to seduce other characters and there can be sex scenes, but I’m unsure whether sex in games could ever be, how’d you say, interactive, without seeming exploitative. On the other hand, it can feel exploitative now because of its reliance on cut-scenes and pre-determined action. It’s an interesting and difficult topic.

    Game of Thrones as a Game: A look into Simulated Sex
    Kayleigh Hall

    Great article.
    I was surprised to find myself getting hooked on HIMYM, it isn’t my sort of TV show and it definitely isn’t perfectly written, but it has the sort of characters and situations that are ultimately endearing and so I ended up watching it a lot.
    I think they ran themselves into a dead end by not really thinking about the ultimate “meet” enough or how to approach it. I recently read a forum thread (can’t remember where, sorry!) in which fans were discussing that the main point of the series so far has been Ted getting over Robin. The meeting of the mother seems to occur as soon as he lets go of Robin (at her wedding). This however means that the series, despite having mentions of the mother throughout, has leaned heavily on the relationship between Robin and Ted, and so by the time we get to the meeting, there’s no real background to the relationship between Ted and the mother.
    The writers were stuck either way they went: end the series at the meeting of the mother and it would have been a complete anti-climax, because we ultimately know nothing about her; carry on the series after the meeting, following their relationship and it would no longer be following the premise of “How I Met Your Mother” and people wouldn’t be as interested.
    And so the writers have tried to create a middle ground, but as you’ve pointed out, it isn’t really working. Showing their later relationship is meant to help us care about the couple, but firstly, it feels forced and rushed (one season of development for their relationship, eight seasons for the relationship with Robin), and secondly, as you stated, it adds nothing to the overall “present” storyline of how he met their mother. It’s really frustrating. The creators wrote themselves into a wall.

    Time Jumps in How I Met Your Mother: Why We're Not Buying It Now
    Kayleigh Hall

    I found this article really interesting, because I know that I am personally guilty of disliking Girls primarily because I perceive it to be very narcissistic.
    However, I now realise embracing narcissism is all part of enjoying the work of so-called “auteurs”. I’m now questioning myself in regards to whether I need to actually like the personality of the creator before I can enjoy the work.
    I worry that Lena Dunham’s projection of herself in all of her work will not only lead to her exhausting her source of material, but will lead to people becoming bored of her style and, like me, might begin to view it as self-absorbed.
    I appreciate that Dunham is a very talented writer, and so I hope she can go on to find more and more creative ways to explore her ideas.

    A New Breed of Auteurism in HBO's 'Girls'
    Kayleigh Hall

    You are very welcome! I really hope you enjoy the film.

    Sound and Silence in 'Gravity': In Space, No One Can Hear You...
    Kayleigh Hall

    I’ve always been disappointed by American Horror Story simply because I feel like it could do so much more! As a particularly avid fan of macabre history and folklore, I wish AHS would delve more into the dark history of American than it does.
    Madame LaLaurie was a real woman. Her atrocities were real and almost unbelievable. Yet the show seemed to make a mockery of a true event. Other examples of not-so-sensitive inclusions in previous series: Elizabeth Short in Murder House and Anne Frank (?) in Asylum.

    Rather than truly interesting explorations of seedy horrific history, every series has felt like a soap opera which is constantly trying to shock me. Its approach to this is strange, as, if other people’s reactions are anything to go by, apparently people do find this show very unsettling. I must be a hardened weirdo because it all actually feels very tame to me! It feels like every time there is a strange sexually-charged scene or bit of gore that everybody on screen is relishing just how strange and scary (!) they’re being.

    I think so much of the writing in the series is problematic. You mention that it could feel like fan-fiction and I completely agree. I felt like there were certain plot turns which only served some silly little childish plot and completely betrayed any attempt at character development beforehand. Case in point: two characters, recently brought back from the dead, and previously both sexually abused – Madison, being gang-raped, and Kyle, abused by his mother – meet each other and decide that the ultimate way they must express their sadness is to instantly start boning. So much for addressing their previous issues. Instead, it just served to give more meat to an already silly love triangle plot line.

    I feel like I’ve already ranted far too much about the show so I’ll definitely stop now.

    Great article.

    5 Reasons the Spell Wore Off on American Horror Story: Coven
    Kayleigh Hall

    Well, thanks for your thoughts, we can’t all agree!

    The thing that struck me most about the use of sound in the film wasn’t any particular innovation with the score but rather how the sound-scape was particularly important in demonstrating Ryan’s journey, and how it was an appropriate representation of her distance from, and return to, Earth.

    The use of silence, as opposed to sound, impressed me. The “typically bombastic” score, as you describe it, served its purpose during action scenes, as you will find in any blockbuster film. But it also served to contrast harshly with the moments of sudden silence. Personally, I found it to be quite emotionally evocative and was one particular thing I came away from the film having especially enjoyed.

    Sound and Silence in 'Gravity': In Space, No One Can Hear You...
    Kayleigh Hall

    Great article; I especially want to thank you for that blast from the past with the PlayStation start-up music, oh the memories!
    I only recently got round to playing the Bioshock series and one of the main things that really stuck with me was the fantastic use of music within the games.
    The greatest example of incredible game scoring I can think of has to be the work Akira Yamaoka has done for the Silent Hill series. Despite the narratives being incredible, I don’t think they’d be half the games without his input, and so it’s a real shame that with Downpour they stepped away from the type of work he’s done in the past, instead choosing to use a Korn song as it’s main theme. The OSTs for Silent Hill 1-4 are particularly good purchases if you ever come across them, you can listen to them again and again.

    The Role of Music in Videogames