Elisabeth

Elisabeth

Contributing writer for The Artifice.

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    Film Flop: Why Stephen King's Movies Bomb at the Box Office

    Anyone who is a fan of Stephen King’s work knows that the vast majority of the film adaptations of his books are absolutely horrible. There are a few notable exceptions: The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile, and Stand by Me (based on the novella The Body). Using specific examples of some of his book-to-movie failures (Dreamcatcher immediately comes to mind), discuss possible reasons for why his books make such bad movies. Or conversely, compare one of his movie successes (Shawshank, for example) to one of his film failures, and discuss what aspects of the work/screen writing/acting/directing/etc. made the one successful and the other a failure.

    • When talking about this, make sure one uses the Shining as a reference. How the Stanley Kubrick adaptation was successful, it was hated by Stephen King himself. Wasn't till years later he managed to make it into a miniseries with his vision but was critically panned. Probably showing the difference of how he's better for writing for stories, but sadly his vision doesn't translate well to the silver screen. – Ryan Walsh 5 years ago
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    • It's also worth noting that The Shawshank Redemption, while a masterful piece of storytelling and filmmaking, wasn't such a success at the box office, instead making its name through critical acclaim and a cult following that developed. Interesting that the film wasn't fully appreciated or even widely noticed on its release. Perhaps it would be useful to mention this when talking about the general appeal of King's work. – IRBurnett 5 years ago
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    The YA Crossover: Why Adults are Reading Teen Fiction

    Discuss what aspects of specific YA novels or YA series (e.g. The Hunger Games trilogy, the Harry Potter books, etc.) make these works interesting and engaging for adults despite the fact that they were written for a teenage audience.

    • Hello! I've done a bit of research on this myself most especially on the Hunger Games and Harry Potter, and have read a plethora of adult books. I can say quite surely that the interest in YA books for adults is that the books are different. A lot of those in the adult genre follow a script based on the genre and therefore they all eventually sound the same and are predictable. YA books are more unique because the authors have more freedom and are more creative and adults crave that in order to break up the monotony of real life. – cconte3612 5 years ago
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    • ^^Monotony of life is spot on. Books, like most media, are an escape. The core themes of YA fiction line up perfectly with the "drifting off day dreams" of adult life: Rebelling against a system, feeling of being a "chosen one" picked out of nowhere, self-importance, etc. Adults look at these stories in the scope of a fun dream reality, where as the teens and younger readers that the works are skewed towards read them as a potential future for themselves. – KJarboe 5 years ago
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    Latest Comments

    Elisabeth

    De Sade’s name has become synonymous with sexual sadism even for those who have absolutely no idea of the content and context of de Sade’s work.
    To dismiss his work simply because it is often horrifying is to give in to “antiquated virtue.” To read it for no other reason than the fact that it is horrifying isn’t any better.
    Literature is constantly pushing boundaries, finding new ground, and challenging its readers to think. De Sade found undiscovered countries with his writing, not because of its grotesque aspects, but because it speaks to something deep inside all of us, something primal and terrifying, that many people don’t want to believe exists, much less acknowledge.

    The Marquis de Sade and Literary Terror
    Elisabeth

    Fairy tales, especially the original versions, give us hope that despite the horrible things that we may endure throughout our lives, things will work out for the best in the end. Though most of the stories in our common lexicon come from a Judaeo-Christian, European source, they also employ the distinctly Eastern idea of karma: what goes around comes around.
    Even in the Disney-fied versions, especially the early movies, the villain often comes to a violent end: the queen in Snow White falls off a cliff, and Maleficent in Sleeping Beauty is killed in her dragon form. Even Ursula in The Little Mermaid is run through by the prow of a sunken ship. Violence is and always has been a large part of our culture, and this fact was especially true in the extremely dangerous world that the stories originated in.
    To gloss over and pretty up fairy tales is to do a disservice to the stories and to the people who watch them in their film versions. I’m certainly not advocating violence for its own sake, but fairy tales are more than just stories. They’re lessons, and to take away an integral part of those stories is to take away the wisdom that we can learn from them.

    Clarifying Current Understandings of Fairytales: The Princess or the Goblin?
    Elisabeth

    The true success of a character, whether in film or prose, depends on how well the audience can identify with that character. Shrek, Belle, and Daffy are all odd or outcasts because they don’t follow the traditional model of what a hero/heroine is and how he or she interacts with the world.
    How many of us can really identify with Cinderella and her fairy godmother or Ariel who wins the heart of her prince simply because of how well she sings? We want to be Ariel and Cinderella, but we know deep down we never will be, We can, however, identify with Shrek and Belle who win their respective prince/princess because of who they are, not because of magical intervention or love at first sight, and we can see in them pieces of ourselves.
    While Daffy isn’t a hero, acting as more of a foil for the more popular Bugs, we identify with Daffy because we see in him things that we recognize in ourselves: anger, jealousy, and the overwhelming desire to best a rival who always wins. Daffy also stays true to himself, and even though he never “wins,” he also never gives up.
    That their character traits are conveyed by simple actions–Shrek’s walk, Belle’s constant struggle with her hair, the expressiveness of Daffy’s eyes–emphasizes that the little details are the ones that are the most important and what make a character truly real.

    The Use of Animation to Convey Character Traits