Karen

Karen

Contributing writer for The Artifice.

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    Latest Articles

    Latest Topics

    5

    The Use of Music in Baby Driver

    Analyze the use of music in the film. The music Baby listens to becomes a major part of the movie’s score and also serves to punctuate many of the film’s amazing chase sequences; it is often synced perfectly to the action, as Baby is meticulous in timing the music just right. A film’s score is always deliberately attuned to the story’s plot and themes, but do the musical choices, timing, and the fact it is usually coming from a character’s iPod produce a new or different effect upon the viewer?

    • I have yet to see baby driver but I hugely appreciate a good soundtrack in a movie so this topic would be great to explore the importance of music in film and how it can at times be equally as effective as special effects and dialogue. The Dark Knight trilogy is a great example of this as I believe Hans Zimmer's composure on that made it all the more amazing. – AdilYoosuf 1 month ago
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    • It would be helpful to add a track-listing for the Baby Driver soundtrack, and possibly a link to its iTunes page so readers can have a place to sample songs track by track in case they forget a song. – TeriekWilliams1988 1 month ago
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    • I recently watched a clip from an interview where the actors talked about the fact that music was a big part of this film already in the scripting phase. They even wrote a special program to help readers experience the story and the music together while they were shopping it around. https://youtu.be/RB7E0geIeV8 – derBruderspielt 1 month ago
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    • There are various very useful video essays on this topic on YouTube, typing Baby Driver essay on it should find some. – Henry 6 days ago
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    2

    The Women of The Bold Type

    The first season of The Bold Type just concluded and it has received overwhelmingly positive reviews from critics and viewers alike. For a show predicated on the lives of three young women – Jane, Sutton, and Kat – working at a women’s magazine, the writers could have easily made its characters vapid and its plot shallow or overly predictable, or pit the three females together in competition with each other. Instead, these women each occupy their own department within the magazine and only ever try to support each other as they navigate their love lives, sexuality, jobs, and identities.
    Analyze the diversity of The Bold Type’s major female characters (Jane, Sutton, Kat, but even Jacqueline and Adena are useful for this discussion): their strengths, faults, and growth throughout the season. How does the characterization of these women, and the obstacles they must overcome, contribute to the show’s overarching theme of female empowerment?

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      Being Above the Law in "How to Get Away With Murder"

      Analyze the issue of the show’s main characters being involved in law yet acting above it (i.e. through murders, blackmailing, theft). What are the implications of this hypocrisy and how can this form a commentary on modern society or human nature? How is the show so appealing despite the characters going against simple black-and-white laws most people have been raised to instinctively follow? How can we condemn real-life criminals, yet root for these fictional ones as they do the exact same thing? Do the characters’ backstories inform and alter our perspective of them, humanizing them so it becomes more difficult to see them as villains?

      • This is a brilliant idea, particularly in the case of Annalise. – Sonia Charlotta Reini 11 months ago
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      • I recently watched the first two seasons again after that nail-biting cliffhanger in the middle of season three. This time around I was quite impressed how the characters really struggle with what they have done. Everything is internalized and they are not as heartless as they pretend to be. They each have unique reactions and coping mechanisms, and as you pointed out, they are indeed humanized because we can clearly see that they all have a strong moral compass. I really like this idea! – AlexanderLee 11 months ago
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      • I think this is a great topic but it definately can be broadened into the appeal of anti-heroes in general and also the nature of empathy. Whether its Annalise, Dexter, or Batman- we're actively rooting for the people who are taking the law into their own hands because we've been convinced these are criminals/conspiracies the justice system simply cannot handle or wouldn't understand. We forgave the Keating five for Sam's death because he was shown to be a terrible guy responsible for the murder of a missing college student. In the same vein, Dexter was a sociopathic serial killer but because he lived by a code the audience could still be convinced to root for him. We lived in his head and understood his motivations. But if it was an episode of Criminal Minds we'd 100% be rooting for them to catch him. The characters who are humanized and relatable are easy to make excuses for. – LC Morisset 9 months ago
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      • I think the reason we tend to support otherwise morally corrupt characters is because, through seeing their backstory and, in the case of Annalise, compromising relationship with her husband, they seem more human and relatable. Another excellent example of this would be those who supported Walter Whites actions in Breaking bad, Walter was arguably one of the most morally questionable characters we've had to date blowing up nursing homes, dissolving bodies in hydrofluoric acid but when we see his motives, he is instantly humanised. We see that he, just like us is doing what he is doing for his family and this is thereby adequate justification. Its quite intriguing how we, as an audience are more inclined to support and understand a characters actions when we see just what drives them to do what they do. – AdilYoosuf 6 months ago
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      Latest Comments

      Karen

      Hiya, I’m Canadian too, and I would definitely encourage you to read it! I actually read it last year for a university science class, and it was really eye-opening. I think this article captures Atwood’s effectiveness at depicting such a terrifying world that tips into ethically gray areas for genetics and government power.

      Oryx and Crake: Why Atwood Matters
      Karen

      All great suggestions, and a wonderful way of breaking down just how graphic novels offer an assortment of genres to such a wide variety of people. It’s almost overwhelming to pick *one* graphic novel to start with if you’re new to it, but I definitely agree that there’s something out there for everyone.

      Comic Books, Adults, and a History of Stigmatization
      Karen

      I adored Nimona! I think it’s very aware of itself as a graphic novel, and a decent starter for anyone wishing to get into the medium.

      Comic Books, Adults, and a History of Stigmatization
      Karen

      Well put!
      As an English major myself, I can understand why classic literature is so highly regarded – though even I sometimes question the process of canonization that elevates certain works and disregards others deserving of more exposure. However, disregarding comics as a whole merely because they seem to be less nuanced than certain literature/books is a damaging approach to comics that I entirely disagree with.
      I actually took a “Comics and Cartoons” course last summer as a part of my English degree. I took it mostly because I was a casual manga and comics reader, loved superhero movies, and wanted a greater exposure to comics as a medium. I ended up becoming exposed to a lot of the great titles I’ve mentioned in my article, and the course as a whole shaped how I now view comics.
      I also realized how much you can discuss about comics in terms of colour, composition, use of frames, style of art. As an English major, I am used to discussing themes, characters, and how sentences are structured, or analyzing stories through specific literary lenses. But comics have an entirely visual element to them that brings so much more analysis and it was a genuine pleasure writing essays on how these elements enhanced the comics’ stories and how you could read them.

      Comic Books, Adults, and a History of Stigmatization
      Karen

      It’s a shame you’ve had these experiences – and that these people have a narrow understanding of the wonderful content of comic books. It’s certainly an example that helps prove my point here.
      But that is an incredibly adorable quote and here’s to hoping that kid doesn’t “grow out” of comics just because he’s told to.

      Comic Books, Adults, and a History of Stigmatization
      Karen

      Thank you! Comic books have a really rich history that reflects many real social and political anxieties – especially post-WW2 and during the Cold War, as you’ve mentioned – and I hoped to uncover some of those complexities and the evolution within my article.

      Comic Books, Adults, and a History of Stigmatization
      Karen

      Admittedly, I haven’t encountered this problem myself, though I do understand where you’re coming from. When I offer non-movie background on characters to my friends who only know the movie-versions of the characters, they’re generally surprised and interested by the random fact – so that might just be a testament to the kinds of people I have surrounded myself with, and their reception to “nerd culture”.
      As I mentioned in my article, comic book characters often have so many iterations that a single movie (or even cinematic universe) cannot even begin scratching the surface – so it’s a shame if people only look at the movie version as the “ideal” or only valid interpretation of the character.

      Comic Books, Adults, and a History of Stigmatization
      Karen

      Thank you for sharing! I totally understand this feeling of embarrassment, reading comics in public. Like you, it definitely took me a while to get over it. I’ve had this same experience reading manga too – I took a volume of Fullmetal Alchemist once to university to read before class and was so concerned that people were just looking at its front cover and wondering, ‘What the hell is this girl reading?’
      But just as you say, it’s usually an overblown concern – people are usually too caught up in their own world and worries to really care about what *you* specifically are doing. I’m glad you’ve found a way to now enjoy comics as they deserve to be enjoyed 🙂

      Comic Books, Adults, and a History of Stigmatization