Rachel Elfassy Bitoun

Rachel Elfassy Bitoun

Truly addicted to art, cinema, literature, animation, theatre and music... I need my daily dose of culture and this is where I get it!

Correspondent II

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  • Articles
    19
  • Featured
    16
  • Comments
    166
  • Ext. Comments
    96
  • Processed
    104
  • Revisions
    86
  • Topics
    48
  • Topics Taken
    0
  • Notes
    71
  • Topics Proc.
    90
  • Topics Rev.
    26
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  • Rank
    6
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    3232

    Latest Articles

    Film
    59
    Literature
    41
    Literature
    30
    Film
    38
    Film
    33
    Film
    32
    Film
    38
    Film
    25

    Latest Topics

    10

    Shakespeare in Films

    Select a few of Shakespeare plays that have been adapted in films and analyse them. What can film techniques bring to the plays? How does it change our relationships to characters? The story? Are there elements that can only be efficient on stage? What do actors who do both (David Tennant, Kenneth Branagh, Ian McKellen etc…) say about the difference between performing Shakespeare on stage and in front of a camera?

    • Wow, there's a lot here to talk about! I love this topic and am excited to see it. Paring this down into specifics would be easier to write about. For example, Branagh is probably the most prolific in bringing Shakespeare to film, so it might be interesting to choose just one of his film adaptations and write at length about what it brings to (or detracts from) the play. Most directors these days set Shakespeare in different time periods; how does Branagh's version of Hamlet, for example, set a tone that may be different from a displaced staged version? – Katheryn 1 year ago
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    • A very interesting concept and will make a great article. There are certainly many things you propose to be discussed here. I think first of all the title should reflect that you are trying to do a comparison or discuss both Film and on stage plays. In addition, it will be beneficial to narrow down the discussion to a degree as it might result in a very long article that would not have coherency and a good flow. Compare and contrast topics are very interesting read and fun to do, but if there are too many elements, the article becomes difficult to follow. – Arazoo Ferozan 1 year ago
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    • BBC's Hollow Crown trilogy would be a good adaptation to explore (even though it's a mini-series) as many of the actors in it also did stage work. The recent Macbeth (2015) film would interesting as well given how pared down it was--mostly striking visuals and score, but very little of the play's actual lines. A question, maybe, of conveying atmosphere and tone vs. faithfully sticking to the original. – Tiffany 1 year ago
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    • As others have noted, there is a lot to explore/discuss here. There are numerous adaptations of Shakespeare's plays that can lend important insight to your piece - especially if you're thinking about it in a global context. How do adaptations outside of the English language come closer to or further from the original? How do certain cultural or community specific values (i.e. arranged marriages in certain cultures) impact an adaptation's depiction or love, duty, remorse, etc. Maqbool (2004) is an awesome example of some of these questions and issues. If you're thinking of expanding to a more global context that is a great place to start! – GemMarr 10 months ago
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    • This is a very broad topic, maybe stick to one popular and well adapted Shakespeare play. Also keep in mind the historical context of live action plays: they were supposed to engage the audience to get involved, for example the well known fact that audiences used to throw tomatoes at actors. But the audience could also contribute real time opinions and feelings to a play, even help improvise lines. Audience participation is something film adaptations lack. I'm not sure if you have studied more modern plays, like Beckett or Susan Lori-Parks, but the trend of post modern plays is to implicate the audience and make us feel culpable. I know this might be going off track, but it would be an interesting research. Good luck! – Rayna 10 months ago
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    8

    Identifying the James Bond Girl

    The ‘James Bond Girl’, as we like to refer to the main female characters in the Bond series, has had many faces and many different nationalities, from Sophie Marceau to Lea Seydoux (yes, a lot of French girls! Does that say anything about our conceptions of French women and the images we associate with them?). It would be interesting to have a look at the different performances/interpretations in the Bond filmography. What ideals of femininity do they relay? How do nationality and foreignness affect their performances? What does that bring? What are our expectations of the James Bond girl? How do they compare with books?

    • This sounds so interesting, it would also be interesting to see how the portrayals have changed through the decades. – Austin Bender 1 year ago
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    • And of course the one woman to be a bond girl twice, Maud Adams. And the fact that fans rejected Halle Barry, because she was already famous. And a dozen other things. Whether you approach this from a analysis of hollywood hiring practices, feminine ideals or just narrative structure of James Bond, this is a great topic. – CrunchyEnglish 1 year ago
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    • This is a good topic to see how the role has evolved. – Munjeera 1 year ago
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    • Great topic! And also, what her significance is to the film and James Bond and what her contributions are to the storyline. – Jaye Freeland 1 year ago
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    • This is particularly interesting in light of the latest film--which features the oldest bond girl to date (though of course, she's still gorgeous). I think Daniel Craig himself said in interviews that Bond is a chauvinist, and that the latest bond girl (played by Léa Seydoux) is more than young enough to be his daughter. "Beauty," and therefore age, is definitely a big factor. – Tiffany 1 year ago
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    • How interesting! I agree with the above -- one might also ask how each Bond girl reflects her time period and the contemporary fears and hopes that might have gone into her character as a "foil" for Bond. – sophiacatherine 1 year ago
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    4

    French Canadian Cinema

    Quebec’s film industry is commonly regarded as a distinct entity from its English Canadian counterpart. Write a study and history of French Canadian Cinema, looking at filmmakers like Xavier Dolan, Atom Egoyan, Denis Villeneuve…. What makes it paricular? How can it be exported? Is there a Hollywood/Canadian influence?

    • I suggest you add "and" before Denis Villeneuve and immediately put a period after the name. You do not really need the ellipsis and the question can stand on its own. However, you can use the ellipsis, but it's three periods and not four. – Diego Santoyo 1 year ago
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    1

    A comprehensive History of Twickenham Studios

    Twickenham Studios in the UK might not be well known, yet they have worked for the past century on enormous films. They have produced the Beatles films in the 1960s, The Italian Job with Michael Caine, My Week with Marilyn, The Iron Lady, War Horse, Kick-Ass among others. They are also particularly famous for their post-production work, receiving Emmys, BaFTAS and Oscar nominations for their sound editing of The Martian or Amy for example. Celebrating their 100th anniversary, it would be interesting for someone to look into their history and create a retrospective of their most famous work.

    • I have never heard of Twickenham before - this would be really interesting! Great idea. – Katheryn 1 year ago
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    0

    Black Mirror - what to expect of the new season

    The new season of Black Mirror is in production. Netflix has now bought the rights and is changing the structure of the series, expanding to 12 episodes for this new season. They will no longer feature on TV but exclusively on Netflix and online. What can we expect from the new season? Will these changes impact the quality of the narrative? Will the themes be explored in a similar way and as thoroughly? Do you think they would benefit from linking episodes together since they now have more (although this might not be their ambition)?

    • Black Mirror is a good show to focus on, being that it is, in fact, Britain's response to our "Twilight Zone." – WebJJohnston 1 year ago
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    BBC 3's turn to Digital

    The TV Channel BBC 3 has just turned into an online channel, abandoning its television platform to embrace the digital entirely. It has always targeted young people yet had low audiences and did not make much profit. The decision to turn completely digital and online seems to be BBC’s way to keep its ‘young’ audience, who spends more time online than in front of the TV. What is there to gain? What is there to loose? How far until a TV channel is pushed to completely reinvent itself? Is the future of TV online?

      1

      The work of Concept Artists

      The work of Concept Artists is one of passion, hard-work, determination and patience. They come up with incredible designs that really help the production and give a visual stimuli to directors, producers, set designers, production managers and art directors. They manage to translate the director’s and screenwriter’s vision into beautiful images that are then used as a basis to convey the film’s atmosphere and tone. They also help the technicians (lighting, camera work) and touch upon all aspects of production. It would be interesting if someone decided to shed a bit more light on these works. What is a concept artist? What do they achieve? How do they impact? Also, would be really interesting to find the concept art for big films to illustrate the point, like Harry Potter, Lord of The Rings or Marvel Universe films etc…

      • Disney animated films also have really beautiful concept art. – MichelleAjodah 1 year ago
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      • Another great movie to have a concept art for is Sleeping Beauty. – SpectreWriter 1 year ago
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      4

      The conditions for watching films: the importance of the big screen

      This is a hard topic to write about so the article will probably have to be personal yet rely on statistics, investigations and numbers as well. The conditions of how we watch a film are extremely important as they influence our reception, understanding and appreciation of the film. Watching a classic like The Usual Suspects on a small screen is never as satisfying as watching it on a big screen. Yet classics are very rarely projected again on big screens. In Paris, a cinema has just opened, specializing in projecting Hollywood and French classics on a big screen once again for the public. How much are screen size and ratio important in our experience of the film? How can you read a film through the cinema experience and through the home experience? How aware are the distributors on this subject and how does it influence their decision? In contrast, can we appreciate a film more at home, in the comfort of our personal space? How does our experience change if we watch it on TV? On a laptop?

      • I think it changes in that when we goto a theater, we are going out of our way for that experience. The theater is exclusively a place for films to be watched, the home is not so. Our attention is easily diverted and in all likelihood not as audio/visually potent as the theater system. The common moviegoer will always deny caring about film vs digital, big screen vs little, high quality sound vs low, or anything else in regard to the film's aesthetic. The thing is that those things make an effect whether or not you realize they are or not. You know something about to come crashing through this door, but why did you know? Because Tarantino Dollied in on the door. This scene feels warm and romantic, but why? Because of the delicate lighting. These things will always make a difference, even to those people who deny their importance. – AaronHunt 2 years ago
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      • I've always found a horror to be more frightening in a cinema, a comedy to be more hilarious, and an action sequence to move me closer to the edge of my seat. There's something to be said for group-think, shared emotions in space, and the ability of a theater-goer to feed on the thoughts and emotional reactions of others.Also, my living room can never get as delectably dark as a movie theater. That's important in my book. – Derek Jackson 2 years ago
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      • I think the question of medium specificity is often overlooked. This question looks like a great jumping point for a discussion about the sensual or material qualities of cinema. Thank you for sharing. – InAugust 2 years ago
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      Latest Comments

      Rachel Elfassy Bitoun

      And yes, by having that power of language, I could choose my own books and try new things. That and thanks to a mother in love with literature and pushing me to read lots of different things, reading me tales from Ancient Greece, Africa, Japan and so on

      Translating Children Books: Difficulties and Reluctances
      Rachel Elfassy Bitoun

      I’m glad you asked this – I think it is essential to teach children different languages, and the earlier the better. At an early stage, they can assimilate the language and the accent with ease.

      I am 100% behind it and know it works because I have experienced it myself – I am French, born in Paris, lived there for 18 years of my life, and never spoke English at home. But I was in an international/bilingual school and learned to read and write in English at 5 years old. With different methods of teaching, programs to completely immerse children within the English language, supported by American, English, Australian, Scottish teacher… I became bilingual in a matter of 2 or 3 years. From then on, we studied literature – English, American, African, Asian etc. Then we studied Spanish authors, in Spanish classes. Without this opening to different cultures and texts, I would not be where I am now, and I do not see why it would not work for anglophone children.

      Translating Children Books: Difficulties and Reluctances
      Rachel Elfassy Bitoun

      Oh don’t worry, I didn’t take it badly aha! I agree with you completely. Let’s discuss this in the future! 🙂

      Maternal Horror Films: Understanding the 'Dysfunctional' Mother
      Rachel Elfassy Bitoun

      Oh yes I agree with you, but unfortunately I am not the one who makes those films aha! Of course the dysfunctional mother role has a lot more facets to explore, and directors could do much more of it. And of course not all horror films use this as a trope, thankfully! It’s a rich genre and I never said all horror films used this trope! It is just one of them, and an interesting one to explore 🙂 like you, I’d love to see it develop more and I do have higher hopes after watching The Babadook, a more contemporary comment on women’s roles in society, the way they are regarded, and the constant connection to mental health issues. And it was made by a woman – so there is hope to see new things around the subject!

      Maternal Horror Films: Understanding the 'Dysfunctional' Mother
      Rachel Elfassy Bitoun

      Fascinating, thanks so much for this! I haven’t watched Coraline in its integrity but would love to, especially after all you said! And New Mother sounds fascinating.

      Maternal Horror Films: Understanding the 'Dysfunctional' Mother
      Rachel Elfassy Bitoun

      I think this is a great point, and I’m sorry I didn’t see this earlier!

      While writing the article, I definitely thought that creating a rebellious and ‘dysfunctional’ mother figure (dysfunctional by the standards we have of motherhood of course, often moulded by patriarchal and Freudian beliefs) actually empowered them to an extent, and I would love to have more time to explore this idea. Somehow by rejecting the motherly role, the oppressed sexuality, the space of the home and the need to detach herself from the child, she refuses patriarchal values. This empowers her which makes her ‘scary’ and ‘dyfsunctional’ to patriarchy’s and society’s eyes. I definitely feel like I didn’t expand that point enough.

      But at the same time, you are right – those mothers come from a male perspective anyway, so are they actually constructed as empowered women? Do you need to be ‘dysfunctional’ according to society to actually become empowered? Does it mean empowerement comes with rejection of the child, extreme behaviour, signs of mental illness, a rebellious and abject sexuality, and a monstruous nature? I don’t really think so, again these are partiarchal views somehow. It really is a tough one!

      Maternal Horror Films: Understanding the 'Dysfunctional' Mother
      Rachel Elfassy Bitoun

      Thank you very much for all this nice feedback, and I am glad you enjoyed the article! The topic is fascinating and horror films have so much more to give if one takes the time to analyse them.

      Maternal Horror Films: Understanding the 'Dysfunctional' Mother
      Rachel Elfassy Bitoun

      Thanks for reading this article 🙂 I agree with you that Freudian theories are very limited, that is why I did not give any opinion on these theories. I am just aware that the Babadook as it is written, with a male child, can somehow ‘fit’ Freudian approaches, to an extent. I agree that it is more limited with the two others films, which is why I did not develop the Freudian approach on the other two, although the over attachment to the mother appears in all of the films. One would have to read Freud’s theory about the female child a little bit more I think.

      Maternal Horror Films: Understanding the 'Dysfunctional' Mother