Sara L.

Contributing writer for The Artifice.

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Latest Articles

Latest Topics

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Portrayal of Animals in Film

Animals are widely used in the film industry for various reasons, but are they always accurately represented? In the reboots of "Planet of the Apes," I highly praised the use of non-verbal communication between the animals, as a lot of the way animals communicate is through body language. However, horses are commonly portrayed as loud and always making a sound if they are on screen, which is very inaccurate of horse communication. Film is an intriguing medium that uses both sight and sound, so a lot of animals have sounds inserted to add to the verisimilitude, but it can actually detract – in my opinion – when animals who wouldn’t normally be making sounds are indeed doing so. Thoughts?

  • This is a neat idea for a paper, and I like the example of the horse (I know nothing about horses, so I never would have guessed how they really communicate). This reminds me of the classic "bald eagle on screen with a red tailed hawk's cry, because bald eagles sound like chickens, and an accurate cry would spoil the drama of said eagle" thing. However, I'd like for this topic to have a clear thesis; what are the ramifications of inaccurate portrayals of animal behavior? What are the merits of accurate animal portrayals versus the merits of tailoring a fantasy about that animal for the viewers to enjoy? – TheCropsey 3 weeks ago
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  • Right, or the use of a tiger's roar in "The Lion King" because they are louder. – Sara L. 3 weeks ago
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  • I think that movie directors try to add as many effects to movies as they can because in their mind it will improve the movie. So I doubt that they will choose to resort to accurate portrayal of animal sounds if they feel that it will result in scenes that are lacking detail. – Health 2 weeks ago
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  • I thought communication was handled somewhat awkwardly in the recent Planet of the Apes films. It was unclear to me why Caesar and others were able to "evolve" to be able to speak, but only at times of emotional stress. I may be misremembering the film, but I thought it was an inconsistent and inaccurate (albeit, fictional) portrayal of primate communication. – Dropoutbear93 2 weeks ago
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  • Dropoutbear93, The evolution of the primates is not exactly what I was referring to, as you do make valid points to that unrealistic representation. I am referring to when they communicate to each other through a lot of gestures (not strictly in sign language), and body language in addition to the general grunts and howls we think of when we picture ape communication. – Sara L. 2 weeks ago
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The Impact of the Streaming Age

I know for myself, I watch maybe two or three shows on cable. The majority of content I watch is either on Netflix or YouTube. With everyone gathering their own streaming services now (Disney working on its own, CBS All Access, YouTube Red etc), it is not hard to see that this is where the future is heading. My film professor once told me that soon, cable will be phased out and replaced with each individual television network having its own subscription service, which would essentially be more expensive than cable. How can that be combated when subscription based streaming is super popular? It is an interesting debate to have.

  • I would also widen this to the discussion of pirating and pirate streaming sites to comment on the international cost to American studios also. It is an interesting discussion to have especially when drawing in more unusual streaming services such as Amazon and Twitch. – SaraiMW 2 months ago
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Latest Comments

I was just thinking about this the other day, reflecting on the times when our family used to have the DVDs sent to our home. It is crazy how far this company has come. I am not sure of the validity of this statement, but I had heard Netflix is trying to work its way to original content only? I know they were working on well over fifty original series/movies just for 2018, which is a significant feat for one company to achieve. I wish I would have been old enough to buy Netflix stock when it launched.

Netflix and Impact

Thank you, first, for writing about such a controversial topic! I have been arguing for the prequels since I saw them several years ago. I believe that while Hayden Christensen’s performance may not have been the highest of the high, it was exactly true to Anakin’s character. As you had said, Anakin was a child with a certain lens of life and of the Jedi. Training was not going to morph his mindset as much as those born into the way of life.
And perhaps it was my childhood perception, but I loved Anakin and Padme as a couple, and I did not feel as if their chemistry was off.

In Defense of the Star Wars Prequels

What a great blend of literary and film analysis. As a film graduate, I love reading and analyzing new aspects of films – and by further extension – the books they are birthed. Loved your analysis.

Harry Potter: The Importance of Antagonists