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Latest Topics

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Why Are So Many Gothic Stories Geared Towards/Concentrated on Children?

Coraline, IT, Stranger Things, Pan’s Labyrinth, The Babadook…the Gothic and horror genres appear to have a fascination with children. Does it stem from our primal instinct to protect our offspring from threat? Does it illustrate how our childish fears never really leave us? Also, are these texts really geared towards children, or to the adults watching with their children? Or both? So many questions with some possibly fascinating answers.

  • Great topic. There are a /lot/ of examples, including Henry James' long short story "The Turn of the Screw" or the film The Village of the Damned. My initial guess is that there's some sort of play on the oppositions of innocence and monstrosity. (Children can be at least a little monstrous in some ways. One of the characters in Williams' Cat on a Hot Tin Roof calls the children in the play "no-neck monsters.") – JamesBKelley 1 month ago
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  • There's certainly an aspect of empowering, encouraging wish fulfillment in that the kids face the manifestations of their fears and defeat the nightmare monsters. – noahspud 3 days ago
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Dark, Light, and Color in Tim Burton's films

An examination of how color, light, and dark have been used in Tim Burton’s films to reflect the view points of his characters and the observance of the mundane vs the outrageous. Specifically looking at how Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children differs from many of of Tim Burton’s other films by providing more "grey" spaces that are neither colorful "dream worlds" nor colorless "realities". It would also be interesting to include an analysis of the film Edward Scissorhands and how the "normal"/suburban world is portrayed as the "dream world" through color reflecting Edwards viewpoint.

  • May I suggest adding Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to the article? Not only is the film bursting with color, it's simultaneously similar and different in theme to the other two. You could do the same with Alice in Wonderland. – Stephanie M. 3 months ago
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Time travel and alternate universes in Donnie Darko

An explanation of the way time travel works in Donnie Darko, why Donnie was the chosen time traveller, the role of Frank the bunny, and whether or not the events that took place were as a result of time travel or took place within an alternate universe/reality.

For all the DD fans who just can’t quite wrap their head around all the theories.

  • The works of M.C. Escher, especially his fascination with closed loops, would be an important reference – JLaurenceCohen 1 year ago
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  • Hey llsebben, love Donnie Darko, great topic idea -- I think filmmaker Richard Kelly was unable to answer the same question in an interview somewhere, might be interesting to get his take on this (if he has one). – cbharris 1 year ago
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  • An excellent idea for a topic! I was going to suggest taking a look at the 'Casual Loop' phenomenon, but this has effectively been suggested already by JLaurenceCohen's comment. It might also be worth noting that the director's cut of DD includes more information about 'Grandma Death' (Roberta Sparrow) and her book. I was disappointed with the follow-on film 'S.Darko' though as it just seemed to cover old ground and failed to introduce anything new to the concept. – Amyus 5 months ago
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  • Donnie Drako opens up more questions than answers with regards to time travel. We can discuss on this for years and still have no conclusion. Much like Shining being discussed for this long. – theidealstranger 5 months ago
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  • Here is a work that may be helpful: http://www.queensu.ca/religion/sites/webpublish.queensu.ca.rlgnwww/files/files/rels/grad/maessaytitles/mastersessaycoxtwardowski.pdf – oddiem 4 weeks ago
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The effects that acting/voice roles have had on individuals in their lives

I read another note entitled, ‘The effects of Iconic roles on an Actor and his/her career’ and I was excited that it might be a topic on something I’ve long contemplated on, but the description specified a different interest. So I decided to submit my own topic. I’m interested in hearing about the ways in which taking on certain roles have impacted an actor’s personal life. By acting as someone else, do they find themselves becoming that character at times in their personal lives? Having had practiced traits that were perhaps new to them before their role, does it change them? Does it help or hinder them? Have they learned about new things because of a specific role, i.e. an actor acting as an astronaut – have they learned about space? This might perhaps be interesting to research into child actors as well. Since they’re in a bubble surrounded by adults, is it daunting? Etc. Mainly though how specific roles have impacted their personal lives is my interest.

  • A new documentary on Netflix called "Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond" could be a great source of inspiration for this kind of topic. It shows the drastic effect a character can have on an actor. – Slaidey 1 month ago
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  • Of course, every actor is different and has different experiences with their roles. Thus, it might be a bit difficult to narrow down this topic without choosing a few actors and actresses to focus on. Perhaps the article can connect these individuals by ways in which their acting is similar and/or different from the others in the article. I think it would also be beneficial to look into how different techniques of acting can affect the actor. – Kabria 2 weeks ago
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The socially dividing influence of mother! A controversial classic, or true utter garbage?

When mother! was released earlier this year, it created an inescapable schism between those who saw an ever-shifting always-engaging artistic study of human nature and creationism, and those who saw an over-bloated pretentious meaningless mess of a film with nothing to say. What can the praisers and detractors agree on?

  • There had been a few reviews on this at the time, but nothing in the months after its release. I applaud you in creating a new spin on this with a comparative format not persuasive. – AbbyMay 2 months ago
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Recurring themes in David Fincher's films

Discuss common philosophical, social, and psychological themes in David Fincher’s films (Alien 3, Seven, The Game, Fight Club, Panic Room, Zodiac, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The Social Network, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, Gone Girl).

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    Tree of Life and Melancholia:Opposing Perspective on Life

    What Tree of Life by Terrence Malick and Melancholia by Lars Von Trier have in common is that they are two films that are poetic in their imagery and dialogue. With nuanced characters, each film seeks to explore the human experience and provide its own answer to question of life’s ultimate meaning. Analyze each film in depth. Discuss differences and similarities between the characters of each film, and how each affirms the films central themes. Also examine the differences and the possible similarities in the messages of both films.

    • This is a very interesting subject when it comes to two entirely different filmmakers. I would be very interested in approaching it from the angle you propose. – caryleiter 1 month ago
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    Taken by caryleiter (PM) 1 month ago.
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    The Effects of Iconic Roles on an Actor and His/Her Career

    Most actors play a plethora of roles in film and on television shows. Some actors though, are best remembered for one or two iconic roles, even after the film has been out for years or the show gets cancelled. Examples include Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen, best known for their portrayal of Michelle Tanner, Jaleel White (Steve Urkel), and Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter). More examples: Juliette Binoche (Vianne Rochet, Chocolat), Julie Andrews (Maria Rainer, Mary Poppins), and Leonardo DiCaprio (Jack Dawson).

    Does being associated with an iconic role help or hurt an actor’s career? Does it make a difference whether the actor was a child or adult at the time of the role (s) in question? Do viewers prefer that actors stay in iconic role "molds," or would they rather actors create new characters/avoid typecasting? Explore these and other questions, as well as any examples you might choose, to determine the positive and negative aspects of associating actors with very specific roles.

    • The best actors would tend to belittle any type of impact, I would say. Take my childhood idol Clint Eastwood: traded his spurs for a holster, plays good guy or bad guy with equal tact; and still going strong in politics of all things--makes it seem as just matter of dusting off the layers of script material and moving on to the next being thing (nothing to it). Not convinced? Then, there is Arnold Schwarzenegger: Mr. Universe, Mr. Titanium, and Mr. Dream Teacher; still turning heads in politics. Positive and negative in Hollywood, not these guys. – LFreire 4 months ago
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    • Yet another interesting topic suggestion from Stephanie. I suppose there are examples of iconic roles that have helped an actor's career and others that have hurt a career. Off the top of my head I could mention just how long Sean Connery took to shake off the '007' tag, as some people actually confused the actor with the role, but he has gone on to more interesting roles, even if he did revisit Bond in 'Never Say Never Again' (1983). Conversely there's the controversial 'unsimulated sex act' that Chloë Sevigny performed in 'The Brown Bunny' (2003), which she will no doubt be forever remembered for and appears to have damaged her standing as a serious actress. Remaining in an iconic role certainly helps with the bank balance, but doesn't stretch an actor in any way - the actor Adam Woodyatt, who plays the character, Ian Beale in the long running British soap 'Eastenders', lives a few miles away from me and is often seen around in his Maserati (No, I'm not envious!...Well, maybe a little). The locals all refer to him by his on-screen character name. However, for me, the best example of someone who has never let the grass grow under his feet is Sir Patrick Stewart - perhaps best known for Captain Jean-Luc Picard in 'Star Trek: The Next Generation', who has since returned to his Shakespearean roots with vigour as well as delivering one the best performances as Ebenezer Scrooge in the 1999 version of 'A Christmas Carol'. – Amyus 3 months ago
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    • I think being strongly associated with a role is probably harmful for an actor in terms of their future career prospects. It's difficult to be type-cast and if an actor is type-cast than I suspect it would be very displeasing for them to have to struggle to break into new roles and in new genres. That being said socially it's probably neat for them to be strongly associated with a type of character or genre which would be cool if it didn't also impact what casting agents and directors think of them. – LucianoTheWriter 3 months ago
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    • This is actually an interesting discussion when you consider the discussion around the death of Heath Ledger. The industry is actually starting to look at improving the mental wellness of actors and the support network required for them. Consider also the anorexia issues of the Olsen twins. Actually an interesting discussion when considered also from the lens of mental health. – SaraiMW 1 month ago
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