The media loves sequels. Name almost any popular action, animated, or other movie from the last decade and you can pretty much bet it has a sequel or is getting one this year. The same is true for television shows. For example, Fuller House serves as a sequel to Full House, although it’s something of a reboot, too. Books that were not meant as series also get sequels. The wildly popular Wonder (a personal fave) has some short story sequels from the POV of other characters besides Auggie.
Sequels are great, and there’s obviously a huge market for them. But do we always need them? That is, do we always need or want to know what’s next, or can we be content to let characters live happily ever after, as it were? What about writing our own sequels – besides being a ton of fun, do fanfictions and headcanons fill some sort of creative void? Discuss.
I like this, so long as the focus is on the creative merits of sequels, rather than a look at the financial incentives to produce them. The two are inexorably linked, but the latter topic has sort of been done to death. – John Wilson6 days ago
Film adaptations are the result of taking a story, usually a text, and adapting it to, well, film. Adapting a piece of work for the screen is not easy. A novel, for example, was created with specific detail. Taking a 300-page novel and condensing it into a 120-minute film is challenging. You are forced to remove or adjust certain characteristics to fit concerns, like financing. Otherwise, you may have a short story with hopes to create a full feature. That’s just the beginning. Imagine if there is a verbal story carried on through generations. What does a screenwriter do then?
Can something that was created for another medium successfully "work" as a film, narratively and stylistically?
Optimally, art should be as protean as possible, and the borders between the various art media should be as porous, permeable, and flexible as possible, so as to foster dialogue (meta and otherwise) between media. Film adaptations at their best are a great reflection of this ideal, but it begs the question: why are the inverses--film novelizations, say--not nearly as prominent? Novelizations do not have nearly as great a critical reputation as adaptations; they are usually hastily written cheap paperbacks, sold as tie-ins and/or for franchise-building, out of print quickly. If filmmakers have frequently been able to distill novels into films--into effective unions of image and sound derived from text--then why can't (or don't) authors expand images and sounds into text that can interact meaningfully and/or provocatively with the film by addition, subtraction and/or alteration, as film adaptations do with their source texts? If novels are used as source material for other media but films aren't, what does that say about how our culture values (or not) those media in terms of art and entertainment? Of course films can expand upon novels, so could novels not expand upon films by, for instance, coloring in the characters' psychological states? Novelizations, qua adaptations, provide (I believe) a ripe opportunity for artistic renaissance, if there are any authors out there willing to consider it and take the plunge! – Alec Johnsson5 hours ago
So the other day, I’m surfing the Internet looking at Harry Potter writings (I’m a recent Potterhead and enjoying the addiction). I came across someone complaining about The Cursed Child and the Deathly Hallows epilogue, saying that they were too "heteronormative." In other words, this person wanted to know why it was always necessary for our favorite characters to get married (to a heterosexual, but I guess really to a person of any gender) and have kids to be happy.
Now, I’m a sucker for what TV Tropes calls Babies Ever After, but that post made me wonder. Why is marriage/babies held up as the ultimate happy ending? Is it the only one? What works can you name where this didn’t happen, but the characters were still happy and fulfilled? How has the concept of "happily ever after" evolved? Discuss.
I would say read Madame Bovary as it works as an antithesis to the traditional happily ever after. The character of Emma Bovary originally wanted nothing more than to get married, but soon starts desiring other things in life and becomes frustrated with the mundanity of married life. I don't want to give away too much here as it may spoil the story, but the idea of marriage and being a parent as the ultimate form of happiness is challenged in that story. You may also consider different gender perspectives in the happily ever after or "Babie ever after" trope as a lot of feminist literature likes to point out how what makes a female happy in marriage may vary for males. And for the LGBTQ community, it may because marriage and adoption is something that is legally denied to them in many countries. This theory has a lot of layers to it that need qualifications. I personally like stories that end with this trope as well, but I'm also aware of how it was used to keep females in a secondary position and treated them as a prize to be won. Though it is not to say that males did not desire as well. A good example of a male protagonist that wants desires this trope is Sanosuke Harada from the Hakuori Shinsengumi visual novels. – Blackcat1306 days ago
A couple of things to consider: The happy ever after (babies ever after) is a pacifier that stems from an industry pushing an 'aspirational' social value. Keep the status quo rolling along by showing us what we should want. Secondly, the romance novel industry dictates a happy ever after ending as it is expected. Queer romance sells best when it is HEA, but there is also a place for happy for now. – sheena1 day ago
In 1954 François Truffaut coined the term ‘auteur’ in his groundbreaking work "Une certaine tendance du cinéma français", a descriptive that would subsequently be used to describe directors whose style or approach is so idiosyncratic that their films would be easily recognized (See Wes Anderson, Scorsese, Charlie Kaufman and the Coen Bros). But could this perspective and theory be possibly applied to the video game world?
We don’t hear much of names in the video game industry, but the ones that come to the top of my head include Hideo Kojima, Shigeru Miyamoto, Toby Fox (for his sheer creative control in Undertale), Ken Levine (of the Bioshock games) and Sid Meier, who has built his own empire from his Civilization games. So my question is: is it possible to consider such visionaries auteurs? Can their games be considered solely products of their own unflinching vision? Or is another step in order: wherein we ought to consider companies/collectives as auteurs in their own right?
Is there fine line where spiritual beliefs and the observable natural world can meet? Both are part of humanity and helps shape the world. There is an effect and many do not agree to have both combined or integrated. Religion may be in peoples blood and culture, based on the life that is build upon. It helps find meaning that people are not just organisms that evolve from an insect or a grain of sand. The science part of it brings the engineers of the physical world. Science helps people to learn about the world. Discovering that which can be observed and also build peoples lives by learning about every degree and inch of the universe. A higher power may have fine tuned the universe for human being to live here. After readings and studying there are scientists like Albert Einstein, Stephen Hawkins, Nicola Copernicus that after they reach the limit of their studies, they believe of a higher intelligent mind. At a religious belief some say it is within people, God. Research shows that humans naturally want to know everything, that’s is why people question the world. There is a fine line where most people question a higher power. The world is a beautiful place and people are part of it. The belief of a greater power keeps many people grounded. Many scientists wish to fly within the clouds searching for something that is staring right back. Others are humble even within their intelligent minds to believe that someone or something is guiding the world. This is an important topic that sustains a mind to go within the parameters of people’s existence. The universe is an amazing puzzle and people are the chess of the world.
Interesting and always relevant topic, but it might be too broad. Perhaps you could narrow it down, discussing certain fields or aspects of science and religion? – Stephanie M.4 months ago
Generally I would agree with Stephanie's comments, as your topic suggestion reads a little like a mini-article in itself. Nevertheless it's an topical suggestion for a topic (excuse the pun), considering how crazy the human world is right now. I'd be careful about the Anthropic principle angle though as the assumption that we live in a universe fine tuned for humans is very one-sided. We could, just as easily, have evolved and adapted to the universe as it is - we are, after all, a highly adaptable species. Good luck with your science and religion class. – Amyus4 months ago
Updated and made corrections. – rghtin2be3 months ago
I just finished reading Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic, and I thought that her positive disposition towards writing admirable. While it is obviously fluffy, and Gilbert’s magnum opus is the fluff piece Eat, Pray, Love, I just wanted to read something on writing and mental health state of writers (e.g. Edgar Allan Poe=seminal Gothic author=also alcoholic, incredibly erratic life, Ernest Hemingway=PTSD sufferer, alcoholic, etc.= recognized for writing style… etc., Virginia Woolf = well known modernist authors = depression and suicide). Do you think the tragic plot of the author’s life made them more famous? Did the torture of the soul make for beautiful writing? This can be too big, so feel free to trim this down. It can also extend to other artistic medium (think Van Gogh= cut off his ear… )
Hi Jill, what a great choice of topic. You've provided wonderful starting points, though it's a little broad at the moment, so I'd advise anyone hoping to pick this up to perhaps narrow it down a bit (pick one perhaps, Alcoholism, PTSD, Bipolar Disorder, etc). The question of whether an artist requires a struggle with something innate for the production of good art has been around for quite a while, so it'd also be interesting to see examples of those who've conquered their demons, or whose demons play little part in their pursuit of creating art. – Matchbox7 days ago
As video game players have risen from a small subsect of people into a large swath dominating the country and planet, how has this effected how we humans interact with one another. The Tetris Effect is when a repeated activity shapes the way your brain functions, as the repetitive action causes the brain to assign importance to said action. Given the prevalance of gaming today, how may be the Tetris Effect be changing society, and how may this look in our future as gaming becomes further mainstream.
Interesting topic! It may be making a few leaps to go from talking about local changes in the brain function of an individual to talking about behavioral changes in that same individual to talking about behavioral changes throughout society. I'd encourage someone to take this topic on (I'd like to read the result!) but would also encourage the writer to think about the difficulty of establishing cause and effect. – JamesBKelley2 weeks ago
Interesting, since gaming is so prevalent in modern culture. However, that since the Tetris effect is more of an analogy than a specifically gaming culture related idea, if you just want to talk about that, you should try to extrapolate the Tetris effect to other places (i.e. doing math problems causes dreams about numbers, playing basketball nonstop causes one to throw everything into containers like a field goal, etc). If you're looking to talk about gaming's prevalence in modern culture, you could also talk about other gaming-related terms that have become accepted in modern vernacular (i.e. politicians referencing video games, Let's Play celebrities, video game movies and tv shows, internet memes about video games, and events related to video games (like Pikachu Festival, E3, etc). Hope this helps. – tedytak1 day ago
Discuss exposing the correlation of the comic relief character in television often being overweight actors that Hollywood has created. Often case they are the only overweight actor on the show or film, and it may even be the only part offered. When screen casting the casting call may even call specifically for an overweight comedic relief. Discuss the implications of this and how it can harm the industry as a whole, as well as the effect on actual overweight individuals exposed to such decisions.
EXP: Gilmore Girls, The Hangover, Austin and Allie ( feel free to use your own)
It is true that overweight characters are often place in secondary, comedic roles. This may sound cynical, but it seems to me that this casting choice has done little to harm Hollywood as a whole over the years as it is a reflection of our society's general preference for actors and actresses who are thinner, fitter, and healthier. – MKLee8 hours ago
Anime is mainstream, there is no question about that. Yet, why is there such a lack of intensity of discussion about Japanese movies that aren’t animated, with the exception of Akira Kurosawa’s films, especially Seven Samurai and Rashomon? Any thoughts on what is causing this? Feel free to add any information on Japanese cinema and animations’ reception internationally as well.
I'd remove the commentary, it removes some of the professionalism from your topic. Maybe phrase it more as why are more mainstream works the only ones we as American's value instead of here are these things, they're good but not good enough. Maybe move focus to why are these pieces mainstream, why have they gained this popularity, as opposed to these are popular do you agree. – alexpaulsen1 month ago
Based off what I've seen at the youtube channel censoredgaming the only reason western audience really follow anime now is due to the fact that it was easy to turn a profit off them. In the early nineties when networks had the Saturday morning cartoon blocks many channels would fill them with censored and poorly translated animes because they could pay the (at the time) rookie voice actors very little. So all they really had to do was pay for the licensing fees. This lead to a boom in the popularity of anime (which before that was more a subculture thing). I would say that is the main reason for the people not watching Japanese film. – Blackcat1302 weeks ago
I think another important aspect to add onto Blackcat130's critique) is whether or not this helped influence Japan being more recognized for its animated media? For instance, despite Japanese films being unpopular, you could look at Studio Ghibli and how internatinally renowed and respected the company is. – Mela2 weeks ago
I have only fairly recently discovered that Netflix now streams anime, many of which is produced by Netflix themselves. Netflix delving into anime gives me mixed feelings: does it spell the end of ‘real’, ‘pure’ anime – anime being a Japanese invention, there seems to be an unspoken rule that it can borrow as much references from the outside world without stop being ‘anime’ yet if another country attempts to create an animated work inspired by anime, such as Avatar the Last Airbender, it is not considered anime. Herein lies the confusion. Netflix is an American company yet their Original anime series seem undoubtedly ‘anime’ – looking, sounding, and feeling like anime. In this topic, I have quite a few questions: does Netflix creating, producing, and distributing anime spell the end of Anime being ‘pure’ or does it mean that Anime has finally progressed even further upon its path of global, nay, universal domination? At what point , or how much foreign involvement is needed before anime stops being anime? As many ‘Japanese’ anime outsources work from other countries especially China or Korea for in-betweening, does this mean that as long as the creative force behind the work is Japanese, the resulting work is Anime?
Well, after witnessing the recent crunchyroll anime awards and laughing spectacularly how much loss potential that the award show was, I started questioning what makes a show great, let alone to be the best. Does it have to be a show that’s critically acclaimed by not only critiques but the general audience? A show with great animation, story and music, or something that is just dumb fun to watch and yet interesting not to get bored after a few episodes? I’m curious to hear your opinions on this topic.
One of the problems a topic such as this will inevitably face is the perennial 'Best versus Favourite' debate. All anime fans have their favourite films and/or series, so by its very nature favouritism is subjective and the same applies to what is 'great' or 'the best'. We can probably all name at least half a dozen websites and countless You Tube videos that list 'The Ten Greatest Anime Shows' or similar, but those are rarely, if at all, objective in their lists. Critics and critiques alike are no different - just take a look at the variance in reviews and critiques that appear on Rotten Tomatoes; what one critic will applaud another will pan and having a degree in 'Filmology' (sic) doesn't guarantee that critic has 'good taste'. Even popularity is no guarantee of quality so perhaps the only way to truly judge a show's worth is the test of time and how our opinions about it may (or may not) change over the intervening years. Do we perceive the show differently after 10 years have passed? Does it still seem fresh or even relevant or is it so hackneyed that we cringe at thinking how we once enjoyed it so much? That's just my two-penneth worth, but I'm sure others will have equally valid opinions; still, I'm going to add my approval and I'd be interested in others' comments. – Amyus2 weeks ago
Approached from the perspective of being an interactive story, what is unique to games like MMORPGs (esp. sandboxes), metroidvania, war games or survival games, as stories? What are some of the ways that gaming has innovated new ways of telling stories (think non-linear, interactive etc). Games can pull together disparate storytelling techniques like visual, auditory and interactive in a way that books, comics or film alone can’t. Has the gaming industry harnessed this potential?
If you want to narrow it down to a specific category i’d recommend visual novels and RPGs, as they feel a lot closer to the question.
It would be very helpful to mention Final Fantasy XV, which one could argue spread itself too thin with the multimedia storytelling. It was a double-edged sword: People could access the series through the anime, the feature length movie or even the retro style gaming experience of A King's Tale. For someone like me, who was heavily invested in the series already, it was wonderful and got me excited for the game in the lead up; but for a casual gamer who just wanted to play the game, or a movie-goer just wanting to watch the film, it would make it difficult for them to grasp the entire story without turning to the internet to fill in the blanks. – AGMacdonald8 months ago
You could also look at the different ways games try to pull a story. For instance The Last of Us is an excellent example of envrionmental storytelling and how you won't get the full plot without actually interacting with the space around it. If you're mentioning comics, the Walking Dead and The Wolf Among Us (anything Telltale, really) are great examples of how the universe expanded beyond the game (or how the game expanded beyong the comic) to create a larger universe – Mela1 week ago
I think a good recent example of non traditional story telling is the game Nier Automota. In order to play the game to completion, you have to complete three different storylines, each of which that follows the more or less same story, but each is from a different character's perspective. Depending on which character you are playing as, different information about the story is available to you. For example, one of the characters cannot read or understand the language of the primary antagonists, so when you are playing as that character, the language and writing of the antagonists look and sound like gibberish to you. However, when playing as another character who does understand their language, you are able to read and understand the speech of the enemies. There are also multiple endings that differ substantially depending on which storyline you are playing, The game also breaks the 4th wall a lot. The way that the game represents your character's status is seamlessly integrated into the gameplay. As another example, since your player character is an android, some enemies can hit you with a computer virus that will mess up your vision. The game does not just make it harder for you to move, or harder to attack though; the game actually screws up your visual display so its like your own vision is messed up. Other attacks may cause 'glitches' where your screen jumps in and out. Overall, I thought the integrated HUD did a great job of immersing you in the world and it was probably one of my favorite narrative elements in the game. – alexbolano921 week ago
With the release of Devilman: Crybaby, many anime fans in the west were exposed to the shocking story of Devilman saga. While Devilman was known to be the classic that inspired many dark-themed manga and anime works, the series was mostly unavailable for the wider audience. Those who knew about the original story felt the same shock in different style, but many new fans were exposed to the brutal scenes and plots of Devilman.
It would be worthwhile to examine the impact of Devilman on the popular works and how they shaped the genres dealing with dark and grotesque fantasies.
8 out of 10 cat owners, who expressed a preference, agree that a growing body of evidence supports our new and improved formula’s usefulness in combating the signs of ageing with up to 99% accuracy when compared to our nearest competitor…and so on. That sentence is complete and utter nonsense and yet it represents the gobblegook we see and hear every day, whether it be a claim about cat food, beauty products or WiFi. Discuss and analyse the insidious growth of weasel words, especially within the mainstream media, and how this can affect the ability to think critically and stifle independent creative thought. Alternatively, is there actually a place for weasel words (other than the bin)? No animals were harmed in the writing of this topic suggestion.
I'm not 100% sure what this article would be about. Is it about combating gobbledygook? Is it asking where such language is used? Politics and advertisement use it all the time. However, my final question is are "weasel words" gobbledygook, or is there an alternate definition for what these words represent? This sounds like an article on rhetoric which I'd be extremely interested to write about, but some clarification is necessary to fully understand what your asking to be written about. – DKWeber2 weeks ago
Analyze the lack of on-screen romantic love, as the spouses/love interests of the two main adult characters (Cooper and Dr. Amelia Brand) have both died. However, there is an incredible amount of love between Cooper and his daughter Murph, which allows for there to be love within the story.
What is it about Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland that has managed to endure so many remakes without audiences calling for enough? With the exception of adaptions such as the video game Alice: Madness Within and books like Alice in Zombieland, few break outside of the original story and yet, particularly throughout the nineties, every time you turn around there appears to be a new adaption.
Just a few quick pointers - it might be worth combining this topic suggestion with the three previous 'Alice' topic suggestions here at The Artifice - see "Alice in Wonderland: in Adaptation: What Makes it so Difficult?, The Legacy of Alice in Wonderland and American McGee's Alice in Wonderland, all of which have a similar theme in mind re adaption/adaptation (whichever variation is preferred). There's also the recent suggestion that Carroll's original intention behind writing 'Alice's Adventures in Wonderland' was to parody and pick apart what he saw as the inherent weakness of new abstract mathematics - a theory that actually makes a lot of sense if you really dig into the original text and read between the lines. Reductio ad absurdum, as Carroll decided, declaring that the new mathematics was nearly impossible to teach. It might also be worth bearing in mind, with regard to filmed versions of the story, that the world's first 'Alice in Wonderland' (silent) film was made in 1903. A partially restored copy is available on You Tube, for those interested. – Amyus3 weeks ago
As a beautiful tale for children; the timeless classic is often overlooked as a treat for adults too. The Mad Hatter is such a character who can produce huge amounts of contents alone. – TheBlackCurse2 weeks ago
Look at parody fiction, and discuss at what point it stops being "Parody" and becomes "Art", can these coexist? Is parody automatically art?
Suggestion: Hillywood Productions; YouTube
That's a really interesting topic! Parody can parasitic in some ways; it often doesn't have a life of its own, doesn't age well, etc. Maybe to become "Art" it has to be able to stand on its own, divorced from the very thing it's parodying? – JamesBKelley3 weeks ago
The one common debate among anime fans is the quality and importance of filler. Most of the time filler is used in anime not to surpass its ongoing manga that came first so it is used to pad the story out so the manga is further ahead of development than the anime. But when it comes to stories that doesn’t have an original source, filler is often used to slow the pace down to let audiences get familiar with the characters and even build up its own lore. But these days audiences want a faster paced story at the cost of character development and world building. So should filler be excluded from all stories if it has no purpose? Or when done right, should it be allowed to stay?
The only time I've had/heard complaints is when the filler is a stretch for time, in which they can't provide character development without the manga's insight. Filler made for that reason, inherently can't have purpose. So it kind of answers it's own question: anything without actual content/progression can be categorized as unwanted. But at the same time, I'm not someone willing to sacrifice character development or world building for fast pacing. They're both undesirable. The handling of character development is most important and should always be present in order to remain engaging. – Slaidey3 weeks ago
Fillers can add depth to the characters and the setting if they are used right. A filler that does nothing to further develop characters would not please the audiences, so it would be important to make sure that it does have some point about characters etc. It can also be used to smooth out few points that were barely touched in the original works, such as characters that were "forgotten" or provide explanation to some plot elements. In short, the filler needs to "fill" the gaps in the original work. – idleric2 weeks ago
Anime as a genre and a community has far outclassed those of any other form of cartoon media. What is it about the Japanese shows, which vary through all sorts of story genres and artstyles, that come together to create such an appealing platform for all ages? Why is it as popular as it is?
I like the premise of this, but I'd point out that there are so many forms of Anime this may be a hard topic to tackle. Maybe try to pinpoint a particular genre or style of anime and look at it's popularity, versus anime as a whole. Yes they are all Japanese animation, but it's all so diverse it may not be possible to view it as a whole. – alexpaulsen1 month ago
I think one of the most appealing things about anime is how different and fresh it feels. I know a common argument most people will bring now is that the anime industry has been milked out and all the interesting essence to it died off in anime's golden age at the late 90s and the early 2000s, but anime still does one thing that most mainstream series or movie blockbusters fail to accomplish, it has the ability to make an audience feel and understand the emotions and feelings of a character and thus comprehend the amount of weight each one of their actions will bring not only to the furtherance of the plot but towards them, their relationships with the people around them. It allows us the viewers to not just view the story, but be a part of it. That's what makes anime so damn appealing and enjoying as an advocate anime fan. – Yao2 weeks ago
Discuss the difference of story and plot, and how each contribute to the film experience an audience has. Many people think that story and plot are the same thing; however, the story consists of any events that impact the characters, while plot consists of what we see on the screen.
A good idea for a topic sugestion, Sarah. After all, how often to people generally misunderstand the difference between story, plot, summary and synopsis, even exposition for that matter? You have my vote. – Amyus4 weeks ago
I think it's a good topic, too, but I don't share your definitions of story and plot. You write: "the story consists of any events that impact the characters, while plot consists of what we see on the screen." For me, it doesn't matter if something happens on screen or off screen. What matters is whether or not there is causality. E.M. Forster famously wrote: "‘A plot is also a narrative of events, the emphasis falling on causality – “The king died and then the queen died” is a story.’ But ‘“the king died and then the queen died of grief” is a plot. The time-sequence is preserved, but the sense of causality overshadows it.’" Forster's definition isn't the only one out there, of course, but it's a standard one. As I understand it, "story" has simply to do with the telling of events in time. This happened, and then that happened, and so on. When we talk casually to a friend about what happened the previous day, for example, we often tell a story but often are not thinking at all about plot. We usually haven't plotted out a chain of events that leads to some resolution. We're usually just telling what happened -- that happened, then that, etc. -- over the course of the day. Maybe a specific example or two from film would go a long way toward convincing me! :) – JamesBKelley4 weeks ago