Sequels are almost always what follow a successful film but what actually makes a sequel as good or better than the original? Everyone’s seen a sequel that they thought was either an obvious step down from the original or didn’t have a real reason to exist but a sequel that surpasses or keeps up with its previous iteration are much rarer. So what are the factors that actually make the story in a sequel story worth telling? Obviously if the production is good then you could make a case for it but what narrative factors influence the worth of a sequel being told? And what are the unique characteristics of those sequels that did actually surpass their originals? What made them great?
I think this is a good discussion topic, especially seeing all the new sequels coming out. Could you give some examples to help narrow down the discussion? – birdienumnum175 hours ago
For the past few years, the popularity of comics have surged. Statistically, in 2015 comics and graphic novels sales topped $1 billion, including print and digital. Why is this? The rise of cinematic universes such as the MCU and DCU is one obvious answer however, looking deeper, there are other reasons. First off, has accessibility contributed? With different apps providing libraries of comics for a subscription-like price becoming increasingly popular, is print dying down? Then there is services like Netflix showcasing original series like all the marvel ones or Riverdale, each having comics as source material. Will these new forms of accessing comics hold the popularity rate? Or will it die down again only to be re-birthed in many years?
Superheroes resurge in popularity during rough times. http://edition.cnn.com/2009/SHOWBIZ/books/03/18/superhero.history/index.html?iref=24hoursJust like musicals. In the times we live in right now, I guess we could all use a little song and dance as well as faith that somehow we will get through. – Munjeera2 days ago
Nostalgia is every where as many shows which had been cancelled or ended long ago are returning. X-Files and Gilmore Girls came back, Young Justice finally got its long awaited season three, and Charmed is getting a reboot. How does this affect how we watch the new season out reboot? How does this affect our perceptions of the old show? Does waiting so long end up paying off?
Great topic! From the moment PrisonBreak ended I have been waiting for it to come back. – Munjeera3 months ago
You might also delve into, which shows get a comeback, why, and who should get to decide. Are there shows that haven't received a comeback, but should? What makes a show popular enough to warrant one? – Stephanie M.3 months ago
I think that sometimes shows shouldn't come back because they are rarely as good as the original and sometimes try too hard. I would love friends to come back, but i know that i'll only be disappointed because it can never recreate the magic of the past.
Maybe try and identify where comeback shows go wrong and some examples of this. – Emefa13 months ago
When suddenly placed in a new location our brains tend to do funny things. We inhale air we have never tasted, brush our fingers along foreign rock, and bath our eyes in completely new sights. Something about travel bungles our minds. It’s as if we’ve received an electric shock and our neurons have gone nutty, rearranging themselves to create new thought patterns. Of course this doesn’t literally happen but change in environment and routine can cause us to think differently, making new synapses in our brains. Travel can introduce a new perspective, one we’ve never thought of before, or provide fascinating characters that we never would have found from our couches. When we find ourselves somewhere new we tend to pay more attention to everything around us. Our heightened sense of awareness reveals things we might not have noticed if we lived there. Travel can perhaps be described as shock therapy. Removing oneself from an everyday routine can be utterly refreshing, especially for a writer.
This is a really cool topic. Maybe to make it a more focused discussion, give some examples of authors who were inspired by places. It is a little broad so giving an example of a book that was inspired by a place or by travel will help. – birdienumnum173 days ago
I can relate to this. Every time I travel I make sure to bring a fresh notepad and a good stack of pens. Being in a new environment is great for making you feel inspired. – TheK33 days ago
Without travel, we are prisoners to our own lives. Trapped within our schedules, just another pawn of society. Travel provides an escape to the systematic mundanities of life. – finmb992 days ago
In many of Virginia Woolf’s novels (such as "The Voyage Out", "Night and Day", "Mrs Dalloway", "To the Lighthouse" and "The Years"), the concept of family, and in particular family breakdown, appears. Considering her own life (her parents, brother, and half-sister all died when she was relatively young), does her family influence this portrayal of families? Obviously, one would have to give biographical information about Woolf and a description of the principle families in some of the novels (Mr and Mrs Ramsay in "To the Lighthouse", the Dalloways in "The Voyage Out" and "Mrs Dalloway", etc.)
Analyse the extent to which art institutions remain male dominated. Some institutions actively aim to promote and encourage female artists, but others, particularly state and national galleries consistently show blockbuster male artists. This can be seen as discouraging for women and girls aspiring to work in any kind of art field, but can also just be a reflection of the underrepresentation of women in the art industry.
Is the new Chronicles of Narnia film doomed for failure? Discuss the struggles of making the film slated to reboot the franchise almost 7 years after the last movie (Voyage of the Dawn Treader) and 3 studios later (was Disney then Fox and now the new studio). Will it do as well as the original trilogy or has it lost its momentum?
I'm personally curious to see how this film pans out, but I don't have high hopes for it after the large gap and constant change between studios. I think it has lost its momentum within the film industry, but I think there's still a possibility this film may bring in a new audience along with fans from the previous films; depending on how it's done. – SMonaghan4 days ago
This is an interesting question. Star Wars seems to have gained momentum after a few years absence and so did the Rocky films. I think it would be interesting how to continue using the same actors/actresses given they would be older now. Fans do get attached to characters and actors e.g. Harry Potter – Hyacinth2 days ago
I don't think it should be written off by any means. It's definitely fair to assume it is doomed and I honestly think the same myself, however it's often the case that films like this may not be masterpieces but do end up being perfectly enjoyable. With the director of Captain America and Jumanji behind the film it's probably best to keep an open mind and realistic expectations. – JakeV1 day ago
Virginia Woolf was a declared feminist, although critics find it a struggle to claim her works for feminism. Her writing style—the multiplicity of perspectives and her stream of consciousness technique—were argued to be presenting a “denial of authentic states of mind, namely the ‘angry and alienated ones’” (Elaine Showalter). Woolf has also been accused of simply subscribing to the “separation of politics and art” because she refuses to “describe her own experience,” instead always relying on shifting points of view (Moi 3). However, it may be possible to reclaim Woolf’s works for feminism by reevaluating these same aspects of her work. Is she demonstrating a new way to grapple with language to suit the needs of the woman in the modern age?
Time travel is a frequently revisited topic in both popular and literary fiction. What is the philosophical appeal of time travel? Does it simply speak to our personal regrets or to large global/political/social issues that we wish to undo? Is it egotistical to think that ‘hight sight is twenty-twenty’; that to know the negative outcome of one event/one decision would allow us to course correct and thereby find success? Can humanity (globally or personally) only learn or develop compassion through disaster?
I personally think that the appeal of time travel stories lies in our flawed nature as humans. The possibility of reversing/changing the outcome of our own mistakes and/or the wider worlds' is very appealing, as well as egotistical (we get to play the hero). However, the appeal also lies in the unknown i.e., what will the alternative outcome be if I go back in time and ensure Hitler wasn't born? Will there be a better outcome or a worse one? That's just my opinion on the topic though! – Ness2 weeks ago
I think it is a case of regret. Everyone has defining moments in their lives that determined the course of their life trajectory. In those vulnerable moments of self-doubt, it is only human to wonder about the road less travelled.A few suggestions for revisions:Perhaps "hightsight" could be fixed to read "hindsight." I think this is a great topic but would narrow the focus to an individual's life. Most people may not have the clout to decide world events, with all due respect to our readership.Also, examples like the Arrow and Flash and even Quantico have employed the flashback sequence. Would you want to include the examples you have in mind so the writer of this topic can understand your meaning more clearly? – Munjeera5 days ago
I've always loved time-travel stories. The appeal for me is the idea of not being tied down to any one place and not missing out.The ability to travel anywhere, during any time is the superpower that I've always wanted. There are moments in history that I would love to be apart of. And I have this unquenchable thirst to see space, and other planets and their civilisations.Not to mention, time travel means shirking responsibilities. Not being tied down to anything or anyone.For me, it's simple wanderlust to the extreme extent. – KintaW5 days ago
Jane Austen is well-known for her witty dialogue, back-and-forth banter between characters, and free-indirect discourse; yet, Persuasion is a complete departure from all of her previous works. Persuasion is a more ‘adult’ novel, with the female protagonist as a 27-year-old unmarried woman. Her once betrothed, whom she denied due to his lack of wealth and societal stature after persuaded by her aunt, has returned to her life seven years later. The lack of dialogue that ensues between these two characters throughout the majority of the novel creates a level of excruciating passion and anticipation that is palpable, and unmatched in any other work by Austen. Focusing on the sensory capabilities of the two characters creates a sensual environment where the body remains in the foreground. When reviewing Austen’s breach from the traditional overload of dialogue and new reliance on body language, the power of perception and keen sensual prowess, do we in fact have a more ‘adult’ geared book, matching her own age, and possible longing for more sensuality, and less games?
I would compare Austen's previous works to this novel to get a better sense of what has changed in terms of story mechanics.
– BMartin436 days ago
Known as the "maverick" or "auteur" era of American film, the 1970’s represented a unique era of American film-making, perhaps the most experimental since early silent ear. Traditional musicals, melodramas, and epics were no longer drawing in audiences, and, desperate, studios began giving money to fledgling directors often fresh from the brand new film schools cropping up, leading to far more daring and unusual films, such as Taxi Driver, the Godfather, and Star Wars. Well documented as this period is, take some time to examine the period just preceding, and how it enabled these films to exist at all. That is, look back, first at the Paramount Decision in 1948, which ended the studios monopolies on theatres and film distribution and enabled independent filmmakers to gain foothold in the American film landscape, and the rise of television in the 1950’s, which forced to make going to the movies far more of an event, with big-budget epics, full color, and features such as 3-D and widescreen. By the late 1960’s, the mediocre performances of the anachronistic Hello, Dolly! and plodding Cleopatra rendered tried and true money makers impotent. Examine how changing audience expectations, over saturation of the market, and other such factors allowed movies like Bonnie and Clyde to set the scene for the New Hollywood of the 1970’s. If the studio system hadn’t failed, would the 1970’s era of film-making ever been allowed to happen in the first place?
I would include certain film and TV examples that defined where the Studio System was heading towards. – BMartin435 days ago
Traditional art is based upon faultless technique, well-defined subject matter and definitive notions of beauty, while modern art is based upon personal expression, vision, originality and innovation. Analyse the idea that traditional art is more focused on portraying a theme or suggestion that is attractive or realistic to the eye, while modern art is more intent on conveying a theme or idea that is relevant to everyday life.
Based on this response, do individuals who prefer modern art over traditional appreciate artwork on a deeper and more meaningful level?
I hope this clarifies the topic a little better. – Ness1 week ago
This is a good topic. I think the argument could go either way, based on opinion and experience. I think personal upbringing and culture may play role as well. You might want to add that in. – birdienumnum176 days ago
Great topic. It is important to remember the different priorities in traditional art practises. In renaissance and neo classicism, artists were trained technically, with a priority of replicating reality. This obviously does not take much understanding to comprehend. Having said this, perhaps it is a reason why artistically minded people are more interested in contemporary art that holds more hidden meaning? There is so much room for debate in this topic! – emhand5 days ago
An intriguing topic. I think that people who are not artistically minded appreciate traditional art over modern art because their talent is undeniable, as seen with their perfect execution of technique and beauty (as you have aforementioned). However artist, art theorists and other artistically minded people may appreciate modern art because of the idea's they are trying to convey.
I think the idea of the "individual" needs to be redefined as either "do you think that the general public prefer modern art over traditional", or "do you think that contemporary artists / theories prefer modern art over traditional". The individual is a debatable perspective to write under. – Jessica Carmody4 days ago
It cannot be claimed that those who like modern art are on deeper and more meaningful level because every person has his individual point of view and preferences. Sure, if to be subjective, we can say that these or those people think wrong. But as for me, it is not an appropriate way to resolve this question. – MaryLand9994 days ago
Despite its popularity in the written world, fairy tales are notoriously difficult to adapt to the big screen, especially live-action film. While the fantasy epic can see great success (though even that took decades of box-office failure), why is it so rare for a live-action fairy tale film work while animated fairy tales are among the best movies studios like Disney have ever made? Analyze both the successes and failures, and discuss: why do fairy tales fare better in animation (such as Disney films) then they do in live-action? How is that a fantasy epic like Lord of the Rings succeeds while the Hobbit, by and large, fails? Address the curious case of the Narnia films, beginning strong with the relatively faithful Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, before crashing and burning with Voyage of the Dawn Treader. Is there something about animation that lends itself better to the relatively smaller scope of the fairy tale, as opposed to the more expansive world of an epic?
Hi! I would be careful and clear about how you categorize success and failure. The Hobbit, while not critically as successful as Lord of the Rings, was a commercial success making almost 3 billion dollars worldwide.In writing this article, I would also try to get a clear definition of a "fairy tale". Is LOTR a fairy tale? It depends on your definition.https://www.forbes.com/sites/scottmendelson/2015/02/11/the-hobbit-trilogy-grossed-almost-3-billion-and-no-one-cared/#c9d1b3148382 – SeanGadus1 week ago
I would be careful with writing this. Narnia, LOTR and TH are not fairy tales. Yes, they are adaptations but they aren't fairy tales, they are fantasy, like Harry Potter. These film series are more compared to the Harry Potter series than fairy tale ones. I like that you want to look at the lost cause from animation to live-action films. I suggest looking into the Grimm's Brothers Fairytales, hopefully that will help you understand what fairy tales are. Do some more research into understanding fairy tales :) http://www.surfturk.com/mythology/fairytaleelements.html
https://www.reference.com/art-literature/characteristics-fairy-tale-3fae6bcb14080f7e – meganstalla5 days ago
Every major broadcast network has at least one or two live TV musicals in the works for the next few years, and will this help to normalize musical theatre for the masses, or steal the magic. Hamilton has helped to usher in a different era of musical theatre, but is it drawing the elitism out of the art form, by facilitating the creation of broadcasts like this?
Interesting topic. The rising popularity of these live TV musicals certainly merits further critical exploration. That said, I take slight issue with your choice of the word "normalization," as it implies that musical theatre (i.e. an artform that, at least since the 1980s, quite literally exists for bourgeois consumption and merchandising) is something esoteric. Musical theatre has always been prominently positioned within the mainstream, and is one of the few forms of theatre to which that label still applies; I really don't think that television is a necessary mediator for acclimatizing the general public to the concept of musicals -- they're not exactly broadcasting Edward Bond or Sarah Kane. Perhaps there are better ways of approaching the subject. Two come to mind: 1) Aesthetically, regarding how this televisual intermediation affects the performance's fundamental theatrical elements. Is liveness enough to constitute "theatre"? Does the audience on the other side of a screen genuinely care if what they're watching is live, or are they missing out on the potential virtues of cinematic editing? Is there an appeal to simply knowing that the show is theatrical, even when not experiencing it in an actual theatre? If so, what and why? How does this differ from simply making a film adaptation of classic musicals? 2) Economically, regarding how television distribution allows a wider audience to experience Broadway productions (whose tickets are quite expensive, not to mention inaccessible to those living outside of New York and other major metropolitan areas). This, I believe, is more in line with what you may have meant by "normalization," as it allows people who otherwise would not have had a chance to see these plays an opportunity to see a version of them in performance. I see potential for an analysis of ratings, sponsorships, and funding models as a means of assessing the financial success or failure of this new distributional tactic. – ProtoCanon2 weeks ago
Interesting topic....and definitely one worth exploring. One of the fascinating aspects of the theater is the confined environment and this type of unity within the crowd. One performance will not be an exact replica of another---part of what makes the theater so unique. A crucial component of theater is the fourth wall--the impenetrable invisible barrier between the audience and the actor--which, ironically feels breached during a televised performance?
I would have to disagree with the idea of elitism and broadcasts as analogous, especially due to the high-cost of the theater today, and making this once enjoyable, frequent venture, less common among 'average' folk. The price of tickets are astronomical and really is a disservice in a society that supposedly upholds the importance of a cultured society through the medium of art. – danielle5777 days ago
I love reading anything about theatre, especially musicals. In your suggested analysation though, be careful you're not looking at two separate topics here. Hamilton has indeed created a new generation of theatre-lovers and reinvented the genre of musical theatre. And live TV musicals have done this in their own way too; perhaps the discussion is more pointed towards where the future of musical theatre is heading, or, what is attractive about these refreshing works to a modern audience? – OJames6 days ago
This is a really good topic.I think TV broadcasts can make theatre a little more accessible, it can introduce the theatre in a similar way that Hamilton has introduced theatre to new audiences. It also comes without the cost of making trips to the West End or Broadway. You don't really lose the elitism of theatre because you still have the west end and broadway. Perhaps the focus is on the future of musical theatre, there is the live versions (And I don't think they will ever really go away), tv broadcasts and things like Todrick Hall's Straight Outta OZ on youtube. – RJRStClair6 days ago
There have been several productions of the same genre or universe in the past years. Be it superhero movies, the stretched out story of the Hobbit, or the current bombardment of Star Wars films. When does a genre or a story overstep its zenith? How do the financial aspects of the film industry interfere with storytelling (profit vs quality)? What are some of the counterexamples? What makes a franchise become successful in the long run?
There was a brief plague of two part finales: Harry Potter, Hunger Games, Twilight, Divergent. I have to say that having not read any Harry Potter books, watching one of the films felt rushed to me and that there were bits that were underdeveloped or could have been opened up and I would have enjoyed the extra time spent on them. But then the film serves a different purpose to the book. – jackanapes4 days ago
Here is an interesting infographic from Forbes on the highest grossing film franchises. https://www.forbes.com/sites/niallmccarthy/2015/04/13/the-most-successful-movie-franchises-in-history-infographic/#422c942e5d22 – Hyacinth2 days ago
Consider how mythology-based stories that articulate the hero’s journey are presented in classical literature. Compare and contrast this with present day literary genres and how older and more modern texts can impact upon a person’s everyday life. Some contemporary examples could include: The Lord of the Rings; The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe; Harry Potter; and His Dark Materials.
I think a great example of this is Shakespeare's The Tempest. The story of the island that Prospero has brought Miranda and shipwrecked his enemies, contains many modern tropes. Jealousy, betrayal, romance, etc. There are themes of colonialism, and also ones of man vs nature (similar to Tolkien's work). As far as modernism, it was a response to the enlightenment and Romanticism. As a response to those things, it focused on freedom of the individual. I would suggest that anyone writing on this topic, go and read Kant's "Critique of the Power of Judgement", Plato's The Republic and read a romantic novel such as Pride and Prejudice. Then take modern works and see how they could be a response to some of these works. – Richard Krauss2 weeks ago
Modernism and Myth do go hand in hand with a strong portion of creative mediums such as: Art; Literature; Film; etc. Another good example would be the bible, as many stories have derived from it. – SerWilde23 mins ago
Write an article about "I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House," a Netflix original. It’s format and creative choices in story telling, narration, and cinematics, leaves viewers surprised. It isn’t what most expect to find, as many have become accustomed to jump-scare and gore films when it comes to entering a movie with the mentality "this will be scary."
Someone please write an article that not only examine the director’s choices and how it differs from other modern films (more resembling the re-telling of an old abstract horror short story) but an article that will also contextualize it. Does it have literary ties to another work or was it made simply to resemble such? How and which literary elements did it adopt and to what effectiveness?
Enter into a discussion about the identity of the villain in media and how this identity has changed and/or evolved over time. I think it would be interesting to take a sampling of different media over time (film, TV series, video games, literature) and analyze which group/people represent the "Bad Guy" in each and how that may correspond to the specific historical time period. Older Bond films often pit British intelligence against the Soviets – along with films such as Hunt for Red October – while many modern films concentrate themselves on Middle Eastern conflicts (i.e. London Has Fallen.) Does the bad guy always fall under a certain nation? Are directors forced to deal with the ‘politically correct’?
Looking at the shift in villain identity in media over time could be an interesting read! Over my lifetime I've seen an apparent shift from villains as just wanting to destroy the world into a character we can relate with, however looking back to when film first came out, it's easy to see that the villain was sometimes racialized as a form of propaganda. Bringing a variety of media into the discussion could be a difficult task and I wouldn't blame someone for narrowing that down. But who knows, maybe there's a direct correlation between when film came out in regards to literature or when video games came out in regards to film, that the new media type inspired a change in villain identity across the others? – Slaidey2 weeks ago
One could easily address this topic only using superhero films. Or even just one studio's superhero films. Or just one superhero's films. In particular I think of the richness of the Joker in his depiction of an enemy that thrives on conflict, without a past or real identity. – jackanapes4 days ago
Judging by volume, it seems easier to write morally ambiguous screenplays. Such screenplays also seem to benefit from the default of events being meaningless or random in a meaningless or random existence (e.g., Tony Soprano’s series-ending "dirt nap"), while works regarding morality as objective, ala Breaking Bad, must convincingly explain actions and repercussions without the easy shrug of "stuff happens." If we set the Way Way Back Machine to say, a century ago, the bar of acceptance for atheistic works was high, but today, its bar for justification seems awfully low. Whaddya think about that, my friend?
I approve. Ambiguousness can be done well, but I have seen few authors and especially screenwriters pull it off. Moral relativity gives the appearance of freedom, but I think artistically, it actually boxes people in because they have to be careful not to make definitive statements about what's right and wrong, or why they think so. I'm not saying everything has to be squeaky clean--Lord knows that would be boring--but I'd definitely like to see less relativism.I think sometimes filmmakers, screenwriters, what have you, get caught in the trap of relativism vs. a *specific worldview*. That is, some people feel if a work does not appear to support a certain worldview, it has to be completely relative or it doesn't work. Judeo-Christian works, especially films, are particularly guilty. A happy medium is desperately needed. – Stephanie M.4 months ago
I think the impact of 9-11 is acutely felt here. Up until that point, people were happy to be moral relativists but once those planes hit those towers the world turned around and said 'this is definitively evil'. So we live in a world where there are both unknowns and knowns. – jackanapes4 days ago
jackanapes, no atheists in foxholes? – Tigey2 days ago
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?
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! – AlexanderLee5 months ago
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 Morisset3 months ago
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. – AdilYoosuf4 days ago