The film industry is always changing and innovating the essence of storytelling.
For example, "Malcolm & Marie" is one of the latest Netflix films to be released. Focusing on only two characters, as the title suggests, has a vastly unique way to present how it is not like most films that are released for millions to see in these current times. The almost two-hour film explores the character’s emotional complications within the intensity and fragility of a very passionate relationship. Between the woes of their pain, pasts, insecurities and the powerful love they have for each other, the film being a back and forth conversation highlights the lack of communication about their real emotions. Whether these emotions are justified or not, this noir film does provide drastically distant perspectives of their relationship and who they are not only as an individual, but as a couple. This conversation centres around a range of topics. An example of the "distant perspectives" is when Malcolm passionately challenges how the filmmaking industry seeks validation from millions of people that try to generalise the reasoning of every little detail in films, specifically the one he made. Malcolm suggests through this comment that like the film industry, Marie seeks validation from him constantly as her way to give a concrete confirmation that she is appreciated and loved by the man that supposedly saved her life multiple times, as he suggests in their chaotic debate-like talk.
The question of whether Malcolm and Marie are ultimately compatible with each other will be continuously debated. However, I want to address if Netflix and the filmmaking industry will make more films in this matter. The concept of turning films where one of the goals is to convince the audience of a fictionalised world being humanly possible and appealing into films where the characters have a conversation driving the story doesn’t sound strongly convincing. Let me put it into perspective with one of the most instantaneous grabs of relevance of shows of all time, "13 Reasons Why". Imagine the show condensed into a movie with Clay and Hannah as the two main characters having a conversation where she reveals the whole truth, even the truth that she wants to kill herself instead of having 4 seasons of a show that first begun with tapes to find. The potential for this hypothetical film has a higher ceiling than the show in its entirety. Does it not?
Given how skittish the cinematographic (and most artistic industries in general) are about risk in terms of these kind of things, my bet would be that you don’t see much in the way of film-making form innovations unless you have someone already well-established. – J.D. Jankowski2 weeks ago
In a reaction video, someone watches something – a music video, a movie, a TV episode, a meme compilation, etc. – and records their reaction. This genre was popularized for the mainstream by YouTube channels like The Fine Bros., but there are many, many other channels that do it. Videos like "Real Doctor Reacts to Medical Dramas," "Real Lawyer Reacts to Crime in Movies," and "Vocal Coach Reacts to Music Video" have the advantage of being educational. What is it about this genre that we find so appealing? Is it just the relatability of people feeling the same feelings we have? Do we feel a connection to these people, across time and space?
Good topic, one I often wonder about myself. It would be especially interesting to note the difference in modern reaction videos towards reaction videos from the early days of YouTube, back when it still had a reply function; plenty of content creators made their name on just reacting to others. Yet in the modern day, people seem to be more interested in watching professionals or experts' take on certain videos, as made popular by channels like Legal Eagle or the Conde Nast family. Ever since those videos started becoming more popular, you don't really see the regular reaction videos anymore. If anything, you see people trying to emulate the new style with connections that are often flimsy (ex. "Person Who Lives In NYC Reacts To Seinfeld"). Did the audience realize they can do better? What could be the next 'phase' of the reaction videos' evolution? – semroolvink1 month ago
I think part of the allure is that we as humans want to see others amused and entertained. – J.D. Jankowski2 weeks ago
Reaction videos represent one's opinion or how many ever people are reviewing it and their individual opinions. We may agree or disagree but there is always space to know how others think about certain things especially if any of your favorite videos are being reviewed. – Sujayweaves2 weeks ago
With so many different anime and manga available in the world, there are bound to be many that grow in popularity much more than others. For instance, series like Demon Slayer/Kimetsu no Yaiba absolutely blew up in popularity in late 2019. Other series like One Piece and Naruto have stayed relevant ever since they began in the late 1990s, and it seems just about everyone knows what Attack on Titan is even if they never watched/read anime/manga. But what is it that makes these series so popular? The characters, themes, accessibility, plot, or something else completely?
A degree of familiarity within innovation and a high-quality storyline tend to be the two main variables. – J.D. Jankowski2 weeks ago
Inspired by the resurgence of Avatar: the Last Airbender (and soon the Legend of Korra), there seems to be a pretty big subset of adults/teenagers watching more and more children’s TV (particularly animation) entirely of their own accord. What is the benefit of this, and why do we keep coming back to them? What do these shows have to offer us as adults vs as children? Who are they made for, really? And what, if anything, are the downsides?
As an adult who watches animation, let me say this is a great topic. For me, it's about nostalgia and relaxation, mostly. I do notice though, that as an adult, I think more deeply about certain characters and themes than I did as a kid. Hey Arnold is a great example; it's a kids' show on the surface, but wasn't afraid to go dark and deep several times. – Stephanie M.9 months ago
I think this a great subject. I've written on this topic while in College. And while cartoons in the western countries are typically targeted at children, animation originally wasn't intened for kids. It was often used for satire or comedy. Often talking about mature subjects like race, war, and class struggles. But Cartoons were really expsenvie to make. So talking about politics wasn't popular, due to it alienating a portion of the cartoonist audience. It wasn't until Hanana Barbera and Walt Disney built their cartoon empires around using their cartoon character's as marketing pieces to sell merchandise. That's when we started seeing a shift in how cartoons were used/viewed. It became popular to target kids cause you could sell toys, cerals and other products. Cartoons studio's often partnered with advertising/toy compannies. I think you consider looking at markerting for this topic as it completely changed the landscape of cartoons, for better and worse. As cartoons couldn't survive without it, but this is also the reason we don't see many cartoons marketed at adults. (Looking at the Simpsons as well would be a good idea, since it was one of the few adult cartoons to see success.) – Blackcat1307 months ago
First off I love this subject, and secondly I feel if art is great it shouldn't matter who watches it. There is some very obvious entertainment made for children out there, but I believe "Avatar" has something to offer everyone. The series has dialogue that children will find amusing, but the animation, creativity, stories, and character development are still a wonder today. It's great that these can inspire people and they should want to come back to it, as well as show them to people who didn't gain the same experience they had. The only downsides to this (at least to myself) is what do you hope to get out of the show? If you watch these shows or movies simply because you are afraid of change, then I suggest it's high time to cleanse your pallet and experience something new, but if this is simply your source for creative vision than I see no issue with wanting to return to find something you never noticed before. – thepriceofpayne7 months ago
I'm as fascinated and absorbed as anyone else by the so-called "dark" stories (whether in literature, TV, film or games), with complex characters, complicated moral dilemmas, and lots of grey morality. However, I still find myself most strongly and instinctually drawn to those stories which carry a note of hope. This is not to say that animation (or any media in general) targeted at children can be devoid of complex characters, of course. But media that is not specifically targeted at children can fall into the trap of showcasing explicit violence (esp. physical/sexual) just for the sake of it/ for cementing the "darkness" of the atmosphere. There is a very thin line where this is necessary for the storytelling/genre or just plain distasteful/ for shock value. In my opinion, children's animation can depict a lot of these same themes, without the gratuitous violence. Implications of the grand scheme of things can be powerful enough. Not only that, animation as a medium has so much storytelling potential in how the medium itself can be manipulated as per needs of the story to be told: everything from the colour to the artstyle to the fluidity and versatility of animation. Maybe this is why I personally am averse to the rather off-putting/bland art and character design of certain popular adult-targeted cartoons. Yes, there is an element of escapism to me watching the lighter-hearted yet meaningful stories. But real life is gritty enough, and while I welcome the complexity that comes with experience of the world, so different from the black-and-white views of our childhood, it doesn't hurt to watch media that appeals to the purest parts of us, untouched by cynicism. – Malavika4 months ago
I don't think there's anything wrong with adults watching animated films. Adults need just as much, if not more, a break from the real world – CoastalUndertoe4 months ago
You could examine the My Little Pony Fandom with the Bronies. – J.D. Jankowski2 weeks ago
In Jordan Peele’s psychological thriller, wealthy, homogenous individuals congregate to buy and possess other humans. Motives vary, between desire to live past one’s own ‘natural’ lifespan, to replacing physical function that one has lost. The hosts relinquish control of their body, retaining limited consciousness as they become slaves to whoever won the bid. This concept feels far-fetched, but is it plausible? The movie presents this ‘new’ form of slavery directly, as all hosts shown in the movie are Black, whereas all known possessors are White. The master-slave duality is certainly present, with White characters navigating delicately (and awkwardly) around unpossessed Black characters; however, what current systems are in place to enable this conspiracy? Does this movie accurately display the race relations in America by enabling this new-age slavery to exist? How does it comment on current forms of slavery in America, such as the prison-industrial complex? I’d argue that this movie could easily take place in other countries, such as Canada, by substituting Black characters with First Nations–Canada’s got a brutal current and historical reputation with the treatment of First Nations. Nonetheless, is it plausible for groups of elite, wealthy, aging individuals to meet at an undisclosed location to auction a living body to possess? Disregarding the scientific plausibility, what might compel such a conspiracy to form and crystalize? Could this film be metaphorically commenting on the appropriation of Black culture and art by White-owned corporations? How so? Is this conspiracy already in motion, present in a form that treats culture as hosts, and elites as slaveowners?
Upon rewatching "Alien Covenant" for the third time recently, the discovery of just how deep the influence of Peter Weyland and his company, Weyland Yutani, have drastically impacted the known universe which the Alien films take place came into full view. Weyland funded the mission to discover the engineers in "Prometheus," he created David, the self aware and free-willed Android that is ultimately responsible for creating what we know as the xenomorph, his company is responsible for discovering them on LV-426, for returning there to capture them and use them as bioweapons, his company returns in the next film to take Ripley in order to extract the queen inside of her, and even Alien Resurrection" could be tangentially tied to Weyland’s company as who else in this future hellscape of interplanetary discovery would have the resources to fund studies into cloning and making a xenomorph queen/human hybrid? The article I propose is taking a deep dive into how Weyland was far more integral to the creation and manipulation of ever single person and android connected to the Alien films (we’re going to disregard AVP as those two films break cannon) like a spider knows everything that occurs within its web. Weyland had the resources and capability to look out into the known universe/galaxy and see how interconnected everything is and how he could control events even past the death of his physical body (spoiler alert, I think he also created an AI that is himself that continued to manipulate everything still even beyond his death). I would like to conclude on the theory of what the next film would then have to accomplish in order to complete the new trilogy and tie all six canonical films together.
‘Charmed’ a reboot of the late 90s show was released in 2019 with a new cast, new plot lines but also a lot of overlap in narrative, mythos and setting. The story is of three sisters who are witches with the special "power of three." The first big difference is the move from three visually "white" American actors to three mixed-heritage women representing Hispanic and Black American culture. The show also introduces the white-lighter as head of Women’s Studies (a controversial cis-male), a lesbian relationship, a 28 year old virgin and a stereotypical teen wanting to join the Greek systems at her college. From the start the line up is unusual and (from my perspective) wonderful. The new ‘Charmed’ is also engaging in some interesting, and timely conversations, around women’s rights, identity, gender, white privilege, rape culture, race identity, transhumanism and more.
But is this a deep engagement with the important conversations that need to be happening, or is this simply a response to popular culture and trending? A deep analysis of the new show would be beneficial to help examine if this TV show is moving towards culturally responsible storytelling or cashing in on hashtags.
The emphasis today is on getting through the day and we forget to romanticize life. Why have human beings lost connections with nature and self?
Discussing literary critic John Ruskin's ideas of the pathetic fallacy could work when building an argument around the emotional connection between nature and self. He noticed that the people in art (including poetry) had disappeared. As in, people were less frequently being depicted in art during this time. And so instead, human emotions were being assigned to aspects of nature. More than this though, he proffered that it was the emotional state of the human reflected into the natural aspects of the artwork. You can find this practice in the poetry of Keats, Wordsworth, and most of the big six. (This is a very rough summary of his argument, of course, Ruskin's book Modern Painters would be the text to refer to for the far more eloquent expression of his idea). – Samantha Leersen3 months ago
Romanticism isn’t necessarily dead, but rather it’s bland and not as interesting anymore. – kyeferreira2 months ago
The contemporary man is rejecting romanticism objectively. Emerson, Whitman, Thoreau has not emphasized that there would be a day when we lose our connection with naturalism, but they have glorified romanticism enough to imply that. – metamorphicrock2 months ago
This is a particular kind of Romanticism called Naturalist Romanticism. This narrows this topic somewhat in its own right but whoever decides to write this may benefit from further narrowing. I would recommend looking at a particular nation’s naturalist literature of the Era. The richest would be the United States (c. 1820-1900), the United Kingdom (1798-1837), and France (1789-1914). – J.D. Jankowski2 months ago
When first written by Mary Shelley, Frankenstein’s Monster was an intelligent, eloquent, and even sympathetic-in-some-lights character. The character underwent an evolution in popular culture to become an easily recognizable horror monster – a big, green, lumbering, incapable of speech or intelligence brute. Recently though, there has been a shift back to depicting Frankenstein’s monster as a misunderstood character who is equal to humans with emotions, intelligent thought, and a desire to belong. Why and how has this evolution has happened?
Covering the movies, Frankenstein and Young Frankenstein may prove helpful. – J.D. Jankowski2 months ago
I like this idea. It might be interesting to approach it through the scope of the ever-evolving social stigmas/beliefs surrounding mental health, trauma, and/or identity. More so than in generations past, modern society tends to discuss such issues more openly, and therefore, modern readers may feel more inclined to identify with monster and less inclined to demonize him. Of course, the focus will need to be narrowed (mental health, trauma, and identity are all huge topics to tackle), but these are just some ideas to consider. – JCBohn2 months ago
In Dante’s fictional journey to hell with Virgil the poet as his guide, the vast majority of the damned that are encountered want Dante to tell of them back in the temporal world. Examples of this are Dido, Queen of Carthage (ironically written about in real life by Dante’s guide) and Ciacco the Glutton (blatantly so considering that “ciacco” is the Italian word for pig, and he behaves and looks as such).
Analyze why those in Inferno want to be remembered. Is it because this is the only joy that they have left in their horrid states (to be remembered and with the possibility of being remembered fondly)? Indeed those that do not want to be told of (mainly in the 9th Circle) did things so horrid that no fondness would be drawn in being remembered. Or is it for a more selfish reason? Does this express subtlety that pride both goes before the fall and is at the root of all evil and feeds all other evils?
Depression, anxiety disorders, and other mental and emotional malaises are more rampant than ever. The stresses of everyday life and the constant feed of nearly apocalyptic news reaching us on a daily basis surely have something to do with our collective plight.
How well do psychological horrors, like Psycho (1960), The Shining (1980), Jacob’s Ladder (1990); and psychological thrillers, such as The Machinist (2004); capture our current state of dis-ease?
Great idea. You could easily turn this one into a book, breaking the movies down by decade. You could also focus this idea into two articles: pre 9/11 and post. The major aspect is to research the experts of each era. Hitchcock, for example, is certainly guided by outdated notions concerning psychology, whereas Brad Anderson is attempting to be more informed with contemporary theories. – Michael J. Berntsen2 years ago
I second that. I'm intrigued about the respect aspect, too. That is, are these stories respectful to real people with mental illnesses? For instance, I don't watch Rain Man or many, if any films whose main characters have disabilities because they all seem to be saintly, severely affected, childlike, etc. That doesn't represent me and I don't think it respects me and other members of my minority group who are not that way. I wonder if people with mental illnesses feel the same way when they watch these films, or yet another film where the villain's primary raison d'etre is tied to psychological or psychiatric illness. – Stephanie M.2 years ago
Claims of mental illness being more "rampant than ever" would require some rigorous data research to back those up, but this is an interesting topic for sure. I wonder if this could be slightly re-framed. Instead of looking back at old films that have been rigorously analyzed for their symptomatic representations of political landscapes at the times of release, it would be interesting to try and explore films of THIS decade to try and determine a common trend in mental illness representation, and how these representations are in reaction to current events. JOKER is an obvious one, and would be an interesting centerpiece since it's just released now, and two months before the decade ends. A sort of retrospective look at this decade's cinematic view of mental illness could be very interesting and illuminating, especially with Trump's presidency taking place halfway through it. A comparative analysis between pre- and post-Trump administration films maybe. – calebwhutch2 years ago
I love the suggestion that Calebwhutch made. I agree that might be a generalization (or at least would take a lot of research to prove) that mental illness is more widespread now than ever before. BUT, as with all art forms, social fears and anxieties are well reflected in art, and it would be interesting to see an analysis of various films that provide such a reflection. Joker is a great choice. Get Out is another that comes to mind. – JCBohn2 months ago
Movies based video games have a fraught past. From the goofy live action Mario Bros movies to the more modern and highly divisive Assassins Creed film, the level of success has not been high or constant for that matter. For the piece you could research a short history of some prominent video films and their failings, as well as any successful video game films, and give some insight on why the movie industry has such a strong disconnect from the gaming world.
Is it because studio execs don’t think the gaming community wants movies based on their games? And do they?
How does this relationship compare to the relationship between books and film? Why is it so easy to adapt a book but not a video game into film?
One could be quick to jump to the idea that it’s simply economics: studios don’t think the video game adaptations will make money. But this all changes in 2020, with the video game market being worth more than film and sports as of recently. Video games are where the money seems to be, so why aren’t these films put in the right hands with the right funding?
I think one reason for this may be that the broad details of the video game’s plot aren’t fixed, whereas, in a novel, theatre script, or even a manga, it very much is. In this case, things would start to delve into a discussion of the script writer’s abilities as a creator of plots, as opposed to an editor. From here questions for an article can take a number of different directions. – J.D. Jankowski5 months ago
Additionally, video games are designed for you to be part of the action while movies are designed to have you be an observer. Some of the sequences that make video games really exciting don't translate as well to film. Character development in games may happen over 10 to 20 hours in a game like The Last of Us, but films only last 2 or 3 hours. – Sean Gadus5 months ago
I think the biggest struggle lies with the familiarity of the characters. The adaptation of a book into a movie is almost easier because despite the idea we have of the character in our head, they have yet to exist in a visual format. We haven't see or heard from them, we only imagine what they would look or sound like. Video games are more challenging to adapt because we already have a reference to work from. The character has a face, and someone has already spent a painfully long time developing their voice. It's hard to imagine them as anything but what they already are, so no matter how much money a studio puts into the movie, they have a lot of work to do just to break away from the preexisting conceptions. – Nello2 months ago
The thing with video game storytelling that is so difficult for film to get right is that the nature of the medium is inherently interactive and nonlinear, whereas film (sans really a few examples throughout history) is not actually interactive and is linear most of the time.
You as the film viewer have no leverage in determining what route the film goes down, whereas in videogames the player can often be just as much of a storyteller in the process.
Granted videogame film adaptations were fraught with problems since their inception, and most of those examples were adaptations of mostly linear games with little to no branching storylines and narratives. I think the problem there is in the transcription of a game world to a cinematic one. For example, the Super Mario Brothers film works too literally in translating the game's characters and events, making the primary antagonist a grotesque humanoid. Perhaps then the problem is a team of filmmakers not working directly with the source material and understanding its vast array of storytelling; the director of Warcraft, for one, seemed to just work from the given world and randomized a story he thought would cast as wide of a net as possible.
I think it's entirely possible to make a good film adaptation of a video game, it'll just require a sophisticated and detailed approach, along with some luck for good measure. – Thatboyd2 months ago
video games are far more immersive (in my opinion) so it just makes it difficult for a film to have that same pull – moonchild2 months ago
Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead have been making horror films for almost a decade. At least, that’s how their films are classified. Upon watching them, there aren’t any jump scares, no masked killers, no creepy asylums, nothing like that. Instead, in their films Resolution, Spring, and The Endless, a large part of the running time consists of characters discussing their complicated feelings towards their situation, while the horror quietly unfolds in the background, leading to works that feel like they’re about ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances. With thick atmosphere and deep writing, the filmmakers instead seem to make other genre films with horror elements. Resolution is a character drama, Spring is a romance, and The Endless is science fiction, but all three have horror undoubtedly featured. Try to explore why each film might be called horror, and also why they might avoid the label. Also some points to keep in mind are how the character arcs are informed by the horror parts of the narrative, how the directors are able to maintain a grip on atmosphere, and why the scarier elements are essential to the development of the plot.
’60s and Mid ’70s films made during the Conspiracy Thriller boom such as Manchurian Candidate (1962), Parallax View (1974), All the President’s Men (1976), and Stepford Wives (1975) seem to coordinate a critique or valorization of specifically American contexts. Manchurian Candidate demonstrates a stunning loss of American wartime innocence and domestic conspiracy in the same year John F. Kennedy was assassinated, resulting in the film being pulled from theatrical release. The Parallax View takes the notion of an American working against his/her own people a step further by enlisting an actual domestic cabal pulling the strings behind a patsy. All the President’s Men brings this fear of local threats home (literally and figuratively) with a very accurate retelling of the Watergate Scandal, a scheme that went right to the Oval Office. The purpose of this essay would be to select two to three of these films and identify what conventions used within these films spoke to an American context, and if possible, find what these films critiqued about American society in greater detail and how these concerns are relevant today. Some of the conventions include themes, characters, locations, symbols, and color coordination.
I would strongly encourage whomever decides to write this topic to pick just one or two of these films, maybe three maximum, to discuss in greater detail. The argument could become confused if the writer attempts to cover too much. By narrowing the focus, the writer will have more space to delve deeply. Of course, it is ultimately the writer's prerogative. – Samantha Leersen3 months ago
Thanks for the suggested revisions. It was my intention to give those films off as a list of possible examples to select from rather than propose to cover them all in one go. I went ahead and corrected it. – Runestrand3 months ago
Ebooks, despite being easier to access, quicker to arrive, sometimes cheaper, and easier to store than physical books, have never managed to outsell physical books. In fact, they do not even come close. Explore the possible reasons why this might be the case: material nature of print, satisfaction of flipping a page, ability to show books off, an examination of the differences between platforms (Kobo, Kindle, etc.), e-platforms (Kindle app, Google Play Store, etc.), and file types viability (epub, pdf, etc.), and the aesthetic/artistic parts of the physical book.
Article about ebook sales: (link) you prefer reading an,print on paper still wins.&text=“The book lover loves to,the rest of the world.
Good start. Can you supplement with some statistics on the sale of print books vs. ebooks? – Stephanie M.3 months ago
Perhaps another point of discussion could be the artistic elements of books. The different kinds of binding, the cover art, etc. – Samantha Leersen3 months ago
I know that a study had been done, where reading comprehension on computer devices was lower when compared to physical books. Perhaps people are aware of this issue intuitively on some level. Just a thought. – J.D. Jankowski3 months ago
You might also want to explore some benefits ebooks have over printed books, to flesh out the argument. For one thing, they allow readers to choose fonts, font sizes, line spacing, margins, etc. Readers can even opt for the text-to-speech function (when available). These choices provide a flexible format that can be more accessible to readers, especially those who cannot read traditional printed books – Mya3 months ago
Perhaps one could, as you've already indicated, analyze the physical nature of completing a book. Dog-eared pages, bent spines, handwritten notes along the margins, etc., all contribute to the 'reading' of a novel. Can the ebook hope to replicate or replace this physical relationship between reader and text? Additionally, what is the impact of looking at a screen? The screen might appear as paper, but the reader always knows they are viewing something electronic. Does this change the way a reader might read a text? For instance, word-finding tools are immediately present within a ebook, whereas one must actively search for something specific within a physical text. Is the presence of tools something that helps the reader in their understanding, or does it hinder progression by allowing readers to read 'easier'? – hooooogs3 months ago
For many sitcoms, including applause and laughter after every punchline is something of a staple. Laugh tracks, or ‘canned laughter,’ have been used in comedic television programmes for decades. However, many shows are also filmed in front of a live studio audience to produce the same effect. Evaluate the impact that filming before a live studio audience has on the programmes which use them. Moreover, how does this compare to the artificial laugh track? Is real laughter better than fake laughter? Or, are the criticisms ultimately the same? Such criticisms could include that the laughter is forced for unfunny jokes, it breaks the fourth wall, or it unsettles the timing of a show When building an argument, specific examples of T.V. shows should be discussed. The writer should choose specific scenes to analyse in order to demonstrate how they have been directly impacted by the choice to film in front of a live audience, and how their reactionary noises are used within the show. Try to limit the amount of personal opinion here, and have your argument based solely upon the artistic criticism of the shows themselves.
Perhaps another important element to explore is the decline of studio audiences and laugh tracks in sitcoms in general. Ever since shows like Sex and the City, Curb your Enthusiasm, and Arrested Development pioneered the single cam approach, it's become much more the norm in the medium (the last time more than one multi cam sitcom was nominated for the Outstanding Comedy Emmy Award was 2005.) Whether for flexibility in shooting, less reliance on punchlines, or less restrictive genre conventions, comedy seems to be headed in that direction more and more, leaving both live audiences and laugh tracks in the dust. – Double U3 months ago
Analysis on the joys and failings of the reboot, addressing all female reboots, sequals, or revivals, such as Oceans 8, Gilmore Girls Revival, Twin Peaks revival, etc. It is easy to be swept up in the excitement on nostalgia, but it often doesn’t deliver. Lets look at why we cant always take that fuzzy feeling to the bank, by observing the box office reports as well as the public response and universal criticisms found in most of these films.
For decades, audiences have witnessed pieces of text translated into film adaptations, such as Dracula, Murder on the Orient Express, etc. Writer participation within the film making is usually nonexistent or very minimal, which is found to be strange considering they are the ones who have created the story, characters, etc. Literature translating to film will most likely continue but should the writer be more involved within film making?
Note: there are quite a few films where the author of the literature serves in a consultative role. Examples of this are the author of Inspector Morse in the eponymously-named series and the author of the Twilight series. – J.D. Jankowski3 months ago
Three thoughts: 1) There is quite literally an entire field of academic study -- Adaptation Studies -- devoted to this exact premise. I'm having a hard time picturing what a short article with such a general scope might be able to add to the discussion that hasn't already been well-trodden territory in that field's many journals and monographs. If you're interested in reading some introductory material on the subject, I'd strongly recommend either "A Theory of Adaptation" by Linda Hutcheon or "Film Adaptation and Its Discontents" by Thomas Leitch. 2) If the intended focus of this article is the question of authorship, and particularly the lack of creative involvement the authors of source texts typically have in the creation of adaptations, then why do you only mention long-deceased authors (i.e. Bram Stoker and Agatha Christie)? It doesn't seem very likely/possible that either of them will have much input in contemporary film adaptations of their novels. Living authors by contrast, retain copyright over their works, meaning they get some degree of choice over who is given film-rights to their books. Even when they don't have screenwriter or consultant credits on the finished film, the fact that they sold the rights to such-and-such studio and/or filmmaker arguably acts as somewhat of a tacit endorsement, no? 3) J.D.'s suggestions are certainly more instructive, and there are no lack of similar examples. A few that immediately come to mind are GRRM's consultant role on Game of Thrones, Mario Puzo co-writing the screenplay for The Godfather, John Patrick Shanley writing and directing the film version of Doubt, etc. The list can go on and on. However, what I think might be more compelling -- and perhaps more relevant to the issue you seem to be raising -- are instances wherein the original authors are famously displeased with the films made out of their books. I believe this to have been the case with Milan Kundera's reaction to the adaptation of Unbearable Lightness of Being, as was Umberto Eco's to that of The Name of the Rose. (Interesting that both of these cases concern quintessentially postmodern novels, in which the form and content are inextricably linked; that said, Vonnegut apparently really liked the Slaughterhouse-Five movie, so who knows?) If you want to go even further back, prior to copyright restrictions, Dickens was famously displeased with stage adaptors in his own time writing and producing theatrical versions of his novels. What especially concerned him was when they did so prior to the novel's completion in monthly serialized publication, forcing these playwrights to make wild guesses at the endings … sometimes correctly, sometimes not (see Karen Laird's "The Art of Adapting Victorian Literature, 1848-1920" for more details). Anyway, hope some of that helps. – ProtoCanon3 months ago
I'd suggest doing a lot more research on what is actually done when adapting films from literature. Generally the author may not be in a consulting role (for instance when not alive) but there are always organisations that have copyright over the text. A great example of this is the Tolkien Society that has to approve any pitches relating to any films or series that are based on Tolkien's plethora of literature. – cjvisser3 months ago
In the film True History of the Kelly Gang, a fictional take on the outlaw Ned Kelly’s life, relations between Britain and members of the Commonwealth (in this case, Australia and Ireland in the 1870s) play a central role. Themes of displacement begin with Ned’s Irish-born parents’ (especially his mother’s) sense of alienation in Australia and distaste for anything that reeks of British influence. This feeling continues with Ned’s propulsion into the role of “man of the house” when his father dies and then when his mother secretly attempts to sell him into servitude for some quick money. Derision of authority figures partially stems from forced separation from or abandonment by one’s home (whether it is one’s country or familial circle).
In connection with relations between nations of different power dynamics, gender plays an important role here as well. Despite the reluctance to perform an expected role, there is a strong male desire to be powerful enough to defend female honor from outsiders (i.e. the sexual exploitation of Ned’s mother and sister) that culminates in the Kelly Gang’s string of police-related murders. Ned is encouraged to “Die a Kelly” and give up his own life for his mother, even if it is at the expense of his unborn child and its mother. Ned’s entry into gang life begins as a “Son of Sieve,” an Irish rebel who dons overtly feminine dresses into battle to appear crazy and, therefore, more frightening. By the end of the film, in contrast, Ned Kelly is finally captured after wearing heavy, uber-masculine “bulletproof” armor in a gunfight that results in the bloody massacre of his men.
What connections are made in the film between male and female dynamics and Britain’s relationship to members of the Commonwealth? How does simultaneous suicidal devotion to a reigning power and an internal aversion to fighting someone else’s battle with the promise of little to no personal benefit play out? What does the film have to say about these opposing tensions and their consequences within this fictionalized depiction of Ned Kelly?
Upon Œdipus’s self-imposed exile from Thebes for being the reason the city held a divine curse (on account of his marriage—unwittingly—to his mother Iocaste), his sons fight a civil war (Œdipus at Collonus) to determine who will rule Thebes. The result is that both sons kill each other by each other’s hand in battle. Creon becomes king (Antigone) and refuses burial of the rebellious son, and orders that anyone who would bury him to be executed. Antigone, the sister of the brothers, assisted by their sister Ismene, buries the body. Creon initially orders her imprisonment and execution. He vacillated at this decision but too late as Antigone and Ismene committed suicide to highlight Creon’s unjust actions.
Analyze how much of this is the result of Œdipus and why this is the result. Is it the result of Œdipus’ union with his mother? Or is it his curiosity (See Œdipus Rex)? In these plays, do the children suffer from the father’s sins, or are they the authors of their own tragedy? Bear in mind that the mindset of Ancient Greece held that any wrongdoing any person committed was under strict liability (intent does not matter; the act itself is good or evil). What kind of critique, if any, does the author Sophocles (a citizen of the Athenian Republic, which held the heart of Hellenic democracy) make of the rule of kings. Could this be a critique on the rule of the Spartans (Athens’s historic rival; a monarchy)?