Friday, August 31, 2012

My Summer Movies, 2012

Welcome, fellow film bloggers!  In addition to the list you made in the computer lab, write a brief paragraph on one of your movies:  your favorite movie, or the one that surprised you the most.

For me that movie is What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?  It's a great, sort of horror movie, starring Betty Davis and Joan Crawford, two legendary actresses.  Though the movie was made in the 60s, it is shot in black and white to eerie effect.  It's one of the creepiest movies I've ever seen, and a brave movie for Betty Davis to make since she is evil and totally out of touch with reality in this movie.  It's not a choice that many actresses of her stature would have made -- since most actors like making movies where they play heroes -- yet it won her a third Oscar for Best Actress. 

Here's my list:

Movies at Home:
The Dark Night Rises
The Queen of Versailles
The Avengers
The Amazing Spider Man
A Clockwork Orange
The Dictator
Moonrise Kingdom
What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?
Hush, Hush, Sweet Charlotte
Thelma and Louise
We Need To Talk About Kevin
The Apartment
No Country for Old Men
The Day of the Jackal
Bonnie and Clyde
Forrest Gump
Breaking Away
The Wizard of Oz
White Dog
Saturday Night Fever
Scent of a Woman

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Summer reading questions on Oedipus The King and Minority Report

Answer the following questions either typed or neatly handwritten to be turned in during the first week of class. Consider the questions and develop your answers thoughtfully. Much of the first weeks of school will be taken up with the play and the film, so be sure you have read and watched carefully!

  1. To what extent is Oedipus responsible for his own fate in the play? Be prepared to discuss at least two examples from the text which lead you to believe he is or is not responsible.
  2. How good a king is Oedipus?  In what ways does he excel as a leader?  In what ways does he fall short?
  3. Since Oedipus is considered the quintessential tragic hero, then what would you argue is his tragic mistake?  In other words, what in his own character/personality or what wrong-headed action does he take which leads him to his ultimate downfall? Choose a particular flaw or action and explain its relation to his disgrace and exile.
  4. If we agree that Oedipus the King is about the role of fate and humans’ inability to escape destiny, in what ways does Minority Report, and the character of John Anderton in particular, support or refute Oedipus’ notion of destiny?  Think of two scenes that support your position.
  5. The eyes are often associated not just with the act of seeing but also of revealing oneself to others. In the film, explain the different ways that eyes or the act of seeing are used for:  1. The Precogs, 2. John Anderton, 3. The culture of the world of the film.
  6. The story upon which the movie is based was written in the 1950's.  The movie came out in 2002 but is set in 2054.  How much of the events/the attitudes of the movie do you see in contemporary American culture?  Where will be in 44 years?  Speculate on the direction in which our country is headed.  What future contingencies are we preparing for?  To what extent does our attempt to prepare for certain future events determine our own fate? 

Minority Report: The Future is Now

In considering your reading/viewing, we asked you to think about the degree to which our contemporary world resembles the 2054 "future" of Minority Report. Check out this NPR podcast to hear several ways in which the future is now.  What do you think of these huge technological?  Which will be most beneficial?  Which is most disturbing?