Friday, February 25, 2011
Thursday, February 24, 2011
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
How would Washington Irving feel about Tim Burton’s film “adaptation” of his story called Sleepy Hollow?
I recently watched Tim Burton’s Sleepy Hollow and noticed the vast differences between the film and Washington Irving’s short story.
There are many differences between the short story and the recent film adaptation (which came out in 1999). Firstly, in the film Crane is a police officer, not a school teacher. Also, people are actually killed in the film, unlike the short story. Irving may not have liked so many plot changes.
But the biggest thing that probably would have upset Irving was the depiction of the Headless Horseman. In the short story, it implies that the Headless Horseman may have been Brom Bones in disguise. In the film, the Headless Horseman is real and terrorizes the town’s residents. In order to defeat the horseman, Crane reattaches its head and the Horseman is sent to hell. Irving is probably rolling in his grave.
The film completely misses the marks and the themes that Washington Irving conveyed. The book details about how the town believes in the Headless Horseman and carries on the legend by word of mouth, basically throwing out all natural and logical reasons for things in favor of the supernatural. The film shows the townspeople ought to be afraid for a reason. Also, the film shows that the Headless Horseman is real and in the short story it is not true. Irving is trying to show in his short story the power of legend and telling stories has, and proves this by showing in the end that the Headless Horseman is a myth all along.
Do you think that Washington Irving would like that his story has become a classic and has other artists try to convey his work? Or would Irving be upset that the popular film is nothing like his story?
If I think about contemporary Washington DC, I see a relationship between literature and setting in many ways. Dan Brown comes to my mind (ignoring the quality of the writing) because his latest book "The Lost Symbol" dealt with DC's monuments, heroes, and potential dark side. We as residents of the city are given a sense of pride when we read about it while readers who don't live in the city they are reading about feel a sense of wonder. What other values do we see in urban literature?
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Not to stretch too far, but I feel this connects somehow to the events in Egypt and other countries involved in political change because in class we discussed the construction of America and its values. Where do we find the balance between our ideals and the practicality of enforcing them?
Check out this article:
Monday, February 14, 2011
And you've been so many places
I guess it must be so
But still I cannot see
If the savage one is me
How can there be so much that you don't know?"
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
I know, I know, Benjamin Franklin lived and died long before the age of film, but Franklin always thought about the future. Besides being a thinker and inventor, he was also very much involved in designing an image for the United States when it first became a country. Now, long after Franklin’s death, a staple in American culture and how the rest of the world sees us is our film industry. The Academy Awards recognizes the best of the best in the film industry. Since it the Oscars are only a few weeks away and Ben Franklin had a lot of opinions about subjects, I thought it would be interesting to pick Franklin’s brain and figure out what his opinions are on the ten films nominated for “Best Picture”.
· 127 Hours- Great story of survival through every possible obstacle. Inspired Franklin and wishes the troops during the American Revolution could have seen it so it could have inspired them to survive. Oh well, we still won.
· Black Swan- Is a good look at a mental breakdown, seen through the eyes of the victim. Good psychological thriller, but not Franklin’s cup of tea.
· The Fighter- Good story, but wonders why Lowell (a city only forty-five minutes away from Boston) could be so trashy. Boston is Franklin’s first home and it gives Boston a bad rap.
· Inception- He thinks this movie is interesting and he loves that it makes you think. He loves the twist ending and that it leads the viewers up to their interpretation. Likes that it prompts discussions and analysis.
· The Kids are Alright- Families are a lot smaller than in Franklin’s time, where families had many children. This film confuses but enlightens Franklin on different types of families. He is pleasantly surprised.
· The King’s Speech- Well made, but he can not support it because of his Revolution mentality. He chooses not to support England or anybody named King George (no matter if it’s III or VI)
· The Social Network- Is impressed by the script and was surprised. He assumed that it would be a simple story over the founding of a website, but it is actually a story of friendship, power, and betrayal. If he didn’t know any better, it sounded like a plot of a Shakespearean drama.
· Toy Story 3- Likes the animation and the story of friendship. Can relate because it was hard for him to leave home at first too. Franklin also wishes he invented talking toys before he passed away.
· True Grit- Thought the acting was good but thought it was anti-climatic. Didn’t like the way that the US was betrayed. Franklin likes the city and has no desire to move to the country after seeing this western.
· Winter’s Bone- He, like the rest of the county, has never heard of this movie.
Benjamin Franklin’s choice winner: Inception, because he loves to think and pay attention for over two and a half hours at a time. It’s on his daily schedule.
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
"Was the government to prescribe to us our medicine and diet, our bodies would be in such keeping as our souls are now...Government is just as infallible too when it fixes systems in physics." (p. 662)
TJ' use of the word MEDICINE really stood out. Is he against Obamacare?
Don't get me wrong Jefferson is a true scholar, but that's his ultimate problem. As the father of American republicanism (agrian society and states rights), he (along with others) laid the seeds for the Civil War