Category Archives: film

The Time Capsule

Today is not someday August 2019. Today you have time traveled back to a pivotal event in world history: Sunday, September 3rd, 1939. You are sitting in your comfy armchair, your slippered feet propped up on a moquette covered footstool, and hearing these chilling words from Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain as you tune into your Bakelite wireless set; “This morning the British Ambassador in Berlin handed the German government a final note stating that unless we heard from them by eleven o’clock that they were prepared at once to withdraw their troops from Poland a state of war would exist between us. I have to tell you now that no such undertaking has been received, and that consequently this country is at war with Germany.”

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As Time Goes By: The Legacy of Casablanca

Over the history of cinema, the term “classic” has become almost synonymous with the black and white films of the 1930’s and ‘40’s. This is not simply because they are old; many of them are just good movies. The reason for this probably rests with the fact that the studio system of production combined with filmmakers fully grasping what the art form was capable of. It’s no wonder that a film from this era, like Casablanca, can endure in a special way. Nostalgia plays an integral part in the love story in Casablanca, and in the lasting appeal the film continues to enjoy.

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Tapping into the Deep Magic: A Quiet Place

Does humanity tend toward pessimism whenever it looks toward the future? When watching and reading dystopian fiction, the answer appears to be yes. These futuristic worlds take place after a disaster of gigantic proportions—an invasion, a plague, a natural disaster. Most of these worlds are atheistic in design and pit their protagonist against overwhelming odds, in a bid for their own survival. ††Which begs the question, from where do these ideas come? Why does humanity look forward with trepidation? Dystopian is never about an improved world; always, something sinister forces people into survival-mode, where they turn on each other. Prehistoric creatures unleashed from a cave, aliens, robots, etc. Whatever the cause, it becomes a survivalist story.

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Circus, But No Bread: The World of Panem in The Hunger Games

In 1516, Thomas More published Utopia, and the world learned a new word to describe a perfect society. Of course, the converse also had to emerge, so audiences have also enjoyed fictional accounts of when a society becomes the worst version of itself: the dystopia. This narrative is fertile ground for examining many themes. One recent popular and successful example is The Hunger Games trilogy. The world of Panem in The Hunger Games offers a profound commentary on the culture we live in as all good dystopian stories do because of the ways it bears a resemblance to our reality.

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The Strange Affair of Fairy-Kind

Every morning I bet you wake up and think, “Today I will contemplate the Napoleonic Wars and the many ways they could have been won or lost.” Okay, maybe that’s a bit dramatic. Even I, a History Major, admit I never gave old Bonaparte more than a passing glance when I was poring over history books. So I wouldn’t blame you if you retorted, “Heck, I’ve never given over three seconds thought to the old dude” and move on with your day.

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Asking Deep, Irreverent Questions: Good Omens

Once, a friend paid me a compliment. He said, “You are the most devout ‘irreverent’ person I have ever met.” Okay, maybe it wasn’t a compliment. It was a perplexed, worried statement. I thanked him anyway. As a girl who loves to approach life with humor, even the “serious bits,” as author Terry Pratchett would call them, it’s no surprise I would love the series Good Omens.

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Mission: Accomplished

Everyone knows the spy genre when they see it on screen. If you’re watching incredibly photogenic people in various incredibly photogenic locations around the globe (especially Europe’s capitol cities) doing incredibly photogenic and amazing physical feats, you’ve entered the world of international espionage. The success of James Bond in films in the ‘60s spurred many small-screen spies. One of these was Mission: Impossible, and it was a hit, running from 1966 to 1973. For over 20 years, the film franchise has been just as successful. Over the course of six installments, the Mission: Impossible series has improved in its treatment of female characters, its narrative continuity, and in maintaining its signature stunt work. Continue reading