Category: TV/Movies

  • Character Empathy In The Breaking Bad Pilot

    Character Empathy In The Breaking Bad Pilot

    It is much more effective to act like a nice guy and be “reasonable” if you prove willing to go beyond just verbiage. You can afford to be compassionate, lax, and courteous if, once in a while, when it is least expected of you, but completely justified, you sue someone, or savage an enemy, just to show that you can…

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  • TV Study: Stranger Things (2016)

    TV Study: Stranger Things (2016)

    Stranger Things is a Netflix series created by the brilliantly named ‘Duffer Brothers’, out this year but set in 1983. Though I suspect strong ‘recency bias’, season one scores a very high 9.2 on IMDb. **CONTAINS ALL THE SPOILERS** The show feels like a mixture of Twin Peaks (with the missing kids and small community), Freaks and Geeks (with the three…

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  • How Teaching School Is Different From The Movies

    An English teacher I had at school couldn’t stand that Robin Williams movie, Dead Poet’s Society. The ideal of the enthusiastic teacher jumping about on all the desks, monologuing center stage gave him the shits, I was surprised to learn. Then, when I was at teachers’ college myself, I remember the tutor saying a few times, “Now you may have seen…

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  • Menstruation In Fiction

    Menstruation In Fiction

    Menstruation is depicted rarely in fiction. Perhaps you are rattling off half a dozen stories which feature menstruation right now, hoping to prove me wrong. But when you consider the impact of menstruation on lives, and how frequently it occurs, menstruation is heavily underrepresented across storytelling. We need more of it. People going through female adolescence in particular need to read…

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  • Wolf Children Japanese Anime Film Study

    The Japanese anime Wolf Children is an inspiring and engaging film for miniature nature lovers. I have recommended this film to people completely forgetting that it is basically a very sad story though, so consider yourself warned! I wonder if the author of Wolf Children was inspired by the story of Amala and Kamala, two “feral girls” from Bengal who…

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  • Ponyo by Miyazaki Symbolism and Structure

    Ponyo by Miyazaki Symbolism and Structure

    Hayao Miyazaki’s Ponyo is a feature-length anime which makes heavy use of  myth and symbolism but is aimed squarely at a young child audience.

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  • Thelma And Louise Story Structure

    Thelma And Louise Story Structure

    Thelma and Louise is an iconic 1991 film, hailed at the time as feminist. I don’t fall into the camp who consider this a feminist film, but it is still one of my all time favourites. I know Thelma and Louise so well it makes an excellent case study in storytelling technique. While I was writing Thelma and Louise, it…

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  • Gender Problems In ParaNorman (2012)

    Gender Problems In ParaNorman (2012)

    ParaNorman (2012) is an animated zombie flick, light-hearted in its intent, and follows the adventures of an outcast 11-year old called Norman, who sees dead people. They’re everywhere. I identify with Norman, I really do. These days, whenever I watch a kids’ film, all I see are anti-girl references and tropes. These tropes are like ghosts because only a select…

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  • Gilmore Girls and Modern Feminism

    Why Fans Love Gilmore Girls A Fan’s Notes On Gilmore Girls from The Awl. Watching With Your Kids Here’s a good argument for watching Gilmore girls with your daughter even if you see problems with it. I kind of live by this rule. That’s how my kid knows that sex is mostly recreational — honestly, it’s TV. I enjoyed the…

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  • Gravity (2013) Film Study

    Gravity (2013) Film Study

    Gravity is a science fiction film from 2013, with a strong mythological, Christian influence.

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  • Film Study: Contact (1997)

    Film Study: Contact (1997)

    I recently found a copy of Carl Sagan’s 1985 novel Contact at the second-hand store. I already knew that Carl Sagan was a brilliant thinker and that he wrote this book of fiction as a way of playing with some ideas he had about what might happen if humans were to make contact with an extra-terrestrial intelligent life form. I’d enjoyed the film…

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  • The Others Film Study

    The Others Film Study

    Written by Alejandro Amenábar, The Others is an old-fashioned melodramatic ghost story but done very well. If you haven’t seen it yet, it’s one of those films that can be ruined in one fell swoop (like Sixth Sense), so leave the building now!

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  • Storytelling Tips From Juno (2007)

    Storytelling Tips From Juno (2007)

    I’m no great fan of many traditional rom-coms, but I do love this off-beat romantic comedy drama blend precisely because it takes the regular, conservative storyline of: mother almost loses her baby and then reunites (to live happily ever after), and the usual movie tropes (geek = Bleeker, but he’s also an athlete, stepmother is not wicked) and inverts them at…

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  • The Study Of Film Equals The Study Of Picturebooks

    In juxtaposing a series of pictures in order to imply the sequence of a story, picture-book artists act much as filmmakers do. Andre Bazin [film critic] suggests that montage, assumed by many to be the essence of film art, is “the creation of a sense of meaning not proper to the images themselves but derived exclusively from their juxtaposition”. In films,…

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