temptation, Requiem for a Dream suggests, are perilously close to one another in the pursuit of dreams. And that condition may litter the road to realization with mines and pitfalls, slicks and rifts, all obscured by the voracity of the dreamer's forward momentum. The insertion of addiction into this mix will redefine that momentum wholly, rippling it into a jagged downward spiral. Such is the overarching theme of both Hubert Selby, Jr.'s 1978 novel and the film based on it, directed by Darren Aronofsky in 2000. And in fact, the movie does not simply echo the novel in sentiment, but is also relatively faithful in terms of characters, plot devices and plot action. Naturally, though, an undertaking such as the cinematic rendering of Selby's dark, troubling and unflinching story runs into the considerable challenge of meeting justifiably high expectations. After all, Selby's novel, though obscure in popular culture circles until…… [Read More]
Sociology and Req. For a Dream
ARequiem for a [email protected] takes sociological deviation to the extreme. Deviation is defined as behaviors which do not conform to significant norms held by most members of a society or group. This movie uses drugs as the deviation and shows how it destroys the four main character's lives. Harry and his girlfriend start out as ambitious young adults with dreams of starting their own clothing store. Tyrone just wants happiness with his girlfriend. Lastly Sara Goldfarb, Harry's mom wants to be on television. The three friends end alone, with nothing but their addiction to heroin and Sara is committed to an asylum because of the effects of the speed she uses to lose weight in order to be on TV. There are many specific sociological principles that apply to things that happen within deviant subcultures. This movie illustrates a good many of them in…… [Read More]
He blames his father his personal failure because he, "blew me so full of hot air I could never stand taking orders from anybody! That's whose fault it is!" (1108). illy's failure extends beyond the workplace and spills over into his family life. This should come as no surprise since the two are closely connected when we think of the American Dream.
illy does not want to change and this proves to be detrimental to his job, his life, and his family. At the age of 63, illy decides not to think about change or failure. It is easier to find excuses. For example, he tells Linda, "The trouble was that three of the stores were half-closed for inventory in Boston. Otherwise, I woulda broke records" (Miller 1046). He admits "people don't seem to take to me" (1047) and he is often overlooked and "not noticed" (1047) at work. He…… [Read More]
Black Swan is a sort of horror film, but one that we don't expect as it takes place in the world of ballet. Nina (Natalie Portman) is a ballerina who wants her chance at playing the swan in "Swan Lake," which means she will have to portray both the 'good' swan and the 'bad' swan. The problem is that she is such a good girl that nobody believes she has the chops to play the black swan. And in enters Lily (Mila Kunis), the bad girl who befriends Nina…and who tries to take over her role in "Swan Lake?"
The Black Swan is like a dream. It is about ambition, dreams, and self-doubt. It is about betrayal and desire. It is a film that is hard to put into a few neat words. Like Aronofsky's other films -- most notably Requiem for a Dream, Aronofsky is the king…… [Read More]
Film plays an important role in all of our lives; it would be nearly impossible to find a person who has not been affected in some way by a movie. From the films we watch in our childhood, to the classics, and the more challenging cinema we see later as we study the art of filmmaking, the movies offer so much opportunity to consider the principles of art (Janaro & Altshuler, 1984). Because filmmaking is a multimedia endeavor, involving costume design, sound and lighting, music, skillful writing, graphic art, and performance art, considering filmmaking as a whole encourages appreciation of all that goes into just a few minutes of reel.
When I consider Tarantino films, for example, I think about how the filmmaker places the music front and center in Pulp Fiction. The soundtrack to that movie is as memorable as the characters. I also appreciate how filmmakers like Tarantino…… [Read More]
Arthur Miller's "Death of a Salesman"
Perhaps no other play in American history has captured the essence of the nation's collective consciousness during a particular era than Arthur Miller's 1949 drama Death of a Salesman. Presented predominately from the perspective of aging salesman illy Loman, this contribution to dramatic literature is at once absurd and tragic, with Miller employing several distinct authorial styles to tell the story of an increasingly senile Loman, who wavers between states of lucidity and fantasy throughout the narrative. Several members of Loman's family play central roles in Death of a Salesman, including illy's loyal wife Linda, his failed sons Biff and Happy, and each character is an extension of the protagonist himself, representing the overall ordinary nature of his life despite delusions to the contrary (Koon 31). The reason that this play has come to encapsulate the prevailing American identity during the era in which…… [Read More]
In a fighting scene, we see how he is filled with an "intense hate" (111) and when he "was firing, when all those near him had ceased. He was so engrossed in his occupation that he was not aware of a lull" (111). After this incident, Henry throws himself down "like a man who had been thrashed" (111). Those around him saw him as "a war devil" (112).
Here we see how Henry has an animal instinct to fighting and it makes him look like a madman. Here we get an example of how we are aware of Henry's thoughts and feelings as well as what is going on around him. Crane also allows us to see the reactions of those around him to emphasize what it is that Henry is experiencing. By leaving the narrative to Henry's experiences alone, we are more apt to believe that it really happened…… [Read More]
As he himself admits, "I have a very grim perspective. I do feel that it's a grim, painful, nightmarish meaningless existence, and the only way to be happy is if you tell yourself some lies. One must have some delusions to live" ("Cannes 2010: oody Allen on Death -- 'I'm Strongly Against It'"). hat Midnight in Paris is for him (and us), therefore, is a kind of distraction from the reality that at some point the final credits will roll.
Malick's Tree of Life, then, is a kind of answer to Allen's melancholy. It is, of course, a religious answer told through an impressionistic and indirect medium. Nonetheless, unlike Allen, Malick is willing to embrace the spiritual side of man and explore its meanings and possibilities. For Malick, life is a spiritual journey that can lead one either upwards to the good or downwards to the bad. Allen's film may…… [Read More]
The shots in the scene reuniting Indy and Marian are impersonal, long shots and medium shots.
The scene introducing the relationship between Indy and Marian quickly cuts in to the Nazi whose expertise is one of torture. He has come for the same thing Indy has, and the close ups are Marian's facial expression of fear as she's about to lose her eye to a red hot poker. Indy comes to the rescue and the final Nepal scene is a montage of dynamic action where Indy and Marian make their escape.
The film cuts to the Middle East, where Indy and Marian have traveled, as have the Nazis, in search of the ark. The first part of this Act II, so to speak, introduces Indy's good friend and his Middle Eastern contact. The scenes in the Act II employ a series of medium and long shots as Indy and Marion…… [Read More]
Today, Benjamin Britten (1913-1976) is best known for his instrumental, choral, and operatic compositions as well as being the co-founder of the English Opera Group and the Aldeburgh Festival (Radloff 426). Although Britten's music is likely familiar to many modern observers, his name is probably unfamiliar to most and facts about his early life even less well-known. To determine these facts and the impact of his work, this paper provides a review of the relevant peer-reviewed and scholarly literature concerning the composer, Benjamin Britten, including an in-depth analysis of one of his compositions. A summary of the research and important findings concerning Britten and his work are provided in the conclusion.
Review and Discussion
On November 22, 1913 (St. Cecilia's Day), Edward Benjamin Britten was born in Lowestoft, Suffolk, England (Craggs 3). Benjamin was the youngest child of five sons and two daughters (Brann 2) born to Robert…… [Read More]
Pop is tomorrow's Classical"- Paul McCartney. Discuss this contention within the context of rock/classical music collaborations since the early 1950s.
Classical Rock and Popular Prophecy
To the average music-listener, musical genres are easily divided into homogenous groupings without any danger of overlapping one another. Certainly, there are rare occurrences of "cross-over" hits on the radio that find airplay on both Adult Contemporary and Country stations, or those releases which find an audience among both Easy Listening and Rock fans. Another seemingly strange occurrence that may be observed by the slightly more alert music consumer is that time shifts musical pieces from one genre to another, and yesterday's Alternative Rock is today's Easy Listening, yet even this phenomenon is considered an anomaly of the music industry. A simplicity is desired among musical elitists that preserves some musical forms as valid, labeling others as mere fads. However, the deep impact of musical…… [Read More]
Even when has the opportunity to make things better, he does not act. He refuses Charley's job offer because it seems easier to ask for money than it is to do something other than sell. He would rather see the family suffer than try to work at something else for a little while. After he is gone, she tells the kids, "First time in thirty-five years we were just about free and clear" (Requiem 1112). This statement illustrates just how disconnected to two were. She knew enough to know that they were almost at a place where they could stop and breathe but illy does not see things that way. He does not look at retirement as a way of beginning something refreshing with Linda. He fails her because he is not the strong, dependable man she deserves.
illy also fails his children. hile he does not beat his children…… [Read More]
For Private Witt, the idea is found in another world. For Sgt. Welsh, no idea exists -- and he tries to get Private Witt to see as much.
Yet, Malick's point is that such a world does exist. In fact, he begins the film with the prayerful chants of the islanders, and rolls credits to the same chant. At one point, one of the soldiers (Dale) sits in the pouring rain, clinging to himself before hurling his collection of Japanese molars away. Malick plays the hauntingly beautiful score by Charles Ives, "The Unanswered Question," to underscore the sense of spiritual desolation in Dale's horrific hobby.
The acting in the film is another point of interest. Malick's characters are not so much scripted as they are caught on film: each actor essentially is playing himself. Jim Caviezel is Private Witt. Sean Penn is Sgt. Welsh. What Malick undertook to do with…… [Read More]
A favorite target for conspiracists today as well as in the past, a group of European intellectuals created the Order of the Illuminati in May 1776, in Bavaria, Germany, under the leadership of Adam Weishaupt (Atkins, 2002). In this regard, Stewart (2002) reports that, "The 'great' conspiracy organized in the last half of the eighteenth century through the efforts of a number of secret societies that were striving for a 'new order' of civilization to be governed by a small group of 'all-powerful rulers.' The most important of these societies, and the one to which all subsequent conspiracies could be traced, is the Illuminati founded in Bavaria on May 1, 1776 by Adam Weishaupt" (p. 424). According to Atkins, it was Weishaupt's fundamental and overriding goal to form a secret organization of elite members of Europe's leading citizens who could then strive to achieve the Enlightenment version of revolutionary social…… [Read More]
Enron could engage in their derivative trading strategy with no fear of government intervention because derivative trading was specifically exempted from government regulation. Due in part to a ruling by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission's (CFTC) chairwoman, Wendy Graham, derivatives remained free of regulatory oversight. Ms. Graham, wife of Texas senator Phil Graham, made this ruling 5 weeks before resigning as chairwoman of the CFTC and joining the Enron oard of Directors in 1993.
Derivative accounting is further complicated because there is no consistent way to fairly report their value and risk in a company's financial report. In 1998 Rule No. 133, "Accounting for Derivative Instruments and Hedging Activities" was developed by the Financial Accounting Standards oard (FAS), an independent agency that sets guidelines for corporate auditors. Rule 133 contains more than 800 pages, which further complicates its adoption and consistent interpretation by various companies. SFAS No. 133 was subsequently…… [Read More]