Monday, December 1, 2014

Week Six: The Heroic Journey (Revised)

I would be lying if i said the hobbit didn't lay down some kind of framework in my imagination as a child.  My mother often read the Hobbit to me during the day while the rest of the family was gone, actually she had read the hobbit to all of us kids at one point or another often times along side The chronicles of Narnia. At the time, my father was a fifth grade teacher at a christian school in Levittown, Puerto Rico, to which my sisters attended. It wasn't until sometime later that i discovered (a box full of paper back versions of the hobbit in my parents basement) that my father would have all his students read and discuss The Hobbit.

To be perfectly honest, i don't ever remember the stories the stories in hobbit until sometime later when we had moved back to Indiana and my father had brought home a VHS of The Hobbit the animated film.  It wasn't until i started to watch this that i began to remember some of the tales my mother once read to me.  It was weird because all i had remembered, really, was the cover of the hobbit because of how creepy/wierd it looked to me, and i often thought about that cover for years to come not knowing the relation it had to The Lord of The Rings and what great part it would have to play in my life.

So as far as fantasy fiction goes, J.R.R Tolkein and C.S. Lewis was pretty much the extent of it.  I wasn't "allowed" to read the Harry Potter series nor was i allowed anywhere near any Magic card sets and or anything with the name Dungeons and Dragons in it, which is a real shame.  The ignorance of the religious sometimes really makes me wonder sometimes, but i that another blog post i guess.

I enjoyed reading the hobbit again, its always good to go back the the book that started it all.  I must say i really do enjoy the style in writing of the book, as if its a tale being told, im drawn to stories like that.  It has a folk nature to it, in terms of telling a story to a person or group of people.  This along with other reasons is why i love The Princess Bride so much.

As a side note, i was very excited to see a collaboration between, Del Torro and Jackson because i felt like Del Toro would have brought the practical effects, that folky feel of practical effects to the film, but as fate would have it, it was not to be so.

(add on)

In one of our more recent classes we watched part of the extended version of the hobbit and i could be more jazzed to pick up this version.  I had forgotten about the extended editions as i am quite familiar with the extended versions of the Lord of the Rings and as i am learning more and more about the film industry it seems, the directers cut or extended versions are the way to go, because as most know, the studio often likes to play their part and overplay their hand but the extended versions only help extend the directors vision for the project.

Week Fourteen

I have fond memories of listening to the various radio dramas featured on NPR, mainly Garrison Keillor's A Prairie Home Companion.  In highs sights, thats probably why i listen to so many podcasts today, podcasts like, Geeks Guide to the Galaxy and Stuff You Should Know, where the sometimes feature excerpts from radio dramas. 

Im a huge fan of the radio drama, maybe thats due to the time period i imagine surrounding radio dramas, the thought of kids sitting around a radio ( A christmas story)  or because of my love for theatre, regardless I enjoyed  The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.  Not really a big fan of I think Were All Bozos on this Bus though, i found it to all over the place to follow what was going on.  But i do as always love the little phrases that at first glance seem of the cuff or just seem perfectly human to say.

Week 11

This week i listened to the audio version of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, fully forgetting that Blade Runner was based off of this, so when were watching the film in class, im sitting their thinking ok, this is starting to feel very familiar, its funny because ive already seen Blade Runner and i knew it was based off of the book but i guess somewhere along the way i forgot, anyway really cool really weird.

So for this week i have been asked to discuss the types of reality rendered in what i read for this week.  Reality is a funny thing.  I often wonder if the current world we live in is a reality, or is it a simulation, i only think about this because of dreams and how real some dreams can seem.  If a dream can feel so real, why cant the human existence be a simulation, we wouldn't know the difference.  Sometimes i feel like 10 years ago was just yesterday and sometimes it feels like 10 years ago, but i digress.

The perceived reality of the conscious in some of the characters in Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep leave the ready often wondering, who to believe and what reality they are actually in, its exciting for me but for most i find it disorienting and frustrating, its the not know of whats going on in any particular moment that people hate, they want to know whats going on, why people are making the decisions their making all at once...Its a damn shame

Week 10

I wasn't able to ready any of the corse directed materials, instead i thought i would talk about A Scanner Darkly and the perceived powers of the mind in the film.  The film is littered with altered realities due to the properties of a drug called substance D.  Through this we can see the powers of the mind and what drugs can do to our perceived consciousness.

Their is this idea, that the private investigators wear this scramble suit and nobody ever knows who's on the inside, so their is this play between characters you think are users and characters you suspect might also be agents outside of their suites.  This is one of the many ideas the film explores but its an interesting one, the thought of always looking over your shoulder never know why anyone is or who is watching you, pretty prevalent to todays world i think.

Week 9: Space Opera

mmmmmm... the space opera, my favorite.  Without realizing it i think i have come to the recent understanding that star wars is more fantasy than it is sci fi, which is the genre it often gets thrown in, but their is nothing scientific about star wars.

I believe most of the themes in star wars are lost on people, and understandably so, its masked by alot of spectacles and visual effects but its the underlying tones of the space opera that make them such a cult hit and a sustainable story.  Its the romance, the revenge the classic tale of good vs evil, family values, lol, all the things that make up the pillars of a space opera, star trek and star wars poses.

On another note i have been an new adapter to Firefly and i couldn't be more upset (actually i probably could) with the lack of show.  I WANT MORE.  Its funny, you grow up without cable, without internet and all you know are the big ones, as you get older you are introduced to new people and hopefully they share the same interests as you, it seems each and every year when i think i've seen it all i just uncover a whole new layer of whatever genre i desire.

Week 8

Unfortunately i wasn't able to read any of the course selected material, which is a shame since i already know some of Neil Gaimens works and i am a fan but i dont want to run the risk of not doing a blog post so i will talk about Lady in the Water.

The writing assignment for this week i feel runs parallel with the themes of Lady in the Water.  As a movie it plays with the themes of myth, what is myth or what is new myth.  Lady in the Water provides its own myth or lore surrounding the events of the film, how the lady of the water came to be in the pool of an apartment complex, and the creatures that her.

The myth or story behind the history of this lady and the water and the creatures that hunt her are eventually told threw ancient stories of some of the people who live in the apartments but its set in modern day, and how the two play off each other is setting, is quite remarkable.

Week Seven: The Novel of Spiritual Education

Growing up i was never allowed to read the Harry Potter series as under strict instructions it was very clear i was not allowed to.  I was always able to catch the films though, either at school or i would sneak them home from the library.  As I've grown older I've vicariously been living through my wife memories and her experience reading the Harry Potter series as it is her favorite.

I have noticed that the harry potter stories are essentially, mystery novels with a very rich world built around it to support the ideas and its characters.  I think this in part has to do with its success, obviously i would say the use of magic is a larger part of its success but never the less i have found all of the riddles and never having all the answers to be quit intriguing in the books.