The Perks of Being a Wallflower #LiteraryFilmReview

Perks of being a wallflower is about a shy high school freshman battling with depression after the loss of his best friend who committed suicide. He learns how to have fun, let loose and even falls in love after making friends with a group of socially unique seniors — The Wallflowers (I won’t call them “socially awkward” because it’s all a matter of perspective and I think they’re actually really awesome). The film is based on the 1999 book by Stephen Chbosky, who also wrote the screenplay.

“Perks of being a wallflower” is a metaphor for being wallpaper decorated with flowers. It is similar to the idea of being a fly on the wall. It means that you easily go unnoticed while observing the world around you and taking in information about it. However, it is fair to note that this usually is not something seen as advantageous. So, what are the perks of being a wallflower? What does this mean for the guy struggling through depression and dealing with his best friend’s suicide? What does this mean for an artistic, enthusiastic girl full of life and raring to go? How are they the symbols of wallflowers? How do they stay out of the eyes of others? Let’s find out.

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Becoming Jane (Austen)

Jane Austen (1775-1817) was an English novelist known primarily for her six major novels, which interpret, critique and comment upon the British landed gentry at the end of the 18th century. Austen’s plots often explore the dependence of women on marriage in the pursuit of favorable social standing and economic security. Most famously known for: Pride & Prejudice, Sense & Sensibility, Emma, Persuasion, and Mansfield Park.

In the film, Becoming Jane, we see Jane Austen’s (Anne Hathaway) financially strapped parents (James Cromwell, Julie Walters) who expect her to marry the nephew of wealthy Lady Gresham (Maggie Smith). The young Jane knows that such a union will destroy her creativity and sense of self-worth so instead she becomes involved with Tom Lefroy (James McAvoy). He is a charming but penniless apprentice attorney who gives her the knowledge of the heart and experience she needs for her future career as a passionate writing novelist.

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To Kill a Mockingbird #LiteraryFilmReview

To Kill a Mockingbird is a 1962 film based on the novel by Harper Lee (1960). The film opens with a child opening a toy chest containing wooden dolls, jacks and marbles, loose crayons, a pocket watch engraved “to Atticus my beloved husband”, a whistle, and a harmonica. The Child draws a bird and colors it in. When the child is done with the illustration, they giggle and rip it right down the middle, tearing apart the bird. The items in the toy chest can be seen throughout the film as little scene tokens and hidden gems; it’s like playing “I Spy,” while watching a film. Some of the items have more meaning than others which have little to no meaning at all.

The setting of this story takes place in Maycomb, AL. The introduction is narrated by six-year old Scout. She’s playing outside when Mr. Cunningham comes by to drop off some hickory nuts as payment for the legal work done by her father, Atticus Finch. See, Mr. Cunningham is a poor country man who works as a farmers and owns his land. The year is 1932. note: after the Great Depression. One of their neighbors, Ms. Atkinson, is in her front yard watering her plants. She tells the children, Scout and her older brother, Jem to count their blessings and stop complaining because their father can’t play games with them or eat breakfast together. They should be so grateful that he’s a hard working man.

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The Platform: Netflix Film Review

This 2020 Netflix film takes us on a socioeconomic ride to the future of prison cells constructed as vertical rooms that allow inmates to watch each other in lower cells, while the inmates above get first dibs on the food served by chefs at the top of the building… Yeah, I know it sounds a bit strange and maybe even eccentric but don’t judge a film by its’ trailer (see below). It’s much worse than it sounds.

The principle of The Platform is that there are a variety of awful people that exists no matter what social status level you are on in this world. However, this principle of the film brings us to the question of who are the absolute worst: the people at the top or the people at the bottom?

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Is There Truly A Cure for Wellness?

In February of 2017, a movie titled, A Cure for Wellness was released to theaters in the USA. I saw the trailer for this film during the Summer of 2016 and was immediately intrigued. The story follows a Wall Street stockbroker (played by Dane DeHaan) who travels to a remote location in the Swiss Alps to retrieve his company’s CEO (played by Harry Groener) from an idyllic but mysterious wellness center. The stockbroker soon suspects that the miraculous treatments are not what they seem. His sanity is being tested as he unravels the spa’s terrifying secrets and finds himself diagnosed with the same curious illness that keeps all of the guests there longing for a cure.

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Colonization and the Development of Technology

Out of all the movies ever made, there are four that I decided to compare and contrast as references to history and the future of the development of technology as it relates to colonization of countries and states. These four movies (Avatar, Her, 2001: A Space Odyssey, and WALL-E) came out at difference points in technological advancement and they display the continuing evolution of human beings and the digital world.

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2001: The Monolith

In the film, 2001: A Space Odyssey, the audience experiences three solid levels of evolution and explanation of mankind in the eyes of what may seem as religion to some and science to others.

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No Country for Old Men: The Coin Toss

In No Country for Old Men (2007 film), one of the most memorable quotes is “What’s the most you ever lost in a coin toss?” This is a short rhymed question asked by Anton Chigurh (played by Javier Bardem) to a Texaco worker; the answer will determine if Anton’s next action will be a threat or a promise. At this point in the film, we have already seen that Anton has a way of changing others direction in life when he crosses their path, whether it be killing them or letting them live.

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Memento: The Unreliable Narrator

What if I told you a story about how my wife was stripped of her dignity and respect when she was raped and murdered by complete strangers? Following that, what if I told you that I have a short-term memory loss that doesn’t allow me to remember day to day details but somehow I’m planning to catch the man/men who took my wife’s life? Interesting, right? See the thing about it is, there was this guy, Sammy Jankis who had a similar condition to mine and he tried to take notes as a way of keeping a log of people and events he encountered, but, he mixed them all up. He didn’t have a system. For this to work, you really need a system. I have a system that helps me keep my notes organized: (1) pictures with names of places and people, (2) a map to place/remove those pictures and make sense of where I can find such people and places (3) tattoos on my body, and (4) actually notes that I’ve handwritten [it is important to know and trust my own handwriting]. Remembering the details along the way and piecing together the clues to find my wife’s murderers is not going to be my easiest feat considering my condition but I am confident in my system. Where to I start my journey… Hmm…

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British Accents: A Phonetic Study

I absolutely love how wherever you go in the world, you can get an idea of where someone is from by their accent. By listening to the way they enunciate, drop or add letters, and have a certain tenacity for the way they construct sentences, use facial expressions, and even use local slang or phrases, you can figure out what region of the world someone was born and/or raised. Using this concept, today I’m going to be doing a brief study of the dialects that encompass the British accent based on regional location and social class.

In 1912, there was an obvious divide of social economic classes in England. The upper class were wealthy individuals who spoke with a Received Pronunciation or “the Queen’s English” accent. The lower class consisted of working individuals who spoke in a less proper Cockney accent. Both of these particular British accents can be observed through the lens of the contemporary film, My Fair Lady, which is based on the playwright, Pygmalion, by George Bernard Shaw.

In this phonetic study, I will explore the differences between a Cockney accent and Received Pronunciation accent using examples from both Pygmalion and My Fair Lady, as well as the differences in how societal class influenced the two well-known British accents.

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