The Exploration of the Main Character in Tandolfo the Great
For those of you who have been enjoying my random short story reviews, I'm planning to do more full-on book reviews in the near future since this is the main medium I can use to do that. For now, though, I hope you enjoy yet another short story review.
Audition (The Fools Who Dream): An Original Short Story Based on The Oscar-Nominated Song
My aunt used to live in Paris. I remember she used to tell my sister and me these stories about living abroad whenever my family visited her. She told us that she jumped into a river once, barefoot and in a dress. She smiled as she relived this story. I remember her telling us that she was driving by the Seine and had this impulse to pull over next to it. She looked down and decided to take off her shoes and run to the edge of the bridge she had parked on. She leaped in without even looking where she was going and landed cleanly into the Seine. The water was freezing, enveloping her completely. She managed to climb out of the river and drive home, but that evening, she started feeling stuffy. She spent the rest of the month with a cold. Even after that, though, she told us that if she had gotten the chance to do it, she was more than willing to jump into the Seine again. She was so invigorated by the sudden rush the cold water gave her and by the fact that she did it in the first place that the idea of doing it again made her excited.
The Essential Point of Me vs. Animals: How it Breaks the Typical Essay Format
On the surface, Benjamin Percy’s “Me vs. Animals” feels more like a collection of eight short pieces rather than a complete essay. It tells eight separate occurrences throughout Benjamin’s life of his encounters with various animals, from moose to mice to rattlesnakes. Each of these stories is engaging on its own merit, with writing that is stylized in a way that sounds like Benjamin’s speaking style. However, by the end of the piece, it becomes unavoidably clear that this collection of stories works best when read all at once as an essay, as it threads together a narrative that demonstrates that man is much more dangerous than any animal ever could be.
Text vs. Subtext in The Paper Menagerie
As an explanation for this and the many other short story reviews I've been posting recently, these are reading reflections that I wrote for a creative writing class I took at the end of last year. These short story reviews allowed me to gain a better appreciation for narrative through writing and for reading in general, and I am super proud of these short reviews.
Dialogue vs. Subtext in Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?
Joyce Carol Oates uses dialogue and subtext to her advantage to portray the fear of being sexually abused in her short story “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” Talking first about what is actually said by the primary characters of the story, we see the fifteen-year-old girl Connie trying to ask this strange boy that arrives on her driveway about why he’s there. This boy, who reveals his name as Arnold Friend, reveals how much she has heard about this girl and how interested he is in her. She dodges the fact that her name is Connie and tries to understand where this boy is taking her but doesn’t get any answers from him. Eventually, her anxiety about Arnold escalates so much that she threatens to call the police on him, and he retaliates by saying he will come into her house if she calls the police. By the end of the story, she unsuccessfully tries to call for help but is eventually taken by the young boy.
The Colors of What Dreams May Come
It makes sense that a movie focusing on a man killed in a car crash who discovers his own personal heaven would want to focus on the colors of his supposed desired afterlife. It is no surprise, therefore, that the film What Dreams May Come, directed by Vincent Ward and starring Robin Williams, is so colorful. Meaning can be extracted from the use of most, if not all, of the colors and their use in the film. Orange could be associated with the ethereal (the aura around Cuba Gooding Jr.’s ghost character Albert, the glowing fires of hell, etc.), green could be associated with the natural progression of the relationship between Williams’s Chris Nielsen and Annabella Sciorra’s Anna Nielsen (its use in scenes involving their eventual falling out and discussion of divorce, for instance), etc. However, there are three colors that have a particularly significant meaning throughout the course of the movie -- red, blue, and purple.
Contextualizing Terror: Why 102 Minutes That Changed America's Footage is Morally Acceptable
This is an essay that I wrote for a film class in high school last year about the History documentary 102 Minutes that Changed America. The essay as a whole summarizes my opinions on the importance of archival footage, documentary filmmaking, historical preservation and education, and filmmaking as a medium. Unfortunately, 102 Minutes is a rare documentary and its DVD is currently out of print. There are still DVDs available on Amazon if you're curious about the documentary, but I hope that someday the documentary will be accessible for a wide audience again.
The Genius of Psycho's Score
One of the most important aspects of Alfred Hitchcock’s classic Psycho is Bernard Hermann’s tense score. In addition to Hitchcock’s brilliant direction that feels meticulous in every shot, the music serves to convey the emotions of the characters, the terror in their eyes, their deepest fears, and their determination to learn more about the strange events at Bates Motel. At its most prominent, the score allows us to get inside the head of Marion Crane, feel the weight of the actions of Norman’s mother, and accentuate the actions of the characters with the help of the editing.