Friday, April 27, 2007

The Big Sleep

The Big sleep was a 1946 movie of the classic detective work style. Another movie made famous by Humphrey Bogart. This Noire style movie revolves around alot of back stabbing and people double and triple crossing each other. It starts with the private detective Phillip Marlowe investigating a shady buisness. The business is found to sell pornography and other illegals and then blackmail the people who take part with the business. People then kill other people trying to get back at them, with the detective always a step behind. It has a very dark aura, the way it makes people seem that given in certain situation, they are capable of doing anything, such as black mailing, killing, and every just the thought of people taking part in illegal business.
One of my favorite songs is based on the actions in this movie. By Streetlight Manifesto on their first album, Every thing goes numb. A very dark CD in total, The Big Sleep song deals with alot with the darker side of human emotions and how they deal with them. the song opens with " Why do you cry when you know how the story ends?How can you laugh when you know that it hurts your friends?" and sets the tone for the rest of the song. Its is asking how and why we as a human A) are affected by when something bad happens that we know is gonna evetually happen, and B) why do we hurt the ones we love, with stupid little things. I do know the answers to these questions and I do not believe anyone else is capable of answering these questions because it deals with the true human nature and how we all separately deal with human emotions. " I'm not leaving this place,Unless I'm leaving with you" picks at how people should try to save one another from taking the wrong path in life. It is applibile to the movie and how people truly have good hearts and other know it.


Casablanca, a movie that shall prove the test of time due to its greatness in all areas of the film industry debuted in 1942 as a romantic movie. I was set Morocco, in the city of Casablanca, and the movie revolved around a couple of Rick and Ilsa. Rick is a cafĂ© owner, which participates in illegal gambling and is quite popular for both French Officials and German Officials. Set in World War 2 this is reason for problems in this occupied country and reasons for a lot of tension. Rick however refuses to take any sides what so ever. That is until Ilsa unexpectedly arrives in his club. Before Rick was a club owner, he used to run arms to French resistance fighters in Paris. There in Paris he and Ilsa had gotten into a relationship. They proceeded to see each other until it became unsafe for both them to stay in Occupied France. On the day they were supposed to leave together, but Ilsa stood Rick up. Since then he has become distraught over the situation and refuses to get attached to anything. He later learns that Ilsa was cheating on the leader of the French Resistance with Rick, which changes a lot of ideas he has in his mind. Rick obtains a very valuable item in Casablanca, of which anyone who bears these papers, they are allowed to leave the city of Casablanca and are allowed to move through neutral and German occupied territory. Many people want to obtain these letters of transit, and get out of Casablanca. No on more than Victor and Ilsa, mainly because Victor is urgent to get back to helping with the French resistance. Rock is hesitant due to how heart broken he was over Ilsa. After much deliberation with Rick and Ilsa, rick decides to help them out, flat out ignoring his favorite motto “I stick my neck out for no one”. At the end Rick helps Victor escape with Ilsa, and he doesn’t get the girl, which was very disappointing to the audience because of the on screen chemistry between Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman.
This movie is great because of the ending. The build up for it begins right when you see Rick and Ilsa meet in the club. Everyone has the preconceived notion of how the movie ends, because they are used to love movies of that type. The guy is supposed to get the girl in the end. That’s not how it goes through this entire movie. Its very hard to fully understand each character in the movie, the only ideal that can become fully comprehendible are the emotions that each character is feeling. Which makes for the viewer to have a variety of emotions for each character. And trust me, there are plenty of good characters in this movie. There is Sam, the piano player, the Renault, the French officer who is really only good for looking out for himself. There is also Ugarte who is in desperate need of help, and of coarse the German officer, Major Strasser. All these characters at one point in the movie has some sort of conflict with either Victor, Ilsa and Rick. I really enjoy this move as it is so very different and encompasses a lot of emotions.

Monday, April 23, 2007

It Was A Calamity

I don’t understand why Calamity of Physics is called “A GOOD BOOK”. Just because someone can refer to numerous movies, events and OTHER BOOKS, does not make them smart, it makes them a know it all. Know it all’s and smart people are two completely different people. The difference is that smart people, have something to bring to the table. Know it alls, can not survive without information to thrive on. This is what Miss Pessl does, take all of information that really have nothing to do with the book, and shove it down readers throats, tricking them into thinking it is useful information. If you take all the comparisons in the book away, all that’s left is a crappy story and plot that is as follows: A smart girl that keeps moving around with her single parent dad and has trouble fitting in. For some miraculous reason a teacher decides to help her and gets her in with a group of friends, who really cant stand the new kid. The mysterious reason turns out that almost everyone in the book is an assassin and had assassin relationships with each other, and that same reason leads to an assassin assassinating another assassin. That sounds like a terrible Disney movie that never got made, I mean everything’s there, the dead mom at the beginning of the story (all good Disney movies have dead parents, The Little Mermaid, Bambi, The Lion King, Alladin,), the kid who moves from town to town and never has or made any friends (Johnny Tsunami, Cindarella, Snow White, all resort to talking animals), and the awesome surprise ending where everyone’s an assassin. Wait that’s too bad of an ending to put in a movie, might want to just restrict that one to books, because no one will ever end up believing that stuff. That is the way this fictional book comes across, fictional which means unbelievable (Websters Dictionary P.283). Anyone could write like this if they wanted to, for instance write a story where in the ending everyone is actually a SHARK, THAT WOULD TOTALLY BE A SURPRISE. And you would have to compare everything to something else, oh oh I know, sheep sheering. “ He made a sound like a sheep being sheered” or “ I flipped through the pages as if I was sheering a sheep” and the ever popular “ As I sheered the sheep, it reminded me of my sheep sheering days.” That would a great book, I’d call it Hooked on Phoniex : Stop the Addiction. This is how I view this excuse for a book, a mystery novel that may as well be called, “EVERYONE IS AN ASSASSIN” or “MY DAD: THE ASSASSIN” I don’t know where the thought came across Miss Pessl mind when she was trying to develop an ending. It probably hit her when she crossed paths with a real assassin. Or maybe she herself had a interesting love affair with Sean Connery, and wanted to translate it into something less believable. For all I care this book is For Your Eyes Only (1981 John Glenn)

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Vanessa Redgrave

An English Actress who won an academy award and was a social activist for human rights. In her early film career she appeared in films such as Morgan: A Suitable Case for Treatment, Blowup, Isadora. Her more recent films include The Bostonians, Howards End, Mission Impossible, Mrs. Dalloway, and Girl, Interupted. In her activism she helped the causes which follow: Opposition to the Vietnam War, Anti-Stalinist Workers Union, and the Peace and Progress Party.

Michael Chekov

Chekhov was a actor, director, author, and developer of acting techniques. He started his own company after the revolution in Russia where he dis agreed with Stanislavski's pratice of filming. He was embraced with his new way of viewing and producing films. He created the standard for the Russian Filming industry in which he started out with pro russia films. This gave him the boost he needed to start his career on his own.

Carl Jung

A Swiss psychiatrist, Carl Jung was the founder of analytical psychology. He was the first to identify the Hero Archetype that can be identified in most myths and legands of all cultures. He relates it to a young males rite of passage, of overcoming an overwhelming obstacle to win the prize. He puts this in puschological terms of overcoming certain complexes to move on in life.
Jung was critized as a Nazi sympathizer during WWII. He endorsed by Hitler himself in Mien Kampf. He said he did this to preserve the practice of pyschology during the war.

Cole Porter

An established American composer and songwriter, Cole Porter's works comprise of such as Kiss me, Kate, The Taming of the Shrew, Fifty Million french Men, and Ive Got You Under my Skin. He ended up at Yale University, and then to Harvard Law School. He was struggling in his studies in Law and was coxed into Arts and Sciences. There he exceeded in songwriting.


A 1885 science fiction film directed by Ron Howard from Happy Day. It starts in and elderly home that is visited by peaceful aliens who use the home's pool as rejuvenating station. The elderly people end up in the pool. It results in the entire home using the pool leaving none of the power left for the aliens. The alien race revolves around the legand of Atlantis and its sinking. In the Film Ron Howards entire family appears. the movie won two academy awards for Best supporting actor and for visual affects.


Gilda is a 1946 black and white film. It was directed by Charles Vidor. Movie circles around the mysterys of 3 characters pasts, Johnny Farrell, Ballin Mundson, and Gilda. It takes place in an illegal casino in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Each character has a secret that keeps on getting more and more revealled throughout the movie with alot of twists and turns. The movie was the first to establish the Femme Fatale character that has been used in countless others.

Sir Thomas Moore

Sir Thomas Moore was a famous singer, songwriter, poet of Irish descent. He went to college at Trinity College, and studied law at Middle Temple in London. There he gained much renown and prestige. He travelled to Canada and the USA. When he returned he published his book, Epistles, Odes, and Other Poems. Also on his return he married the actress, Elizabeth "Bessy" Dyke. He was a man who became saterated in debt. He owed large sums of money to many people and was exiled from Britain to live in Paris for 3 years until he was able to payback all the money

Sunny von Bulow

Sunny von Bulow was the name of a famous woman who survived brutal brain damage in 1981. The cause of the brain damage is still to this day unknown, but many speculate that the cause was an attempt on her by her husband. This led to a murder trial where her husband, Claus von Bulow, was convicted, but was later appealled. This widely known incident was made into a movie known as Reversal of Fortune.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Pretty in Pink

Pretty in Pink

A teenage love film in 1986. Popular for its time, delt with the clash of the different types of classes during the 80's. Molly Ringwald is a poor city girl who has a crush on the school rich boy. The friends of these two each take turns in bashing the other. In the end the two main characters, Andie and Blane overcome the social faux pas and get together for the high school senior prom. This outcome is procured when Andie creates her own pink prom dress. The original story has Andie ending up with her long time friend Duckie, but due to the idea to sell the movie, the ending was change to the Cinderella style setting that is meant to inspire teenagers of that time. The movie was shot at the same high that Grease(1977) was shot at, which was also mentioned throughout chapter 9.

The Sound of Music

The Sound of Music

This 1965 musical starred Julie Andrews as the main character. The songs included are from the musical duo Rodgers and Hammerstein (previously mentioned). The story is based on a nun who is sent to nanny a group of uncontrollable children who have no intention of respecting and obeying her. That is until she introduces them to the joyess activity of singing. This movie was a hit in its 1965 debut. It also housed a rare appearance by Marni Nixon who is known for dubbing singing voices, most famously Audrey Hepburn in My Fair Lady(also previously mentioned). In December 1965 it became the highest grossing movie of all time when it surpassed one million dollars, beating Gone with the Wind.

The Lost Weekend

Lost Weekend

Lost Weekend is a 1945 motion picture directed by Billy Wilder. Based on the novel by Charles R. Jackson about a man who is troubled by accusations that travel back to his college days. These accusations deal with the issue of homosexual, which was removed from the film. He then trys to drink his frustrations away and seek companionship through the bartender. This only worsens his life with commiting crimes. The most famous aspect of the movie was creating the image of a character walking towards the camera and having neon signs pass by. This was the first camera affect of its time that has been reused countless times.

They Shoot Horses, Don't They?

They Shoot Horses, Don't They?

Is a movie based on the novel written by Horace McCoy in 1935. This dark movie, accurately dipicts the era of the Great Depression and the 1930's as a whole. The movie centers around a dance marathon where the grand prize promises money. The participants have a hard time keeping their lives in order during these hard times, and struggle to continue to partake in the contest. The movie was one of the first that openly discussed assisted suicide, at the time very taboo. The movie was nominated for many awards only winning an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor (Gig Young). The big actor in the movie was Jane Fonda, who got much acclaim for her acting. The name has sparked a number of spoofs and spinoffs, some of which include, Happy Days, Sex and the City, and Gilmore Girls. A band from Vancouver has even based their name of the movie.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

2nd Reading

Rodger and Hammerstein

These two American Men were songwriters throughout the 1940s and 1950s. They created great broadway musicals such as, Oklahoma, Carousel, South Pacific, The king and I, and The Sound of Music. These shows were considered great successes of their time.


Spartacus is a Folk Legend, a man on ancient Rome. It was recorded that he was the leader of an unsuccessful slave unrising. Very few facts remains about Spartacus, most stories of him are treated as just that, stories. Some of those Stories are sometimes based on nothing at all. It is known that he was a slave of some sort, and rebelled against the Roman Republic.

Norman Rockwell

A painter and artist of sorts during the early 20th century, Norman Rockwell is known for many things. For four years he created the cover for the Saterday Evening Post. He made military posters during World War 1. He then produced that Four Freedoms Series during World War 2.

Blue Lagoon

Was a book first of a series of three romance novels written by Henry De Vere Stacpoole. The novel is set on a deserted Island in the South Pacific an is about shipwrecked sailors, mainly a cook and two children. The two children (cousins) eventually fall in love on the island, not knowing what changes they are going through.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

1st Reading

The major cultural references found in this book, that I did not know or understand, were very few. The biggest one, I had just forgot, which was James Dean in Rebel without a cause. Well actually, it was James Dean overall and what he represented during his time period. Teenagers rebeling, becoming adults, all the trials and test that age group goes through.

Breakfast at Tiffany's is another one I did not know. It was a famous movie that was considered Audry Hepburns most famous role. Me being a big movie buff, had heard of it, but never actually seen it. It is now on the top of my list.