Monday, May 9, 2011

Blog Posts

Welcome to our class blog! This blog will be a place to further our class discussion of the theme "The Mind on Film." Feel free to leave comments on posts.

Each student can choose from the following assignments:

1. In a short Nonfiction Essay write about an experience you have had with dreams, nightmares, memories, etc. Relate the experience to something in the films we have watched.

2. Watch Waking Life. Write a short summary and personal response to the film.

3. Find and watch a movie that you believe fits into our class theme and write a short summary and personal response to the film. Here is a list of examples that I believe would be relevant: The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, The Wizard of Oz, Blow Up, Total Recall, Jacob's Ladder, Fight Club, Memento, The Matrix, Source Code, Alice in Wonderland, Mulholland Drive, In the Company of Wolves, Labyrinth, Eastern Promises (or any David Cronenberg film). Also, Dario Argento's Tenebrae, Inferno, Deep Red, Opera, Phenomena, and The Stendahl Syndrome are all relevant.

Since we will be watching Suspiria soon, I am posting a short excerpt from a rough draft that I am writing about the Dario Argento movie Deep Red.

When I watch a scene from a Dario Argento film, I feel as if I am in a nightmare. Argento forges a deep emotional connection with his audience, while deftly blending psychology and dream into his own surreal reality. These movies do not rely on logic or narrative, but they do rely on emotion and intense visceral reaction. The films mimic lyric poetry, shaping the most grotesque ideas into beautiful hyper stylized images. Upon first watching these films, a viewer may only concentrate on his or her own visceral reaction to the unfolding mystery; however, a closer examination reveals that these films are about deep psychological concerns and questions of identity. Argento’s films captivate audiences because he creates a dream setting to struggle with aspects of psychology--identity, disrupted family dynamics, and the relationship between victim and victimizer.