Friday, October 28, 2016

Resources for October 28, 2016

Aaron, Craig and Adam Schwartz. "Electronic Frontier Foundation: Police Depts. Paid AT&T Millions to Scrutinize Our Texts & Chats." Democracy Now (October 28, 2016) ["New details are emerging about how AT&T has been spying on Americans for profit with a secret plan called Project Hemisphere. The Daily Beast reports AT&T is keeping private call records and selling the information to authorities investigating everything from the war on drugs to Medicaid fraud. AT&T reportedly has been retaining every call, text message, Skype chat or other communication that has passed through its infrastructure. Some of the records date back to 1987. Sheriff’s and police departments each pay upward of $1 million a year for access to the call records. No warrants are needed, and AT&T requires governmental agencies to keep secret the source of the information. We speak with Adam Schwartz, a senior lawyer at the Electronic Frontier Foundation. His latest article is "AT&T requires police to hide Hemisphere phone "]

"Aliens and Commercialism." Pop Culture Case Study #157 (July 21, 2016)

Balot, Ryan. "Tocqueville's America Revisited, Part 1." Ideas (October 14, 2016) ["Nearly 200 years ago, a young French aristocrat traveled across the Atlantic to get a first-hand immersion in American democracy. Alexis de Tocqueville spent nine months touring the United States, talking to hundreds of people, trying to understand the country's strengths and weaknesses. Some have called his writing prophetic, capturing the essence of the American experiment with democracy -- both back when he was visiting the U.S. in the 1830s and today."]

Bauer, Shane. "Shane Bauer Infiltrates Armed Militia "Hunting Mexicans" & Collaborating with U.S. Border Patrol." Democracy Now (October 27, 2016)

Carlin, Dan. "Or Else." Common Sense #310 (October 13, 2016)

DuVernay, Ava, et al. "Ava DuVernay / Jamal Joseph." The Close-Up #93 (July 20, 2016)  ["The Opening Night selection will be the new film from SELMA director Ava DuVernay, THE 13TH, which explores the American prison industry and the horrors of mass criminalization. Eugene Hernandez caught up with DuVernay in Los Angeles over the weekend to discuss the project. In part two of this week's episode, we're sharing an inspirational panel from last month's Human Rights Watch Film Festival. Following a screening of CHAPTER & VERSE, a film about a reformed gang leader who struggles to re-enter society after eight years in prison, director Jamal Joseph joined lead actor Daniel Beatty and producers Cheryl Hill and Jonathan Singer to talk about racism, gang violence, gentrification, and what it means to forge your own destiny in an outwardly harsh society."]

Houska, Tara. "'A Shameful Moment for This Country': Report Back on Militarized Police Raid of DAPL Resistance Camp." Democracy Now (October 28, 2016) ["We go to Standing Rock, North Dakota, for an update on how hundreds of police with military equipment raided a resistance camp Thursday that was established by Native American water protectors in the path of the proposed $3.8 billion Dakota Access pipeline. More than 100 officers in riot gear with automatic rifles lined up across a highway, flanked by multiple MRAPs, anLRAD sound cannon, Humvees driven by National Guardsmen, an armored police truck and a bulldozer. Water protectors say police deployed tear gas, mace, pepper spray and flash-bang grenades and bean bag rounds against the Native Americans and shot rubber bullets at their horses. "We learned a lot about the relationship of North Dakota to Native people," says Tara Houska, national campaigns director for Honor the Earth. "I was standing next to a group of teenagers that were maced in the face. … I was shot in the face by a bean bag round.""]

Kozak, Oktay Ege, Erik McClanahan and Ryan Oliver. "Lost in Charlie Kaufman’s Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind & Adaptation." Over/Under Movies (June 20, 2016)

Prewitt, Zach. "The Best Horror Cinema of the 21st Cinema." (Posted on Vimeo: October 2016)

Robinson, Matty, et al. "Abbas Kiarostami: The Filmspotting Reviews." Filmspotting (July 20, 2016)

Taibbi, Matt. "The Divide: American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap." Truthout (May 4, 2014)

Thursday, October 27, 2016

The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (UK: Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, 1943)

The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (UK: Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, 1943: 163 mins)

Chapman, James. "The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp Reconsidered." The Powell & Pressburger Pages (Originally published in The Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television 15.1 March 1995: 19-55)

Christie, Ian. "Seventy Years Ago... The Return of The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp." Senses of Cinema #68 (September 2013)

Danks, Adrian. "Great Directors: Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger." Senses of Cinema (May 2002)

Ebert, Roger. "Great Movie: The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp." Chicago Sun-Times (October 27, 2002)

Haskell, Molly. "The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp." Current (March 20, 2013)

Haver, Ronald. "The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp." Current (October 21, 2002)

The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp Critics Round Up (Ongoing Archive)

Marsh, Calum. "Can Humor Be Weaponized? We speak of satire as ‘venomous’ and ‘acerbic,’ but it isn’t the damage it deals that makes it significant." Keyframe (April 10, 2016)

"On the Set of The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp." Current (March 20, 2013)

Scorsese, Martin. "On Restoring The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp." Current (March 18, 2013)

Smith, Imogen Sara. "The Music of Words: Storytelling in Two Powell & Pressburger Films." Bright Lights Film Journal #79 (February 2013)

Tracy, Andrew. "Up and Away: On The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp." Reverse Shot (July 15, 2006)

The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (trailer) from Cinefamily on Vimeo.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (USA: Gore Verbinski, 2003)

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (USA: Gore Verbinski, 2003: 143 mins)

High, Michael D. 
"Pirates without Piracy: Criminality, Rebellion, and Anarcho-Libertarianism in the Pirate Film." Jump Cut #56 (Winter 2014/2015)

Kuersten, Erich. "Quilty Makes This World: 12 Tricksters (CinemArchetype #1)." Acidemic (January 23, 2012)

Rabin, Nathan. "Nathan Rabin vs. The IMDb Top 250: Pirates Of The Caribbean: The Curse Of The Black Pearl." The Dissolve (September 17, 2014)

Resources for October 26, 2016

Bailey, Thomas William Bey. "Foundations for a High-Rise: Or, cinematic on-ramps to the mind of J.G. Ballard." Keyframe (April 18, 2016)

Calautti, Katie. "Why Is the True Story of David O. Russell’s Joy Such a Mystery?" Vanity Fair (December 17, 2015)

Ehrenstein, David. "Complicity and Christine: Yes, snuff films exist—right in our news feeds." Keyframe (October 12, 2016)

Gunzburg, David. "Realistic, Like In a Movie: On Facts, Procedurals, and Memories of Murder." Photogenie (October 1, 2013)

Hudson, David. "Bob Dylan Wins the Nobel Prize." Keyframe (October 13, 2016)

Lear, Norman. "Just Another Version of You: The Life, Art and Activism of Legendary TV Producer Norman Lear." Democracy Now (October 25, 2016) ["Ninety-four-year-old legendary TV producer and longtime political activist Norman Lear has led a remarkable life. He helped revolutionize sitcom television with a string of hit shows including "All in the Family," "Sanford and Son," "The Jeffersons," "Good Times" and "Maude." In 1999, President Clinton awarded him the National Medal of Arts, saying, "Norman Lear has held up a mirror to American society and changed the way we look at it." Norman Lear is also a longtime activist, earning him a place on Richard Nixon’s enemies list and the scorn of the Christian right. His life, art and social activism is the subject of the new "American Masters" documentary, "Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You," which premieres tonight on PBS. We spoke with Norman Lear in studio last week."]

"Platform." The Movement for Black Lives (ND)

Rickford, Russell. "Managed Democracy And The Illusion Of Politics." AAIHS (October 23, 2016)

"Teaching The New Jim Crow." Teaching Tolerance (ND)

Young, Alden, "Braveheart for Black People: A Review of Birth of a Nation." AAIHS (October 25, 2016)

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Resources for October 25, 2016

Arnade, Chris, Jim O'Grady and Kai Wright. "Race, Class, and the United States of Anxiety." On the Media (October 19, 2016)

Blyth, Mark, David Kaiser and Vanessa Williamson. "The French Sensation: Income Inequality in the United States, 1910 - 2010." Open Source (May 1, 2014) ["The hottest book everybody is talking about, that no one has read and no can get their hands on, is a giant, data-packed tome on income inequality covering three hundred years of history by the French economist Thomas Piketty. Is there a reason he’s getting the rock star treatment? Is it the symptoms that resonate (our drift into oligarchy), or is it the cure (a progressive tax on wealth)?"]

Everything Change: An Anthology of Climate Fiction  Imagination and Climate Futures Initiative ["Everything Change features twelve stories from our 2016 Climate Fiction Short Story Contest along with along with a foreword by science fiction legend and contest judge Kim Stanley Robinson and an interview with renowned climate fiction author Paolo Bacigalupi." - free to download in PDF format]

Guerard, Emma, et al. "Babe: That'll Do Comrade, That'll Do." Flixwise #24 (July 19, 2016)

"The Harder They Come." See Hear #30 (July 19, 2016) ["Perry Henzel’s 1972 film, “The Harder They Come” starring reggae superstar, Jimmy Cliff. This film is important in so many respects – it brought Jimmy Cliff to a worldwide audience, it had a brilliant soundtrack, and it was the first Jamaican feature film. Henzel declared he made it for Jamaica, but many people outside Jamaica have embraced it as it encompasses the well used movie theme of fighting back against a corrupt society in all its facets – employers, the recording industry, religion, and the law. Jimmy Cliff plays Ivan, a young naïve country man coming to Kingston hoping to make it in the music industry, but has his dreams crushed at every turn – until he decides to take matters into his own hands, for better or worse. Make no mistake - he is an anti-hero with many failings of his own. Tim, Bernie and Maurice discuss these themes as well the influence it has left on so many other films, music as politics, where the movie fits into the mood of film movement of the day, and whether you can really hold off an entire army with one six-shooter. Tim even suggests a unique ratings system for this movie."]

Harlan, Susan. "A Poem About Your University's Brand New Institute." McSweeney's (August 10, 2016)

Hurne, Mark, Cott Nye and Aaron West. "A Brighter Summer Day." Close-Up #44 (July 19, 2016) ["Among the most praised and sought-after titles in all contemporary film, this singular masterpiece of Taiwanese cinema, directed by Edward Yang, finally comes to home video in the United States. Set in the early sixties in Taiwan, A Brighter Summer Day is based on the true story of a crime that rocked the nation. A film of both sprawling scope and tender intimacy, this novelistic, patiently observed epic centers on the gradual, inexorable fall of a young teenager (Chen Chang, in his first role) from innocence to juvenile delinquency, and is set against a simmering backdrop of restless youth, rock and roll, and political turmoil."]

Mattson, Stephen. "Social Justice is a Christian Tradition - Not a Liberal Agenda." Sojourners (August 11, 2015)

Pasternack, Jesse. "Sex, Music, and Death: Why The Hunger is the Definitive David Bowie Film." A Place for Film (October 24, 2016)

Sams, Josh. "The Street Fighter Films: How to And How Not to Adapt a Video Game." Dialogic Cinephilia (October 24, 2016)

Monday, October 24, 2016

House (Japan: Nobuhiko Ôbayashi, 1977)

House (Japan: Nobuhiko Ôbayashi, 1977: 88 mins)

Axmaker, Sean. "Kinostraum: The Lucid Unreason of ERASERHEAD and HOUSE." Keyframe (May 11, 2016)

Belovarac, Brian. "Nobuhiko Obayashi’s House: Come Inside." Current (January 13, 2010)

Hurwitz, Matthew. "Hausu (1977, Nobuhiko Obayashi)." Cinemachine (May 4, 2010)

Juzwiak, Rich. "The Joy of Hausu." Four Four (January 21, 2010)

Kittle, Alex. "House [Hausu] (1977)." 366 Weird Movies #71 (November 24, 2010)

Pridham, Matthew. "The Cutest Nightmare You Ever Did See: A Review of Nobuhiko Obayashi’s Hausu." Weird Fiction Review (June 14, 2013)

Stephens, Chuck. "House: The Housemaidens." Current (October 26, 2010)

Tobias, Scott. "The New Cult Canon: House." A.V. Club (October 28, 2010)

Williams, Evan Calder. "Sunset with Chainsaw: A New Way of Reading Horror Film Politically." Film Quarterly 64.4 (Summer 2011): 28-33. [I have a copy for students]

Eraserhead (USA: David Lynch, 1977)

Eraserhead (USA: David Lynch, 1977: 89 mins)

Axmaker, Sean. "Kinostraum: The Lucid Unreason of ERASERHEAD and HOUSE." Keyframe (May 11, 2016)

Bond, Lewis. "David Lynch: The Elusive Subconscious." (Posted on Youtube: September 3, 2016)

Caldwell, Thomas. "Great Directors: David Lynch." Senses of Cinema #20 (May 2002)

Carvajal, Nelson. "Beautiful Nightmares: David Lynch's Collective Dream." (Posted on Vimeo: 2013)

Cox, Catherine S. "Eraserhead." Senses of Cinema #40 (July 2006)

Ebiri, Bilge. "David Lynch Thinks That No One Will Ever Agree on What Eraserhead is About." Vulture (September 16, 2014)

Elmes, Frederick. "On Shooting Eraserhead." Current (October 8, 2014)

Eraserhead Critics Round Up (Ongoing Archive)

Eraserhead Letterboxd (Ongoing Archive)

"Eraserhead: Who Hurt You David Lynch?" The Critical Cinephile (February 1, 2014)

Godwin, Kenneth George. "Eraserhead: An Appreciation." Cagey Films (ND)

Gonzalez, Francisco. "David Lynch's Eraserhead Explained." The Film Connosieur (November 18, 2013)

Johnson, David. "Henry's Window is the Key to Eraserhead." Welcome to Twin Peaks (November 25, 2014)

Lim, Dennis. "David Lynch's Elusive Language." The New Yorker (October 28, 2015)
Lynch, David and Chris Rodley. "I See Myself: Eraserhead." The Current (September 16, 2014)

"Scenes from the Set of Eraserhead." Current (September 15, 2014)

Sobczynski, Peter. "Defying Explanation: The Brilliance of David Lynch's Eraserhead." Roger Ebert (September 16, 2014)

Josh Sams -- "The Street Fighter Films: How to And How Not to Adapt a Video Game" (ENG 102)

The Street Fighter Films: How to And How Not to Adapt a Video Game

Adapting a videogame into a movie has always been a challenge. While some good videogame movies exist, they’re just drops in a sea of faulty adaptations that either try so hard to please the general audience that they end up disappointing the fans, or focus too much on the fans and lose the general audience. The Street Fighter series has had its share of movies with varying degrees of quality. Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li(2009) has been endlessly criticized for being extremely unfaithful to its source material and having a general lack of quality that drove away casual moviegoers. On the other hand, Street Fighter: Assassins Fist(2014) has been praised not only for being true to the games, but also for being accessible to a more general audience. But how do two movies based on the same source material have such drastically different reception? Where does Assassins fist succeed where Chun-Li fails?

The first point where The Legend of Chun-li fails is in its choice of main character. No one will deny that Chun-li is one of the most recognizable characters in the Street Fighter series, but at the same time, her backstory isn’t the most compelling. It’s enough for a brief arcade mode ending yes, but nowhere near enough for a movie with an hour and a half run time. Her backstory basically boils down to a generic police drama. When Chun-Li was a child her father was kidnapped, she joins the ICPO (or Interpol) at age 18 to aid in the investigation. Eventually she learns that criminal organization called Shadaloo was directly involved with her father’s disappearance and dedicates herself to taking them down (Taylor). Adapting such a basic story into a feature length film, while not impossible, would be extremely difficult due to not having much at all to work with. There was also the challenge of trying to add something new for fans of the series so it didn’t feel like a retread of the game’s story, doing things like adding characters such as Charlie from the Street Fighter: Alpha series, touching on Chun-Li’s training with her master Gen, and changing the abilities and backstory of the main villain M.Bison. While the intent of these decisions were good, it just made the movie seem more like Capcom trying to alter the lore of the series rather than expand upon it.  The big problem with choosing this character was that her story was too basic to work with and had very little that could be added on. On top of this, the few things they do add seem to just be thrown in with no real cohesion or build up. Bison’s origin is mostly withheld throughout the whole movie, but then it’s given to us all at once in an exposition dump right before the final scene. A better way to go about this would’ve been to use a different character. If they were dead set on using a female character, then they could’ve gone with Cammy, a woman who was kidnapped by M.Bison and turned into a Bison Doll, a brainwashed soldier that fights for Shadaloo. She was able to break free and now fights for an anti-terrorism force called Delta Red. This story would’ve given a more insider perspective of Shadaloo, and having to fight other Bison Dolls would be an interesting dilemma. Of course, there was also the option of using the series’ main characters.
Assassin’s fist knew what story to adapt. Not only are Ryu and Ken the most known characters in the game, but their training with Gouken and the struggles that come from it also allow for a more interesting story.  This mainly comes from the fact that so many different stories tie into this one. The backstory of Gouken and Gouki, the development of Ryu and Ken’s bond, and the origins of Akuma are all subplots that stem from this story. These subplots are also very well implemented into the main story, everything happens very naturally. For example, Gouken doesn’t just suddenly decide to tell us why and how Gouki became Akuma, many things have to happen before he’s willing to actually do it. Ryu and Ken question the history of the techniques they’re being taught and that prompts Gouken to give them his backstory, they find a wall with previous students that underwent the same training as them with one saying “Gouki” turned around and this causes Gouken to tell them about Gouki, Ken struggles with some of the training so he tries a technique he learned from a book in a sealed off room and this causes Gouken to tell them about the dark power that consumed Gouki. The big thing here is that everything is introduced in bits rather than in one big scene in the middle of the movie that will be forgotten about when they get back to the main event. Another thing to note about the story is that it manages to stay very accurate to the source material while also allowing even long-time fans to get something new out of it simply by taking elements from multiple different places such as the Street Fighter comics, and the animated TV series and movies. The movie’s director Joey Ansah even said that even the most hardcore fans of the series would likely learn something they didn’t know from this (Ansah). But getting the story right isn’t all that goes into the good adaptation, the appearance of the characters is also extremely important.
The Legend of Chun-Li fails to accurately capture the appearance of its characters. It’s understandable that some things would get lost in the adaptation, such as Chun-Li’s oversized legs or Charlie’s ridiculous hair and the movie realizes this, but instead of making them more believable while still recognizable, it decides to make every character as different as possible. For a majority of the movie, Chun-Li doesn’t have her hair in her trademark Ox-horn style and never once does she wear any of the outfits she’s worn in any of the games. Some might say that this was done because her original outfits were too outlandish for this slightly more serious movie, but let’s think about Captain America: The First Avenger(2011) for a moment. In that movie, before Captain America gets a more updated suit, he wears something that resembles the costume he wore in the original comics. This not only gives him a reason to stay with the star spangled outfit, but it also shows that the people making the movie cared enough to acknowledge the character’s past costume while improving on it. The Legend of Chun Li could have done something similar. Have a brief scene where Chun-Li is looking for clothes to wear for her training and she comes across an outfit that resembles her costume from the Alpha series. This wouldn’t solve the problem completely, but it would’ve been nice to have something that resembled something from the games. No one expected them to get every detail right, but there are ways to make it accurate and realistic.

Assassin’s Fist realizes that the characters are designed unrealistically; this will always be the case in fighting games as a mechanical necessity. Arms, legs, feet, and hands are often oversized to make them more in line with their hitboxes. It’s something that works well in a highly stylized game but makes creating an accurate adaptation difficult. Assassin’s Fist does it’s best to make its characters more believable while keeping it accurate to the source material. This is most evident with Gouken. In the games, Gouken is more muscular than even most body builders. In the movie, he’s severely toned down, but is still extremely close to his counterpart. He looks like what Gouken would look like if he were younger and designed more realistically. Of course, appearance isn’t all that matters in regards to the characters. The crew’s knowledge of the source material is also very important.
The cast and crew’s knowledge of the games differs greatly between the two movies. While Assassin’s Fist shows a great amount of knowledge of not only the story it tells, but the Street Fighter universe as a whole, Legend of Chun-Li shows very little to no knowledge of either. Assassin’s Fist nails the relationship between Ryu and Ken, showing how their friendship turned into a friendly rivalry. Not only this, but it’s also littered with small touches like Ken’s flaming uppercut, hinting at Evil Ryu, mentioning characters like Dan, potential hints towards Balrog, references to other Capcom games, Ken giving Ryu his hairband as a memento of their training, and even a cameo by the creator of Street Fighter Yoshinori Ono that show just how dedicated the crew was to the series. There was so much dedication that their Kickstarter campaign got the attention of two backers that gave them the over $670000 they still needed to meet their goal, and even got the attention of Capcom themselves (Ansah).  This knowledge and dedication to the series is the main reason this movie succeeds as an adaptation.
The Legend of Chun-Li on the other hand, shows a lack of knowledge of the series. As mentioned before, the characters hardly resemble their video game counter parts, but it goes beyond that. How the characters act and fight, the most important part of a movie like this, is changed beyond recognition as well. For example, Balrog in the games is known for being a boxer, but the way he fights makes him seem more like a grappler. Because of this, combined with the drastic change in design, He shares practically nothing with Balrog other than his name. Vega, while fairly accurate in terms of design, is still very misunderstood by his actor. When talking to IGN about his character, Taboo talked about how Vega was a mysterious character that people didn’t know much about(IGN, 2:05). This is despite the fact that Vega has always had an established backstory and personality. He’s vain, arrogant, and obsessed with beauty, but he’s never been seen or portrayed as mysterious. But what about Chun-Li herself? Surely they’d understand their main character right? Well, no. In a behind the scenes interview, Kristin Kreurk, who plays Chun-Li, said that her fighting style was about power and gracefulness(Bartkowiak). While gracefulness does play big part, Chun-Li has never been about power. She’s about speed and landing a lot of weak hits that add up over time. There’s even an extreme misunderstanding of the main villain’s motivations and methods. M.Bison has always been a dictator that uses brute force to get his way. He’ll send his henchmen if he can, but has no problem taking matters into his own hands. He’s evil and he’s proud of it. However, in an interview with Fox All Access, Neil McDonough who plays Bison said, “He never thinks he’s doing anything evil, he just has goals he’s trying to achieve.(Fox All Access,00:58).” Taking all of this into account, the movie winds up feeling more like a cop drama with a few Street Fighter names stuck on it.
Overall, Assassin’s fist proves that when done right video game adaptations can appeal to both fans of the source material and casual moviegoers. In addition to this, many more companies are allowing their games to be made into movies. Warcraft, Ratchet & Clank, and the upcoming Assassin’s Creed, and Sly Cooper movies show how much more accepting to the idea of video game movies. Even Nintendo, who is known for having an extremely tight hold on their IPs, has allowed Legendary Pictures to start production on a live action Pokémon movie with the writers from movies like Guardians of the Galaxy.  I believe this is important because, as someone who enjoys video games, I want to see these kinds of movies succeed. I also think it can be a good way to tell the stories of these games to a new audience by eliminating the barrier of execution. I strongly believe that video game movies can succeed given the right crew and a good amount of passion for the project.

Works Cited
Ansah, Joey. “’Street Fighter: Assassin’s Fist’ Kickstarter Campaign” KickStarter (April 7, 2013):

Captain America: The First Avenger (USA, Johnston, Joe, 2011)

 “Interview with Joey Ansah.” Making of documentary Street Fighter Assassins Fist (2014)

“Interview with Kristin Kreurk.” Becoming a Street Fighter featurette (2014)
Street Fighter: Assassin’s Fist(USA, Ansash, Joey, 2014)

Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li(USA, Bartkowaik, Andrzej, 2009)

Taylor, Nicholas. “Chun-Li stopped at nothing to bring down Shadaloo to avenge her father - Latest SF5 profile details the first lady of fighting gamesEventHubs (July 23,2016):

Resources for October 24, 2016

Buder, Emily. "Moonlight: Barry Jenkins on Why the Exquisite Film Nearly Killed Him." No Film School (October 10, 2016)

Christensen, Eric, et al. "Korla." The Projection Booth (July 17, 2016) ["Incredibly skilled at the keyboard, Korla Pandit came into the houses of California housewives during the '50s with his hypnotic stare and tunes. The documentary film Korla tells the story of Pandit's life and the secret with which he lived for years. Special guests director John Turner and producer Eric Christensen talk about making the documentary. Rob St. Mary joins Mike to discuss the film, exotica music, and more."]

Cowan, Katy. "Shop Cats: Photographer captures charming felines living in Hong Kong's shops." Creative Boom (October 12, 2016)

Dahl, Nel. "The Handmaiden by Gaslight: Park Chan-wook’s gothic female-vengeance drama owes a debt to George Cukor." Keyframe (October 19, 2016)

Devens, Arik and Krista Mrgan. "An Autumn Afternoon." Cinema Gadfly #23 (July 18, 2016)

Kalven, Jamie and Shannon Spalding. "Chicago Cops Who Broke 'Code of Silence' to Report Police Drug Gang Face Deadly Retaliation." Democracy Now (October 21, 2016)

Kingra, Ravinder. "The Greatest of All Food Films: That Would be Tampopo." Keyframe (October 20, 2016)

Koresky, Michael, Violet Lucca and Farran Smith Nehme. "Merchant Ivory and Howard's End." Film Comment (July 19, 2016) ["Though associated with heritage films set in Britain’s imperial past, producer Ismail Merchant, director James Ivory, and screenwriter Ruth Prawer Jhabvala have collaborated on a variety of masterfully constructed literary adaptations since the early 1960s. Perhaps the pinnacle of their collaboration is Howards End, their 1992 film based on the E. M. Forster novel about class and inheritance set in Edwardian England."]

Sarmiento, José. "Zombie’s World: Rob Zombie takes real pleasure in his craft. Can we?" Keyframe (October 19, 2016)

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Audition (Japan: Takashi Miike, 1999)

Audition (Japan: Takashi Miike, 1999: 115 mins)

Audition Critics Round Up (Ongoing Archive)

Bender, Philip J. "Sociological Aspects of Takashi Miike's Audition." Silver Screen Sessions (May 28, 2013)

Frazer, Bryant. "Audition: Calm Before the Storm." Deep Focus (ND)

Hancock, James and Kyle Reardon. "Dissecting the Great Takashi Miike." Wrong Reel #237 (February 2017)

Hyland, Robert. "A Politics of Excess: Violence and Violation in Miike Takashi’s Audition" Horror to the Extreme: Changing Boundaries in Asian Cinema. ed. Jinhee Choi & Mitsuyo Wada-Marciano. Hong Kong University, 2009: 15-37.

McGoff, Jessica. "Is Takashi Miike’s AUDITION Feminist or Exploitative?" Keyframe (May 9, 2016)

Morris, Gary. "Gore Galore: Takashi Miike's Audition." Bright Lights Film Journal (October 1, 2001)

Prewitt, Zach. "The Best Horror Cinema of the 21st Cinema." (Posted on Vimeo: October 2016)

Rivas, T.J. "The 'Dream Sequence' in Audition." FLM 110 (Westminster University: 2010)

Sato, Kuriko and Tom Mes. "Takashi Miike Interview." Midnight Eye (May 1, 2001)

Serpytyte, Agne. "Audition." Asian Cinema Blog (September 24, 2014)

Subissati, Andrea and Alexandra West. "Man Seeking Woman: Audition (1999)." Faculty of Horror #50 (May 26, 2017) ["Takashi Miike created one of the most infamous, beloved and decisive films when he made Audition: a story of people looking for love in all the wrong places that has influenced a generation of filmmakers and terrified audiences all over the world. Andrea and Alex take a deep dive into the international and seemingly universal fears of love, intimacy and what it means to be a 'good girl.'"]

Vitale, Christopher. "The Neo-Phallic Mother, Capitalism, and Takashi Miike’s Audition." Networkologies (January 30, 2010)

Wada-Marciano, Mitsuyo. "J-horror: New Media’s Impact on Contemporary Japanese Horror Cinema." Horror to the Extreme: Changing Boundaries in Asian Cinema. ed. Jinhee Choi & Mitsuyo Wada-Marciano. Hong Kong University, 2009: 15-37.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Resources for October 19, 2016

Bateson, James. "Object Anyway." More Perfect (July 16, 2016) ["At the trial of James Batson in 1982, the prosecution eliminated all the black jurors from the jury pool. Batson objected, setting off a complicated discussion about jury selection that would make its way all the way up to the Supreme Court. On this episode of More Perfect, the Supreme Court ruling that was supposed to prevent race-based jury selection, but may have only made the problem worse."]

Callow, Simon. "Orson Welles." The Cinema Show (July 15, 2016) [Newspaper magnate Charles Foster Kane and respected police captain Hank Quinlan, both were men tempted by darkness and both were played by Orson Welles at opposite ends of his career. Actor, writer and director Simon Callow joins Ben Rylan for an extended interview in which they unpick the many myths surrounding one of cinema’s greatest talents.]

Dargis, Manohla. "Beyond Bullets and Berets, Life in Wartime." The New York Times (October 22, 2010)

Hegedus, Chris and D.A. Pennebaker. "Unlocking the Cage." Film School (July 12, 2016) ["The latest documentary from the renowned filmmaking team of Chris Hegedus and D. A. Pennebaker (The War Room), Unlocking the Cage follows trailblazing animal rights lawyer Steven Wise in his challenge to break down the legal wall that separates animals from humans. ... Given that the Supreme Court has ruled that corporations are people, why not chimps? Attorney Steven Wise and his legal team, the Nonhuman Rights Project, are making history by filing the first lawsuits that seek to transform an animal from a “thing” with no rights to a “person” with legal protections. Supported by affidavits from primatologists around the world, Wise maintains that, based on scientific evidence, cognitively complex animals such as chimpanzees, whales, dolphins and elephants have the capacity for limited personhood rights that would protect them from abuse. The filmmakers capture Wise’s progress: from the halls of academia to animal sanctuaries and zoos, and finally into the courtrooms where he makes a compelling case on behalf of four captive chimpanzees in New York State. Unlocking the Cage captures a monumental shift in our culture, as the public and judicial system show increasing receptiveness to Wise’s impassioned arguments. It is a provocative and intimate look at a lawsuit that could forever transform our legal system, and one man’s lifelong quest to protect “nonhuman” animals."]

"High-Rise, Demolition, Mustang, Queen of Earth." AB Film Review (July 18, 2016)

Ivins, Laura. "Collaged Gluttony in Vera Chytilová’s Daisies." A Place for Film (October 13, 2016)

Johnson, Mackenzie. "What Makes David O. Russell so David O. Russell." Film Stage (October 17, 2016)

Perper, Emily. "Present Day Witchcraft: Seven Stories About Witches." Longreads (October 17, 2016)

Scott, A.O. "Youthful Recklessness Finds Adventure on the Road in American Honey." The New York Times (September 29, 2016)

Stachiw, Chris and Sean Liang. "Rosencrantz and Guilderstern are Dead." Kulturecast (July 15, 2016)

Zinn, Howard. Audio version of Zinn reading his Introduction to A People's History of the United States, 1492 - the Present.  (Posted on Soundcloud: 2015) ["Since its original landmark publication in 1980, Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States has been chronicling American history from the bottom up, throwing out the official version of history taught in schools–with its emphasis on great men in high places–to focus on the street, the home, and the workplace."]

Monday, October 17, 2016

The Revenant (USA: Alejandro González Iñárritu, 2015)

The Revenant (USA:  Alejandro González Iñárritu, 2015: 156 mins)

Barber, Nicholas. "How Good is the Revenant." BBC (January 14, 2016)

Brody, Richard. "The Suffocating Solemnity of The Revenant.” The New Yorker (January 14, 2016)

Carvajal, Nelson. "The Leonardo DiCapriOlympics: Our most athletic Oscar hopeful has spent his career going for the gold." Keyframe (January 27, 2016)

Di Rosso, Jason. "What The Revenant Says About 21st Century Cinema." The Final Cut (January 8, 2016)

Efendi, Vugar. "Iñárritu's Visual Poetry." (Posted on Vimeo: May 5, 2016)

Fernandez, Carlos Rivera. "The Revenant: Metaphysical Mastery." (Posted on Vimeo: May 2016)

Greydanus, Stephen D. "The Revenant Calls for a Criticial Christian Response." Crux (April 30, 2016)

"Hugh Glass: The Truth Behind the Revenant Legend." History Net (June 12, 2006)

Lee, Benjamin. "Man behind Leonardo DiCaprio's Revenant bear attack revealed." The Guardian (January 19, 2016)

Lee, Kevin B. "Video Evidence: Oscar 2016, Best Actor." Keyframe (January 19, 2016)

---. "Video Evidence: Oscar 2016, Best Cinematography." Keyframe (February 3, 2016)

---. "Video Evidence: Oscar 2016, Best Director." Keyframe (February 4, 2016)

---. "Video Evidence: Oscar 2016, Best Supporting Actor." Keyframe (January 26, 2016)

Orr, Christopher. "The Revenant: Beauty and Brutality in Equal Measure." The Atlantic (January 8, 2016)

The Revenant Critics Round Up (Ongoing Archive)

"The Revenant, Top 3 Best Shot Films of 2015." In Session Film (January 10, 2016)

Schmidlin, Charlie. "Interview: Cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki Talks ‘The Revenant’, Working With Terrence Malick, Muting The Ego & Much More." The Playlist (February 10, 2016)

Sheedy, Matt. "The Revenant: A Film Review Essay (Sort of)." Religion Bulletin (February 19, 2016)

Straker, Damien. "The Revenant - Film Review/Analysis." Impulse Gamer (January 13, 2016)

Tallerico, Brian. "The Revenant." Roger Ebert (December 21, 2015)

Thomas, Leon. "An Analysis of The Revenant." (Posted on Youtube: July 14, 2016)

Williams, Tony. "Stillness in the Revenant." (Posted on Vimeo: April 2016)

The Revenant by Tarkovsky from Petrick on Vimeo.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Resources for October 16, 2016

Bateman, Oliver. "Being a Bumpkin: Three new books try to untangle the Gordian knot of white-trash identity." The Paris Review (October 10, 2016)

Callaghan, Ann, Annie Sprinkle and Beth Stephens. We're All a Little Ecosexual." Outside (October 5, 2016)

Carlin, Dan. "A Bodyguard of Lies." Common Sense #309 (September 9, 2016)  ["Secrecy, hacking, information leaks, whistle-blowers, foreign-operative propaganda pushers, disinformation, election tampering and the search for any truth in cyberspace occupy Dan's thoughts in this show."]

Lanza, Robert. "Biocentrism: Rethinking Time, Space, Consciousness, and the Illusion of Death." Ideas (October 4, 2016) ["Dr. Lanza provides a compelling argument for consciousness as the basis for the universe, rather than consciousness simply being its by-product."]

"Logical Fallacies." Purdue Online Writing Lab (ND)

López, Cristina Álvarez and Adrian Martin. "Roman Polanski: Cinema of Invasion." ACMI (October 13, 2016)

Monbiot, George. "Neoliberalism is Creating Loneliness. That's What's Wrenching Society Apart." The Guardian (October 12, 2016) ["Epidemics of mental illness are crushing the minds and bodies of millions. It’s time to ask where we are heading and why.]

"Prison Strike Having Major Financial Impact on California." Popular Resistance (October 12, 2016)

Romney, Jonathan. "Film of the Week: Certain Women." Film Comment (October 13, 2016)

"Silicon Valley And Police Create COINTELPRO For Tech Age." Popular Resistance (October 15, 2016)

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Resources for October 13, 2016

Adalat, Haroon. "Julie Dash's Daughters of the Dust Trailer: And let Beyoncé help you remember the ground it broke." Keyframe (September 4, 2016)

Barker, Tim and Heather Ann Thompson. "Prison Uprisings, From Attica to Today." Dissent (October 7, 2016)

Berret, Trevor, David Blakeslee and Pablo Knote. "The Warped World of Koreyoshi Kuragara, Pt. 2." The Eclipse Viewer #45 (July 14, 2016) ["Over the course of his varied career, Koreyoshi Kurahara made meticulous noirs, jazzy juvenile-delinquency pictures, and even nature films. His free-form approach to moviemaking was perfectly suited to the radical spirit of the 1960s, when he was one of the biggest hit makers working at the razzle-dazzle, youth-oriented Nikkatsu studios. The five films collected here hail from that era of the Japanese New Wave, and encompass breathless teen escapades, cruel crime stories, a Yukio Mishima adaptation, and even a Hollywood-inspired romantic comedy."]

Chambers, Sarah, et al. "Chicago Teachers Strike Back." Belabored #113 (September 30, 2016)

Hentoff, Nat. "The Crackin', Shakin', Beakin' Sounds." The New Yorker (October 24, 1964)  [Republished by The New Yorker in honor of Bob Dylan winning the 2016 Nobel Prize in Literature.]

Kempenaar, Adam and Josh Larsen. "Top 5 Films of 2016 (So Far)." Filmspotting #594 (July 15, 2016)

Nord, Liz. "Jim Jarmusch's List of 5 Must-See Movies: 'I Don't Believe in Originality.'" No Film School (October 11, 2016)

Phillips, Jordan. "The Horrors of Sensory (Dis)Ability – Disabled Power in Hush and Don’t Breathe." The Big Picture (October 7, 2016)

Sharrett, Christopher. "Son of Saul: Versions of the Irrational." Film International (July 9, 2016)

"They Came From Within the High Rise." The Feminine Critique (September 20, 2016)

Monday, October 10, 2016

Resources for October 10, 2016

Bastién, Angelica Jade. "Genre Is a Woman and She Has Fangs – On A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night." Vague Visages (June 10, 2016)

"Blue Valentine and Falling Out of Love." Pop Culture Case Study (September 1, 2016)

Coffin, Lesley. "Despite Its Flaws, Ever After Holds Up As A Magical Cinderella Story." The Mary Sue (March 16, 2015)

Dahan, Yaron. "Lost in the Jungle: Aguirre, the Wrath of God and Embrace of the Serpent." Notebook (June 20, 2016)

Denby, David. "Ida: A Film Masterpiece." The New Yorker (May 27, 2014)

Hudson, David. "Denis Villeneuve's Arrival: 'A grownup sci-fi drama that sustains fear and tension while striking affecting chords on love and loss.'" Keyframe (September 1, 2016)

---. "Tom Ford’s Nocturnal Animals: An 'outrageously gripping and absorbing meta mystery-thriller.'" Keyframe (September 2, 2016)

Kiefer, Jonathan. "Ways of Bergering: Tilda Swinton is pals with a great thinker about art and life, and you should be too." Keyframe (September 1, 2016)

López, Cristina Álvarez. Back to School at The Academy of Muses: Get ready for a pop quiz on the geometries of desire." Keyframe (September 2, 2016)

Spong, John Shelby. "Biblical Literalism." Radio West (September 2, 2016)  ["Retired Episcopal Bishop John Shelby Spong presents a provocative idea in his latest book. Reading the Bible literally, he says, is heresy. He bases his argument on a close reading of the Gospel of Matthew, which he argues was written by Jews for Jews. Spong says the gospel was not written as a literal account of Christ’s life, but rather as an interpretative portrait of God’s love. Spong joins us Friday to talk about biblical literalism and his uniquely progressive approach to Christianity. John Shelby Spong is the retired Episcopal Bishop of Newark. He has lectured at more than 500 universities, colleges, and theological seminaries around the world. He is the author 25 books, including his newest, Biblical Literalism: A Gentile Heresy.]

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Resources for October 6, 2016

Cyril, Malkia and Kevin Gannon. "Advocates: The U.S. Still Profits from Slavery Because the 13th Amendment Perpetuates Prison Labor." Democracy Now (October 3, 2016) ["As Ava DuVernay’s new documentary "13th" opens at the New York Film Festival, we speak to two people featured in the film: Malkia Cyril of the Center for Media Justice and Kevin Gannon of Grand View University."]

DuVernay, Ava. "From Slavery to Mass Incarceration, Ava DuVernay's Film 13th Examines Racist U.S. Justice System." Democracy Now (October 3, 2016) ["Ava DuVernay’s new documentary chronicles how our justice system has been driven by racism from the days of slavery to today’s era of mass incarceration. The film, "13th," is named for the constitutional amendment that abolished slavery with the exception of punishment for crime. The United States accounts for 5 percent of the world’s population, but 25 percent of its prisoners. In 2014, more than 2 million people were incarcerated in the United States—of those, 40 percent were African-American men. According to the Sentencing Project, African-American males born today have a one-in-three chance of going to prison in their lifetimes if incarceration trends continue. We speak to Ava DuVernay. Her previous work includes the hit 2014 film "Selma." With "Selma," DuVernay became the first African-American female director to have a film nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards."]

Einenkel, Walter. "Kentucky Republican running for office posts pictures of Obamas as chimpanzees—says he ain't racist." Daily Kos (October 5, 2016)

Hancock, James and Martin Kessler. "The Cinematic Ecstasy of Andrzej Zulawski." Wrong Reel #174 (August 28, 2016)

Hudson, David. "Kelly Reichardt’s Certain Women: “It could be Reichardt’s loveliest, most effortlessly absorbing movie to date.”" Keyframe (October 3, 2016)

Nord, Liz. "Ava DuVernay on 13th: How Netflix Jumpstarted the Timeliest Doc of the Year." No Film School (October 3, 2016)

"Prometheus and Faith." Pop Culture Case Study (July 13, 2016)

Rodriguez, Miguel, Rob St. Mary and Mike White. "House." The Projection Booth #279 (July 12, 2016) ["Nobuhiko Obayashi's House (1977) is a surrealistic ghost tale from Japan that explores the dangers of domesticity and loss."]

Singer, Leah. "Why Aliens Is the Mother of Action Movies: And how a modern heroine was born." Keyframe (August 30, 2016)

Taylor, Ella. "What Should Movies Do with the Holocaust? On Denial, Miss Peregrine, and the triumph of Pan's Labyrinth." Keyframe (September 30, 2016)

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

The Rules of the Game (France: Jean Renoir, 1939)

The Rules of the Game (France: Jean Renoir, 1939: 110 mins)

Barry, Nick and James Hancock. "Everybody Has Their Reasons." The Wrong Reel #130 (April 2016)

Bowen, Chuck. "The Rules of the Game." Slant (November 15, 2011)

Brody, Richard. "DVD of the Week: The Rules of the Game." The New Yorker (August 8, 2012)

Ebert, Roger. "Great Movie: The Rules of the Game." Chicago Sun-Times (February 29, 2004)

Eggert, Brian. "The Definitives: The Rules of the Game (1939)." Deep Focus Review (November 21, 2011)

Goldhammer, Arthur. "On The Rules of the Game." Center for European Studies, Harvard University (ND)

Leahy, James. "Great Directors: Jean Renoir." Senses of Cinema #25 (March 2003)

Lesage, Julia. "S/Z and Rules of the Game." Jump Cut #55 (Fall 2013)

LoBrutto, Vincent. "Mise-en-scene: The Rules of the Game." Becoming Film Literate: The Art and Craft of Motion Pictures. Westport, CT: Praeger, 2005: 261-266. [BCTC Library: PN1994 L595 2005]

McCalmont, Jonathan. "The Rules of the Game (1939): A Theatre of Nightmares." Ruthless Culture (October 17, 2011)

Rist, Peter. "La Règle du jeu (The Rules of the Game): The Rules of Criterion." Offscreen 8.6 (June 2004)

The Rules of the Game Critics Round Up (Ongoing Archive)

"The Rules of the Game -- Jean Renoir (1939)." The Film Sufi (February 19, 2010)

"The Rules of the Game: Tributes." Current (November 16, 2011)

Sesonoke, Alexander. "The Rules of the Game: Everyone Has Their Reasons." Current (November 15, 2011)

"Setting The Rules of the Game." Current (November 18, 2011)

"Sight & Sound Poll 2012: The Rules of the Game." Current (October 8, 2012)

DÉCORUMS - For V.F. Perkins from Catherine Grant on Vimeo.

Monday, October 3, 2016

"Mastery of Dolls" by Whitney Williams (ENG 102: Fall 2016)

Two movies: Dead Silence (2007) and The Boy (2016). Both of these horror films exhibit a distressing performance of dolls. But why a doll in a horror movie? Why are they a perturbing sight? When did their aurora of innocence convert to one of dismay? To strike fear using a mere motionless prop, such as a doll, in a film may be dismissed as unpretentious, but when actually pondered, is perceived as a daunting task. The whole experience of petrifying an audience successfully is a process. Sly directors manipulate the viewer by a slow, torturous release of a doll’s actions and motives, thus causing one to be left to their own imagination…enough to launch one into the realm of fear (Goodman). Each movie struck fear from a different angle. Dead Silence slipped into a sensation of mystery shadowed by ghastly consequences, whereas The Boy assembled anticipation from an expectancy derived from the very commencement of the film. But how were these masterpieces carried out in such a magnificent form? We shall see…
Dolls are a trademark in history: a typical young female child’s play mate. Dated over 4,000 years old, the first dolls ever discovered were not exactly realistic, fashioned from rock, cloth, or straw. But around the 18-19th century, they became a staple in the household and a socially acceptable toy for young girls. Demonstrating an air of domesticity, accessories were fabricated to demonstrate suitable attire and lifestyles of a woman. At this point, their facial features had sprung to life, and so did the current complex emotions. How would one identify their emotions toward a doll? In 1877, The New York Times was the first to marque this sensation as “creeped out”. Naturally some might seek out the solution to this dilemma as diagnosing one with Pediophobia (the fear of dolls), but genuinely reflect on that for a second. A phobia is a pure utter surge of fear at the sight, or even the mention of whatever the subject of the phobia may be. Now if alarmed by the dolls in a film, does that mean you have Pediophobia? Surely not. Although some do indeed obtain this phobia, the rest of the world only struck with fear from a horror movie is not quite as extreme. As explained by Psychologist McAndrew in McRobbie’s “The History of Creepy Dolls”, the “creeped out” sensation pertains to our lack of judgement completion. Dolls register as a form of mimicry to individuals because of their palpable resemblance to us through our sense of facial recognition, though we are aware they are not actually human. Thus, this creates a jumble between mind and instinct. General social cues are held as an expectation to humans. If someone were standing too close, or perceived gawking repetitively, you would achieve a sense of wariness. In a way, we naturally hold dolls to the same expectation. Though they appear human, their glassy, unblinking eyes feel as if they pierce your soul, along with unease from their unremitting smile. Failing to meet social standards, we become unaware of their intentions (McRobbie). Are they dangerous?  What are they staring at? Why must they smile at me? Dolls no longer embrace the same reputation, and perhaps never will.
Directors have mastered probing deeper into the mystery and mastery of creating film with dolls, and how they grasp onto our vulnerability in order to toy with it to (odd enough) our satisfaction. Why dolls in a movie? The first horror film to represent a doll without its innocent form was released in the 1950’s. The film industry had just initiated a chain, a new subgenre of the horror realm. With the widespread stress of jobs, marriage, and family life only building, these movies provided child-like characters which were out of control. In turn, parents’ stress levels only built with the images of insane childlike characters now roaming in their imagination-only to remind them of their own (Nastasi). But since then, the doll fragment of the horror movie genre has evolved immensely. The already declared “creepy” lifeless doll is currently paired with several techniques put into seven steps (Riggio).
#1: Fear of Death. People often gain a sense of hopelessness from the scenes where a victim is slain (Riggio). Usually a victim provided in a way to where the audience gains an attachment, and subsequently, is dismayed by their demise (Calvo). Although these scenes can be horrific, some people build a tolerance to it, and they need much more to be frightened, which leads to the next point (Riggio).
#2: The Dark. Since we were children, there has always been a fear of the dark, a fear of the unknown. When unable to use our dominant sense, sight, we become vulnerable, incapable to keenly detect danger. Therefore, films will portray scenes either completely black, or nearly so in order to tease the viewer (Riggio).
#3: Crawly Things. This point demonstrates any scorpion, snake, or cockroach that made your skin crawl. Insects protruding from the eyes or mouths of dolls are seen time and time again for the effect of disgust and repulsion…and it surely does so (Riggio).
#4: Scary Places. Now this step certainly secedes the horror genre from any other. The venue for a set will incorporate step #2, a dark interior, and other rudiments causing discomfort, such as a dilapidating structure, an old creaking house, abandoned cottages, or sites that enclose a dark past (Riggio).
#5: Dismemberment. Most times, we are never granted the actual movements of the doll to view. Therefore, after a death like point #1 or dismemberment, it is often left to our imagination of how the feat took place…adding to the “creepiness” of the still doll’s presence (Riggio).
#6: Suspense. Probably the most common effect used, yet also the most effective (Riggio). Suspense can be captured among several forms such as perspective called “The Dark Voyeur.” This framing device presents a view that appears to be “the lurking villain” (in this case the doll). Viewed through bushes, from behind curtains, and within dark closets, this technique indicates man’s vulnerability, then grasps onto the false sense of security the viewer once had in the victim only to slashes it to slivers. They do not even notice! The doll is behind you! Look out! If anyone could survive the attack, it would have been the victim…but now they are lost. Now it has given the viewer a sense of hopelessness…once again (Calvo)!
#7: Audio. Horror films dramatize any sound such as a creaky door, when in reality they might not have even heard the door at all. It even dramatizes the silence. A dead, still, silence slices the atmosphere until hearts start to race. Then slow music eventually creeps its way into the scene. Soft at first. Then louder. And louder!  Everyone knows by this point that something is about to unfold! And BOOM! Shaken out of your seat, it was the most horrific event you have seen in your life! Why? Because they built the suspense with music deliberately building the tempo and volume (Riggio). Each distinct idea reinforces the next. Psychologically, we are impacted to a level of pure mastery. From this, it is no marvel that film makers may seize inanimate objects only to create a masterpiece that will momentarily annihilate our minds.

Dead Silence. The title itself, directed by James Wan, describes the nature of the villainous ventriloquist doll. Until the doll arrived into the lives of an innocent couple. The initial setting in the apartment exhibited itself as neutral, but when an unexpected package arrived concealing a doll, the camera leads you to a musty hallway. The neutral apartment is now led to appeal the same. This one scene shifts the atmosphere. Upon the unfastening of the package, the doll’s eyes, lifelike and thickly lined with black, stare penetratingly and purposefully-initiating a tone of dread and pessimism. Not much time elapses before people become anxious about the doll. The doll’s mouth opened on its own before their eyes, which led to the female partner insisting that it could surely not be alive to her husband. During the event of an attack, the doll, which is merely one out of 101, extracts sound out of the atmosphere. This dramatizes the atmosphere of the room-propelling it to a complete stillness-building the anticipation. Throughout the movie, this occurrence remains a staple in predicting the doll’s next attack. Whenever the eyes moved to creep on its prey, or its head rotates, the creek of the wood is exaggerated and effectively heard by the audience. Captivated by the rancorous spirit of the Mary Shaw, the dolls frighten innocent victims, threatened them not to scream or else they lose their tongues…and their life. Most people scream, especially women, therefore, a surge of hopelessness arises. Who could resist muttering a peep while a possessed doll launches their, moments before, lifeless body toward them. Nobody. Until this point, the only fatalities had been adults. But further on, a child, whom had once offended Mary Shaw and gone missing, was exposed assembled into a fleshy doll himself, which she also possessed. Already on edge, a viewer could not help but marvel and cringe. Dead Silence incorporated several tactics to disturb the mind of innocent viewers, and perhaps tainted them with a trace of regret from witnessing the flick.
            The delusional atmosphere of The Boy, directed by William Bell, causes ones to question themselves. Though first accused of as a pure demonstration of peer pressure and insanity, this masterpiece proves otherwise. The film resided in an ancient, dim-lit mansion. How erratic. From the opening, the original caretakers or “parents” raise an air of uncertainty from their questionable persona as they leave their “son” in the hands of a new caretaker while they wish to depart for a “vacation”. Fear of the unknown is relinquished through the expectations the parents present-the expectation that the “boy” is indeed alive and emotional, punishing those who do not abide by a list of requests. This doll’s abrupt movements and unexplainable disappearances contribute to the sense of no control to the victim as well as viewer. The appearance of the doll is quaint, frail, and peculiar. The white faced porcelain boy is dressed in a suit, and positioned in a proper posture, such as a high class citizen of another era. This doll led to more of a mystery then in Dead Silence. His passive aggressive nature provided an in depth sensation of unpredictability. Because the new caretaker did not believe the doll was alive, she did not complete tasks and left the doll to its own. If not pleased with a task, or if left incomplete, the doll would alter his position to be closer to his caretaker. Tears would fall from his face. Frazzled, the caretaker realizes this monstrosity’s ability and completes the list flawlessly until one day receiving a letter from the original caretakers that they would never return, due to suicide. Left alone at the mercy of a doll, this young caretaker lived in utter despair. The doll, though silent and not nearly as violent as regular horror films, is alarming from the mere air of dominance over the life of a human. The fact that this human could not control her own life, or live out her own desires, from the ambiguous fate she would witness.
            Horrific images fill our minds. We are left psychologically played and pleased from the revulsion we experienced just instants earlier. Though we are automatically anxious from dolls, aptitude is required to transmute our perception to the next level: horror. The Boy and Dead Silence are perfect demonstrations of this work. Dead Silence depicts a violent angle, with specimens of death and consequences of innocent patrons, whereas The Boy casts an ambiguous eagerness from mystery and passive aggressive deeds. Now cognizant of the explanations behind this fear, will it affect the level of apprehension during horror films with a doll base? I trust it will not. 

Works Cited
Calvo, A.D. “So You Want to Make a Horror Film? On Jump Scares and Other Basics of Fright” FILMMAKER (October 28, 2013):
Dead Silence. (USA. James Wan.) 2007.
Goodman, Jessica. “ ‘Annabelle’ Director Explains How To Make A Terrifying Horror Movie In 5 Steps.” The Huffington Post. (October 3, 2014):
McRobbie, Linda. “The History of Creepy Dolls.” (July 15, 2015):
Nastasi, Alison. “Why are there so many creepy kids, dolls, and clowns in horror movies?” Hopes and Fears:
Ph. D. Riggio, Ronald. “The Top Ten Things That Make Horror Movies Scary.” Psychology Today (October 21, 2014):

The Boy. (USA/Canada. William Brent Bell.) 2016.