Tuesday, October 17, 2023

ENG 281 Week #10: Mind/Body Classic

Carrie (USA: Brian De Palma, 1976)
MB - adapted from Stephen King's first novel, it would catapult him into being the most popular, and one of the most important writers, of the late 20th Century. De Palma's adaptation ranks with Kubrick's The Shining (1980) as the best adaptation of King's work.
Film Description: "Carrie White, a shy and troubled teenage girl who is tormented by her high school peers and her fanatically religious mother, begins to use her powers of telekinesis to exact revenge upon them."
Resources for after you watch the film:

Blyth, Michael and Mike Muncer. "Mind and Body Pt. 6: Carrie (1976)." The Evolution of Horror (2021)

D, Margo and Margo P. "Carrie." Book vs. Movie (December 28, 2014)

Videodrome (Canada: David Cronenberg, 1983)
MB: David Cronenberg has had a career long fascination with body/mind horror and this was an early masterpiece. Looking at how we as biological creatures are being changed and transformed by the screen media we consume in the TV/video age, it is an even more important film now for a culture completely dominated by screens in multiple formats.
Film Description: "When Max Renn goes looking for edgy new shows for his sleazy cable TV station, he stumbles across the pirate broadcast of a hyperviolent torture show called Videodrome. As he struggles to unearth the origins of the program, he embarks on a hallucinatory journey into a shadow world of right-wing conspiracies, sadomasochistic sex games, and bodily transformation. Starring James Woods and Deborah Harry in one of her first film roles, Videodrome is one of writer/director David Cronenberg’s most original and provocative works, fusing social commentary with shocking elements of sex and violence. With groundbreaking special effects makeup by Academy Award®-winner Rick Baker, Videodrome has come to be regarded as one of the most influential and mind-bending science fiction films of the 1980s". - The Criterion Collection
Resources for After You Watch the Film

The Matrix (USA: The Wachowski Sisters, 1999)
MB: I can remember the first time I watched this film, I was floored by the rich narrative full of philosophical ideas and religious symbolism. I ended up writing a 40+ page essay for one of my graduate classes on the film. It is more overtly a Science Fiction/adventure film if you watch it on the surface level, but, if you follow the journey-lesson of the protagonist Neo and look below the surface of basic reality, it becomes simultaneously a horrific possibility with an imaginative spiritual solution.
Film description: "Neo (Keanu Reeves) believes that Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne), an elusive figure considered to be the most dangerous man alive, can answer his question -- What is the Matrix? Neo is contacted by Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss), a beautiful stranger who leads him into an underworld where he meets Morpheus. They fight a brutal battle for their lives against a cadre of viciously intelligent secret agents. It is a truth that could cost Neo something more precious than his life."
Resources for after you watch the film

Ginger Snaps (Canada: John Forest, 2000)
Film description: "The story of two outcast sisters, Ginger (Katharine Isabelle) and Brigitte (Emily Perkins), in the mindless suburban town of Bailey Downs. On the night of Ginger's first period, she is savagely attacked by a wild creature. Ginger's wounds miraculously heal but something is not quite right. Now Brigitte must save her sister and save herself."
Resource for after you watch the film:

Final Girl Studios. "Is Ginger Snaps the Original Jennifer’s Body? | The Male Gaze, Girlhood, Female Rage, & more." Youtube (September 2022) 

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