Dear students

Welcome to English 124 and our blog. This blog will provide you with the materials we will be using in class for your review. Here you will find the class schedule and other documents discussed on the first day of class, power point presentations, videos and quizzes. I hope it will also be a good place to comment about films that you have watched and liked or disliked. Please feel free to comment on the progress of our blog. If there are sites you feel are important to include in our blogroll, feel free to suggest them so that they can be included.  I’m looking forward to a very enjoyable semester.

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6 thoughts on “Dear students

  1. Cinema Paradiso

    My favorite film of all time is the wonderful 1988 italian film Cinema Paradiso or New Paradise Cinema (official english translation), written and directed by Giuseppe Tornatore. Cinema Paradiso it’s a drama film about how a kid and his love for cinema made him become a famous director. Salvatore Di Vita or as we get to know him, Toto, lived in Giancaldo, Sicily, there we see how Toto spent every free time in the local cinema, called, Cinema Paradiso. There he develops a rough patch friendship with Alfredo, the projectionist of the cinema. Alfredo becomes the father figure Toto didn’t have, since his father was a victim of World War 2. As we get to see Toto grow we see how his relationship with Alfredo makes him fall in love with film, as he get’s to know how to use the projector and the dangers of the films as they were extremely flammable. This specific detail ended the first act, where a fire caused by one of the film reel exploding, burnt Alfredo’s face and made him permanently blind and the Cinema Paradiso completely destroyed. After that a local, Ciccio, invest in rebuilding the cinema, this time with Toto running the projection. Mid second act, we see Toto as a teenager and we see the relationship between him and Alfredo even stronger, Toto often comes to Alfredo for advice which Alfredo responses with film quotes. Toto begins experimenting with film, with a home movie camera. He also meets Elena, the daughter of a wealthy banker, Toto somehow wins her heart but lose her because of her father’s disapproval, ending the second act. Third act begins when Elena’s family moves away and Toto has to go to mandatory military service, he tries to communicate with Elena, but didn’t had any luck, since the letters returned as undeliverable. When he comes back, Alfredo tells Toto that he’s wasting his time in Giancaldo and that he must leave and search for success and pursue his future as a cinematographer. In the end Salvatore comes back to Giancaldo for Alfredo’s funeral. Walking thru the village, Toto sees a woman that looks like Elena with an old friend, that makes Toto look for Elena’s number and calls her, she says that there’s no point on seeing each other. But they do see each other, there she ask why he never contacted her, but Toto doesn’t understand, then she explains that she went to look for him at the Cinema, but Alfredo told her to forget about Salvatore. She left a letter with her address next to the invoices with the kissing scenes, and when Salvatore went to the cinema and asked Alfredo if she came, he lied and said no, he then finds the note. The end sequence is Salvatore watching a film that Alfredo wanted Salvatore to inherit. The film is a collection of all the kissing scenes that Alfredo was told to cut out of the movies that were shown at the Cinema Paradiso.

    Cinema Paradiso it’s a film that would make cry any artist, it makes you think of how many things we have to sacrifice to follow our dreams, as Salvatore sacrificed love, his family and his home to pursue his future. It’s definitely a movie that would make anyone cry and see the power of cinema, how much it influences in people and how it brings up lots of emotions, as we saw how people reacted to film, and how we reacted to this film. The wonderful performance, the amazing visuals, the touching script makes this film a perfect 10. No matter how many reviews or spoilers so read or see about it, watching the film it’s a heartwarming experience.

  2. So let’s talk about Pulp Fiction by amazing director and writer Quentin Tarantino, “WOW” such a incredible piece of film in all ways. Now, If you are wandering what movie can I watch that has an outstanding dialogue an also a incredible character development I am telling you, this is definitely the one. An those are not only the strong aspect of the film, this film is basically perfect in every way, is just that those two aspect are the strongest.

    So let’s talk a bit about this movie; the movie is about two hitman who’s job got mess up and one boxer who’s got only a few fight in him. In this film you got this amazing cast with this classic actor like John Travolta, Samuel Jackson and one of mi personally favorite Bruce Willis. John and Bruce already are popular actor by the time this movie got out; but then you got this Samuel Jackson who nobody almost knew who just when sky high with this role as Jules, this is my favorite character in any movie I have ever seen. This Jules makes you laugh so hard in this movie, an by the way his is one of the two hitmans that work for Marselus Wallace (Ving Rhames) who is a drog lord in case you were just wandering. Okay so back to Jules, he is a hit man with a different way of seeing life that likes to do the job the most profesional way posible not like his partner Vincent Chase( John Travolta ) who is very messy at the job but although gets things done. This two guys are gonna make you laugh so hard with their conversations, and that right there is the magic of the film because there are so realistic they seems like the kind of conversation you would have with your friends, I mean they talk things like foot massage to how they call a cheeseburger in other country’s, an they way the talk is very funny. This types of conversation go alone in all the film, not just with this two characters.

    There’s a lot more to this film but I don’t want to give away more spoiler than does I already have given. Ultimately I really recommend to anyone capable of seen a film this movie, I dare say that it will be definitely in your top ten favorite movies after you see it, hope you like my comment about this film, thank you for your time an hope you watch the movie.

  3. My first film comment will be about Captain America Civil War. This is a superhero movie and it’s about the avengers needing to sign a new law called the Sokovia accords and that law causes a fight between the avengers making them choose to be in the side of the law or against it, I will explain why they need to sign these accords and what happened. In the beginning of the movie we see some of the avengers in Siberia trying to stop the bad guys from stealing a biohazardous weapon. In the end of this scene we see the bad guy called “Crossbones” with a bomb on him and he plans to kill himself and some of the avengers with the bomb but instead blows a building full of people when Wanda Maximoff tries to throw him to the sky to avoid any casualties but instead threw him near a building. After all this happens a member of the government called Secretary Ross visits the avengers headquarters and tells them that the United Nations want them to sign the Sokovia accords so the government can control the avengers and only send them where they are needed.

    This movie is full of action/drama and it keeps you on the edge of your seat. The directors of this movie, Joe and Anthony Russo did a tremendous job with this movie. Sadly, one of the critics of this movie was that the stakes were high but not one Avenger died but the Russo brothers said and I quote “We talked about lots of potential characters dying at the end of the movie. And we thought that it would undercut what is really the rich tension of the movie, which is this is Kramer vs Kramer. It’s about a divorce. If somebody dies, it would create empathy, which would change and allow for repair, and we didn’t want to do that.” Personally for me this wasn’t a problem though it would have made the movie emotional it wasn’t that necessary.

    This is one of my favorite movies of all time since I am a huge fan of superhero movies so I highly recommend it. I praise the Russo brothers for such an amazing film and the cast for such great acting.

  4. well one of my favorite film director’s is Tim burton. I love his diversity of ideas, the creation of characters’ his imagination. He’s the kind of the director that takes the audience away from the reality and turn it in to fantasy world. His first film after doing allot of shorts films was Pee Wee’s big adventure in 1985. He was bullied and that was one of reasons why he begging making films, on of my favorite movies is Eduard Scissor hands and Alice in Wonderland cause this two movies take my imagination away and the meaning that Tim burton gave them are really exacting the amazing director Tim burton.

  5. When were talking about directors that can carry a movie at a high pace, one director comes to my mind by the name of Martin Scorsese. In 2013, Martin Scorsese produced one of the best movies of the year in The Wolf Of Wallstreet wich was nominated for five Academy Awards and two Golden Globe Awards. This film has to be one of the funiest on Martin Scorsese’s catalog as he did a wonderful job mixing comedy with the story and never losing side on what he wanted the movie to tell. Leonardo DiCaprio portrayed Long Island penny stockbroker
    Jordan Belfort in the film based on a true story.
    I love this film because it is easily one of the most entertaining films I have ever watched and I love the way in wich the director tells the story. The film is three hours long and I honestly wish it would’ve been longer because at the end I wanted more, wich is very unusual for me because I don’t usually like long film because I get bored. I feel like screenwriter Terrence Winter deserves credit for the interesting, slowly unfolding narrative which kept me at the edge of my seat. I loved the chemistry between Leonard DiCaprio and Jonah Hill and I think it really helped the film and made it more enjoyable to watch. It showed how Jordan Belfort came from the bottom and became one of the best in the game, and then had everything taken away from him wich I believe can be a lesson for the audience.
    This film was really controversial when it came out and is the type of film where you either love it or you hate it, in my case I loved it.

  6. As far as French independent directors go, I really like Michel Gondry but if I am being honest, I can’t really talk about having a favorite Director because I don’t really have a great frame of reference about films and its directors, that’s one of the reasons this class interested me such. Part of the reason that I am attracted to his work is because he is one of a few artists that I know about that writes, directs, and produces most of his work.
    Of the little I have seen, the movie that has caught my attention has been Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, a film cowritten and directed by Gondry in 2004. A film for which he was one of the writers that won the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay, along with Charlie Kauffman, a regular collaborator of his. I loved the movie for its out of the box content and the way its themes are presented to the viewer. It deals with the psychology of love and memories and how they interact with our subconscious. I love how he focuses on the creative aspects of the visual representations he wants to communicate and how he applies them to be able to project a variety of emotions of the human condition and how he sometimes goes out there in these representations. I also like how he uses the elements of flying as a metaphorical allusion to freeing our minds form the box mentality in concerns to creativity and individualism, as presented in part in The Science of Sleep, a film which he also wrote and directed in 2006.
    Another great example is Be Kind Rewind from 2008 and starring Jack Black and Mos Def. In this film, the main characters are presented with an impossible obstacle that they try to overcome using their imaginations and creativity to great effect. I particularly admire how Grondy stablishes themes that anybody can relate to and his imaginative ways, I really can’t express that enough. I guess it all can be traced to his pioneering inventor grandfather, Constant Martin.

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