Catching Fire

I saw The Hunger Games: Catching Fire this past weekend. It was so good! I’ve read the book, and I think the movie stayed very true to the spirit of the novel.  There were a few changes between the book and the movie, but I don’t think they made a huge difference in the narrative of the story or the overall feel of the movie.  Entertainment Weekly has a really good list of the differences here. I know a lot of people find the premise of The Hunger Games to be disturbing.  While I think that is a good point, I really like to look at the books from the standpoint of the criticism they make of society.  For an English major, I always love analyzing the deeper meaning behind novels.  Although sometimes I think we can get a little ridiculous about analyzing literature, I definitely think looking at the societal context of a novel can really help the understanding of it.  A theme of the book is the excess of the Capitol while many of the other Districts suffer, which I think is definitely relevant to today’s society.  The Hunger Games movies do a really good job at representing the sheer excess of the Capitol in contrast to the outer Districts. Overall, Catching Fire was an excellent movie. I think I liked it better than the first one…but Mockingjay is my favorite book, so I have high hopes for those two movies!

Once

Can I just write a blog post that is all about my favorite movies? It’d probably be pretty long…and you’d probably get bored of reading it…and I’d probably run out of ways to say “awesome” or “amazing.” But I’m listening to a song from the “Once” soundtrack and thinking about how great this movie is. For those of you who haven’t seen it, it’s about two people (an unnamed man and woman) who meet on the streets of Dublin and spend a weekend recording music together. It’s about love, life, missed chances, and how music can connect people even in just one moment.

I first watched this movie with my family not that long after it came out, and I watched it again in my Film Studies class in high school. I love movies that talk about music as something universal; so often songs have the ability to connect us to people we’ve never even met – whether it’s the songwriter themselves, or a person halfway across the world who is listening to the same song. I know I’ve read different artists talk about performing in Asia and it’s incredible to them that people who don’t even speak English, can sing along with them at concerts. Even when you don’t understand the language the song is in, the language of the music speaks to us.

This is the song I was listening to. This scene is near the beginning of the movie and it’s pretty incredible what Glen Hansard can do with his voice (and his face).

This song is kind of the theme of the whole movie. This scene in particular is when the two characters first sing together. The first time I saw this, I got goosebumps. (And it won an Oscar!)

Final Project

I’ve started work on my final project! Here’s the proposal I wrote up for it:

For my final project, I have decided to make Twitter accounts for the characters in the 1985 movie Clue.  The tentative title for this project is “Character Clues.”  This movie is based on the popular board game and is a murder mystery.  The plot of the film takes place over a period of a few hours one night during a dinner party.  There are fourteen characters in all.  I will create accounts for each character and then proceed to tweet as them in the course of the movie.  This will create the effect of the characters “live-tweeting” during the events of the evening.  I intend to use these accounts to enhance the viewing experience of this movie by giving viewers a closer look at the personalities of the characters.  I will collate the accounts either through a public list on my own Twitter account or through the use of Storify which I will then post on my website.  After the project is over, I will write up an essay that reflects on my experience in creating the accounts.

I started making the accounts tonight…until Twitter discovered me. I’ve made 11 accounts so far, and I still need to make accounts for The Motorist, The Cook, and the Chief. These are more minor characters, but they definitely have significance in the overall plot. I’m pretty excited about this project, as it will give me ample opportunity to watch “Clue,” one of my favorite movies, multiple times. But first, I must finish making all the Twitter accounts! And figure out how to work TweetDeck…anyone know anything about it?

Sunday Afternoon

Happy end of Daylight Saving Time! Hopefully everyone turned their clocks back so that they didn’t miss anything important this morning. I love when Daylight Saving Time ends because it means we get an extra hour of sleep…for a couple of days, until we’re used to it.  Of course, it also means that I am now ready for dinner and it is just past 5:00. Maybe I can hold out for another half hour, but we’ll see.

Anyways, not much going on today. But tonight Once Upon a Time is on and it is the premiere of Ariel, aka the Little Mermaid! When I was a kid, The Little Mermaid was not my favorite Disney princess movie because of this scene:

I mean, he destroys all her stuff!! Every time I watched it, I was so angry at Triton and sad about Ariel.  Anyways, rewatching that scene now, I realize how much the movie is about racial tensions between the merpeople and humans.  I guess I haven’t seen that movie in so long, that I kind of forgot about that aspect. Now I definitely have to rewatch the whole movie. But first, dinner, and then Ariel’s debut on Once Upon a Time! So excited!

About Me: Harry Potter

No, the title of this post doesn’t mean that I think I am Harry Potter.  However, Harry Potter is one of those things that has had a serious impact on me, as I think it has for a lot of people in my generation (And beyond – let’s be honest, JK Rowling has cornered the young adult market for all of time).  I have my Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone book with a handwritten inscription from my parents saying, “Happy Birthday Colleen!”  I don’t think I have any other books that my parents inscribed, so it’s kind of like they knew that this book would be a Big Deal.  I’m not sure why Harry Potter has become such an integral part of my identity – I guess it’s like I said in my original blog post about me, that “You’ve Got Mail” quote is really true:

Kathleen Kelly: When you read a book as a child, it becomes a part of your identity in a way that no other reading in your whole life does.

(Source: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0128853/trivia?tab=qt&ref_=tt_trv_qu)

The books are just so well done and well planned.  That’s one of the things I have always loved about the series – JK Rowling thought about the series, from start to finish.  A detail that pops up randomly in the first book, suddenly becomes significant in the last book.  And while some may say that this is just pure chance, I think Rowling really knew what that first Chocolate Frog trading card would mean in the larger mythology.

I said before that we read Harry Potter in one of my classes in Bath.  We read Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Can I just say that the auto-spell check did not underline Azkaban? Proof that Harry Potter is significant.) and the conversations we had about that book were really spirited, but also really interesting.  That’s another great thing about Harry Potter (From a English major’s perspective), it can be interpreted in so many ways, and so many different theories and schools of thought can be applied to it.  One of the coolest things in our British Fantasy Writers class was that we got to go to Oxford on a study trip.  While we were there, we saw Christ College at the University of Oxford and the Bodleian Library, which were used for filming in the first few movies.  We saw all kinds of landmarks from the movies and our entire class (Mostly. Some were not Potterphiles.) was really excited about everything related to Harry Potter.

I don’t really know why Harry Potter is such a part of my identity, like I said.  I think it has something to do with the fact that it can still inspire and amaze you even years after you’ve read it.

 

 

Me!

This is technically my eighth blog post, but I don’t count the first post as having much substance, so I’ll say that since this is my seventh post, I should probably tell you a little about me (As much as I’m willing to put on the Internet, that is)!

My name is Colleen (If you couldn’t tell from the URL).  I’m an English major.  I like movies, television, and books way too much.  I am constantly quoting movies and television shows that rarely anyone understands but me.  Seriously, on my list of “superlatives” one of my housemates in Bath made for all of us at the end of the program was that I made the most references out of anyone. Ever.  I don’t necessarily consider this a bad thing, because I believe all the movies, and television shows I have watched have defined me in some way and given me insight into something I may not have known much about before.

I also love books, like I said.  And I’ll give you this quote from You’ve Got Mail (a movie!) that pretty much sums up my feelings about books:

Kathleen Kelly: When you read a book as a child, it becomes a part of your identity in a way that no other reading in your whole life does.

(Source: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0128853/trivia?tab=qt&ref_=tt_trv_qu)

Honestly, I would also like Kathleen Kelly’s life – I mean she owns a children’s bookstore (For most of the movie anyways)!  But the fact that I chose that movie is significant, not only because it is probably my favorite movie, but also because it shows how much I love the 90s.  I admit it, I’m a child of the 90s and I will probably argue about how fantastic that time was for movies, television, everything (Except fashion. That is where the 90s kind of went a little crazy).  I mean, everyone probably loves the time they grew up in and thinks it’s the best, but as I’ve gotten older I’ve gotten much more nostalgic about it.  I think it probably has something to do with the kind of world we live in post-9/11.  This is a little more serious than I wanted to go, so I’ll just leave it at this: kids who were born in the last thirteen years or so will never know what it was like before 9/11 – simpler, easier, not so scary.

Anyways, I think I’ll spend the next week of serious blogging telling you tidbits about myself.  I’m not sure what they’ll be yet, but I’m thinking along the lines of favorite movies, television shows, books, who knows! I just want to give you all a little picture of who I am:

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Ha get it? A little picture of myself!

It’s Fall!

I have always loved the Fall.  Changing leaves, Halloween, cooler weather, my birthday, Thanksgiving – all of which are some of my favorite things.  Mary Washington is beautiful all year round, but it is especially beautiful during the Fall.  All the trees on campus change to vibrant colors that match the colors of the brick buildings and walks perfectly.

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Some of the beautiful trees on campus

It really is a fantastic time of year.  It’s even better since I don’t have to help rake leaves! Honestly, though, raking leaves and jumping in leaf piles are some of my favorite memories from childhood.  As I got older, however, the idea that any kind of creepy crawly could be hiding in that pile made it a little less fun.  Of course, I learned some leave-jumping wisdom from the classic television special It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!

As always, the Peanuts leave us with undeniable wisdom and humor.  This special is another one of my favorite childhood memories - It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown! is one of my favorite holiday specials (the Snoopy Christmas special, however, is number one) about a holiday that was never exactly my favorite.  Halloween is great when you’re a kid and get bucketfuls of candy, but as you get older, it gets a little less exciting.  In college, however, I’ve rediscovered my love of Halloween.  I’ve dressed up (to an extent) every year, and watched silly Halloween specials.  I’m not into scary Halloween shows, but I have always loved the slightly scary, but fairly silly, Disney Halloween shows.  In particular, the movie Hocus Pocus is a classic that used to scare me as a kid, but I now love.  And the Disney channel original movies of the late 90s - the Halloweentown series, and Don’t Look Under the Bed are some of my other favorites.  Last year I re-watched Don’t Look Under the Bed, a movie about the boogeyman, and it is actually pretty scary for a children’s movie.  It deals with serious issues too – growing up, childhood cancer, and the idea that imagination is more powerful than reality.  It’s not surprising that it scared me so much as a kid.

Even with all the mildly scary shows and movies, Halloween is still fun.  Even if I don’t get buckets of candy anymore – now I just have to buy them.

Fairytales

Last night my roommate and I watched Ever After.  She had never seen it, and I realized that this classic Drew Barrymore, late-90′s, chick flick was an essential part of any woman’s film repertoire.  (Those reading this may not agree, but this is my blog after all, so it’s just my opinion) It makes me think about re-imagined fairytales.  This movie is obviously not drastically different from the source material, Cinderella, but it still offers a different interpretation.  In the end, Danielle, (Cinderella in this version) saves herself from a terrible fate – sure she marries the prince right after, but still, she does take control over her fate.  While fairytales have always focused on the damsel in distress instead of the daring damsel, modern re-imagined fairytales are much better at giving female characters a little more depth. I’m a big fan of ABC’s television show, Once Upon a Time, which features at its’ center Snow White, played by Ginnifer Goodwin.  This Snow White, however, is not like the Disney character most everyone is familiar with.  She’s independent, fierce, powerful, and just trying to take her kingdom back from the evil stepmother that stole it.  She does have a Prince Charming, but in many ways he doesn’t save her, so much as they save each other.  They have an equal partnership, something definitely missing from classic fairytales.  Most importantly, Snow White is flawed – and I don’t mean that she is flawed in the sense that she is a flat character.  Snow is flawed because she makes mistakes like most humans do.  But she learns from these mistakes, and always comes back fighting in the end.  The show is still going on, so we don’t know yet if Snow and her prince will get their happy ending.  However, Ginnifer Goodwin and the actor who plays the prince, Josh Dallas, are engaged, so at least their real life counterparts will hopefully have a happy ending!