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From Insurgents to Patriots

What events, opinions, and circumstances turned the British colonial citizens towards revolution, and how did they achieve their goals? What pushed these people to organize to fight for a new set of human rights, and how did they go about doing this? How did they restrain their vengeance and anger, and then turn a disheveled group of extralegal committees into a vehicle for national unity and political moderation?

15) The New Perspective

Perhaps the single greatest change to my perspective on media over the course of this class has been that I have become increasingly resistant to advertising. This is probably a good thing though, considering I would like to go into the marketing field, and being a victim of it would make me an inferior employee. I have learned a lot in this class, and have enjoyed the various ways in which we analyzed media within our culture. Instead of just taking a television show at face value, I now notice subliminal messages and themes within various shows, and now catch product placement more frequently. It is quite fun to point out hidden brand names in movies and television shows to my parents and friends. I also have become more understanding of prejudice within news and media, and I have began to pull my support from several media outlets due to this. Especially, the entire Fox network. I have become more critical of presidential candidates this year because of this class, and I know that this will pay off in November. I had fun in class and I know the skills I learned will be useful throughout my career, and throughout my life. Hope you all enjoyed my blog this semester! Goodbye. -David DeAndrea

14) Glass Works

Today we watched the 2003 film, Shattered Glass, starring Anakin Skywalker (also known as Hayden Christensen). It begins captivating me immediately, and I am already interested to find out what it going to happen. The story is complex but also easy to understand, and I like the pace at which the action progresses. It was quite interesting to see how well Glass fooled everyone into believing the lies he told and the stories he made up. Also, I found it ironic how much he scrutinized other writers on their facts and sources when it came up. It was painful to watch as he gets closer and closer to being caught, and reminded me of the times I got caught lying to my mother as a child. It was much easier to see Hayden Christensen fall to the Dark Side in Star Wars, than see him get caught like a little bitch in this film. This is one of those films that makes me squirm in my seat, mentally begging for him to just say sorry and get fired. The entire time I am thinking “Please just admit that you’re lying. PLEASE.” haha I am dying now. This movie is making me extremely uncomfortable now. Anyways, as the film concludes, I think about my own experiences with lying and how awfully they turn out. I think about the various media frauds that have surfaces over the last decade, and I wonder how the writers who faked it dealt with their shame. The morality of journalism is something I have not previously considered, and it is painful to see someone lie their way to fame and then be shot to the ground when they are found out. My favorite line of the film: “They are ALL real people.”

13) Analyzing My Artifact

For my next paper, I will be analyzing the Echoes of Silence album trilogy by the Toronto singer, The Weeknd. I am choosing this as my artifact because these three albums were all released in a single year, and really highlight the artist’s growth and changes over time. These alternative R&B albums include House of Balloons, Thursday, and Echoes of Silence. I will be dissecting the various sounds he creates throughout the trilogy, as well as his changing choice of music and instruments for each album. I am a fan of The Weeknd because he creates a very dark and emotional sound to his songs, which can vary from a drug-laced trance-like party anthem, to a thundering Adele-like piano-driven ballad. His debut album, House of Balloons is by far his most critically acclaimed work. In a genre stuck in a rut, The Weeknd broke through the mediocrity of post-2000’s R&B and created a masterpiece that won several Album of the Year awards from various music sites. Thursday,  his second album released five months after his first, really signified that The Weeknd was creating a different sound for every part of the trilogy, and this albumreally highlighted his ability to include emotion and love into his songs.

Finally, Echoes of Silnence,  which completed the trilogy, showcased his ability to sing darker slower and sadder songs, as well as illustrated the connection between all the albums. The versatility of this artist and the complexity of the Echoes of Silence album trilogy are very interesting and I am extremely excited to analyze this in my next paper.

12) Once Upon A Silent TV Show

Personally, television shows are not my thing. Sure, I will occasionally follow a show or two but that only when I am not working on a painting and only online. So when we analyzed the show Once Upon A Time, both with audio and without, I kept a keen eye for two hours straight through the episode we were shown. I think one of the standout differences  for me personally was my attention to setting when there was no dialogue. The rainy and dark scenes were created quite well, and often when there was dialogue, I did not notice it as much. For example, the scene in the dungeon was extremely evident in its terror, but when the characters were talking, the scenery became less than peripheral. Another thing I noticed was my attitude towards some of the characters. For example, the young boy with the book seem much more frail and helpless when he was talking, but his body language whenever there was not dialogue implied that he always knew what he was doing and never seemed hesitant. I do not think I would continue to watch this show, as I usually prefer horror or thriller television shows, but analyzing this episode sans audio and comparing it to the actual version was an interesting exercise. I will definitely be looking in the background of films and movies from now on.

11) Analyzing a Movie

The Ghost Writer

The first movie I thought of for this post was Star Wars Episode III, but that literally would take thousands of words to describe my feelings towards that movie. Instead, I have chosen one of my favorite suspense/mystery movies, Ghost Writer, directed by Roman Polanski and starring Ewan McGregor (who happens to be Obi-Wan Kenobi, so I can settle for this). The thing that attracted me the most to this film was the locations it used. The dreary island it was filmed upon, the minimalist yet luxurious house used to depict the former Prime Minister’s residence, and the stormy beaches used in the film all direct the film’s tone towards a dark and mysterious plot twist. The dialogue in the beginning of the film is often brief and mysterious, however as the film progresses, it become darker and more menacing and more drawn out as well. Often, the tone is weary and abstruse, as everyone except the ghost writer seems tired and secretive. Polanski really pushes the audience to the edge by showing the ghost writer being pursued for searching for some secret hidden by the former Prime Minister, but waiting until the final minute to reveal that secret. A strong performance by McGregor, powerful themes and motifs, and perfect scenery and locations create this amazing film and really highlight the ability of director Roman Polanski.

Poster

10) Analyzing a Song

“505” by The Arctic Monkeys

For our next paper, I will be analyzing an album trilogy, so today’s blog will be excellent practice for that. The song 505, from the album Favourite Worst Nightmare by the Arctic Monkeys has quite frankly been my favorite song since I started avidly listening to music. It is both very meaningful and complex, and the shifts in sounds really highlight the tone. The muted organ-like instrument playing for the first 45 seconds immediately lets the listener know that this is a sad song, with its long drawn out notes and its slow progression. It starts with the chorus, “I’m going back to 505, if it’s a seven hour flight or a forty-five minute drive. In my imagination you’re waiting lying on your side, with your hands between your thighs.” The strong British accent mixes well the the quiet electric guitar strumming that fades in, and right around the 45 second mark, the percussion starts playing. The next few verses make it clear that the singer is addressing a woman; “My darling what did you expect? I’d probably still adore you with your hands around my neck.” This line sets the tone immediately for the song, and shows how much the singer wishes for things to go back to how they were, regardless of how negative it could have been. The next few lines talk about how the singer made some kind of bad decision and his regrets about that, and how the couple met. After the second chorus, there is a pause and only the percussion and electric guitar play, seemingly slowing down. Then suddenly, the singer, whose voice was quiet and muted before, yells emotionally “But I crumble completely when you cry” and the drums crash and a new guitar riff explodes in. This immediate display of emotion is highlighted by the next line, “it seems like once again you’ve had to greet me with goodbye.” The song finishes with the singer yelling and nearly crying through the final chorus, wishing for a chance to go back to where he used to be. Using strong tones and emphasis on lyrics, the Arctic Monkeys create a sad song that really displays their broad range of talents and understanding of emotion through music.

By The Arctic Monkeys