Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Technology of the Future

I was unable to attend the Broach School event today due to transportation issues. I was ready to go however with my clay supplies and lesson plan. I am extremely disappointed that I could not come since I was prepared.

Below is my lesson plan, in which I supplied a tub of Crayola air-dry clay as well as colored clay for the 3D modeling part of the project. Jade Pilgrom supplied the 2D aspects of the project with colored pencils and paper.

Technology of the Future

Imagine 20 or 40 years into the future. What is something that you think will change… the way people transport themselves, ways of communication, or entertainment?

Think of why certain items like phones, computers, and video games would be different. To make communication easier, to better society, or just be more fun? Most importantly what do you think you will need in the future?

1) Choose an item (phone, computer, car, personal robot…) that you will use in the future. Draw out what you imagine it will look like and visually (draw out) how it will function.

2) Use your drawing to make a 3D model of your actual design!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Project Proposal

I’m considering making a media project based on music and it’s relationship to a person’s mood... I would show my group of students to be aware of how a song or beat provokes emotions. I’d make a playlist of probably five songs, depending on how much time I was given with the children, and I’d ask them to either use descriptive words or draw how the music made them feel. From that preliminary question I’d follow up with “what about the music or beat made you feel different… for example the quick tempo making someone feel anxious?”. I’m not sure if the classroom will have a stereo or a way I can play the music or not…


I could construct a handout that they can complete all of which relating to the future and how the predict changes amongst themselves and society as a whole. This project would be expanding upon the idea from one of our past blog posts about the “next big thing in the media”. An example question could be, “What does the phone of the future look like and what aspects would be beneficial to the design?” As for an answer the students may choose to either draw what it would look like or use words to describe their design, whichever option they are most comfortable with.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Media and The Body

For some bizarre reason when we were told to find an image that reflected "Media and The Body" I thought of a type of dance, or performance art... synchronized swimming. To me the sport is very old hollywood and that is what drew me in at an early age. I actually have competed in synchronized swimming competitions for eight years and stopped early on into high school. I think that it is one of the most graceful sports and in order for the performance to really stand out it needs to be coincide with the music exactly. The swimming positions need to mirror the music so much so that when you see a performance it seems like you are watching the music play out.

I chose an image of Esther Williams who is iconic for the sport as well as MGM films. She actually trained my first coach, Rosemary. The sport is less known then it's prime but it will always have a little Hollywood glamour to it.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Keeping things cool

I feel like the next “cool” thing will be a more exclusive society, people will be more focused on self advancements but not so much as a community. One thing that is kind of disheartening to me is how bookstores are closing nation-wide and reading, as a whole seems to be on the outs. I suppose reading is not dead per say it just does not have the same magic feel to me when I read text on a screen. So I guess reading as it once was, or the format has expired but digital reading is at a high. I can see this as a positive attribute to society because people, especially the younger population, take their ipods, ipads, and e-readers everywhere. This makes reading with a vast library easily accessible and accessibility will encourage reading as a behavior. Another thing that’s encouraging about all of this is that I can already see the progress on making reading cool. The other day I was watching something on hulu and a commercial for audible.com came on. The advertisement was selling reading as being easy and convenient because the novel, essay, or whatever material can go anywhere.

I don’t think this is too new but I definitely get the majority of my news and pop culture from the internet. Instead of looking at a magazine such as US I go to sites such as, Perezhilton.com which started as one site but now has many sister sites, like fitperez, pereztv, and even a site for pets. I like that I can pretty much find whatever is the common interest of the moment and from there browse other nonsense. Today I actually read an interesting article on perezhilton that talked about theatre and acting with robots. I personally think the acting would seem very cold and ineffective since the droid or robot has no memories that mirror any emotion… so what could they feed off of. I do agree that it was pretty cool seeing both a human actor and a robot working together but it seems very science fiction to me too… the sci-fi that has something go wrong! Hah.

Here’s a link to the article that I referred to,


Monday, February 28, 2011


Lolita was a very intense read; it’s not that the literature was above my abilities but the story of tainted love ruining a man’s life almost seemed too contrived for shock value. Humbert is a character that becomes easily transfixed with love or rather infatuation with younger girls and his description of the need and want to be with them seems almost creepy, which I suppose could be a prelude to the deaths to come. The girls, or nymphets as he calls them tempt him in a way that is hard to resist and Humbert knows that wanting them is wrong but he can’t seem to help it.

It never seems to be Humbert’s fault when something occurs but rather the blame is directed to another person, most often a woman. I feel like the gist of this novel is Humbert blaming the women in his life for the misfortunes he suffers. His mother passes away when he is very young, from all things she dies from being struck by lightning. He uses her death as an excuse to behave the way he does, he doesn’t feel as if he needs to be moral since he was never taught right from wrong. His mother’s sister, his aunt attempted at rasing him but once again the blame and wrongdoings that he does, he justifies because he never received the loving he deserved.

In class the discussion of love came up briefly and I argued that what Humbert is experiencing is infatuation not love. Why else would he tire of Annabel or other young girls… once they grow past their prepubescent stage he needs to find the newest thing. Out of all of his relationships, his desire for Lolita lasted the longest and the fact that he could not obtain the goal of having her made it even harder for him to find a new love. He grew obsessed over somethi g he could not truly have. He definitely seems to be blaming women for something he cannot posses, love.

At the beginning of Lolita, in the forward John Ray Jr says, " “Lolita” should make all of us—parents, social workers, educators—apply ourselves with still greater vigilance and vision to the task of bringing up a better generation in a safer world.

" I chose this quote to discuss because of it's utter ridiculousness... after learning that there is no John Ray Jr this statement doesn't seem like a warning but rather another excuse. I also receive the feeling that this quote was written to reassure that there is a moral to this story. Or at best, the story could be justified. And if anything the novel was written more poetically and for love than for a psychologist.

The Piano- Screenplay

The Piano (1993)

Cast suggestions: I have not yet seen The Piano but I did just order it from Netflix so I’m very excited to actually get to see what I read. That being said I didn’t get to see how Holly Hunter played Ada McGrath, but I do know her from other films. Her face is extremely expressive, which the character needs to be since she cannot speak.

I picture Cate Blanchett taking on the role of Ada. Her face is very stoic and she is able to play a variety of roles. Not to mention the fact that she was made for period pieces and The Piano is definitely one! As far as her acting abilities are concerned I think she would be perfect for the part… especially after seeing her in Elizabeth. The only problem as far as a physical standpoint would be that Blanchett is tall and Ada is described as being stunted… but I’m sure there would be ways to mask that through cinematography.

For Ada’s daughter, Flora I immediately saw a young Kirsten Dunst! Seeing her in Interview with the Vampire makes the choice a sound one. She can play very powerful roles and seems mature on film. Just like when she played Claudia I think she could make Flora very witty and almost manipulative.

As far as director notes, I think Jane Campion should have incorporated more information concerning the atmosphere to a shot/scene. When Stewart and Baines are walking up with the native people from New Zealand it seems very abrupt and choppy. Instead of showing the mother and daughter in their makeshift tent and then going to another shot of the men walking towards the beach I would maybe have a shot from inside the tent showing the silhouette of people’s legs and feet. I feel like the two worlds should definitely be integrated.

On occasion there was a note suggesting piano music to be playing in the background. I would keep this suggestion but have it be more involved in the story. Since Ada cannot speak music could be played over her signing to her daughter.

Themes: In the beginning of the screenplay I found out that Ada is having an arranged marriage. I would have loved to see more/read more about Ada and her daughter’s life back in their native country. I also have to admit that I thought it was very strange that her father was setting her up for marriage after she has already been married and had a daughter with her late husband. Since it doesn’t seem like a very realistic subject (especially during the Victorian times) it should have some supporting scenes.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Auteurship: Jane Campion films

I must admit that when I saw the term “auteurship” I was a bit confused as to what it meant. My searches kept leading me to the definition of an author, which as it turns out is perfectly correct. The Auteur theory in relation to being an author is the way in which all of their work is categorized. For instant with some directors, their films are easily recognizable… even without knowing the director initially.

At random I chose to watch a Jane Campion film, most likely because the name was female! I feel like I really lucked out with my sporadic choice because I loved her film, Bright Star. I’m easily won by period pieces and she has refined the art. This particular film focused on the love affair between the famed poet, John Keats and his muse, Fannie Brawne. It was beautifully tragic with the underlining story and they way Campion filmed it. I was aware that one of the two main characters would be stricken with an illness or somehow parish but even with that knowledge Campion still crushed my hope that, somehow everything would be okay. I’m very American in my thinking that every ending should be a positive one but the director, who’s Australian, ended the film with a tragic death. It’s very hard for me to define a movie as being good when the ending does not carry the best outcome. Campion, however, tied in delicate notes of love throughout her film and everything from the shots to the acting was poetic. In that sense the film was perfect because it matched the topic of 19th century romantic poetry which Keats’ is known for. The title of the film itself is named after his famed poem which illustrates a devote love to Ms. Brawne.

I have also begun the film An Angel at My Table by the same director. It, like the first film I watched is also extremely emotionally charged. The film, also about a famed poet, Janet Frame, shows the natural pitfalls that life may have. Frame, however, seemed to have more than average with her awkward tendencies which turned into antisocial behavior. This behavior, although not normal was not psychotic. Frame ends up being misdiagnosed with schizophrenia and suffers years of physical and mental torture for being different. So far in the film it’s become apparent the Campion focuses on unbalanced characters. Keats suffered as an artist and with love. He could not overcome either during his life… in order to be a proper husband to Ms. Brawne he needed wealth and stability; by nurturing his love for Brawne he did not focus on his writing entirely. Both him and Brawne were isolated characters until they met one another. Brawne, herself only gave fashion her attention and therefore her relationships other than her immediate family did not exist. As for Janet she is a loner in every since. She is not too close with her family and her peers have no respect for her. It’s through her tragedy that her talents become apparent. This is the theme that Campion has perfected.

For my third film I have ordered The Piano, which I’ve heard about prior to knowing the director.