One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest is an american film directed by Milos Forman, released in 1975. This film tells us the story of Randle McMurphy, a man accused of rape and who decided to go to psychiastric hospital instead of going in prison. The role of a man who day after days fall into madness is perfectly interpreted by Jack Nicholson.

Life of Pi, Yann Martel

Yann Martel, a canadian author who has written his novel, realizes that he’s not satisfied. He’s really out of steam and he sends his novel at a wrong adress in a Northern’s country. He stays in India where he’s travelling and in a kind of restaurant he meets a man who says:
-I know a story who makes you a believer.
And the story of Molitor Pi Patel begins like that.
Then, the author met Pi who told him his extraordinary travel which would inspire the film of Angry Lee « Life of pi ».
At the beginning, Pi is a young Indian man.His parents are owners of a zoo and Pi believes to three religions together: the hindouism, the Islam and the Christendom. His family must go in Canada and the boat which leads them there sinks. Pi is the one to survive with the animal and he stays 267 days on the boat withe a tiger.
There’s a suppostion about the animals: they could be human beings that Pi Have turned into animals, the tiger would be Pi himself. He says: What is the importance to know if they are animals or human beings? I prefer the story with the animal

Little House on the Prairie

Yes I know that this story is not the highest in American Literature but is for me a part of my youth ! In « The Little House On The Prairie » Laura Ingalls tells us her story  in the point of view of a teenager and later as an adult. Determined to tell her story, story that Michael Landon has freely adapted into a TV series. Started in 1974, his legendary series has gobbled up the real Laura, embodied by Melissa Gilbert in an avalanche of stupidity.

But let’s get back to the beginning, in 1930. The United Sates  entered in the recession when the real Laura decided to write  her memories, from a small farm in Missouri where she lived with her husband Almanzo. Around sixty, she decided to revisite her youth and celebrated the independence. Rejecting with strength the New Deal of  president Roosevelt. The manuscript, Pioneer Girl, considered too dry and too dark, is refused. That show that the real story is not only about running cheerfully in the meadow !

P.S : Nellie Oleson never existed !

Laura Ingalls

 

Kenneth Branagh: his passion for Willy

No, Kenneth Branagh isn’t only the Defence Against the Dark Arts instructor Gilderoy Lockhart in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Chris Columbus, 2002), he is also a great director… Especially when he adapts William Shakespeare!

During his career, Kenneth Branagh adapted five plays written by the famous playwright, beginning with Henry V in 1989, and followed by Much Ado About Nothing (1993), Hamlet (1996), Love’s Labour’s Lost (2000) and As You Like It (2007). He can be considered as the greatest admirer of the playwright…

If the first three adaptations was enormous success all other the world, it isn’t the case for the others. The director wanted to modernize Shakespeare, but it was a fiasco, especially for the film directed by in 2000 (he turns into a romantic Hollywood musical). But the others productions have the merit to be predominant adaptations of playwright’s work, with many distinctions and nominations for an award.

Furthermore, we can find him in Othello, an adaptation directed by Oliver Parker in 1995 with Laurence Fishburne. Kenneth Branagh embodies Iago…

http://www.movpins.com/big/MV5BMTYzNzg2OTY0MF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNjQxNzgwMw/still-of-kenneth-branagh-in-hamlet-(1996)-large-picture.jpgKenneth Branagh during the filming of Hamlet (1996)

Agatha Christie

Agatha Christie (1890 – 1976) is a british writter born Agatha Mary Clarissa Miller. She wrote many detective stories and created famous characters like Hercule Poirot or Miss Marple.  She wrote too many short stories, poems, autobiographies, and dramas. She had a privilaged education than her sister and her brother. First she wanted to become a lyrical artist with piano and vocals but she was too shy. It was during three months in Caire for her sick mother that she began to write. In 1914 so just at the beginning of the war, she got married with Archibald Christie (wich she kept his name to write) and she gave birth to her only child, Rosalind in 1919. Then in 1926, you have her mysterious disappearance : some newspaper thought that she commmited a suicide because her car was found near a lake and because her mother died and her husband wanted to divorce. After this period , she worked in archeology. She met in 1930 Max Mallowan who became her husband the same year. During the Second World War, she worked for Torquay hospital and sought to join her husband who was engaged. After the war, she created Agatha Christie Limited for his author rights. She had too three dramas played in London at the same time and in 1974, she assisted at the first adaptation of Murder on the orient Express by Sidney Lumet.

I read Ten little Niggers; One, two, Buckle my shoe; the thirteen problems; Paker Pyne invastigates by Agatha Chritie. I liked very much his novels. It’s pleasant to read, and she know really how to create an atmosphere. You find many suspense in her work. I advise really you to read it!

’71 by Yann Demange

On saturday night I went to the cinema, I watched ’71 by Yann Demande. It deals with the war between Ireland and England. I didn’t know a thing about this war, except that it was hard (like any wars in fact …) So I asked Nicolas M and now I know a lot of things, but what ever, it’s not the subject.

So the story takes place in Belfast in 1971. The main character, Gary Hook, a young english soldier is send to the front on Belfast. Attacks and violence spread terror in the city and children waged war too. During a mission, Gary is abandonned by his team and he was alone and without any help. He will have to come back in his military base.

 

I was attracted by this movie because there were a lot of good press critics, they said that the movie switched into a thriller. In that way, I was amazed by several shoot: When Gary is chase by Irish man throughtout houses, we follow him as if we were running with him. Morevover the lights are very present and use in differents way: the sunset, the risesun, the lights of the city, the fire… It symbolises a kind of hope in the middle of war. I also noticed esthetism and I found that the director shoots well and actors play with such credibility whici is very rare at that time !

I advise you to watch it, except if you have a sensitive soul !

 »Punch »English satirical newspaper

Today, after  the events of the French satirical newspaper, I have chosen to tell you about a British satirical magazine,  »Punch ».

It’s 150 years old and made the caricature of the poor, strangers, Jews in the last century.

There are 33 000 issues, but this number has been decreasing since the 1940s, yet he remains a symbol of The British press of that time. William Makepeace Thackeray, the author of  »Barry Lyndon  » was one of the journalists.

Willi Wilde, Oscar Wilde’s brother did theater reviews. In 2002, the newspaper was forced to cease  publication.

Today it’s important to read newspaper and help them to survive, like Charlie Hebdo in France.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

O Brave New World

In english class we read a novel written by Aldous HUXLEY in 1932. His novel « Brave New World » is an anticipation novel and dystopia. The story takes place in 2495; a group of students are visiting under the supervision of the director of the Center (DHC).

as we studied an extract in which the DHC present his aim, to produce buds (8 to 96 buds which produces 8 to 96 adults), I discovered several adaptations in the American TV: in 1980 Burt Brinckerhoff directed Brave New World and Le Meilleur des mondes was produced by Leslie Libman et Larry Williams in 1998.

I think I will watch these movies because it could be interesting

The Hound of The Baskervilles

After Sir Arthur Charles Baskerville’s death, in very mysterious circonstances, the famous detective Sherlock Holmes arrives at Dartmoor.

The hound of the Baskervilles is a novel written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in 1900. This novel is the Sherlock Holmes resurrection after 6 years, because the writer wants to stop this adventures, in the final problem where he’s dead. This novel is consider out the detective’s chronology.

In that case, the famous detective, accompagned by the doctor John H. Watson, the narrator, must protect the ender descendant of the Baskerville’s familie, Sir Henry. This novel is a brutal atmosphere changes contrary to other Sherlock Holmes novels and novella using the Dartmoor’s fog and lot of night passages.

 

This novel is also the most popular story of Sherlock Holmes, and she is the most adaptated on the big screen and at television.

I really appreciate this novel because the atmosphere is frightenning and the investigation is very clever.

 » Unbroken « 

Unbroken is film directed by Angelina Jolie and released in 2014. The story is based on the novel by Laura Hillenbrand. This is the biography of the famous Olympian Louie Zamperini, who lived from 1917 to 2014.

The film describes the fate of this Olympic runner and hero of the Second World War. His plane crashed at sea in 1942, killing eight crew members and leaving three survivors on a lifeboat where two of them survived for 47 days before being captured by the Japanese navy and sent a camp for prisoners of war. His journey is admirable, he always displaying courage and loyalty even during moments of great suffering. He was a man of great integrity. All his life he recalled the memory of his races. He had a mind of steel. His story end well because at the end of the war he finds his family and friends, and he devoted to God. He finally ran at the Olympic games in Japan in 1980, at the age of 80 years old.

The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet

Last month, we talked about the adventure’s novels in class. This work remembers me another novel which was a success last year in France : The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet is the first novel of Reif Larsen, an american author. It’s the story of a gifted young boy (who’s 12 years old), who has a great interest for the maps and the scientific illustrations. One day, he’s called by a museum in order to receive a price for his work. He decides to cross the United States and meet the museum scientists. This travel, is an occasion for him to discover how the world works around him…

A version (in a big size) with a lot of drawings has been published and it’s an amazing object to discover : it’s composed of great tale, beautiful paper and typography with, on the right side, several funny pictures which illustrate the tale. On the following extract, we can see how is presented the begginning of the novel :

I discovered this novel, (which is more than a simple book, it’s a real work of art) because someone offered it to me. The following year, I learned that it will be adapted on the screen. The film, directed by Jean Pierre Jeunet, a french director, was a success too. I can guess it’s because of the universal dimension of the story that all of the editions and adaptations seduced the audience : it remembers us the western universe, the childhood, the dreams of childhood, and the need to travel we all feel in our life.

Finally, as we worked on Mark Twain, I’ll just add that comment made by Stephen King concerning the novel : « Here is a novel which makes the impossible : to gather Mark Twain, Thomas Pynchon, and Little Miss Sunshine. This book is a treasure. »

If you want to know more about the world of T.S. Spivet  I can advice you to go there, it shows how it’s a seducing universe : http://www.tsspivet.com/

28 Days Later

It’s a horror and science fiction movie directed by Danny Boyle in 2002.

One day Jim wake up in a hospital of London. All the city seems to be abandonned. In fact London has been evacuated because a dangerous virus which transforms people in a kind of enraged zombie, spread everywhere in the city. The virus is the result of a bad genetic manipulation of scientists.

During all the film we travel around London with a group of survivors whose trying to escape from contamined peoples.

This movie is not on only about zombies because we share the fear of characters. And even if it’s an horror and science fiction movie, we can think that’s 28 days later is realistic in numerous points.

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

« The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn » is a picaresque novel written by Mark Twain and published in 1884. Huckleberry Finn, nicknamed « Huck » or « Huck Finn » is a motherless orphan boy about thirteen or fourteen years old. Huck flees the civilization in the company of an escaped slave. He tells them wandering about 1 800 km on a raft down the Mississippi.

I found this book and moreover the humor of Mark Twain very pleasant. In addition, this novel seems to be an anti-racist novel by the fact that Huckleberry helps a slave called « Jim » to go in the free states on their raft.

However, this is a satirical and realistic novel, because we find characters representative of the social category. It is also a pessimistic novel because of the hypocrisy of the men.

Don’t talk about the Fight Club!

 

The time has come to talk about a movie which I can call « an experience »: Fight Club!!

Since the release of Gone Girl in October, I remembered how much I admire David Fincher and how much I love all his movies, without any exceptions: Panic Room, Se7en, the Social Network…(and don’t forget the amazing House of Cards). However, Fight Club doesn’t occupy the same place in my heart, Fight club is above these movies, it’s an outlet, an inspiration.

First, I love the screenplay (the movie is adapted from the eponymous novel of Chuck Palahniuk which is my favourite book of all time): The story is divided in 3 major acts: In the begining, we discover the narrator and his boring life, his boring job and his boring apartment described as an Ikea catalog. His sad life seems to finally brighten when he meets the nonconformist Tyler Durden that will teach him how to live without the consumer society’s dictates. They decides together to create the Fight Club to help others man who also looking for an outlet. Unfortunatly, the narrator wil doesn’t be able to control the hundreds of fight clubs which emerged throughout the country and which begin to commit terroristes acts against symbols of the consumer society.

I love the choice of the interpreters (Fincher knows definitely how to choose his actors): Brad Pitt, Helena Bonham Carter, Jared Leto, EDWARD NORTON!!! seriously, it’s the best cast I ever seen in my entire life. And the character’s construction… Wow! The character’s construction is incredible, you just have to look at the link between Tyler and the narrator ( if you saw Fight Club, you know what I am talking about). The Relationship between Marla and Tyler is also very well done, with all her ambiguity.

Some people thinks that this movie extols the acts of rebellion and the violence but it’s precisely the opposite that the movie stands up for: the last scene shows how much this acts are useless and that it’s not the destruction which is important: it’s the reconstruction. I think it’s a beautiful way of think when we see the tragic events which happened lately

The Silence Of The Lambs

Hi everybody !
Today i ‘m gonna talk about « The Silence Of The Lambs ». I saw this beautiful movie during last holiday with one of my friend.

First, i was a little bit scared by watching this film, because a lot of my friends or family told me it is very horrible and interesting. I didn’t know how i will appreciate this Jonathan Demme’s movie. But finally, we watched the  movie. Anthony Hopkins as Hannibal Lecter is so much fascinating and worrying ! We were totally absorbed by the movie. I give you my summary :

Clarice Starling is a FBI agent. She must stop Buffalo Bill who is a terrible women murderer. But she can’t do this without the help of Hannibal Lecter, a former psychiatrist (and cannibalistic psychopath..) who is closed in jail since 8 years for understanding the final purpose of Buffalo Bill. Then a strange relationship will born between Clarice and Hannibal..

So this movie is really, really interesting
The tension, disgust, fascination is ubiquitous. This movie is really nice, i recommend you to watch it if you haven’t yet ! (But not for sensitive soul i’m sorry !)

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

In class we worked about The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, and there is an extract I particularly liked. Tom Sawyer is a young boy, he is poor. In this extract his aunt has ordered him to whitewash her fence, and he hates the work. His friend, Ben, arrives and Tom tries to get some of his friend to do it for him. He presents his work has being something pleasent, he makes believing that he is so interesting in his work that he doesn’t notice Ben. First Ben is sur that Tom is going to be jealous because he is going to go swimming. Then he is jealous of Tom and he wants to try painting. Tom is clever because he has understood that people always want what they don’t have. I really enjoyed this extract, this child game makes me laugh.

A.I. Artificial Intelligence by Steven Spielberg

I want to talk about A.I. Artificial Intelligence by Steven Speilberg. I saw this movie during the holiday on Paramount Chanel .

The scene takes place in a futuristic world, when global warming makes the ice melting. Humans made robots who answer to their needs. A couple whose his son (Martin) is sick, ask to have another son, the time that his son heals. So the technology gives their a robot son (named David). But Martin heals, and David becomes useless. So the mother abandons him in the forest. David would to become a real little boy for his mother accepts him. He will search the Blue Fairy (like in Pinocchio) to the end of the earth and discover why he exists.

It’s a very touching film, very beautiful and I sincerely recommed it ! You will cry at the end !

Mark Twain.

Mark Twain, borned Samuel Langhorne Clemens in November 30, 1835 and died in april 21, 1910, he was an american author and also humorist.

In his first novels, he describes his travels in Europe and Polynesia where he makes fun of the prejudices of his friends and he also describes the time where he was a gold researcher. But thanks to The Adventure Of Tom Sawyer he became famous as an humorous author.

But he also wrote more serious works where he describes realistically and severly the american society and the excesses of civilization, he was often compared to Dickens for that. Huckleberry Finn was published in 1884 and this is with this work that he combined humor and criticism of the society. He also talked about Christian Science so he approach religious themes in his works.

Behind the author well-known for writing Tom Sawyer’s adventure there is also a lot of serious works that are not insignificant.

Regrets

Today, i would like to introduce a book that we studied in French, last year this book is: The Regrets. This a collection of poetry by the French poet Joachim du Bellay (1522-1560), published in 1558. There are 191 sonnets that make up this book who is written with using alexandrines. These poems express the disappointment Du Bellay experienced during his travel to Italy from 1553 to 1557 with his uncle. At first, Joachim was very enthusiastic to go to Italy because of it’s in Italy that the Renaissance was born but he was disappointed by what he found and he quickly missed France. After have studied some extracts of this book, i bought it and i read it… My opinion is confused because some poems are too hard to understand whereas many of them are beautiful and well written!

« Billy Elliot » by Melvin Burgess

Billy Elliot is a little boy of England which dreams to become dancer. But his father wants that he plays like him, boxe. He will have to fight to become what he wants. It is a touching novel which explains us how is the society between parents and children in the 20th century in England.
There is a film adaptation of this book which exists.

Pride and Prejudice by Marvel !

Marvel, the famous studio of comics books, completed an adaptation of the famous novel, Pride and Prejudice from Jane Austen ! I found it searching on Internet, and I was surprised by the fact that Marvel did this adaptation of an artwork about english literature.However, this comic book’s only in english and there isn’t any translation in french. I’ve read some pages I found, and read some articles about it. People said that the story’s perfectly adaptaded and even all characters are respected. Besides, I’ve found the drawing great, also the decor and the costumes. We’re completly plunged in the story and the atmosphere of the period.

Although this comic book hasn’t translation in french, I recommend it to all who appreciate Pride and Prejudice !

Some pages of this comic books : http://ilovejaneausten.over-blog.com/article-orgueil-et-prejuges-version-marvel-a-donne-46156863.html

Exit Through the Gift Shop ( Banksy)

I’m going to talk about Exit Through the gift Shop that is a documentary film concerning the street art, urban art in America. It’s a Banksy’s film, the famous english anonymous street artist whose nobody has seen his face. He mainly makes stencils we can see on the numerous walls of American’s streets. The film tells the story of Thierry Guetta a frensh immigrant who lives in Los Angeles. He is very obsessed by street art. He presents hiself as being the Space Invader’s cousin, another famous street artist. Thierry Guetta spends his time to film what he does, he brings his camera everywhere. He feels like meeting Banksy, and finaly he is successful to meet him. Thereafter, Banksy encourages him to be a street artist too. Thus, Thierry Guetta becomes Mr. Brainwash. I really liked this film ! I like so msuh urban art, if you like it, I advice you to watch this film !

Nightmares and Geezenstacks

Nightmares and Geezenstacks is a book written by Fredric Brown in 1963. In this book, there are many short stories of black humor.

I read this book in 2010 and I enjoyed it. It’s the first book I really loved.

In fact, we studied one of these short stories (which is called « Nightmare in yellow ») at school and I liked it so I decided to buy the book and read all of it.

I advice you to read it if you love black humor and scary stories !

Mary Higgins Clark – You Belong to me

Mary Higgins Clark was born in 1927 in New York. She is an american writer, especially she writes thrillers and detective stories.

You Belong to me is about Susan Chandler who is a psychologist and a broadcaster. When she speaks about Regina Clausen who never came back from a cruise, numerous listeners call to Susan : one of them met a man who gave her the same ring. It is engraved « You Belong to me ». Another has seen a man who bought some of rings at the craftsman who makes them. So Susan launchs an investigation but a foul murders start and women disappear : the murderer listened to the radio show. He lists : among future victims, one of them is Susan. He has already met her apart from the radio show in the same period.

Once again, Mary Higgins Clark takes away readers in endless suspense.

Have you ever read it? What do you think about?

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

http://images6.fanpop.com/image/photos/33400000/-Beautiful-Creatures-beautiful-creatures-movie-33446120-800-600.jpg

Beautiful Creatures is a Southern Gothic novel written by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl who are american writers. It is published in 2009. Currently, this saga is extremely successful.

A teenager called Ethan falls in love with a mysterious girl, Lena Duchannes, the niece of Macon Ravenwood, a marginal who is avoided by everyone. Ethan recognizes Lena in his nightmares. They share visions and communicate by thought. But Lena is a witch : at the sixteenth moon, she will become a wholly witch and she can be devoted to black magic.
Love between Ethan and Lena will ward off bad luck?

There is a movie based on this novel which has the same name.
Moreover, « Sixteen Moons » is a song sung by an american singer under the direction of Beautiful Creatures’s writers.

Have you ever read this book? this saga?
Have you ever seen this movie or listened this song?
What do you think about?

Sting

     I want to tell you about a singer who is committed in his songs: Sting.
Sting was born in 1961, he’s an English musician and singer, and he was the composer and bassist of The Police.
I want to talk about two songs he composed to say what he thinks. It’s the case of the song « Englishman in New York ». This song is about the writer and actor Quentin Crisp, an English arrived in New York. (hence the title of the song)
in fact, Quentin Crisp was gay and it was a problem. Sting wrote this song for him, with his famous sentence « Be yourself, no matter what they say« .
In this song all sentences are about differences: for example, the first sentence says « I don’t drink coffee I take tea my dear » and then we listen « See me walking down Fifth Avenue / A walking cane here at my side /I take it everywhere I walk« 
« Russians »  can also be associated to a committed song:Sting denounces the impact of the Cold War (« there’s no such thing as a winnable war « ). « Russians » takes the theme Lieutenant Kijé, composed by Sergei Prokofiev.
I like these 2 songs, and you, do you like Sting? do you know other songs which denounce something?

Huckleberry Finn

We watched a movie entitled :Adventures of Huckleberry Finn . The story deals with the adventures of a young boy named Huck. It’s an adaptation of a novel written by Mark Twain . It’s a black and white movie ,the music had an important role in it, it’s an advantage and also a drawback because it really well represents the feelings of the characters but it’s a little too much, it’s quite exagerated. Atthough I think it’s a very interesting movie and it’s agreable to watch it.

Mrs Dalloway, The Hours.

The Hours realized by Stephen Daldry is an adaptation of Michael Cunnigham’s novel, like this movie, he inspired himself by Virginia Wolf. She is a memorable figure of literature londoner society in the 20th  century. She is a feminist.

The principle in the Hours is to tell the three days of three women. Their life are in  different time, in the different place but they are link to one another by the history. This movie began in London’s suburb during the twenties. Virginia Wolf struggled against  madness, decided to start the writing of his novel Mrs Dalloway.

More than  twenty years later in Los Angeles, Laura Brown read this novel. It is a large experience so she decided to change his life…

In New York, today, Clarisse Vaughn, is a modern version of Mrs Dalloway, she helps his poet friend, who is affected by the aids.

The hours is a movie about art. It shows the need of creating, the feelings produced by the creation.  It is a challenge of the Hours, to materialise the plastic type of literature movement in order that make this story cinegenic

It is a beautiful movie, very well established with a fabulous casting. It is a moving testimony.

Oscar Wilde

Oscar Wilde was a British writer born in 1854 and died in 1900. He grew up in the middle of the Protestant bourgeoisie and began to write novels in the years 1880-1885, moreover he wrote plays of theater and poems.

(http://www.images-booknode.com/book_cover/602/full/le-portrait-de-dorian-gray-602342.jpg)

Among his works, one of them  destroyed his literary career : « The Picture of Dorian Gray » which he published in 1890. This book sparked protests among the English critics because of the present homosexuality in the novel. Although Oscar Wilde chose to transmit human thoughts through his novel, he ends up going to jail. (« harm to public morality »)

Sophie’s World


Sophie’s World by Jostein Gaager is one of my favorite books. It’s a novel about the history of philosophy. The history of philosophy is watched by a young girl : Sophie Amundsen. One day she finds in her mailbox one piece of paper with written inside « Who are you ? ». But we don’t know who wrote this and the others question asked after this one. After that, the unknown character gives to Sophie lessons about how ancient philosophers thought about different topics before Sophie. But in parallel of philosophy, Sophie tries to know who gives her letter with philosophy lessons.

So it’s a novel about philosophy and a little about the story of Sophie with her feelings, questioning about who is the philosopher. It’s very instructive for philosophy, it helped me at the beginning and it’s very interesting. So if you want to read something about philosophy, read Sophie’s World !

GANDHI – Movie (1983)

Gandhi is a film directed by Richard Attenborough in 1982.

The film traces the important moments in the life of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi and the struggle for Indian independence.

Some scenes evoke the Salt Walking, the death of his wife during his captivity, the independence and partition of India and finally to his assassination January 30, 1948.

The person playing Gandhi is Ben Kingsley.

This film won multiple awards like the Oscar, British Academy Film Award and Golden Globe Awards.

We also learn that Ben Kingsley, whose real name is Krishna Bhanji, originated by his father to the Indian state of Gujarat in which was also born Mahatma Gandhi and the scene of the assassination of Gandhi was shot in Birla House in New Delhi, the place where Gandhi was actually assassinated.

I’ve particularly liked the film because it had was very well done, the game of the characters is played beautifully , I recommend watching it if you’re interested in  history and at this period.

Fury

Fury is an American and Chinese film directed by David Ayer, in october 2014. the principal actor is Brad Pitt, Shia Laboeuf, Logan Lerman, Michael  Pe???n?a and Jon bernthal.

The fillm takes place in Germany, in april 1945 at the end of World War II. during the film we follow, a tank team appointed « Fury », with a new young gunner (Logan Lerman) because his predecessor is dead, during the last mission. Then « Fury » was deployed with four other tanks to progress in Nazi’s lines. But after a fight with an German tank, they find alone. Afterwards they stop by a mine while an SS army make for them. they decided to fight against them in their tank.

The surroundings are very different of traditional war’s films. This film gives a real submersion in the tank and shows the Americans troops’ state of mind, the lack of staff and the oldest tank compared to the German « tiger ». The story are inspired of a real tank appointed Fury which storm German army. The actors meet tanks’ veterans and they follow a training in a military training centrer during some weeks.

To finish Steven price is the author of soundtrack which is wonderful and oppressive. he composed Gravity’s soundtrack too.

On time, by John Milton

I recently discovered this poem, thanks to my brother, who discovered it thanks to a submarine games trailer (called Silent Hunter 4). The author is John Milton, one of the most famous poet of the 17th century. First, Milton wanted to work in the religious metier, but after he took a « break » in Hammersmith (to deepen his language knowledge, to work on philosophy, history..) he decided to be a poet. Being a poet was for him a vocation, so he decided to keep going in this direction. Until now, Milton is famous for Paradise Lost, a collection of poem, published in 1667.

He wrote « On Time » between 1633 and 1634. As, I think, some words aren’t in « modern english » so it is a little bit hard for me to translate, but I can suppose that It deals with war, especially naval war. In my own opinion, I think this poem is nostalgic, but Milton also shows the frightfulness, the brutality of that kind of war. At the end, he speaks of the death, like if it was the only solution to escape from  »all this earthly grossness ».

Fly envious Time, till thou run out thy race,
Call on the lazy leaden-stepping hours,
Whose speed is but the heavy Plummets pace;
And glut thy self with what thy womb devours,
Which is no more then what is false and vain,
And meerly mortal dross;
So little is our loss,
So little is thy gain.
For when as each thing bad thou hast entomb’d,
And last of all, thy greedy self consum’d,
Then long Eternity shall greet our bliss
With an individual kiss;
And Joy shall overtake us as a flood,
When every thing that is sincerely good
And perfectly divine,
With Truth, and Peace, and Love shall ever shine
About the supreme Throne
Of him, t’ whose happy-making sight alone,
When once our heav’nly-guided soul shall clime,
Then all this Earthy grosnes quit, 
Attir’d with Stars, we shall for ever sit,
Triumphing over Death, and Chance, and thee O Time.

« L’homme qui voulait vivre sa vie »

Hello everyone, I hope you spent great holidays and I wish you all an happy new year !

During this time, I saw a very interesting french film (it explains the title) about exile and I remembered the document that our teacher gave us written by Christopher Booker named « Voyage and Return stories : main features » that sum up the main points that constitue a Voyage or an Exile story. I decided to introduce you the film and compare it briefly to points that are mentioned in the text.

« L’homme qui voulait vivre sa vie » is an adaptation based on an american book named « The Big Picture » written by Douglas Kennedy and published in 1997.

The main character is named Paul Exben (Romain Duris), a very famous Parisian lawyer seems to have everything to success in his life with his work but also with his family because he is a married and has 2 children. He also have a secret passion for photography since his adolescence. Things seem to go even better when his work partner propose him to become the owner from the law firm. But one day, everything falls apart when he discovers that his wife (Marina Foïs) is cheating on him with a friend from the couple, Grégoire (Eric Ruf), who is also a photograph. She broke up with Paul few times after and one day, he comes to see his old friend Grégoire. He becomes crazy about his relationship with his ex wife and accidentally kills him. Completely terrified he decides to run away from France by using the idendity of his victim : Now, Paul Exben is Gregoire Kremer, a photographer. But in his troubles he realizes that this event is an unique occasion to realize his dream : leave everything behind him to live from his passion. Before leaving, he eliminates the dead body in the sea and reaches Montenegro.

He has to restart everything : a new identity in a new country without any money, no friends (actually his relatives thinks that he died) but his hidden skill for photography will help him in his new adventure and finally this accident becomes a real opportunity to reconsider his life but he still live with the burden of a murder and have to stay discreet, even invisible.

To me this film is a real slap : first, aesthetically, the shots are very well built to represent the main character’s confinement : the shots are really tight like if Paul was trapped in his own daily life and you can notice the perfect symetry in the first shot at the beginning of the post, and I noticed that the shots made in Montenegro are even more spectacular : the colors are very pale,like frozen and the environment is really simple, rudimentary and picturesque. I don’t forget the soundtrack that emphazises perfectly each feelings from each characters.

Then I wanted to give you my opinion about the whole plot : Personally, I’m really interested in psychological films so I don’t think that I will be not really objective : I found it fascinating because in our society, we don’t realize that sometimes our daily life can become a real trap for us without knowing and it reminds us that happiness in a very fragile thing ; it’s really easy to lose and we see that trouble never comes alone. Moreover, I think that this film is a nice tribute to these people who keep their dream inside them but are not brave enough to live from their passion. It’s also a great call to leave everything behind you and start to do something that you really want to do. At first sight, it can appear as very naive but there is a constant shadow in this film : Paul Exben is a murderer and the director shows perfectly his constant escape : He is now banned from normal society and it appears as a real problem when it’s about to find a job or to make friends. The end shows it very well. Actually, I think that it’s a really balanced film.

Just a mention about the actors : I don’t know if you have already seen the cinematographic duet made of Romain Duris and Niels Arestrup but to me, they are the two best french actors together. Their play is always right and intense ( especially in « De Battre Mon Coeur s’est arrêté or « Un prophète » from Jacques Audiard). They make a great representation of friendship sometimes really slight or atrocious.

This picture comes from the film : it’s the first shot that Paul took in Montenegro.

Now I want to focus on the comparison between this film and our document : This story belongs to the first category of film : it’s a journey in a new world. The type also belongs to a type from the document : It’s a story about someone who discover a new country, here Montenegro, far away from his Parisian life.

In fact if we follow the pattern of a typical story, I noticed that some points are strangely similar :

1. The Anticipation Stage : It goes along with this story because at the beginning we understand that Paul Exben dreams of something bigger an different from his daily life but he is a coward who has his own confort.

2. Initial an fascination or Dream Stage : this part is also present in this film but not yet because actually Paul Exben just killed someone ; he takes him a long time to recover but finally starts to enjoy his life when he tries to take some pictures : A journalist noticed him and he becomes a local star in his village ; he really likes his life in Montenegro and becomes friend with Bartholomé (Niels Arestrup).

3. Frustration Stage : Sadly; the shadows follow Paul Exben (Or Kremer) because his notoriety forces him to show him up : a photo exhibition is dedicated to him but he realizes that his crime dosen’t allow him to appear in public and get recognized for his talent. It’s the price to pay.

4. The Nightmare Stage : Paul understands that he doesn’t have other choices than run away : people start to ask about him, his life, where does he come from… He founds love and friend but he knows that if he stays, things will turn bad for him. Here again, he has to leave everything to get a boat clandestinely and here the nightmare is at its climax : The boat crew wants to throw him into the sea…

5.Thrilling escape : Miraculously; someone throws him a life boat and he can go back on board. He finally arrives with new pictures but he stays discreet and into the shadow. We understand that it’s a vicious circle.

Actually, it’s pretty funny because the pattern is barely the same : as if voyage and exile stories have to follow the same rules. But few differences make this film unique and captivating. I know that this post is really too long but I had a lot of things to say about it. Hope that you took the time to read it and if you want, comment it because I’ll glad to discuss about it.

« Costume Museum « 

During Christmas’ holidays, I went to the costume’s museum (CNCS) in Moulins. This  museum is the only one in France but also in the world. This is the first place devoted to costumes and settings of theatre, opera or ballet.

There is a permanent collection about the famous dancer and choregrapher Rudolf Noureev. This is his own collection that is made up of paintings, sculptures, furniture, instruments…

Since this summer, there is an exhibition called « Shakespeare, the stuff of the new world ». So you can see famous costumes of Shakespeare’s plays like Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, The king Lear

It was very interesting to see this exhibition. Moreover all the museum is really well laid-out.

Eragon

Eragon is an American film by Stefen Fangmeier, based on the novel by Christopher Paolini, release in 2006.
The main scenes take places in a village called Carvahall. The main character is Eragon. He discovered in the woods a dragon egg. From that moment, the young man pupil the dragon who's growing fast, but it is also chased by the bad guys. He also learns to fight and wield magic. He's the only person who may be able to bring down the empire of the heartless, Galbatorix.

Normally that's a novel in three volumes, except that there is only one film adaptation because, apparently, there would have not been enough in the cinema entrance. In addition, the film's story would have been too much changed from the first book.

Personally, I liked this film; there is action, strange creatures and all that kind of stuff.

The Elegance of the Hedgehog

I would like to talk about one of my favourite novel. The Elegance of the Hedgehog (L’Élégance du hérisson) is a novel by French author Muriel Barbery, published in 2006 by Gallimard.

The story is about two different girls, the first one is named Renée, she is 54 years old and she is the caretaker of a building of bourgeois. She is widow, small, ugly and plump. She has onions on the feet and according to some a mammoth breath. But above all, she is so conformed of the image that we make of the caretaker and as a result it occur to anyone that she is more literate than all those rich enough. The second one is named Paloma, she is 12 and she lives in a bourgeois flat, the same that Renée. But since a long time, she knows that her final destination is the fishbowl, emptiness and absurdity of existence adult. She knows that because she is very intelligent, exceptionally intelligent. That’s why she decided to commit suicide the day of her 13 years old at the end of school year.

I have read the book and I really loved it, I recommend it and for me this book is a great success. That’s why this book has won numerous literary awards, including the Prix booksellers in 2007. I have seen also the adaptation of the novel, The Hedgehog (Le Hérisson), a french and italian film by Mona Achache released in 2009. I enjoyed this movie but I prefer the book!
I recommend to read the book and after watch the movie!

Pride and prejudice by Jane Austen

I had the opportunity  to read this book last year and I really liked it. This is a novel by the great English writer of the nineteenth century : Jane Austen. « Pride and prejudice » is a novel published in 1813.  It is a psychological novel and a romance novel. It is presented in three parts.

 Mr. and Mrs. Bennett had five daughters to be married. So, they hope that one of them will please Mr Bingley, their rich new neighbor. Unfortunately the haughty Mr Darcy, the friend of Bingley, influential friend of Bingley, he takes a very dim view of his friend fall in love with Jane Bennett.
Elizabeth Bennet is closely following the evolution of the feelings of his favorite sister. Then came the Wickham officer, a seductive military man who does not leave indifferent Elizabeth.

Elizabeth is then the heroine of this novel. Everything gonna turn around her. It is clear that there is in fact a hero who is the heroine : Elizabeth.  And that through her, in her and it all with her that the story happens.
Here’s the first sentence of the book Pride and Prejudice to make you want to read : « It is a truth universally acknowledged that a unmarried provided with a large fortune must want to get married, and so little that we know of his feelings in this regard when he comes to a new residence, the idea is so well fixed in the minds of his neighbors that they see on the field as the rightful property of one or other of their daughters.« 
Jane Austen behind the romantic adventures of the five Bennet girls so behind the romantic side of this novel, faithfully Jane Austen depicts the rigidities of English society at the turn of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Through the behavior and thoughts of Elizabeth Bennet, the main character, she raises the problems women at this time.   

Then, in 2013, Le Nouvel Observateur, in a special issue devoted to the literature of the nineteenth and twentieth century, quotes this novel  among the sixteen titles selected for the nineteenth centuryconsidering it as « possibly the first masterpiece of the feminine literature. « 

« Pride and Prejudice » is the source of the greatest number of adaptations. One that I liked is a film by Jeffrey Wright with  Keira Knightley, Brenda Blethyn, Donald Sutherland, Judi Dench. It’s a verry good adaptation. It is a dramatic comedy. I recommend it is a beautiful love story. And plans by Jeffrey Wright are beautiful (the landscape, the universe…) Keira Knightley plays very well. She is a great actress.

I advise you to watch the trailer then watch this film and especially I suggest you read the book  :

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Moby Dick

« Moby Dick or The Whale » is a novel written by Herman Melville, an american writer, and published in 1851. The title refers to the nickname given to a huge white whale at the center of the story. The novel was first published in London in October as « The Whale », but this edition was incomplete and the title was not the one desired by Melville, who has also been a sailor (hence the subject of his novel and the fact that many passages are devoted to describing the technique of whaling). Soon after, the book became known as « Moby-Dick or The Whale ». Moby-Dick is now considered one of the most important novel in English literature.

Moby Dick can be considered an escape and adventure story because, attracted by the sea, Ishmael, the narrator decides to go to whaling. Indeed, the story takes place in the 1840s. With the economic potential of this highly valued resource, people decide to go hunt whales at sea. We find in the whaling taste of conquest and of exploration. Ishmael embarks on the Pequod, whaling ship, commanded by the captain Achab. Ishmael realizes that the ship’s crew doesn’t hunt only to supply the market of the whale. Achad seeks Moby Dick, a white whale particularly fierce and with an impressive size, not just for the fame he could draw, but because he wants revenge for the animal, which snatched him a leg in the past. The Pequod will sink into the sea and the survivor will be Ishmael. Melville explores many complex topics, when Ishmael asked about his beliefs and his place in the universe, through his journey. One can draw moral of this story because captain’quest for revenge will lead him to death. Moreover, even though at the time, the issue of the preservation of species doesn’t arise, Melville already raises the question of the consequences of intensive hunting of cetaceans.

In 2015 is planned an adaptation of the story in a movie called « In The Heart Of The Sea », with the actor Chris Hemsworth.

« Pride Prejudice Zombies »

Written by Seth Grahame-Smith in 2009 , this is an parody of Jane Austen’s « Pride and Prejudice »written in 1813. The autor has put in this classical book new fictionnal and modern elements : zombies and ninjas. Seth Grahame-Smith has keep 85% of original text but he gives to Bennet girls and to Mr.Darcy a prodigious talent to fight.

Story : England is attacked by a mysterious disease: the zombies come out of the ground and contaminate people in the countryside. The army is present in the most dangerous compaigns. The Bennet sisters when they were little attended a combat training in China to learn to defend themselves. They were strong warlike with their « Pentagram of Death ». But Elisabeth is most stronger and most famous. Mr Bingley arrived in Netherfield and Mrs.Bennet wanted to marry one of her daughters with him.
In Maryton’s ball sisters saw his kindness ans charm but his friend Mr.Darcy , a very rich and with an horrible character man , refuses to dance with Elisabeth. So she decided to KILL him, vexed. But they were attacked by zombies and Elisabeth kill them with her sisters.
Her way of fight and her character impresses Darcy and he begins to fall in love while she still hates him…

This Story is verry funny ! Read it ! It is in the school library !

Timothy Walter Burton

Timothy Walter Burton is know under the name of Tim Burton, the famous director. He was born the 25 August, in 1958. He is know for his dark, gothic, macabre, and eccentric horror and fantasy films such as Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Ed Wood, Sleepy Hollow, etc …

These favorite actors are Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter of course, they have play together many times, in Dark Shadow, for exemple. He is really a film artist, thanks to his imagination, or his decadence and his way of getting to sordid to be something beautiful. Moreover he isn’t just a director, he is also a writer and animator. He had make many animated feature like Corpse Bride ( in 2005) it was the first full-length stop motion film for him as a director. Thanks to these drawings, he transports us to another world. If you are interested, there are different books on Burton’s biography like Tim Burton to Mark Salisbury.

 

For to finish, I found a story about Tim Burton :Not to  use special effects, in Charlie and the chocolate factory, he had made to train 40 squirrels to crack nuts.

The importance of Being Earnest – Oscar Wilde

    

      I would like to talk about a book I read during the holidays: The importance of Being Earnest. It’s a play written by Oscar Wilde. The first was performed in 1895. The plot is rather complicated. It’s the story of two young men: Jack, known in the city as Ernest Moncrieff, and Algy. Jack, normally lives in the country where he must take care of his ward Cecily but he has invented a sick brother whose name is Ernest to escape his social obligations and in order to go in the city as often as he wants. In the first act, he discovers that his friend, Algy has invented also an ill brother Bunbury in order to go to the country as often as he wants because contrary to Jack, he lives in the city. He also proposes to Algy’ cousin: Gwendolen Fairfax. However, her mother refuses this engagement. In the second act, Algy goes to the country, to Jack’s home in order to meet Cecily. He introduces himself as being the brother of Jack. He decides to propose to Cecily, when Jack arrives and discover his friend. This situation provokes a lot of misunderstandings. It is a sort of satire of the wedding. The title is built on a pun with the words Earnest and Ernest. Gwendolen refuses to get married with Jack if his name is not Ernest.

     I advice you to read this comedy. It’s really gripping because of the complicated plot and the misunderstandings. It’s also really funny. Moreover, I think that it’s rather easy to read it in English and I find it could be an illustration for the thematic: Meeting people, love and friendship.

 

      The play has a lot of film adaptation such as: the films of the same name as the play by Anthony Asquith in 1852 and that of Oliver Parker in 2002. I have never seen them. Well, I don’t know if they are good. And you have you already read or seen the play ? Did you enjoy it ?

Trailer of The importance of being Earnest by Oliver Parker, released in 2002 :

Beowulf

As every literature, Anglo-Saxon literature beggin when the stories that was transmitted orally was wriiting for the first time. One of those stories is named Beowulf and is a part of the older texts that you can find about Anglo-Saxon history. It is an epic poem about the adventures of the warrior Beowulf that came to help the king Hrothgar to get rid of a monster who eat villager: Grendel. So he became a hero and went through many danger. He finaly succed to the king and lost his last fight against a dragon. The poem is named according to the name of the main character and take the same kind of place in the Anglo-saxon culture that Ulysse’s story take in general european culture. Thus this epopee inspire many tales and stories and give birth to many adaptation especially cinematographic.

Tolkien is the perfect exemple of writter that inspire himself from Beowulf, as he done with many ledgend to build this monument of literature that is the entire world he create through the adventures of Bilbo, Frodo and so many others. In fact, we owe him the recognition that is today awarded to 0thanks to his conference Beowulf: The Monsters and the Critics. Indeed the poem interested for studyingthe language but Tolkien was the first to notice the beauty of the text. Thereby Tolkien used this tale to create his own one, giving to Gollum the same kind of appearance than Grendel, etc…

Even translate in a modern english, it is a difficult text, hard to read and understand but there is an extract  about Grendel, join with a pictures take from the film of Robert Zemekicksreleased in 2007 :

« That grim spirit was called Grendel,

Famous waste-wanderer that held the moors

Fen and fastness; the land of the race of  monsters

The unhappy creature occupied for a while

After the Creator had condemned them. »

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

Image

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is the first novel of Mark Twain and published in 1876. This novel is humorous. It can be read by adults and childrens. There are 35 chapters.

It’s the story of Tom Sawyer, malicious and superstitious, with his friends Huckleberry Finn and Harper Joe. His adventures take place in the fictional town of St Petersburg, but from 13 to 17 chapters Tom and his friends are on desert island. Tom lives with his Aunt Polly because parents’ Tom are dead, whereas Huck lives in barrel.

Photo of Tom Sawyer :

Emma- Jane Austen

Hi everybody! Hope that your holidays are fun!

I am going to talk about the novel « Emma ». When we talk about a novel of Jane Austen, it’s always about « Pride and Prejudice », which I don’t have read but seems to be sooooo boring…
So even if I am not a big fan of this kind of book, I am going to talk about « Emma »: It could be pleasant for some of you who find that Jane Austen is incredible!

So this novel was first published anonymously in 1815. The heart of the story is about Emma, who wants that single persons can find an idealistic love. In this book we also find the notion of mores, a little like in Madame Bovary in french

I found this novel rather « kitch », but I would like to have your opinions, interepretations etc…
And if you have also read some novels of Jane Austen which are less boring, write it down!

The Giver by Lois Lowry

I am going to present you a book which I read and which I adored. It is a novel by Lois Lowry published in 1993 in America and in 1994 in France.
He presents a futuristic society that is first represented as a utopia that appears more and more as a dystopia. The houses are all same, the ground is flat and without relief, the climate is mastered, people possess the same holding, the language is reduced, many words are eliminated as love, friendship, feeling etc… The pains and conflicts don’t exist and there are no emotions. In addition, the rules are extremely severe: it is forbidden to have more than two children per couple, engendered by designated carrier mothers, it is forbidden to go out at night and it is impossible to choose his future job.
The main character is Jonas, he is elected « the giver », it keeps the memories of time spent with his pains, pleasures like slipping on snow, feel the sun on the skin but also the pain of death and torture. But it is impossible for him to continue to live in a world where sentations not exists, and will do everything for that the world become normal.
It’s a wonderful book with alarming descriptions of a future world. This is a book that reflect on the importance of free will. I loved seeing Jonas open their eyes to the world around him and I was greatly touched by his discovery of love and colors and the emotions that he feels show that it is difficult to live without all this.

Ivanhoe

Ivanhoe is the first book written by Walter Scott published in 1819 which is talking about the middle age. It is a part of Waverley Novels. This book was tranlated in french by Auguste-Jean-Baptiste Defauconpret in 1820.

The scene takes place in England during the 12th century, the period of the Saxon resistance against the Normans. Ivanhoe must live between love feudal and familial loyalty conflicts. Richard I of England (or  Richard the Lionheart) comes back to england and risks of being dethroned by his brother : Prince John. Ivanhoe has to protect his king, regain his legacy and his place in his family and marry Rowena. He must fight on all fronts

This novel inspires theatricality and the supernatural. This is the most famous novel of Scott. Indeed there have been many television adaptation like Robin Hood or the film Ivanhoé in 1952.

 

H.G Wells, The island of Dr. Moreau

Anyone who was in my class in 10th grade (2nd) will recognise this book … I think. So I wanted to do an article on this book because I believe it could fit in the notion « Travelling, initiatory journey and exile » that we are currently studying .
This story is about Prendick ,only survivor of a wreck, saved by a man called Montgomery. His (Montgomery’s) boat is sailing to an island with animals on board. On the island Prendick will meet the Dr. Moreau and realize with horror which kind of experiment he leads. After he chooses to face the dangers (Sorry, it’s really woolly but I’m really bad at summaries I have a tendancy to say everything) he manages to escape on a raft and goes back to England but he is traumatized by what he witnessed.
This is one of the books I really enjoyed reading in 10th because it is an adventure and obviously a lot of things happend, there are a lot of twists and it’s mysterious. In other words it keeps you interested, you really want to know what is going to happend next and I’m not saying we should only read this kind of book. But if you want to let’s say read during a plane or train trip take this, not « Madame Bovary » otherwise you won’t read you’ll sleep because ,come on, it’s great, really, but who can read this in a row ?
I hope you’ll give it a shot and if you want there are also movie adaptations, but I have only seen the trailers and I don’t think it manages to reveal Wells talent and certainly not his writing. But here it is, so that you can make your own opinion.

Into The Woods

It is a musical film which is based on the mixture of many fairy tales which are all connected with each other (Cinderella, The little red hiding hood, Jack and the beanstalk and also Tangled) These tales are all united With the story of a baker and his wife who want to found a family unfortunately for them a which casted a spell on them, to reverse the spell she asks them to go the the woods and bring her something from each heroes from the tales mentioned earlier. Their are many well known actors who are part of the cast for example Anna kendrick who played a role in the twilight movies as one of Bella’s schoolmate, but there is also the one and only Johnny Depp who performs the role of  the wolf.
I really want to watch this film because i am a big fan of these kind of films, i can’t wait for the release of the movie in France. For these who are also waiting i can suggest you to watch Sweeney Todd the demon barber of fleet street if you haven’t seen it already of course.

White Fang by Jack London

Jack London was a 19th century American author and journalist, best known for the adventure novels White Fang and The Call of the Wild.

This a short summary of the story :

Two men are out in the north’s wild. Their dogs disappear as they are attract by a shewolf and eaten by the pack. They only have three bullets left and Bill, one of the men, uses them to try to save one of their dogs, he misses and is eaten with the dog. Only Henry and two dogs are left: he makes a fire, tries to drive away the wolves. They draw in close, and he is almost eaten, saved only by a company of men who were traveling nearly.

The wolves are in the midst of a famine. They continue on, lead by several wolves alongside the shewolf, and when they finally find food the pack starts to split up. The shewolf mates with one of the wolves and has a litter of pups. Only one survives after several more famines, and he grows strong.

They come to an Indian village where the shewolf’s (who is actually half-wolf, half-dog) master is. He catches her again and White Fang, her pup, stays nearly. Soon, she is sold to another Indian, while White Fang stays with Gray Beaver, her master. The other dogs of the village terrorize White Fang, especially one called Lip-lip.

White Fang becomes more and more vicious, encouraged by his master. He kills other dogs. Gray Beaver goes to Fort Yukon to trade and discovers whiskey. White Fang is passed into the hands of Beauty Smith, a monster of a man. He fights other dogs until he meets his match in a bulldog and is saved only by a man named Scott.

Scott tames White Fang and takes him back to California with him. There White Fang learns to love his master and his master’s family and even saves Scott’s father from a criminal that escaped from the nearby prison. White Fang has puppies with Collie, one of the master’s dogs, and lives a happy life.

I really loved this movie, and you, did you see it ?

Schindler’s Ark by Thomas Keneally

Thomas Keneally is an Australian writter of the 20th century mostly famous for his historical novel Shindler’s Ark written in 1982 and which retrace the story of a german manufacturer : Oskar Schindler.

During World War II, Oskar Schindler was a member of the nazi’s party, he has however saved more than a thousand Jews during that time with the help of his assistant by taking them as his employees in his factory. The Ark of the title refers to Noé’s ark because Oskar Schindler have tried to save many Jews as much as possible in his factory as Noé did with the animal species he can save.

The title was replaced in the movie adaptation of Steven Spielberg by Schindler’s List which here refers to the list of Jewish people Schindler wanted in his factory and has given to the german authorities.

All these elements retraced by Keneally in his book show that litterature is a way to transmit a message to influences the world and remind us of the horrible parts of the past.

I always delay the time when I will watch the movie adaptation because it’s a really sad and heartrending story but it’s seems really interesting.

A canadian family gives up modern technoligies to live in 1986.

Here is a family living in the 80s. Not officially but simply by abandoning all technologies invented after 1986. They chose this date because i's their birth's year.
Blair McMillan decided to keep the old television of our grandmothers, but this means that there's not a lot of programs. To watch something else than The Young and the Restless (=les feux de l'amour), they don't have a DVD player, but a cassette player, like when we were little. They also have a fixed phone but no mobile phone (how they contact when they are not at home? Pigeons?). Everything is rustic, apparently even his hair cut because it still has the mullet cut.
They took a family road trip this summer, they did not use GPS but a map. A good old paper map, difficult to read, and they kept the kids focused with coloring books and stickers. They gave up their cell phones. They deleted their Facebook accounts. They created a box for visitors to give up their phones, tablets, and gadgets while hanging out in the McMillan home. Then, Blair said that the cost of living is reduced when you're not paying for cable and Internet etc ..

This family proves that technologies are not necessary to our survival. Although I would not get in this kind of adventure .

 

Lord of the flies

As we studied the voyage and return stories, I thought about the Lord of the flies written by William Golding and which is considered a dystopian novel.
There are children who travelled by plane to reach the USA during the World War. They would escape the violence of the war but their plane is fallen in the sea and they are lost in a deserted island. They try to found a society with an organization. The island is very beautiful, at the beginning they feel good.
The leaders tell some stories about a monster present on the island, the children begin to have nightmare and the story becomes fascinating when they fear more and more this monster which is nothing but themselves. Each child becomes violent to survive whereas they have no real reason to feel threatened. The conflict turns into a kind of civil war on the island up to the end, when some adults find them and help them, realizing that they are become crazy indeed. The « lord of the flies » is just the symbol of the monster.
There was a film about this book in the 90’s too.

The Lost World

I want to talk about The Lost World by Arthur Conan Doyle. It was published in 1912. This novel inspired Jurassic Park, a TV series and many movies.

This novel tells the story of Edward Malone who is in love with Gladys. He agree to go on an expedition on a rocky plateau in the Amazon to impress Gladys. This expedition will be lead by Professor Challenger, who have discovered dinosaur still alive on Amazon. Indeed, they discover dinosaurs but also a monkey man population. These monkeys men would be the missing link in the evolution of man. But, will they get to reveal this discovery to the world? And must they?

I haven’t read the book but i saw the movies and i recommed it !

Utopia – Thomas More

Utopia is a novel written by Thomas More, released in 1516. It tells us the story of Raphaël Hythlodée an explorer who discover the island of Utopia. He describes and explains us everything he see on this island. On this island everything is controled by mathematics the only way to ensure the equality.
When this novel was published it was for Thomas More a satire of his society. But with this novel Thomas More has create the notion of « utopia » wich didn’t exist before.

Into the wild

In class we talked about « voyage and return stories ». We said that the action can take place on a remote place, and it reminds me a movie I have seen last year : Into the wild.

It’s about an american student, Christopher Mccandless, who just had his diploma but he decides to leave everything because he doesn’t want to live in the modern society. So he goes by car in southern of United States where he meets many people and mades friends. Then he decides to go in Alaska where he lives in an abandoned bus, and he finally finds peace he was looking for. After that, he decides to go home but he is trapped because of the river so he must stay. He is starving and he eats a plant but it is inedible, and he finally dies. This movie is really good even if it is sad. If you want to see a movie about voyage, I recommend it !

Pulphead (Chronicles)

We have all of books since long time who aren’t read. For my part, I have Pulphead of John Jeremiah Sullivan published in 2013. And you, have you like me, a book who isn’t read ?

So in my book it’s only little stories on all topics. It begins in a rock’s festival christian, then we travel in south america. We can have of stories of celebrities like Michael Jackson. During fourteen chronicles we enter in the culture pop, scientific, or literary. According criticisms, this book is a portrayal of « the american culture ». This writer did with successful different emotions in all these stories. Moreover John Jeremiah Sullivan uses real facts and veritable informations. Now you too, go read these books you have since long time.

Running Man by Stephen King

This novel was published in 1982 (because its publishing was refused in the 70’s) and it can be classified as one of the classical ones by Stephen King.

In the manner of Brave New World this is a novel of anticipation and a dystopia, it shows the american society of 2025 that is a dictatorship where the economy is ruined and violence is everywhere in the country.

We follow a hero named Richards who belongs to the poor class and his only way to earn money and pay caring for his highly sick daughter is to participate to a horrible TV show. In this show, the participants are tracked through the country by hunters who kills them if they are found, and all the people are able to report a participant if they recognize one of them. Sheila, the wife of Richards receives money for each hours Richards will survive.

Stephen King in this novel denounces the human behavior. In fact, all the people in this futurist society are addicted to the TV that broadcast extremely violents shows where poor people dies for entertaining rich people instead of reading books, somebody who reads books is considered to somebody weird. And the pollution is really high, some people catch cancer just by breathing the air of the city.

I recommend this novel where we can find action, suspense, and even humor.

Travel with a Donkey in the Cévennes

 

Since we started to talk about Journey literature in class, I’m here to write about one of my favourite book of this type. It has been written in 1878 and released in 1979. The author is Robert Louis Stevenson was born in 1850 and is well known for his other works like Treasure Island, Strange case of Dr.Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. He was 20 years old when he wrote this book : R.L Stevenson, one day decided to make a trip in France to escape his life that is quite complicated in Scotland (his parents don’t approve his relationship with Fanny Osbourne who he wants to marry). He starts an hiking journey in September, the 22th in Le Monastier and finishes in St-Jean-Du-Gard in October, the 3rd. In this story, we follow the author through his journey, describing things he sees, people he meets. We have to know that the Cevennes were a Protestant insurgents territory in 1702, called the Camisards. Thanks to this book, we discover their history and the relationship between them and Catholics.

I really liked this book although the fact that the main plot is not really thrilling, it’s a linear story without plot twist. But it’s a real poetical and relaxing reading ; the author successes in making the reader travelling with him thanks to the description of the landscapes,the architecture and his point of view about the civilization that he meets. But I noticed that the book doesn’t follow the usual pattern of travel stories ; there’s no phase of fear or nightmare, moreover the character is not really isolated except one or two times when he has to sleep outdoor. But it’s a real psychological travelling book : at the beggining, the author feels really ill at ease because of his personal issues and his health issues but at the end he feels relieved and his mind is clear.

A lot of people don’t know this work and I think that it’s too bad because it takes place in real places in France (GR70) where you can hike and follow his path, this is what I did and I have to say that it was an incredible experience, like if you were the main character of the book and you lived the adventure. Sometimes, I stopped next to some places and realizes that the author stayed here and met people of the village. It’s really an unique feeling.

Hope you will read it because it’s really worth it.

 

 

 

Elementary my dear Watson !

There are several adaptations of the famous adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, written by Arthur Conan Doyle and first appeared in 1854. A movie directed by Guy Ritchie with Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law in 2009, the second film by the same director and with the same actors en 2011. But there are also two TV show I know: « Sherlock » and « Elementary ».

I’m going to talk about the last one, which the season 2 begins tonight (05/12/14).

First the story takes place in New York. Sherlock arrives in the city after being hospitalized in a rehab facility. In fact, Sherlock Holmes is an english inspector who worked for Scottland Yard and who has overcame a hard obstacle during in career in London… His girlfrien has been killed by a famous serial killer called « Moriarty ». So he’s in reintegration into society and he quickly becomes consultant for the NYPD. He has a « sober companion », Joan Watson who helps him to fight against alcoholism and his drug addiction. The duet have to live together because of some reasons of security and they start to be an efficient detective couple !

I ‘m crazy about this serie because I really like the characters: they don’t fit with the stereotype of detective such as « The Expert », they are more human and real but they have a kind of attraction which makes the audience more fascinated. Moreover, the atmosphere is dark thanks to the setting: the house of Sherlock is just wonderful and looks like an old house of the 19th century ! And the insvestigations are very complex, I try each time to solve it before Sherlock… but I fail.

I advice you to watch it, it’s a different atmosphere than the other us series that you could know. (But if I can give you an advice, watch the season 1 before begining the season 2, otherwise you will be completely lost !!)

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a picaresque novel written by Mark Twain published in 1884. The Huck’s narrative says itself autobiographical.

The scene is situated on the 1840, before the American Civil War. The main character lives in the Missouri. The narrator is a young boy who is called Huckleberry Finn. He is a Tom Sawyer’s friend and he is motherless orphan. His father, alcoholic and violent, comes back. He hears by his son the discovery of the treasure. He wants to get his hands on the treasure discovered by Tom and Huckleberry. So he wishes to get back his son whom he had abandoned. The child avoids his father and persuade him that he was murdered. Then he is on the roads with Jim, a runaway black slave who is wanted because we suspect him of being the murderer of Huck. They want to go in abolitionist north in raft. Lost on the river because of a storm, two swindlers save them and want to « sell » Jim to the Tom Sawyer’s uncle. Tom and Huck find themselves and they imagine projects to save Jim.

The narrator isat the bottom of the social ladder. He is a tramp and he doesn’t hesitate to lie, to steal. He is resourceful and he adapts himself to all the situations. He rejects the social values.

Moreover, this is a satirical and realistic novel. Indeed, the novel is realistic because Twain knows and lived what he writes, and reality is described. The subject is often funny but dirty and violence are also present. Futhermore, this is a satirical novel because the narrator meets representative characters of social category : two stiff middle-class persons, a man of wood, a slave, bandits, rich owner,… The innocent look of Huck shows the aberrations of the men, their prejudices, their cruelty, their cowardice, theire absurde conduct,… It is also a pessimistic novel because of the hypocrisy and the lies of men.

Have you ever read this novel?

The picture of Dorian Gray as a revelation

The novel of Oscar Wilde inspired many adaptations. When I was younger, I discovered this story with the film of Albert lewin (1945) and then, a few months later, I read the comic’s adaptation of Stanislas Gros :

        

This story puzzled me and the atmosphere -a nuance between the glaucous and the luxurious (but also attractive) world of Dorian Gray- seduces me. So, this summer, I thought that I would feel like to read the novel.

And I discovered Oscar Wilde as a genius. They’re so many human’s things he explains by using words. It’s a real pleasure to read him, not only because he has a pleasant writing and a great imagination to create a masterpiece, but also because it’s obviously a difficult and sophisticated work he did. It’s an evidence he took the time to observes the human beings and their behaviours. What a knowledge it is to know so good the human beings! And it’s after this kind of thought he can includes in his novel this sort of sentences, full of wisdom:

“Children begin by loving their parents; as they grow older they judge them; sometimes they forgive them.”
? Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray

“Never marry at all, Dorian. Men marry because they are tired, women, because they are curious: both are disappointed.”
? Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray

And the most noticeable (if we forgot his tendency to sexism), it’s that Oscar Wilde was enough clever and maybe brave to wrote these sentences, in a novel of the 19th century!

Paddington, the bear of England.

The bear named Paddington is preferred English children, they learn how to read with to his literature. It’s very known in England and of the statutes of him exists everywhere in London.

A film is leave on the history this small bear, I leave you with the band of advertisement.

Atonement – Ian McEwan

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/6/6d/Atonement_%28novel%29.jpg/220px-Atonement_%28novel%29.jpg

Atonement is a novel written by McEwan and published in 2001.

The book was adapted into a film, directed by Joe Wright and released in 2007. He also directed Pride and Prejudices and Anna Karenine. I think that it’s a really good film director.

I really advise you to read this book or to see the film adaptation.The book was nominated for the Booker Prize in 2001. The Times said that it was the best novel of the year and it was included in the list of the 100 best novels. The film is starring Keira Knightley as Cecilia, James McAvoy as Robbie and Saoirse Ronan as Briony. The film adaptation won one Oscar for the best film score, created by Dario Marianelli and two Golden Globes for the best film score too and the best dramatic film. It had also 29 nominations.

The story takes place in 1935. It talks about a young girl, Briony Tallis, whose family is rather wealthy, who doesn’t understand the love of her old sister Cecilia for Robbie Turner, the housekeeper and an old friend of the family. While his cousins came to visit the family, she assists in his cousin’s rape. But instead of telling the truth and saying who the real culprit is, she said that it’s Robbie who did the rape. Well, he was arrested and he was obliged to fight during the World War II in France. Cecilia and Robbie are separated. It’s a really gripping story and really moving. Moreover, there is a really unexpected overthrow.

The film adaptation is a really good. I really liked the way of filming. I tell you this story because I think that it can be a good illustration for the thematic : Meeting people, love and friendship because this love story has never could existed because of the lie of her sister. And you have you already seen this film or read the novel ? Did you enjoy it ?

The film adaptation by Joe Wright : 

 

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

The 5th Wave is a science fiction novel written by Rick Yancey and released in 2013. It’s the first part of a trilogy, and the second book was just release in november but I haven’t already read. She is called The Infinite Sea. An adaptation in film will be release in 2016 directed by J. Blakeson.

In this novel, Cassie Sullivan, a sixteen years old girl tries to survive, alone, at an alien invasion. She is alone because the world is devastated by the alien’s waves of destruction and uncommon humans humans who have success to survive lives isolated. Cassie will do everything to save his brother’s life removed by aliens.
I like this novel because the story is very original, for exemple, Cassie had never seen aliens and they destroy the humanity by waves.
First is the electromagnetic pulse which destroy every earth technologie, the second is tsunamis destroy lot of cities, the plague is the third eradicate many survivors with a virus and the fourth wave, called « The Silence », it’s the others arrival, the aliens, on earth, disguise in humans. The novel takes place inter the 4th and 5th wave, what we don’t know the action. In this novel, we have lot of suspense also, and it’s a reason what I like this book.
But, it’s probably the french translation fault, but I think the author isn’t a good writer, I dislike his writing style, the descriptions are simplistic, without good vocabulary, so familiar.

So, I like this novel for the scenario, despite the written style.

High Fidelity

I would like to speak about Hight Fidelity a book writen by Nick Hornby in 1995.

In this story the main character is Rob Fleming, a man of thirty years old. He works in “Championship Vinyl”, a record shop in London. He is passionate by rock music of the 70’s and he also likes make music’s compilations. With his friends, he spends his time to snub people who hasn’t the same interests and to rank everything: the 5 best songs for a funeral, the 5 best songs to make love ..

Rob has just been left by his girlfriend. We understand that he is afraid to start a serious story with a woman and that he isn’t really lucky in love. In remembering his last relationships, he begins to make a top five of his depressing ruptures. He also decides to take back some news about this ex-girlfriends in order to meet them again.

Even if Rob appears egocentric, we forgive him because he isn’t an adult but a child who is completely lost and who searches a sens in his own life.

Through the story, the author proposes a variety of songs that make us travel in the musical world of rock. There is also a film from this book directed by Stephen Frears in 2000.

Journey to the Center of the Earth

Journey to the Center of the Earth  was written by Jules Verne in 1864.
The book is a mixture of science and adventure.

The main characters are Professor Otto Lidenbrock, axel the nephew of Otto and Hans Bjelke. It’s a first-person narrite and the narrator is Axel, he recounts his adventures he lives with his uncle.

It has been adapted in many many forms, video games, comics, books or even by films.

Personally I looked the both movies and read thé book, I think the movie really reflects the book.

And you, have you ever seen the movies and read the book ?

The writer of The Notebook, Dear John…

It’s really difficult to find a subject which hasn’t yet been addressed ! But I would speak about an american writer, Nicholas SPARKS.

I didn’t know him yet, but I watched many films inspired by his books. It’s essentially about love stories but you know… we must admit that all of us like love story !

So Nicholas Sparks was born on 31 December 1965, and his books have had great success. 11 of his 18 books are adapted for the cinema, like THE NOTEBOOK (N’oublie jamais), DEAR JOHN, THE LAST SONG, A WALK TO REMEMBER (le temps d’un automne), SAFE HAVEN ( un havre de paix) etc…

I was very touched by The Notebook, especially his tragic end, and Dear John too.        Go to watch them !

The Host

The Host is a thriller published in 2010 and written by Stephanie Meyer.

Humanity is surrounded by alien and there are not many humans left. The main character is a teenager, Melanie Stryder and Wanderer who is a old alien. To dominate the Earth, alien need to take possession of people’s body. Wonderer is like a soul in Melanie’s body. So Wanderer try to dominate Melanie but Melanie’s feelings are very strong and it becomes dificult for Wanderer to control its new body. With Melanie’s memory, Wanderer knows where the last resisting humans are and where Jared is: the man who Melanie loves. To survive Melanie and Wanderer needs to beame allies.

The film was released in 2013 and it was directed by Andrew Niccol it’s an adaptation of Stephanie Meyer’s book. So it’s the same story without some details present in book.

I’ve read the book and watch the film and to my opinion it’s a good adaptation even if I prefered the book. I found the story interesting and I really liked read the book, so one day if you can reading it and like sci-fi,I advise you to do so.

The Stalinism’s denonciation in « Animal Farm »

After seeing « 1984 » directed by Michael Radford in class and studying the George Orwell’s novel of same title thanks to several extract, I interested me to his precedent novel « Animal Farm ».
This is a fable published in 1945 that describes a farm where the animals revolt and take the power. Animals revolt against their masters in the hope to lead an independent life.
For them, « the man must disappear. »
But later, the pigs take control and use their superior inteligence to manipulate other animals.
A particular pig is defined as a dictator, he hunts his principal enemy, he establishes a cult of personality, he submittes the other pigs, and tires them by the hard work.
He promises to other animals a better life by fixing an impossible goal.
The history of the « Animal Farm » is clearly similar of the Russian revolution.
Orwell allows readers to understand the state of mind of dirgeants. We find in this novel some of the practices used in all dictatorships such as the cult of personality, the enemy presented as evil and is also find propaganda tools.
George Orwell offers a satire of the revolution in The Soviet Union and denounces Stalinism.

Mark Twain – The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Last week, we studied in class an extract from « Adventures of Huckleberry Finn » by Mark Twain. I bought this book (translate in French) one month ago  and i read it, and i find that it was a very anti-racist book (in the story Huckleberry help Jim, a slave, to go in the free states, so they travel on the Mississippi on a raft) so this is why i love this book. I love too this because it is a well written book, and Mark Twain’s humour is very pleasant. I advise you this book.

Sils Maria, a mix of depth and delicacy

Link

In september, I saw a french film, directed by Olivier assayas. But the film has a british charm, something really deep which magnetizes irresistibly everyone. The first and the most obvious element which remembers us this british atmosphere -between cold forests, the irresistible language with its softness and the warm culture- is the actress Kirsten stewart chosen by the director. I had a lot of prejudices against this one but finally I found her really amazing. Then, Juliette Binoche was great too and this couple is absolutely  captivating on the screen. At this cast we can add Chloé Grace Moretz, an american actress more and more famous in the cinema’s universe.

http://icon.telerama.fr/plurimedia/images/600x800/77211036_523801.jpg

But the most interesting part of the film is its topic : Olivier assayas decided to evokes the difficulty for a woman to grow older, and particularly in the world and the industry of the cinema. Here, the actress faces herself to her youth, on the stage. Actually a theatre producer contacts her to convince her to play another time a play she had already done. But this time she won’t be the daughter, the young one anymore. She will be the mother, the character she despised when she was young and when she played the role of a young girl.

All the pain and the wound the topic raises is developped during the film. It’s probably the most important act of the old actress’s life, it’s an act in a film, a play in a fiction. This choice from the director is really interesting and leads us to question ourself. What’s a play for an actor? What’s the link between fiction and reality, when time goes and never stops? It’s probably one of the best films I saw this year and this work deserves its mention to the festival of Cannes.

Into the Wild

In class, we are studing the notion of  » the initiatory journey  » , and I want to talk about a artwork which belong to this notion. I’m going talk about  » Into the Wild  » , a biographical novel written by Jon Krakauer and published in 1996.

The story relates the life of the adventurer Christopher McCandless , who wants to return to the wild life , going in Alaska. The novel talk about his expedition during his across of United States as far as Alaska.

The author pays homage to Christopher McCandless in his novel , with a lot of details about his life, like his family. This novel was adapted to movie in 2007, by Sean Penn. I recommend this book , it’s great !

English Passion.

I want to share this authors with you. The English novelist from the 19thcentury. We present an another vision of the woman, personages and authors struggling with violence and madness. Even the heroine is more that a pasionate militant.

Mary Shelley that we know thanks to « Frankenstein », but she has written  other novel like « Mathilda » which approach the term of the incest and the suicide. She evokes the inside monster. The Mathilda’s mother is dead during his labor, his dad was very sad, he decided to disappear. When he comes back, Mathilda became a pretty woman. The incest is in the Father’s spirit. He admits this impossible passion and he suicided. Mathilda chose to exile..

The characteristic of romanticisme is in the evocation of battering of the nature which is symbolize with the inside chaos. The universe of the novel become the soul’s image. This book is an autobiographical metamorphosis.

George Eliot is a novelist who translated the reality as she watched. But without prejudice, without be concerned of the victorian sociaty. She took a male name for the publication of his work.

Janes Austen is a initiating. This novelist was the first at impose the point of view of the woman. She had shown the birth of woman during the teenage years. But Austen did not admiration for nothing. Neither the monarchy, nor the morals or the church, nor reason. She had a critical look. However she would like to believe in the love, the benefit of the civilization, the ladder and the christian charity. But she shows the falsity of his sociaty. She brought us to think, we can be ourselves.

The Bronte Family had played a important role in the literature’s history. Charlotte, Emily and Anne. They published poems then novelist. At first they used male pseudonym. Their books attract the attention because they are originals and their passion. Their work include the secret of their world. This stories create a lot of imagination among the teenagers.

This authors were important in the literature. They bring of the innovation. Despite that are the women of the 19thcentury.

 

Norman Rockwell

As we mentioned him in class ,I’m going to talk about Norman Rockwell who was an American illustrator and painter born in 1894 in New York and died in 1978 in Massachusetts. More precisely, he was a figurative painter; he painted American life of the 20th century. From 1916 to 1960, he has illustrated the covers of magazine Saturday Evening Post, thank to that he became so famous. Concerning his studies, he went to the National Academy of design and then to the Art Students League of New York. In 1935, he illustrated the novels of Mark Twain, Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn ( as we saw in class ). In 1950s, he is considered as the most famous of American artists and moreover he realized some portraits of famous people. In fact, he belonged to hyperrealism movement. Also in 1960, he painted Triple Self-Portrait. This is one of my favourite paintings. I like so much what Norman Rockwell has done and his graphic style.

Triple Self-Portrait, 1960 :

http://histoiredarts.blogspot.fr/p/rockwell-triple-autoportrait.html

An example of voyage and Return Stories : Alice in Wonderland

 

 

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is a novel written by Lewis Carroll in 1865.

The main character is called Alice. She is a girl who finds herself in a strange world of imagination and fantasy. One day, Alice sees a rabbit who is wearing a evening wear and he runs as if he is late. So Alice follows him and she fall down the rabbit hole : she discovers the Wonderland. All are differents, cats smile, we can play croquet with a pink flammand, babies are transformed into small pigs, there are anthropomorphic creatures.

The Alice’s travel is an initiatory tale which permit to travel and discover a different world, to increase, to learn and to escape ourselves.

But it is not only a initiatory journey which permit Alice to grow up and to discover the sense of the outside world. For Alice, Wonderland is her world . For her as for the readers, the sense of the tale is as much a self-discovery (childhood for example) as the discovery of the society.

 

.

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea is an adventure novel writting by Jules Vernes that deals with three sailors send on see by the gouvernment to investigate a strange creature responsible for the disappearance of some sheeps. After months of travel, they finally found the beast and discovered that it is a submarin. The captain, Nemo, decided to keep them captive. While two of them tried to escape, the third is fascinate by captain Nemo. As they was shut in the submarin, they discovered all the strange and wonderfull worlds living under the sea and went through numerous danger.

On this well-known novel, Jules Vernes  imagine a trip under the sea using all the mystery that can offer the seabed to create fictional worlds where the characters evolve. This is a perfect exemple of initiatory journey where they had to face up to strange monsters, unknown area and to brave their own deepest fear.

 » Animal Farm  » By G.Orwell

 » Animal Farm  » is a novel written by George Orwell published for the first time in England on 17 August 1945. The book is a cover of the events that took place in Russia and specially the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917. Thanks to this book, he denounce Joseph Stalin‘s regime. It is a political satire, it is echoed of the story of Nineteen eighty-four, another Orwell’s novel on the same subject.

In this book, Orwell shows originality basing all his hard story on talking animals. The scene take place in a manor, like a big farm. These are two pigs, very respect of other animals, that will start their own « revolution ». They dream of a world without humans to enjoy many benefits.Then the oldest pig will push all the animals to rebel against the farmer, Mr. Jones, the only source of all their problems. Therefore the revolution occurs. One night after, the lack of food causes anger of all animals. They attack Mr. James and hunt the farm. The farm is recalled « Animal Farm ». The new leaders are quickly identified: Napoleon pigs and snowball. Both will create a political system: Animalism. They write the seven principles of this system :

  1. Whatever goes upon two legs is an enemy.
  2. Whatever goes upon four legs, or has wings, is a friend.
  3. No animal shall wear clothes.
  4. No animal shall sleep in a bed.
  5. No animal shall drink alcohol.
  6. No animal shall kill any other animal.
  7. All animals are equal
At the beginning this new sytem contents all animals, everything works for the best. It there’s food for everyone, there is no slavery But gradually the system will drift. The pigs start walking on their hind legs, wearing the clothes of Jones and watching the works of other animals, a whip in his paw, like humans. They also make the farm to its original name of « Manor Farm ». One evening, they invite the farmers at the farm and they dealing with us. It remains just one principle in their regime :  » All animals are equal but some are more equal than others « .  At the end of the story, we can not even see the difference between humans and two pigs.
George Orwell‘s story is a clear comparaison with the Stalinist’s regime in Russia.

Thanks to the use of the aniamls he can easily denounced the Russian’s power safely.

For example, he associate the pig Napoleon to the dictator Stalin.



My Dog Stupid, by John Fante

My Dog Stupid is a novel written by John Fante in 1987. Fante relates the story of Henri Molise and his family. The story begins with Henri, the father who finds a dog in his garden. This dog, which is nicknamed Stupid because this is the case, decides to settle in the Molise’s home. Throughout the novel, we follow an american family, who are the perfect opposite of the typical american family’s idea, according to the american way of life, clearly, to the american dream. This story shows us a broken family. Fante caricatures the cliche of the ideal american way of life : no melting pot, no perfect families, no humanity.

Moreover, Fante, using the Henri Molise’s point of view, displays of a cynical humor. It’s funny, it’s risible, it’s serious in the same time. This character is cruel : with his wife, his children, and even with himself. The most ironical in this novel, is the fact that the Stupid Dog makes Henri clever about his life, and his society.

I loved this book. And you should read it! What’s more, for those who fear big books, My Dog Stupid is well. It’s short ( I read it in one round-trip in the train), and it’s percussive. It makes us see differently the USA, and in fact the reality.

The wolf of wall street!

Certainly one of the most popular film of this year: This last Scorsese’s movie was a huge success worldwide probably thank’s to the presence of M. Dicaprio in the cast (I understood that he was quite popular on this blog), but mainly because it’s a very good movie! Inspired by a real fact, it tells the story of the famous trader Jordan Belfort and its irresistible rise in the finances’ world in the 90s where only money talks.I choose to talk about this movie because it illustrates the notions we study in class very well:

  • first, it refers to the notion of « Power and counter-power » we study on english class: it denonces very explicitly the power of traders who earn money thank’s to fraudulence and dishonesty. It’s a very nice satire of the financial’s world, and of Wall Street’s manipulations in particular.
  • « The Wolf of Wall Street » refers also to the theme of « the initiatory journey » we study in literature class: the journey into a new world (finances’ world) which brings him a lot of happiness and satisfaction (here, money is the satisfaction for the character of Jordan Belfort and his buisness’ partners). But, he will be caught up by his mistakes from the past and he will have to come back into the real world (the FBI forced him to betray his collegues and friends, then he went to prison during almost 2 years).

This movie is a perfect illustration of the ravages that money can do in our modern World. If you haven’t seen « The Wolf of Wall Street » yet, I really advice you to watch it.

How sleeps the beast by Don Tracy

Don Tracy was born Donald Fiske Tracy in 1905 and died in 1976. He is an american writter and a scriptwritter. He is really famous for his hardboileds. He has many pseudonym like Tom Tricker, Tracy Mason, Marion Small,… He did many very different jobs (bodyguard, journalist, estate agent, model in advertisings,…) and during the Second World War he belonged to a detachment of Military Police.

How sleeps the beast is one of first novel which deals with racism at the time of the author. It’s too about violence, alcoholism and the search of identity. For Don Tracy racism generates violence. This idear is really showed in this book with a lynching on a black man. Some times is very hard to read this novel because you really realize that our world can be just horrible with wild, brutal behavior. You can be digusted with sadism employed by people on a weakness person. You remark too a collective cowardice and you can’t think that it has already been but it’s true! In America lynchings were common from 1880 to 1950.

I can’t summarize the novel but I can say to you that even if it can be hard to read  because of horror, it is a very interesting novel and personally I can’t stop reading when I began it.

Tom Sawyer

« The Adventures of Tom Sawyer » is a novel published by Mark Twain in 1876. Mark Wain tells the stories of Tom Sawyer, a young boy who grew up in the Missouri, along the Mississippi river in a fictional village entitled St. Petersburg.

Most of these adventures were inspired by the childhood of the author and these fictional events happens before the civil war, although the novel was published after.

« The Adventures of Tom Sawyer » is probably the greatest book written by Mark Twain, the success was so high that an animated series was created several years later by a Japanese production, which was aired in 1980 for the first time.

I watched it when i was a children and on top of that, Tom Sawyer is the character who, in fact, gave the name « Tom » to my brother

Cloud Atlas

Cloud Atlas is a modern novel of 2004 written by David Mitchell. The style of the book is inspired by Italo Calvino’s If On A Winter’s Night A Traveller. The action is separate in 6 stories and take place from the nineteenth century to a post-apocalyptic futur. Every story is linked by the main character who read each of them and sometimes reverse the chronological order. Eventually readers end where they started. This is a very complex novel in which you need to be absorbed into to understand.

The novel was adapted into a film directed by Tom Tykwer with Tom Hanks and Halle Berry in 2012. He said that « Translating ‘Cloud Atlas’ into the Language of movies was a work that as being like translating a book into another language ». In the movie every actor play many roles as Tom Hanks who play approximatively 7 characters.

This are amazing novel and movie (very hard to understand) but brillant ! You should read and watch them !

A great voyage story !

 

Jean-Georges Vibert, Gulliver and the Lilliputians (around 1870)

I want to talk about Gulliver’s Travels. It’s a novel written by Jonathan Swift, and published in 1726. It’s a classic of English Literature. I think most of you know this story but I really liked this story when I was younger. I’m sure this picture reminds you something ! Gulliver’s Travels appears for the first time in French under the title of Voyages du capitaine Lemuel Gulliver. Through this fiction, Jonathan Swift makes a satire of the society of his time. In fact, in this novel, he makes fun of the English society in which he belonged. This nivel, written in the firt person, is divided into four parts. In fact, there are as many parts as Gulliver’s travels. My favorite of them is the Journey to Lilliput, and I think it’s also the most famous.

Lemuel Gulliver is a naval surgeon. After a shipwreck, he finds himself on the island of Lilliput. He is chained and driven in this state further on the island. He discovers the inhabitants of the island, the Lilliputians who are tiny creatures. On Lilliput’s island, the reader discovers a much more advanced society than England at Swift’s time. However, there is a war between the Lilliputians and the inhabitants of the neighboring island, Blefuscu. The reason of this war is absurd : the king of Blefuscu’s island wants to impose the side they must break a boiled egg. This passage is fun and denounces the absurdity of war. In his second travel, Gulliver is faced with the opposite situation: people of Brobdingnag are giants. Because of his small size, Gulliver becomes an object of curiosity for the king, the queen and the court. The last two Gulliver’s travels are not really known.

Gulliver, a brave explorer, discovers on the occasion of his maritime expeditions, strange and fascinating people. Swift talks about the problems of the society of his time, symbolically, through the various characters who appear throughout the story, and through situations where he places his hero, Gulliver. Whenever Gulliver returned to England, is to leave the country as soon as possible and go sailing on the seas.

Gulliver’s Travels refer to imagination and dreams through descritpions of imaginary countries. That’s why they are often read to children as real fairy tales. This story continues to fascinate and seduce readers. There are many adaptations of this novel (cinema, theater, comics…).

Giu-Pin illustrated a comic based on Gulliver’s travels but he has also illustrated a version of Robinson Crusoe, another voyage story, written by Daniel Defoe.

Robinson crusoë. illustré par giu-pin

 

 

Alice in Wonderland

Hello!

I know everybody knows the famous story « Alice in Wonderland » written by Lewis Carroll. You surely watched the movie, the artwork cartoon or read the book. I’ve already read the book in french and I’ve just finished to read it in english.

Everybody knows the story : Alice is a little girl who falls asleep. Then, she sees a white rabbit, she decides to follow it, she falls in a hole and touches down in a Wonderland where there are many fantastic creatures and places.

Before to read it in english, I thought that I wont understand anything but in fact it’s very easy ! So I advice you to read it if you want to begin to read in english because it’s a very good story and it’s very easy to read.

Short Stories by Rudyard Kipling

Rudyard Kipling is an English author (1865-1936). He was famous for his works : Just so stories (a lot of short stories for children) and The Jungle Book. He received the Nobel Price for Literature in 1907.

His Short Stories are « stories like that » for children. These stories were published in 1902 and they were written, at the beggining, for help his « best beloved », his daughter Josephine, to sleep well but in 1899, she died because of a serious disease. Each story is with a poem. The most famous is this :

« I keep six honest serving-men

(They taught me all I knew);

Their names are What and Why and When

And How and Where and Who. »

– « The Elephant’s Child »

You can find all his stories on this website, I hope you will appreciate like me !

http://www.readbookonline.net/stories/kipling/68/

Did you know this author before ? And another of their works ?

The Hunger Games Mockingjay Part.1

Last week end, i went to see The Hunger Games with my friends.

I read the book before watching the movie, and as expected, i was disappointed. This first part really deficiency of action.. I was prepared to that, thanks to the book. But the different awesome set and mainly main character’s play save this first part. Jennifer Lawrence is, again, very cogent in her character. She is a very good actress for me, even if the event during this movie bored me a little bit, i was very fascinated by her, and only her..

Netherless, i advice you to watch this part even f i didn’t very like it. It permit to understand and prepare spectators for the following, wich promise to be so much captivating and interessant !

Mark Twain

His real name is Samuel Langhorne Clemens. He was born in november 1835 in the USA and died in april 1910. In was first a military and then become an writer. He is famous thanks to The adventures of Tom Sawyer in 1876 and the adventures of Hucleberry Finn (worked in english litterature lesson) in 1885. The latter is often called « The Great American Novel ».

He worked on the Mississippi thats why he choosed the name « Mark Twain » : this is a speech of the marines.

He traveled in Europe and began to write in 1864 but he became famous in 1876.

Through his novel he tried to denounce exes of the civilization and immorality. He is often compared to Stevenson and Dickens.

Who’s Tom Sawyer ?

Tom Sawyer is a fictional character invented by Mark Twain in 1876. The Autor talk about him in « The Adventures of Tom Sawyer  » and in other books too as in  » The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn  » what we have began to read in class.

His story : Tom is orphan . Mark Twain invented him in memory of his childhoods friend. Tom Sawyer is generous , courageous , free ans anticonformist. Withs Tom’s character autor criticized American Society .

Everyone think Tom is an symbol of freedom because hewas an rebel.

But Twain decide to stop written his history because he’s become arrogant. But he continued to written about Huck , Tom’s friend. Contrary Tom who’s imagine his adventures as an child, Huck lives  and support reality of life.

Paulo coelho « Veronica decides to die »

Beyond what seems to be a very dramatic and disturbing title is hiding my favorite book. I can already hear you  » Wait! What ? Your favorite book ? It sounds pretty depressing. » But trust me there is  more than meets the eyes.

This novel tells us about a young Slovenian woman who attempt suicide and wake up in a psychiatric hospital. There, the doctors tell her even though she woke up she only haa a few days left (as her heart was damaged by her attempt) but has she really ? That is a question only reading the book will answer but I can tell you that at first disapointed as she made a choice she thought she wouldn’t have to face. But then she decides to use her time left to explore this unusual environmen,t where, as for the title there is more than meets the eyes.

If you add to a very thoughtful plot the undeniable writing skills of its worldwide famous author Paulo Coehlo you end up with a mindblowing book which let your mind full of questions (a bit like a philosophy class but in a sweeter way).

By the way if some f you want (as I do) to study psychology next year I strongly advise you to read this book. Obviously it’s not an essay and the methods used are far more than unorthodoxe but the main guideline is extremely perceptive.

I also own two other of his books (« The fith Montagne » and « The Alchemist ») that I honestly haven’t read yet but I can’t wait to. What about you ? Have you ever read one of his books?

 

The Unknown Citizen

The Unknown Citizen is a satiric poem written by W. H. Auden in 1939, parodying the symbolic Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in dedication to the common memories of all soldiers killed in any war. Published the same year in The New Yorker, the poem is the epitaph of a man in a government controlled-state. The man is identified by this combination: JS/07 M 378.

In this poem, the citizen is considered like a saint, not because he searched for God but because he served the government perfectly. He did not get dismissed from his job. He was a member of the Union and paid all his dues to the union too. Here, W. H. Auden criticizes standardization and the modern state’s relationship’s with its citizens.

 

(To JS/07 M 378
This Marble Monument
Is Erected by the State)

He was found by the Bureau of Statistics to be
One against whom there was no official complaint,
And all the reports of his conduct agree
That, in the modern sense of the old-fashioned word, he was a saint,
For in everything he did he served the Greater Community.
Except for the war till the day he retired
He worked in a factory and never got fired,
But satisfied his employers, Fudge Motors Inc.
Yet he wasn’t a scab or odd in his views,
For his union reports that he paid his dues,
(Our report of his union shows it was sound)
And our Social Psychology workers found
That he was popular with his mates and liked a drink.
The Press are convinced that he bought a paper every day,
And that his reactions to advertisements were normal in every way.
Policies taken out in his name prove that he was fully insured,
And his Health-card shows that he was once in hospital but left it cured.
Both Producers Research and High–Grade Living declare
He was fully sensible to the advantages of the Installment Plan
And had everything necessary to the Modern Man,
A gramophone, a radio, a car and a frigidaire.
Our researchers into Public Opinion are content
That he held the proper opinions for the time of the year;
When there was peace he was for peace; when there was war he went.
He was married and added five children to the population,
which our Eugenist says was the right number for a parent of his generation,
And our teachers report he never interfered with their education.
Was he free? Was he happy? The question is absurd:
Had anything been wrong, we should certainly have heard.

 

Four Seasons, Penhaligon’s

I want to show you a nice collection; it contains 4 books, which represent the four seasons. Each book includes poems, and extracts of stories which talk about this season.

For example, in the winter garden, edited by Sheila Pickles, there is an Oscar Wilde’s poem, untitled « Impression du Matin »:

The Thames nocturne of blue and gold
Changed to a Harmony in grey:
A barge with ochre-coloured hay
Dropt from the wharf: and chill and cold

The yellow fog came creeping down
The bridges, till the houses’ walls
Seemed changed to shadows and St. Paul’s
Loomed like a bubble o’er the town.

Then suddenly arose the clang
Of waking life; the streets were stirred
With country waggons: and a bird
Flew to the glistening roofs and sang.

But one pale woman all alone,
The daylight kissing her wan hair,
Loitered beneath the gas lamps’ flare,
With lips of flame and heart of stone.

This poem is a good example, it talks about winter; « and chill and cold / The yellow fog came creeping down the bridges »
We can see an evolution in this poem: at the beginning the description shows a quiet environment, and  « Then suddenly arose the clang/ Of waking life »    so, we can deduce we are in the morning and the day begins. But at the end, we can see there is a woman: I think she’s a prostitute because the author says « Loitered beneath the gas lamps’ flare,
With lips of flame and heart of stone. »

I like this poem because we understand clearly what O. Wilde wants to say and this subject is very interesting ! And you, do you like it?

« To be, or not to be : that is the question » : Hamlet, by W. Shakespeare

Hamlet, is a tragedy written by William Shakespeare at the end of the fifteenth century / beginning of the sixteenth century. The story takes place in the Kingdom of Denmark, and deals with the revenge of Prince Hamlet about his uncle Claudius, who killed Hamlet’s father, King Hamlet.

Two months after his death, King Hamlet’s ghost appeared in front his son, Hamlet, and tell him that he was killed by Claudius (by putting poison in his ear), now king and husband of Gertrude, King Hamlet’s widow.
Hamlet decides to take his revenge, by pretending craziness. He wants to make Claudius admit, during a play, that he killed King Hamlet, but he fails. Later, Claudius, who has doubt about Hamlet, starts mounting a conspiracy against his nephew.

Hamlet is probably one of the most famous play of Shakespeare, and of the entire world. Moreover, everybody know the famous monologue of Hamlet, holding a skull : « To be, or not to be : that is the question »

I saw this play three years ago, and, I liked it, even though I fell asleep at the end of it..

1984, The Novel

Hi everybody!

We saw the movie « 1984 » in class, and even if this film is disruping, I found that there are some interesting notions: for example the denunciation of totalitarian societies. Personally I don’t saw the movie entirely, so I tried to found something for know the end, because I was curious, and I found the book of « 1984 ».

These novel is a dystopia, and it’s the most famous novel written by George Orwell (also with « Animal Farm », which I recommand too. We studied it in class last year), and it is very interesting to read it because we found all the notions that we are actually learning at class: the « novlangue » for example.

Even if you don’t have understand the movie, go read it!

The Wave by Todd Strasser

« The Wave » is a novel published by Todd Strasser in 1981 in the United States of America. This novel have been a real success all over the world, it was translated in 15 languages. It has been inspired by a true story called « The Third Wave » which was an experiment of psychology realised at Palo Alto High School in California in 1969 by an history teacher.

The novel repeat the chronology of the experiment made by the history teacher Ron Jones who had published an article in 1976. At the begining it just started with an typical lesson as we all have and then in about 2 weeks the experiment become a radical movement of totalitarian type. It remind us to the German and Russian regimes of the 1940’s because of their slogan « The force by the discipline, the force by the community, the force by the action » and also because of their logo and their salute which look like the one of the nazis. But the experiment turn out badly of course : most of the students become paranoïac, some are threaten by others… Then students created a movement of restistance against the experiment lead by Laurie who is the leader of the high school journal.

There’s also an adaptation of Ron Jones experiment to the screen but I didn’t watched it. However I have read the book and I recommend it it’s really interesting !

 

The journey and Kerouac

I would like to talk about a suject I’m crazy about. The journey. The journey is a way to escape from reality and discover a new way of life. We can just go for a while, such as during our holidays, or all year long. It’s a mean to search oneself and to learn more about our society and other isolated society. I particularly apreciate the road-trip because I hit the road all day and stop when I want, eat where I want and sleep in my car, meet people and talk with them, in fact it’s the perfection of freedom. One day I would like to make a road-trip, with my friend, during a year, through the USA.

Maybe I’m inspired by the famous writer of 50’s, Jack Kerouac. He wrote the book « On The Road » and some others like « The Dharma Bums », « Big Sur », « The Town and the City »… He made part of the Beat Generation which is an artistic movement of the 1950’s. They all travelled around the USA and in Mexico too. They were born during the age of the rock’n’roll and also listened a lot of jazz music. All their works of art are rythmed by music and journeys. In fact they all created some books, poems, musics to share their point of view of the begining of the consumer society. Moreover, Jack Kerouac has travelled to search himself and make his own vision of life, love, freindship and family.

I advise you to read « On the Road » and to read also Allen Ginsberg, a famous poet and friend of Jack Kerouac. There is an adaptation of On the Road by Walter Salles, it’s a good movie, enjoy it ! 🙂