The Diary of a Young Girl

As we studied the « I and eye of the author », I decided to talk about one of the most famous book in the world : Anne Frank’s diary.

Even if you have never read this book, you must know who is Anne Frank. She’s a very famous figure of the World War II, because of the diary she wrote when she was hiding during the German occupation of the Netherlands. The Diary Of a Young Girl is a testimony of a young Jew : she wrote all of her feelings, how she felt about this war, her lack of affection from her parents, her first « love », how she felt by living isolated from the world.. More generaly, through her diary, we see her grow up in this terrible atmosphere.

Anne Frank was born on the 12 june 1929 in Germany, and died at the age of 15 in the Bergen Belsen’s concentration camp. She gained international fame posthumously after her father, Otto Frank (the only member of the family that survived) discovered her diary when he returned to the Annex and decided to published it.

This book is really interesting because it shows what the youth, at that time, had to deal with. Moreover, I was really surprised of the high degree of maturity Anne had. This diary has nothing to do with history books (which, sometimes, can be annoying), here, we have all of the feelings of this young girl and her thoughts. Some passages are really « beautiful » and moving, because she wrote about her dream of becoming a famous writer and her hopes about the end of this war.

In some parts of the diary, she wrote her worries about one of her closest friend, Hanneli Goslar : she thought that her friend was dying in a concentration camp. And the fact is that Hannah Goslar survived to the Holocaust, and wrote with a journalist a book called Memories Of Anne Frank : Reflections of a Girlhood friend which I had read too. The most moving passage in this book is when Hannah finds Anne in Bergen Belsen (the testimony of Hannah Goslar about her reunion with Anne in Bergen Belsen)
To conclude, both books are really interesting, and you have to read them ! The Diary Of a Young Girl deals more with all the feelings Anne had to go through when she was hiding in the Annex, as Memories Of Anne Frank : Reflections of a Girlhood friend deals more with all the treatments that Jewish people had to undergo.

 

Did you know that Kim Jong-Un loves Katy Perry ?

Today, I decided to talk about an american film called The Interview. Directed by Seth Rogen in 2014, starring himself, James Franco and Randall Park, The Interview is a comedy in which the host of the talk show Skylark Tonight and his producer have to kill the famous Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un. In fact, The Interview isn’t a cinema masterpiece, but I found it interesting because It is a topicality.

Kim Jong-Un, born in 1983, son of Kim Jong-Il is the leader of North Korea (since december 2011). Officially, his government is not considered as a dictatorship, but unofficially, it is. At only 28, he became the « Supreme Leader of North Korea ». Some people said that he’d even tried to kill his step brother, to show who is « the boss » in North Korea. Like the previous leader of North Korea, he’s against South Korea, United States, and every country which agreed with it.

Moreover, even if the people of North Korea are starving, the « Supreme Leader of North Korea » is very fond of good food and luxury. Like his father and grand father, Kim Jong-Un use propaganda in an excessive way. The Interview shows it really well, because, when Aaron Rapaport and Dave Skylark enters in North Korea, they meet Sook-yin Park (minister of propaganda).
Kim Jong-Un is also known for the high number of executions, and for the concentration camps.

The Interview‘s release was very debated. In fact, after the release of the trailer, Kim Jong-Un asked the ONU to punished Rogen and Franco. He started to boycott the film. Sony (owner of Columbia) was victim of cyber attacks, and threatened by (probably) the North Korean government.

Lord of the Flies : from the book to the movie

After the first cinematographic adaptation of the famous novel by William Golding, Harry Hook, an english director, decided to direct a new cinematographic adaptation of Golding’s novel, in 1990. Even though I never watched the first one, I can say that the adaptation by Hook (we saw in class) is really close to the book. They tried to recreate the universe and the atmosphere of the book and they completly succeed. Some actors are not really close to the characters physical description of the book (like Ralph or Jack), but it is not a problem.

The atmosphere, like in the novel, is really oppresive and increase more and more through the action.

I know that this movie does not pleased everyone, because of the violence reign between these young boys, but personnaly It didn’t bother or disturb me, In fact, I was really concentrated in the way they would retranscribe the book into a movie, and I wasn’t disappointed.

The good news is that, if you want to watch this movie , you can find it on youtube, in english, of course, with english subtitles !

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.

« 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..

Snowpiercer by Bong Joon-ho

Snowpiercer is an American and South Korean movie, directed by Bong Joon-ho, with Chris Evans, Song Kang-ho and John Hurt. The first release of the movie was in 2013 in South Korea. This is a science fiction movie, based of the french graphic novel Le Transperceneige  by Jacques Lob, Jean-Marc Rochette and Benjamin Legrand.

The story takes place in 2031, after the failure of an experiment to counter the global warming in 2014. The entire world is frozen, and the only survivors are the inhabitants of the Snowpiercer. A class system is installed, with the elites inhabiting the front of the train and poor inhabiting the tail. The hero, Curtis Everett, has to lead the inhabitants of the tail to a rebellion against Wilford, the creator of the Snowpiercer.

Even though the scenario is not exceptional, the setting are really beautiful, and Bong Joon-ho has made beautiful shots. This movie is also very allegorical, and critic the United States, and of the system of caste. The more you watch the movie, the better you understand it !

Sherlock Holmes : A Game of Shadows

After my first article on Sherlock Holmes’s cinematographic adaptation, I’d like to talk about the second movie, called Sherlock Holmes : A Game of Shadow, released in 2011 and directed by Guy Ritchie. It still with Robert Downey Jr and Jude Law, and as I said in my precedent article, this movie is more darker than the first one. Even though there are funny moments, the audience discover a more methodical and smart Sherlock. In fact, he will fight against his worst and smartest enemy : Professor James Moriarty.

As always, Holmes surprises us by using his power of deduction and his ability to disguise himself. The plot is really nice, and you can’t get bored. The fact that the atmosphere changes between the two movies avoids the movie to be boring. And as I’m a big fan of Robert Downey Jr, I can say that it is one of the best interpretation, who fits him so well !

And, special thanks to Hans Zimmer who, as always, made a beautiful soundtrack !

 

Sherlock Holmes by Guy Ritchie

Sherlock Holmes is a movie directed by Guy Ritchie in 2009, with Robert Downey Jr. at Sherlock Holmes and Jude Law at Doctor Watson.

As you can suppose, this is a modern adaptation of the characters of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, but also from a comic book of Lionel Wigram (script writer and producer of Harry Potter) who has never been published. Guys Ritchie shows us a more modern Holmes : the detective does not just use his magnifying glass, (as shown in the latest Sherlock Holmes movies, slightly clichés), he also has really good fighting abilities, and he’s a master in the art of disguise. Even if it is a thriller, you have some really fun parts in this film, which is less dark than Sherlock Holmes 2, Game of Shadows.

In this movie, Sherlock Homes has to fight a malignant villain called Lord Blackwood, a murderer who, after being caught and hanged, mysteriously returns to life. London police is not very efficient, and Sherlock will realize that he has more enemies than he thought, enemies who are very close to him ..

I can only applaud the very good performance of RDJ and Jude Law, who form a very good duo !

Lord of Flies by William Golding

Lord of the Flies is a novel written by William Golding and published in 1954. It known a great success in 1960, and is often given for reading in colleges and schools, even if there are a lot of violent scenes (the most are at the end).

This is the story of a group of childrens, who survived after a plane crash. They decide to instaure in the island a little society, to survive as long as possible. They elect Ralph (one of the most intelligent child) to keep order. The young boy’s goal is to maintain a smoke signal with fire, to have chance to be spotted by a boat. He also decide to take a conch as rallying sign. « Piggy » is also one of the most intelligent child in the whole island, and Ralph’s best friend , but he’s always bullied because he’s obese, and myopic. Over days, the children’s society is deteriorated, and tensions are strong between Ralph and Jack, who is his perfect opposite : he’s violent, pessimistic and impetuous. Two clans will form, with the apparition of a mysterious beast ..

Lord of the Flies is a great novel, because Golding make the satire of the real society. Every character represents a characteristic of the society (for example, Ralph represents the democracy, Piggy the knowledge but also the weakness, and Jack the warrior power..)

V for Vendetta (the film)

V for Vendetta is a political thriller film directed by James McTeigue, and released in 2006. The famous Wachowski brothers made the screenplay, with Hugo Weaving as V, and Natalie Portman as Evey Hammond. The film is based of the Vertigo/DC Comics comics V for Vendetta, written by Alan Moore and illustrated by David Lloyd.

We are in 2038, in London. The founder of « The Norsefire » facist party, Adam Suttler control the United Kingdom. The society is heavily oppressed : citizens are muzzled, because they are afraid of the secret police of the party called the « Fingermen » ,medias are censored, , political opponents, immigrants, muslims, homosexuals and other « undesirables » are imprisoned in concentration camps, tortured, and killed. During the night of the fourth of november , Evey Hammond is saved of a rape by a mysterious man wearing a Guy Fawkes mask, and presenting himself as V. He will teach her a life without fear, and will offer her the opportunity to create a new world, whereas he will accomplish is Vendetta, a revenge for everything he has suffered in the past.

You must say "But what is the link with English literature ?". If you have seen the film, you must know why. V is a quite cultivated character, and throughout the film, he speaks using Shakespeare plays quotes (McBeth, Hamlet, Richard III, Twelfth Night). He also has a great cinematographic and musical culture.

I just loved this film, because, first, in my opinion, it conveys a great idea (of liberty, revolution..I can not mention them all!), the screenplay is really good (for a blockbuster), V's home is amazing, and I really loved the actors play ! Even behind a mask, Hugo Weaving gives life to an expressionless face, just with his voice, the way he moves, for me he does a great job ! And Natalie Portman interprets really well Evey's character, with emotions (especially at the end). And as I always say : I love the soundtrack ! Very simple, but very nice ! So I suggest you to watch the movie, and discover the reason of V's Vendetta.

Nosferatu by Murnau

Nosferatu is an adaptation of the gothic novel Dracula, written by Bram Stoker. The silent film was directed by Murnau (a German director) in 1921, and released in 1922, starring Max Schreck as (the vampire) Count Orlok.

Because it was an unauthorized adaptation of the Bram Stoker’s novel, Murnau decided to change characters names and some details of the story, so we can say that Dracula’s story inspired the director.

Thomas Hutter and the Count Orlok

Nosferatu ; The Bird of Death

The story takes place in 1938, Thomas Hutter, a young man, was sent in Transylvania to sell an house to the Count Orlok. During the journey, people, who heard him say the name of the Count, were totally scared and discouraged him to do the travel to the castle during the night, because of the werewolf. When Hutter arrived at Count Orlok castle, he noticed a strange atmosphere. And, when he met the Count, the young man suspected him to be Nosferatu the vampire (because of his strange behaviour). One evening, when the two men signed the agreement to buy the house, Orlok discovered the portrait of Hutter’s wife, Ellen. And, during the night, Hutter discovered Count Orlok true nature (his suspicions were true) : he was Nosferatu, the Bird of Death.

But what happened next ? I let you discovered !

Nosferatu, the film

Edward Scissorhands by Tim Burton

Edward Scissorhands is an American romantic fantasy film directed by Tim Burton in 1990. Edward (plays by Johnny Depp) is an artificial man who has received a heart to love and a brain to understand, but, because of his creator’s death, he has never received hands, and was obliged to live with scissors as hands.

This is the story of a young man named Edward, who has scissors for hands.One day, Peg Boggs (plays by Dianne Wiest), an cosmetics saleswoman, visits a Gothic manor which seems to be abandoned. But, when she enters in the garden, she sees that all bushes are graven. Intrigued, she comes into the manor and discovers Edward, completely alone. Upon realizing he is harmless, she decides to take him to her home. Edward becomes friend with Peg’s son, Kevin, and her husband Billy, and he falls in love with Peg’s daughter, Kim (plays by Winona Ryder), even she is afraid of him. The innocent and naive Edward discovers gradually the life, and even if he is not loved of all , he trys to make his best to be accepted.
But, Peg’s neighbors are really sincere and nice with the young Edward ? And life is for him a paradise ? What happen next with Kim ? I let you discover by seeing the film !

If you love Tim Burton universe, you will love Edward Scissorhands ! The film is full of emotion and poetry, with a little touch of fun ! Even if at that time, Depp was young, he played perfectly the shy, sweet, tortured and innocent Edward ! It is fun because this film was the first – of a long serie – collaboration of Johnny Depp and Tim Burton Also, the soundtrack made by Danny Elfman is really beautiful ! (Main Title music and Ice Dance music). Burton considers Edward Scissorhands his most personal and favorite work.

I think it is one of the best film directed by Tim Burton, maybe because I it the first Burton film I’ve seen. At the end, I always pour a tear because Edward is so touching and moving ..

Soundtrack of Edward Scissorhands

Vincent, a Tim Burton Short film.

Vincent is a 1982 stop motion short horror film, written, designed and directed by Tim Burton. This is the story of a seven year old boy, Vincent Malloy, who dreams to become Vincent Price. Behind his quite appearance, he dreams to make diabolic things (like transforming his dog into a zombie, or transforming his aunt into a wax statue), and he’s obsessed by Edgar Allan Poe’s novels.

[dailymotion]http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x9flk_vincent-tim-burton-vostfr_fun[/dailymotion]

The film’s narrator is Vincent Price himself, the idol and inspiration of Burton. Gradually, the two men become friends.

Because it is a black and white film, Burton decided to work with light and shadow, that choice gives birth to magnificent shots (when we see Vincent’s dog’s shadow at 02:14)

I found this film both beautiful and scary, because of lighting effects and music. The characters are really scary, and have an unusual physic. In Vincent, we find the main themes of Burton’s film : Gothic, creepy and odd.

Tim Burton and Vincent Price on the set of Vincent

The film adaptation of Frankenstein by K.Branagh

We have seen in class the film adaptation of the gothic novel Frankenstein or The Modern Prometheus written by Mary Shelley (in 1818). It was directed by Kenneth Branagh, and produced by Francis Ford Coppola in 1994. In addition to his director role, Kenneth Branagh also played the main character of the film, Victor Frankenstein. The creature was played by Robert De Niro, and Elizabeth, Victor’s fiancée and adoptive sister, was played by Helena Bonham Carter.

Although this movie is the most faithful to  Mary Shelley’s book, there is some differences : in the book, Professor Waldman is a secondary character, but, in the film, it is him who inspire Victor (with his book where it is written how give life). Also, in the book, Elizabeth is strangled by the Creature. In the film, her heart is pulled out by Frankenstein’s monster.

My opinion is mixed : I think a book like Frankenstein or The Modern Prometheus can’t be adapted because there is lot of details that we can’t missing out. I was a bit sceptical, and I also think that the begining was to long and really boring. One thing I really liked in this film is the makeup, and I understand why those makeup artists were nominated for the Oscar of the best makeup ! It was really worked, and realistic.

Few anectodes : Gérard Depardieu was early suggested for the role of the Creature and Sean Connery was asked to play Professor Waldman.