The time of dreams

I have chosen to speak about a book that I would like to read: The time of dreams by Spinrad. This is a science-fiction novel about a society where the dream is controlled. Dreams are became an object like the other: every people can make their dreams with a machine called “DreamMaster”.
According to some reviews, Spinrad is a writer who likes to deal with the power relation of the world. He’s a real committed writer who shows all the danger of the world wher the consummation reigned and where all is under control.

The valley of fear by Conan Doyle

 

I would like to speak about The valley of fear, a book writed by Conan Doyle. I had never read a book of this author but I found this really great.

This is the story of Sherlock Holmes who has to resolve a new investigation. One day he receives a coded message saying that a man called Douglas, who lives in Birlstone Manor, is in danger. Few time latter, the inspector Mac Donald says to Sherlock that this man has just been killed. So they decide to go where the crime occurred. Sherlock knows that behind this event there is the profesor Moriarty, his enemi. With the fidel Watson, they begin to search who killed Douglas but they quickly understand that this is not a simple crime…

I advise you to read this book because the plot is really intresting 😉 !

Fish Tank, a film directed by Andrea Arnold

I would like to speak about Fish Tank, a film directed by Andrea Arnold in 2009. This is the story of Mia, a rebel teenager who lives in a poor area. Her only passion is dance, more precisely hip hop. One day, the arrival of her mother’s boyfriend will change her life. Mia doesn’t know her father, so it’s difficult for her to accept this new man. She is a sad and nervous girl who has a strange link with femininity. She wants to lead a better life and find friendship or love. Through this film, we follow the main character’s evolution.

The subject is presented without so much artifice and the main charater is considered as an “anti-heroe”. The Here, Andrea Arnold uses some elements that belong to the social realism. Indeed, her main character lives in poor suburbs surrounded with waste grounds. Violence, poverty and youth are the themes developed during this film. Framings are clamped, the camera is often carried over the shoulder, we have many subjective points of view which create a proximity with the characters and the environment. With this proximity, the audience can ear Mia’s heart beating and also her respiration. This strengthen the realism. Long shots are only used to show urban landscapes. The depth of field is low so the image is often blurred and also jerky. The camera is in perpetual movement to show that Mia is disturbed and also to translate her feelings. Over framings show that the young girl is really ill-at-ease and she is trapped.

In this film, the main character is often nervous and she is as a fish in his aquarium: she is shut up in her hard destiny and this explain the title of the film. At the beginning, her universe is restricted but when she is more self-confident and when there are interesting opportunities, the space becomes more open and there is an evolution of Mia’s character. The place where the young girl dances symbolize her isolation. Settings seems to be real. More over, much of the actors aren’t professional. All this elements strengthen the realism of the film and the audience believes more in the story.

I advise you to watch this film if you like realistic film!

« 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.

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.

Magic in the Moonlight

I would like to speak about Magic in the Moonlight. This film is directed by Woody Allen who is a famous director, sreenwriter, actor and also comedian.

http://www.senscritique.com/film/Magic_in_the_Moonlight/10483067/images

The story of his last film is about a chinese magician called Wei Ling Soo. In reality his name is Stanley Crawford and he is an english man, but not many people know that.

One day, his friend Howard Burkan tells to Stanley that in the south of France, there is a woman who seems to be a medium. So together they decide to go in Catledge’s family to meet this mysterious Sophie Maker. Stanley doesn’t like this kind of person who seems to speak with ghosts or be able to know the future. But with the passig of the story, Stanley becomes closer and closer of Sophie and he begins to doubt about many things….

 

I don’t like all what makes Woody Allen but this new film is very great! If you can, I advise you to see it!

Famous photographer

I would like to speak about Steve McCurry, a famous american photographer.

He was born in 1950 in Pensylvania. Since 1986, he is a member of Magnum’s agency. He also works with Reporters Without Borders.

He travels through the world to capture the better instant to transform it into eternity.

Since his youth, Steve McCurry has been using his colour photography to look for the moment when « people forget your camera ».

Maybe you know his famous photo taken in 1985 in a refugee camp where you can see a young Afghan girl with straight and intense look and also beautiful green eyes.

The more interesting about this photo is that 20 years after, the photographer came in Afghanistan and he met again the woman of the photo…

This commited photographer wants to defend the right of all this people who live in poor and dangerous aeras, and it’s why he realizes many portraits to sensibilize the audience.

If you want to see his photos: http://stevemccurry.com/

Protest singer

In class we talked about protests songs during the 60’s-70’s. So I think it’s important to mention the famous singer: Bob Marley. This personality written many protests songs to denounce racism. During his life he was commited to defend civils rights and also to deliver a message of peace.

The most popular protest song is « Get up, Stand up » written in 1973. This is a song against discrimination and oppression of black people. Through this lycris we unterstand that Bob Marley wanted that people « stand up for their rights ».

Moreover this singer remained in our memory as a talented musician who influenced the reggae’s world.

Bridge to Terabithia

I want to speak about a film entitled Bridge to Terabithia directed by Gabor Csupo in 2007. In fact is an adaptation of a book written by Katherine Paterson in 1977.

I’ll tell you the synopsis: Jess, a young boy, comes from a large family that is in financial difficulties. At the school, he doesn’t have a lot of friend and he is ill-at-ease because his classmates are naughty with him. At home, the atmosphere isn’t joyful…
Only his favorite hobby, the drawing, permits him to escape from the reality. Fortunately, he becomes friend with his neighbour, Leslie. Together they invent a wonderful world called Terabithia where they run away their daily life. But when this magical world becomes real, they are confronted with many dangerous adventures.

This film shows the harsh reality of the life through the story of two children who reveal their experiences, their ideas, their expectations but also their doubts.
It’s a touching film!

Lewis Baltz

I want to speak about , an American photographer. He was born in 1945 in the U.S.A.

Lewis Baltz is interested in the industrial society. His work deals with the search of the beauty into the destruction. His photographies show many landscapes where we can observe the human’s intervention. So his work reflects the influence and the power of men. He is also interested in things that change his daily life.
Lewis Baltz wrote in 2012 a collection of essays called Texts that explains his work of art and his ideas. Through all his photographies and his writings, we can understand that he is politically committed.

Famous Works:

    • The Prototype Works, that show many things seen every day.

    • The New Industrial Parks, Nevada, San Quentin Point, Candlestick Point, 84 photos about a public place damaged by rubbish and men.

At « Le Bal » in Paris, there is an exhibition about this photographer, called Common Objects. This exhibition shows for the first time the influence of the cinema in the work of Lewis Baltz.

I hope that I could go to this exhibition that ends in august!

A vampire story very different from the others!

Only Lovers Left Alive is a recent film directed by Jim Jarmusch. The director revisits the myth of Adam and Eve and also the story of Dracula.

The scene takes place between Detroit and Tanger. Here, the two main characters are vampires. Adam is an underground musician who is depressed by humans activities. He meets again Eve, his wife, who is an enigmatic woman. Their love story been going on for many centuries. But their existence will be disturbed by the arrival of Eve’s sister, an undisciplined teenager.
Adam and Eve don’t know if they can survive in this modern world that fall around them…

This film is romantic and also gothic. In fact the story is a review of our society.
The main actors play very good and the sound track is very lively. More over, films techniques and the atmosphere are very interesting.
Only Lovers Left Alive is a real success!

French Contemporary Literature

This article isn’t about fantastic or gothic theme, as many written in this blog, but rather about french contemporary literature. I just finished the book Les Choses by Georges Perec. This author studied letter and psychology before becoming writer in 1954. He wrote many works such as Un homme qui dort or La Vie mode d’emploi.

In Les Choses (1964) Georges Perec tells the life of a young couple, Jérôme and Sylvie. They live in Paris and they are psychologist. They always dream to have more things and to be rich. One day, they go to Sfax in Tunisia because they want to leave their monotonous life. But this departure is a failure. So they decide to return in France. Nothing suits their, they are indecisive. At the end, they are in a luxurious train for a new destination…

During the story, Jérôme and Sylvie try to find a meaning of their life, but they don’t achieve their dream. This short novel is very interesting because it deals with the materialism and the pursuit of happinness. Georges Perec questions a lot of things. Although it was published in the 60’s, Les Choses refers us to our current lifestyle.

The Spiderwick Chronicles

The Spiderwick Chronicles is an American film directed by Mark Waters in 2008.
In reality, this film is inspired by a novels’ series written by Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi.

I’m going to tell you the synopsis: After her divorce, Helen Grace decides to settle in her aunt’s old house with her children. It’s a new life that begin for them. But a strange discovery turns upside down. Jared, the most sharp of the three children, finds an old book. This guide reveals an incredible truth about a secret world inhabited by fantastic creatures hidden all around them. After that, Jared, his sister and his twin brother launch into a dangerous adventure protecting the book and many secrets.

Freddie Highmore, who plays in the film Charlie and the chocolate factory, interprets the character of Jared.

When I was a child, I read the book and I also watched the film The Spiderwick Chronicles. I think that it’s a good fantastic story with a lot of action.

The Hobbit, Tolkien

Among studies subjects seen in class, I prefered The Hobbit. The extract studied belong of the fantasy like the novel entirely.
I appreciate this kind of story and the magical atmosphere. This atmosphere is represented by the magical ring and the sword that Bilbo, the main character, uses.
In the story, Bilbo doesn’t fit the image of the traditional hero because he is described with negatives features (he is grumpy and cowardly). So I think that it’s interesting because it changes from usually hero. But during the intrigue Bilbo become more and more a hero because he find the strenght to fight against a threat for his life.
I don’t read the novel The Hobbit but I’ve seen the film and I like the universe of The Lord of The Rings.