A Work In Progress by Connor FRANTA

Connor FRANTA is a 22 years old American YouTube vlogger well known as an Internet personality. Franta wrote for over a year his first book, A Work in Progress, which talks about moments from his life since birth and personal stories so I thought, that’s what a modern memoire is ! In this book, Connor reflected about his life from his youth as a small town kid trying to figure out his place in the big wide world, to his Los Angeles life. He tell basic topics like his childhood, upbringing, family and go a little bit deeper and talk about more serious things like body image, social media’s depression like FOMO (Fear Of Missing OUT) which consist in a phobia of missing from social media content. An interesting aspect of this book is that, he explain his up and down journey to find himself and accepting his person as a gay teenage boy, his struggles with identity.

Exploring his past humorously, his present humanly, and his future with hope, the goal of this young writer is not to tell the story of his life but to help you, us, to find the real person we are inside us. His words will resonate with anyone born in the digital era, but it’s also a timeless message for people of all age : don’t be afraid to be yourself and to run after what you really want.

Untitled-9781476791616_hr

Losing Our Identity, my movie project !

Seven months ago I found on a website an amazing article, it was called « Losing Our Identity » and written by Nicole EDDY. I immediately search more information about this South African blogger. I’ve contact her thanks to her e-mail adresse and established a real relationship with her. She was so kind and accepted to let me use her article and adapt it into a movie for my exam. The movie project began. This movie deal with new technologies and how they consume our daily basis. This subject touch me deeply and there was no U turn. I was obliged to realize it. First, the step of translation and real adaptation was important. Here is the original article :

«  When was the last time that you woke up and said ‘Wow, it’s good to be me’? How many times today have you looked at an Instagram picture, a Tumblr post, a Facebook or a tweet and thought, ‘Damn son, if only I could be her, if only I had his money, her looks, his muscles, her body, his life.’? I do it. I do it almost everyday. As a generation who have witnessed first-hand the rapid transformation of technology changing our lives on a daily basis, remembering the excitement of creating a Facebook account after it had just been launched and checking every day after school of which of my friends had posted on my wall despite the fact that I had just seen them, to witnessing social media platforms such as Twitter and Instagram being introduced for the first time and watching how they quickly consumed our lives, became an important aspect for businesses and were soon incorporated into our hourly schedules. Checking our phones and news feed every hour for more updates and refreshing pages for more perfect pictures that often results in severe FOMO (Fear of Missing Out), we are so quick to wish ourselves out of our own shoes and jump straight into someones else’s.

Social media is a great and scary thing. It is a place where businesses thrive and have the power of connecting people from the furthest ends of the world. It is a way of uniting people together who once had nothing in common, it allows us to perve over our heroes, celebrities, sportsmen and women. The down side is that social media often leads to a loss of identity. We lose our uniqueness to try and fit the ‘perfect’ mould when actually, a ‘perfect’ mould does and has never existed. We, us, society have created these standards of beauty, making it acceptable for 13 year old’s to think that they should find love before the age of 20 or else face dying alone with their dog Alfie.

The sad part, is that this has all taken place before I have even got out of bed in the morning or looked outside to check if the world has not been destroyed. This is how I, and I’m sure the vast majority of you reading this, wake up. Open eyes, check phone, start day.

This morning was different and here is why. I got up before the sun rose as I couldn’t sleep due to excitement of a new travel. We pack our bags, check the house and leave. We drove straight to the airport, pass security, flew away, flew to a new place, a new culture. I got up went through to the loung, sat and drunk coffee with my dad. I sat with my coffee in hand, and just watched and listened how Istanbul began to come back to life.

And with that, I completely forgot about my phone, my social life, social media or who did what while I was asleep. I ran down to the shopping street, open eyes check around me, start an amazing day. I was so content with just being me. There was no-one else that I would rather be, nowhere else that I would rather be and no-one else that I would have been with.

I guess my message is that we are so quick to judge ourselves and those around us. People don’t get lucky, they create their own ‘lucky’ circumstances through hard work, sheer determination and real life sweat. Instead of  wishing that you could become your idol in a the click of a finger, rather look up to them, be inspired and learn from them, but don’t become them. That’s boring. Rather put your phone down or laptop off and go and create your own luck. Or at least, for the love of Zeus, take time out of your day to find a little contentment and snatch a special moment, put it in your pocket and thrive off of it until you notice the next one.

WHY are you still reading this?? Turn it off. Turn it all off. Be free. !

(let me know what you think of it in the comments !)

 

I’ve waited a year so far to let this information to be official. Here is the final edit of this adaptation :

Cast Away

Cast Away is a Robert Zemeckis movie about a voyage and return story. Starring by Tom Hanks, Chuck Noland (What a premonitory name) is a FedEx employee, time-obsessed systems engineer, who travels worldwide resolving productivity problems for his job. While flying through a violent storm, his airplane crashes into the Pacific Ocean, precisely in the south pacific. The film depicts his attempts to survive on the island using remaining parts of his plane’s cargo. He searches for water, food, survivors and opens the packages, finding a number of potentially useful items. He initially tries to signal for rescue and makes an escape attempt with the remaining parts of his life-raft, but he cannot pass the coral reefs surrounding his island. His only friend and rest of civilization on this deserted island that he can talk to is a volleyball ball that he named Wilson and has paint a face on it with his blood.

Wilson

 

Four years later he is still on the island and have created livable condition. Building a lifeboat he is able to navigate away and come back to civilization. Upon returning to civilization, Chuck learns that he has long been given up for dead and his friends and family had held a funeral. His wife, Kelly has since married Chuck’s dentists (which is comic because, on the island Chuck is obliged to operate himself) and has a daughter. Nothing will remain as before…

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

 

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 !

Daily Vlogging with Ben Brown

A Daily Vlog, well know as Vlog is a short video of someone who filmed his day and upload it every evening on YouTube. Many people in England and United States earn a living with this job. It’s absolutely not the hardest job in the world and allowed them to travel all around the world.

I have decided to speak about Ben BROWN, a 22 years old English ‘Youtuber’ who earn a living with daily vlogs. He was born in England and now live in Cape Town, South Africa. He have been Kayakist World Champion Twice. He also have a girlfriend named Nicole EDDY who write articles and convince me to deal (with her authorization) about one of her articles : Losing Our Identity which will be my adaptation film for the « Cinema Baccalaureat exam. »

Here is one of his Daily Vlogs :

Tom Hanks

Born in 1956 in California, Tom Hanks became one of the most famous Hollywood’s actor in the 1980s with more than one hundred movies that change our perception of cinema. Passionate of theatre, the young Thomas Hanks had decided to move from the West of the United States to the East of New York City in 1978. He appears for the first time in the cinema’s business thanks to He Knows You’re Alone of Armand Mastroianni in 1980. It’s in 1988 with his nomination to the Oscars for Big from Penny Marshall whom Tom Hanks see his career taking off.

How does Tom Hanks succeed to embody a comic character in a drama movie as  Forrest Gump ?

Tom Hanks career is very rich, he played in several movies as Philadelphia of Jonathan Demme, Saving Private Ryan of Steven Spielberg, The Green Mile by Frank Darabont or Ron Howard’s movies as Apollo 13, Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons.Besides, all those movies deal with a drama subject. Starring by Tom Hanks but also Denzel Washington or Antonio Banderas, Philadelphia is an American drama film and one of the first mainstream Hollywood films to acknowledge AIDS. This film is definitely not a comic ones but it’s a consecration for Tom Hanks because thanks to this movie he won his first Oscar in 1993. The following Oscar that he received is for Forrest Gump, a Robert Zemeckis’ film.

First, we can say that this story is comic and dramatic in itself. Forrest Gump is a movie based on the eponymous novel written by Winston Groom, an American author. In this story we follow the adventures of Forrest through the history of the United States of America during the second part of the 20th century shaken by the Vietnam War, The Segregation… Tom play a simple-minded character in this movie which is very emotional. In addition of his simple-mindedness, in his childhood, Forrest suffer from his back that prevent him from being a normal child.

At his entrance at school in Alabama, Forrest will count on his new friend Jenny, wich will be the only child of his age to understand him. Furthermore, Jenny ask him to run if he had to face a problem, hence the now famous scene : « Run Forrest ! Run ! ». This film is also one of the first movie to develop computer generated images. This story is definitely very emotional because Forrest see his family weakening, his mother dies from cancer and his wife, Jenny from a new disease, AIDS. Unfortunately as if he was bound to this story, Tom Hanks lost his wife from a cancer in 2002. Tom Hanks successfully embody this character which was at the base destined to John Travolta.

Some critics say that Tom Hanks has an actor’s play that make laugh involuntarily which may be his secret in this movie. . Tough it is not a matter of dramatisation or acting but rather of representing and exploring a role or attitude. He was anticipated to play Peter Banning’s role in Hook, role finally interpreted by Robin Williams,this shows that Tom Hanks is not limited to drama characters but also to comic ones. One of the qualities that we find in Tom Hanks is that he can appropriate a character and shoulder his story as if it was himself. His success will allow him to make a turning point in his career, being director.

Tom Hanks

Speakeasies

Speakeasies, also called as bling pig/tiger were illegal establishments that sold alcohol beverage during the Prohibition time. They were very numerous and popular in spite of the outlawry, they soon became one of the biggest parts of the Prohibition in America. It was a time where people can’t buy or sell alcohol all around the United States. It was a place where black and white gathered. Speakeasies largely disappear after this Prohibition era.

Now, many Speakeasies open in big cities because of a growing mode. It’s a way of life and culture that’s lead to those new bars. You need to do a treasure hunt to find a speakeasy nowadays. For example, in Paris, you can find those fashion bars thanks to an application on your smartphone. They’re are also know as a result of word of mouth. Speakeasies are parts of establishments, they are hiding places. It’s often a secret room, reachable only when you know were it is, sometimes, the door is hidden behind curtains or another door.

Forrest Gump by Winston Groom

Forrest Gump is a novel written by Winston Groom in 1986. It tells us the story of the eponymous character. Forrest Gump is a smple-minded character who evolves in the second part of the 20th Century. He falls in love with Jenny, his only friend, he makes his way through American history, with everything from the Vietnam War becoming part of the story. Throughout his life, Forrest views the world simply. He really doesn’t know what he wants to do in life, he acts without thinking, and that is very touching for the spectator. Because of his low IQ, he can’t go to a normal school without the help of his mother. Forrest Gump can be tell as an idiot savant.

Forrest Gump was adapted into a movie played by Tom Hanks for the Paramount in 1994. The film won numbers of awards like best movie. For the anecdote, the movie takes great advantage of special effects to have the characters interact with real people from history. This film is definitly one of my favourite.

Under the Dome by Stephen King

          Under the Dome is a science fiction short story written by Stephen King in 2009. This story is set in Chester’s Mill Maine, in the Extreme North East of the United States. At 11:44 AM on Saturday October 21, Chester’s Mill is suddenly cut off from the outside world by an impassable, invisible barrier, a Dome of an unknown origin. The Story is tell by a multi-characters point-of-view. The main character is a traps former Army Captain Dale « Barbie » Barbara, who is trying to leave Chester’s Mill because of a local dispute. As far as the story goes, we follow the adventures of the citizen and how the react at the fact to being separate of the world. Under the Dome is a partial rewrite of a novel King attempted to write first in 1972 under the same title and then a second time in 1982 as The Cannibals.

Shortly after the release of the book, it was announced that Steven Spielberg’s and DreamWorks would be developing a cable miniseries based on the novel on CBS and M6. 

Alice In Wonderland Similarities

While watching Tim Burton’s film in class, some similarities appeared to my mind. I realized that Alice’s real life entourage and particularly their personality traits emerge in her dreams. The Red Queen is the symbol of her pseudo « futur » stepmother because of the red roses which are white. The White Queen remembered me Alice’s aunt Imogene because of her sweetness. Alice’s brother in law remind me of the Red Queen right-and and secret love Ilosovic Stayne because he is dirty-minded and unfair. Tweedledee andTweedledum are representation of Alice’s cousins. 

I also find this 1985’s movie version directed Irwin Allen for television. The animals of Alice’s dreams are simply disguised actors, for example, the Mock Turtle is played by Ringo Starr. In this movie, Alice is really well played by a 8 years old girl Natalie Gregory.

Alice in Wonderland Syndrome

This syndrome come from the eponymous novel of Lewis Carroll. The perception is disturbed spectacularly : people who contracts this sickness see stuff little when they are big (micropsia) and big when they are little (macropsia). A car suddenly become a reduced model, and a cat can transform in a tigre. Subject’s perception of their own body is also distorted as the perception of time. The syndrome can also give rise to more significant hallucinations or touch the other senses. This trouble is sometimes associate to big migraines as Lewis Carroll had suffered, or merely the taking of hallucinogenic drugs.

But oddly this sickness is more contracted by children than adults.

Alice in the Wonderland and The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

The movie Alice in the Wonderland is an adaptation of the eponymous novel of Lewis Carrol, published in 1865. Directed by Tim Burton in 2010, the film talk about the adventures of Alice in a day-dreaming world. Alice, interpreted by Mia Wasikowska, was at a very important crossroad time of her life, she was in the point to get married. She escape from a Victorian’s England to live a dream that she have dreamt a lot of times before : a World of Wonder. Alice found peoples and animals : Tweedledee and Tweedledum, the White (good) and the Red queen (evil) who had separate the field in two, Tarrant Hightopp (played by Johnny Depp), the Jabberwocky and so many others. This queer world is dominated by the Red queen, this character hates animals, choosing to use them as servants and furniture. Alice is forced to kill the Jabberwocky to save this era. After that fight the withe queen will be the reunification queen who reign and the all era.

     The dream’s world of this movie remind me of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, a movie directed and stars by Ben Stiller in James Thurber’s classic story of 1939 is about a day-dreamer man who escapes his anonymous life by disappearing into a dreaming world. Walter Mitty works at Life Magazine. Because the monthly magazine turn into a online magazine, the transition manager put Walter in charge of releasing the last cover. A day, Walter received a pack from Sean O’Connell, a very old fashion photographer who takes argentic’s pictures ( played by Sean Penn ) for the cover, but, the 25th negative, the « quintessence » of Life is missing. Walter is forced to find this picture and to broke his daily routine. Walter will travel to distant lands that he never before thought possible.

     More and more he go true the adventure, more and more his dreams disappears because he was giving life to them. Last but not least in this two movies they arrived to set their aims coming true, Alice win the Jabberwocky fight and Walter ultimately find the 25’s negative. As you probably realize, I love ending my items by a quotation. So I’ve decided to end by the purpose of Life magazine.

« To see the world, things dangerous to come to see, to see behind walls, to draw closer, to find each other and to feel. That is the purpose of Life » 

I hope it’s was not that bad and you don’t want to do like the Red queen like to do 

 « OFF WITH HIS HEAD » 

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

I have decided to talk about a film I’ve seen three times. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty directed and stars by Ben Stiller in James Thurber’s classic story of 1939 is about a day-dreamer man who escapes his anonymous life by disappearing into a dreaming world. In his daydreams, Mitty is heroic, brave, and he is always the strongest.

Walter Mitty works at Life Magazine in New York, he is a negative asset manager. Because the monthly magazine turn into a online magazine, the transition manager put Walter in charge of releasing the last cover. A day, Walter received a pack from Sean O’Connell, a very old fashion photographer who takes argentic’s photos ( played by Sean Penn ) for the cover, but, the 25th negative, the « quintessence » of Life is missing. Walter is forced to find this picture and to broke his daily routine. Walter will travel to distant lands that he never before thought possible. 

He goes to Greenland then Iceland to find Sean at the Eyjafjallajökull’s eruption. He dove into a shark bay from an helicopter. He goes to an Afghanistan’s ungoverned area where Sean was taking photos of Snow Leopard during the magazine was move.

This movie is definitely very inspiring, you need to watch it.

« To see the world, things dangerous to come to see, to see behind walls, to draw closer, to find each other and to feel. That is the purpose of Life » 

The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde

I’ve decided to talk about The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, a book of Robert Louis Stevenson and the cinematographic adaptation of Frederic March and particularly in the ape-like appearance.

(link of the movie extract :  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wbg5oXpq42Y ).

The director of the film, Fredric March had decided to underline the dopplegänger of Dr Jekyll. In this movie Mr Hyde play at hyde and seek with Dr Jekyll, he had tried to be face-full with the mind representation of a monkey with a part of wereworf. The monkey can’t control his basic instincts like the bad part of a human. The monkey was perhaps choose by the director because it capture well the mind conception of a free slave body, who explode with wide movement at every single time which wake him up, and who his very expressive at the screen. Dr Jekyll is the scapegoat of Mr Hyde in this novella.

Last but not least The free slave body in Frankenstein or The Modern Prometheus of Mary Shelley also catch my attention for the same reason.

First published on December 7th, 2012

The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde

I’ve decided to talk about The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, a book of Robert Louis Stevenson and the cinematographic adaptation of Frederic March and particularly in the ape-like appearance.

(link of the movie extract :  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wbg5oXpq42Y ).

The director of the film, Fredric March had decided to underline the dopplegänger of Dr Jekyll. In this movie Mr Hyde play at hyde and seek with Dr Jekyll, he had tried to be face-full with the mind representation of a monkey with a part of wereworf. The monkey can’t control his basic instincts like the bad part of a human. The monkey was perhaps choose by the director because it capture well the mind conception of a free slave body, who explode with wide movement at every single time which wake him up, and who his very expressive at the screen. Dr Jekyll is the scapegoat of Mr Hyde in this novella.

Last but not least The free slave body in Frankenstein or The Modern Prometheus of Mary Shelley also catch my attention for the same reason.