The to Covid-19 pandemic has caused major changes in society effecting day to day life of people all over the world. There is still fear and uncertainty of how long it will take to develop a vaccine and what will be the outcome of this whole pandemic worldwide.
A lot of people believe that it could be beneficial to read novels about dystopias to help us understand what is happening now. In groups we all read a dystopian novel and analyzed and presented how it connects to current the events today.
An ideology is a set of ideas and a organized political group that wants to push their desires and beliefs on society. Someone’s ideology often defines how they make sense of the world.
Ideologies are not just important to politicians but everyone because of the influence it has in our life. If we are unaware of this we don’t have any control on our own life’s.
The term ideology comes from the French Revolution
Destutt de Tracy said it was the “science of ideas”
Karl Marx was a philosopher, author, social theorist, and an economist. He was famous for his Theroux’s on ideologies.
“I. E. The ruling intellectual force”
You can controlling the ideas you share if your apart of the workforce
You either work for someone or own something
The owner has the power and control
He believes the roles can be flipped
Is known as the ‘Industrialized west’
This ideology values: The individual, freedom, reason, justice, tolerance
Importance of individual includes being unique and equal
Commitment to individual freedom but not to the point that they are truly free to do whatever. There is a balance
Having faith to reason and use your intellect to make actions in the world
it is just that each person should be given what they are ‘due’
Tolerance and pluralism: we can all live and work together as one
Believe that these ideas all should be central to our lives
This ideology values tradition and believes it is the foundation of society (without society would crumble)
humans are deemed imperfect and not perfectible leading to the need of security provided by the government
Organic society is also believed key to the existence of human being because we need society and social groups. It’s natural for us to have hierarchy and authority.
Property creates a stable world giving individuals responsibility to take care of their personals
This ideologies values are: community, equality, social class, and common ownership
Humans are tied by a common humanity
We are all brothers and sisters
People can change
Can become greater and better people
They believe this is natural
We want to work to get her and not compete naturally
-committed to equality
-Want to eliminate the class system
-All property is seen as communal
-‘From each according to his ability to each according to his need’ -Karl Marx
Socialism Vs. Communism
-Communism is a classless society
-Socialism is a more middle point, acceptance of a state
19th Century roots (relatively new)
Mussolini had a fascist party in Italy before being murdered
Adolf Hitler and his Nazi party came to power in Germany during the 1930s
Features of fascism:
The idea that some are better then others (eliminate the weak)
Do NOT believe in equality
Extreme feeling of nationalism (certain nations are far superior)
The market is the defining mechanism (influences society)
Supply and demand
Economic growth (all are concerned with increasing material wealth
Other ideologies are included below
The left–right political spectrum is a system of classifying political positions, ideologies and parties, from liberty and equality on the left to social hierarchy on the right.
We took a quiz in class answering a variety of questions to place ourselves on the political spectrum.
As you can see my values suit the more on the radical and libertarian side
The complex world of politics can be intimidating and confusing to wrap your head around at first but without knowledge on the subject you are preventing yourself from having the capability of making substantial decisions. I’m very glad we went into depth of ideologies and how they play a role in society because I feel much more confident to use my knowledge to make sense of how different countries work, decisions made around big events, and in the future which party to vote for.
Horror movies are known for sheer gore and jump scares, but the really good ones are much more than that. Horror reflects on society and starts up important conversations by displaying common fears that we often try to ignore.
This post is for a huge unit we studied in PLP since October till late December called “Monster in the Mirror”.
We were challenged with answering, “Why is horror such an effective way to reflect and comment on our society?”, and as a class creating a truly terrifying horror film that reflects on a societal issue today.
This was definitely the most challenging time consuming project yet. The work put in to research for this topic of horror was surprisingly just as enormous as trying to produce a whole film. I have already created blog posts on the films Halloween, Get Out, and Frankenstein that we watched during this unit if you would like to check them out.
In this blog I will cover why we are so drawn to horror and what it takes to produce a horror film.
To expand our research to answer our driving question we went on a field study to Seattle.
The best part of this trip was being able to go to the MO POP and experience their horror exhibit.
In that exhibit I was able to answer almost all my questions about horror by reading the posters watching the short films and interviewing a horror lover.
I took a lot of notes from what I learned from this exhibit that became very handy as we continued leading up to project.
While we were in Seattle we began brainstorming story ideas relating to social issues and roles:
We had a list of 7 story ideas including topics such as mental health and the media but where advice to pick a simpler topic that we relate to.
At the same time we had interviews held for the people interested in being apart of the key creative team. That group collectively decided that we would base our story on the idea that high school kids are often stereotyped and divided.
Once all the roles were decided and and revalued we were on to the first major stage of development.
Pre production is key to development a film taking a huge 40% of the time spent.
Are outline of what we tackled with in this stage looked something like this:
Concept: each members vision for their role
Location: breakdown of scenes
Tec: geography of the set up
Production: making sure everyone’s on the same page
This is where our script was development and mostly completed as well.
In most films production only takes 10% of the time spent due to the preparation done in pre production. If the work is not done in the previous stage there is no chance the filming process will run smoothly and will probably take much more days than expected to make up for it.
Even though we where warned by our teachers, and by a PLP alumni in film school that came in to help us early on, we still didn’t put enough effort and attention to detail in pre production as we needed to.
From this experience I learned that to be productive you can’t wait around for someone to assign you a task. You have to take charge and be confident in your role without overstepping into someone else’s.
Polio was a deadly infectious disease that in the 1900s caused major epidemics in the US and Europe. Before Dr. Salk’s IPV vaccine, polio was paralyzing and killing more than thousands of children per year.
The development of Salks polio vaccine wiped out an incurable disease, led advancements in medical technology, and changed the fate of humanity.
In this unit we were challenged with answering “what Makes an Event Significant?” and presenting an example. Determining significance usually comes down to importance, profundity, quantity, durability and relevance.
The Billy Joel song, “We Didn’t Start The Fire”, included a ton of examples of significant events and people.
We got to choose one topic that was stated in the song to create a presentation for including any creative media piece. The range of topics was very diverse, being about political figures, musicians, medical advancements, and athletes. All where greatly significant in there own way so you could take this project into any direction most likely suiting your own personal interests. I decide to choose the topic “vaccines”. I thought this personally was a great choice because it was a harder topic that I didn’t know much about compared to music and other arts.
The research done for this project was extensive. We were tasked to write 5-10 pages of formal research including your specific driving question, thesis, and how you will communicate the significance in another way other than a keynote.
The media I created combined art, animation, and geography.
Now that my research, media and keynote was done it was time to present my knowledge to the class. I was more than nervous about doing this 5min presentations, but once it came to the dreadful day all the work I put into this project paid off.
Grade 12 has been already more overwhelming then I could ever have imagined. Finding a way to manage the workload from assignments and tests, PLP projects, Applications and scholarships, while also having after school activities and grad events has not come easy to me. I still have been finding myself stressed not being able to Finnish anything right up until the deadline.
Goal Moving Forward:
My goal for this year is to apply the skills I learned last year in PGP to make time for what’s is truely important.
This blog post will take you through the three units we did this year and what I took way from each.
Shrew you! was our first unit this year.We worked a lot on developing our writing and good historical perspective and literacy analysis skills.
What I was most proud of in this unit was my final draft of my classic essay on The Taming of the Shrew.
My final draft was considered accomplished by my teacher Mrs. Willemse.
This year we have been using the proficiency scale for marking.
As you can see, accomplished means that I was able to demonstrate complete understanding of the topic in my writing. What I can improve in my writing to push it towards extending would be, to support my points by adding much more specific details and quotes. I’ve found my writing is never long no matter the topic, so by explaining my thoughts in more detail will help my writing grow.
Monster In The Mirror
As you may recall last year for our winter exhibition we did a class project called Carosel of Communism that was an interactive experience all about the 50s. The class worked really efficiently together as we managed to have all the elements ready and set up for the exhibition.
This year, just like the past grade 12s, we attempted to make a horror film reflecting on a social issue.
Unlike my essay and the past class project I would not consider this film accomplished.
The team and individual efforts, were not strong and we didn’t manage to meet are deadline or even criteria. I absolutely did not do my best work on this project and really regret not taking the opportunity to be a leader.
My role in this film was the costume designer. This was not a role I intentionally wanted or felt like I should have been given. This role didn’t excite me because due to the fact that our movie was set today in a highschool all I had to do is put together “costumes” for high schoolers.
What I did enjoy about my role is that I was able to be apart of the art department by helping make decisions and create the set.
Other than my role as costume designer I was one of the main actors in the film. Even though being an actor in our film was not something I even considered I’m very glad now that I was put in the role of Barbara. Having to memorize a script and act it the same scenes around 4 times each in front of my classmates definitely helped me gain confidence that would later effect my presentation in the next project.
We Didn’t Start The Fire
Finally the last unit that I am still finishing my blog post for was about “What Makes an Event Significant?” Once Ms. Maxwell shared with us the Billy Joel song, “We Didn’t Start The Fire”, and explained to us the high level of independent we had I knew this was my kinda project.
The range of topics for this project was very diverse. For the most part you had a choice in choosing a political figure, musician, medical advancement, or an athlete. All where greatly significant in there own way, so you could take this project into any direction most likely suiting your own personal interests.
I decide to choose the topic “vaccines”
I thought this personally was a great choice because it was a harder topic that I didn’t know much about compared to music and other arts. If researching this topic wasn’t hard enough, the media I created combined art, animation, and geography. I won’t go into much detail of the reasearch and drafts I did for this project but I will talk about the presentation.
I was very nervous about doing this 5min presentation. I’ve never been fond of public speaking, so once I was scheduled to present third, right after a student in my class who seriously enjoys it, things weren’t looking good. Once it came to the dreadful presentation day all the work I put in to my slide show cutting down my presentation and making sure I prounounced Jonas Salk correctly must have paid off because my teacher was very impressed with it.
From this year so far I have three main takeaways:
I should aways give myself enough time to put a much detail and thought out into my work.
If I’m not growing or excited about what I’m doing for an assignment or project I need to take the initiative and find away to push my learning.
I should remember that this program is like no other and I am lucky to have been able to be apart of it. Therefore every project, assignment, and unit that is thrown at me in the next few months I should take advantage of the fact that I get to create and present personalized detailed work.
The questions that I’ve struggle to answer myself are:
How can I make a conscious decision, when I have multiple assignments and such on my plate for an upcoming week, about where I should initially put my time and energy?
What should be my top deciding factors of importance in my workload?
The noun a “monster” can be defined in two precise ways, an imaginary creature that is typically large, ugly, and a frightening or an inhumanly cruel or wicked person.
In class we’ve been slowly answering our driving question: Why is horror such an effective way to reflect and comment on our society? We have been creating and finding answers to more specific questions about horror and society to gain a deeper understanding before we attempt the driving question.
In this post I will reflect on Mary Shellys novel Frankenstein and the two films 1931’s Frankenstein and 1998’s Gods and Monsters to answer the question: Who is the real monster?
Mary Shelly’s novel Frankenstein was a huge hit at the time for many reasons.
One is that the story of Frankenstein coming back to life, was inline with a huge medical development being the use of electricity to save life’s. This made the horror of this story very real to some who were worried about the effects this may have.
The concept of being an outsider in society is something that was not only relatable then but now, which is why this novel is a classic and the character Frankenstein is still well known today.
While watching the films I took notes in the analysis chart above interpreting specific scenes to help answer the driving question and acknowledging the parts of the film that creates the horror such as set and sound that we should include in the film we will be making as a class.
The common monster in this book and movies is always thought to be creature Frankenstein, but after experiencing and analyzing each I don’t believe that’s the correct. In reality the monster is mankind with Dr. Frankenstein paving the way. This creature that dr. Frankenstein developed never meant to cause any harm but was led to the anger and confusion that caused his terrible actions by not being excepted and cared for. In society the stereotypes on social, ethnic, and racial groups can have the same effect of unjust exclusion.
Get Out is an amazing example of how the genre horror can be effectively used to confront society in a significant way that leads to talk of issues we are normally uncomfortable bringing up.
Fear and Society
The film get out plays with the idea of racism in our society and creates a truly terrifying horror. The blatant, obvious scary racism such as threats, and violence towards the African Americans is not really demonstrated throughout the film. Instead we feel, what becomes terrible nervousness, through Chris’s eyes as he experiences racist comments, stares, and odd interactions during his stay with his girlfriends parents.
The horror of unconsciousness is something I didn’t truly understand until watching this film. It’s absolutely terrifying how they depict what it’s like to be hypnotized into the “sunken place”
This is just a taste of how the family wanted to gain control over Chris. They want to push him down and suppress his will making him a slave held captive inside his hole body for eternity.
Finally the most intense terror is when Chris is trying to escape. Now knowing what fate lies before him if he doesn’t get out, as the audience you are fully on the edge of your seat. The acting and cinematography doesn’t allow you to feel certain of his escape. Even after it seems like he’s going to finally defeat Rose, the cop car pulls up. The black rights matter movement took place because of this all to real fear African Americans have of what might happen to them if a cop wrongfully believes them to be dangerous because of there skin tone.
This movie is already considered a classic horror because of it is creatively and effectively filled with symbols that comment on historical times and today. There are way to many to go into full detail about each but this “The Take” movie analysis does a good job.
Something I find is key to a good horror film is the creative ways we are able to create fear starting with just the camera. Get Out obstructed our vision and point of view throughout the movie to cause confusion. We clearly were restricted to the point of view of Chris until we suddenly realized we also seeing through the grounds keeping and maid at points.
Horror films have been around for decades now in mainstream media. One of the first films to really take off in theatres was Halloween. This film did great things for horror at the time. It popularized horror more than ever and took slasher films to another level.
In class we watched and took notes on the film. In today’s eyes it was not very scary or gruesome, so why was it such a big hit in 1978?
The film Halloween was created during the late 60s. This was around some terrifying events such as Martin Luther kings assassination and serial killers such as Ted Bundy harming people in gruesome ways. Therefore the fear of someone lurking in the shadows wanting to affect terrible harm upon you was an even greater then today.
Not only what was in the paper was having an impact on films and horror, but the media and television were allowing people that were at home during the Vietnam War to see horrifying images of what happened there.
The character Micheal Myres was the stand-alone terrifying murderer of this film. What makes this character so intriguing is that he is introduced first as a young boy, who is not innocent as a child should be. After murdering his own sister, the boy is hospitalized in a Sanitarium.
Once he escapes 15 years later the true horror begins…
This character continuously goes against societal norms without a true motivation of why he is inflicting pain and fear onto others. This is what continues to make this monster terrifying is that it could be anyone and it could be coming for you.
Film Creation and Techniques
In an article written by The New York Times the said that “what’s onscreen is a marriage of commerce and art” when talking about Halloween.
Some may not know but this horror classic was actually a low budget film. There was only two little offices for Debra hill and John Carpenter, and the film was shot without pre rehearsing.
Being a low budget film they had to use really effective techniques to make the horror come alive.
One of the most effective pieces to a horror film is the sound. Halloween is known for its recurring song that comes on whenever Michael is near. This tells the audience something terrible is about to happen and keeps them on the edge of there seats. The piercing sound effects were also much more dramatized making scenes much more intense.
The camera work was also done very well. Even at the beginning the way the director made you see the world through young Michaels eyes as he stabs his sister to death is very unpleasant.
During the same time we watched this film we were in the middle of reading the classic Frankenstein by Mary Shelly. I was able to make some comparisons between the two monsters one being Frankenstein’s monster and two being Michael Mires. Both of these characters struggle with society. The monster in the novel is seen as “almost too horrible for human eyes”(pg. 151), and Michael tries to convey this same reaction with a creepy mask. Just as micheal watches from a far on Laurie’s life the monster watches the family next door closely and constantly.
Shakespeare was an English poet, playwright, and actor. He is still widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language, with a large majority of his literature being classics. Just as every English class does, in PLP we read one of his plays, The Taming of the Shrew.
First we comprehended the play and describe our thoughts about if it was a true classic in an essay.
While he was writing the Taming of the Shrew, this was not the case. At the time it might have been perfectly normal the way Kate was forced into submission, but today it seems nothing less then cruel.
To create our animations we were given a scene and chose a time period to adapt to The Taming of the Shrew. My group, Willa, Parker, Calum and I, had scene 3 and luckily got the 50s
The 50s were a time of family and consumerism but you can read more about that in this post.
Using my knowledge of historical perspective, I now compared woman in the two time periods as you can see in this short video.
We found three main ways to adapt the play to the 50s by changing the characters, setting, and literature. As a group we decided to keep the Shakespeares language but change as many key words as we saw fit.
We also made sure the story line made sense for the time period:
In act 1 instead of lucentio and hortensio teaching Bianca Spanish and guitar we had the men teach her cooking (jello salad) and piano.
In act 2 instead of having petruchio come to the wedding on a horse dressed in informal wear we thought it would make more sense if he came in a gross car (hunk of junk) and was drunk.
From this unit I took away a deeper understanding of literature and what makes a classic. How to use historical perspective effectively and compare and contrast time periods. Finally I know how much time and what skills goes into making a successful animation