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Neo-Noir Revisions: A New Film for a New Time

As time marches on, moments, some more important than others, happen that change the course of history.  Technological advances, the civil right movement, and the women’s suffrage movement are just some of the changes that have passed by and affected the way people of today think and act.  Classical noir, and even most neo-noir films, held the ideals of the past.  Despite the changes and modernizations in the films, the characters, essentially white males, held similar standards and portrayed the usually archetype.  The directors wanted to play with the genre and experiment with modernizing it, but they were wary of any fundamental changes in the characters or notions of the film.  This newer age, though, are filled with people whose lives have been changed by the courses of history and who want to bring their own experiences and understanding to a genre they love but have, for many reasons, been unable to completely identify with.  Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner, Kathryn Bigelow’s Blue Steel, and Bill Duke’s Deep Cover all represent this concept of a revised neo-noir film.

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The Miller’s Tale: The True Feminist or Anti-Feminist Debate

When reading the works of Geoffrey Chaucer, the possibility of a violent feminist versus anti-feminist debate among audiences is readily apparent.  When discussing feminism in Chaucer’s works, the first person to come to mind is the Wife of Bath, who has created many polarizing debates on if she is a feminist or anti-feminist figure.  Yet it is overlooked that she is not the only one to inspire this controversy in Chaucer’s works.  In The Miller’s Tale, readers are introduced to a character with a very similar name; Alison, whose actions and what they reveal of Chaucer’s ideas of women are just as confusing as the Wife of Bath’s.  On first glance it would seem that Alison is just another overlooked female used to further a plot. A closer examination, however, reveals that she truly may personify the idea of feminism.

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A Corruption or A Revealing

One of the most important parts of any piece of literature is the characters and the way the audience views these characters.  There are many interpretations on the character of Doctor Faustus, but the most important discussion is really the question of good or evil.  Is he a tragic character, a possible hero who made a couple of bad decisions that he could not escape from and, if so, should the audience pity him and his situation?  Or, conversely, was he bad from the start, doomed to hell from the beginning not because of a couple of wrong choices and desperate situations, but because it is where he truly deserves to go?

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Paradise Lost: A Revolution In Retrospect

            It can be stated quite clearly that media of any time period, whether television and movies in today’s age or the long epic poems of old, reflect the time period and the opinions of the author.  Sometimes this a purposeful act, and other times it is just an effect of the author’s situation.  When reading through Milton’s Paradise Lost, an audience can see that it is clearly a religious piece, yet at the same time, many areas can be viewed, if looked at appropriately, as a reflection of the political situation of the time.

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Short Story Exercise

Ashley sat in the study, staring blankly at the soft glow of the computer screen.  Valiantly holding back a sigh, she leaned back on the soft leather chair that had once been Derek’s school chair.  It had been a week and no one had responded to her Craigslist post advertising a pet-sitting service yet.  One week wasn’t really all that long, but the post would end up getting pushed back further and further and then no one would see it.  She couldn’t understand it.  She knew that there were many people who didn’t have time for their pets or just needed a helping hand, and it had been a very broad post.  Any time, any pets, for as long as needed. Why hadn’t anyone responded?

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Shadowed Mark

It is the inevitable.

The shadow connects,

Solid impact for but a moment.

The force pulls down, always and forever, never letting up,

But the second of impact is not enough, never enough, to last.

Bounces back up, every time, and the shadow escapes, a pinpoint, gone forever, gone for now.

After all, it is just a shadow, a tap on the floor, there and gone.

But it may leave a mark, a stain showing the sharp contact.

But it soft and anonymous and…

Who knows what it means,

What it will lead to.

 

The marks stay, eternal,

Some sit darker than others.

These are the constant marks, the hits that happen, repeated

Over and over again, they occur.  Soft the first time, but then…

That shot to the same spot leaves a darker mark then the rest and similar shots litter around.

These are the ones that matter, that make it, and show and stay.

Not the light dabbling at the border.  Those are background,

An effect, but not a problem.

The bull’s-eye is lasting.

Living Now

Some just go through the motions

Trying endlessly to plan and prepare

Forget it

Just let it all go and live

Some call it eccentricity

Let’s not sugarcoat it

Lunacy

Madness

Insanity

Such pretty words

No point in hiding it

Lying to yourself

That’s just pitiful

And sad

Buck up

abandon rational

Otherwise, you’ll end up with

A different type of madness

The unpleasant type

Bored