Friday, January 4, 2013

Monsters: Myths and Movies

Yesterday was my first day of my interim (January term) class. The class is called Monsters: Myths and Movies (hence the title of today's post). For those of you who don't know, an interim or January term class is a class that lasts just the month of January, before second semester starts in February. These classes tend to be more intense and meet 4 or 5 days a week for at least 2 hours a day. In essence, it is the equivalent of taking a semester length class and shoving it into a month. I enjoy interim because I can concentrate on just one class instead of having to worry about multiple classes and subject matters all at once. This year I am taking an english class, Monsters: Myths and Movies, which our professor has introduced with two quotes:
    "What we call monsters can be experienced as sublime. They represent powers too vast for the normal forms of life to contain them....By a monster I mean so horrendous presence or apparition that explodes all of your standards for harmony, order, and ethical conduct." ~Joseph Campbell, The Power of Myth
    "Horror films function as nightmares for the individual viewer, as diagnostic eruptions for repressive societies, and as exorcistic or transcendent pagan rituals for supposedly post-pagan societies. They can be analyzed in all these ways because they represent a unique juncture of personal, social, and mythic structure." ~Bruce Kawin, "The Mummy's Pool"

In this class we will be reading six novels, three of them classics and three of them more "re-tellings" of these classics. We are starting out with Frankenstein by Mary Shelly, followed by the "re-telling" called The Fifth Child by Doris Lessing. We will then move on to Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Rober Louis Stevenson, and the "re-telling" being Mary Reilly by Valerie Martin. The las pair we will be reading is Dracula by Bram Stoker, with Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice. As we go through these I will be putting up some notes from class, hopefully better than I have been doing over the past semester... But as the title of the class says, we are also going to be looking at movies! We are gong to watch the 1931 movie "Frankenstein" as well as the 1994 movie "Mary Shelley's Frankenstein". For the second group we will watch the 1931 film "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" and the 1980 film "Altered States". I will say that I almost wish that we were watching parts of the show "Jekyll" from BBC America, it looks freaky but kinda awesome! For our vampire fix, we will be watching the 1931 movie "Dracula" (Bela Lugosi has to be here somewhere!) as well as 1992's "Bram Stoker's Dracula" (creative titles here, folks) and also because of the drastic change in recent years we will watch excerpts from the film "Twilight" as we look at how our view of vampires has changed.

That's all I will throw at you today from this class, look for more updates to follow! Happy Friday :D
Sara :)

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