Films & Culture
8 Feb 2012
We watched WALL-E (2008) last night.
It's a great story. It's about planet earth, a planet that was supposed to be beautiful—in its landscapes, in the plants and animals it supported, and in the human civilisation that developed on it. But this planet had been left desolate, reduced to a heap of trash by the greed, futility and disconnectedness of the people who inhabited it. But it's also a story of hope. A love story develops between the central character, WALL-E, and another robot. And so powerful is this love story that it brings in its wake not only the re-humanising of humanity, but ultimately the renewal of the whole planet.
And it's a whole lot of fun too.
But what I like most about this story, as about any story, is the resonances it has with a far greater story...
6 Mar 2010
Right, Mr Burton, I'd like a new film please. How about "Alice in Wonderland"? That will draw the crowds in by the title alone. What, you can make it 3D? Bonus! Quick, get to work!
Right, how am I going to turn these quirky little stories into a feature-length film? That could be a challenge... Films usually have a plot... Hmm...
Hold on, what have we here? "Instant Film! Simply add characters and special effects!" Ah, this could do the trick! Which flavour shall I use? How about this one: "Vanilla Epic Flavour. Evil ruler in control, good ruler in hiding, only a champion fighting an evil monster to the death can release the people from their suffering, enter champion, told of destiny, unsure of identity at first, recover magic weapon, go to battle, fight, win, people free, all live happily ever after."
Sounds promising, but I'm not sure - an epic battle between the forces of good and evil doesn't sound even remotely like Alice in Wonderland! No, I'm really going to have to think about this a bit harder... Hold on - what's this on the packaging? "Fed up of making new plots with every film? That's a thing of the past with Instant Film! All you have to do is add the other ingredients and then a blockbuster is guaranteed!"
Right, that's settled. I'll just chop up these old Lewis Carroll books, and stir them into the "Vanilla Epic Flavour Instant Film", and see what happens. Okay, let's get started. I suppose Alice will be the champion. The evil ruler? Queen of Hearts. What about the evil monster? Let's see ... Mr Jabberwocky, can you do that? Thank you. Who's next in line? Ah, the Cheshire Cat ...
1 Mar 2009
- Which character did you like the most?
- Iron Man is a superhero story. Does this kind of story appeal to you? Why?
- Do you think people in our society are looking for a superhero, or is it just a story that we tell?
- Listen to these two quotes
- Tony Stark: "I don't want this winding up in the wrong hands. Maybe in mine, it can actually do some good."
- Obadiah Stane: "How ironic, Tony! Trying to rid the world of weapons, you gave it its best one ever!"
If there was a real Iron Man, do you think that would help in ridding the world of weapons?
- Some people think that the stories we tell about a superhero who saves the world actually become real in Jesus. Why might people think that Jesus is the real superhero? Why might they think he isn't?
- How did Tony Stark and Pepper Potts’s relationship develop through the film?
- Obadiah Stane said this to Pepper Potts: "Tony never really did come home, did he? He left a part of himself in that cave.” How would you compare Stark before and after his time in the cave? What effect did Yinsen have on Stark?
- Who or what do you think is the real enemy in the film?