1. Make a list of all the books that you have read that were made into movies. Which version did you like better? Explain why.
The Hunger Games Series by Suzanne Collins~ I enjoyed both the movies and the books. The books highlight the struggles and courage that it takes to stand up and fight. I fell in love with the story because of how realistic and emotional it was. The performances that the actors and actresses gave were extremely raw which helped carry the insight of the story throughout the films. The movies don’t have as much detail as the books but still stay true to the story as a whole which I enjoyed.
The Divergent Series by Veronica Roth~ I enjoyed the books more then the movies. I feel the books represent stronger intentions and morals that the characters possess. These morals were shown through specific details that weren’t shown throughout the movies. The details incorporated issues from the story as a whole which were overlooked in the movies.
The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold~I enjoyed the book more then the movie. The movie left out many important details which made the story incomplete as a whole. The book is more realistic as the story faces uncomfortable topics that the movie only shows a surface of.
One True Thing by Anna Quindlen~ I enjoyed both the movie and the book. The book takes us through the hardships of how illness can affect relationships. I feel the performances throughout the movie do an excellent job of reflecting the struggles that the characters go through.
The Witches Of Eastwick by John Updike~ I enjoyed the movie more then the book. The performances were very fun and intriguing to watch and the cast did a good job of putting their own twist within the personalities of the characters. The visuals leave you on the edge of your seat as the excitement builds as the story continues to flow. I feel the book has to much unnecessary detail that makes the story longer then it needs to be.
2. Which movies have had the greatest impact on you? Explain by using examples of the characters, themes, what you admire, and different scenes you saw in the films.
Directed by: Francis Ford Coppola
The Godfather Part 1 and 2~ This movie has had the greatest impact on me because of the cast. The Godfather was the true beginning of their careers and to see them grow as performers has been such a pleasure. I look up to and respect every single performer and appreciate how dedicated they are to their characters.
The Conversation~ This movie has had the greatest impact on me because of the characters. I can relate to their intensity and insecurity. The characters have a sense of mystery to them which gave me an interesting sense of comfort based on their intentions.
Directed by: Martin Scorsese
Goodfellas~ This movie has had the greatest impact on me because of the loyalty between the characters. I appreciate how tough they are and their willingness to stick by their words. Through their mistakes they are always looking for a chance at redemption which is a very admirable trait.
Raging Bull~ This movie has had the greatest impact on me because of the characters struggles to become something great. I can relate to their feelings of hopelessness and feeling worthless within trying to find a sense of purpose. They often go through periods of self destruction but always come out stronger in the end.
The Departed~ This movie has had the greatest impact on me because of the characters convictions. They are caught in the middle as they figure out which is the right side to take. I appreciate the fight the characters go through in trying to figure out how to get ahead through the conflicts they face.
Directed by: Steven Spielberg
E.T. The Extra Terrestrial~ This movie has the greatest impact on me because I watched this film many times throughout my childhood. I have always been in awe of the music and the relationships that the characters develop. This movie will always have a special place in my heart because I love the story and the characterization.
Always~ This movie has had the greatest impact on me because of the love and compassion between the characters. I feel very connected to their sadness and struggles within their losses. I appreciate the strong emotions they feel because those emotions radiate through the scene.
Schindler’s List~ This movie has had the greatest impact on me because the story reflects my religious history. I was so emotionally drained from watching that I wasn’t able to finish the whole movie. The story is so personal to me that the importance of the issues addressed leave me saddened and angry.
Directed by: David O. Russell
Silver Linings Playbook~ This movie has had the greatest impact on me because this was the first David O. Russell film I saw. The movie highlights issues with mental illness that I face everyday with my anxiety. I appreciate the honesty and integrity between the characters.
The Fighter~ This movie has had the greatest impact on me because of the dysfunctional lifestyle the characters lead. The characters are often struggling with feeling good enough and wanting to make their families proud. I have gone through that struggle a lot throughout my life and appreciate the heart and determination the characters have.
Joy~ This movie has had the greatest impact on me because of the story. The characters never gave up and are determined to accomplish whatever goals they have. The story inspires me to push through and never give up on my dreams.
Directed by: Sofia Coppola
Marie Antoinette~ This movie has had the greatest impact on me because of the search for self identity within the characters. The characters are searching for a purpose while struggling with the doubts of other people. I often felt as if I wasn’t important enough throughout my life which has made me more sympathetic, empathetic, and sensitive towards others. I have a lot of respect and understanding for these characters and their fight to rediscover themselves.
Somewhere~ This movie has had the greatest impact on me because of the relationship between father and daughter. I was very moved by the story because it reflected the relationship between my dad and I. The story represents the struggles of fatherhood and how he wants the best for his child. The dad will sacrifice anything to make his daughter happy and I know my dad would do anything for me.
Directed by: Mike Nichols
Silkwood~ This movie has had the greatest impact on me because of the writing, directing, and the cast as a whole. Nora Ephron cowrote the script the script and Mike Nichols directed the movie. They are some of my favorite artists in the film industry and I have an insane amount of respect for how they brought the story to life. The performers incorporated the struggles of feeling safe and the fear of taking chances. The acting made the story more relatable and got me very emotionally involved.
Heartburn~This movie has had the greatest impact on me because of how realistic the story was. Nora Ephron wrote the script with a lot of heart and humor. I found myself feeling very sympathetic towards the characters and wishing the best for them.
Working Girl~ This movie has had the greatest impact on me because of the message behind the story. The story reflects the kind of impact women can have on the work force. The characters are always willing to push themselves to be successful which is what I try to do for myself everyday.
3. Pick one or two of your favorite movie characters and create an elaborate backstory for them.
Movie: Dog Day Afternoon
Portrayed by: John Cazale
Sal grew up in a very isolated household. His father was an abusive alcoholic who threatened Sal emotionally and verbally. He was more attached to his mother growing up who lived in constant fear of her alcoholic husband. Sal’s mother was constantly torn between staying or leaving which made Sal feel very alone and insecure. This insecurity instilled a sense of attentiveness within Sal as he began to sneak out in the middle of the night to rob stores. He knew this was wrong but found no other way to provide for him and his mother. The situation worsened when he finally got caught. The police called his mother who had no idea of her son’s whereabouts. Furious, his mother sent him away to a boarding school where he met another young man by the name of Sonny. They developed a quiet and intuitive relationship which carried through their crimes as they both continued to rob stores and banks for the rest of their lives.
Movie: The Conversation
Portrayed by: John Cazale
Stan grew up in a dysfunctional family environment. His dad left just days after he was born leaving his mother to care for an only child. She became very overwhelmed and tired with everyday life which led her to make the decision for Stan to live with her parents for a while. Stan was very reluctant to leave and resented his mother for a while afterward but had to let the anger go when the unthinkable happened. Stan’s mother had gone to the doctor after complaining about chest pains, exhaustion, and a really bad cough and was ultimately diagnosed with lung cancer. She had a month to live and Stan was allowed to visit her in the hospital. He went to see her a couple of days before she passed and just sat watching her. He observed the way she breathed and talked before watching her pass slowly in her sleep. After her death, he didn’t talk. He watched. He listened. At the start of his sophomore year of high school, he met Harry Caul. Stan was fascinated by his body language and intensity. He was brave enough to point out his observations to Harry who admired Stan’s eye for detail. He asked Stan if he wanted to work with him on a school project. From then on, they were friends and eventually worked together.
4. What was the strongest emotion you felt when watching some of your favorite films for the first time?
Meryl Streep and Al Pacino are two of my favorite performers ever to walk onto a film set. The very first Meryl Streep movie I ever saw was The Devil Wears Prada. I was around five or six years old and she took my breath away. I was in awe of her beauty and intimidated by her sass. I fell in love with the movie and her character all while feeling a sense of happiness and amazement of her persona and talent. The very first Al Pacino movie I saw was The Godfather. I had watched it for the first time last summer after hearing rave reviews. Al amazed me the minute he entered the frame. I could clearly see the intensity within his body language and could hear the conflict within his voice. His dedication to that character gave me a feeling of pride and hope that I could create characters that were as influential as he was one day.
5. Look up the different camera angles and their meanings. Which angle has the greatest effect within a film? Why?
The full shot, the two shot, and the over the shoulder are the camera angles that have the greatest effect within a film. The full shot gives the audience a full frame of the character. This allows the audience to observe the physicality of the character based on the situation they are placed in. This situation often reflects the growing conflicts the characters face. The two shot represents the close interaction between two characters. These interactions often reflect the character’s motives, intentions, and impulses. The over the shoulder shot represents the intensity of the character being addressed. These camera angles have the greatest effect within a film because the angles give a clear insight into the super objective of the characters.