Saturday, 1 December 2012

Week 7 (Mon 19 Nov)

Today's sessions focused on figure sin mythology, and so, in the lecture, we watched the classic French silent film, The Passion Of Joan of Arc (1928), directed by Carl Dreyer and based on the last days of Joan and her trial by the English. The combination of Richard Einhorn's heavily religious and choir-based score, with the despair and wide eyes of Maria Falconetti as Joan gave the film an emotional, entrancing quality though never delving into the saccharine.

Then, in the seminar, we presented our presentations on mythological figures, mine being on Helen Of Troy, and going over her influences on various arts and media, as well as operating the powerpoint for my team. The other presentations included Robin Hood, Faust, Don Juan and Joan of Arc. Through these, and in subsequent discussion, we saw that many of these characters were base don historical figures or older texts and legends that, through revision, expansion and adaptation, has evolved and changed into what we know today.

Then, we had to pitch a modern, filmable take on the mythological character we had studied. Our version updates the characters to the present time, and changes the conflict from nations to major fashion houses who are at war, and in the end, the 'Trojans' of this story end up having their company collapse after Helen uncovers illecit practices.

In closing, I found today's subject really interesting, once again connecting back to what we discussed with Campbell and seeing how much of popular culture and characters can be traced back into the far depths of human and artistic history. And on a final note on the film, it very much showed that silent films aren't just goofy, over-acting actors and Chaplin/Keaton-slapstick shenanigans, but can tell surprisingly moving and compelling story.

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