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Great Stories Found Here

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  • TV

    Nov 14, 2017

    by

    Storyrocket

    A MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH: Starved for Technicolor in Puerto Rico

    On November 1st, 1946, A Matter of Life and Death premiered in London, England. It had been written, directed and produced by The Archers creative duo, Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger. It was shot in Technicolor and the DP had been Jack Cardiff who in 2001 was awarded an Oscar for Lifetime Achievement as Master of Light and Color.   The film premiered at the Leicester Square Empire Theatre a short walk away from Piccadilly Circus. King George VI and his wife, Queen Elizabeth II’s parents, attended. It must have been a “full dress affair” as Conductor 71 (Marius Goring) […]

  • TV

    Oct 23, 2017

    by

    Linda Rodriguez

    BLADE RUNNER 2049: A COLD CASE WARMS UP

    Philip K. Dick’s Organic Androids In the novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (1968) Philip K. Dick describes an Earth that has undergone a human-made cataclysm,“World War Terminus,” and no one remembers why it began or if any side had won. The specific enemy is left unnamed but the author mentions the Pentagon and Rand Corporation, meaning that the USA was at least one of the involved parties. Moreover, the strange dust covering everything, blocking out the sun, and killing most animals had not been a by-product that neither the military nor business interests had included in their “cost” […]

  • Oct 12, 2017

    by

    Fabia Scali

    Own Your Message

    The message, in Roman Jakobson’s Theory of Communication, is what you want to communicate to the receiving end of the conversation. The Romans used the words of Cato the Elder to describe its importance: Rem tene, verba sequentur – grasp the concept, and the words will follow. Albert Einstein delved even deeper in the importance of being able to convey the message in multiple ways, including the simplest, when he said that “You do not really understand something unless you can explain it to your grandmother”. Awareness on what we want to communicate greatly improves the delivery of the message: […]

  • Sep 21, 2017

    by

    Linda Rodriguez

    HURRICANES, DISASTER FILMS and WESTERNS

    Hurricanes make great disaster films. It’s hard to look away as people battle the elements. Often many people die in these films, but we don’t really care, or at least don’t care for long, because we are focused on the heroes, and we know they will make it to the end.   Precisely 80 years ago a visually sensational disaster film premiered: The Hurricane(1937). For this film Thomas T. Moulton (1896-1967)  won an Oscar for Best Sound Recording. Moulton would go on to win four more Oscars and two Technical Achievement Awards in the field of sound. Moulton was nominated for 15 […]

  • Sep 19, 2017

    by

    Alex Ceppi

    “Guerrilla Filmmaking – a True Story” Part VII

    Taking Diab Fattah’s picture could change everything – it would raise all kinds of red flags regarding Hugo Chavez’ associations with international terrorists and it would shed a light on the threat Venezuela now posed to America’s national security.   *          *          *   The camera was pointed straight at Fattah – the anticipation… the fear… all of it made my heart pound so loud I thought everybody in the car could hear it.   Once I looked at him, I could not keep my eyes off him.   I stared right at him and he right at me, but […]

  • Aug 30, 2017

    by

    Linda Rodriguez

    Angels, Vampires and Monsters

    One of the courses I will be teaching this semester at UPRM’s English Department/Minor in Film Program  is all about archetypal supernatural characters. I’ve been teaching this course for some time now and it’s become a favorite among students. But it’s still surprising to me that I now make a living in part thinking, reading and talking about angels, vampires and monsters.   HOW DID I GET HERE? When I was doing my B.A. and graduate studies, I read and wrote on “canonical” writers such as Milton, Shakespeare, Cervantes, Chaucer… and I also read Beowulf.  which sure is about some […]

  • Aug 28, 2017

    by

    Alex Ceppi

    “Guerrilla Filmmaking – a True Story”Part VI

    We were on the run – I could hear gunshots popping in the distance and the sound of bullets hitting the side of our vehicle. I could feel the engine rev up and down as we swerved around and jumped a few curbs before getting off the road, across a muddy field and onto a narrow highway. We blew through town really fast and my heart started to pound so hard it felt like it was going to blow right out of my chest. I still remember feeling the bitterness of adrenaline as it flooded my mouth and the loud […]

  • Aug 23, 2017

    by

    Fabia Scali

    Irony and the Power of Context

    Irony is defined as the ability to say one thing while meaning another. It’s a subtle technique that implies the risk of not being immediately grasped by the audience, while providing an immensely powerful tool for communication by tapping into the mutual understanding and interpretation of context. Not surprisingly, the use of irony is an exquisitely human trait: despite increasing degrees of contextual awareness that can be embedded in computer code, artificial intelligence has the structural limit of a literal understanding of natural language. Context is sometimes an underestimated but extremely important item in the list of the 6 elements […]

  • Aug 17, 2017

    by

    Linda Rodriguez

    “THE PAST IS NEVER DEAD”

    Late summer’s intense heat often brings with it stormy downpours. Sadly this August has also brought with it scenes that, frankly, seem straight out of the dark middle ages: Inquisitorial hooded men with fire and anger in their ready-to-pummel fists and indifferent icy hearts.   As a Hispanic writer and woman and compassionate human being, I absolutely decry white supremacists, Neo-Nazis, the KKK and any other groups that hold similar repulsive ideologies. As a Caribbean scholar, I studied the slave trade and plantation life and read autobiographical narratives as The History of Mary Prince: A West Indian Slave Narrative by […]

  • Aug 15, 2017

    by

    Fabia Scali

    How communication works

    We can’t expect to have specific understanding of storytelling without knowing how communication works. Without getting too technical, I’ll try to summarize the main elements of how we are capable of sending and interpreting messages coming from the world. We’ll have to start with how the brain functions. One of the most important cerebral circuits is the one connecting thalamus and amygdala. The amygdala (from the Latin word for almond) is the brain centre of emotions, especially of fear. It is the structure that makes us feel anger or pleasure, the record of the feelings of our life that deposit […]

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