Tag Archives: writing

What Metropolis (2001 Film) Teaches Us About “Connection, Identity, and The Meaning of Color”.

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Who are your main characters and what do they represent within the story?

Film is such an amazing experience to watch, create, and direct. Especially genres you’ve come to love and adore since you were a child. The interesting thing about cinema is that your able to create shorts, animations, trilogies, or movies. With each having there on merit of expertise. Franchises like the movie “Alien” hold a cultural relevance of the late 70’s and early 80’s with its visual effects mainly being prosthetics. Directed by the infamous creator, Ridley Scott and the art by H.R Giger. To the Xenomorphs, to the carefully crafted ship, to the eerie atmosphere all stitch together a work of art. After this entry the audience should understand the power of film, why color is such an important component to storytelling, and finally, the importance of defining your main character/characters within the narrative.

(Osamu Tezuka manga but directed by Rintaro)

Introduction

Believe it or not, Metropolis has three different versions of its narrative. The common thread among all of them is economic, ecological, and technological progress. The era in which it is set almost seems like a 1950s film. This allows it to be its own unique thing in animated cinema. The first version of Metropolis was made and created by Fritz Lang in 1927. The second one was made by Osamu Tezaka. The last edition was revitalized and re-imagined by Rintaro based on the work of Osamu Tezaka in 2001. Luther and Andrew (2012) “Nevertheless, this cinematic imagining of future conditions of life continues to resonate strongly as the film keeps attracting spectators and critical attention, thereby offering us a significant opportunity to analyze the ideological foundations upon which we have constructed our notions of human society, including our approaches to ecology”.

Tima’s Beautiful Anomaly and Fated Destruction

As Tima is catapulted into the story without meaning or awareness, her radiant glow searches through the chaos. Created for one reason, but is given the opportunity to be something else. Her glow is defined as a memorable sequence for the audience to take in and remember. Brito and Cho (2017)”Color is one of the cognitive storytelling elements, its interpretation is captured by the subconscious and it is considered an emotional resource due to its psychological background. On the other hand, the character is also part of cognitive perception and storytelling tool, but this is interpreted consciously, character is considered as a logical resource”. Metropolis itself is a heavily industrialized world where technological advancement exceeds that of the human population. Making robots more suitable for it. Carefully look at the vibrant colors above the city and the dim colors below. They can be used interchangeably to define what’s important. Notice the massive buildings Rintaro displays to show expansion and clutter systematically. Tima, a few times throughout the film, is able to shine so brightly, giving vibrance to the city around her. I understand that Tima is a tool to be used and not to be treated as a human that would have their own thoughts and desires. Her revelation is learning she is not human but somewhere in between after being shot by Rock. Her silver tears represent the loss of her identity. Brito and Cho (2017) “Red conveys more anger, passion, happiness, whereas pink conveys a softness, charm, or courtesy. Moreover, in the world of animation, the color is usually used to emphasize certain objects or people in order to convey stronger feelings to the viewer. The main role played by the color within an animation is to convey emotions and feelings. However, they depend on the physical values of each individual, their social context and subjectivity of the observer. Josef Albers8)”.

As Kenichi attempts to grab onto the rageful Tima, hanging for her life, he tells her to grab his hand. This specific scene is taking place over the explosive city of Metropolis, with its red and orange hues. Pieces of the massive building were falling down around them. She finally looks up at Kenichi, saying, “Who am I?”. Having lost his grip, Tima falls to her demise with her consciousness intact instead of without. Kenichi later tries to find Tima’s remains in the vast debris below but is unsuccessful in his efforts. “Better to have loved than not at all”. 

How is Metropolis Being Used

“Andrew and Luther (2012) “[The logical reason an] industrial capitalist society is sustainable so long as it is infused with humanism”]. You will soon learn that the main character, Tima, was the full embodiment of that ideology in theory. At the moment she met Kenichi, it was a human experience. One without control, a guide but an accident. There’s a beautiful sequence where Kenichi and Tima are trying to escape the trigger-happy “Rock” in the barracks down under. Showing their progress in a story that has yet to tell them what’s happening. Eventually in the film, it begins to snow, which seems like a very natural thing that should happen. Although it comes off as empty and desolate. Creating an atmosphere of sorrow, after they find Pero shot and killed. Andrew and Luther (2012) “We may desire a position and perspective outside of systems—ecological, political, or economic—from which to issue cautionary warnings to ourselves, but somehow the formal composition of such cautionary narratives undermines, and thereby makes visible, the impossibility of this same desire. In other words, we see in the panoramic shots of Metropolis the contradictory imagination of ourselves as exterior to and uninvolved in this place as well as interior to and complicit with it”.

Conclusions

Not only does Metropolis explore a possible industrial future, but it does it through color. The film is able to show you massive caverns of industrial trash that have gone unused. While at the same time showing the president’s residency above the clouds. From my analysis, Metropolis was able to explore technological advancement through a multitude of colors. There’s a specific scene where Tima is able to go into the circuit system to find Kenichi. Showing the audience beams of color, ranging from red, blue, and yellow to emphasize Tima’s prowess. The addition of jazz throughout the film also added a beautiful redesign of the environment. Changing our perception of a cluttered city. I believe the film wanted us to answer the looming questions of how we see ourselves, robots, and the environment. Colors are able to show importance within a story or growth and progression within a character.

(Questions to think about)

How can you show progression on a character without telling the audience?

What do you think the robots represent in the film by reading the article?

Bibliography

Hageman, Andrew, and Luther College. “Science Fiction, Ecological Futures, and the Topography of Fritz Lang’s ‘Metropolis.’” 1Library.Co, Ecozon@, 10 Sept. 2012, https://1library.co/document/lq55n5wq-science-fiction-ecological-futures-topography-fritz-lang-metropolis.html.

Yahaira Moreno , Brito, and Cho Dong-Min. “Visual Narrative as a Color Storytelling in Disney and Ghibli Studios.” Cartoon and Animation Studies, The Korean Society of Cartoon and Animation Studies, 31 Dec. 2017, https://www.koreascience.or.kr/article/JAKO201708160569606.page.

Bridging the Gap Between Social Media and Advertisement by Accessing How Audiences Are Targeted

Quinton Miller, MDST 485 Communicating with New Media, Public Relations Major, Metropolitan State University

January 22nd, 2021

This scholarly journal keys in on the increasing popularity of CBD products. Through algorithms set for identifying certain words, this passage explains the analysis taking place surrounding the conversation concerning attitudes towards cannabinoid (CBD) and its purpose. Terms including anxiety, stress or nausea were identified as indicators for therapeutic necessities. This could help with uncovering what language companies who sell these types of products would use in their advertisements going forward. It may also provide insight into a drug policy that needs revision for places that do not allow it due to the products legality based on those first hand accounts documented from forums. This includes Cannabinol/CBD, hemp oil and Cannabis. There are pieces of qualitative data from these findings which is what some new age advertising services utilize. Not only does this tie into the cannabis sector of public relations in new media through explanation of a methodology professionals can use on social media platforms, this academic journal is relevant to us as citizens. When using social media, we often find advertisements geared towards something we’ve recently posted, viewed or talked about. The algorithm, similar to a control F function in a word document, gives an example of how our data is utilized in studies. Once we, as users of these platforms, think outside the box and consider other ways our words are used, we can conduct other research as to how social media and advertisements have played hand-in-hand.

Does this remind us of anyone who whistle blew about this in the past?

This news article was originally written in the beginning of 2018 and revised in October of 2020. This article includes a video experiment of a couple conversing about cat food to see if ads would begin to appear in relation to their conversation. They concluded that facebook had been listening for keywords in their conversations due to the fact that cat food advertisements begun appearing days later. These readings seem distant on the surface, but with a little critical analysis in the mindset of media communication, people can bridge the gap between an obvious new age of targeting methods and terminology. Both articles involve keywords instead of age groups. All users of either the forum or social media who used certain words were taken into account. Each of these had different ways and different purposes, but they could relate to the ways companies use new media to gather and target data on potential consumers.

Take a look below and try it out for yourself !

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U0SOxb_Lfps

Of course this isn’t the real Edward Snowden’s instagram. (I doubt we’ll see the real Snowden on social media). This is a instagram fanpage dedicated to the man who informed the world of what the NSA had been doing.

Narcity Media, October 2020, Why You Keep Getting Ads For Things You’ve Talked About But Haven’t Searched Up Online https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.narcity.com/amp/why-you-keep-getting-ads-for-things-youve-talked-about-but-havent-searched-up-online

International Journal of Drug Policy Vol. 77, Mar 2020, Social Media Surveillance for Perceived Therapeutic Effects of Cannabinol (CBD) Products https://www-sciencedirect-com.mtrproxy.mnpals.net/science/article/pii/S0955395920300293

From the Page to the Stage: Be Heard

I have heard so many times growing up that there is no money in writing. Yeah, you’re good. But where is it going to take you? Reading, writing, and books just aren’t that interesting – and so many other comments about writing and reading, not just novels but poetry too. These sentiments have not stopped as I’ve got older.  Maybe you’re one of those people that agree and haven’t come across a piece of literature that has moved you. You may not have been exposed to writing that is not technical or academic. Maybe you think writing is a talent but not what can give you a fulfilling career. The truth is some of us, especially young people, don’t write for money? Some of us don’t even have an interest in becoming wealthy or famous writers. Some of us were just young and got lucky in our efforts to get free.

In my personal efforts, I came across an organization called TruArtSpeaks. They are an arts based non-profit organization that cultivates literacy, leadership, and social justice through the study and application of spoken word and Hip Hop culture. At sixteen years old I took part in their largest youth program called Be Heard. It is a statewide youth poetry slam series that seeks to identify a cohort of 6 young people between the ages of 13-19 to represent Minnesota in an international poetry slam competition. If you are not familiar with a poetry slam, it’s a competition where people come on stage for 3 minutes and 30 seconds and share their own original work. 5 judges give a score between 1 – 10 (1 being the low and ten being the high) and the highest and lowest score is dropped. Recently, they have decided that instead of going to the festival they offer $500 to the cohort to continue their education along with giving writing and performance workshops the entire summer. By the end of the summer, they create their own manuscript ready for publishing along with support from Graywolf press.

The award for the 6 that end up on the team is amazing. But the real success is what it does for these young people in their personal and professional life. The juice is what this program has helped them discover about themselves. Be Heard has taught many to dig deep into who they are and want to be and demand the change they want to see and live in. It has taught many at a young age that they have peers that care about the same things and adults who want to listen. It has created space for community to prioritize young people and eventually those young people become leaders, movers and shakers in their community. Below is a short documentary TPT did on the Be Heard program in 2018.

https://video.tpt.org/video/Be-Heard-Youth-Poetry-Slam-Series-30289/

“I really hope you stay involved past this,” says Chavah Gabrielle in the video at 2:27. And though she wasn’t speaking to me as I had competed 5 years prior to this, it was the same thing that was said to me 5 years ago and I sure am glad I listened.

I’m a writer – I write stories, poems, and essays (though the essay is more of practice to make creative academic papers and better understand academic papers). I write because what would be considered ‘back talk’ to my parents, was me just trying to communicate how I felt. I write because when I tried to write my first story and shared it with my parents, they both disliked how well I mirrored our life to the page. I write because I’m in control. I write because I’m scared, and it brings me courage. I write for first generation students. I write for Black people. I write for Africans. I write for immigrant parents. I write to make sense of the world. I write when I am wrong and figure out how to get right. I write for a better future. I write, I write, I write because as a young person I needed to empower myself when everything around me was killing me.

Be Heard Slam series at what was formerly Intermedia Arts in South Minneapolis. Photo from TruArtSpeaks

If you came to this blog post from reading my instagram post, you’ll remember I said that there is communal and personal power in sharing our stories. And though this is a small bit of how I learned to share mine, it is the first place I really began to heal.

If you’d like to see more of the powerful work TruArtSpeaks is doing, and the power in being heard and sharing stories, check out the video below!

Want to know more? Head over to www.truartspeaks.org and learn about their weekly open mic, writing workshops, and so much of the other amazing work they do. And if you’re feeling inspired, consider donating! As we all know a lot of non-profit business have been hit hard during the current COVID-19 pandemic. If you were at all moved by what you read or the videos you watched, or know someone able to donate pass along their website and follow the “donate now” link and you’ll be able to donate through their GiveMN page. They also accept checks directed to TruArtSpeaks, address is 275 4th St. E #701. All donations over $50 are tax deductible.

The Sketchbook Project

The Brooklyn Art Library, “a free museum where you can touch the art,” regularly offers a really cool opportunity, called the Sketchbook Project.

On a whim, I decided to participate in vol. 14. The process goes like this: purchase a sketchbook (a modest 5″x7″, my favorite size), and choose whether you would like your sketchbook to be included in the digital library (of course, yes, please). Receive your adorable, simple, blank sketchbook in the mail. Do something. Send it back by the deadline.

You can send your sketchbook back later than the deadline (vol. 14 needed to be postmarked by March 30th), but collections of the latest volume usually go on tour somewhere before arriving at their forever home in Brooklyn. Late arrivals will still be accepted at the Library, but will miss out on the tour portion of the project. Selections from the vol. 14 collection are going to cities around the U.S., including Brooklyn (of course), Boston, Providence, St. Petersburg, Washington D.C., Richmond, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.

sbp
Off to the post office! Made it on time.

Part of my motivation for participating in this project was marketing. I’m trying to pursue several blogs and other ideas, and I thought this would be a really interesting way to (potentially) draw some attention to those prospects.

But it ended up being something very different.

It became more a form of therapy than anything. When I opened it, I was faced with blank pages, and the fear of messing up, of people seeing the opposite of what I wanted. I was afraid that my ideas weren’t interesting enough, or that my art wouldn’t be good enough. I was afraid that I was going to end up wasting my time and embarrassing myself.

I didn’t know how to start, but I had to do something with this book while I had it. So I did what I’ve been doing pretty much nonstop for the last four years: I started writing. Now, I hadn’t actually written consistently by hand for a long time. It had been even longer since I had written words in pencil–something smudgy and impermanent and so forgiving. I wrote before I went to sleep, random thoughts floating around in my tired brain.

The first page was unfortunate. It was clogged with anxiety and insecurities. But, as I went along, the pages became more optimistic, more reflective, more abstract. I added color, changed up the style and direction of the text. I sketched.

And then something amazing happened.

 

I completed the first full, inked composition I had done, probably since 2012 (seven years ago!) when I was at the Perpich Arts High School. I wasn’t entirely sure that I still had the know-how–but then it worked. I created another, and another.

I posted pictures of my work to a group on Facebook and got the very unambiguous reply: “do more of this.”

I want to.

Through the process of letting go and allowing myself the time and space to just do art, I rediscovered some of the self-confidence I had lost, and improved my immediate outlook on life. It was a little sad to part with the sketchbook, but I’m excited to see it again in the digital library, and for people to look at it and touch it and think about it in-person, across the country.

Toward the end of the time I had left to work on it, I traced my hand on an open page. I hope that many more people will place their hands in that outline. Maybe the page will yellow with their fingerprints.

I may have to go to New York someday to find out.

If you want to explore your own process, and share something of yourself with the world, vol. 15 is now available. 🙂

To Blog or Not to Blog?

Blog

Photo by Thomas Lefebvre on Unsplash

 

Audience: fellow writers, aspiring authors

 

As a writer, I’ve been told that I need to have a platform. For many writers, this means starting a blog. But for those of us writers who just want to write our novel and not get mired in keeping up with social media (which can be a job in and of itself), we feel that we have no options. After all, the first question we anticipate getting from a prospective literary agent is “What’s your platform?”

So I looked for advice on the web.

Why Blog—From the Writer Who Said Goodbye to Blogging covers one writer’s response to this issue. Publisher and author L.L. Barkat began years ago with myspace.com and eventually moved on to blogging to help promote her work. She found that the currency of the realm was “reciprocity” (commenting on other people’s blogs and posts to ensure she received the same). Eventually she became overwhelmed with the amount of time she was devoting to staying current with social media, and in 2012 she pulled the plug altogether. Her advice to writers was to avoid blogging from the get-go. After 6 years, she has returned to blogging, but with the caveat of turning off comments on all her posts. This has allowed her “a peaceful place for me and for my readers. And this is in line with the times.”

As an introvert, I must admit that I was immediately drawn to this concept of getting myself out there with a blog, but circumventing the draining aspects that go along with staying current. On the other hand, L.L. Barkat is an established author with an existing readership already in place, while I have yet to publish my first book. Could this also work for beginning writers?

I wanted to get another viewpoint, so I turned to our reading Social Media is Bullshit by B. J. Mendelson. He argues that social media is essentially an irrelevant waste of time, and that old-fashioned marketing advice is where you should actually begin placing your efforts:

“America is perceived as an every-man-and-woman-for-themselves kind of place, but it’s not. It’s a place where we look out for each other and take care of our own. And part of doing that is by calling out bullshit like ‘social media.’ […] The reason the generic stuff [old-fashioned marketing advice] works is it has all been done, proven, and tested since the time Jesus rode around on a Brontosaurus. On my desk right now is a second edition of How to Win Friends and Influence People. After reading almost every popular marketing book that’s come out since 2001, and this book, originally published in 1936, I can conclude one thing: If Dale Carnegie were alive today, he’d sue all these guys for plagiarism.”

Perhaps the answer lies somewhere in the middle. While I intend to begin a blog on the recommendation of the author community in general, maybe it’s also not the worst idea to reach out to local brick-and-mortar media outlets and become my own publicist (or hire one if I can afford it).

Un-Mankind?

A student at Northern Arizona University lost a point for using mankind in his essay.
While I completely agree that we should never encourage sexism or racism, boycotting words such as ‘mankind’ and ‘man-made’ and punishing college students who use such words in their essays by taking points off their grades is ridiculous and is taking away time and attention from other pressing issues. As a woman who is an advocate for women’s rights and encourages equality for everyone, I just feel like this is too much and distasteful. This is taking gendered language too far. At the time when this word was invented it was probably geared towards a gender-neutral meaning. As a college student we all understand the importance of every point in our assignments, quizzes, and tests. Imagine getting docked for a word, even if that word has MAN in it; instead of “human” or “people”
We cannot expect all students to completely change things they’re used to all of a sudden.  Even if such words are to be banned forever, students need time to get used to the change. “Docking points” is unacceptable.  Sorry Northern Arizona University, that’s not the right way to correct “sexist” language.

Make Time to Cultivate Your Hobbies

writers-block

When I was ten years old—just a nerdy girl in middle school—a substitute teacher came to cover another teacher who was on maternity leave and declared that she’d be teaching a creative writing class for a few weeks. I’d never done any sort of writing before, beyond homework and letters to distant family members, and the thought intrigued me. I jumped into it, fueled by the desire to create stories, and I’ve prided myself on being a writer ever since.

As with everything, mastering writing or any other beloved hobby doesn’t happen overnight. It requires practice and dedication, and a drive to succeed above all cost.

And as a writer, I fall short of that knowledge every day.

Continue reading Make Time to Cultivate Your Hobbies