8.5.19

On the Imagination: Doors Are Indicators of Openings Into Other Worlds

The original Poltergeist movie (1982) perfectly utilizes the
ancient idea of a portal to another world.
I took a class in Graduate school on the Arthurian Legend. I wrote a paper on the duality of evil and good children in the myth - relating it to the Hollywood movies The Sixth Sense and The Good Son. Anyway. One thing I took away from that class was how the idea of doors as portals into other worlds is an old archetype located in the oldest myths and stories that have sprung from humankind's first stories. In the Hindu story of Krishna opening his mouth as a child to show his mother the universe, to the Celtic stories of fairy mounds and magical portals, to the Lady of the Lake breaking the surface of the water to reveal the legendary sword Excalibur. If you live in New York City, stepping into the underground concourse of subterranean subway tunnels is a daily excursion into the upside, downside aspect of city-living. The Netflix Television series Stranger Things is a recent foray into this genre. The show has created an entire mythology around this old concept in its imaginative world-building of the Upside Down. I like how Phillip Pullman in his fantasy series The Golden Compass has his hero wield a blade that cuts into the fabric of space and time, thus able to cross between worlds. Or, that famous image from the movie Poltergeist in which Carol Anne extends her hand toward the white, emanating glow of the television set. Portals can be sunken into the imagination of tales and storytelling told by the fire, but there is a truth in the telling. Fantasy fiction, as well as science fiction, uses portals and doorways. For example - Dr. Who's T.A.R.D.I.S. is the stuff of science fiction lore, but the idea of a quantum-powered engine that can skip across space and time seems plausible. And with images from astronomers showing us what Black Holes sort of look like, the idea of traversing across the universe through cosmic doorways seems real to me somehow. We (i.e., humans) just don't have the technology. Yet. I wonder if in the forthcoming centuries we humans will make the old legends true. We first have to figure out the problem of massive incoming changes in the earth's climate that is fastly becoming our next existential threat - but after that! - we have goals to tend to - ad astra!

I found this whimsical video on the video streaming app Tik Tok. I am not sure if this place actually exists - but if it does I want to go there! Video Source: @elliedothoe

Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, Ninth, Tenth, Eleventh, Twelfth, Higher Education, Adult Education, Homeschooler, Not Grade Specific - TeachersPayTeachers.com
I sell lesson plans for the
English and Humanities crowd (and more!)

2.5.19

"Sin nombre" - Harold Mendez, Artist

Sin Nombre
Harold Mendez (American, born 1977)
Sin nombre 2017-18
Cotton, graphite, spray enamel, toner, and lithographic crayon on ball-grained aluminum lithographic plate mounted on dibond.

21.4.19

Time-Lapse Video: Kids Play at Brant Point Lighthouse

Brant Point Lighthouse
Here's another video of our school group visiting the island of Nantucket for Spring Break. We explored the beach surrounding the Brant Point Lighthouse. We woke up early and hiked to the lighthouse. The weather was fresh and chilly. It's Springtime in Nantucket, Massachusetts. Life is good. Seize the moment. Seize the day. Carpe diem.
Viewing Tip: do you notice the ferry leaving the island? That's the same ferry in the video I posted (see the previous post).


19.4.19

Time-Lapse Video: The Eagle Departs Nantucket Island En Route for Hyannis



Spring Break with Kids from School
I was with a school group on Spring Break in Nantucket. Here's a short time-lapse video of the ferry leaving the island en route for Hyannis. We were on the Eagle, a sea-faring vessel built in Morgan City, Louisiana. The trip was fun. I liked hanging out with the kids. The weather was chilly and invigorating. I ate lobster. We went on a ghost tour. We ate s'mores. Life can be amazing.
Go Back in Time Two Years Ago
Two years ago, I did a similar trip with our school. Here is the time-lapse video of the ferry once we arrived at Hyannis.

12.4.19

Artful Photograph: Philip-Lorca di Corcia

Photo by Philip-Lorca di Corcia (c. 1995)
What story does this photograph tell?

Philip-Lorca di Corcia is an art photographer. You may be familiar with di Corcia's body of work. In the early Nineties, he did a series of photographs of street hustlers in Los Angeles - charging them to pose for him at the same price the men would normally charge a client for sex. 

In the above photograph, part of a series of images wherein di Corcia would photograph a banal scene (i.e., a gas station, a drug store, a hotel room) with a model who does not quite fit into the scene, the artist plays with light, setting, and storytelling.


10.4.19

Movie Review: Tully (2018)

A scene from Charlize Theron's movie Tully
Charlize Theron's movie Tully (2018) reminded me of another movie I saw that also deals with the theme of beleaguered motherhood. In that movie, Towheads (2013), Shannon Plumb also plays a beleaguered mother. In both movies, the characters rely on their own inner resources to cope with stress - but the results are different for each character. Theron’s character Marlo hires Tully, a night nurse who provides an outlet for Marlo’s conflicted feelings about motherhood. Tully serves as a salve to the fact that Marlo’s husband Drew is a feckless, overworked drone - albeit a sweet, lovable one. I loved the scenes with Tully and Marlo - not only because the conversations passed the Bechtel test - but because I could see that Marlo needs a tug to lift her out of her malaise. Some viewers were dissatisfied with the film’s twist ending. I won’t give an outright spoiler, but if you watched Towheads, then you’ll not be surprised by Tully’s ending. Both movies play with the idea of how creating alternative versions of oneself can be a release from mental drudgery. But there is a downside to escapism - a point the plot of Tully makes more clear. Watch one and then watch the other. Did you like Tully? Did you think it was an accurate portrayal of beleaguered motherhood? Let me know in the comments.