Wed, June 1st–Film

First, we’ll finish IB. And then have our discussion.

  1. Depiction of Nazis. How did you feel about Landa? Is he all evil? Complicated? Cultured? How does the movie seem to see him?
  2. Depiction of American violence? What are we asked to enjoy? Why? Does that make you feel uncomfortable?
  3. Jewish revenge and alternate history. WWII didn’t end like this. Does it matter?
  4. Female Avengers. What do Shoshanna and The Bride have in common? Is it feminist to have women commit spectacular violence?

Now is a good time, I think, for a group project. In groups of 3-4, create a pitch for the next Tarantino movie. Here’s what you need:

  • A Keynote/PP with a minimum of 5 slides.
  • A movie title that is appropriately Tarantino-esque
  • A logline–an explanation of the plot in about 50 words. “The Bride” was the deadliest assassin of the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad, until the day she decided to leave the business, assume a new identity, and get married. But it was on the day of her marriage that her old “friends” – O-Ren Ishii, Vernita Green, Budd, and Elle Driver, not to mention her boss, Bill – find her and assassinate the entire ceremony while Bill shoots her in the head, putting her in a coma. Well, Bill and his people should have tried a little harder because, after four years, the Bride has awakened from her coma. And Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned…  
  • Characters: Name and explain at least 4 characters in your movie and who should play them.
  • Settings: Where will the movie take place?
  • Set Pieces: What Big Scenes should this movie have?
  • Influences: Which influences are you going to pull from to inform this movie.


Essay Questions for Tarantino–Due June 10th–Minimum 600 words

  1. Some critics have suggested that Quentin Tarantino may be one of the most influential directors ever. Trace Tarantino’s influence in modern movies by giving specific examples of his techniques, camerawork, attitude, and style being used in other movies by other directors. What about him is so appealing? See this article to get started.
  2. Some critics suggest Tarantino might be one of the most overrated directors ever. Critic David Denby wrote, “Tarantino has become an embarrassment: his virtuosity as a maker of images has been overwhelmed by his inanity as an idiot de la cinematheque.” Agree or disagree with this assessment of the director. Give specific examples of evidence.
  3. Read the analytic essay on Inglourious Basterds and answer the question: Is the movie moral? Can a movie be evil or lacking in righteousness? Does the movie ask us to revel in things it shouldn’t ask us to revel in?
  4. What should the rules be for ripping off other directors? What kinds of borrowing should be considered legitimate and what kinds are wrong? Give several examples of each. See this documentary for some ideas about the issues involved.
  5. Take a look at this interview. Connect anything he says to either movie. Does the interview give specific insight into his directorial choices?
  6. Scene Analysis. Choose a specific scene from either movie to do a deep dive on. Describe the mise-en-scene and other cinematography elements with as many specifics as possible. Trace those examples to effects the director is trying to invoke or thematic ideas.

Memorial Day–Humanities

HW: Read Chapters 16-18 (finished!) in BNW.

What we’re up to:

  • Consciousness: What is it? Why do we have it? How can matter conjure up the ability to recognize oneself?
  • Brave New World

Woody Allen Quote:

“I don’t want to achieve immortality through my work; I want to achieve immortality through not dying. I don’t want to live on in the hearts of my countrymen; I want to live on in my apartment.”

First Question:

It’s Memorial Day! Some questions. Why do we try to remember those who sacrificed themselves for us? What is the meaning behind this impulse, behind this holiday? Do our memories matter? Does the possibility that people will remember you when you die motivate you to greater effort?

Now, let’s talk consciousness. We’ll read an article entitled: “I feel therefore I am.

  1. Say this in your own words: John Locke wondered if ‘the same object should produce in several men’s minds different ideas at the same time; for example, the idea, that a violet produces in one man’s mind by his eyes, were the same that a marigold produced in another man’s, and vice versa.’
  2. What is the “hard problem” of consciousness?
  3. What is physicalism?
  4. What is a Chalmers zombie? How do we know we aren’t one? Or that Mr. Stearns is or isn’t one?
  5. What is the medieval mind/body dualism?
  6. Why did Descartes want to keep dualism around? What do we lose, or so he thought, when our beliefs become purely materialist?
  7. What is the many worlds theory?
  8. What does Max Tegmark hope is true about consciousness? What would that mean?
  9. Your turn. What evolutionary benefit do we get from having self-awareness?
  10. Your turn. Chalmers thinks that the world is made up of something besides physical stuff? What do you think?

Then, we’re moving on to BNW.

Hopefully, we’ll watch a TED talk with Nick Bostrom about transhumanism.


Humanities–May 5th

HW: Read pages 223-263 in Handmaid’s. We’ll be finishing the book by Thursday next


Here is the self-knowledge questionnaire.

What we’re up to:

  • Turn in your Gender article–
  • Talk Handmaid’s Tale
  • Kierkegaard! Take the leap

Quote Response:

Which view of Faith do you think is closer to your own? Are there some things we should believe without being able to rationally prove?

Ok, first, let’s take a look at your Gender essays! Drop them into

Next, let’s talk Handmaid’s Tale. We’ll look at Jezebel and answer a few questions about what Ofglen is up to.

I’d like to look at some examples of Jezebel in art.

Finally, let’s continue with existentialism…now with Kierkegaard!

Important Concepts:

  • Meaningless of Life (Angst)
  • Either/Or
  • Impossibility of Happiness
  • Leap of Faith


What do you think of this excerpt from Either/Or?

An Ecstatic Discourse
Marry, and you will regret it. Do not marry, and you will also regret it. Marry or do not marry, you will regret it either way. lIS Whether you marry or you do not marry, you will regret it either way. Laugh at the stupidities of the world, and you will regret it; weep over them, and you will also regret it. Laugh at the stupidities of the world or weep over them, you will regret it either way. Whether you laugh at the stupidities of the world or you weep over them, you will regret it either way. Trust a girl, and you will regret it. Do not trust her, and you will also regret it. Trust a girl or do not trust her, you will regret it either way. Whether you trust a girl or do not trust her, you will regret it either way. Hang yourself, and you will regret it. Do not hang yourself, and you will also regret it. Hang yourself or do not hang yourself, you will regret it either way. Whether you hang yourself or do not hang yourself, you will regret it either way. This, gentlemen, is the quintessence of all the wisdom of life.

Extra: See this “squashed” version of the philosopher.

OR…The Existential Comic version…

Towards what teleological end? Delivering stone cold one-liners of course.

Tue, March 15th–Humanities

HW: Prepare for the Frankenstein test. 20 MC questions. 4 quote responses. 1 essay question.

What we’re up to:

  • Dear Socrates. How would the Greeks/Romans suggest we act?
  • Prep for Frankenstein test

Ok, let’s give you a little time to finish scripts and print them out. Then, we’ll see your presentations.

Afterward, we’ll chew through Frankenstein and decide what we think of the Creature and Victor.

From Chapter 23 to the end, choose 3 quotes from Victor and 3 from the Creature that show how each sees the other.

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