Archive for January 10th, 2018


By J.D. Lafrance

Tony Scott has had a wildly uneven yet fascinating career that has seen him dabble in art house horror (The Hunger), jingoistic propaganda (Top Gun), and the buddy action film (The Last Boy Scout). He has always lived in the shadow of his older brother, Ridley, who makes epic, prestige films with A-list movie stars. Tony, on the other hand, has a more B-movie sensibility but is able to realize his films with large budgets and marquee names like Kevin Costner, Brad Pitt, and Denzel Washington. The studios like him because of the talent he attracts and his films consistently make money. In the 2000’s, he reinvented the look of his films with Man on Fire (2004) in an attempt to stay relevant with younger audiences with limited attention spans and raised on music videos, but risked alienating fans of his past films. The result was an intensely fractured editing style that propelled action thrillers like Domino (2005) and Déjà Vu (2006). It got to the point where this hyperactive editing began to distract from the narratives of his films. However, with Domino, this approach oddly enough works because the film’s style attempts to approximate its protagonist’s stream of consciousness. After all, she narrates her own story and so most of the film is told from her point-of-view.

Read Full Post »

by Sam Juliano

The following is a transcript of a discussion between  children’s literature Professor Elaine Painter and an undergraduate, Melanie Rodriguez, a major in education at Jersey City State University recorded on December 18th, 2017 during a class session conducted at Rossi Hall at the close of the fall semester.  All sixteen students enrolled were assigned a project to propose a book they felt deserved consideration for the 2018 Caldecott and Honor book citations.  A short interview, where the student speaks about the book and its artistry conducted as a one-on-one with the instructor will represent a major grade for the fall semester.  The basic aim of the interview is for the student to talk about the book he or she has chosen to “sponsor” for the Caldecott Medal.

Professor Painter:  Greetings Melanie!  As per our discussion at the end of last week’s class, I gather you understand the mission of today’s interview.  I’ll begin by asking you to identify your chosen picture book, the author, illustrator and publisher,  and any facts connected to the book you’d like to open with.

Melanie:  My chosen title is Full of Fall by April Pulley Sayre, released by Beach Lane Books.  It is the most recent in a series Ms. Sayre has published that showcase the seasons.  The book is non-conventional when compared to the vast majority of the books that are eligible and are being scrutinized over the course of the year by the real Caldecott committee.

Professor Painter:  Melanie, you state that Full of Fall is “non conventional” when compared with 2017’s picture book crop.  Can you elaborate on that?

Melanie:  Yes of course Professor.  Full of Fall, like the creator’s previous seasonal works was not illustrated, but rather, photographed.  Though many of the spreads in the book bear a remarkable resemblance to illustrations, they were all created by the camera much like the photos taken for the artist’s previous and exceedingly beautiful Best in Snow and Raindrops Fall. (more…)

Read Full Post »