DO NOT WATCH IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN THE PRESTIGE. I LOVE this movie, which is part of the reason I chose it. That being said, don’t watch this if you haven’t seen it first, please! I I don’t want to be responsible for ruining it for you 🙂
For this assignment, I had to create a compilation of the most important scenes/events in a movie. I decided to do The Prestige. I chose a couple scenes in the beginning where Angier and Borden are doing their tricks and sabotaging each other. Then, I chose scene’s where you find out how they’re doing specific tricks. I also used scenes from the end of the movie which is where a lot of the reveals/spoiler material is. I used Windows Movie Maker and I was going to originally take out the sound and just play the speech given at the beginning of the movie, but it was really hard to try and get that done, so I stuck with just the sound from the scenes.
I decided to apply Vonnegut’s Shape of Stories to The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky by Stephen Crane. The beginning of the story starts off a little above the ‘B’ axis, because clearly the couple is newly married and seems to have just come in to some money (based on the brides excitement and concern over the cost of dinner). Their story curve moves upwards some and then begins moving downward as they approach Yellow Sky and Jack worries more and more about the town’s reaction to his marriage. The curve is also moving downward because Scratchy Wilson is looking for a fight around town and Jack is the only one who can stop him, but the townspeople think he is still gone. The line plateaus for a bit because it’s “exciting” that we know Wilson and Jack are both going to Jack’s place but do not know what will happen. The shape quickly moves down when Jack and his bride arrive at Jack’s home and have guns pointed at them and then jumps back up when Wilson leaves.
Marlene owns a saloon in Puggville, a small town in Texas that has been mostly deserted until recently. She inherited The White Mule from her parents, who died in a tragic horse carriage accident. Now that the railroad is finished, all sorts of new folks have been showing up in her bar along with her few regulars. Business has been booming, especially since she was given a large sum of money from a young entrepreneur to expand her saloon. She is not quite sure why this man chose to help her expand but she is becoming suspicious of him, especially since he started a gambling ring in her back room. Since the construction of the railroad, the town is growing rapidly and its citizens are worried it will be taken over by its many new, often morally dubious, members.
So I’ve been reading a few of the suggested Old West Legends, Wisdom, insults and slang and I realized there is a lot more to Westerns than people think. If you asked me before this class what I thought the main themes of westerns are I would’ve said cowboys, gun fights, tumbleweed. After doing some research I realize that while cowboys and gun fights are part of westerns, there is more to them than that. I noticed that there is generally some mention of how harsh the wilderness is (the Stephen Crane short story mentions the man has a face reddened by wind and sun) and there is almost always a setting described as desolate or barren. Another theme, which I noticed in Ice Man, is some type of restaurant or saloon in which some type of action takes place. A stand-off is another common theme among westerns. I can’t quite
While reading Ice Man and The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky I realized that Ice Man seemed to be a bit more modern in terms of the writing and how everyone spoke. It seemed as though Crane’s story was closer to what we would consider a western than Leonard’s.
So far I would have to say my favorite thing about Westerns is the insults and slang. I loved reading the page with slang, it made me pleased as a pup with two tails! 🙂