Thursday, April 14, 2016

Class "Star Wars" Project

Project Concept

The Group Project will deliver an analysis of "Star Wars" that is conducted entirely in terms of Course ideas and concepts.

The following are some of the primary Course concepts relevant to the film:
  • Marshall McLuhan's three-stage definition of technology
  • The Stages of the Hero's Journey
  • Aristotle's Structure of Drama
  • Doubleness in Western Civilisation
The film analysis of "Star Wars" will be based in the following three sets of guidelines.
  1. Major concepts from the Course.
  2. Film-analysis theory, from a minimum of two credible resources authorised by our BCIT Library. Part of this major, 30%, Course component is the Group's collective research into film analysis theory.
  3. Your collective understanding of the film, and the ideas from it that you wish to highlight.
Project Formalities
  1. Due date: May 6th, 2016
  2. The project is worth thirty percent of the total Course grade, and the expectation for grading is that the work represented by the completed project is thirty percent multiplied by the number of members in the Group. Thus, if there are four group members then the completed group dialectical project will show effort, endeavour, and content equaling one hundred and twenty percent of a Course effort.
  3. Each member of the Group will receive the same Group grade. The responsibility for ensuring equal contribution from each individual group-member is the Group's collectively in the manner of professional environments: this includes consultation with the Organisational Superior in the person of the Course Instructor....
  4. Priorities:
    •  Job 1: Deliver understanding of how the subject film illustrates major concepts presented and articulated in LIBS 7005.
    • Job 2: Structure the project directly in terms of the particular film theory used to analyse the film: this includes both the specific principles of your film theory and the specific elements of the film that manifest these principles.
    • Job 3: Calibrate your project to a (real or hypothetical)  target audience of practicing Mechanical Engineers, Accountants, etc.: i.e. your professional colleagues who have not had the advantage of successfully completing LIBS 7005 at BCIT.
Project Group Management. Each group will organise itself collaboratively. Division of responsibilities and tasks, schedule of dates for progress and deliverables, decisions relating to the realisation of the project criteria, and personnel-related matters, are all the responsibility of the group members in consensus. Where a  decision is required that defies consensus, the Course Instructor is the de jure Project Manager.

Project Work. Class-time will be assigned for work on the Group Project through the Term. The Instructor is available then for project consultation.

It is expected that some work on the project will also be done outside class-time, in line with the 30% of Course grading that the project represent per student.

Project Medium

The completed project will be accessible online, and will be in some accessible technical medium suitable to a polytechnic. The choice and design of the project medium will be guided by the criteria of (i.) accessibility, (ii.) effective delivery of the teaching intention of the project, (iii.) the technical student demographic of the intended audience, (iv.) the subject-matter of the film being analysed (i.e. technology boon or bane).

Project Outline. A one- to two-page Outline is due in hard copy at the start of lecture on Course Week Five The Outline will specify the following:
  • the film title (approved in advance by the Course Instructor)
  • a minimum two credible film-analysis resources (preferably found via the BCIT Library)
  • the project concept and structure
  • the project scope
  • the project goal
  • the project structure & organisation
  • the work responsibilities and tasks by members 
  • the schedule of progress dates and deliverables
Status Report. A one-page written status report is due in in hard copy at the start of lecture on Course Week Ten.

Dr. Stephen A. Ogden, BCIT LIBS

Film Theory Support

On "film theory",  SFU has databases available. (This is as a complement to the books available at the BCIT Library).
BCIT students can come to SFU and use our databases 24/7. Students are also eligible for a reciprocal borrowing card with us: they just need to show their BCIT card to get it

Here are some SFU books that can be asked for via Inter-Library Loans. Students can also request journal articles. These need to be asked for through the BCIT library with this form.

The BCIT Librarian on duty at the BCIT Library will be, of course, able to help students do a 'film theory' search query on our databases.

Ashley Van Dijk
Library Assistant - Information and Instruction
WAC Bennett Library
Simon Fraser University
8888 University Drive
Burnaby, BC Canada V5A 1S6

Monday, April 11, 2016

Found Ironies



On 'Nature'

What 'Nature' meant to the world before the rise of Science, and to the Romantics during its rise, is expressed exquisitely by Alexander Pope, in his 1709 Essay on Criticism. Some pertinent lines (in heroic couplets, no less) follow. Note for one that Pope is explaining to critics of art and literature that their analyses and expositions are worthless or worse if they do not use Nature as their standard. And note for another that Pope--an acknowledged intellectual genius of the first order--uses our own Homer as his ideal for art and idea.

Nature to all things fixed the limits fit
And wisely curbed proud man's pretending wit.
As on the land while here the ocean gains.
In other parts it leaves wide sandy plains
Thus in the soul while memory prevails,
The solid power of understanding fails
Where beams of warm imagination play,
The memory's soft figures melt away
One science only will one genius fit,
So vast is art, so narrow human wit
Not only bounded to peculiar arts,
But oft in those confined to single parts
Like kings, we lose the conquests gained before,
By vain ambition still to make them more
Each might his several province well command,
Would all but stoop to what they understand.
First follow nature and your judgment frame
By her just standard, which is still the same.
Unerring nature still divinely bright,
One clear, unchanged and universal light,
Life force and beauty, must to all impart,
At once the source and end and test of art
Art from that fund each just supply provides,
Works without show and without pomp presides
In some fair body thus the informing soul
With spirits feeds, with vigor fills the whole,
Each motion guides and every nerve sustains,
Itself unseen, but in the effects remains.
Some, to whom Heaven in wit has been profuse,
Want as much more, to turn it to its use;
For wit and judgment often are at strife,
Though meant each other's aid, like man and wife.
'Tis more to guide, than spur the muse's steed,
Restrain his fury, than provoke his speed,
The winged courser, like a generous horse,
Shows most true mettle when you check his course.
Those rules, of old discovered, not devised,
Are nature still, but nature methodized;
Nature, like liberty, is but restrained
By the same laws which first herself ordained.
Hear how learned Greece her useful rules indites,
When to repress and when indulge our flights.
High on Parnassus' top her sons she showed,
And pointed out those arduous paths they trod;
Held from afar, aloft, the immortal prize,
And urged the rest by equal steps to rise.
Just precepts thus from great examples given,
She drew from them what they derived from Heaven.
The generous critic fanned the poet's fire,
And taught the world with reason to admire.
Then criticism the muse's handmaid proved,
To dress her charms, and make her more beloved:
But following wits from that intention strayed
Who could not win the mistress, wooed the maid
Against the poets their own arms they turned
Sure to hate most the men from whom they learned
So modern pothecaries taught the art
By doctors bills to play the doctor's part.
Bold in the practice of mistaken rules
Prescribe, apply, and call their masters fools.
Some on the leaves of ancient authors prey,
Nor time nor moths e'er spoil so much as they.
Some dryly plain, without invention's aid,
Write dull receipts how poems may be made
These leave the sense their learning to display,
And those explain the meaning quite away.
You then, whose judgment the right course would steer,
Know well each ancient's proper character,
His fable subject scope in every page,
Religion, country, genius of his age
Without all these at once before your eyes,
Cavil you may, but never criticise.
Be Homers works your study and delight,
Read them by day and meditate by night,
Thence form your judgment thence your maxims bring
And trace the muses upward to their spring.
Still with itself compared, his text peruse,
And let your comment be the Mantuan Muse.
When first young Maro in his boundless mind,
A work to outlast immortal Rome designed,
Perhaps he seemed above the critic's law
And but from nature's fountain scorned to draw
But when to examine every part he came
Nature and Homer were he found the same
Convinced, amazed, he checks the bold design
And rules as strict his labored work confine
As if the Stagirite o'erlooked each line
Learn hence for ancient rules a just esteem,
To copy nature is to copy them.

The Concept "Nature"

A seemingly-simple plain and ordinary English word, "Nature" is one of the most complex, far-reaching, important, and hard-to-pin-down terms in the language.

We are using it to properly appreciate the sharp and antagonistic division between Enlightenment and Romaticism. The Enlightenment turned the word Nature toward its eventual reductive sense of the mecahnical agglomeration of earth, air, water, plants, and animals; where the Romantics revitalised its British 18th C. meaning (the province of the Augustans) as guide and principle of life and conduct.

This division remains still in effect--recognised or subliminal--as we shall see as our study of the literature continues.

Groups of students in a past iteration of 7005 researched 18th C. definitions of the Term, here listed following my own.

Nature: an objective standard, external to mind but fully accessible by it. 'Human Nature' is that which acts (by instinct, habit, or will) in accordance with that standard.

Justin, Sabrina, and Barrie:
Nature has two forms: Nature as an external reality and Nature as an internal reality. Nature as an external reality is that which is depicted outwardly and nature as an internal reality is that which man has inside him (Deane, 1935, 73).
• nature symbolises human limitations
• Human nature is that is in us which follows that standard
• During the renaissance period, the period before the age of reason in 18th century, people were inspired by arts and nature. The romantics that believe in nature may be people who have understand and experience the renaissance period.
• Human nature are characteristics of how one thinks, emotes, or act that is natural to them
• The Romantics and the Enlightenment served as a transition period from nature to science
Jared, Karen, and Neal:

Nature is reasonable -- Nature can be understood. Nature is rational. Man is part of Nature, therefore, man can be understood.

James & Larissa

-the 18th C. saw themselves as part of nature; “one-ness”
-Discovery of truth by observation for the current life rather than going by the Bible?
-a way to govern their actions/behaviour (humans were designed to act rationally) rather than laws?
-acting in accordance to nature is morally good
-source of inspiration/a teacher for poetry