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10.25.2007

Environmental Lecture, Psycho and Beowulf

Special thanks are due to Neil Armingeon and the office of the St. Johns Riverkeeper for presenting on the topic of water conservation in Northeast Florida. Neil gave a succinct, highly topical discussion on the need to address our water management policies now and to remain vigilant into the future as our population continues to increase.

I want to also thank the faculty, staff and community members that made it out to this important discussion. These are both individual and community issues we need to negotiate together, and I was impressed by the questions and spirit in the room.

We looked at Psycho this week in our film class, and I think it left a solid impression on those who hadn't seen it previously. I do really enjoy this film. Hitchcock does a fine job of establishing tone early, employing a creepy approach to the credits accompanied by Bernard Herrman's unsettling score. The early portion of the film is a taut little game of cat and mouse as Marion Crane (the fantastic Janet Leigh) endeavors to make a new life for herself in California's Inland Empire. Hitchcock paces the opening dozen scenes nicely before transitioning to the second act at the motel. Here we get the conflicted, sad Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins nailed it and few performances have been so closely scrutinized in the canon of American film as his) and the imposing house on the hill.

The shower scene. The swamp out behind the hotel. The murder of Arbogast and the tension Hitchcok creates when Lila goes looking after her sister. All of it's very well done.

Oh, and there's a pretty creative little scene that takes place in the basement at the arc of the
story's climax.

It's a classic and completely appropriate for this time of the year.

What do you make of this
project? I like video games as much as the next guy, but do you think this style of animation will hit home with audiences? It's like a cross between Shrek and Tomb Raider with an A-list cast, a solid director, a classic myth at its center and a big budget. It certainly will be interesting to see the reaction in November.

Let me know your thoughts on Psycho, what your expectations are for Beowulf and whether or not you'll pay nine rocks to see this
drivel...

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