Monday, May 16, 2005

Fictional Magicians vs. Kostya

1.) I was very excited about the magic show because it has been years since I have seen a real one. The performance by Kostya didn’t let me down, rather quite the reverse, he exceeded all my expectations. He left me wondering, more like dying with curiosity, about some of his more spectacular tricks. How in the world did he rip out the dictionary page and put it in the envelope without us seeing him do it? Simply amazing! He combined his natural ability with magic tricks with his great personality to make for a very entertaining show. It has been a long time since I’ve been impressed with an on stage performance, that includes a few of Shakespeare’s plays, but he really awed me with his on stage charisma and ability.

2.) The magic performance given by Kostya Kimlat was more entertaining then the fictional magicians covered in class. His performance was a success not only because of his prowess with the dexterous art of card tricks but also due to his on stage charisma. In society, card tricks and illusions are prevalent ways used to impress people however the trick is quickly forgotten about as life goes on. Kostya was able to make a deep impression on his audience because his performance involved more then just doing a number of card tricks. He combined his expertise in the field of magic with his ability to relate to the general audience. In his performance, he accomplished this by having a general conversation or telling a story which climaxed in a trick. Kostya easily outshone the fictional magicians because he went the extra mile by making it a theater production, which involved magic tricks. In both Cranford and The Room in the Dragon Volant the magician characters either employed all tricks, Signor Brunoni, or were wrapped up into a theatrical performance, the magician in The Room in the Dragon Volant. Kostya went above and beyond all previous fictional magicians read in class because of his ability to combine both on stage charisma with his fascinating tricks.

The most memorable moments during his performance were some of the stories he was telling while incorporating the magic tricks into the plot. I have never been to a show where, through storytelling and regular conversation, the magician led to his next trick. The magic tricks were great, but in reality, they would have been forgotten however through his unique style and showmanship a lasting impression was made. I have always been awed by even the simplest magic tricks so for the performance given in class, there was nothing done that didn’t impress me. The only thing irksome about the performance was the magician’s partner, I think the guy was his partner, who was asking too many questions. I guess there will always be one unruly fan at every show. To bad we didn’t have security. I was very entranced by the performance and will hope to try in the future to see more magic shows

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Spirited Away vs. Harry Potter

1.) I found Spirited Away to be a great movie. I’ve only watched one other anime production and have been impressed with the quality of the work. I was amazed that an anime production could hold a collegiate audience on the edge of their seats. I was always under the impression that anime was geared towards the youth of society and so I never watched any until last year. I guess I was deprived. Anyway, I found Spirited Away to be a fantastic movie that held me on the edge of my seat throughout the showing.

2.) The English narrative, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, and the Japanese film Spirited Away share many common ideas. The most obvious common ground, shared by the two respective masterpieces, is their employment of an isolated magical reality. In both works, the main characters find themselves involuntarily entering a magical world in which they had no previous knowledge. Not only are the settings in both works congruent, but also the main characters, in the two masterpieces, go through similar transformations. In Spirited Away, Chihiro begins the novel in a depressed state, believing that she doesn’t have any friends at her new home. Harry Potter also begins in the story as a boy depressed by his settings. Both Harry Potter and Chihiro, by the end of the story, have transformed their respective character’s moods from depressed to elation. In both stories, the main characters personalities begin transformation upon their entrance into the alternate magical reality. The entrance into the isolated magical world sparks the change in the characters, but it is the friendships made in the magical worlds that causes the drastic change in Harry’s and Chihiro’s personalities. In Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry, upon entering the magical world, is reunited and thus consequentially transformed by his friends. He changes from a depressed byproduct of abuse to an elated youth because of his reconstituted relationships with his friends. The plot of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban also resembles that of Spirited Away because Harry, like Chihiro, finds someone special he did not know about before he entered the magical world. In Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry finds his Godfather, Sirius Black, while in Spirited Away Chihiro meets a forgotten friend from the past Haku. Even though Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and Spirited Away were created in different cultures, their storylines and consequentially their plots are amazingly similar.