How to Find New Freelance Writing Opportunities — A Writer’s Path

by Meg Dowell Looking for new writing opportunities to boost your income, exposure and/or establish relationships with organizations you want to support? Here are some tips for finding and taking advantage of writing opportunities online – both volunteer and paid partnerships. I’ve only been freelancing since January, but I started my writing career five […]

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Three Dark Must See Movies – A Review by Ayesha Hamid

The following movies explore dark themes, but I encourage you to watch Hotel Rwanda, The Lovely Bones and Pans Labyrinth regardless of their disturbing and violent content. All movies are reflective of sad realities.

In Pans Labyrinth, you’ll escape into a world of fantasy where a child’s imagination allows her to avoid the world of violence that surrounds her. Stunning special effects and cinematography add to the film and help the audience to see the world through a child’s eyes. Although the plot and dialogue is compelling, the movie would still be worth watching just for the stunning special effects and cinematography. The audience is able to see the world through a child’s eyes.

With an exceptional performance by Don Cheadle, Hotel Rwanda is based on the true story of Paul Rusesabagina. The film is a critique of both human capability to commit violence and the lack of action on the part of bystanders able to curb violence. The Rwandan atrocities of 1994 are explored in depth along with questions of power, race, and wealth.

The Lovely Bones, like Pans Labyrinth, is also presented to the audience from a child’s perspective. The film is haunting and has a dream/nightmare like quality. The issue of child abduction is explored at length. The cinematography and special effects are also exceptional. This is a frightening and gut wrenching film and, like Pans Labyrinth and Hotel Rwanda, it is worth watching to help us remember that the world is full of unspeakable pain and if the opportunity is somehow presented to us than we should try to change things for the better.

All movies are available on DVD.

Perfume – A Review by Ayesha Hamid

This is an excellent movie, especially if you like films that suspend reality. It certainly has surrealistic elements, however, they are incorporated into the plot in a believable way. The viewer is taken on a journey with the main character, Jean-Baptiste Granouille, as he tries to navigate through an overwhelming world; he is overwhelmed due to his accute sense of smell. When I first heard about this movie, I thought it a little strange that the film’s focus was a man’s sense of smell. Yet, the plot does work out wonderfully. Granouille’s heightened “olfactory sense” is both a blessing and a curse. On the one hand it gives him abilities that others don’t have. At the same time, he is constantly isolated and misunderstood. The audience follows the main character as he tries to understand, connect and most importantly find meaning. Great cinematography, with intriguing scenery, and excellent attention to detail all add to this movie.

The Conjuring – A Review by Ayesha Hamid

The Conjuring is one of the most spine-tingling movies I’ve recently watched. Themes and motifs center around the mystery of evil. When a horror movie attempts too much explanation of what evil is, then it loses it’s power. The Conjuring does not do this. Evil is explored and examined, but the audience never fully understands what it is

Some of the scenes and character interaction in this movie is cliche, however, the plot, mystery and suspense of the movie all add to making the Conjuring a rather scary movie.  The central story revolves around a family that becomes haunted by an evil entity and the paranormal experts that help the family to free themselves of the haunting.  This movie definitely has the ability to shock, scare and make you gasp. What shocks in this movie is well-thought out; things are not shocking for their own sake but are connected to the overall story.

Crimson Peak – A Review by Ayesha Hamid

Guillermo del Toro’s movies mix the beautiful with the horrific. Like his other films, Crimson Peak is also one filled with beauty; unique structure and color adds to the stunning quality of this film. Watching this movie, I became thoroughly absorbed in its visual aspects, including its detailed setting, which transports the onlooker to another time.

On the other hand, the horrific in this film is something that has to be looked at more closely. Del Toro reaches for the same elements that terrified the audience in movies like Pans Labyrinth and The Orphanage. In Crimson Peak, ghosts rise out of unexpected places and reach out, trying to make themselves known. They want to confuse, interact with, and horrify the characters, as well as the audience. These supernatural elements are interesting and do add to the plot, however, the plot of the movie is predictable. So, the elements that are meant to shock do not. The audience knows what’s coming next.

Del Toro succeeds in creating a story filled with the mythical. From red colored clay that’s overrunning a mansion, evil siblings, and forbidden places, Crimson Peak feels like a fairy tale come to life, but those that are looking to be scared by another del Toro film will be disappointed by Crimson Peak. However, the movie has stunning visual effects, intricate setting, and a mythical quality that, for me, made the movie worth watching.

“Barcelona” by Menesse Wall — The City Key

Meneese Wall’s graphic poster art showcases man’s footprint on our planet along with the implications of our daily choices to change our experiences of life. Through artwork that incorporates jocularity, parody, satire, and/or social commentary, Wall’s posters spotlight today’s truths and suggest ideas we each can implement to make a difference. More of Wall’s creative […]

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