Your next task will be based on an episode of the 1960s WW II TV series, COMBAT!. The link follows:
Your essay will be to tell me what you think the episode is trying to say through its heavy use of symbols and visual information.
One of the keys to figuring this out is in trying to answer a question that one of the characters brings up in the closing minutes of the show: why did the group do what they did? They never answer but part of your task is to figure out what the answer is.
This is very subjective; it’s going to be a matter of opinion and that’s ok. I just want you to pick up as much as you can and express yourself as well as you can. As always, if you have any questions, ask.
Also, don’t forget: your final project is due DECEMBER 18!
Below, sis a link to an example about how to write about a creative artist and their full body of work, and I’ve also attached another example. The difference between these and yours is that yours will be research-based with you using appropriate MLA citations:
RICHARD MATHESON (1926 – 2013): “JUST” A GREAT STORYTELLER
June 27, 2013
A week after James Gandolfini died, we lost another Jersey boy: novelist, short story writer, film and TV screenwriter Richard Matheson. His was not as well-known a name to the general public as Gandolfini’s, certainly, and perhaps only familiar to sci fi and fantasy fans, the genres within which he scored some of his most memorable successes. When he died, Steven Spielberg, whose early career received a huge boost when he directed the made-for-TV movie Duel (1972) which Matheson adapted from his own short story, said, “For me, he is in the same category as Bradbury and Asimov.”
Personally, I don’t think he stood in that same tier with Bradbury, Asimov, Clarke, Robert A. Heinlein – the real sci fi giants. Nor did he stand in any rung below them. Rather, he stood off to the side.
Clarke grappled with our place in the cosmos, Bradbury used sci fi and fantasy to comment on contemporary issues, Asimov had a sense of the epic, Heinlein set the standard for a generation of space operas. Matheson – whose portfolio was more diversified than any of them – was not as high-minded nor as ambitious. He was that oft overlooked, underappreciated species of creative talent: a guy who knew a good story and knew how to tell it well. But damn, could he tell a story.
He was a born writer, publishing his first short story at the age of eight. By the 1950s, his stuff was showing up regularly in magazines and anthologies and was soon found ripe for adaptation to film. His early novel The Shrinking Man was turned into that classic of 1950s sci fi, The Incredible Shrinking Man (1957), with Matheson himself doing the adaptation, spinning what could easily have been a bit of FX corn into a surprisingly affecting, meditative piece on the value of the individual.
The obits all talk about his sci fi pieces: Shrinking Man, his novel I Am Legend which was adapted into no less than three movies (cheapie The Last Man on Earth ; schlocky The Omega Man ; zombified I Am Legend ), and others, but his portfolio is dizzyingly varied: amid the vampire stories and sci fiers were westerns (besides his own short stories, Matheson wrote for many of the major cowboy shows of the 1950s/60s including Cheyenne, Have Gun – Will Travel, and Lawman), gothics (Matheson did five Edgar Allan Poe adaptations for Roger Corman in the 1960s, Corman claiming Matheson wrote them so well “I always shot his first draft”), and contemporary suspense thrillers like “Button, Button” (adapted into the 2009 feature The Box) and, of course, Duel.
But even within those genres the commemoratives most often touch, Matheson brought his own, distinctive humanist flavor. He was less interested in genre trappings than in finding that relatable, identifiable, universally human element within it. He wrote one of the best and most adult Star Trek episodes with “The Enemy Within” where a transporter failure splits Captain Kirk into a Jekyll & Hyde twosome. His The Twilight Zone “Steel” (also self-adapted from one of his short stories) used a futuristic robot story to illustrate – as host Rod Serling says in the Matheson-written closing narration, “…that no matter what the future brings, man’s capacity to rise to the occasion will remain unaltered.”
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