Blogtoberfest Guest Post: The Scholarly Side

Carl Nabozny, a college Multi-media Coordinator and instructor of courses including The Horror Genre, has shared one of his lesson plans with us for Blogtober. Looking to chat the hours away with the aid of quotes from horror greats, pre-written discussion questions, and notated research? We’ve got you. We’ve also got photos of Carl’s library displays promoting the course each October…ghoulishly great.

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920), Nosferatu, (1922)), Psycho (1960), Night of the Living Dead (1968), It (1990/2017/2019) all of these films fall under the umbrella of the Horror Genre. “The monster often plugs into our shared sense of the archetypes, and in horror films we often indulge our nostalgia for myth and magic. (Grant, p.328, 2005). Edgar Allan Poe’s(1809 -1849) fingerprint is left on the horror genre. Many of Poe’s methods for murder are reoccurring themes in horror movies.

Sergei Eisenstein (1898 -1948) reminds us, “Every motion picture affects heads and hearts, but as a rule motion pictures are not produced especially for heads and hearts.” 

Questions to consider: 

  •  Why do we want to see so many similar examples of particular genre conventions in films? (ex: Cowboys wearing hats and riding horses) 
  •  Are some people drawn to certain genres because of an individual search for meaning?  

Berkshire Botanical Gardens 85th Harvest Festival

I’ve checked out the BBG’s Harvest Festival before, but never realized it’s an event that’s been running for 85 years, strong.

One of many reasons to check out the Harvest Festival is the opportunity to see the BBG at a slightly lower cost then normal, and see even more.

The garden’s informal foyer includes a stone fountain spouting both water and fire, and was the first-place winner of the BBG’s 2017 design competition. The winners were a team of students from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville School of Landscape Architecture.

Among the many vendors was Berkshire Country Day School , which has built a flexible arts curriculum that deliberately integrates BCD’s program with fine and performing arts resources available throughout our region and community. The BBG itself offered many  activities for kids, from pumpkin-painting to the ever-popular hay jump… not to mention unicorns and flame-throwing jugglers.

The topiary garden, donated by Lucy and Nat Day, is considered one of the finest collections of topiaries in North America. Creator Matt Larkin, who happens to be the Berkshire Botanical Garden’s board chairman, is principal of Grant Larkin Designs in Richmond, Mass.

And of course, no Fall Festival is complete without gobs of delicious noms, including sweet potato fries made on-site, homemade lobster bisque, and Island Cow Ice cream — hand-made ice cream by Robert and Jane Walters, owners of the Island Cow Ice Cream Co. in Boothbay Harbor, Maine, for the past 20 years.

Blogtoberfest Viewing: 31 Days of Halloween, part one

I try to document my October viewing every year, usually because that means listing at least 31 horror-tastic films.

However, there are more family-friendly choices on my list this year than ever before; it’s much harder to sneak a spook past my small child-adult-human than it used to be.

So, I give you the first four: two were totally five-year-old appropriate, one not-so-much, and the third we should have let her watch alone – she may have been able to explain the plot to us.

I’ll let you decipher…

Disneyland at Halloween

1. Decorating Disney: Halloween Magic – Hulu

Reality; a behind-the-scenes look at decorating Disney parks and cruise ships for Halloween.

2. Uncanny Annie – Hulu

Horror; “play-the-game-to-win” format.

3. Most Terrifying Places – Travel Channel

Reality; a round-up of creepy mansions, tunnel systems, and abandoned properties around the world.

4. Mickey’s House of Villians

Cartoon; a clip-show focused on Disney villians, a la Cruella, Maleficent, and the (pre-redemption) Beast.

The Family’s First Fall Frolic!

Juli’s new school had its Fall Frolic this weekend – our first!

In true Blogtoberfest style, we documented every game, activity, and give-away…but also had so much fun. Proof:

Child asks to have her face painted for the first time ever, and does not renege on said request at any point. The hell?

Child plays spin-the-wheel game and legitimately hits her color twice in a row.

Child actually wants parents to participate in the Selfie Station activity.

Parent excels in Arts and Crafts activity.

…so does Child.

Child is actually an 80-year-old woman named Edna.

…Gourds in the Heartland.