Archives for the month of: May, 2012
  1. Laurence Sterne’s The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentlemen is a story that centralizes on the insecurities of Tristram Shandy. This novel mentions in many different ways the insecurities that Shandy has. For example, in chapter five when he wished that he was born on another planet and when he said that fortune was not on his side. He is feeling sad for himself and feels as if he is unlucky therefore making him insecure. He even said in chapter 7 that he is not a wise man, so time and time again he is putting himself down and wishing he were different. Another theme could be his father’s exactness, which could have affected Shandy in a negative way.
  2. The main themes of the film Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story chaos, sacrifice, and insecurities. Chaos meaning that the film was showing that the main actor’s life is just as chaotic as the person he was portraying; and also what was said in the movie that life is too chaotic to categorize it. Sacrifice meaning the extent that one is willing to sacrifice in order to achieve a goal (time with family, sleep, free time etc.).  The main actors insecurities were his nose, his size/height (shoes) and his need to be the center of attention and bigger than everyone else.
  3. The issues and problems involved with adapting the book into the film are that they felt the need to include a completely different story about them making a film based on the book. So it seems like a story within a story, which may be confusing to some viewers and distract them from the actual facts and themes in the original book. Perhaps they thought that the story was not interesting enough and needed more. It puts a different twist to the story but also making it seem not like the story at all.

This video does a nice job in quoting some of the book while showing different parts in the movie.

This blog digs deep into many aspects of the film. The importance of the source in understanding the film is because it describes in detail the plot of the film and how it is a satire. The author also touches on the set/costumes, cinematography and the cast. She points out a few things that were new to me for example some of the characters played themselves.

This is an article about how someone went on the journey of turning Tristram Shandy into a graphic novel or comic book and the obstacles he faced doing so.                                                                                                


  1. Q: At one moment in the film, we hear news about the war in Afghanistan on the radio, but no characters respond to it or comment upon it. What is Winterbottom trying to say with this short interlude?

A: Nobody responds or comments upon the news about the war in Iraq, which is odd, but it is because no one cares. They are so wrapped up in making of the film that they do not have time to care about the war. It is ironic though that they were so obsessed about the fake war in the movie but the real war in reality did not faze them. Winterbottom used this short moment in the film to further imply the theme of chaos in the movie.

  1. Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland is a magical story filled with random adventure after adventure. The reader never knows what is going to happen next; everything is new and different. The story is bursting with identity (“…who in the world am I?”) and impossible (“…very few things indeed were really impossible”) themes. There are also some instances of parallel (Dinah and Cheshire) and opposites (eat/drink me) that can be considered themes as well.
  2. Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland has the unknown and dreamlike qualities to it but it flows a little more like a story as the viewer has an idea of what is going to happen because of the caterpillar’s scroll. The dark set and extraordinary costumes give the story an interesting twist. One of the major themes is the identity/muchness theme (The wrong Alice/Hardly and almost Alice). Another theme is the opposites and impossible themes. Opposite is for example what is real and not real and impossible is that Alice’s father and her thinking of 6 impossible things before breakfast.
  3. The issues and problems with adapting the book into the film are two centuries. Two centuries later the movie is going to appeal to viewers now not back then. It is more modernized and the updated plot reflects that. If the book was transformed into a television version the characters might be the same but one of two things will happen. One that the story will be extremely drawn out with a lot more made up detail in order to run the show for a couple seasons. Or two that the story with be completely different with a lot of new adventures that Alice will go on (very much like The Little Mermaid TV show).

This source describes the book as a story about the journey of a child growing into adolescence. Everything in Wonderland correlates to something in real life. This source is important in understanding the story/film because it points out that the whole entire story is about Alice’s identity and growth. Throughout the story she becomes more independent and mature by making decisions on her own like eating the mushroom from her pocket when the queen wants to kill her (making her own decisions). There are good and bad choices and Alice learns which is which as the story progresses. She grows and matures and finds her muchness from the being of the film to the end. At the beginning she even agreed that she was the wrong Alice because that is what the caterpillar said but then at the end of the movie she slays the dragon proving she is the “right” Alice.

This source describes how combining the two books (“Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” and “Through the Looking-Glass”) is dangerous because they are so different; and that the mathematics of the story is all wrong but it can be because it is all made up in Alice’s mind.

This source describes the movie as being worthwhile because of the CGI, audio and blu-ray high definition but the story lacks in an emotion and a clear flow of where the movie is headed.

5. Q: Like Burton’s Willy Wonka, the main character in Alice in Wonderland has “daddy issues.” What are these issues and do they add depth to the story, or do they serve as an unwanted distraction (as in Willy Wonka)?

A: Alice’s daddy issues add depth to the story, enhancing it and pushing her to become the Alice she is meant to be. Not like Willy Wonka where his daddy issues controlled him and affected his mindset in a negative way distracting the audience from the actual story. His issues are that his dad was obsessed with Willy not being able to eat candy like the other kids did for example on Halloween. Alice’s daddy issues are simply his death. That issue helped her to be braver and have a more open mindset about impossible things for example when she listed them out as she was slaying the dragon.


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