Sandman Stories--The Film Study

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(by Meg, added on 19 March 2012 05:53 AM)

Everyone else was settling in as well. Now enter Ms. Dumass, stage left. Class was officially in session. Ms. Dumass started with the opening lines:

"OK, we're going to be watching this movie, and we're going to analyze the plot and all that good stuff. Now in this movie, there's all the elements of a story, like foreshadowing and symbolism and metaphors. And in the climax, somebody dies."

If she'd intended to create a dramatic effect, she failed. Quite dramatically. These days, people died in movies all the time--and they usually didn't even wait for the climax.

So on went the movie, without further adieu. The previews were as uneventful as they ever were. I guess Ms. Dumass didn't believe in fast-forwarding. And then the movie actually started and the volume got turned up a little. Had to give the school credit for this--this was a pretty intense sound system they had installed here. What a pleasant surprise! It's not everyday you learn that you're classroom's equipped with at least 7.0 surround sound. I personally wouldn't have guessed they had it in the budget. The opening scene was of the inside of a car driving down a gravel road, and I could hear, almost feel, the engine rev. Either the car was speeding up or the road was getting steeper. These subs were absolutely amazing! I stretched out my legs in front of me under my desk--and kicked something solid. Awww why! I was just kicking back to enjoy this and the guy in front of me had to move his seat back. Lame. But whatever, this was too cool to miss. I heard the snap and scratch of small twigs and bushes as they lost their battles with the oncoming vehicle. The crunch of gravel under the tires. The muffled sound of wind blowing outside. Sounds were coming from all around me--and it was so real. You know you're really into the movie when it starts making you cold. Man, the crappy plastic chair I was sitting in even felt a little softer, like the cushioned seat of a car. I reached down for my backpack on the floor, to fish out my hoodie, and that was when a got a little surprise.

Oh I found my hoodie alright, but by then I completely forgot about being cold. Oh man, I had much, much bigger issues! The feeling was kinda like going to sleep in your nice warm familiar bed, and waking up in a place that was definitely not your comfy bed, which of course you don't remember leaving. I'd never sleepwalked before in my life, but now I thought I understood how it must feel to wake up somewhere completely different then where you went to bed. Not exactly the most expected thing in the world, but in its own way, kinda exhilarating. You see I never got the chance to reach down for my backpack. Turns out all I had to do was lean forward and to the right a little. The car must've chose that moment to turn a nice sharp corner. With most of my weight being shifted forward, the sudden movement it caught me off balance. I fell sideways--and my elbow found my hoodie, propped up against a car window. Heart beginning to race, I tried to get my mind around this. My backpack wasn't that far away--my right foot kicked it as I righted myself in the seat again, head spinning. Seatbelt securely fastened, I noted. Wow! Well at least if anything happened I'd be safe--or the character I was playing in this movie would be. I wasn't quite sure what to make of it. First the prof puts on a movie. Than I get really involved in it. Then it becomes so real and I get so involved that I actually become part of it? Did that even make sense? Was it supposed to? Did it even matter if it didn't? No. Not for now anyway at least, some part of my brain told me. I had more important questions to ask right now. Like was I now actually a character in this movie and what was going to happen to the character was now going to happen to me? Was their script now my script? And if so, was freedom of speech--freedoms of anything--suddenly deactivated? I shuttered at the thought. Could I change anything? I looked around me. This didn't feel like a script. Not at all. It felt like a dream--one of the ones that seem really real. One of the ones where it seems like you're not even dreaming at all. I didn't feel like I had to say or do anything though. For that matter, my thoughts were flowing around in my head just like they always did. At least somethings stayed the same. Next question: if I was indeed playing a character in this film, did I have any background that I should know about? Weren't all members of the cast supposed to get some kinda memo on their character along with the script? Like a personality chart or a history or something? But then again, weren't they also supposed to get a plot summary too? Right. I had no idea what I was doing here or where I was going. Or who was driving the car! This could be interesting--right now my life was in their hands. Was I supposed to know them? I turned around to face the driver's seat, and suddenly I got the feeling that I did. Quite well. Even though we never met before now. It was kinda like having a distant aunt or cousin that everyone had met before except you. You knew everything about her from what the rest of your family told you. And then one day you finally got to meet her for yourself.

"Meg, your finally awake! Good thing too, we're almost there. You must be so excited to get to visit your friend--I know how good of friends you guys are. And then she moved out here on the coast..."

Ok. Finally--SOME background here! Something to work with.

"Yeah. Stuff happens I guess. It just sucks that we're so far apart now! I _am really excited to see her though." I was improvising of course, but I wasn't lying; not entirely. The last good friend I had move away on me went to Athabaska or someplace. I hadn't seen her since. Only other friend I could think of who moved moved to Argentina. And the long gravel drive we'd just turned onto was definitely not in either of these places. I knew how it felt to hook up with a good buddy you haven't seen in awhile. And, for some reason--even though I had no idea who I was going to end up hooking up with--I was thoroughly pumped. But then something occurred to me. I'd gotten a role in this movie somehow; so what happens when the movie's stopped? Just go back to my seat in English, I guessed. I mean, where else could I go? This was a film study after all. For all I knew, Ms. Dumass could stop the movie right now to explain something about the introduction. But then, what happens to me after the credits roll?

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