Monday, July 6. 2015
Stranger Than Fiction: Short Responses
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Stranger than Fiction: Short Responses
1.Harold Crick is a meticulous man who does everything precisely every day. He has a strict schedule he sticks to to keep his life organized. He is extremely intelligent and punctual, but he is so caught up with being exact he forgets to actually be free and live his life. He would do many things alone because he didn’t have time to make friends and go out and be free.
2.Ana Pascal is a baker who is eccentric and outgoing. She is a witty and sarcastic and sort of a rebel. She loves to help people in need, so she does not approve of government taxes used for unnecessary things that don’t help the needy. Ana is normal unlike other characters. She really knows how to make people feel comfortable with her delicious baked treats.
3.Over the course of the story, Harold learns to let go a little and stop living life so precisely. He starts to get out in the world and make new friends instead of staying all alone in his apartment. He starts to chase his dreams and live his life before it is all over. As for Kay, she starts to realize that the characters in her stories were actual people. Since she wrote tragedies, these innocent heroes died. She had killed these people off as if they were mere ants being crushed, but when she met the real Harold Crick, she knew she had to stop this madness. She started to get frustrated and angry and she just couldn’t let him die. In the end, she lets Harold live his life as he continues his relationship with Ana.
4.I think Ana is the most realistic character. She is just a regular baker who is trying to keep up with taxes. She doesn’t hear voices that command the choices you make in life. She doesn’t want to write a story that kills off people. She has a normal life serving scrumptious cookies to hungry customers to make them feel happier inside, just like her Bavarian sugar cookies comforted the severely-injured Harold. She is like any typical person who likes to just live their life to the fullest.
5.I think Harold’s choice to save the kid made sense. Harold was brave and caring enough to jump in front of that bus to save the innocent child. He was just trying to do the right thing and help the kid. If I was in his position, I would have immediately tried to bring the boy back to the curb to save his life.
6.I would have ended the story in the same way because I love how the ending keeps the audience still on edge. Does he die? Or does he live to see another day? The ending is beautiful and has a lot of meaning. The tragic ending people might have expected turns into a comedy when the hero lives. The scenes of the child hugging his parent or the friends comforting the woman really touches the audience's hearts.
7.What stood out to me was the actions of Harold Crick. When Harold was still the punctual, meticulous man from the IRS, his actions were very stiff. He brushed his teeth in a very stiff manner as if he was a wooden puppet. There was no smoothness in his actions. As he learns to live his life, he starts to loosen up and he is relaxed. He walks in a very jubilant manner and seems like he is finally enjoying his life to the fullest.
8.I loved how the writer added minor characters in the beginning, such as the child on the bike or the woman who got a job. They may have no important role in the beginning, but as the story gets to the end, out of nowhere, the writers makes them one of the major characters in the plot. In the beginning, the audience may have thought that they were just minor characters, but you start to realize that they were part of Karen’s plot of killing Harold Crick.
9.Stranger than Fiction is a great movie for anyone who likes suspense and love. This movie will have you on the edge of your seat as you really connect with the characters. Go inside the brains of Harold Crick as you really understand the emotions he’s feeling and how he slowly changes his personality over time. This movie can bring a smile to your face, or a tear in your eye. This movie will keep you entertained as you follow Harold Crick on his crazy, hilarious, journey of finding the narrator of his story.
1. Harold Crick is a white man with curly brown hair. He works as an IRS agent and is known in his workplace for being smart. He is a man of numbers and calculations, and he rarely strays from his daily routine. He counts everything to the point of obsession. He is practical and doesn’t believe in ridiculous nonsense. He is serious, but his awkwardness makes him somewhat comical. He lives a relatively boring, solitary life. Every day, he does the exact same thing. Once he realizes that his death may be inevitable and very imminent, he accepts it and attempts to live life as best as he can. Despite his mundane life, Harold proves to be a person with depth, accomplishing his lifelong dream to play the guitar and even having a love life with Anna Pascal over the course of the film. He avoids taking gifts but offers to purchase them.
2. Anna Pascal is a woman who works in a bakery. She has dark chin-length hair. A tattoo on her right shoulder and upper arm emphasizes her independent character. She refuses to pay the taxes of things she deems unnecessary, though she is smart enough and probably has the money to do so. She knows exactly how much she owes the government and exactly how much she paid. She can be spiteful and subject IRS agents to a full day of filing, but she can also be caring and give them cookies to take home at the end of the day. She can be generous, but gets offended when the receiver of her gift tries to pay for them. She used to go to Harvard and was in a study group where she spent less time studying and more time baking goods for her friends. She wanted to keep them happy while studying. She ended up with a D average in class and dropped out of college to become a baker.
3. Harold learns to let go and live his life. When he learns of his imminent death, he wishes at first to attempt to avoid it, but when he learns that such actions may be impossible, he learns to live life as if he only had a few more days to live. He learns to forget and to live without restrictions, to be more open and stand up for what he wants. He proved himself to be a real person with interests, dreams, and hobbies, rather than a flat IRS agent doing the same routine day after day.
Kay was an uncompassionate character who did not care for her health or the health of those around her. She didn’t not mind about what others think, and doesn’t allow others’ opinions of her to change her actions. However, once she met Harold Crick, the main character of her story, in real life, she remembers the other books she has written and the heroes in those stories whom she killed and feels regret and sorrow. She begins to realize that her characters might not all have been simply made up. They might have been as real as Harold Crick. She chooses to change Harold’s story even after he accepted his own death and despite the thought that his death would give the story much more meaning.
4. Anna Pascal is a realistic character. She is a baker, a college dropout, a sort of a rebel. She is smart enough to know exactly what she owes and what she gave. She can calculate the amount of money she pays that she doesn’t deem necessary for her to pay, and she is willing not to pay it. She even wrote a letter to the IRS explaining why she did not pay 22% of her taxes. She is not afraid to stand up for herself and for what she wants. However, at the same time, she has a caring side. She understands that she had just subjected Harold to a long grueling day of filing, and she made cookies for him to compensate. She was smart enough to make it into Harvard, yet she dropped out because of her love of baking. She wishes to change the world with her baking, a good and honest profession she takes part in to support herself. There are people in this world who have great potential, but end up with a lower class profession to change the world in small ways. They are independent, work for their own living, and stand up for themselves.
5. Yes, Harold’s choice made sense. Harold accepted that his story could not end in any other way than with his death and he willingly went towards his death. Any other death would not have been as poetic or had as much meaning as the one decided for him. Even he agreed with this. I hope I would be able to make the same decision. What comes must come, and if being hit by a bus while saving a young boy on a bike is how I am destined to die, then so be it. It will happen in one way or another. If fate is real, then, by definition, it is inevitable.
6. I think this is a marvelous ending to the movie. What Eiffel said was true: it isn't much of a tragedy if the hero willingly goes toward his death, knowing there isn't another way out. Throughout her story, the audience is told that Harold Crick will die. When he is saved by such an unexciting item as a wristwatch, the audience doesn't expect this twist and the story becomes much more interesting.
7. The music that accompanies certain scenes make them especially dramatic and instill meaning into them. The music going on right before Harold’s “death” fills the moment with suspense and sorrow. Two of Harold’s coworkers always stand in the same spot in the same way every time they appear in a scene. This can serve to emphasize that this day was just like any other, and that nothing had changed except for Harold. The day Harold read his story, the passage of time was shown by the color of the world outside the bus window. When he started to read, the window was bright, and you could see the world passing by outside. When he finally finished, it was dark outside, and you could only see the reflections of the interior of the bus on the windows. The bus was shown going about its daily schedule as Harold sat inside and read, showing the audience that it took him a full day to finish his story and indicating the passage of time. Harold’s costume throughout the movie also showed his change in character. In the beginning of the movie, he wore a suit because he was a stiff, flat businessman without a very interesting story (as IRS agents are always portrayed as unfeeling). By the end of the movie, he had relaxed and proved himself to be capable of emotions, and so he wore a red sweater and loose jeans.
8. I enjoyed the irony and the perspective of the film. The omniscient narrator knew how the story would end. All throughout, the narrator knows Harold will die, the audience knows Harold will die, and soon even Harold knows he will die. Yet, in the end, when everyone is expecting it, he ends up critically injured but alive. I also liked how there were so many lives and stories, and they all came together and met at one point. I will probably never come up with a plot twist so ingenious. I admired the believability of the characters. In life, there are people like Karen Eiffel, who drink and smoke and neglect their own health. There are those like Harold Crick, who follow a strict schedule without truly living their lives. There are those like Anna Pascal, college dropouts who want to change the world with small actions. These characters have depth and are dynamic, a quality I would like my own characters to exhibit as well.
9. This film draws you into the plot easily and guides you through multiple unexpected twists and turns. The film is about Harold Crick, an IRS agent that follows a strict schedule every day. He begins to hear his own story being narrated and finds out that he is expected to die. With the time he has left, Harold becomes a real person, with interests and hobbies. He meets the author of his life to attempt to save himself. The most interesting aspect is that you think you know what the ending - the narrator tells you what will happen - but the narrator changes her story at the last possible moment, and nothing turns out as expected. The characters are quite believable and the music doesn’t detract from the plot. The story brings to light ideas about fate and life. From this film, we learn to live life as if we are to die the next day. No one knows when or how they are destined to die. We are unsure as whether or not it is possible to change our fate, or, really, whether or not our life is determined by fate. We can only live life as best as we can. We must enjoy what we have while we have it. The film also explores the necessity of even the smallest, most mundane objects in our lives, objects that we tend to take for granted but that make our day what it is, what keeps our day running. Without them, our days would be so much different. Overall, I think that this film is very interesting and enjoyable. It expresses many ideas on fate and life. It is well made and the characters, acting, and plot are as believable as they can be.
1. Harold Crick is an auditor for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) whose life is simply a lonely routine guided by his wrist watch. He measures his life and time down to the very last detail. He calculates his every brush stroke on his teeth, every step to the bus, the method of tying his necktie, the sound of filing folders, and every second of his life. An interesting character trait, yet his life is boring and repetitive. Tall and a bit out of shape, he roams around anti-socially. Everything about Harold is described both directly and indirectly. While his actions present himself, the voice that is disguised as Eiffel also narrates about him in an indirect way.
2. Anna Pascal is a woman who firmly holds principles in her life. She barely made it into Harvard and loved to bring out smiles through her baking. She knows exactly how much she owes the government and probably does have the money, but she refuses to pay her taxes for the unnecessary. She is portrayed as tough and hard-minded, yet she still shows glimpses of kindness and forgiveness.
3. Over the course of the movie, Harold learns to stop wasting his precious time and live life to its fullest. Instead of helplessly trying to avoid his imminent death, he tried to make the time he had left worthwhile. He noticed that the tragedy of life is not that it ends so soon, but that he waited so long to begin it. He stepped out of his routine schedule and did everything he wanted to do. He transformed from a boring IRS agent into an interesting individual. In the other hand, Kay was a heartless character who had writer’s block. She did not seem to take care of herself or even others around her. She had an obsession with death and her books displayed this interest. She killed off all her main characters in her novels, but when she realized that all her characters were real, splotches of kindness and sorrow were shown. Compassion held her from killing off Harold and he continued his life with Ana.
4. Ana is the most realistic character in the movie. She has a strong-built personality and moral. She fights for what she wants and refuses to pay the taxes for the unnecessary. She knows she is in trouble for not paying her taxes, but she keeps her principles up and remains tough-minded. However, she is also kind and compassionate. She wishes to share happiness by doing what she loves, baking. She puts Harold in a difficult situation, but by the end of the day, she helps end his day as a good one by baking him a cookie. She is also forgiving for everything Harold has done to her. There are people who change the world not by huge movements, but by even the tiniest cookie.
5. Yes it makes sense to me because now he knows that he is merely a character in a book. He has no free will.. only what the author wants him to do.. therefore he feels like this is his fate.. so he agrees with the ending.. that good people die with a good cause and he agreed. Well, If I was in his situation, I would not have agreed to the ending. I would have stood in the middle of the road so that the bus could see me from far away and stop before the boy on the bike comes. Then destiny would have changed.
6. I would have ended the story the same way because the ending suits the story very well. It was an unexpected and miraculous ending because his simple wrist watch saved him from dying. If the movie did not end that way and Harold died, then there would be no development of Kay’s character. She would remain a cruel, careless person. The ending also contains a very important line. Kay changed the ending of her novel because “... it’s a book about a man who doesn’t know he’s about to die. And then he dies. But if a man does know he’s about to die and dies anyway. Dies willingly, knowing that he could stop it, then - I mean, isn’t that the type of man who you want alive?” Harold’s decision is what saved himself and this changed the course of the story entirely.
7. In some parts of the movie, there is no music playing in the scene which emphasizes the words the characters are saying and the meaning behind them instead of the overall mood. The background music helps point out which scenes are important. The arrangement of the characters also help point out something. The way how Harold’s coworkers are always on the same spot everyday portrays that everyday is the same and repeated. The light of the morning and the darkness of the night shows the changes of time in the day. The way Harold dresses also changes over the course of the movie. In the beginning, he wore a formal suit and tie, but as he became more aware of how boring he was, he began to wear sweaters and jeans.
8. I loved the ranges of structures in the characters and the developments itself. The fact that Harold was boring and lived a repetitive life was what made him a very interesting character. Although he was portrayed as dull and monotonous, it made him unique and intriguing. His different lifestyle was something I have never experienced before which was very entertaining to watch and learn about. It was a very creative choice to build a character like that. Also how each character had a different personality. Kay was a careless writer who does not take care of herself or others. Ana was a strong spirited woman who won’t budge if shaken. Harold is an antisocial grown man who is dull and trapped in his precise daily schedule. These wide ranges of characters made the movie a lot more interesting.
9. Stranger Than Fiction is a movie that keeps you on the edge of the seat and throwing you off of it with a mind blowing plot twist towards the end. You will see Harold Crick’s life unfold as he discovers that he will die. The transformation of his life will take you on an interesting ride with mathematical statements, mental help, naive lust, hunt for death, hilarious moments, touching lines, and more. This movie shows the power of the author. Watch and see if happily ever after still remains a mystery.
Stranger Than Fiction: Short Response
1.) Harold Crick was an insanely calculative being. He was a basic man with a basic job as an auditor. He had a schedule that he routinely followed down to the second. His world revolved around numbers and exact timings and a rigid schedule, all led by the beeps of his wristwatch.
2.) Dr. Jules Hilbert is a witty man who won’t deal with you if you aren’t worth his time. He’s a very messy person. He’s messy and unorganized, but still manages to dig out Karen Eiffel’s book from within his bookshelves.
3.) As Harold battles with the constant narrating, he realizes that he’s no longer in control of his fate and is going to wind up dead. When he consults Dr. HIlbert, he’s told to go live his life instead of trying to escape death. Harold takes a risk and buys a guitar. He clears his schedule and takes a vacation from work, moves out of his old place, gets a girlfriend, and overall enjoys life more than if he hadn’t found out that his life was going to end.
Kay starts off as a stone-cold writer whose purpose was to create the perfect death in her pieces of writing. She acts coldly to her assistant, insisting that she doesn’t know anything about writing literature. Upon finding out that her fictional character Harold Crick is indeed a real person, she is faced with an inner conflict about whether to kill him or not. She becomes remorseful as she realizes that all the characters she’s killed have been real people, and is given the decision of ending a man’s life. When she decides not to kill off Harold, she’s faced with the consequences of an ¨okay¨ book.
4.) I think the most realistic character is Dr. Hilbert. He’s a slightly sarcastic professor who teaches literature. He’s a lifeguard at the pool in his school. The reason I believe he’s the most realistic character is because he seems like a typical human. Harold isn’t a believable character because there are few people who plan their routines down to the second. Ana isn’t the most realistic because there aren’t many people that willingly drop out of Harvard to become a baker.
5.) Harold’s choice makes sense in some ways. I believe that someone would risk their life to save a child, but not everyone would willingly commit suicide. If Harold hadn’t known how his life would end, he would’ve still risked his life to save that child. But since he does know, it’s a little strange that he would do it just so that the book has an amazing ending.
6.) I would have ended the movie this way because it makes the most sense. Even though Karen has been obsessed with finding the perfect ending for her book, she has enough moral left to not kill off Harold. Harold is the type of man who would willingly die for someone else, even though he knew he could change it, and ¨the type of man I would want to keep alive.¨
7.) In the beginning, Harold’s actions would be accompanied by little white drawings. When he hopped each little white square on the road to the next, the white blocks would illuminate. I find this part cute because it highlights the Harold’s precise calculations. When his co-workers asked him to multiply a set of numbers, it showed the equation next to his head. This shows Harold’s thoughts, and the calculations that were going on inside of his head.
8.) I really liked the bit where Dr. Hilbert talks about the phrase, ¨little did he know..¨ and how he created a whole lesson on that phrase. I would want to explore ¨little did he know¨ some more because it seems pretty interesting.
9.) Stranger Than Fiction is the type of movie that sends you on a rollercoaster of emotions. It takes you on a journey through Harold’s Cricks seemingly normal life, until one day his world is flipped upside down. Watch as he crumbles from a calculative, meticulous person to someone you don’t just want to use for mathematical equations. From green apples to Bavarian sugar cookies, Stranger Than Fiction is a film you should definitely watch.
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