The Shawshank Redemption – Three Act Structure

The three-act structure can be applied to the film The Shawshank Redemption. Act I is the basic setup of the film where the main characters and the main story of the film is introduced. Act II is the part where the confrontation reaches its height. Act III consists of the resolution of the film.

In Act I of The Shawshank Redemption, the film starts off with the protagonist of the story named Andy Dufresne. The story starts with the trial of Andy who is accused of killing his wife and her lover. The film is set in motion when there is the flashback of Andy drinking in his car, who looks like he is about to kill his wife. He ended up with two lifetime prison sentences. I think that Andy planned his escape from the beginning when he asked Red for a rock hammer because he knew he would never be a free man again. There is also the presentation of how life is like in Shawshank prison, which Andy finds out that it is a very strict prison. The instigating event of the movie is if Andy hadn’t been found guilty in the trial, then none of the other events would have occurred.

In Act II the protagonist faces many obstacles. Some of the obstacles that Andy faced were fear of getting raped by The Sisters, he gets rejected for parole, and the antagonist, Warden Norton refused to let Andy be set free. The part where Andy’s had proof that he was innocent seemed like he was about to achieve his goal but that everything goes wrong when the warden shoots the guy who had proof that Andy was innocent. By the end of Act II, Andy is at his lowest point and the next event leads to the climax of the story.

In Act III, Andy makes his escape from Shawshank prison, which is the climax of the story. He was able to get his freedom and his friend Red was also able to get his freedom too. The story ends with the reunion of Andy and Red in Zihuatanejo, Mexico.

The Shawshank Redemption is one of my favorite movies because its main message is about hope. The things that Andy went through were very tough, yet he still had the will to break out of Shawshank. He was convicted for something that he didn’t do. He is surrounded by murders, rapists and thieves. He constantly had gotten beaten up by the guards. He did his best to bring hope into his inmates by treating them beers and he played Mozart so that everyone can hear the beautiful music so they can feel a moment of freedom. Andy could have had a comfortable life in prison but he didn’t settle for it. He knew what it truly meant to be free and he fought for it till the end.


Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers

The documentary Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers was a very insightful film. In my AP U.S. history class we barely have the time to cover anything after World War II and the only way we learned about history after WWII was by reading All the Presidents Men, which only covered the Watergate Scandal. I knew that the Vietnam War was wrong but I never learned the details behind why it was wrong because some people justified it by stating that the war helped suppress communism. This film reveals what really happened in Vietnam.

This film sheds light on how the public has the right to know what is going on. Out of all the men working in Washington who were involved in the Vietnam War only one man had the guts to come out and tell the truth. Daniel Ellsberg was that man; he put his career and life on the line when he decided to release the Pentagon Papers. One of the things that shocked me was how four of the presidents knew how bad the war was going yet they continued lying to the public about the U.S. winning the war. They were also responsible for ruining South Vietnam by preventing free elections and supported corrupt regimes.

The film was narrated by Ellsberg and it included actual footage from the event and it also has animation that showed what was happening in the scene. The film was easy to understand and it helped me realize that it is the job of the pubic to bring down the corruption in our government and that we can’t just hope for someone like Daniel Ellsberg to always come out and reveal to us the truth.

One of the other things I liked was the side story of how Daniel Ellsberg and his wife meet. That side of the story kind of cools us down when the story gets too serious. This documentary seems like a regular movie because of the variety of plots it includes like romance, action and lots of drama.

I think that Daniel Ellsberg should be considered a hero because without his help there would have been so many more lives ended. He was the right person to reveal the truth because he actually went to Vietnam to see how America was doing in the war. One of my favorite the part of the film was when he realized that he had to reveal the papers when his friend Randy Kehler was going to jail and he said he was happy to join his friends and that people will continue to resist the war. That part was made me realize how serious the situation was because so many people were willing to go to prison for many years as along as the war is ended.

This film also made me thankful of the first amendment that says freedom of press. So many newspapers were willing to put their newspaper company on the line to publish the Pentagon Papers even when the government had forbidden it. This demonstrates the importance of truth and why we should allow everyone to know what is happening to their country. I think that it was wrong of people to call Ellsberg a “whistle blower” because it is clear that he did the right thing even when no one else had the guts to do it.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Pink Floyd – The Wall (#5)

I think that overall this album is good, but I think people overrated this album. I think that there are some unnecessary songs and how the album could have been much better if it came out as a single album instead of a double album. Songs that I think were unnecessary is Vera and Goodbye Cruel World. I thought Vera was his ex-wife but she was a famous British singer in Britain during WWII, who tried to give the soldiers hope, which I thought was just a waste of time. Goodbye Cruel World is 1 minute and 14 seconds long where he is saying that the last “brick in the wall” is being placed which you understand in The Trial.

From this album I see the big difference in rock music from that time during the 1970’s to our generation. I think that classic rock bands such as Pink Floyd have much more meaning in their music then right now, where rock music is very loud and obnoxious, which is why I prefer genres like alternative and indie. When you look up the all-time greatest rock bands you don’t see bands from our generation but bands that are from the 1960’s and 1970’s, which I think says something about today’s rock music. I enjoyed blogging about this band because I thought at first I wouldn’t like it very much but I actually am interested in finding more of their music from their other albums. I rated this album 4 out of five because overall it was good but wasn’t perfect.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Pink Floyd – The Wall (#4)

Top Favorite Songs: Goodbye Blue Sky

Goodbye Blue Sky one my top favorite songs because I like how the song have a very calm melody but the lyrics are very rough. The main thing I like about this song is the video of it because it is an animation that brings the harsh lyrics into life. The artist behind the amazing artwork is Gerald Scarfe, who also did the artwork for the The Wall Cover. I also like the use of guitar which was used to transition from the first part of the album to the second part, since Goodbye Blue Sky was the first song of the second part of the album. Roger Waters said in his interview that the song is mainly about, “it’s remembering one’s childhood and then getting ready to set off into the rest of one’s life.” When you listen to the music more and more you notice that what Waters said does make sense because in the song The Thin Ice blue represented the beginning of the character Pink’s childhood and in this song it says goodbye to the blue sky. In the lines that says, “The flames are all long gone, but the pain lingers on,” mean that his injury from his past experiences are healed but what’s left behind is the emotional scars, which created the foundation for the wall.

In the film the part when this song comes up it looks very dark because the blue sky turns into something that looks like an evil world. There is the scene where bombs are being dropped, that represents when Germany dropped bombs in England. In the beginning there is the dove which represents peace which is torn apart and turned into the German war eagle, which means that there is no longer peace but just chaos. After all the lives that are sacrificed by both the good and bad side did the dove returns, it questioned if the war is justifiable. I think that the video give good symbolism on WWII and it brings up issues that were there during that time.

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Rating: 5 out of 5

Pink Floyd – The Wall (#3)

Top Favorite Songs: The Thin Ice

I really like the song The Thin Ice because it was really sad and slow in a good way. You can even detect the sadness in the lyrics with lines such as “Of a million tear-stained eyes
Don’t be surprised when a crack in the ice.” What Roger Waters mean in this song is his disliking to the “modern life.”  The first half of the album mentions blue which represent virtue and purity which he is during his childhood. The beginning of the song was written by David Gilmour which is very easygoing and implies warmth then the other half which is written by Roger Waters is very harsh. He implies “a crack in the ice” meaning the loss of innocence. The warmth in the sea turns into something that is cold and stiff.

In the film there is the scene of men in the army who are helping each other and some who are dead. This scene represents a part of Waters life where his dad died from WWII. There is also the message of being against war because in the beginning of the song it says the mom and dad loves the baby but how can they love the baby if they are sending their children to war. The imagery used in the video I think is really creative and there are also a lot of meanings behind all the scenes like near the end where Pink is swimming in a pool of blood but in a way that it looks like the crucifixion of Jesus. Jesus is known for being unselfish whereas Pink is very selfish because he is creating a “wall” to escape the world instead of helping to improve it.

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Rating: 5 out of 5

Pink Floyd – The Wall (#2)

Top Favorite Songs: Another Brick In The Wall Part 2

Most people think that real Pink Floyd fans wouldn’t think this is one of the top songs in the album but since I am not an actual Pink Floyd fan, I think Another Brick in the Wall is one of the top song in the album. They think that Roger Waters sold himself out in this song because of how commercial it is with its beat. The album is based on Roger Waters’s life. I was surprised by this song at first because it criticized the education system. This song shows what Waters thinks of the educational system during the 50’s. He believes that instead of teaching the kids to stand up for their beliefs, the teachers taught the kids to keep quiet. The Wall symbolizes the isolation that Waters feel around society. He loses his father when he was young during WWII, which starts his isolation. He lived with a very overprotective mother, who wasn’t a very good role model. In the line, “We don’t need no education,” has a double meaning since there is a double negative what Waters really mean is we do need education but not that kind of education where the kids can’t think on their own. Some countries even banned this song because of the message it implicates but in reality Waters is very supportive of education. 

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In the film, you see kids who are faceless meaning that they mindless beings who just follow orders. The main character named Pink was bullied by the teacher and made fun of because of the poem he wrote. Pink then imagines how the kids rise up against the teachers and they start a riot, but in reality he gets whipped instead. The teachers become another brick in the wall, which slowly the bricks turns into a wall based on the events in his life.

I would rate this album 5 out of 5 because I like how the song is catchy because of the chorus. We can relate to Waters because at least once in our life we had a very mean teacher who just doesn’t seem to understand us. This song is different from the other songs in the album because of the disco beat which apparently is very different from what Pink Floyd is known for.

Rating: 5 out of 5

Pink Floyd – The Wall ( #1)

The reason I chose Pink Floyd – The Wall out of the rest is because I always saw one of my friend wear a Pink Floyd t-shirts every other day to school, including other classic rock bands. He loved all kinds if 70’s bands which is kind of the opposite of what I like. One day he wore the Pink Floyd shirt that had the album cover of the Dark Side of the Moon which I thought looked really interesting. I never understood why he liked Pink Floyd so much, so now I am interested to find out what is so amazing about this band. My music preference is mostly alternative and indie and the album is rock so I am not completely going out of my zone in the music genre. I am surprised that iTunes categorized this album as rock because I listened to one of their song a long time ago which sounded very slow. While I was looking to download the album I found out that there is a film based on the album. I plan to first listen to the album and then watch the film. From the look of the cover I thought at first that the album might be about the Berlin Wall because of the picture of a wall and how the rise of the Berlin Wall was a big issue during that time.

I listened to the album and I don’t see what is so great about the album. I don’t like how all the songs are very slow in the beginning, but I do like the sound of the guitar. Something that is interesting about the album is how the songs transition to the next song very well. I am surprised about the lyrics of the album because in Another Brick In The Wall Part 2, they say “We don’t need no education,” and how they criticize the educational system. In the song Mother, they say, “Mama’s gonna make all of your Nightmares come true,” which is like the opposite of how we view a mother. I think in order for me to like this album I need to know more the background information on Roger Waters, the lead singer and I need to listen to the album more.

Rating: 3 out of 5

The Wall Album Cover