As many of you have might have seen on my website, I have been digitally altering movie posters and other images to tell a new historical story. The results are often silly but have been a fun outlet for me personally.
For instance, How George Got His Groove Back popped into my head after researching and then visiting Washington’s Crossing. I simply had to make this when I got back to my hotel that night!
This summer my friend, occasional writing partner, and one of my #sschat co-moderators Dan Krutka suggested bringing my students in on the fun. Together, we created the framework for an inventive project in which students altered images based upon what we cover in class to demonstrate their understanding and to eventually serve as review material.
To do this assignment, students used various digital tools – from Explain Everything to Photoshop to Microsoft PowerPoint – in pursuit of their new digital story. All told, two of my classes created digitally altered images. In addition to the images, students wrote an explanation of the background of the event the image references and the reasoning behind the alterations.
In the end, students elected to join a contest where the winning two entries will join my wall of posters and students will receive a printed copy of their poster.
This is where you come in! I need you to vote for your favorite two images. Below is what the poll looks like – but to vote, here is the link to the poll. The voting will wrap up on November 19th.
Thank you for help judge!
- Remixing: How effectively does the student combine two or more mediums/content to tell a new story?
- Explanation: How effectively does the student draw from course content in explaining remixed digital image?
- Quality: How aesthetic, creative, and thorough is the remixed digital image?
The subject of the poster is originally the main character from A Clockwork Orange, Alex DeLarge. The text on the original title reads “Being the adventures of a young man whose principal interests include rape, ultraviolence, and Beethoven.” Following the format of juxtaposing two violent and disgusting interests with an enlightened and cultured one, I listed Robespierre’s “interests” as “revolution, the guillotine, and Rousseau” (two violent atrocities associated with Robespierre, followed by an enlightened philosophe). These “interests” of Robespierre reflect three important aspects of his reign. The guillotine references the alarmingly frequency of beheadings by the device during his rule; the protection and preservation revolution was his catch-all excuse for spreading terror and violence; and Rousseau was an enlightened philosophe who he often credited as one of his inspirations. Furthermore the title shift to “A Virtuous Terror” follows the self-contradicting title format of the original, while also explaining the primary concept associated with his rule. The title “A Clockwork Orange”, according to the author of the novel Anthony Burgess, is so named because of the main character having “the appearance of an organism lovely with colour and juice but is in fact only a clockwork toy to be wound up” (Burgess). Similarly, Robespierre referred to his Reign of Terror as “Virtuous Terror”, a contradiction of the morally justness of “Virtue” and its corruption with the word “terror”, showing the true nature of his reign. Finally, replacing Alex DeLarge’s dagger with a coiled roped shows how Robespierre spread his violence: excessive use of the guillotine.
In this image, the Queen of Heart’s head is replaced with the head of Robespierre. This creates a parallel addressing the similar traits of both characters, and connects the traits of one to the other. Both the Queen of Hearts and Robespierre are known for sentencing people to death, specifically death by beheading. In addition to this, both characters are known for sentencing people to death over the mildest of offenses; The Queen of hearts sentenced people to death for not celebrating her croquet game in the proper manner, and Robespierre sentenced people to death for not being enthusiastic enough about the revolution.
In addition to this face swap, the color of the Queen of Hearts’s dress was changed to reflect the colors of the French flag: Red, white and blue. This symbolizes that Robespierre was truly acting in a way that he thought would benefit France. Regardless of what Robespierre did, he loved his country. Although his Reign of Terror was bloody and violent, he believed that this fear was the best path for the country, and would bring forth a time of order and unity.
The scene where this image was taken from was when the Queen of Hearts sentenced her entire court to death. This reflects the large number of deaths that Robespierre is responsible for, both directly and indirectly. The heads of these court members were each replaced with a depiction of France colored in with the colors of the country’s flag. This represents that the people who were killed were French. In addition to this, spins shows that all of France was affected by the Reign of Terror, not just the members of society who were killed.
The text added to the image, stating “Off With His Head” is the catchphrase of the Queen of Hearts, and also reflects Robespierre’s use of the guillotine as the means of execution.
I changed the movie poster for “Carrie” to “Marie” to convey the downfall of royalty during the French Revolution. Marie went from being a beautiful queen to being beheaded as depicted by the before and after shots of the poster. Marie and the monarchy of France was ended with the French Revolution. There is an image of the Eiffel Tower and a guillotine in her hands because she was killed in Paris by the guillotine during the Reign of Terror. Many of the words reflect the goals of the Reign of Terror and Robespierre to destroy the monarchy and keep the people in order by means of terror. The image as a whole is a warning of the dangers of disagreeing with the republican government of Robespierre. Agreeing with the monarchy and absolutism would end in death
I love these digitally altered posters!!
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