The Spiderwick Chronicles (February 14, 2008) – Mark Waters
Once upon a time, upon moving into the run-down SpiderwickEstate with their mother, twin brothers Jared and Simon Grace, along with theirsister Mallory, find themselves pulled into an alternate world full of faeriesand other creatures. Unable to explain the strange disappearances and accidents
that seem to be happening on a daily basis, the family blames it all on Jared.
When he, Simon and Mallory investigate what’s really going on, they uncover the
fantastic truth of the Spiderwick estate and of the creatures that inhabit it.
Highmore, as the twin brothers Jared and Simon, and Sarah Bolger, as their
sister Mallory, portrayed their character well. I am truly amazed with the
acting skills of Highmore because even if he has two characters in the film,
one can distinguish one with the other. As for Bolger, it seemed as if she
really knew how to play the sword. The story was fast-paced but it did not
looked like there holes in the story. This is maybe because the movie gives a
revelation after revelation, which made the film very interesting. Even though
it was a fantasy story, you would think whether some of the creatures really
exist or not – ogres, goblins, fairies, etc.
house where the family of Jared moved into was really cool because it has
secret passages like in the manual elevator where you will find the former room
of Mr. Spiderwick, who was a blood-related family member, containing objects
from the fantasy world. The visuals of the creatures seemed true. Perhaps it’s
because the voices of these creatures were fit for the character. The
cinematography of the film gave justice to the story. It used different shots
and camera angles to have its audience feel like they’re a part of it. The
scene where Jared and Mallory went underground to go to the city was pretty
amazing, too (I’m thinking to build one in ours to. Hahahahaha). I loved when
the film saved Mulgarath’s real look in the ending part. I also loved the
invisible turned into visible effect, because it looked hard to perform but it
looked easy in the film – it appeared natural.
The thing that interested me the most in this week’s
discussions were the ideas of common ground and the emotion behind information.
Both are topics that we may ‘know’ tacitly already, seeing them at work in our
day to day lives but bringing them to the for front and thinking deeply about
them has given me a new appreciation of these information biases.
Making assumptions about someone, something or some piece of
information based of so called ‘common ground’ happens on a daily occurrence
and seems to be the bread and butter of comedy shows.
Even when someone appears to have accepted the information and given evidence of understanding the information they may have not understood the implications of the message.
It’s incredible that our
brains can make these leaps and deadly in the case of the military example.
People may think due to external appearances or shared events that common
ground is shared between them but to what extent? How much can truly be
Elements on which common ground is built, i.e. shared culture, may be understood by different people in different ways. A shared military culture did not stop mistakes from being made. Education, background, nationality and more affect so called ‘common ground’ in unforeseen ways.
What is said and what is understood is only a fraction of what is implied whether subconsciously or consciously. There are plenty of reasons not to state ‘ the obvious’ but this can leave gaps in information transfer.
Using emotion in delivering information is looked down upon
by many obsessed with ‘truth’ yet its efficacy is astounding. Why is a tearful
plea about saving the animals more effective as a way of telling people the
dangers of palm oil than facts and figures? We connect authoritative
information with simple fact telling yet put more weight, whether consciously
or not, on a presentation that uses emotive words and makes us feel something.
It’s an interesting paradox that affects the communication of ground breaking
scientific studies and government policies alike. In the end a lot of authority figures use
subtly emotional language in their conveying of information. Is there much of a
difference between using emotion to teach someone information and furthering an
We like to think we are rational, information gathering,
creatures but it seems our subconscious is a lot less rational and a lot more
powerful than we would like.
Sonnenwald, D.H. (2006). “Challenges in sharing information effectively: examples from command and control” Information Research, 11(4) paper 270