Rime of the Ancient Mariner: The Movie (TM)

Alejandro Joseph Serrano

Professor Garcia Productions.

English 102 Studios

8 May, 2019

Rime of the Ancient Mariner

[EXT. Dock of Maine– The sun is shining on a small town on the coast of Maine. Shops are open and the people lining the streets are enjoying the day. One man in a tuxedo, Steve Carell, is running down the street at breakneck speeds, stumbling over his new shoes. He eventually finds a store, WEDDING GIFTS INC. Just as he is about to enter, a man in wretched, ragged clothing (Jim Carrey) makes his way out of an alley and they both lock eyes.]

 

Jim- HEY! YOU THERE! WHAT THE HELL ARE YA DOIN?

Steve- What the-

[Steve gets decked in the face by Jim, knocking him unconscious. When Steve wakes up, we find him lying face up on a bench covered in a mangy blanket. Next to him we see Jim rummaging through a full trash can.]

Steve- What the…

Jim- AH! You’re Awake! Well get ready for storytime, sleepy head, cuz you’re in for a real doozy!

Steve- … What the hell is going on here? I was just about to grab a gift for my daughter’s wedding when you just beat the hell out of me for no reason!

Jim- Well, I wouldn’t say it was for no reason whatsoever. I’d say it was from God’s good graces that I smacked you around for a bit, cuz now I’m gonna tell you a delightful story of why the hell I’m here!

Steve- Oh dear God please don’t tell m-

Jim- It all started long ago…

[Transition from a closeup of Jim Carrey’s face where he looks like a decrepit old man and show him where he’s more middle aged. His clothes turn into those of a sailor, and he looks like he is about to set sail for one of his last major travels across the open sea.]

Jim [Narration]- I was but a younger version of me before I made my way upon the open sea. This was supposed to be my last job on deck, and then I could finally retire. [Camera pans to an older ship that looks like it would fall under the weight of the wind.] Everyone on that ship was prepared to make it across the arctic sea and make it back before anyone could sleep a wink;  but that’s when things started to get gnarly bad!

[Transition to Carrey boarding the ship, and the next shot is of the ship stuck square in the middle of the ocean, no wind in the sky and very little oil in the rig. Jim and the Crew are stuck as far as they can tell. Pan to Jim’s face overlooking the ocean.]

Jim [Narration]- It was all supposed to go so well, but sometime’s things don’t go the way as plan. I remember the crew getting so pent up about the situation that they took a lousy albatross as a sigh of good hope. Now, I won’t lie to you and say that was one smarter ideas the crew had, but I had had my fill of that nonsense and took matters into my own hands. [Shot of Carrey shooting the albatross] But I guess the crew had to have been a little right, because what happened next was really nasty. There was a fog that engulfed our ship, and we couldn’t see farther than a few feet around the ship, but we did see one ship in the distance, and it stank rank of the supernatural…

………………………………

I wanted to do a movie script of The Rime of the Ancient Mariner because I felt that the source material itself would really lend itself into a style that could really be exciting to see on the big screen. In scenes were the crew is stranded on the sea, the shots that could be done could really accentuate the feelings of claustrophobia when they are stranded in the fog of the sea, or how when they encounter Death and Life After Death the costumes and the actors could really do a fantastic job in bringing to life the full dreadfulness of the situation. Although my script focuses mainly on the less that exciting introduction of the poem, I feel like my interpretation really brings more audience investment when we see how the wacky tale of the Mariner begins; instead of just walking up and talking to the wedding goer, I thought it’d be more interesting if maybe the Mariner actually kidnaps him so that he can tell the tale. I also like to think that my faster pace within the script helps the audience get the the deeper substances within the source material, where later there will be extended scenes about how the crew dies suddenly and how they come back to life with the help of angels to steer the ship again. My interpretation is pretty effective in trying to get the poetic nature of the piece to really stick out more for the audience so that they can really see the amazing details that are within the poem. It is also important to note that my casting choices of Jim Carrey as the Ancient Mariner and Steve Carrel as the Wedding Goer are the best choices as Jim has pretty surprising range when it comes to more serious films and Steve is able to pull off the confusion on the part so well as he’s done many films where he finds himself in weird predicaments. This film is gonna rock everyone to the core, and I hope everyone enjoys it. Thank you and have a nice day.

Alejandro Joseph Serrano

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Don’t Cry for Me, Harp India

This poem is a very powerful piece as it calls out to those that have been impacted by the never ending grasp of colonialism. The use of the harp within the piece signifies that the country of India, as described in the poem “The Harp of India” by Henry Louis Vivian Derozio, interprets that the country, which was once one of the most beautiful things that the population could enjoy has now been neglected, that it is in tatters due to the mismanagement that it had endured. The poem talks about how how many of the pleasures the harp once brought are now mere memories and that it just stands as a testament to the follies of the imperialists that had resided in India up to that point.

However, there is some semblance of hope within this powerfully poetic piece. At the end of the poem, there is a moment where the speaker, despite his melancholia getting the better of them for most of the poem, has a moment of resolve in their want to improve the country, as is described in line 12-14: “but if thy notes divine/ May be by mortal wakened once again,/ Harp of my country, let me strike the strain!” Even though the reader finds himself to be unworthy of such a task, as he mentions in line 8, he yearns for an age in which he can finally live in a space that was once the strong and proud nation that was before the colonialists had arrived.

This piece was powerful in its message about being in the face of the adversity of colonialism and imperialism that, despite the neglect inflicted upon the population and the country itself, the people strive to claim back their country in any which way, which is exemplified by even just the poem itself.

Alejandro Joseph Serrano

Berkeley Streets, 2019

Progress, stalemate, the city cross

The streets lined with potential loss

High and mighty the people are

Homelessness there near and far

The praise of progress is all there

Yet trash and shade are everywhere

University stretches long

The cultures on Shattuck are strong

But Martin Luther is not clean

And Center is seen as mean

Berkeley, city of progress,

Break division: little or less

 

Supernatural Stop: We Are Seven

The poem “We Are Seven” has a spectacular imagery that throws itself into the throes of the macabre. The imagery used within the narrative of the poem really lends itself to a Gothic feel, one that understands the undertones of death as a mere pit-stop for the supernatural, seeing as how the children do not regard their dead siblings as gone. One example of imagery that seeks to associate with the spookiness is when “Two of us in the church-yard lie,/My sister and my brother,/And in the church-yard cottage, I/Dwell near them with my mother.” This is evocative of a language that is romanticizing the dead in a manner that is in some ways modernizing the Gothic in an aesthetic sense. The one painting that I pin this closest to would have to be The Abby in the Oakwood by Caspar David Friedrich, as there is a lot of that horrific ambiance as what could be found in the poem. I feel pretty solid about my choice especially because of the use of language such as “The First that died was little Jane;/ In bed she moaning lay,/ Till God released her of her pain,/ And then she went away” really lends itself to the fact that they are dead and buried in the earth, which can be seen by the tombstones in the painting that are all close to the abbey.

Ultimately, I believe that the somewhat ambiguous language used by the speaker of the children is very much complimented by the image displayed in the Abbey in the Oakwood painting.

Alejandro Joseph Serrano

Brutal Legend: “Rime of the Ancient Mariner” Rocks On For Ages

Brutal LegendThe way in which the musical composition compliments the retelling of “The Ancient Mariner” is one of the most well executed examples of transcribing a work of poetry into a masterpiece of Heavy Metal, One that definitely follows the methodology of Romanticism (although not traditionally). For the most part, the way in which the poem is read can be hard to rework into a musical format, seeing how the poem does not stay consistent in how it delivers its rhymes; For example, in one stanza, it can go “A B C B” and the next it goes “A B C C B” or “A B C B D B”. I think the way in which Iron Maiden translates it, in which most of the verses go for the classic “A B A B” makes it more palatable than trying to shove the original text in its entirety into a song that might not ring melodically into the ears of the audience.

It is also important to take a look at who is particularly telling the tale of the Mariner. In the original text, it is the Mariner himself who had lived through the event which he describes to a random passerby who is on his way to a wedding. Now, the fact that the listener is going to a wedding is not important, but the fact that he is just a regular individual who has to be told by the cursed fellow due to his belief in the need to tell his truth adds to the importance of making his victims of his storytelling into “a sadder and wiser man.” However, when you get into the speaker/singer of Iron Maiden, he is not retelling the story from his point of view but rather passionately telling the story of the Mariner from the text, as we hear the singer never refer to himself as the Mariner. This creates a bit of a disconnect from the text that can’t be recaptured; and yet, the lyrical nature of the composition does add an epic nature to the tale of the Mariner that was not originally there within the text, as it could easily be read as a Shel Silverstein poem in the right delivery.

The tone plays a major part in both interpretations, whereas the original text has one that is foreboding and conscientious of its ultimate message and the Iron Maiden single switches from epic fantastical legend to ghost story to brutal legend of the ultimate rock-itude in the matter of fifteen minutes. In the original text, it works as it was not ultimately meant to be a song so it comes off very memorable due to the fact the pauses within the text are so lifelike by themselves that the story is able to be more digestible and lasts longer in the minds of the reader. In the Iron Maiden track, its loud and fast and heavy, the guitar riffs screeching like the spirits and the bass keeping the blood pumping, the drums thundering in the back so loud it’s impossible to ignore the tale of the Mariner. It ultimately keeps the audience invested as the song has so many hooks both lyrically and instrumentally.

Ultimately, I believe that the Iron Maiden Interpretation is definitely an embodiment of Romantic poetry as it is full of passion and rhythm in a way that completely engrosses the audience; just as how Romantic art draws the view in with its beautiful depictions of the subject, music is able to move the soul in a manner that no other artistic medium can replicate: it can rock on in the minds of listeners for generations as long as it kicks ass. And this track is the Brutal Legend of Kick-Assery.

-Alejandro Joseph Serrano

A Discourse of Dichotomy Differentiating the Dutiful and the Detested

Context: What if William Apess and Mary Rowlandson lived in the same time period, and Will made a critique about her depiction of the native people that had taken her captive?

[1] It has come to my attention that there has been a sort of narrative being told to the public that seeks to paint the picture of my people in a light that leaves them within the shadows of diabolic beasts.

[2] I, William Apess, have seen this sort of rhetoric used once before against my people, in which they are distrusted and detested by the White race that seeks to keep the indiginous population in a state reminiscent of incapacitated imprisonment. The tale told by one Mary Rowlandson is one that seeks to profit off of her “misfortunes” and “divine strength” that made her a more heavenly individual.

[3] To that, I say she is a scoundrel! Her belief is skewed to a critical fault; in that she has set herself as a martyr in the eyes of God for being in the company of my kin that she viewed as a most heinous race. There are cases to be made that there are certainly bad apples to be had in the world, but in her instance it is by her account that she perceives the bushel to be sour. Her belief is set in a mindset that believes my kind to be savage, and to that I ask her to put the shoe on the other foot; what is it that her captors would say if the tone of skin were to be reversed?

[4] The injustice described within the pages of her account are to be seen as straight fiction, as she has deluded herself into the state of a damsel in distress when in the reality of the situation she was just a woman experiencing similar treatment upon those with black skin, who are treated even worse than my Indian Brethren.

[Translated by Alejandro Joseph Serrano]

Cortez and Cydaria: Love Based on Imperialist Ideals

There is no easy way to say this: there are so many different ways to interpret why John Dryden does not explicitly make Cortez and Cydaria get together. He could have made it so that it is a reflection upon the politics of having a more civilized man relinquish some of his status so that he can get with a more “savage” woman. It could be that he left it up for interpretation so that his audience could have their idealized relationship imposed upon them. Maybe he just didn’t think to tie up that loose end and never bothered to work around it to make a proper resolution to that plot line. Nevertheless, it is important to take a closer look at the underlying importance of the exclusion of a definite answer to the age-old question: why did Dryden not show the audience Cortez and Cydaria getting together at the end?

For the most part, it can be believed that their explicit not-getting-together is a reinforcement of the imperialistic mindset that was the social norm back-in-the-day. On the one hand, as shown in the print created by William Hogarth, it seems that plays like Dryden’s would have been performed in front of audiences that had a lot of wealth and stake in the dichotomy of “Privileged” and “Commoners”; and on the other hand, it can be seen as an affirmation of the fact that foreigners are not worthy of the same formalities as love, despite being portrayed with what could be considered more “civilized” characteristics as to make them more sympathetic to Dryden’s audiences. The defamation of the Mexican characters in the play makes it seem as if they are all wishy washy with their emotions and are barely able to keep it together, such as how Guyomar flips between saving his love and fighting for his country, or how Almeria works to manipulate Montezuma and winds up falling for Cortez, which adds to the imperialist message within the play. Also, the implied notion that all the characters are played by English actors (both the Spanish Conquistadors and the “Indians”) adds a superiority angle upon the whole of the play.

To sum up all that make this work a nationalistic, imperialist, elitist piece with a hankering for driving it’s non-saterical messages, it was all on the part of Dryden to keep Cortez and Cydaria apart as to ensure that they are not worthy of a relationship as a meaning for keeping these characters (and what they represent) in a lesser state.