Category Archives: March
The state of Ohio as a perfect example of America: it relies heavily on both industry and agriculture; it is ethnically diverse; and it is fiercely political. “Ohio” is an Iroquois term meaning “great water,” as the Ohio River fed many Native Americans. During the 18th century, like much of the Midwest, Ohio was wrestled between both the British and French before it was awarded to the US following the American Revolution. It then became part of the Northwest Territory, and for early Americans constituted the western frontier. In 1803, Ohio became the first part of the Territory to achieve statehood. Its easy terrain and accessibility allowed it to grow quickly, with a social diversity most states in America didn’t yet know. Ohio sat between the Midwest, Great Lakes, South, and Eastern Seaboard, and was ripe for economic growth. It was a central battleground during the War of 1812, and contributed greatly to the Union victory of the Civil War. After Virginia, it has been home to the most presidents in history.
Why do you think it was important to settlers in Ohio to find “easy” terrain there?
In the midst of a Great Depression, Americans distracted themselves by getting lost in imaginative and exotic films, the most famous of these being King Kong. Set in both the fictional Skull Island jungle and the iron jungle of New York City, the movie imagined a harrowing scenario for a group of 1930s filmmakers who travel to the Skull Island to make a movie. They encounter an extraordinary 50-foot-tall gorilla named Kong, who sets his gorilla-eyes on a beautiful cast member named Ann Darrow. Ann attracts Kong to the crew, who captures him and brings him back to New York City where he is placed on public display. Kong breaks free, captures a terrified Ann, wreaks havoc on the city and climbs to the top of the Empire State Building, where he is assaulted by military planes and ultimately killed. A 24-inch toy monkey and stop-motion technology created the special effects used in King Kong and amazed film critics everywhere. The American Film Institute named King Kong one the 50 Best American Films in 1975 and the Library of Congress selected it for preservation in the United States National Film Registry.
King Kong showed a giant monster scaling the Empire State Building, which had just been built two years prior. Why do you think that “horrified” audiences? What do you think makes a movie captivating, scary, or dramatic?
“Nagana” © 1933 Universal Studios. Licensed by Universal Studios Licensing LLLP.