1) Tristram Shandy, A Cock and Bull Story follows a fictional film crew attempting to film Laurence Sterne’s classic novel The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman. The overarching theme of the movie is the wonderful chaoticness of life, revealed through a “behind the scenes-esque” look at filming a movie. The theme is taken from Sterne’s novel, and by interweaving parts of the novel (via the scenes the fictional film crew shoots) with modern equivalents of the novels themes such as the lead actors squabbling over height in comparison to Tristram’s father’s obsession with the size of a nose, the movie lives up to its adaptation billing.

 

2) The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman is a novel written by Laurence Sterne in the mid to late 1700s. At the time the novel was an emerging art form, and Sterne’s novel basically takes the genre and turns it on it’s head. He ignores the idea of a standard plot progression, instead jumping around tangentially. He messes with the form of a book by including different colored pages  at various points in the plot. This overall havoc speaks to Sterne’s larger theme of life being chaotic. It doesn’t fit a nice, standard progression like in the novels at the time. It is crazy and amorphous, and through Tristram’s musings we see that the story is important because of the journey, not just for its pay off at the end.

 

3)

http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-21107641.html

– One of an endless number of scholarly reviews of Tristram Shandy. The book is a highly commented upon piece of work, both from scholars as well as amateur commentors.

 

http://heyoscarwilde.com/donna-barr-tristram-shandy/

– A website that illustrates characters from various literary masterpieces gives us Uncle Toby and Corporal Trim.

 

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Tristram-Shandy/115199168495732

– The Tristram Shandy official facebook page. With facebook being used by more and more people of all ages, it isn’t surprising this dense literary classic has its own facebook page. What is surprising is that it only has roughly 2500 followers. Facebook has over 500 million registered users, and it seems that more than 2500 people could muster the energy to “like” the page. It may speak to a much older audience who appreciates the book, or that the college aged users who were required to read it didn’t “like” it so much.

 

4) The producers of the film-within-the-film seemed obsessed with battle scenes and love stories. How is this a send-up of Hollywood-style entertainment films?

 

– The recent offerings in movie theaters has been a sad bunch. A quick look at the top box-office performers on Rotten Tomatoes has you looking at a list where 7 or 8 out of the top 10 money making movies are ranked below 40% for positive reviews. The current number 3 grossing film in America received an embarrassing 14%. Most of the movies on the list are either super hero epics (which combine both a love story and battle sequences) or romantic comedies.  This is exactly what Winterbottom points to with his fictional film crew. Complicated themes and historical accuracy don’t put butts in seats. Giant metal robots battling in a computer generated Chicago… in 3-d is what sells, not artistic vision or daring thematic moves. A piece of graffiti I saw the other day sums it up perfectly: “If you can’t make it good, make it 3-d”.

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