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Showing posts from July, 2015

Review: White God

White God is a movie like no other I've seen. It's being compared to everything from Lassie to The Birds, but in my eyes, it's much more similar to Bresson's Au Hasard Balthazar, a movie I just saw for the first time recently. A young girl and her pet are separated and their lives take turns that cause them to grow, in ways that are and aren't expected. Where White God separates itself, is that it's brutality seems to reflect no on Eastern Europe, but humanity itself. The metaphors are obvious, yet after reviewing some articles and message boards, it's clear they were missed on most Americans and maybe that is the point. It's so obvious, so laid out, that to have some visceral reaction, would be to admit ones naivety. I think this is the only area the film fails and not something I would have known, had I not researched the reactions post-viewing.

One thing that I was so happy I noticed early on and something I will share with everyone who has not seen …

Likes

The past two days, social media has really killed my opinion of people. People with good jobs, wonderful families, newborn babies or those soon on the way, are just tiny lonely people, looking for some sort of odd acceptance. How can people use the death of a lion to pander for likes. I'm not talking about those asking for justice or those commenting on how sad they are, but those who have twisted it to mean something else...to essentially, make it about themselves and their warped values. Ten, twenty, fifty likes. The more Trumpesque the better. The more hate in their words, the greater the count, feeding the frenzy until the comments filled with rage come out, about a completely irrelevant topic. Words like extinguish, kill and purge are used. I imagine the grin on the writer, as his pride beams. He sits back in the comfort of his home, basking in the glow of the computer or phone, feeling good about himself. Little does he realize, he's just made himself even smaller. He do…

Three Years Ago

Three summers ago, my life was a lot different. I was in an awkward position financially and I'd really come to grips with the fact that a lot of the summer was going to be spent on my own. I got into a habit, almost every night of taking walks. Some short, some long, some with a destination in mind, some without, but almost every night, rain of shine, I walked. The cooler temperatures allowed me to enjoy it, although I can remember evenings, drenched in sweat or frozen solid, depending on the season. I was in pain, because of my knees, but these walks cleared my mind, my lungs and whatever else seemed to ail me. I don't know exactly when my hip issue started, but unlike my knees, the hip was a mystery. I woke up one morning, my hip was stiff and when I left the house, I was in agony. I assumed I slept wrong and it would right itself once I stretched it out. Three years later, that isn't the case. I've learned to live with not just pain, but agony. The limited range of…

White Privilege

This was a post I wrote on Facebook after surprisingly not seeing any moaning about the Documentary by Jose Antonio Vargas, titled White People

Dayyum! I just scrolled my timeline and not a single white person got their feelings hurt by White People. I unfortunately haven't seen it, but the number of fake accounts that popped up on twitter, tells me it was a damn good show.

Here's the thing. If someone of color aka non-white says "White Privilege," are you offended? If you said yes, then you are exhibiting white privilege. It has nothing to do with how hard you work or study, how you stayed out of trouble, because here's the thing, that is entirely the point. Somewhere out there, there are 100 Black, Spanish, Native American, Arab, Asian, who worked and studied as hard as you and never got in trouble, but they don't have what you "earned" or achieved. Stop looking at the one person you know who isn't white that achieved as your benchmark. Look a…

The Ebert Questionnaire

Before reading this, please understand, I do not consider myself to have ever written a serious review of a film. I title some quickie reviews or reviews, but I do not go into them telling much, if anything about the plot, the actors or any other major aspects that would qualify them as real reviews. I despise reviews to be honest, because they are so often wrong and, if read before viewing a film, will lean the viewer towards that line of thought. I see it every single week with someone who always agrees with what they read or were told about the movie. For me, I enjoy the blind exploration. As for this, I just found it interesting.

QUESTIONNAIRE:
1. Where did you grow up, and what was it like? Brooklyn, New York from 1970-1985. It was a mixed bag of cultures and ethnicity and it taught me to look for the beauty in what was different about people, but also how much we're all the same, despite the appearance of being so very different. I think, later in life, when I delved into fo…

Free Writing - Take 91

Yell! Scream! Hit inanimate objects! This is what we do when we're mad. It's been years since it's gotten to this, but it does happen. It used to happen more and at the end of the day, it's more frustration than anger. Sadly, it seems that my life has been filled this frustration and this is generally my release. Did it feel good? Not particularly when it happened, but afterwards, when I calmed down, stopped sweating and someone made me laugh; yes it did. It didn't matter that the object of my frustration won't change and probably didn't hear one word, because why would anyone change after 45 years (the span of my life) of selfishness. When someone expends so much energy making stories about one person, to make themselves feel better about their own inadequacies, there is not changing that person. I've been told I think I'm always right, but I actually don't. I just need someone to explain what is wrong and believe it or not, I say sorry and you…

Quickie Review -The Salt of The Earth

I realize that we all view the world very differently and that art, in all of its many forms is subjective, but there is something about art that we own. We can view a film, a painting, a sculpture or music and writing in any way we see fit, and yes, we can own it. Not in the literal sense, but we can insert our own values, our own experiences and our own heart into it and make it mean anything we want. This, and only this, is why photography is different. We can relate a memory of a tree, a bridge or a cloud and possibly, just possibly we can own the same feeling as the person who stood on a hilltop and snapped that picture, but we can not, ever, own a portrait or a photograph of a person. Their entire life (or death) might be represented in that photograph and it is theirs. To believe that someone could take this, in their lowest moment, in their final breath, or even after and succeed, because of it, is disheartening. Don't you think?

In Wim Wenders' documentary on the life…

Review: Ex Machina - Stop Calling It A "Smart" Film

Did this movie follow the sci-fi blueprint a little too closely. Introduce some people who will speak in a foreign tongue about technology, then add the technology to the equation. Have a debate about whether or not the human is leading the computer or vice-versa. Then have the human show compassion and empathy when he/she is tricked into thinking the computer has shown those emotions. Show graphic nudity of women who fit society's view of perfect, then end with the computers turning on the humans and proving that we may just outsmart ourselves. This has been beaten to death, almost as much as zombie movies.

I think the biggest problem I had with this picture, other than Oscar Isaac's always mediocre acting abilities, is that a movie I saw two weeks ago, The Machine was much better. Not only that, but being that it was made two years ago, I can't believe aspects weren't ripped directly off. Down the robots name. I also have an immense gripe with all sci-fi movies and t…

Free Writing - Take 90

I just filled out a questionnaire that I plan to post as a blog. It's about movies and I'd love it if anyone else posted their version. I don't think people understand what it is like not to have anyone to discuss movies with. For me it's like not being able to tell someone how your kids recital went or how your new job is going. It's one of the few things that brings me such incredible joy, but I'm alone with it. I have friend on Twitter I can say a thing or two about a film here or there, but it's not the same. I have one friend I e-mail and one on Facebook, but it's not the same as being in the same room and having the conversation take all kinds of directions, but most likely ending at the beginning, many times, with no resolution and only more questions. I am approaching my 200th movie of the year and it's only mid July. How many will I end up seeing? I've actually slowed down considerably and at one point had seen more than days had past, …

Awareness

Maybe it's because I always explore what people mean when they say or write things. Maybe it's my interest in where things come from, thoughts, moods, opinions. I've always been able to sift through the facade people put up and see their true words, sometimes finding that they aren't aware themselves. We love catching people in Freudian slips and oohing to embarrass them, but that isn't what I mean. I mean being aware. I'm painfully aware of my surroundings. I've been so for a long time and maybe it's that I like to cherish the things that might make me remember something, with senses other than just sight.

A few weeks back, I may even have written about it, I smelled a floral bouquet and it reminded me of a scent someone used. It was in a body wash or some other after bath gel, but it was something I became quite fond of, even if I never said. Then the other day I saw a shadow on the wall and it reminded me of a time when my insomnia started. The memor…

June Movies

I slowed down quite a bit in June. Lots of reasons, but mostly my mind has been in a negative place and I don't enjoy watching movies when I'm in a bad mood. That being said a few gems this month snapped my out and despite watching three movies that are deemed to be in the top ten off all time (Tokyo Story, Man with a Movie Camera, The Rules of the Game), the best movie I watched all month was A Separation. I'll probably put it in the top 2 of the past five years and definitely in my top 50, maybe even 40, ever.

Warrior - Hardy and Edgerton are sensational as brothers fighting for very different reasons.Oldboy (Original) - Re-watched. Still one of the greatest films ever made.John Wick - One of those movies which may be so bad that it's good. Hint: It's not.Afflicted - Found footage road trip turned vampire tale. If you don't mind the fatal flaw it's fun.Borgman - Danish psychological "horror" looks at class systems with a devilish twist.Tokyo Stor…