Monday, 20 December 2010

Funny morning...

I woke up today at 4.30 after many days of strange sleep patterns. 4.30 is literally the closest thing I've gotten to recently to a normal morning time so I figured I would just get up and attempt to be 'productive' incase this is yet another beginning of a bout of good sleep days. Just incase it wasn't though, and in fact I'm going to accidentally crash out later fragmenting the day into pointless segments I thought I'd do the thing I think makes at least a bit of a day useful when your mind isn't firing on all cylinders - I watch a movie I haven't seen before instead of rewatching Misfits for the hundredth time.

So this morning was Barry Munday, and I got to say, it is definitely the best and most awesome film to watch before you've even hit the time of morning that you should be getting up, let alone getting productive; this film put me in the best mood ever. Let me repeat = THE BEST MOOD EVER. If I'd found this film when I was on dialysis it would have been an instant addition to my rotating list of stuff that would make me laugh no matter how retarded my day was going, along with Back to the Future, Scrubs, Blakeadder, and Talladega Nights. And it's crazy cos everything about this movie is all the things I'm not about. Like, the whole of the character arc, the synopsis would sound like everything single thing I'd hate but it's part of that niche group of films that could sound like the message is so conformist, but it still aint. Bad Santa, Hot Rod, Talladega, you know, if you were told the end you might think it could be so crappy but... you know. Thank god I'm currently obsessing over Patrick Wilson and his strange obsession with emasculation, or I might not have bothered with it. Incidentally is it wrong to assume a guy must be super awesome if he'll keep playing creepy pedos and guys dealing issues of getting your balls cut off?

Anyways, I *think* the movie put me in such a great mood I might actually be really productive today. Hopefully I won't wain but I'll see later.......

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Inception revisited (Spoilers I guess)

I am currently sat in my living room, my cat next to me trying in vain to sleep while Saito's home is collapsing in on itself. Ant bought me the incredibly special edition for Christmas (you know, the one America can't get, ha ha). He would have saved it for the simulation of a celebration of Christ but he had a need to tell me to stop me, ahem, doing something on the internet.

Well, actually now that french song about regrets is playing on a high speed bullet train and Saito is talking about wool. And I've been looking at the IMDB boards, finding it fascinating that people argue soooooo much only about the totem and whether the ending is Cobb in a dream or not. I mean, as in my previous post, that is interesting, that is the very thing everyone's waiting for, but still... I find it interesting no one comments on how beautifully Nolan deals with the nuances of the nature of truth in films. When Usual Suspects came out, many intellectual or pseudo intellectual film fans could be found endlessly discussing how the real point of the movie is it's nature as a work of fiction, not just that the character at the centre of the story is not as he is presented but the very fact that anytime you watch a film you are agreeing to build what you believe about the universe based on the facts given, implicit and explict, in the story itself. That isn't a bad thing when watching a film (at least not fiction, we may care in our real lives, and equally maybe when watching a documentary we may care whether the facts we are given lead to an important real truth, but it's not what fiction is about). In a film we know as we go in that we will be shown a universe and we can judge that film on whether the dots connect up to a plausible and realistic whole. Inception is a brilliant example of actively telling the audience, though very subtely, that you don't have all the facts you need so you will never know not only how much or how little is reality in the internal universe, but you will never know which bits, which relative scenes are real and which aren't. It's the piece that's missing that's important, not the bits that are present. Before people had scientific fact backing up why the Sun is moving in the sky they had all sorts of reasons or reasonings to think different things about whether it moves around us via physics or via magic or god or whatever, and at the time these 'facts' were incredibly important, but the moment it was 'scientifically' proven that we are part of a solar system all those other theories and their importance in the past were suddenly unimportant precisely because those in the solar system 'know' could view them all as nothing more than the personal perspectives and opinions of people who could not think truly scientifically and have professional restraint enough to be completely unbiased and see 'the truth'. In reality of course those people who had thought it was God, or a view based in some semblance of astrophysics referring to the Sun rotating around us, they were still people trying to figure out what was not just true for them but universally true for everyone based on things they believed were facts. They had imperfect minds trying to think of perfect scientific solutions.

Inception is very much the same, and the nuanced balance Nolan employs shows why it took so long to write (I believe with my own total bias that Nolan was completely aware of and focusing on this aspect of imperfect minds, maybe I'm wrong and the theme wasn't intentionally running as deep as I see it, but I like to think it does).

To me the beauty of Inception is that it is All, not mostly but All, about the characters' (or character's, depending on your opinion) attempts at deducing fact out of their opinion born of their leanings and bias, and the fact that whatever piece of fact is missing changes which parts are truth and which aren't. As I said before, this is what Usual Suspects is supposed to be pointing out to it's audience if you believe what many a pretentious intellectual will have you believe, but Inception is so much a better example. One of the biggest pieces of 'factual' information never even slightly given in the movie is the science behind the shared dream, how the machine works, how the relationship works, how integral are the drugs to allowing each member to proactively alter each others dreams not just their own or do the drugs just control the level of immersion, alongside the architect does the machine functionality control whether a dreamer accidentally allows their ID, their neurosis, anything from their deep subconscious do what it is known to do in dreams which is exercise itself by going backshit crazy; in fact what is the science behind only inducing realistic dreams at all?

For example (just a few out of the innumerable versions possible ways the internal facts known to the characters change the narrative if right or wrong):

Cobb tells Ariadne (when she is screwing around with Parisian layouts) that she is dreamer and he is the subject, and his mind is filling the dream with his subconscious, then that her screwing around is making his subconscious aware that he is in a alien dream and attacks the dreamer. Same applies to Fischer being able to send agents to kill them, and Saito etc. This does not explain (hell, scientific it's never really explained) why Cobb's subconscious can bring in trains and Mal; it doesn't explain that when he does something so incredibly huge an alteration to someone else's dream that the subconscious of the dreamer or of the subject such as Fischer's projections doesn't notice that more than another other sign that the subject is in an alien dream and go for that massive sign; sure it's insinuated that emotionally what's going on is that he is so strong as an inceptor/extractor that he can overpower other peoples' dreams and put massive things in there, but what if the actual 'fact' of such a world as the world of inception is that you can only put things in the dream that's already progressing if the dreamer is aware of it too, and to a certain extent, has to agree to include it. This would change the train (and of course Mal in Saito's company and in the snowscape) from something interesting and tantalising about Cobb's emotional demons into a 'fact' that proves its all a long complicated Cobb dream based on his needs, neurosis, wants, desires, fears, guilt, shame where in the 'actual reality' it's like Total Recall and he's in a reality more like our own and only in his head does breaking into peoples' dreams exist as a possible activity with equipment and everything. The train would no longer be interesting because the 'fact' that Yusuf did not agree to it, and that Fischer's defenses would go straight for it, would become an indicator that only Cobb is in a dream, his own dream and he is doing everything. If this isn't the case then there is a strange inequality of the participants regarding the 'laws' of the different layers and reactions.

Or, if it's all true in the film's universe that dream invasion exists and the army built it so soldiers could experience war without actually dying as a training exercise, and if something about the science or the drugs, the machine, the hook up is what dictates that this type of engineered dreaming will only involve 'realistic' dreaming maybe the crack of bias is solely in the believe that you can dictate what the totem does, and you can only control the neurosis and ID when in a dream to a certain extent. What if Cobb's tragedy (as clearly hinted at in the film) is that his strength as a dream invader is in direct correlation to his strength as a dreamer generally and when his subconscious takes over he is at it's mercy more than anyone else, but tragically he is so set on his perspective that he is stronger than any other extractor that he can't see he isn't stronger than himself = what if due to the power of his subconscious and it's need to express itself, he has absolutely no way or ever telling which time the totem falls because his subconscious needs it to or wants to prove something deeper than can be indicated that way.

Ect, etc, etc, you get the picture; for me Nolan is saying look how strongly people can believe stuff and make their opinions about science and fact shape around what they need to believe and without the internal universe being properly explained in the narrative you will NEVER know which missing fact explains what is really possible. He are done it on purpose. I'll stop now cos Ant want's me to either watch the movie or turn it off......

Edit Add On:

Having reached the end of the film I think the other two glaring examples that the film gives no actual 'facts' about the scientific laws of the dreamscape and dream sharing is because every rule only applies to Cobb (or Mal via Cobb's interpretation), plus, and I'm getting this fresh this time, I couldn't put it into words before - what is Limbo? Is it a shared state of consciousness, shared in the sense that absolutely every soul that enters that level doesn't enter something in their mind or the mind of someone they are connected to, but their is only one limbo in existence that everyone enters.

For example, when Cobb and Mal entered they entered, we assume, by choice, not forced, via the (aptly named PASIV) machine, and so tubes hooked them up in reality and this kept them hooked and as they went further down they stayed hooked up and they built things together in limbo. When Cobb and Ariadne need to go get Fischer they have to hook up to go together and it's them going into Cobb's dream. But Fischer dies, his mind goes into Limbo because that is what each mind does when you are killed too deep to wake up - shouldn't this be his own limbo if he doesn't go down via the machine? Why would a previous Limbo made by Cobb and Mal be the Limbo that Fischer enters before Cobb goes down to get him if Limbo is the natural individual need of the individual mind that dies in a dream and is too deep to get out? Wouldn't Cobb have to be a God for only his Limbo to exist for anyone no matter whether Cobb is with them or not? Fischer would have to be actually psychic to know what Cobb's Limbo is like and to be stolen kidnapped my Mal to be involved in such a Limbo before Cobb and Ariadne go down to get him, and theres no suggestion anywhere else that each person is psychic or each others every thought and impulse in the dream. If the film's reality was that we are watching a film of a bunch of people hooked up to a machine going into dreams as equals (other than the idea that one of them is the dreamer and the others are guests) then wouldn't this suggestion that there is only one Limbo you can end up in mean that it's like Heaven and exists on it's own, otherwise Cobb and Mal's Limbo world would have 'not existed' the moment they leave it, just like when anyone exists any dream that dream no longer 'exists'. Or is it that it is all Cobb's mind doing what we all do in dreams; put ourselves at the centre even if we think we've including other players, and so when they end up in Limbo it's still the Limbo that Cobb knows (or thinks he knows, if you go the whole hog and think everything is the dream of a normal person). Naturally I quite like this perspective, firstly because it does allow you to do exactly what I'm doing here - go on and on and on about every single nuanced indication that it is about the science of a future technology or its about a severely damaged mind caught in a variably complex webb of self delusion, and it allows so many things people argue over to be not just irrelevant but a shrewd neon sign. All characters' bar one incredibly under developed with no backstory? Not an accidental flaw or indication of the limits of a man's writing ability, no it's a giant sign that a lot of this may be only about Cobb for the most important reason, he is literally the only one with any real human dimension. Inconsistencies in how certain aspects of the inner logic works? Nothing to do with the story being so convoluted little bits slipped through the cracks but a comment on the main character himself, and how the narrative within his dreams (or in other peoples' depending, again, on what you think the missing parts of the 'science' would be) has itself become so convoluted that as his mind tries to create and perceive at the same time he doesn't have the ability to keep it all seamless. Ect Ect Ect.

I love this film. Never before has a film made me wonder this much, or be happy that I'll never know precisely how much is on the side of reality and how much is on the side of dream. Or psychosis. Or whatever. I mean, I thought Usual Suspects was ok, didn't have it's internal theory quite right, I thought Mulholland Drive was awesome but you still get the sense that in parts Lynch was just doing whatever he felt like with no precision of meaning. This would bug me but since I've now denounced Lynch and will never be a fan again (re: Polanski letter innit). And Dr Caligari, that episode of Buffy where she thinks she's in an asylum, blah blah more examples; they were interesting but you could walk away sure you understood what happened and that was that. This is like a jigsaw puzzle but a jigsaw where each piece is made of lenticular lens material, but where lenticular technology has moved on so that you can have innumerable pictures flashing where viewed at different angles. And if such a thing was possible then you think you've completed the puzzle but oh wait, a picture from one of the angles doesn't match up, and then another after that and then.... That to me is Inception.

Thank God Nolan didn't sign that Polanski letter or I would never allow myself to wax analytical at all, let alone this much, and that might literally do what the kidney failure never managed.....

Friday, 3 December 2010

Booki wooks.

Me n Ant are going to get back into reading. I've decided I'm gonna work my way through some of the more subversive allegorical writers that I don't know, and for the sake of it I was thinking of working through the Nobel laureates. This was started with me starting to watch Blindness last night when I'd heard that it's an epidemic story but with allegorical meanings underlying. I was worried it might be like our project, which, if we do it right, should be the sort of allegorical work that fits nicely into genre, where the story plays on one level as a realistic and somewhat plausible narrative of an unusual situation, but has underlying layers of deeper metaphor and meaning to be considered and applied to your life upon more extensive thought. Like Inception or Moon, only not as awesome. Little did I know Blindness is not a film with a plausible narrative but cleverly weaving some minor threads of allegory into it but a deeply subversive and intensely allegorical piece dealing entirely with the human condition, powerfully overlaying any concern with plausibility of realism in order to lambast you with the power of its emotional experience. As well as magical realism, but I won't comment of that because, frankly, I'm not completely sure I know what it is. Anyhoo, I suddenly felt pretty stupid I'd never heard of the book.

So, we are reading books. Ant is going to read House of Leaves, primarily because it's my favourite book and I like to claim that it is such an incredible experience that it made me stop reading fiction novels because I had found my ultimate favourite book ever. In reality it might have had something to do with the fact I was sick of how much fiction I was reading at the time and it was a great excuse to stop altogether; I had developed this habit of reading about two or three books a week, but also a horrible habit of not stopping if I liked a book, so that I would stay awake to finish no matter how long that took. This naturally screwed my schedule and sleep patterns quite a bit, and added to that that often the book I was enjoying would end up being very substandard by the end I'd feel like I'd screwed up my schedule for nothing, n started thinking I should stop the hobby altogether since 9 out of 10 books wouldn't have felt worth it afterwards. In keeping with that this will be a novel experience to be me, no pun intended, to start reading again, since its been about 10 years since I read fiction novels regularly. In the intervening years I've read maybe four, five novels, either because they are Palahniuk books or they were one of Ant's favourites. Hence why Ant is reading House of Leaves. Then Glamourama.

Me, I'm starting with The Gospel According to Jesus Christ, then I might try The Stranger and The Plague again, since I stopped reading them only out of inconvenient life issues, like a family member telling me on the phone for five hours a day how close they are to killing themselves, for eight months. Then I might try Celine again, though I'm not sure I'm going to like his stuff no matter how appropriate to my tastes it might seem. Then maybe Lust, The Time of The Hero, Conversation in the Cathedral, The War of the End of the World, The Crucible, The Coming of Age (which I had on my shelf at one point but now it appears to have gone for a walk), The Blood of Others, When Things of The Spirit Come First, Cancer Ward, Humboldt's Gift, An Enemy of The People, Tinkers, Tertullian's Apology, When We Dead Awaken, Brand, Peer Gynt,  any juvenalian satire you can think of, and some Pinter. For a start.

Thursday, 25 November 2010


I've decided to take up fiddling around with pix again this weekend. It's been about four years since I took any pix just for the fun of it. I've always been rubbish technically as a photographer, but it's still the most fun you can have without breaking a sweat as far as I'm concerned, and the only reason I stopped is cos I sorta gave up on all my hobbies out of boredom, ennui, and a fear if I carried any metal objects of height I wouldn't be able to resist the urge to beat someone to death with it.

So, many this weekend I'll start putting up some shiny lights and swirly colours...

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Never Let Me Go... no wait...

I was going to post a blah about Never Let Me Go, full of my ponderings about the movie and the book, before perusing either. But apparently I have so many extra thoughts about the premise and what I know of the story, and I'm finding it so necessary but impossible to show a balance to all the different things on my mind that it's ended up being eight A4 pages long. Which I think might be too long to post. Even for me.

May edit down and post later................

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Headache, backache, eyeache...

So I've had a headache for forever. And I've been sleeping really weird. At the moment for example, my sleeping pattern was yesterday sleep at 9pm, back awake at 4am, today fell asleep 6pm, back up 8pm, don't know when the next bout will be. Few days ago it was usually sleeping 10am to 1pm, then up until the next 10am.

Now, am I not doing the script because I'm getting headaches and not sleeping well, or am I not sleeping well and getting headaches because I'm not doing the script?  I think it's there, the background, so my plan is to get back on the script one way or another every day whether I like it or not. Maybe then I'd sleep and feel like doing the stupid thing....

Friday, 12 November 2010

mad city

Totally awesome. Saw this when I was a teenager and thought it was really good, thought it was very Ace in the Hole, thought Travolta was surprisingly good, didn't think much more about it, but now I've been on a bit of a Travolta bender and took another look at this little gem.

Fuck me Travolta steals the fucking show. Dustin does what Dustin has been doing for quite some time, using that lovely voice to play Dustin. It's like dragging a broken shopping trolley over a gravel parkway. Fantastic. Nothing wrong with that, highly enjoyable, the reliability of Hoffman allows more enjoyment from the likes of Stranger than Fiction, I Heart Huckabees and Kung Fu Panda, not less. Travolta on the other hand, puts in a turn as good as Curtis in The Boston Strangler. Plus I think the only reason the film wasn't a smash hit classic is because it's believable media satire, not flash, crazy satire.

culture of explicit weakness indicating explicit strength indicating implicit strength or implicit weakness?

I keep seeing a hell of a lot of stuff in society, not just of media or culture or but also people, all around, on buses, in the bank, at any given social event, whatever, more than happy to talk about how something, some thing, that 'average' people would call slightly more difficult, stressful, hardshipi, whatever than 'the norm', that has happened to them and they want to talk about it in the sense of representing how strong they are, how much they rise above, how hardcore they must be to just deal. Sometimes the reason this happens is that many people are too unimaginative to consider that the stranger they are talking to may have problems of their own. Sometimes it's because the situation you live with is so alien to them they wouldn't know where to start with regards to the trying to empathise, in your shoes, kinda thing. But either way, there are so many ways I meet people, hear them talking about their shitty little problems and think to myself, to varying degrees of white hot rage or another, why don't you just shut the fuck up about it? You only just met me, if you talk about this when you've only just met me, you are doing numerous things that annoy me - first, you are assuming the conversation will go the way you want, with me shocked and sympathetic and maybe admiring that you have so much to go through and you clearly do get through it. Second, if you do it with me, a stranger, that suggests to me maybe you feel the need to talk about it all the time, you can't cap it, and if you can't cap it then you aren't handling are you? And how fucking annoying are you to your friends if you go on and on about this at all times, every minute you see anyone. Or thirdly, maybe you only do this to strangers, and if so is that because you assume that their time is less precious, their lives less important, born only out of your lack of imagination telling you that knowing nothing about the stranger you are prattling at means theres nothing to know. And of course, then you have my fourth, and possibly most prevalant irritant - going on about everything you deal with as if you are by default way more stressed out, hardcore, prevaling despite blah, than the person you are speaking focuses on one of my major pet peeves - trying to present yourself as strong by explicitly emphasising the weak, vulnerable, difficult, insummountable thing if your life, or the terrible tragedy that you felt such strong emotions about that it changed you as a person, that aint gonna make me think you are super awesome for going through so much and dealing with it, because unfortunately you're talking to one of those people who went through, you know, tough shit, and who dealt, came out of the other side and found out resilience is our thing. Other people might think you have super human inner strength for getting though an insummountable situation, but I think what applied to me. And yes it makes me bias:

I am good in a crisis.
I am better in a crisis than during an anticipatory period.
I'm quite pragmatic and just deal with what is actually a problem, not what happens to some people in the future but there is no statistical or other evidence it will definitely happen to you.
I believe in balancing my problem versus the gradient of other problems in the world, as well as my life balance of problems versus awesomeness and then other people's problem versus awesomeness life ratio, and see whether I think I and whoever the 'they' is, have a right to complain a little bit.

So, a hell of a lot of people piss me off. However it all depends on the situation, and ratio of occurance. As well as concurrance in some cases. Social skills and my own guilt in this situation can have a strong effect as well.

For example, I have some friends with ME, and I've had a few friends in the past with it too. Some didn't tell me this was the case very early, and rarely talk about. And sometimes only talk about in response to me ironically doing what I'm talking about hear: complaining about health problems consuming me without realising the person on the receiving understands that fine. Though they do it nicer, not out of an urge to make me feel bad for complaining; they're not arseholes like me. Now, I thought these people were stars anyway, so finding our they had Harsh Shit To Deal With™  just made me admire what I generally admire anyway. Specifically people who want to be about more than the weakness in their life which by proxy of Dealing, makes them look like they have great strength. That may be true, but as this blog shows, I don't necessarily like people who do it all the fucking time. Then you have other people who I've know with ME, and some of them... well, they are right little fucking bastards. Some would use their ME like the shield of a troll to bounce off any accusation of asshole status. One guy I knew when I was studying A levels (so lame, I know) he would skip any lecture  he wanted, because you know, ME, then five minutes after the class is over, he's around. Or having people over his flat to chill out, eat snacks, watch films. And shit stir. Yes, I said it, that vague phrase that can mean so much or so little. But really, he would shit stir all day, about every person he knew, with this shit eating grin on his face, picking on peoples' fears and insecurities, poisoning their love, extinguishing their flame of hope and self appreciation in order to make everyone lose the things that make their lives worth living, or lose the things they are about to have that would make them happy. I thought that guy was an asshole, I thought he gave ME sufferers a bad name, and in tandem I thought he was faking the extent to which ME caused problems in his life and created his personality due to his being an asshole. I figured even if he had been diagnosed then his condition had lessened when I knew him because obviously his proactive approach to ruining peoples' lives didn't fit in with the extentive dibilitation it supposedly caused when it came to doing any curriculum work or research. 

On the other hand, am I being completely hypocritical? A lot of people would call me more of an asshole now, and I am more outspoken about what and who I hate (to one extent or another given the week in question) and that is because I hated the fact that I had been so amiable and meek before I got ill, a behaviour that may have contributed to me becoming as ill as I was. I remembered that before I moved to london I had a real spark, a real fierce glint in my eye. People remembered me because I was outspoken, eloquent, caustic or charasmatic in turn. Whether I was being intimidatingly evil, or demurely charming, I did it with an intensity people didn't forget. Then life things happen and my soul started to die, and the glint died with it. Like my mother. And at the same age. And it seemed that what replaced the glint wasn't nearly as interesting or memorable. The moment I was out of sight I would be out of mind. All I was was an amiable, meek, helpful mass. No real face and no real voice. I had thoughts, big and intense, but with the spark gone I couldn't ignite. Then I got sick and realised that even without the glint I could have said everything I thought. Being meek hadn't helped my life, hadn't had any beneficial affect. I could have said any of the things I thought, even with the spark, the eloquence. And more importantly, nothing bad would have happened from it. I wouldn't say I regretted it, but the idea that I would have died a forgettable mass didn't make me happy, and I remembered that who I was when I was in Cardiff had made me happy, and being honest about my opinions and musings was a part of that. So I decided to go back to that and I am. But I don't think the fierceness, the spark, the charm has come back so now I'm just an angry girl crudely expressing caustic opinions. I don't think anyone would say I have the charisma to pull off the level of bile I can sometimes spill to make entertaining enough to remember. Or sometimes its just that I don't want to be consistently charming and charismatic. There was a time when I was that as well and it got me nothing but trouble. No, much better to be inconsistent, sometimes interesting and fun, sometimes giving off the intense stench of poison, as the mood takes me.  Some people would say I'm floating into mad pigeon lady territory. But I don't mind that. I like mad pigeon lady. Her madness holds secrets. 

Anyway, is that what my A level friend was really all about? He was about the age I am now back when I was a teenager... was he simply channeling his inner truth, based more in a truth laying outside of moral questions of social interaction and appropriate treatment and more in what his soul was telling him he'd be happy with if he died that very day? Did I not see this because I hadn't really been tested yet, I hadn't seen how unimportant certain issues of human interaction and social norm were? Sometimes what is right for the soul is not nice, not positivity, not polite tact. Sometimes making friends with your hate diminishes it's strength, allows you to remain the master of yourself and the master of your perception of proportion. Sometimes following the bile in your soul and analysing your inner reaction to everything is the only way to flush out public opinion and have some integrity to the universe, to anything that comes your way.

Either way, my perception can be erratic. Sometimes I meet certain people who do what I advocate today and I hate them. Sometimes I see people who do what I often think is pompous, self involved and without a sense of proportion and I think its contextually reasonable. Sometimes I'm the asshole calling everyone else an asshole. Like the Scottish Drunk I saw next to a graveyard screaming 'Who's the fucking best?'

But in general I will say, there are certain people in society who seem to complain about very small problems and never seem to vocalise that they know how much they have to be happy about. And for these people I have nothing but complete scorn, all the time, any time, no matter how I may be perceiving the ratio of assholes in the universe with me on one side and every other body on the other side. Then you have the people who complain about problems that are self induced and/ or relate to them not having 'the perfect life'. These people are swiftly ejected from life unless I have no way around it. I could literally spend my entire life, every minute of every day for as possible puking in the faces of these people, if it wouldn't rot my teeth and make my immunosuppressed body quite likely of shutting straight down and have a heart attack or something. If I ever hear someone talking about how they need a new car but the 80 grand they earn each year gives them no leaway to make this possible, or another faceless idiot talking about how now they have the perfect house, the perfect job, great friends, great style, a safe and secure environment but they can't find the absolutely perfect man when they have reject 600 guys for offenses ranging from not knowing what a cravet is to getting blond highlights on dark brown hair then I will probably put a billboard up with their face with aforementioned statement, asking all to honk if they think they are a cunt. Or any variant therein. I do not do well in conversations about such self induced problems. They are either people who cannot keep anything in proportion or they are trying to highlight how awesome their life is by expliciting that their only problem is X, eg small. Either way it's a conversational vacuum and you will get nothing from me. I will most likely just walk away, probably forgetting that a conversation was in progress at all.

End Rant.

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Script: this week really was a whole load of blah...

Well, the past week was supposed to be all about getting back to the script, but instead it ended up being all about being ill; having a stomach flu, conjunctivitus, a cold and then gout in my foot. Totally fucking yay. These are all by products to one extent or another of transplantation drugs. You are very well informed before organ transplant that the drugs you take afterwards are designed to stop your body, your immune system, being able to recognise foreign invaders as just that, foreign, since another person's organ is recognised as tissue not belonging to you.Unfortunately this also means it doesn't recognise all sorts of other things, flu, colds, bactieral, viral, all that. It also means you're more likely to get skin cancer but that's another matter, one I don't get since that's all about your own tissue, but I accept it on face value.

Now I will do my first post about the script. The enigmatic, never finished script. Well I say never finished, we've only been working on it since July, that isn't realllly long enough to suggest we'll never finish it. But since me and Ant were writing a different script for four years before I got ill and it never got finished I have to jest.

Anyway. I haven't done anything on the script. Instead I've been moaning about feeling ill, watching random comedies, and a Quentin Tarantino marathon. The story is supposed to be about a load of people with health problems but that in no way means me having health problems helps me write the fucking thing.

Anyway, no more complaining on that. Previous scriptwork consisted of us figuring out the whole narrative based on three defined characters and many other faceless characters with usually one or two script functions. Next we need to develop the rest of the characters, and I realised that is why I've been having problems with them. The narrative has been based around one person as the total protagonist, and a second main character whose pov we never follow specifically. All the other characters were to be fodder to move the story along and allow the necessary plot points to take place. I was hoping to elevate them in the odd scene but mostly I was fine with them being utilitarian. The film would most definitely follow the zombie genre technically without the zombies, and for such a story I was naturally inclined to create the normal dynamic - a group of people come together because being in a group is stronger than being alone when under attack, but ultimately there is one or two people who are more central, more logical, level headed and strategic than the rest. In order to create the best protagonist in these stories they lead, sometimes subtley in the beginning and then more strongly as they continue to survive while more people in the group die and the group gets smaller.  They in variable ways have the ideas that are the most sensible to keep them alive, or they are just strong, resilient and nimble enough to survive more than the rest, but they are also more empathic, they will not be the member of the group who loses their head to fear and tries to viciously sacrifice the safety of others to save themselves. The protagonists in this genre are often proactive, strong, thoughtful and a mixture or self preservatory and considerate.

That is, in the most generic of the genre. Since there are many ways our project subverts all that, straying quite strongly away from the usual content an end of the world / humanity, wierd infection, humans changed template, I automatically found myself using the basic character dynamic template to design the character relationships, and I built the basic elements of the supporting characters to support what was in the narrative. This can work fine for someone who does want to make something like Carriers, such a typical examples of 2D characters for simplicity, but if you want to do something with watch and rewatch factor you need something more.

I was being lazy. Partly because the biggest challenge for me is dialogue, and partly because I wanted to complete a first draft really fast. And if I just wanted to do something like Inside (that Dalle film) then my characters would be totally top dandy super fine but I don't want to do three minutes of character development surrounding but homogeneous death and torture.. Now I see the reason that lightning speed draft never happened is as soon as I started seeing the limitations of my characters, I stalled writing the actual scenes. I don't want Carriers/ Inside level of character development. I want The Odd Couple. I want Hot Fuzz. I want Hobson's Choice, Back to the Future, Moon, fucking Wall-E for god's sake. I want people to totally identify with my characters and be engrossed in them, in whether they live or die, do the right thing or wrong, get a reward or get their comeuppance. And I want my dialogue to zing, I want people to be waiting for that line the second or third time they watch the movie again, because hearing it again is just that good.  Some people might find that wish just a little surprising, because as you can see, I sometimes communicate like I'm a frigging litigator. Secondly, only my closest friends think I'm funny. But does that mean I'm funny when I'm comfortable and in comfortable surroundings, or does it mean my closest friends know it would be a major hassle to weasle away from me now and if they admit I'm about as funny as cancer I'll beat the fucking shit out of them?

But even if you are naturally funny, how do you write that? I mean you may watch a thousand films and be able to pull out what is great about them, and more specifically in my case you may be able to pluck out the best dialogue and say why it's incredible, but just because you can identify incredible when it's right there in front of you doesn't mean you can pull words together and put incredible out there for other people to identify. I might be able to hear President Merkin Muffley screaming about not fighting in the war room and squeal about what is so special about that line, but that doesn't prove I would ever come up with it myself.

My problem is I'm good at scenarios. The scenes themselves and what might happen, which part might play funny, how to make the whole thing flow with logic and plausibility. That lends itself nicely to rudimentary dialogue. Just what's necessary for that scene. And for plenty of films, that works fine. A lot of Cameron's back catalogue is just that. Same goes for the supposed main characters of Bladerunner (no, not Rutger's touch of genius at the end). All that can be great if you want to focus on being able to identify with the character's as realistic with no distractions through comedy relief. For example, Inception doesn't contain zingers, yet I loved it, and there is no need to explain why. Wit can take away from emotion sometimes, can lighten a tone that has specifically been engineered to feel heavy. But I want wit. I want zing. And that's not good if you don't even think you're any good at dialogue in general.

More importantly, my script is supposed to be moving in some places, supposed to be unbearably sad now and again, so it's not like I want wit the whole way through. Another problem is, I like satire. I write satire, and frankly even more so that common or garden comedy, you can never tell who will get it and who won't, who will find it funny, who will see a joke even exists, and who will just get offended by the lack of wink. Fucking hell, what a conundrum : P

I have been thinking about characters alot though, and how to change mine.  How do you choose to make all your characters interesting and engrossing without making it implausible that they would all come together in a story. There is of course the obvious, the grand tradition of only showing those who are interesting in amongst all the boring arseholes. Many writers, including Tarantino, like to focus on the occupational, combining the grand tradition with the hint that in such and such a situation / job / industry any person having a place within it would contain such and such trait as a necessity for the job. People who are as tough as each other, as grand as each other, as crazy as each other, they gravitate to the same situations because (often) they have the same characteristics, or at least enough of them. This can be helpful for both the writer who is good at dialogue and the writer who is good at scenario. Say the writer in question only finds humour about the mafia interesting, or interesting period, regardless of humour, they can fill the screen with scenes to do with the mafia if scenario is their strength, and much of the dialogue needed will present itself. Equally if their strong suit is dialogue, the scenarios appropriate for such dialogue will pop up as dialogue is written.

Then you have the writers who just want realism and sometimes the accidentally perfect humour of the salt of the earth types. This can be both the hardest to write and or the easiest, depending on whether the characterisation falls on its arse or if you are totally engrossed. Why, for example, do so many people care so much about the old guy with the bird dying in Shawshank Redemption? The scene doesn't last very long and it isn't preceeded by much in the way of characterisation, yet it brings many to tears with the regrettable pathos of it all.

But what to do when you want both light relief and emotional resonance? Identifiable, believable, likeable characters who are both entertainingly charismatic, occasionally distanced through comedy and get indelibly moving and touching and unforgettable? And yet still kookily designed with enough contradictions to create enough grey area of moral ambiguity to leave you rapt with intrigue?

For a first time writer this was a pretty stupid task to set but that's what I've set myself up for doing so that's what I'm trying to do. Let's see if it goes horribly wrong.

I'm really good with get new ideas from seeing other peoples ideas, so I'm currently doing a bunch of cliches to try to jog my brain into thinking up more interesting characters than the ones I've got.

1) Super methodological, I'm trying to wade through my favourite characters and their dialogue and work out why I like them and why they work for me.

2) Reassess books about dialogue and character development. Some books I really like, some I think are shit. Writing Dialogue for Scripts (Rib Davis) is an excellent book, often articulating what you may have already subconsciously know but had never thought through before. Perfect for me since I wanted this title specifically for what it is, a book about dialogue. There are many other great books about how to get the whole architecture of a script down and how each part relates to each other. But for the person who feels they have a grasp on all that and definitely have no grasp on dialogue, this is the best. Then you have Creating Unforgettable Characters (Linda Seger). Perhaps I only say this because I had read quite a few of the books that can be lumped into the 'they all say the same thing' catagory, but for me this book did indeed only say what I had already read in many other places. Anyhoo, I'll be rereading some of them, proper revision styli.

3) Write down the traits of your friends, or indeed every interesting person you have ever known, make a list, then take, say, one trait from three different friends, combine them together... what kind of person do you get?  The theory goes that if you do this when you need to write your characters, their fears, motivations, hidden ulterior motives, likes, dislikes, habits, you will be calling upon the memories of full fledged people, how they were perceived through their idiosyncratic mixtures of habits, motivations, likes etc. You will be creating characters with minimal abstract thought, so your characters will hopefully be less abstract.

4) Writing a day in the life of. Many people will tell you that writing a biography of your character(s) is the best way to get to know them, but someone like me can't do that - I won't know how much detail to go into and when to stop. I might end up with a novel for each character but no film. So I'm going with a day in the life of each character. I realised if I wrote a day in the life of myself, I would regularly be reminded of what in my history has made this habit or that hobby a part of my life, so the same might apply to my characters. I'm figuring I'll write the day in the life thing, and allow myself to follow what I think their background is from that. If I think a character doesn't work I'll just accept which bits aren't working for me and start again.

CLICHES!!! CLICHES!!!! Everywhere I look cliches! I know right? Well I'm stuck so that's what I'm trying. Hopefully in a week I can move onto getting all scene cards written out and move on to tackling the monster that is dialogue, and then move on to fact checking my medical research and fill in the global issue gaps through media news network research.


Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Inception (spoiler)

Is it all a dream? Is most of it a dream but bits are real. Which level is Mal on and which is Cobb?

The truth is absolutely any variation is possible for any viewer. The entire system of gaging whether you are within a dream or within reality is based on using the totems and there is no support to the belief of what the totems prove. Mal was the intuitor that decided the totem does one thing for the owner in a dream and another in reality, but if Mal was wrong, then there is no knowing which time you are in a dream and in which you are not. Like when people believed that the Sun went around the Earth because of some basic intuitions on information presented a certain way, Mal may have been lacking some extra information about the totem. The totem and its unique nature may been something in reality but in a dream is has no physicality, the laws of physics do not necessarily work in the dream just because the dreamer knows what his totem should do or not do. What if the deciding factor is what happens to the totem in a dream is not the totem but the dreamer needing the totem to reflect one desperate belief or another? Not necessarily what is best for your mind, what on the surface what might be the thing that would make you happy. Like Vanilla Sky and it's original source, it may be that any number of psychological imperatives could into play, including a need to punish yourself, or some horrible deepseated urge that the individual cannot face. Hypothetically, Cobb may feel what he did to his wife is so terrible he never ever wants to get back to a happy life, get back to his family. Even more tenuously hypothetical, Cobb may be a man who hated being a father, was unsatisfied with being tied to a family, to stability and security, he may need to pretend he desperately wants to get back since it would allow his conscious mind to believe he is a good man, good father, but in reality his subconscious is happy to keep believing he is in reality and trying to get back to his family, as opposed to in a dream, in some level of limbo and his family seperation is entirely constructed in a very complicated way. If such a hidden complexity existed, then it would be perfectly possible that after the ending (specifically Cobb being reunited with his children) Cobb's unseen future would be filled with a stream of intricately engineered obstacles to family togetherness, his subconscious constantly creating new ways he could be seperated from them in his dream world, perceiving himself consciously as feeling anguish at the seperation but deeper, feeling relief and comfort. And any number of variables of motivation therein. Hypothetically.

Catfish or Talhotblond (here be a few spoilers)

Since this is my first review and its way longer than I meant it to be I thought I'd add a summary for those put off by woffle - I thought Catfish was shit in one way and Talhotblond in another way. If the films are both documentaries then Talhotblond is a much better documentary. Also, the following is about ethics. If you don't care about ethics don't read.

Right, to the blah.

About a week ago I watched Catfish, one of the many fascinated by the trailer and intrigued regarding precisely what happened when the filmmakers' reached Megan's house. When the movie finished I was fascinated, brain boggled, mesmerised enough to want to get straight on the net and research some of the things I found crazy odd, crazy interesting, mind warped. I was awestruck by the revelation about the family and the performance of the woman. What a brave, shockingly self aware delusionist she was. So insightful, so strong to accept what she had been doing and admit it, eloquently, perceptively, pushing aside the fact that a mind capable of doing what she had done is not typically a mind that resigns itself to capitulation, to erasing the fantasy and returning to reality, moving from one extreme perception to another just because some boys had arrived on her doorstop and asked her to let them document her fantasy being suddenly and jarringly punctured.  

Knowing that I was watching the film after it had been out a while, I assumed there would be an abundance of post film release information now available about the main players, such as how Angela's  art website was doing, and what the fallout of the media spotlight was. Other than my thoughts on Angela I was fascinated with the way the production of this documentary was presented, and many of the ethical issues therein. When I started the googling I was hoping to find that Angela was doing well, perhaps getting enough professional help that she hadn't received an unreasonable level of negative feedback, or had been protected from it enough to focus on returning to a healthy mind, and I was hoping to find out lots of qualitative details about the production to show that nothing unethical happened.

Why I hoped it was true, a proper documentary: Angela was fascinating and made me think and feel very profound things, turning a banal film relying on intrigue and superficiality into a tender study of psychological issues beyond someone's control, but owned by someone trying to be strong even in the face of that. Most of us find it hard to own up to how we are messed up with even the most innocuous things, but to do it when you are clearly facing up to being mentally unhealthy without prior agreement to step up and do this, and in an arena that may incur the judgement of millions of faceless haters is entering a new definition of confession. I found her fascinating, I invested a lot of energy into empathising and admiring her, and I had done so believing that this was all real, I didn't want that type of energy to be wasted on a fiction.

On the other hand, why I hope it was all bollocks: The academically inclined critic within kept thinking several things were not consistent with how typically they would play out in reality, if all relevent groups and bodies were taken into account. Firstly, it felt serendipitous that an innocent bit of documenting of something as currently commonplace as a relationship started on facebook could turn into such an unusual gem. It also seemed oddly convenient that the sort of personalities who would think that documenting a relationship started on facebook (to me not thinking that such a thing is not unique enough to stand out says unimaginative, short sighted, superficially minded people) would then suddenly show themselves at the end to actually be the sort of people who could handle the events of the end with insight, dignity, non judgemental tenderness and emotionally intelligent empathy. Next you have the presentation that all of the filming was not preplanned, that they really discovered the story as and when they were faced with it. If that was the case then everyone processed the revelations and adjusted super quick to facing the truth super fast. The filmmakers' processed what they learned and adapted to treating the family delicately pretty sharpish, Angela adapted to having to dump any hope of continuing her fantasy fast, and then to letting these people into her home and explaining her motivations, her flaws, her needs, as well as agreeing to have the filmmaker' reveal the privacy of her home, her family. According to the narrative there was no stages of denial or attempts at psychological self protection or preservation, she just adapted within days to exposing herself to having a spotlight placed on her, revealing her private life to not her close friends, not her neighbours or local health professionals but to anyone anywhere who was to watch the film in the future. Then you have the twins. As presented in the film, they were not mentally capable of agreeing personally to having their privacy invaded, but they have guardians in their father and step mother, so they would decide right? I'm personally against filming anyone who cannot for themselves sanction how they are presented; it can be murky in many scenarios, so in many cases I might think it's fine. Such as when parents agree on behalf of their children with full disclosure of what their children will be involved. Here however, it isn't made clear whether the father knew how they would ultimately be depicted, and the extent to which Angela could be said to have the right perception to make the best decision about showing the real twins is undefined. Given that showing the twins isn't even necessary, you could just talk about them and relate it to how it affects Angela and her daily life. These were the main things making me hope this was a very well designed fiction to capture peoples' attention but leave them pondering the socially and psychologically vulnerable, those with hardship in their lives that may need social support, but instead only get attention when they do something nutty. If it was real I had to wonder why the legal departments of the distributing companies had not highlighted that if any of the family suffered any genuine harm, by other people or by themselves given the liklihood that Angela's fragile mind might become more fragile under negative scrutiny, then the shit might hit the fan for the companies for instigating the media attention by being responsible for it's distribution. If in actuality it was fake I could believe that the reason that no-one worried about legal brown fans was because everyone in it is an actor, mentally stable and prepared for negative views but being secure, ready to take on the implications of performing this act. This applies also to the twins, who I could believe were not mentally incapable of making decisions for themselves at all but simply very capable of performing their parts exceedingly well. There were many other inconsistency details I wanted to find out but those were the main ones.

Find these details I did not. Inconsistancy continued on ta net. Some of these new inconsistancies led to the following:

I are not believe this ere film is real. The marketing campaign, and the campaign alone, was brilliant. Angela was amazing, in either scenario; if she is an actress I hope they don't hide her behind the guise of the character for long, she deserves to get a lot of work. The film though, is shit. 

At one point in my web trawl I saw some references to the filmmakers saying that they were not responsible for the marketing campaign and would not have inferred that the film was some sort of thriller or horror if they had been able to control it. Apparently they added as a reasoning that the reality was they are lowly filmmakers and cannot control what the behemoth hollywood companies decide to do (not verbatim). This part just made me think they had revealed too much of their hidden motivations with that comment, since it was said with no hint that exploring a smaller company in order to keep control over all aspects of the film was considered, sacrificing a big awareness of the film but a huge broad audience.  As if getting a big company to ensure a lot of attention was more important that maintaining integrity at any cost. But that is by the by right now, what I was actually leading into is that, if they had no control over the fantastic marketing, and they had initially intended to market the film actually presenting what kind of film it was to the public, and if they played no part in Angela's screentime, then they are poor filmmakers with no defining engenity of their own. 

If the film content is real then that would make these guys the luckiest bastards ever to be filmmakers. They document all sorts of boring shit, stuff so unexceptional as to highlight if anything their lack of imagination, they start stalking some girl with barely logical reasoning behind it, and then they find enough of a crazy reality behind the relationship to make the previous scene of trespassing on someone's land (someone who had every right to not want to physically see the person on her land that she flirts with online, that is, if Megan had been real) seem validated given that they were discovering what most people would label a nutter. If you sat through the movie knowing that the ending is not going to fill some sensationalist of adrenaline hole, if the viewer was not constantly enthralled by the web of intrigue playing within their own mind, exploring every possibility available to them, then the relationship scenes would be one thing. Boring. And worse, if this were real it would make the filmmakers the sort of small minded insensitive people who have no perspective that they are not the right people to assess whether they know enough about mental health to know if what they are filming could damage someone. Equally their decision to pad out the movie with so much focus on how Nev perceived the relationship and the arc of that perception shows ineptitude. The interesting part is Angela, and this new world that the filmmakers enter by entering her world. If they wanted to make a quality documentary then do just that, research everything you've discovered, shoot more of the end, what happened afterwards, the impact on the family, and the neighbourhood, the implications of this deceptions for everyone and summarise the supposedly innocent, casual way this relationship was started. A Capturing the Friedmans this is not.

If this film is half real and half fake, then the extent to which the filmmakers were clever and savvy in creating audience involvement through a sense of immediacy will depend upon which bits were fake and which were real.

If this is fake, then the filmmakers were pretty clever in knowing that making the audience think they were following a story of casual documentation that turned into web of reevaluated causality keeps them on tenterhooks. Allowing the viewer to see that they are very much like Nev. He didn't predict what would be the reality, and most viewers wouldn't either. We are involved with identifying with him and mirror his intrigue and engaged like him in trying to figure out how accurate his guess will be. By the time we reach the end we are attentive and extremely involved in what Angela is going to explain about herself.

Here is the main way the truthfulness of Talhotblond lets itself down. That and the fact that the production values are weak and the filmmakers have not been very imaginative in varying the visuals to keep the viewer interested. Unfortunate the disclosure straight away that this tragic story is about a death due to people misleading other people on the internet, specifying which character dies has the unfortunate effect of keeping the audience passive and disengaged for a large portion of the film. You become reengaged towards the end when a final reveal is made about Jessica. Like Catfish, the reveal reminds the viewer that many times you will discover that the truth can be miles away from how you interpret them if many of our traditional ways to proof that what we believe is correct are not in place.

Because intrigue plays such a big part in viewer involvement, and intrigue plays a larger role in Catfish, Catfish will receive more interest than Talhotblond. If the makers of Talhotblond had decided to design the narrative not as a fairly disclosed documentary but as a reconstruction, with immediacy from the perspective of Brian and his perspectives of both Tom and Jessi then Talhotblond would have the same attention as Catfish, giving that the powerfully involving narrative would draw the intrigued masses to it. However they chose to make a credible documentary with care and faithfullness and it is unfortunately too faithfully past tense to attract the broad audience Catfish does.

Returning to Catfish, and the idea that is is an elaborate fiction, if the filmmakers did this just in order to get the best release, the most public interest, just to get the most profit, then I'm disappointed. It shows a lack of insight into all the possibilities. I infer here to the possibility of doing a Snuff and claiming this whole thing was meant to hold a mirror up to society. One thing the Catfish release has highlighted is not about the film at all, but about the fans and haters online (you may include myself if you wish). Most people have argued about why it is real or why it is fake, to such an extent many seem to only care about whether they can proof that their perception and ability to interpret interpersonal relationships in many forms is so much better than most other peoples. The point should really be accepting that there are so many variables affecting peoples behaviour, so many motivations and circumstances that can change the meaning of a situation that each person should take as much care as possible to protect themselves reasonably, that if this happened to them if wasn't for lack of personal caution. Or, the point should be that fascination with exposing people to public ridicule and scrutiny has gone to far. When Snuff came out there was infamously months of people going to see the film just to be able to argue firsthand as to whether the film is real or fake, horribly amoral, illegal, horrifying and dangerous, or stupid, badly made and an insult intelligence. Months after this the filmmakers apparently came out and admitted it was fake, admitted no one died, the actress was hidden from the public to make it seem real. And then they added sanctimoniously that the behaviour of viewers highlighted their hypocricy, that if people were really horrified a snuff industry could exist they should not watch it because watching is funding, watching is fueling the belief by the 'snuff industry' that a paying audience exists is true, and being a horrified, offended audience doesn't change that fact.

The same can be said for Catfish. If the makers came out at some point and claimed that they were just trying to highlight the treatment of vulnerable people, the acceptance among viewership that judging others with professional assessment is always fine, of the validity that each person should be cautious regardless of how solid perception seems to be, and being careless with our individual safety is becoming epidemic for very irrational reasons born of out of its commonplace acceptability of the web, then that would be clever. But at the moment it looks like, if Catfish is fake it only designed as it is because the makers did not have enough confidence in it to believe it would engage the many even knowing it is fake; they obviously didn't think they had a Paranormal Activity on their hands.

Or it's real, and truth really is stranger than fiction.

Saturday, 23 October 2010

The beginning of the end of the beginning of the end of the beginning of the end of the beginning?

So, here's me starting a blog. yippee. This blog is mostly about movies, thoughts and musings about other people's, maybe goals and progress of our own, the occasional list and any interesting news we like, if we hear any news, we're not very hip n cool, finger on the pulsesque. Anyways, thats this blog - it was going to be a diary of progress of film projects as well, but hey, I'm not tech savvy, in fact Im tech lazy; I like how this one looks, then I find out making several pages into blogs requires reading and fiddling I lost interest, and I've no interest in building a nicer looking one in Wordpress or something. We might build something for the trials and tribulations of life and art blah blah in Moonfruit.

A blog by a movie fan about whatever movie stuff I can be bothered with? I know, I'm so late to the boat the boat is on another continent, but this would be me trying to stop just yelling at the boy at home after watching some film, and instead saving him the grief of pretending to listen and instead say it on that fabulously forgiving universe that is the internet.

So this is me, Hels, haranging the world of the web to care what I think. Sometimes Ant might come on and say what he thinks about films but most likely he's going to be too busy making them to care.

These won't be reviews as reviews should be. If I did that I would just feel like I'm trying to compete with Ebert, and really, who is going to win with that. This is going to be a place for my random thoughts, feelings and rotating obsessions about other peoples' filums, sometimes the new ones but mostly anything currently peeking my interest or old favourites I feel like yacking about. I wanted to do something different from a lot of what's out there, and one thing that seemed different was to not even pretend my 'reviews' are fair, balanced, well considered with a mind towards the needs of a broad sectrum of viewers, and comprehensively reflective every aspect of the filmmaking that led to the final product. Plenty of people seem to believe their reviews reference what made the film good or bad, and that they are comprehensively covering all aspects of the film in question, when in reality they seem to just say that they liked or didn't and often focus on one specific bit of the film they thought made the film or broke it. So I can't do much worse by honestly saying just what I thought, how I felt and why I thought and felt that way. Secondly, in my opinion it seems to be quite popular to write longish reviews for each and every film, covering at least three paragraphs, precisely in order to be (or attempt to be) balanced and comprehensive. I thought it might be different to spend a lot of time not doing this; when I google a film for 'reviews' often what's going on in my head is I'm thinking of seeing a film but there is mixed reviews from paid reviewers, and I can't get a clear idea why there are mixed reviews or who is right because a lot of the reviewers in question will be people who I think are always wrong, yet they might be agreeing with a reviewer I usually agree with. Like the Guardian's Bradshaw will express the same sentiments as Roger Ebert, then I'm stuck. I might in this case go looking for other views and everyone homogenously saying the same thing, in the same three to four paragraphs, and really who wants to read ten or twenty sets of three to four paragraphs when you just want an idea whether its up your street or not. Same goes all the more for when you're googling a film to see if your opinion of the film as a whole is right or if you've gone batshit bananas. And thirdly, a lot of people might say something interesting, but only about one aspect of the film, yet often they will only get to this after doing the usual, the de rigueur - summarising the story and the major plot points or motivation and development. This is great for a film that isn't popular, or so indie many people reading it on your blog may indeed be hearing about the film for the first time, or a film of some yesteryear that no one seems to talk about anymore. But inception? X-men 2? Titanic???  If a film is new or so goddamn wellknown you would have to (HAVE TO!) be an alien come down yesterday to, you know, do a Third Rock from Sun in order to not know the premise, I will not write one, I might just blah about one thing I thought was really eyecatching.

So, there's me explaining. Wasn't that fun?
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