Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Monday, 2 May 2011

Hey there, I haven't blogged in ages!!!!! Many apologies. Too many exams. But how could I miss blogging this weekend when so much has happened!? Let us start at the beginning: The Royal wedding. I tried my hardest to shelter myself from the hysteria but it was too big. I did not watch or care about the wedding because and here I begin my digression, I believe the royal family should end as a social entity. I just don't see how a country in this modern age can believe in democracy and that everyone is born equal and then believe that this one set of people is naturally born better than everyone else. Not to mention the fact that they no longer serve any purpose(besides symbolic). That's it, just wanted to put that out there.
Anyway, the whole country went mental, it completely caught me off guard. I was expecting complete indifference but I guess the country needs this distraction, this boost to take its mind off more concerning issues and the reignite British pride.

Then of course the sweet union of rich elites was trumped by the news of Bin Laden's death. Another story perfect for enhancing government-masses relationship as Obama's popularity is waning, he managed to do what Bush never could. I still support Obama and his pursuits, I am not sceptical of him but of the whole conflict. We can't be expected to believe anything that is related to the Iraq or Afghanistan conflict after the deception that continues to be unanswered and the lives that have been lost as a consequence. It is doubtful as to whether this assassination will abate Al qaeda's activity, if anything it will only provoke more trouble as instead of a solid unit now they are myriad splinter groups ready to erupt. What is equally disturbing is the celebrations on the streets as if a new era has begun as vengeance has been achieved. This weekend has felt like a trip back in time, back to a couple of centuries ago when people could still become saints and Monarchy was the dominant system of government. This weekend has demonstrated the power of the media who can turn these events into power. I know I sound like some crazy, anarchist living in a Winnebago in the dessert right now but this weekend has left me feeling uneasy.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

La Casa de mi padre

Will Ferrel's latest cinematic outing looks like a refreshing, pastiche action comedy and I'm really looking forward to it. It's exactly what Ferrel needs to revitalize after the turgid, lazy The Other Guys. All of his dialogue is in Spainish and it looks like they're playing with the Latin american action genre, somehow it looks explosive and ridiculous in a good way, without being too silly. The look of the film is smooth and intense complete with versatile slow mo camera work, which is unexpected considering this is the first feature from director Mat Piedmont who previously directed sketches for SNL.

Saturday, 26 March 2011

A belated review of The Walking Dead

So I finally gave in and watched the show that everyone is going mental over. The last time I submitted to such a hype was for the Wire, so maybe hype isn't always a bad thing.

However, overall, I was quite disappointed with the 1st episode. I was expecting some sort of new twist on the heavily recycled zombie genre but there isn't much here that deviates from the conventions. Guy wakes up and the world is in ruins, meets other survivors who are skeptical at first and then after sharing stories and hope for their respective families become buddies then guy sets off to look for his family. The spark of the show lies in the format: because it is an AMC TV Drama, the director can take the time to build relationships and scenes. So instead of the Guy being confronted with hordes of zombies instantly as in most zombie movies, we get a gradual build up and thus witness the main character killing reluctantly and apologetically to blowing heads off with nonchalance. Also, more time to spare means the director can fill the hour with long, expensive reveal shots which become very tedious after the 4th or 5th time.

The Walking dead is a drama in the strictest sense: there are no wildcard characters who run around massacring zombies with a novelty weapon or zombies in funny costumes. So this is where the show tries to find its originality, by being completely humourless and so what you get is something that is reaching for the stark, realist, depravity of The Road but stuck in the colourful, usually spectacular world of the zombie movie and so all your expectations are let down.

I do think the show has potential, I hope there is more to the shallow characters and most of all I hope this isn't a really long, censored version of the road. Also, I've always thought it dumb to judge a show on its first episode, so onto episode 2!
Also, on a completely unrelated note: the library smells really bad today.

National association of student television awards!

Hello, just letting ya'll know that my weird ass sketches were nominated for a NASTA(see above ya'll). The ceremony will be on the 8th of April, so fingers crossed(but honestly, I'm honoured and humbled just to be nominated)
Thank you GUST!

Monday, 31 January 2011

January 31st, twentyeleven.

Good weekend. My family came to visit me which was exciting and refreshing. We walked a lot, saw everything, talked our jaws sore and had a great weekend. It was really good to see them after that grey, dull Christmas in Glasgow. Subsequently saw Black Swan too, which was very good although I do feel as Aronofsky is faltering between compromising to Hollywood and being his weird, intense self. The movie felt like it was missing a few integral scenes, a few moments of anticipation, some shifts in mood. the more you think about it the more it crumbles. But overall, it was a good movie, intense and simple.

Monday, 17 January 2011

Funny haha Hitler.

Adolph Hitler is omnipresent in modern culture, the name is universal. He is on the history channel every day, his name is commonly used as an insult, films, books, plays are constantly revisiting this era. The purpose of all of this is to constantly remind people of the brutality and malevolence of his ideology and his totalitarian campaign. Despite the chilling facts of his campaign, Hitler has been a fecund source of comedy since his rise to power in the 30s. The initial parodies are obviously propaganda, to stir and to inspire the soldiers and the work force. The best example of this is probably Looney tunes:

Hitler is drawn realistically but his voice is effeminate and I think he is talking about pumpkins. There are reels and reels of looney tunes bashing on Hitler. Another famous rendition is of course Charlie Chaplin as "The Great Dictator" but where Looney tunes is just bashing and bashing Chaplin, on the other hand, made a film where the dictator realizes he has become a monster and redeems himself with a heart-warming speech about change and universal love.

Chaplin's Hitler delivers a beautiful, optimistic speech fit for a great orator. It renders Hitler innocuous but whereas daffy duck bashes him on the head, chaplain attacks war itself. Chaplin's film infers that the world will prosper in peace once it is founded upon reason and tolerance. However, it kind of implies that all Hitler needed was a good talking to and he would have been sorted.

Then as the war ended and Hitler was defeated, the soldiers came home and time passed. In the sixties, Hitler re-emerged in the comedy world in a way no one really expected. Probably my favorite caricature of Hitler is in Mel Brook's "The Producers". This Hitler is played by a strung out hippy, he sings rock n roll and he is from Louisiana in other words it has nothing really to do with Hitler.

Your average Hitler caricature will be flamboyantly effeminate, he will have anger management problems and an inferiority complex. All of this is to render him and his persona innocuous and ridiculous. These caricature are a fundamental part of all political commentary but satirizing Bush for being a dumb ass and Obama for being christ is not the same as ridiculing Hitler. The fuhrer wasn't as much a politician as he was an emblem for the disgusting evil that humanity is capable of. Of course it is hypocritical for me to be so discerning when I enjoy caricature Hitler on a weekly basis(Hipster Hitler). The question I'm trying to ask(finally) is does this constant caricaturization of Hitler desensitize us to the violence of the past and thus making it harder for us to be shocked?