Monday, 21 December 2015

Star Bores: The Bore Awakens/The Bores Awaken


First impressions (21st December 2015)

a) Darth Kretin for added gameplay
I am a great fan of Star Wars but this film made me cringe most of the way through.Kylo Wren is a mentally challenged individual who for some odd reason wears a mask and is an apprentice for the a dark being who looks like an oversized Gollum sitting on a throne, played by the actor who played Gollum in the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings films. He can throw people around and throttle them with the force, but when it comes to fighting with the light sabre, even a stormtrooper who hasn't had much battle experience, but worked in sanitation could even hold his own against this agent of the Sith for a few rounds. Kylo is suddenly beaten down by a woman named Rey who suddenly discovers her ability to use the force coming from nowhere, when she holds the light sabre for the first time. It feels as if anyone could use a lightsabre in this story as if they were videogame characters, and gain points in battle. For some reason, this Kylo's menace had sent Luke into hiding for some years and one wonders how it could be that Luke couldn't handle this Kylo unless he wanted to simply stop himself from killing or maiming this individual.The giant gollum character appeared to be very forgiving for all of Darth Kretin's errors such as leaving the BB-8 bringing with him a woman who only had a memory of the map. The biggest question might be the nature of the game plan and reading what it must say in the rule book about the story. So for the sequel, Kylo's connection with the Sith would have to be upgraded for him to be an entity with any effect and eventually he will surely become Darth Kretin if a Darth at all, but a user of the force in the manner of a Jedi just with a few moments of realisation will obviously beat him whatever. Gameplay also involved trying out flying a Millenium Falcon and operating the cannons with perhaps little or no experience and crashing it all over the place and escaping from TIE fighters in an already handicapped state. Further battles were fought with all the enthusiasm of videogamers on their videogame consols. If one loves videogames then this might be fine for many people, of course they might be used to the style of film making because of this.

b) Big Macs and MacGuffins
I admit that the others around me were enjoying the movie a lot more than I was, laughing at all the jokes which I didn't really relate to. The actors as their characters are all fine and the new robot BB8 is great. Perhaps the idea that Finn was supposed to be a stormtrooper who went AWOL made the whole idea of stormtroopers seem rather less serious than they had ever been, as if they hadn't been trained at all to carry out the tasks they're supposed to, let alone told about what the objectives of The First Order are, but Boyega was fine in his role. Now stormtroopers can be of all sizes and seemed laughable to look at, Boyega seemed too short to be Stormtrooper with his thick helment too big for him, being around the same height as Mark Hamill who played Luke Skywalker who was a little short for a Stormtrooper.  Captain Phasma in her brilliant metallic armour has been used very pointlessly, easily overcome. Max Von Sydow as a character at the beginning seemed all very pointless as well. The designs for the new X-fighter and Tie-Fighters were fine as well as the tie-fighter launch bay but we had seen this before basically. Three main explosions in the film to keep people's brains occupied, when the tie fighter sinks into the sand, when the building with the alien cantina inside is bombed and when the Starkiller base is destroyed in the usual manner by the rebels with a new name. This obviously kept all the people excited and alert. They might as well have three paper bags full of air being popped through the movie to keep the audience alert. R2D2 is out of action in the movie until a cloth is pulled away to introduce him into the film and make some use out of him. Abrams loves to stuff an overinflated MacGuffin into anywhere he can squeeze it no matter how it bends anything around it out of shape. The Millenium Falcon travels through a strange tunnel in the film that makes it look as if it was likely to run into the Tardis. Obviously looking forwards to episode 8.

Sunday, 30 August 2015

Jenniferamy Schlumawrence

Amy Schumer and Jennifer Lawrence merged together by Photoshop to become Jennifer Schlumawrence



Exploring the extremes of the banality of the news that Amy Schumer and Jennifer Lawrence are writing a script together. The fear that when they finish writing their script together, the merger will be complete, Jenniferamy Schlumawrence

Friday, 14 August 2015

JG Ballard on Surrealism

leading from
J G Ballard and Inner Space
(Still In development)


a) Early precursors of inner space
So the early precursors or even the iconographers of Inner Space were surrealist painters with their landscapes of the soul, he would mention the names of Tanguy, de Chirico, Dali and Max Ernst among others, all during their most creative periods were concerned with the discovery of images in which the internal and the external reality meet and fuse.  They were one of the few schools of thought of painting that embraced the imagination without any restraints whatsoever, but also embrace the imagination within the terms of the scientific language.

b) What Surrealism did
In Surrealism, the events of the interior world of the psyche are represented in terms of commonplace situations. In fantastic art, such as Breugel and Bosch, one had the nightmare represented extremely well, chariots of demons and screaming arch-angels and all the materials of horror, but what one doesn't have there is what Surrealism has, the representation of the inner world of the mind in terms of ordinary objects, such as tables, chairs and telephones
 
c) Surrealism as a creative reminder
There was the possibility in Ballard's view that his own writing was nothing more than the compensatory work of a frustrated painter. The works of the Surrealists were not actually an a great inspiration on his writings, but reminders that the interior landscapes extended beyond the borders of his own head, they were valid for a great number of people and they confirmed his own hazy views. Despite the fact felt that he would have written the same way with or without the Surrealist painters, he regarded surrealist painters as having a far bigger influence of him than any writers had done. Ballard assumed that he looked back on Shanghai and the war there as if it were part of some huge nightmare tableau that revealed itself in a violent and gaudy way that remade the world that one found in surrealism. Perhaps he had been truing to return to the Shanghai landscape, to some sort of truth that he glimpse there and in all his fiction, and so it seemed that he used the techniques of surrealism to remake the present into something at least consonant with with past

d) Salvador Dali's Surrealism
As for Dali, from Ballard's view, he had created a completely new landscape out of the concepts of Freudian psychology. No other painter that he knew of had so well represented the world of the Oedipus complex, of people's childhood anxieties, about memory, always done within the context of the 20th Century. Also Dali''s paintings with their soft watches and minatory luminous beaches, are of almost magical potency, suffused by a curious ambivalence that Ballard found that one could see only in the serpentine faces in the paintings of Leonardo Da Vinci.  

e) Surrealism unlike dreams
It was for Ballard, a curious thing that the landscapes of these painters, and of Dali in particular, are often referred to as dream-like , when in fact they must bear no resemblance to the vast majority of dreams, which in general take place within confined indoor settings, a cross between Kafka and Mrs Dale's Diary, and where fantastic images, such as singing flowers or sonic sculptures, appear as infrequently as they do in reality. The false identification, and the awareness of the fact that the landscapes and themes are reflections of some interior reality within human minds, was a pointer to the importance of speculative fantasy in the Twentieth Century, an era of Hiroshima and Cape Canaveral. Back in the '40s and '50, he thought that the Surrealism was the most important enterprise that England had ever embarked on and he still did, to the point of considering it the biggest adventure of that century.  

f) Surrealism's relationship with science fiction
Surrealism may have seemed to be inspired by fantasy for many, but this was not true.  It seemed to him as if Science Fiction and Surrealism had a great deal in common. They both represented to him a marriage between reason and unreason. In both you have science as sort of quantifying elements. In both science fiction and surrealism the basic source of imagination is one's own mind rather than the external world. Both are the perfect model for dealing with the facts of the Twentieth Century and literally opened windows on the real world.  



g) Interests of the surrealists
The surrealists were all very interested in science, in optics, and photography and their main inspiration was psychoanalysis which to Ballard was the perfect scientific mythology for the investigation of the imagination. Ballard found that this combination of science and the imagination was very close to what he wanted to do as a writer and of it course had many affinities with science fiction itself. He was also found that the novels of writers like Kafka and Burroughs, were very much in tune with the surrealists, as well as films such as Alphaville and Last Year at Marienbad.  

h) References to Surrealists in The Drowned World
When he would come to write his book The Drowned World, he would come to make references to the Surrealists in his novel, but his publisher Viktor Gollancz wanted him to delete the references because it would demean what they thought was the seriousness of the book. It would have been okay to reference to Impressionists or even American Pop creators who were just coming up, but the Surrealists were considered digusting.
  
i) Late 20th Century Surrealism
However towards end of the 20th Century , he felt that the only surrealists around were the psychopaths.

 
Salvador Dali's Enigma of Desire
Source Quotes
  1. Dr Christopher Evans: Is this phrase, Inner Space, you coined it, I think, it's talking about er, inward looking rather than outward looking, that's an over simplification
    J G Ballard: Yes, I was interested, I was, partly it was a slogan, I mean it was a sort of, I flew a few,  you know, I was flying a kite, ahm, but I, I meant it seriously. What I meant was, that, I, I thought that these sort of areas, that, that science fiction should turn its attention to, were, was, well, the sort of areas, in which, where its readers, er, were in fact, were, were living in their ordinary lives, that I was, I was talking, I was talking about a world... by Inner Space, I meant a world, um, or, or those areas of reality that have been, as it were, remade by the mind and I mean, you see, a sort of an early precursor if you like of Inner Space, you'd see, um, the novels of Kafka, let's say or various very much the same surrealist, surrealist painters, where there's the landscapes of the soul and so on, um , in films like (Last Year At) Marienbad and er,  Alphaville, in the novels of William Burroughs, um.
    (Writers in Conversation- J G Ballard)
  2. JGBallard: I've always been very interested in the Surrealists, I think primarily because they're one of the few schools of painting that embrace the imagination without any restraints whatever, but also embrace the imagination within the terms of the scientific language. The Surrealists were interested in optics and all sorts of scientific advances. This climaxed, of course, in psychoanalysis, which was the perfect scientific mythology, if you like, for the investigation of the imagination. And this marriage of science and imagination seemed very close to what I wanted to do as a writer, what 1 was doing as a writer. (http://jgballard.ca/media/1973_spring_evergreen_review.html)
  3. JGBallard: If you look at that bottom row of books, apart from the Francis Bacon, that's my brain laid out there - all those surrealist texts. I still feel surrealism. In the '40s, '50s and even the early '60s, you could not mention the surrealists without laying yourself open (in certain literate circles) to the charge of of the crudest sensationalism. Take someone like Genesis P. Orridge, whom I don't know and never had met. By analogy. most people over here, whether  writing for the serious newspapers like the Observer or the Sunday or NME - would, let's face it, look down on him: 'boring freake who hasn't got anything to say... pain in the ass... why doesn't he go away. don't refer to him'.  (RE/SEARCH 8/9 p23)
  4. JGBallard: Now that's how most people in the '40s and '50s looked at the surrealists- there's no question about that, anybody will confirm that. I can remember that well into the mid '60s to many any reference to the surrealists was inviting reprehension. You still get a hint of that in references to Dali - in intellectual circles Dali is a sensation-mongering exhibitionist who works on a lurid and vulgar state. That's the attitude about all surrealists!  (RE/SEARCH 8/9 p23)
  5. JGBallard: Surrealism , which has a way of looking at the world as an imaginative enterprise, was regarded in the '40s and '50s in exactly that light. In my first novel, The Drowned World, I put in a number of references to the surrealists. I remember the publisher, Viktor Gollancz, wanted me to delete these references because they felt my novel was serious, and that diminished my book by referencing the surrealists. I mean it would have been quite all right to mention the Impressionists, or even the American Pop creators who were just coming up - you know, Warhol & Co - but the Surrealists were disgusting! In the '40s and '50s, I thought that surrealism was the most important imaginative enterprise this country has embarked on. And I still do. For me the paintings of the surrealists have opened windows on the real world and I don't mean that  as any literary conceit. I mean that literally. (RE/SEARCH 8/9 p23)
  6. JGBallard: My earliest three or four novel which are more explicitly science fiction or heavily influenced by the surrealists (Max Ernst, Dali) and also the symbolist painters like Gustav Moreau. Once you get to the Atrocity Exhibition, Crash, High Rise and so on, they're sort of technological books set in the present day - you've got all the imagery that the titles themselves are about. You name it everything from car crashes to Kennedy assassinations, to high rises to motorways.  (RE/SEARCH 8/9 p32)
  7. INTERVIEWER: Your work also seems tremendously influenced by the visual arts.
    BALLARD: Yes, sometimes I think that all my writing is nothing more than the compensatory work of a frustrated painter.
    INTERVIEWER: You’ve written about Salvador DalĂ­ and Max Ernst, and in particular the surrealists seem to have fired your imagination the most.
    BALLARD: Yes, the surrealists have been a tremendous influence on me, though, strictly speaking, corroboration is the right word. The surrealists show how the world can be remade by the mind. In Odilon Redon’s phrase, they place the logic of the visible at the service of the invisible. They’ve certainly played a very large part in my life, far more so than any other writer I know.
    INTERVIEWER: How did this interest arise? Were you taken to museums as a child?
    BALLARD: It has always puzzled me, because there were no museums in the Shanghai where I was brought up.
    INTERVIEWER: Perhaps Shanghai itself was a kind of museum?
    BALLARD: I assume that I looked back on Shanghai and the war there as if it were part of some huge nightmare tableau that revealed itself in a violent and gaudy way . . . that remade world that one finds in surrealism. Perhaps I’ve always been trying to return to the Shanghai landscape, to some sort of truth that I glimpsed there. I think that in all my fiction, I’ve used the techniques of surrealism to remake the present into something at least consonant with the past. (http://www.theparisreview.org/interviews/2929/the-art-of-fiction-no-85-j-g-ballard
  8. JG Ballard: The only surrealists around these days are psychopaths. (See: http://jgballard.ca/media/1988_april25_time_magazine.html )

Thursday, 13 August 2015

Signs of the inner world in
the disaster zone of Myanmar

leading from


a) I am seeing the flooding of Myanmar, I see this eatery in the top photo here and I could obviously imagine such a restaurant concept as seen in the photo hitting the English streets in the decades to come and become completely normal at various parts of the year, as long as one doesn't mind wearing waders. I am already sitting somewhere in a dreamworld transporting it to England, up to my knees in this water. It's good to see how people are maintaining some sort of existence in the disaster zone there in Myanmar.


Food seller in Myanmar



b) Other images of the flooding open my mind up to a world where the people are still surviving, sitting in restaurants, grocery shops still open, news reporters in the water reporting, children sitting up to their waist in water at the computers in school.

School in Myanmar

Restaurant in Myanmar
Grocery Store in Myanmanr
News Reporter in Myanmar

Signs of the inner world
exposed in Tianjin port city

leading from


a) Swimming through a sea of cars
Thousands of cars and vans parked in the car parks were scorched by the blast at the Chinese port of Tianjin port city. I observe these things and find the doors and the frames of the windows merging with my hands and fingers, and I enter the environment and swim through the sea of cars, piercing through a mesh of car doors, and in the warped remains of the car filled floors of the multi-story carparks, I see the ocean waves and the cracked open roofs become the froth.








b) Travelling through a tunnel system that connects through long vehicles
Because of the fact the vehicles were present in the site of the devastation, I imagined driving a small vehicle of the mind that drives through other vehicles, and here through the fire engines, through imaginary shafts that connected one side compartment to another and then through the long dented lorry and into another vehicle somewhere further on.

Fire engines and dented lorry
Fire engines and dented lorry

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

JG Ballard and the Inner Space

Still being developed



a) The Idea of Inner Space
J G Ballard with his idea of Inner Space, he came up with it as a sort of a slogan, but he thought that Science Fiction should turn itself towards the sort of areas, where its readers were living in their ordinary lives and Inner Space became an area of reality remade by the mind. It is the internal landscape of tomorrow that is a transmuted image of the past, and one of the most fruitful areas for the imaginative writer. It is particularly rich in visual symbols, and he felt that this sort of speculative fantasy played a role very similar to that of the surrealism in the graphic arms

b) Ballard on Surrealism

de Chirico, "Piazza d'Italia

c) The Drowned World scenario
When he came to write the book, The Drowned World . People were accusing him of stealing from Carl Gustave Jung those who didn't accuse him of that were accusing him of stealing from Joseph Conrad.

One of the themes of the book were that the world has regressed in time, because of enormous temperature changes and the environment had become close to that of the Triassic era around 250 to 200 million years ago.

The landscapes began to emerge from the character's dreams, which were landscapes of great reptiles, huge primitive plants and so on and their own psychological needs became of those of sort of pre-human beings.

They realize that the uterine sea around them, as if it were a dark womb of the ocean mother, was as much a graveyard of their own individuality as it was the source of their lives, and perhaps their fears might have reflected his own uneasiness about re-enacting the experiences of his childhood and attempting to explore such dangerous ground

The hero re-mythologises himself in terms of this quest for the sun and in the end of the book, he sets of south looking for greater and greater heat and light and the kind of materials from which basic forms of life had generated.

Illustration of a Late Triassic scene


d) The Past of The Drowned World
The question for him was about how far do the landscapes of one's childhood, as much as its emotional experiences, provide and inescapable background to all one's imaginative writing?  When he wrote his first novel The Drowned World in 1960, he didn't at the time realise it, but a lot of the landscapes in that novel, such as the apartment houses and office blocks of London rising out of a swamp, were very close to the memories he had of the apartment houses of the French Concession in Shanghai, rising out of the flooded paddy fields which he views every day from the prison cam about eight miles south of the city. It was only in hindsight that he begin to see that he was feeding elements of that landscape,

Certainly his own earliest memories were of Shanghai during the annual long summer floods, when the streets of the city were two or three feet in a brown silt-laden water, and where the surrounding countryside, in the centre of the flood-table of the Yangtze, was an almost continuous mirror of drowned paddy fields and irrigation canals stirring sluggishly in the hot sunlight. On reflection, it seemed to him that the image of an immense half-submerged city overgrown by tropical vegetation, which formed the centre piece of The Drowned World, is in some way of fusion of his childhood memories and his last ten years then in London.

Among the characteristic fauna of that age were the crocodiles and alligators, amphibian creatures at home in both the aquatic and terrestrial worlds, who symbolize for the hero of the novel the submerged dangers of his quest. Reflecting on his own past, Ballard could remember an enormous ancient alligator housed in a narrow concrete pit, half filled with cigarette packers and ice cream cartons in the reptile house at the Shanghai Zoo, who seemed to have been jerked forwards reluctantly, as if so many tens of millions of years into mankind's 20th Century.


The French Concession


Another street in the French Concession, early 1920s


e) Fusing dream with reality
In many respects, this fusion of the past and present experiences, and of such disparate elements as the modern office buildings of central London and indeed the alligator in a Chinese zoo, resembled to him the mechanisms by which dreams are constructed, and perhaps the great value of fantasy as a literary form is its ability to bring together apparently unconnected and dissimilar ideas. So, to a large extent, all fantasy served this purpose, and he believed that speculative fantasy, as he preferred to call the more serious fringe of science fiction, was a potent method of using one's imagination to construct a paradoxical universe where dream and reality become fused together, each retaining its own distinctive quality, and yet in some way assuming the role of its opposite, and where by an undeniable logic, black simultaneously became white.

Without in any way suggesting that the act of writing is a form of creative self-analysis, he felt that the writer of fantasy has a marked tendency to select images and ideas which directly reflected the internal landscapes of his mind, and then the ready of the fantasy must interpret them on this level, distinguishing between the manifest content, which may seem obscure, meaningless or nightmarish, and the latent content, the private vocabulary of symbols drawn by the narrative from the writer's mind. The dream worlds, synthetic landscapes and plasticity of visual forms, invented by the writer of fantasy are external equivalents of the inner world of psyche, and because these symbols take their impetus from the most formative and confused periods of a person's life, they are often time-sculptures of terrifying ambiguity.

Source Quotes
  1. See: http://www.jgballard.ca/non_fiction/jgb_time_memory_innerspace.html
  2. See: http://jgballard.ca/media/1970_oct_friends_magazine.html
  3. Dr Christopher Evans: Is this phrase, Inner Space, you coined it, I think, it's talking about er, inward looking rather than outward looking, that's an over simplification
    J G Ballard: Yes, I was interested, I was, partly it was a slogan, I mean it was a sort of, I flew a few,  you know, I was flying a kite, ahm, but I, I meant it seriously. What I meant was, that, I, I thought that these sort of areas, that, that science fiction should turn its attention to, were, was, well, the sort of areas, in which, where its readers, er, were in fact, were, were living in their ordinary lives, that I was, I was talking, I was talking about a world... by Inner Space, I meant a world, um, or, or those areas of reality that have been, as it were, remade by the mind and I mean, you see, a sort of an early precursor if you like of Inner Space, you'd see, um, the novels of Kafka, let's say or various very much the same surrealist, surrealist painters, where there's the landscapes of the soul and so on, um , in films like (Last Year At) Marienbad and er,  Alphaville, in the novels of William Burroughs, um
    Dr Christopher Evans: The first novels, you, you, after you produced three , very clearly marked trilogy. Erm, the first is actually still one of my favourite books in fact, not just one of my favourite science fiction books, that's Drowned World, in which you see the world as being, totally, more or less completely, inundated and it's er, lots of Jungian overtones to it,  seems to me, and er
    J G Ballard: Unconsciously, of course
    Dr Christopher Evans: The unconscious
    J G Ballard: Oh no sorry, none of, none of the overtones were sort of deliberate, and various people accused me at the time of stealing the book from Jung, those who didn't accuse me of stealing the book from Jung accused me of stealing it from Conrad, um.
    Dr Christopher Evans: One of the themes really, that you, as the world almost regressed in time, because of these enormous temperature changes, that, that the environment became close to the environment of millions of years ago
    J G Ballard: Yes, the triassic period, I think, yuh
    Dr Christopher Evans: And, people therefore people began to find themselves being drawn back
    J G Ballard: Right, yuh, they began to dream of, I mean they they, they sort of, they began, landscapes began to emerge from their dreams, which were the landscapes of, of er of the trias, of great reptiles and huge primitive plants and all the rest of it, and the, their own sort of erm, their own sort of biological and psychological needs became those of, of, of a var, of the sort of a pre human beings, so that the sort of, these sort of, the hero in the novel as it were re-mythologises himself in terms of this quest for the sun, so he sets off in the end of the book, he sets off south looking for greater and greater heat, and light and the kind of materials that from which basic forms of life had generated ( The Book Programme Interview, 4th February 1978)
  4. J G Ballard: There's no doubt that the surrealist painters have had a far bigger influence on me than any writers have done. I regard Surrealism as really the greatest imaginative adventure of the Twentieth Century. I think that the surrealist movement is very misunderstood. People think it, it's, ah, a movement in painting, inspired by fantasy, but in fact that's not true. Um, the surrealists were all very interested in science, in optics and photography, um, and their main inspiration of course was psychoanalysis, ah, and I think, um, that combination of science and the imagination is very close to my own writing and of course has many affinities with science fiction itself. In many ways I believe that science fiction is the authentic literature of the 20th Century. I think it's unfortunate that that science fiction is boxed off into its own little compartment. (Future Now, Interview with J.G. Ballard by Solveig Nordlund 1986 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SS6MWpFX_N0)
  5. J G Ballard: Well, ever since I started writing, which was longer ago than I care to remember, nearly 30 years ago, I planned to write a book about, the wartime period in Shanghai, but, for some reason had not go around to it. I think, um, part of the problem I had was, I came to England in '46, and I knew I would never go back to China, um. I had to remake my own entire life here, cope with this very strange country as it certainly was to me in the late forties. Recently in a peculiar way, it started to get strange again, but that may be because my children have grown up and when I had, when i got married and had children, I tried to put roots down, and erm, now that they have grown up, it's possibly why I was able to write, start writing the book about three years ago, because my children had entered adult but for whatever, whatever reason, I had to remake my life here and it seemed a necessarily confusing to to try to recreate this this city at a at a at a wartime period that had vanished forever because almost nothing was known about the war in China, um, very, Shanghai and all the um all the important cities of China vanished in 1949 when the Communists arrived behind, vanished into total obscurity from which, it's only just begun to to reemerge. There seemed no point in in, using my wartime and childhood experiences directly, but I think, what I was doing of course, what, although I was writing, uh, something nominally called Science Fiction, set in the future, I was really in many ways writing about the past and that there are elements in all my novels
    Interviewer: Yes, I think

    J G Ballard: In in, of of my, you know, of my China background.
     
    Interviewer:Yes, that's what came through to me, I mean, having read through some of your earlier novels and then reading Empire of the Sun, it was though I had found the hidden springs of some of these Ballard-esque landscapes. There were the airplanes, there were the shattered cities, shattered people, um the life led at extremity. Were you conscious of that when you were previously writing?
    J G Ballard: No, I mean, to tell the truth, when I wrote my first novel the Drowned World, um,  in 1960, uh, it's, it's only with the benefit of... , I , I didn't at the time really realise that, that a lot of the landscapes I described in that novel, um, the sort of apartment houses and office blocks of London rising out of a, out of a swamp, ah, in fact, were very close to the memories I had of the apartment houses of the French Concession in Shanghai, rising out, apparently, of the flooded paddy fields which I viewed every day from our camp, er, about eight miles south of the city. It's only in the benefit of hindsight that I begun to see that I was feeding in elements of, of that landscape, which come out explicitly in this book. (Writers in Conversation- J G Ballard)

Sunday, 9 August 2015

Fantastic Four, Five or Six.

    leading from




    a) I knew thatI was obviously going to enjoy Fantastic Five or Six or whatever the number is supposed to be. All these not so good reviews must make it a must! I actually almost liked Fantastic Four, it had some interesting nightmarish moments but parts of the movie seemed too recently used. The actors were fine in their roles as long as one wasn't too interested in the actual characters that they were based upon or even the comic book series as a whole. It looks as if they tried to squash the resulting Fantastic Four movie into a Big Mac burger bap and that resulted in a rather uneasy entity.  Rubbishy CGI for Ben Grimm/ The Thing, someone should have given him a pair of shorts. The actor who played Doctor Doom was probably almost convincing for his role but really after his roles in Clash of the Titans and its sequel, I am not really too sure what to say. However it was good to hear some Philip Glass through the movie score.

    b) Behold, Memories of Fantastic Four movie are starting to disintegrate merge with other movies featuring young inventors and same old doom weapon, merging in with memories of
    Big Hero Six with its young inventors, and interdimensional gateway at the end sucking up parts of the Earth, yes we have been along these routes before. Child inventors in Tomorrow Land earlier this year as well, and method of teleporting into another dimension. I can barely distinguish one from the other any more. Everything is merging into a collective pool of thought

Brief note about Bourne Identity

leading from




a) On the 8th of August, I have finally watching Bourne Identity, it is a film that I would not bother to recommend to people really but enough people have already watched it over the last dozen plus years, I think it may as well continue to be called Bored Identity.  But for some reason, imagining Bourne and the woman occasionally confusingly fusing together as Siamese Twins in the taxi. As if their knees and elbows and spines start fusing together from time to time and separate, accompanied by the sound of cracking bone. And moments later he tells her " whatever we're doing, we must do it together" as if they had no idea what it was that they're doing and they may never get around to quite putting into words exactly what they were doing.  People all over England may well have been saying "nudge nudge, wink wink, say no more" as they watch the movie through my mind. I thought about their flesh opening up as their interior organs begin to temporarily fuse together as well in the back of the taxi. For brief moments Bourne and the woman would share a heart, spleen, kidneys and liver as well as spinal tissue as their vertebrae connected. and they would joyously scream and howl as they attempted to move their bodies and sort out what exactly had become connected to what.

b) I keep imaging half the characters in the film with barrels of loaded guns implanted into bodyparts asking for Bourne to pull the trigger , and there are those who will do back flips through the window to plunge to their death if Bourne can not kill them correctly, they still want to make it seem as if they died by his hand. There is also the scene where Clive Owen's character gets shot at, perhaps really he is being taken for one of the ones begging to be killed by Jason Bourne and has payed huge amounts of money for this act, but he has bought into this as a part of the gunshots for questions package.

c) It all points to some unconscious weird death and connectivity fetish lurking in the background of the confusion at the centre of the film beneath the surface dying, perhaps even to kill in order to break up the boredom

Saturday, 8 August 2015

It Follows: Part 2: The film as a dream

leading from
and 

Still being collated


a) Starting the film story
David Robert Mitchell had the urge to make a horror movie, and slowly he added pieces to piece of memories from his nightmares , and then he started thinking, "Oh, it'd be fun if it's something that can move between different people" almost like a game of tag to some degree. And then it became clear to him and he then thought "Oh, it should be through sex because it would sort of connect the characters physically and emotionally" and this for him felt like the right thing. And this developed over a number of years in the back of his brain. 

b) No explanation for sexually transmitted monster
So this scenario seemed to reflect the idea of a sexually transmitted distease, but there would be no explanation as to how this would take form. If one thinks back to a dream, there isn't necessarily a reason that you had it, it's simply the reality of your world at the time, and this for him was much stronger that inventing something with a logical beginning because something like this didn't need logic, it just simply existed. There was no intention to turn this into an origins story, but have his characters thrown in to a nightmare, and there is no logical way to escape from it, it can't be solved, nightmares defied a solution. He didn't want a magical thing to make them enter the nightmare or any event leading to this things. It was about something that didn't make sense, it came straight out of a nightmare and it can't be avoided by natural logic. There were people who went to see it that wanted answers but it was not what he was trying to do with this film.


c) Placement out of time
Another goal of the movie was to have production design elements from different eras and include some things that don't quite exist, and this would place the film outside of time in the way that suggested a dream state or play like a nightmare. Perhaps the viewer might wonder where and when the film was taking place and there would be something troubling about that. It definitely leant in the direction of the 70s and 80s whole there were some things from the 50s and 60s.  Perhaps things such as the characters watching a 1950s horror movie didn't make sense or the organist playing the Wurlitzer at the cinema.


d) A Peanuts cartoon dream
Another element of this dream state might come through the fact that there was something not quite right about the parents being outside the world of these teenagers, which was quite isolating for the protagonists because it didn't feel quite real. Some of the characters are on the edge of being young adults, and it seemed to be the right thing for the horror film in the sense that they can in some way navigate some elements of the adult world, but they're also in a limbo to some degree. This all contributed to the suggestion of a dream like world, perhaps in this case, a Peanuts cartoon dream world because they seem to be just floating in space, and an adult teachers from off the screen would be an undefinable 'Wa-Wa-Wa".



e) The shell compact cellphone e-reader
He wanted some modern things in that that were not easily datable, because if there was something such as an iPhone, the viewer would know what year it was set in.  There were a couple of cell phones in the film but the rules and the way that people interacted with them were different than the way they were used in the real world. Another example of mixing temporal differences was the fact that one character has a cell phone e-reader designed using and re-purposing a 'shell' compact from the sixties.



f) A plan to kill the monster
The master plan concocted by Paul to try and rid Jay once and for all of the monster that follows her is an elaborate scheme that involves bringing a bunch of electricl items to a swimming pool, hoping to lure it into the water, and then electrocuting it is an example of a stupid idea that belonged perhaps to a children's movie plan, perhaps something out of a Scooby-Doo cartoon, and this was the point. What would you do if you were confronted by a monster and found yourself trapped in a nightmare?
The answer to this usually would be that one would resort to some way of fighting it that would be accessible to oneself in the physical world and it wasn't going to cut it for the movie. Traditional setup for the creature was avoided, because in the more traditional films, there would be a clue that would lead the characters to figure out how to destroy this monster. Intentionally he avoided placing those. They do their best to accomplish something that they witness its failure and perhaps this was a very non-conventional way of approaching a third act confrontation, but the director and his team thought it was a fun way to deal with it.



Source quotes
  1. Sarah Meikle: The  film seems to be set in some sort of temporal vacuum - a kind of retro look mixed with modern tech. The characters watch black-and-white televisions and play card games, or they read e-books on a gadget from the 1960s. Why the mix of different time periods ?
    David Robert Mitchel:
    The goal was to have production design elements from different eras and some things that don't quite exist. The e-reader is designed from like a sixties' 'shell' compact, re-purposed as an e-reader, and that was to keep the film from being too time-specific. I wanted some modern things in there but I didn't want them to be too easily datable. if it was an iPhone, you'd know what year we made it. So some of that is on the edge of being fantasy; all those different things from different eras places it outside time. That,  in effect, suggests a dream-like world. When you're dreaming, you know that there's something just not quite right about the world you're in.
    (The Dark Side, #166, p42)
  2. AVC: The time period of the movie is fascinatingly indeterminate. One of the girls has this mobile device, but otherwise we could be watching a movie set in 1990.
    DRM: There are production design elements from the ’50s on up to modern day. A lot of it is from the ’70s and ’80s. That e-reader cell phone—or “shell phone”—you’re talking about is not a real device. It’s a ’60s shell compact that we turned into a cell phone e-reader. So I wanted modern things, but if you show a specific smartphone now, it dates it. It’s too real for the movie. It would bother me anyway. So we made one up. And all of that is really just to create the effect of a dream—to place it outside of time, and to make people wonder about where they are. Those are things that I think happen to us when we have a dream. (http://www.avclub.com/article/david-robert-mitchell-his-striking-new-horror-film-216215)
  3. The film seems to be set in no particular era. Was that deliberate?
    DRM: David Robert Mitchell: That’s intentional. We built the film from a production standpoint as if it were several different eras. A lot of stuff was from the 50s, 60s, 70s and there are some modern things as well. All of it was to put the film a little bit outside of time, so it’s closer to a dream. If you can’t quite place it then it’s intentional. ( http://lovehorror.co.uk/horror-features/interview-with-it-follows-director-david-robert-mitchell/)
  4. Whenever the characters are watching TV, there's always an old black-and-white B-movie playing. That makes it pretty clear that you were working with heavy nostalgia.
    It's true, so much of It Follows comes from classic horror. It was about trying to seamlessly mesh what's so great about those older horror films into something that feels contemporary but, at the same time, doesn't seem to exist in a specific time or place. I like the idea of mixing eras and having the film exist slightly outside of time. There's a feeling that It Follows could be happening in the 1980s, but there are a few things that are modern in it. And some of the thing the kids are watching don't really make sense—the last thing you'd expect these kids to watch is a monster movie from the 1950s. It's a little outside of reality and dreamlike. (http://uk.complex.com/pop-culture/2014/09/it-follows-tiff-interview-david-robert-mitchell)
  5. Going over to casting, it seems that you like working with a younger age group for you films. Both this one and The Myth of the American Sleepover are sort of coming-of-age-esque.
    DMR: They are both coming-of-age films to some degree. Myth is very specifically a coming-of-age film and it’s also a younger cast. This one is similar and there is a coming-of-age themes connecting with the horror, but they’re a little older. Some of the characters are more on the edge of being young adults. It seemed to be the right thing for the horror film in the sense that they can in some way navigate some bits of the adult world, but they’re also in a limbo to some degree. We tried to exaggerate that with the way they’re isolated and you see very few adults. It’s kind of like a weird Peanuts cartoon dream world. They’re kind of just floating in space.
    http://www.gotchamovies.com/director-david-robert-mitchell-discusses-the-horror-movie-it-follows/
  6. You seemed to reference a lot of old school cult movies, there was a bit of an '80s aesthetic...
    In terms of production design it definitely leans in the direction of the ’70s and ’80s but there are a few things that look like the ’50s or ’60s and there are a few modern things. It was sort of an attempt to place it outside of time. Yes there are references to that time but there is also an attempt to create something that is closer to a dream state or a nightmare. Because it doesn’t quite feel like our world. It’s similar, it’s almost our world, but there’s something that isn’t quite right. And there were a lot of choices that were made to suggest that. (http://www.hungertv.com/feature/follows-david-robert-mitchell/)
  7. There’s a certain level of ambiguity throughout the film, whether it’s the inconsistent presence of these character’s parents or the specific timeframe in which it takes place. It could be set in the eighties; it could be the present day. What was your rationale for that? DRM: I wanted to maintain this idea of placing the film outside of time, which would suggest a dream state or play like a nightmare. There’s something not quite right about the parents being outside of the world of these teenagers, which is quite isolating for the protagonists because it doesn’t feel quite real. The out of time concept was also explored through the mixed approaches to the production design elements of the film. It makes you wonder where and when this is taking place, and there’s maybe something a little troubling about that. We spent a lot of time mixing different design elements, which made it a very specific conscious choice. (http://www.film3sixtymagazine.com/index.php/2015/02/25/david-robert-mitchell-and-maika-monroe-discuss-the-nightmarish-it-follows-page-2-2/)
  8. The film seems to be set in no particular era. Was that deliberate?
    That’s intentional. We built the film from a production standpoint as if it were several different eras. A lot of stuff was from the 50s, 60s, 70s and there are some modern things as well. All of it was to put the film a little bit outside of time, so it’s closer to a dream. If you can’t quite place it then it’s intentional. (http://vulturehound.co.uk/2015/02/david-robert-mitchell-interview/)
  9. IT FOLLOWS has a very timeless quality to it – was it hard to keep the technology out of the film?
    We definitely put effort into it in terms of a lot of it our Production Designer spent a lot of energy just selecting the right things from many different decades. It definitely leans in the direction of the 70s and 80s but there are some things from the 50s and 60s there. Some modern things and some things that don’t quite exist. It was definitely carefully planned. It places you outside [of time], like in a dream maybe. There are a couple of cell phones in the film but the rules and the way that people interact with them are different from the way we handle them in our world. It’s maybe not quite our world. (http://www.thehollywoodnews.com/2015/02/26/thn-interview-it-follows-director-david-robert-mitchell/)
  10. Paste: Timeless” is a good way of putting it. The film doesn’t feel like it exists in any specific time or place, but in its own universe. Was that done on purpose to give yourself more freedom?
    DRM: Yeah, totally, that was very much part of the plan, to make the film exist outside of time so that in a way it resembles a dream or a nightmare. There are some anachronistic production design elements, things from many different eras. There are some things that don’t quite exist. The fact that you rarely see any of the parents or adults in the film, they’re on the edge of the frame or they’re barely there, all of that is to suggest something that doesn’t feel quite right, that is a little bit outside of reality or the way that we see the world. You can’t quite put your finger on it, or where this is, or when this is specifically, and I think that’s a quality that shares with a dream.
    (http://www.pastemagazine.com/ March 17th 2015)
  11. Do you have the whole mythology mapped out, like how this supernatural disease all started, why it's passed along the way it is?
    DRM: I have an idea of what this really is and what it's about, but ultimately it's just a guess. If you think back to a dream, there isn't necessarily a reason you had it, it's simply the reality of your world. That's much stronger than having something that has a logical beginning. Things like this don't need a logical beginning, they just simply exists. (http://www.joblo.com/horror-movies/news/exclusive-interview-it-follows-director-david-robert-mitchell)
  12. Filmmaker: Both It Follows and Myth of the American Sleepover have a timeless feel, especially with regards to technology. Is that a part of your style or more specific to these narratives?
    Mitchell: It’s part of my style in the sense that I like not being locked into the rules of our natural world. I like being able to change some of the ground rules in creating a film, and that happens to be what I’ve done in the films. I like altering something just a little bit. It’s about creating something closer to a dream state (or a nightmare), and that’s something I like to do. Whether I’ll do that, maybe or maybe not. They’ll all be different in their own way. But I like the idea of changing things — sometimes simple things, sometimes significant aspects of the world, because that’s what movies can do. They can do that really well, and they don’t have to operate or exist in the world that we know. And nor should they, a lot of the time. (http://filmmakermagazine.com/)
  13. Kicking things off, the site inquires about the master plan concocted by Paul to try and rid Jay once and for all of the spectres that are following her. It's an elaborate scheme that involves bringing a bunch of electronics to a swimming pool, hoping to lure it into the water, and then electrocuting it. Does that sound dumb? Well, Mitchell agrees.
    Mitchell
    : It’s the stupidest plan ever! It's a kid-movie plan, it’s something that Scooby-Doo and the gang might think of, and that was sort of the point. What would you do if you were confronted by a monster and found yourself trapped within a nightmare? Ultimately, you have to resort to some way of fighting it that’s accessible to you in the physical world, and that’s not really going to cut it. We kind of avoid any kind of traditional setup for that sequence, because in more traditional horror films, there might be a clue that would lead them to figure out a way to destroy this monster. I intentionally avoided placing those. Instead, they do their best to accomplish something, and we witness its failure. It’s probably a very non-conventional way of approaching the third-act confrontation, but we thought it was a fun way to deal with it. (http://blogs.indiewire.com/ April 2, 2015)
  14. Question: I read that you got this idea from a dream you had as a kid. Can you tell me about going from that to turning it into a STD?
    DAVID ROBERT MITCHELL: Yeah, well that came later. I had the nightmare when I was like nine or ten or something, I always remembered pieces of that nightmare, the feeling from it. I’ve always wanted to make a horror film and so I always kept thinking about that nightmare. So, over the years, I’d just kind of add things to it. In the nightmare it’s about being followed by something that looked like different people, all the things that are in the film, it was very slow, it’s not that hard to get away from it if you’re paying attention, but it’s the fact that it’s always coming for you. I just tried to kind of build on that feeling of dread and then at some point I started thinking, ‘Oh, it’d be fun if it’s something that can move between different people,’ almost like a game of tag to some degree. And then it sort of became clear to me like, ‘Oh, it should be through sex because it would sort of connect the characters physically and emotionally.’ It just felt like the right thing. But that happened over a lot of years just sort of in the back of my brain. (http://collider.com/david-robert-mitchell-it-follows-interview/)
  15. Sarah Meikle: There's an obvious lack of parental input throughout the story. Why?DAVID ROBERT MITCHELL: I did that for several reasons. I did a similar thing for my first film but for a different reason; in American Sleepover, the characters are a little bit younger and it was about separating them from the adult world so that the world they would inhabit was almost magical in some way. In this film, I separated them because they are a bit older but it's about isolating them. It's not so much about putting them into this beautiful magical world, it's more of a lonelier, more frightening place.  Again, it's also doing a similar thing with production designs. There's something not quite right about it. Something that feels a little off. You're tripping into this sort of dream-like nightmare quality. And also it's fun to do what the Peanuts cartoons did in some way, like Charlie Brown. You never hear the adults - they're like 'Wa, wa, wa". (The Dark side, #166,  p42)

Monday, 20 July 2015

The Ant Man movie

a) I managed to see the new Antman movie. Probably the most exciting thing during the film was the moment when a false fire alarm erupted in the actual building forcing the audience out until five minutes later it was declared to be a false alarm and then everyone went back to watch the film but they forgot to rewind it, the film had been going still in the machine although not on the screen and they continued playing onwards much to everyone's annoyance until five minutes later people went to complain and they rewound it to about where it was ten minutes before the fire alarm went off.

b) Another trip into the plastic universe of Marvel with all its CGI splendour, they just had to make reference to the Marvel Avengers movie, and involve a character from the Captain America movie. they couldn't keep it as its own thing for one movie. The hero and the villains outfits seem were fine for the movie. There were moments of humour that almost seemed surrealistic with the manifestation of various forms and objects that had been enlarged a size from miniature state.

c) However it appeared that there was a lot of humour in the Mexican person's street slang that a lot of people in the audience were laughing at all the way through although it I really didn't understand and also doubts that anyone else I know locally would have a clue about either. Otherwise it was a very entertaining movie. The actor Corey Stoll who appears in the movie looked noticeably as if he were transforming into a young Telly Savalas, but couldn't quite get the shape of the ears.

d) Well, I admit that found myself amused by the toys trains being chucked around as seen in the trailer clip, and the tank keyring suddenly being revealed as a means of escape . Well as far as I was concerned it's another movie that will melt away from memory in five days time and probably will become fused with old memories from Michael Bentine's Potty Time. I suppose the concept of someone or thing shrinking was just another farfetched thing not to think about for more than five seconds along with the ants and all the problems associated with that, and the other thing I couldn't tolerate was secret door revealing another costume tucked away somewhere. I recall the character from some Marvel Avengers cartoons and it didn't interest me much but the film version interested me a little bit more. Perhaps I need to see The Incredible Shrinking Man again or Charlie And The Chocolate Factory. It was odd to see Michael Douglas de-aged because it looked more as if he had a surgical facelift more than a return to the way he looked decades earlier.

e) Another movie for Wmm to allow to melt away from the brain and possibly never have to watch again in his whole life and not expect anyone else to bother to watch along with many of these other Marvel Superhero movies. 

f) Yes, probably four out of ten