Archive for the Film Reviews Category

Architecture in ‘The Name of the Rose’

Posted in Film Reviews, Historic Architecture, Recommendations & Tributes with tags , , , , , , , , , , on May 27, 2020 by Drogo

RWU History of Architecture II – Irene Fatsea 1995

Architecture in ‘The Name of the Rose’ Film

In the movie adaptation of Umberto Eco’s novel ‘The Name of the Rose’, architecture plays an important role for the medieval tone and setting. The film director, Annaud, made every scene intense with “visual overkill”. Five scenes show the importance of architecture in relation to the plot and characters.

In the opening scene two monks are riding towards the monastery. The monastery is positioned atop a steep hill, amid deep valleys and snow capped mountains. The impressive medieval stone fortress architecture is foreboding, as the dark mass over-looks the two small travelers on the narrow path leading into the complex. The hulking gate portcullis is drawn up, and the two Franciscan monks are greeted by disturbed and grotesque Benedictine monastic residents. The resident host monks exaggerate physical and mental characteristics which are considered social defects. The two visitors are now held within the cold imposing ‘sanctuary’ enclosure of massive walls and imposing battlements. Although they should feel secure, the unsettling harsh structure creates an angst-filled atmosphere of fear.

Unity is present in the choir scene. There is an orderly placement of seats in long rows, and the acoustics allow for blissful escape from more mundane routines and problems. When the monks are not gathered in this space for spiritual singing, the harshness of real life returns. The choir seats are narrow wooden benches with ornate carvings, and the back rows are raised along both walls of the holy hall. Ribbed vaulting creates echoing acoustics. 

The scriptorium of the library is ordered like a modern office, with a system of desks like pews, all facing one direction. The desk orientation prevents conversation and directs attention to a leader. The scriptorium is filled with a multitude of books and manuscripts, and they work on them on the desks. The arrangement of desks is dictated also by rows of short, round pillars with gothic capitals. 

The catacombs are a dark reminder of the Christianity’s past. Human skulls are stacked in rows. The halls are dark and damp, with dreary decor. The heroes must make their way with torches, for no natural light enters these halls of the dead. The architecture is simple, crude, and random; with small coves in the walls to house remains of bodies.

The locked library is a labyrinth in the tower, and it is where the climax occurs. Piranesi and Escher designed scenes of similar mysterious and chaotic stairs, with seemingly impossible connections. Hexagonal rooms filled with books lead off in four directions, while the action bombards our senses. Staircases drape from the shafts of the tower, and each of them branches off into countless rooms; all of which are almost identical. There are puzzles to be solved with logic and education. The labyrinth represents the workings of the confused, twisted, and guarded medieval mind. When the library is burned, it shows how fragile and fleeting history can be, despite our attempts to preserve the past and learn from it in the present.

12 Monkeys SCOD Review

Posted in Critical Commentary of Civilization, Film Reviews, History, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on May 11, 2018 by Drogo

The SCOD ‘FALLOUT 2020’ film uses critical montages of films that relate to the questioning of contemporary modern civilization, specifically the industrial capitalist way of life. Some social issues affect more than our limited individual/daily perspectives; a desire to be at constant War may have dramatic consequences on humanity and the planet Earth as we know it. The second part shows 2 kinds of holocaust survivors: surface-scraggs and under-ground-bomb-shelter-dwellers.

Contributing references are: Falling Down, Fight Club, Naquoyqatsi, Koyannisqatsi, Mad Max, Road Warrior, 12 Monkeys, the War on Terror, New World Order, 1984 George Orwell, Biohazard State of the World Address, Bad Religion, Dead Kennedys, etc

Regarding the importance of 12 Monkeys in SCOD theory, several plot points and quotes are significant for their profound post-modern meanings.

1. Historical importance has value for future events as well, because the future does become history. History has lessons, and time travel can be a state of mind.

2. The script origin ‘La Jetee’ inspired both Terminator and 12 Monkeys, and deals with time travel to stop a terrible historic event, in order to save humanity. Fate is not fixed. Technology does not solve problems for humanity without ethics.

3. Social concern for people as individuals is more important than trying to ‘save’ all of humanity through inhuman actions like war or assassination. A logical killer can be just as terrible as an emotional killer.

4. Reality and imagination are connected in ways that can easily make humans delusional, but traumatic situations can cause schizo break-downs in otherwise sober and normal people.

5. Ethical problems generally need more empathetic mystery solving, to avoid more violence later. Large environmental or social problems often make sane people do insane things.

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Dr. Peters: I think, Dr. Railly, you have given your “alarmists” a bad name. Surely there is very real and very convincing data that the planet cannot survive the excesses of the human race: proliferation of atomic devices, uncontrolled breeding habits, the rape of the environment, the pollution of land, sea, and air. In this context, isn’t it obvious that “Chicken Little” represents the sane vision and that Homo Sapiens’ motto, “Let’s go shopping!” is the cry of the true lunatic?

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Poet: Yet among the myriad microwaves, the infra-red messages, the gigabytes of ones and zeroes, we find words, byte-sized now, tinier even than science lurking in some vague electricity, but if we but listen we can hear the solitary voice of that poet telling us, “Yesterday This Day’s Madness did prepare; Tomorrow’s Silence, Triumph or Despair: Drink! for you know not whence you came, nor why: Drink! for you know not why you go, nor where.”

  • Cassandra in Greek legend, you recall, was condemned to know the future but to be disbelieved when she foretold it. Hence the agony of foreknowledge combined with the impotence to do anything about it.

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L.J. WASHINGTON: I don’t really come from outer space. It’s a condition of mental divergence. I find myself on the planet Ogo. Part of an intellectual elite preparing to subjugate the barbarian hordes on Pluto. But even though this is a totally convincing reality for me in every way, nevertheless, Ogo is actually a construct of my psyche. I am mentally divergent in that I am escaping certain unnamed realities that plague my life here. When I stop going there, I will be well. Are you also divergent, friend?

Divergent reality is a theme of the film. Is Cole mentally divergent? Is the future of 2035 his Planet Ogo? And if so, what “unnamed realities” have plagued Cole’s life so he would invent such a reality? We don’t get any answers to these questions, and the film offers us enough evidence to craft multiple, conflicting readings. Washington appears to plant that seed of doubt, which makes the multi-layered plot more interesting.

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James Cole: Look at them. They’re just asking for it. Maybe the human race deserves to be wiped out.

Jeffrey Goines: Wiping out the human race? That’s a great idea. That’s great. But more of a long-term thing. I mean, first we have to focus on more immediate goals.

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I’ve never seen La Jetee. If I do something based on something else I make it a principle not to read or see the original: I’ll be intimidated by it, or I’ll feel an awesome sense of responsibility. So I avoid that problem. There was something about the idea that people putting layer upon layer to protect themselves from a potential infection, end up in a sense isolating themselves from one another. And I became obsessed with that. The locations I’ve used were old disused power stations around Philadelphia and Baltimore. Nuclear plants, factories, power stations: “cathedrals of technological progress.” I’ve always had a problem with the belief that technology was going to solve all of our problems; so I’m drawn to shooting in those places, particularly for this film, which is about decay and about nostalgia. These great spaces were considered to be providing the solution to all of our problems, yet now they’re just wasted, lying there, rotting. And that seemed very much what a lot of the film was about. About putting your faith in the wrong things. Television seems to be ubiquitous in “Twelve Monkeys”. Every scene has got a television screen in it doing something. It’s because I think television is this awful mirror that we all look into every day, but it distorts the reflection and I hate it. It trivializes life. Rather than really enlightening us, it ends up just dragging us down to the lowest, into the boring and the tedious. And however much you try to resist it, you begin to believe the world really is that way. “There’s the television. It’s all right there — all right there. Look, listen, kneel, pray!” So we’ve included it in the film. And it shows commercials that are doing strange things, and cartoons, which works very nicely as a juxtaposition to some of the scenes that are going on. – Terry Gilliam, Director

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12-Monkeys-1995-e1445731382860

Why Critics Can Fuck Themselves

Posted in Arts (Design & Performance), Critical Commentary of Civilization, Film Reviews, Interviews, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on September 29, 2016 by Drogo

If I have any genius instead of talent (see one of the last reviews* a critic gave Edgar Allen Poe), then my luck will not make me rich and famous during my lifetime; as with Stephen King, JRR Tolkien, or George Martin. If I truly have the amazing artistic potential or merit that a true fan might believe, then to the rest of civilization I will most likely end up poor and infamous when I die; as with Edgar Allen Poe, Vincent Van Gogh, or HP Lovecraft. In fact I realize I am no better than Henry Darger.

The real-life mystery of the death of Edgar Allen Poe makes clear how art imitates life, and life imitates art. Furthermore, there may be some problems with society, that makes the life of an artist such a torturous hell throughout history. Perhaps artistic and autistic handicaps are more similar than government support allows. Indeed Capitalism itself seems to be the enemy of human rights for those cursed with an excess of artistic mental ‘gifts’.

I create art, books, and music because I can do nothing else as well. For those that doubt whether I have tried to work paying jobs, see my resume. Yes I can socialize, exercise, and invest in the stock market; but none of those guarantee a living wage. I am lucky that I am smart enough to tie my shoes. I am lucky I can walk. I am lucky that I can enjoy food. I am lucky that I am alive, so perhaps the fact that no one can put a price on it, means that perhaps life is priceless. If life is priceless, and if all human life is worth funding to maintain (as many claim), then perhaps we should not only see the worthlessness of critics, but also we the people should contemplate whether government should direct an economy towards these ends?

 – Drogo Empedocles

*EAP’s last lecture review was sympathetic to a dying poet “…no other writer in the USA has half the chance to be remembered. Had Mr. Poe possessed talent instead of genius, he might have been a money-making author; but his title to immortality could not be surer than it is.” – Charleston newspaper editor

References: Wikipedia

Edgar Allen Poe – In 1849, Poe was found delirious on the streets of Baltimore, “in great distress, and… in need of immediate assistance”, according to a stranger who found him. He was taken to a hospital where he died after a few days. Poe was never coherent long enough to explain how he came to be in his dire condition and, oddly, was wearing clothes that were not his own. He is said to have repeatedly called out the name “Reynolds” on the night before his death, though it is unclear to whom he was referring. Some sources say that Poe’s final words were “Lord help my poor soul”. All medical records have been lost, including his death certificate. Newspapers at the time reported Poe’s death as “congestion of the brain” or “cerebral inflammation”, common euphemisms for deaths from disreputable causes such as alcoholism. The actual cause of death remains a mystery. Speculation has included beatings, alcohol poisoning, delirium tremens, heart disease, epilepsy, syphilis, cholera, and rabies. One theory dating from 1872 suggests that ‘cooping’ was the cause of Poe’s death, a form of electoral fraud of forced voting, sometimes leading to violence and even murder. The author of his critical obituary hated him.

Vincent Van Gogh – suffered fits of despair and hallucination during which he could not work, between long clear months in which he did, punctuated works of extreme visionary ecstasy (like bi-polar). He was often too depressed and unable to write, but he was still able to paint and draw a little. In 1890, aged 37, Van Gogh shot himself in the chest with a revolver. The bullet was deflected by a rib and passed through his chest without doing apparent damage to internal organs – probably stopped by his spine. Doctors tended to him as best they could, then left him alone in his room, smoking his pipe. The following morning Theo rushed to his brother’s side, but Vincent was dead within hours resulting from the wound. According to Theo, Vincent’s last words were: “The sadness will last forever”.

HP Lovecraft – Throughout his life, selling stories and paid literary work for others did not provide enough to cover Lovecraft’s basic expenses. Living frugally, he subsisted on an inheritance that was nearly depleted by the time of his last years. He sometimes went without food to afford the cost of mailing letters. Eventually, he was forced to move to smaller and meaner lodgings with his surviving aunt. He was also deeply affected by the suicide of his correspondent Robert E. Howard. In early 1937, Lovecraft was diagnosed with cancer of the small intestine, and so suffered from malnutrition. He lived in constant pain until his death in 1937, in Providence, RI.

Henry Darger – Famous only post-humously. Darger’s landlords, came across his work shortly before his death. No one seemed to know or care about his art or writing before, because he kept them secret. His book ‘Realms of the Unreal’ may be the longest book known at over 15,000 pages. He was known as a poor old crazy janitor.

Medusa sculpt

Midevil Films Review

Posted in Arts (Design & Performance), Fictional Stories, Film Reviews, Interviews, POB Video, Recommendations & Tributes, Roleplaying / Reenacting with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 19, 2013 by Drogo

Midevil Films Productions

Mid-Western American Independent Film group

Based on Interview with Founder, Producer, Director, Writer, and Actress:  Angela Daum 

Aliases include: Arlyssen Arlussen / Olivia Alyss / Kallie Stevenson

List of some Films:

The Map, The Lesson and The Test, Angela as a Ranger, Angela as a Courier, The Three Gems, I murdered a Fairy?, Ranger Mottos, MCIS, Midevil Crime Investigation Service, The Day in the Life of a Courier, How to wash your K9, Andrew Audition

Angela has fun with all her films, and the actors are good and play along well with the script for a finished result. She is a maverick woman who is both a passionate writer and a bold actress. She is a loyal to her crafts and her friends.

Watch their films on Youtube Channel Ranger Alyss. Angela’s favorite scene from Angela as a Ranger is: “What I have I gotten myself into.” Angela: “The weeds you just walked into them.”

For Angela film making is a passion she want to continue for as long as possible; with more shows and films on the way!!

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End of Interview with Angela of Midevil Films.

– squirrel happens! –

Lone Ranger & Tonto

Posted in Critical Commentary of Civilization, Fictional Characters, Film Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 7, 2013 by Drogo

I am pleased to say that all “critical reviews” of the ‘Lone Ranger’ film were mistaken. The 2013 “Lone Ranger & Tonto” film was excellent, incredible, and unreal beyond expectations!!! Mom and I loved it, and discussed layer after layer of the fun afterwards. I know many modern day Comanche loved that they respected Indians by making Tonto a more important partner, and telling the story from Tonto’s perspective. The thrill of the old Western is still there for us whites. One of the points that critics miss is that this Tonto is not a stereo-type of typical Indians, and in fact states the opposite; this Tonto is a freak that wears shamanic war-paint with a crow totem on his head, because he is a loner and an out-cast. I am still a fan of the older Lone Rangers, but this version allows the hero to be more approachable, not impossibly perfect; and this allows Tonto to be just as unique and important as his white cowboy counter-part, for once. The Lone Ranger and Tonto are both rebel outlaws in the eyes of social normality.

“Hi-ho Silver, away!”

Art Critic Review Theory

Posted in Book Reports, Critical Commentary of Civilization, Film Reviews with tags , , , , , on February 22, 2013 by Drogo

An Ironic Theory of Hypocritical Critics

 

i prefer neutral artistic summary descriptions, as opposed to egotistical and emotionally biased critique reviews that prey upon either positive propaganda or negative flaws; both of which tend to be opinion based and place too much emphasis on hype or complaints. If I am asked my personal opinion, I prefer to be positive.

 

As an artist, i prefer to be compassionate towards other ethical artists. I want to encourage creativity with my words, rather than insult. Art is not simply an industrial product; which is designed by people but for a utilitarian function. Art is personal. Art is also more than entertainment, however that is an opinion based criteria as well.

 

Critics often justify their negativity by saying they are objectively judging a product; however that is hypocrisy even if they could do better themselves (which often they cannot). Perhaps it is we that could do better, that should be considerate to others who at least try to make art. If someone does not like something for some reason that someone else created, they should contemplate their own feelings about it, because that is the real purpose of art, ultimately no matter how much critics bitch.

 

I realize that by stating this theory, I am being hypocritical in this case, in that I am judging harshly the “work” (if we can call it that, its really opinion) of other people; however I believe that they deserve it, especially if they make money putting other people’s work down, or influencing the masses to regard one work above another.

 

I say this as i listen to movie reviews on the radio, thinking, wow these people are talking shit. Heh. Instead of turning the haters off, i think critics like that should get a taste of their own medicine. So ironically i have just written a review of critics. Ok, now I do not want to waste anymore time worrying or whining about whiners that are being uncaring jerks. For all those that control themselves for the most part in order to be neutral or positive, great job and keep up the good work!

 

– Drogo Empedocles

 

ps- artwork meant to offend or depress people deserves its own theory, but regardless we should talk about art as though we are speaking to the artist; and if we are brave enough to challenge them on an emotional level, then we should also be willing to be attacked with emotional bias ourselves; even if we feel that art has already done this to us.

SCOD Youtube Stats 2007-2013

Posted in Cooperatives / Communities / Networks / Travels, Film Reviews, POB Video with tags , , , , , , , on February 7, 2013 by Drogo

Youtube SCOD Greenhouse Channel Stats 2007-2013

Total Views: 2,362,558

Minutes watched: 90,000

Subscribers: 1,500 (500 in flux)

Videos: 325

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2007-2013  SCOD Channel most popular videos

Robin Hood Theme (Robin of Sherwood Intro) = 576,300 views

Dreams by Kurosawa = 168,600 views

Brazil Torture Scene = 83,100 views

Holy Crusades Terry Jones = 63,300 views

Blackwater Interview (removed) = 50,000 views

Rosencratz & Guildenstern = 48,300 views

Native American Portraits = 45,000 views

SEX Commercial SELLS!!! Buy now!!! = 44,000

American Coal Miner War = 30,000

many others = 20,000s

Bomb Iran Song (McCain) = high in shares

 

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