I Won’t Be Happy Unless It All Ends In Tragedy.

I mean Tragedy in the sense of not an Epic or a Comedy.  Tragedies tend to be meditations on death, loss and suffering but without any final redemption, whereas Epics, though they touch on the same subjects, end with the protagonist learning an essential truth, becoming stronger for it, and experiencing some form of redemption.
Forgive me if I’m offering you a pre-sucked egg here.

Tragedies can be difficult to sit through and, forgive me for saying this, often seem to be taking themselves far more seriously than necessary.  To quote an esteemed colleague, movies that are hard-going for hard-going’s sake just seem to defeat the purpose…much the same [as] “earnest” movies.
Bill Murray, as one example, has an amazing knack for taking serious, “earnest”, complex roles and injecting both humanity and humour, allowing the viewer to watch and enjoy (because let’s be plain here, we’re not talking about documentaries, we’re talking about work that is designed, marketed and consumed primarily as entertainment) the movie, but which also serves the process of the art much better in that it communicates the human experience involved, adds extra levels of communication between actors and audience and forms connections, bonds, between actors and audience granting those unspoken dimensions a presence onscreen.

As another example I think Deer Hunter was more in the “hard-going for the sake of it” camp, although perhaps it was intended/received as a necessary catharsis for Americans from the Vietnam era, ‘cos heaven knows such a thing was necessary given what the vets experienced both in service and on their return home.

This is in stark contrast with another war movie, Apocalypse Now, which is one of my favourite movies (especially the 45 min longer Redux cut), and, y’know, it barely seems like a war movie at all to me.  I’m a bit of a Joseph Conrad fan, and I really really like the exploration & exposition of personality that his storytelling deals with, and I think Coppola reflected this brilliantly.  The war aspect was just a distracting device through which to explore the otherness of white guys going crackers in the jungle (amongst slightly more weighty topics ;> ).
Better than Romancing the Stone, anyway.

But here, if you fancy some luscious cinematography, find a Russian movie called The Return.  so good.  Also an Epic.  Or its successor, The Banishment, a Tragedy.

World War One Color Photos

I had no idea colour photography was so old, and to find it used in wartime, right in the trenches, has amazed me.
I’ve seen many, many wartime photos but since every single one of them has been black and white, so these colour images seem retrospectively staged. The colours imply a modernity that jars with the historic nature of the content. Perhaps it’s more difficult to believe they’re real because they seem too real, as if the subjects are actors in period costume, glimpsed on-set in-between takes.
Funny thing, perception.

Here’s the link: www.worldwaronecolorphotos.com.

As a post script, here’s Colour Photography on Wikipedia. I shoulda guessed that this was a gaping hole in my knowledge…

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The Sports Car: Anacronism?

When were sports cars last used for competitive sports?

Surely not since the early seventies? Le Mans and Grand Prix cars have evolved way beyond the possibility for production road versions, and as the 70’s progressed Rally cars also moved away from the sports car model into its current guise of the souped-up and heavily modified saloon car.
Similarly televised motorsport is dominated by the British Touring Car championships, and in States they have Nascar, again using souped-up and heavily modified saloon cars.

Is the sports car, long a classic icon of wealth, elegance and performance, an anacronism? Is it now just a dead-end and flat-out statement of disposable income with little or no redeeming aesthetic or social meaning?

Wow. Heart in Mouth.

Found this: wow.

strangegrrl’s LiveJournal 19 years ago today was a PD day at my grade school. I was seven years old.

19 years ago today at approx. 10:30am my mother dropped me at my aunt and uncle’s for the weekend.

19 years ago today at approx. 10:30am was the last time I saw my mother alive.

I was the last person in our family to see her alive. I was the last person she hugged and kissed.

19 years ago today at approx. 4:30pm, she died.

Today at approx. 4:30pm we will be receiving the finished books back from the printer.

Your mother used to love to write, dad said before it somehow became the unspoken rule that we couldn’t talk about the past. Today, on the 19th anniversary of her passing, I become an author with my first book in my hands. Your mother used to love to write, and this milestone (despite not saying such in the thank yous or dedications) is above all for her. I miss you, mom.

I don’t need to write the dedications out anymore. The fact that everything I write is for her, is already a given. I love you, mom