Archive for May, 2011

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Rubber

May 26, 2011

Thought I’d try my hand at some short reviews.

Initially shown at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival, and enjoying only a limited release subsequently, Rubber was written and directed by Quentin Dupieux, also known as Mr. Ozio, the French electro-techno musician and record producer who gave the world the famous “Flat Beat“, widely seen through the Levis advert featuring the charming puppet Flat Eric who bobbed his head in time with the tune. The critical reception for Rubber has been very divisive, as one would expect from a film that is about a car tyre that suddenly comes to life in an American desert and embarks on a murderous rampage using its psychokinetic ability of causing people’s heads to explode.

The premise cannot be faulted; succeeding on bizarre originality alone, but there is a little more to Rubber than merely the story of the “Robert” the tyre. The film also features a cast of spectators, a group of people standing in the desert ostensibly watching the very same film (albeit within the film) via binoculars and commenting critically on the proceedings. This satirical, surrogate audience both observes and interacts with the other characters and plot of Rubber and they/we are addressed in the opening of the film by another character delivering a monologue to explain that films happen for “no reason” and that this central idea informs the ensuing events. What follows is an absurdist comedy aimed at playfully deconstructing various filmmaking conventions by way of a bizarre B-movie tale.

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Nuts, Norks and Indirect Confessions

May 17, 2011

Carter, doing it wrong.

Meant to post on this a while ago.

Renowned peanut farmer and clown figure of international diplomacy, Jimmy Carter, recently undertook a trip to North Korea accompanied by three other members of The Elders NGO of public figures. He was, rather amusingly, snubbed by both Kim Jong-il in Pyongyang and later by President Lee Myung-bak of South Korea when his group journeyed to Seoul following their hapless jaunt north of the 38th parallel. At a press conference in the South Korean capital, Carter rather incredibly blamed the US government for North Korean food shortages and made blatantly erroneous statements regarding US sanctions targeting the North Korean people. The current US sanctions target Nork money laundering, weapons proliferation and the import of luxury goods. Humanitarian assistance is specifically exempt from these sanctions. The foolish bollocks spilling out of Carter’s face was also undone by the glaring reality that North Koreans were starving before these sanctions were put in place and then, as now, they were starving because of the disastrously inept economic policies of the North Korean government.

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Twi-curious?

May 14, 2011

Sorry, but this pic just doesn't get old.

I do believe that I’m on the cusp of developing a perfect love/hate relationship with the Twilight franchise. Now, before you all reach for your torches and pitchforks and march to my castle door, denouncing my wretched Twifaggery  like a rabid band of cultural Khomeinists, let me stress that I haven’t read a word of Stephenie Meyer’s books and I’ve only seen approximately one-and-a-half of the film adaptations that have been released (and I waited until the Korean cable broadcast for those). The love part of the equation is little more than an appreciation for the overall pop culture phenomenon and the way in which it has unfolded. I love that a 30-something devout Mormon can put a palpable load of shite to paper and become massively enriched by it, the best-selling author on the planet for three consecutive years. After watching the first, eponymous Twilight film and sitting agape as the sparkly vampire Edward explains his romantic obsession with the human Bella by emphatically declaring “you’re like my own personal brand of heroin”, I researched Stephenie Meyer and discovered that she made $59 million in 2009 alone for writing stuff like that. That’s quite extraordinary, and I’ll happily rejoice in the spread of this feverish madness in much the same way that I’ll thoroughly enjoy the success and notoriety of a film wherein a mad surgeon sews people’s mouths to other people’s asses. It’s all part of life’s rich pageant, and what a dull world it would be otherwise.

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The Land of the Pure

May 5, 2011

Declassified photo of US Navy Seal Team 6

Last weekend was one defined by celebration, beginning on Friday April 29th with the relaunch and refreshment of that enduring British freak show known as The Royal Family by way of an elaborately publicized ritual wedding, and culminating in joyous scenes in American streets late on Sunday evening as it was announced that U.S. forces had located and killed Osama Bin Laden following a decade-long manhunt for the man

Debate continues apace on whether Bin Laden’s death represents any truly significant victory and of what, if any, reprisals the West will face for ridding the civilized world of its most high-profile foe but the more immediate and enduring controversy is focused on where exactly the Islamofascist craphound was found to be hiding. In the end the guy was not skulking in a cave somewhere along the porous AfPak border but instead enjoying a rather comfy existence in a highly secured mansion compound in the quiet town of Abbottobad in Pakistan, barely half a mile from the site of the Pakistan Military Academy. Although hardly revelatory, this glaring recent example of Pakistani complicity with Islamic terrorism has apparently moved the Pakistani security services to admit to being “embarrassed” by the whole affair and has reportedly led to some “searching questions” to be asked of Pakistan, according to the British Prime Minister, David Cameron.

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