::: metaphlog :::
Sun, Jul 09, 2006
A Knight's Tale
Ran across recently Gilbert, the magazine of the G. K. Chesterton Society of North America. In their sample issue online is an interpretation of the Heath Ledger movie, A Knight's Tale, which is appropriately Chestertonian—paradoxical and insightful. Reviewer Art Livingston manages to redeem the movie for me (I liked it, but there was definite wincing going on; now I'll have to watch it again—and isn't that the point of the best reviews?).
“Slowly, I caught on to what the filmmakers had in mind. Only until recently have people paid much attention to minute historical accuracy, and our ancestors would have thought it blatant pedantry to do so. As late as the 18th century, actors trod the boards in performances of Joseph Addison's Cato while being bedecked in periwigs. Similarly, the real Chaucer cared so little for such accuracy that the laws of chivalry bind an ancient Trojan like Troilus. And then the truth dawned on me: this story is being told the medieval way, just as surely as clocks strike the hour in Julius Caesar—without regard to historicism. ”
The article is likely to go away after a while, so if anybody needs a copy, let me know.
Mon, May 15, 2006
Da Vinci Code CleAVes You Wondering
From the "we can't help but wonder" department: notice the font similarities between the CLEAVE logo's use of the AV (designed 1998, launched 1999) and the movie graphics for The Da Vinci Code, using the same AV design in which the A and V are inversions of each other. The ancient correlation between the two is seen in the star of David, in which the upward-pointing triangle is the symbol of man, fire (sacrifice), smoke (prayer), and therefore mankind, while the downward pointing triangle is the symbol of woman, water, mercy (rain), and judgment (flood), and therefore the godhead. So presumably Man(kind) and God will get along just as soon as men and women get along... I wonder how long before ViAgra takes notice and changes their logo?
Wed, May 10, 2006
Cyber Cinema, 1981-2001
Reader Doug Van Hollen points out “a piece (actually a series of pieces) on cyberpunk cinema and its various hiding places 1981–2001. This guy really knows his stuff and is willing to look in odd places (Batman as the ultimate cyberpunk? And Predator?!), while providing new insights into all the obvious ones.” Thanks, Doug.
Wed, Mar 22, 2006
Another Calvin & Hobbes and Fight Club Connection
Thanks to Thomas Sowell for sending us the link to this one, which reconfirms our original conviction. In related news, we're extending the deadline and reupping the call for papers for Fight Club and Philosophy, due to the fact that we received far fewer submissions than promised. E-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org if you've got something you've always wanted to work on -- Chuck Palahniuk has agreed to write the intro, so hit us as hard as you can.
Sun, Mar 19, 2006
Sopranos in Drag
Reader Aaron Hoffer sends us a link to an interpretive review of The Sopranos in the Washington Post (12 March 2006), which includes this interesting idea: “The mob story, it might be argued, replaced the Western as the great American epic in the last third of the 20th century. As the counterculture was shredding the myth of the West into a million little pieces with movies such as "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid," "The Wild Bunch" and even "Midnight Cowboy," the first two "Godfather" movies were winning Best Picture Oscars. Those films retold the American epic on the urban frontier. "Goodfellas" solidified the idea that "Mafia + Movie = Art."” A story of the American Dream, a sitcom in dramatic drag. A nice read. Thanks, Aaron.
Tue, Feb 28, 2006
No wonder they call it The Holy Land. A spoof ad from Holy Virals, found on Metacafe, makes a pitch for Israeli tourism by remaking the connection that Jesus Jeans made back in the 1970's. At the opening of the clip, notice the Metacafe logo font and "Are you bored?" tagline -- look familiar?
Mon, Feb 27, 2006
Good Night and Good Luck
Reader David Schaap has blogged a great interpretation of George Clooney's feel-good political film (the black and white one, I mean). “This film is not about the wanton abuse of political power for self-aggrandizing purposes and the persecution of liberals and other political enemies during the 50's. Oh, no. It is about the persecution of smokers today.” Great stuff. "Are you now, or have you ever been, a smoker?"
Thu, Feb 02, 2006
It's Out: Philip Seymour Hoffman Wins Oscar
Unbeatable politically correct prediction strategy, or just a wild guess? Check the odds of winning Oscar gold by playing someone both gay and famous at Encyclopedia Hanasiana
Wed, Feb 01, 2006
I Want This To Be A Hoax
From the marketing material for StagKnight: "An entirely independent project, following in the footsteps of Shaun of the Dead, StagKnight boasts better kills, hotter babes, more laughs and one of the most original horror villains ever seen."
Am reminded of lyrics from Roger Water's best solo album, Amused to Death (itself inspired by Neil Postman's best book, Amusing Ourselves to Death -- worthwhile if you've not already read it, especially now that the 20th anniversary edition has an excellent introduction by Neil's very funny son, Andrew Postman):
No tears to cry
No feelings left
This species has amused itself to death.
Am also reminded of lyrics from Leonard Cohen's song, The Future, on the soundtrack to Natural Born Killers:
When they said repent,
I wondered what they meant.
Or as Postman himself said, "What is the antidote to a culture's being drained by laughter?"
Better kills, hotter babes, more laughs: Could it not be the slogan of most videogames? The tagline of most media? The national anthem of most contemporary cultures?
Mon, Jan 23, 2006
Alone In The Dark
It's been a "dark" week in the journalism world of film writing, apparently, and yet this is a very interesting review of Colin McGinn's new book, The Power of Movies, which is the first serious attempt to articulate the theory that film is the medium that allows us to most closely approximate the dreamstate in our Waking Life. Well worth the time for Metaphilm readers who have been subscribers to this theory for a while now.
Chris Fujiwara at The Boston Globe writes a nice piece that is both meditative review and further exploration of the theme of Mark Conard's new book, The Philosophy of Film Noir. It's a subject clearly dear to Fujiwara's heart, who already has a book out on a similar theme, and whose upcoming biography on Otto Preminger will be read with eagerness by those on this side of the pond, since Paul Glass, the soundtrack composer for the increasingly creepy narrative of Preminger's 1965 Bunny Lake Is Missing, is also a professor at Franklin College Switzerland. And as it turns out, a remake of Bunny Lake Is Missing is slated for 2007. I had thought FlightPlan was already the remake, but that was an impression gleaned only from the previews; I've still not seen the film.
Thu, Jan 05, 2006
Movies as Therapy
Cinematical points us to a new book out, Reel Fulfilment, which bills itself as a twelve-step plan for transforming your life through movies. Sounds like a potential triumph of the human spirit. Eesh. Actually, didn't CinemaShrink do this first?
Wed, Jan 04, 2006
The Dharma of Star Wars
Thanks to reader Jan Bernd ten Berg from The Netherlands for pointing us to this FilmThreat interview with Matthew Bortolin, author of The Dharma of Star Wars. Interpreting the Star Wars saga through a Buddhist framework does open some helpful insights. “Buddhism teaches that the first Truth of life is that suffering is a part of life. For me nothing makes the fact of suffering more evident than the “Holiday Special” and especially Beatrice Arthur singing the Mos Eisley Cantina patrons out the door. Just the memory makes my skin crawl.” Indeed. I have recently gotten my hands on a copy, but I haven't been able to make my hands put it into the VCR. Apparently, I am not sufficiently willing to embrace suffering.
Sun, Jan 01, 2006
The Chronic Rock-les of Narnia
You know that cinema has replaced the cathedral when Lazy Sunday makes it to the top of the charts by telling the story of two Saturday Night Live guys catching a matinee to a filmed adaptation of a child's Christian allegory.
Although, personally, for my money I prefer the Cupcake Cafe at 39th and 9th Avenue.
Sat, Dec 17, 2005
TV Snow and Poltergeist
Thanks to Johannes Grenzfurthner for this monochrom link to a very Metaphilm-ish piece about the movie Poltergeist.
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