“A Room with a View” & nuances

Early 1900. A young English (and passionate) woman visits Italy with her chaperon cousin. In the hotel she meets George, a quiet English young man who gives her a kiss. Back to England, she is to be married to Cecil, an inhibited tight ass aristocrat. Of course, the young man and his father find a house not far. “Lucy begins to tell a series of lies, mostly to herself, about what and who she really wants for and in her life”.

A Room with a View. I love this movie and I watched it many times. At the very beginning you understand that you’ll have fun with the shock between upper class English demeanor and the call of life of sunny Italy.

I was amazed how Forster (who wrote the book) draws footbridges within the two universes. Lucy’s family is wealthy and well educated, but fun-loving (her brother is a light hearted music lover). Forster is anticlerical but his priest character is very smart and funny.

You constantly feel the forces of life and daring possibilities moving strongly under the polite British maneers : the fiery writer character who loves to get lost in the city of Firenze, the cousin Charlotte who struggles between rules and what she likes (or liked), Lucy’s family, the way she plays Beethoven, etc. One of the pleasures of the film is to see the pile of lies needed to keep a “respectability”, until the whole thing crashes down…

This scenario should be studied a little more. I wrote this article because of this tool/structure :

  1. Find two opposite universes A and B.
  2. Show where are the doors and potential bridges between them.
  3. Show possibilities, desires, will to discover and explore.
  4. Show what part of B exists already in A (and vice versa).
  5. Have fun.

This structure can be used for the two faces of yourself, two merging companies, a new couple… what else?

What about the “Ahh screw it!” moment?

Thanks for reading!

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Accusation of “Liking Incomprehensible Superiorities”

ONE

Well yes I’m currently watching Justice League. I will need three evenings to do that, because it’s really bad. It’s… an off-beat pleasure. In this area of superhero movies, I often have fun to discover the “evil character” and how he (or she) is a mess. In this movie, the horned giant has to bring 3 cubes together to have a big power (to destroy Earth, or whatever).

Yes, it’s THAT bad.

One great fun is to imagine how impossible it must have been for Gal Gadot (who plays Wonder Woman – she studied law and international relations) or Ben Affleck (who’s been in Cambridge) to do this :

  • Batman: [Parademon about to attack him] Son of a bitch!
  • Wonder Woman: AHH

Voilà. I need to make an effort, but well…

I also noticed the ironic audience-elbowing geeky lines told by The Flash (“It’s like Pet Cemetery!”), yeyyy.

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TWO

I ask Urban Dictionary what a Snob is, to be sure :

  • Anyone who thinks they are better than someone else based upon superficial factors.
  • A snob is someone who thinks they’ve got better taste than others in most things; especially in music, film and books. Snobs of this kind, frown upon bestsellers, blockbusters, and pop music. They regard themselves intellectuals and think of people who follow the crowd as philistines.

Well, what happens when they’re NOT superficial factors?

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THREE

I read this morning in my Manet‘s biography great critic’s texts about 1870’s Salon (one is from Castagnary, the other from Duranty – those guys really impressed me). They were disliking Manet’s work, but it was delightful to read how they expressed it. Duranty says Manet has the talent and doesn’t use it properly (that’s this opinion).

In front of the public, “We don’t know any more how to defend ourselves before this accusation to “love the incomprehensible superiorities””.

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FOUR

Before Justice League, I watched a funny little French film (“Main dans la Main“, find it it’s silly good!), and before this The Rite, an Ingmar Bergman movie, yes it’s in Swedish and in black and white and it’s excessive and dark and artificial and great and pretty toxic.

I needed 3 evenings to watch it, too.

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FIVE

We don’t know any more how to defend ourselves before this accusation to “love the incomprehensible superiorities”” talks to me, and I gave up (defending) a long time ago. Manet or Bergman, this is a lonely on-my-island thing (but I blog about it, OK). I don’t want to sound a snob (and I’m sure I’m one, in some people’s mind).

And it works the other way round! If I talk about Puccini or the pleasure of XIXth paintings with a scholar, I certainly don’t talk about the links about irony I find between Thor Ragnarok and the idea of irony in Arts I read in Baudelaire’s work. I don’t want to sound an idiot either

Snob 2.0

Have a nice day!

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A little pattern in Star Wars VIII The Last Jedi (Spoilers!)

I watched the first Star Wars movies (IV) at 11 in 1977. Of course in awe!

When the “greatly anticipated” second trilogy began in 1999, I remember a splendid interview of George Lucas – criticized for writing and characters (oh Jar Jar Binks…) – who really blew a fuse, telling that he was not a god, that he did what he can, and that it was just a movie! It was really a “If you’re not satisfied with it, good to you!”. I loved that! I could imagine the pressure on his back…

Hardcore fans, people who really want to make a Jedi religion, plus the Internet, are like a boiling crowd. If a new Star Wars is too close of the beginning, it’s bad. If it’s too adventurous, it’s bad. Why so serious?

 

Yesterday I watched the new Star Wars (The Last Jedi), and I found a little pattern, a vector-motto. If you don’t want to be spoiled, don’t read the rest!

  1. Rey wants to be taught how to tame the Force, and Luke mocks her about what she “thinks she knows” about it.
  2. Luke throws the saber over his shoulder.
  3. When she thinks she “feels” something, rolling eyes Luke is tickling her hand with a long grass.
  4. Luke wants to set the sacred books of Jedi on fire, and Yoda… accelerates it, burning the whole place to ashes, laughing at Luke being sooo serious about a few boring books nobody really read (“Page turners, they are not”, haha).
  5. Yoda to Luke : “Skywalker, still looking to the horizon. Never here, now, hmm?”.
  6. Poe mocks the seriousness (and uses it) of General Hux (Hugs. With an ‘H’. Skinny guy. Kinda pasty”).
  7. Leia has to stun Poe, damned serious about his mutiny.
  8. Snoke: [to Kylo Ren] You are no Vader. You are just a child in a mask.
  9. Kylo Ren destroying Rey’s intense hope about her parents (“They were filthy junk traders. Sold you off for drinking money”.). Hop.

 

“The greatest teacher, failure is”…

I’m sure I could find much more. It’s a constant pattern here :

“Don’t be that serious, silly!”

I would add : these are just movies, let’s have fun.

 

Thanks for reading!

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Dunkirk as a MAYA & Strangeization sensorial experience

I remember a scene from this movie, Sex, Lies and Videotapes, which won a Palme d’Or at the 1989 Cannes Film Festival. It was just a dialog between two characters, with a strange sound behind.

One would wonder what was this sound made of. Construction workers in the street behind the closed window, or abstract clinking soundtrack? It was disturbing, diverting and rerouting the whole scene : the dialog, the mood, the meaning of it. And thus… I never forgot it!

 

Yesterday I watched Dunkirk, the 2017 Christopher Nolan war film. Wiki says that the audio mixing team only was made of eight people!

One friend warned it to me before : the film puts you in a stress mode because of the SOUND. The music, textures, sound effects (including the fascinating Shepard_tone – which is an auditory illusion) are different. The stories (we follow three wires : on sea, in air, on earth) are kaleidoscoping. The movie sounds (helmet communication in planes, bullets impacts, bombs) are realistic (therefore you never hear them like that – excepted in Private Ryan). All this build a strong and effective symphony of war and survival. With oddness.

What’s the tool, dear?

STRANGEIZATION

I wrote this article a long time ago to explain strangeization :

Strangeization Tool & Eyebrow Criteria

“Distort some elements to catch back the interest of the audience”

Have a strange punctuation. Use inappropriate music. Add dissonances. The purpose is manipulation, here.

  1. An attentive viewer will have fun.
  2. An inattentive viewer will get your elbowpoke : “Hey, look, it’s different!”. Then he’s dropped into category one!

 

MAYA : most-advanced-yet-acceptable/ …is the secret for success with strangeization. Disturb, but not too much, or you’ll lose your public with avant-garde nausea.

MAYA is here like the restraining operator of Strangeization

Why not using it today? Where? Poetry or Photography? What else?

Have a nice day!

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PS : I would love to add this : My father’s father died in this war. And his grandfather in WWI. He didn’t remember his father, his voice, nothing. Just a coffin. He was too little. In a way, I’ve the consequences of 39-45 in my flesh. And I remember his emotion when he told me about the tall American soldier who jumped from a tank and gave him a chewing-gum tablet. He was a little boy. You guys saved our asses. Thank you.

“I wanna say come on let’s go just when I oughta say nix” – Oklahoma (the movie)

If I take a map of the United States of America, the heart of the country if obviously Kansas.

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Oklahoma is under Kansas, this state with a stick on the upper left. It exists since… 1907. The name comes from the Indians.

Foot! Tonight I watched the musical film Oklahoma, 1955, adapted from a 1943 stage musical. The music comes from Richard Rodgers and the lyrics from Oscar Hammerstein (yeah, the guys who made The Sound of Music).

You have to accept it’s a musical, an innocent story (“In Oklahoma, several farmers, cowboys and a traveling salesman compete for the romantic favors of various local ladies”, says IMDB), with good songs, gorgeous skies and great “stylized western dancing”. So, in a way, it’s seems clean, light hearted and conservative. And you really don’t care that much about the characters, from transparent semi-idiots “pretty” girls to really dumb cow-boys.

In fact, the treasure of the film is Ado Annie, played by Gloria Grahame, who is a funny featherbrain who likes to kiss everyone who passes by. There are so many details along the movie that you quickly realize the movie is all about sex. There are songs (like this “I cain’t say no”) in which she “has the sex coming out of her eyes, right along with the innocence”. Many times during the movie I was like “How did they dare that in a family movie??”. And it’s constant.

The film happens when the state of Oklahoma is not in the union already. There are fights, but not with immigrants : between farmers with “their fences”, and cow-boys…

Today I watched it with plenty of fun. Sex lovers in Oklahoma : Yeepeeee!

And this music is taking modulation bends that I love!

 

 

Annie:
It ain’t so much a question of not knowin’ what to do
I knowed what’s right an’ wrong since I been ten.
I heared a lot of stories an’ I reckon they are true
About how girls are put upon by men.
I know I mustn’t fall into the pit
But when I’m with a feller, I fergit!

I’m just a girl who cain’t say ‘No’
I’m in a terrible fix!
I always say ‘Come on, let’s go’
just when I oughta say ‘Nix.’
When a person tries to kiss a girl
I know she oughta give his face a smack!
But as soon as someone kisses me
I somehow sorta wanna kiss him back!
I’m just a fool when lights are low
I cain’t be prissy an’ quaint
I ain’t the type that can faint
How can I be what I ain’t?
I cain’t say ‘No!’

Whatcha gonna do when a feller gets flirty
An’ starts to talk purty
Whatcha gonna do?
Sposin’ that he says
That your lips are like cherries,
Or roses, or berries?
Whatcha gonna do?
Sposin’ that he says
That yer sweeter ‘n cream
and he’s gotta have cream or die?
Whatcha gonna do when he talks that way?
Spit in his eye?

I’m jist a girl who cain’t say ‘No’,
Cain’t seem to say it at all
I hate to disserpoint a beau
When he is payin’ a call!
Fer a while I ack refined and cool,
A settin on the velveteen setee
Nen I think of thet ol’ Golden Rule,
And do fer him what he would do fer me!
I cain’t resist a Romeo
In a sombrero and chaps
Soon as I sit on their laps
Somethin’ inside of me snaps
I cain’t say ‘No’!

[Additional Verse]
I’m jist a girl who cain’t say ‘No’
Kissin’s my favorite food!
With or without the mistletoe
I’m in a holiday mood!
Other girls are coy an’ hard to catch
But other girls ain’t havin’ any fun!
Ev’ry time I lose a wrastlin’ match
I have a funny feelin’ that I won!
Though I can feel the undertoe
I never make a complaint
Till it’s too late for restraint
Then when I want to, I cain’t
I cain’t say ‘No!’

 

 

Pokemon Power & Building Ways Out : Chronicle 23

Le plaisir littéraire n’est pas d’exprimer sa pensée
tant que de trouver ce qu’on n’attendait pas de soi.
Paul Valéry

 

I really don’t know how to translate this. It’d be : “The literary pleasure is not to express your thought but to find what you didn’t expect from yourself“. Satisfactory idea, no?

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Pokemon (Pocket Monsters) is a media franchise managed by a Japanese consortium between Nintendo and others.

Yesterday in the store I work in, I saw a kid who bought for $70 of Pokemon cards. His papa had his credit card, that’s pretty cool! I said to the boy, who was smiling holding his ten little packs : “Will you open them like… one each day?”. “Nooooo : some cards have POWER, you know!”.

Power!

Two students asked for “Discourse on Voluntary Servitude” a few minutes later. Which, I told the girls, is about how to be free or how to be submissive and obey.

Who is powerful here? Nintendo, the Pokemons, the kid, the father? Where is the power “acting” IRL?

Will the kid buy Pokemon ring binders at 35 years old, like many adults I see? Therefore what? At the Pokemon marketing (cattle displacement) time, will your son chase Pokemons, or will he find anything else, by himself, out of the obedience area?

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It’s been Thanksgiving. Have you been grateful? To…?

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To build ways out.

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Ulysses resisted the song of the Sirens by having his ship’s crew tie him up, because their singing is so beautiful that it drives men mad.

He heard. The song was beautiful, and it offered “new knowledge about the world”. Well, I think so!

Céder aux chants des sirènes, we say in French : yield to the Sirens’ songs. It’s not “to succumb” (which is you lost), it “to yield to” (which is you decide to lose and let go).

In mythology, sirens are women-fish or women-birds (see the vase)…

This classic image of the guy tied to the mast because he wants to hear something dangerous is like an itching metaphor, don’t you think? Where could we apply that?

When do you “go even if you know it’s a mess”, and how to you protect yourself, then?

 

Ulysses_and_the_Sirens_by_H.J._Draperxxl

 

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To drive is to ignore plenty of things. There a great article about what is attention on Wikipedia : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attention

It’s worth an article but I’m lazy. Nevertheless : I will explore this a little, later.

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In France, some guys were chasing Pokemons in cemeteries with their phones – or in people’s properties and gardens. What does that “mean”?

You don’t understand : some Pokemons have powers, they are RARE. You’ll never understand, right?

Nope.

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Bazin says that The Complex of Nero is when you have pleasure in the sight of urban destruction.

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There are two kinds of movies, those who shows, those who tells.

In Ryan’s Daughter, a husband is walking in a quiet sunny morning on a seashore. He smiles because he noticed steps in the sand, the steps of his wife. He knows she had a walk there. He follows the path. And he sees another set of steps, of a man of course, getting to the path, reaching her. Now it’s two pairs of shoes. This “feetprint” turns around a huge rock on the sand, and shows that they stopped behind it.

For a kiss

Here, two events are showed at the same time, without a single word. 1/The new romance, and 2/the discovery of the now broken hearted husband. On the image, you see what the spouse guesses…

Do you prefer this, or hear him crying on a chair telling a friend what he discovered?

Show, or tell?

 

Thanks for reading!

 

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Urban Cowboy, y’all

OK. As a movie lover, I knew Urban Cowboy was a good movie, but I never watched it until today.

I know something : for American people, the “South” is something, say, like… different. The accent, for example. So : imagine what it can be for… a French!

It’s a bit like all of you, but worse, you see? When I see a country music singer (with his hat), I have “this” smile. I’m sorry, but it’s VERY strange for us. Imagining to wear a cowboy hat in a joint, OMG…

One day, a American good friend of mine took a few hours to explain me country music, with the lyrics, etc. Broken hearted men, singing about sorrow, regrets and lost love. It left me in a awe (and, well, my own life was a sadness disaster at this time). I knew nothing about it all. It was interesting…

Urban Cowboy is the story of a dumb alpha male (John Travolta), quitting the family farm for the city of Houston. In a honky-tonk he meets a girl (Debra Winger), marries her, then becomes jealous of a stupid bad guy released of parole (she’s attracted, of couuuurse). Everybody rides a mechanical rodeo bull, etc.

So : East Texas in the eighties, country music and, as I saw in IMDB, “young couples without big bank accounts who have trouble getting along”.

The actors and the director manage to do something great : we, little by little, learn to LIKE these people. A simple minded sexist redneck, a dumb spouse falling for the first bad guy in town, etc. And we love them!

Well, it’s impossible not to love Debra Winger, right?

The hold of tragedy squeezes them all, and it becomes… important. It’s a good movie, I told you!

 

This is a useful tool, and a dial : don’t mock unknown cultures too fast, even if it’s the easiest path for you. Be serious, hold on, bend over, lean, study the most boring universe, and find your seeds. Little by little, I was interested in this film, and I found the music really great (lyrics included). Who will do the same with opera, or Italian classical music or Belgian literature?

Have a nice day, y’all!

 

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