Seriesofhopes

The things you own end up owning you.

John Carpenter’s 1988 Film: They Live

I can write a lot about the film but, I will recommend you to read what Zizek wrote about it.!

http://mariborchan.com/2009/11/28/slavoj-zizek-denial-the-liberal-utopia/

I liked expecially these quotes in the film:

The Preacher: Outside the limit of our sight, feeding off us, perched on top of us, from birth to death, are our owners! Our owners! They have us. They control us! They are our masters! Wake up! They’re all about you! All around you!

Drifter: What’s wrong with having it good for a change? Now they’re gonna let us have it good if we just help ’em. They’re gonna leave us alone, let us make some money. You can have a little taste of that good life too. Now, I know you want it. Hell, everybody does.
Frank: You’d do it to your own kind.
Drifter: What’s the threat? We all sell out every day, might as well be on the winning team.

The Drifter, with his smokine and champaign glass in his hand, clearly symbolises the co-opted ones. His friendly attitude towards the two protoganists, and his desire to be friends with them reveals his background and his desire to talk with the one’s which can understand him. However, he is co-opted and became a part of the big machinery, or what Susan strange calls, the casino capitalism.  The selling-outs represents the rules of the game in casino capitalism, to be ont he winning team, you are allowed to sink the potential adversaries.

Frank: The steel mills were laying people off left and right. They finally went under. We gave the steel companies a break when they needed it. You know what they gave themselves? Raises.

Frank summarises the logic of casino capitalism, very similar to what we have experienced during the 2008 world economic crisis and it’s aftermath. The banks, which were bailed-out by the tax-payers’ money, gave themselves raises! This is also a fundamental criticism towards the logic of the market.

Bearded Man: The poor and the underclass are growing. Racial justice and human rights are non-existent. They have created a repressive society and we are their unwitting accomplices.

Bearded Man: They are dismantling the sleeping middle class. More and more people are becoming poor. We are their cattle. We are being bred for slavery.

Similar to the Preacher’s vision. nothing to add fundamentally.

January 3, 2010 Posted by | Film Reviews | Leave a comment

The Mad Songs of Fernanda Hussein and Naseer Shamma

The Mad Songs of Fernanda Hussein is an independent film produced in 2001 by the American director John Gianvito. The film explains simultaneously three stories – during and just in the aftermath of the Gulf War- one the story of Fernanda Hussein and her sister and son, the other Raphael a highschool student, and the war veteran Carlos both living in New Mexico.

The story of Fernanda Hussein is by far the saddest of all, before the first Gulf War beings, the locals write xenophobic graffiti’s on Fernanda’s home wall. Fernanda, a Mexican-American is married to an Egyptian man who went back to Egypt to find a job and left Fernanda with her two children. The story gets tense, after the two do not come back from the school. We see at the beginning of the film, the corpses of two children slowly sliding on the river and we can discern that they are indeed Fernanda’s children, attacked by locals due to their name “Hussein” a direct connotation with Saddam the Hussein.

Raphael, comes from a upper middle class, a-politic family, and he tries to understand the meaning of war, and through his critical teacher he develops a hatred to the passivity of the population towards the war. and engages in peace activism. His endevaours and the mix feelings paves the way to intense discussions with his parents. In one discussion, the camera captures Raphael’s father working while eating his breakfast, whereas the mother playing the girly role in the kitchen. the house is tip-top and everything is just like in those ikea catalogues. raphael is deeply annoyed by the fact that even his family cannot understand the meaning of war and urge him to go back to his normal life and not to meddle with these political ideas.

Whereas Fernanda virtually goes mad and begins to live in the mountains, Raphael leaves his home and begins to live the life of a aimless looser. his contact with the peace movement in a way changes his life, and gives him a reason to live.

Carlos, is deeply traumatised during the war, and at home he is welcomed as a hero, with the curious question of how many Iraqis he killed. he tries to go back to normal life, but his former chief already installed a new worker in his position and refuses to take him back. completely disoriented, Carlos meets his girlfriend and in the desert tells him his traumas during the war. fernanda’s cries stop him to rape his girlfriend.

The film is interrupted by the songs of Iraqi oud player Nasser Shamma.  Shamma’s song “Happened at al-Amiriyya,” is especially the most shocking and wonderful piece i have heard int he last times. The piece is composed in the aftermath of the coalition forces’ namely the US bombing al-Amiriyya shelter on February 13, 1991, iwhich put an end to the lives of  400 Iraqi women and children. Shamma’s oud becomes the camera, and the music takes u to the atrocities. especially his sliding technique to echo the sirens, and the flamenco like moves to echo the bombing is by one word extraordinary. you can feel the hapiness before the bombing in the shelter, like lullabies and the chaos, the bombings the cries and the sadness in its aftermath.

the film also shows historical footage from the CNN and other tv channel’s portrayal of the coming back of the troops.

7.9 over 10

a good film, but extremely depressive which is good and necessary.

October 30, 2008 Posted by | Film Reviews | Leave a comment

Enter Brasilian Cinema: Tropa de Elita:2007

September 12, 2008 Posted by | Film Reviews | Leave a comment

Darwin’s Nightmare

Directed by Hubert Sauper
Produced by Hubert Sauper
Barbara Albert
Martin Gschlacht
Edouard Mauriat
Antonin Svoboda
Hubert Toint
Written by Hubert Sauper
Cinematography Hubert Sauper
Editing by Denise Vindevogel
Distributed by International Film Circuit
Release date(s) 1 September 2004
(Venice Film Festival)
Running time 107 minutes
Language English, Swahili,
Russian

photo taken from:

http://images.google.de/imgres?imgurl=http://www.revolutionbooksnyc.org/Darwin%27s%2520Nightmare.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.wbai.org/index.php%3Foption%3Dcom_events%26task%3Dview_detail%26agid%3D95%26year%3D2007%26month%3D7%26day%3D10%26Itemid%3D130&h=755&w=537&sz=25&hl=en&start=17&um=1&tbnid=OcBkMCee_3SEGM:&tbnh=142&tbnw=101&prev=/images%3Fq%3Ddarwin%2527s%2Bnightmare%26um%3D1%26hl%3Den%26client%3Dfirefox-a%26channel%3Ds%26rls%3Dorg.mozilla:en-US:official%26sa%3DN

May 29, 2008 Posted by | Film Reviews | Leave a comment

Giambattista Vico – Stanley Kubrick and the Space Odyssey

Giambattista Vico once said that he tried to think back to the origins of the society and it took him good 20 years to try to move from the highly refined state of thought in which he, himself, in the 18th century was immersed, to go back to those earliest human beings at the beginning of the time when they were trying to express themselves and communicate their meanings. (Interview with Cox, p.17).

We know that Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess has something to do with the Vichian analysis of the cycle. The Ludo-Vico Method is by no surprise is a message in that direction. I don’t know if Kubrick ever read Vico, but I guess during the filming of the Clockwork Orange he came across Vico and also James Joyce who had an affect on Burgess. Nevertheless, I do think that the dawn of the man is indeed a study in the Vichian sense.

May 27, 2008 Posted by | Film Reviews | Leave a comment

This is England

Directed by Shane Meadows
Produced by Mark Herbert
Written by Shane Meadows
Starring Thomas Turgoose
Joseph Gilgun
Andrew Shim
Vicky McClure
Stephen Graham
Jo Hartley
Chanel Cresswell
Rosamund Hanson[1]
Music by Ludovico Einaudi
Cinematography Gonzalo Fernández Berridi
Editing by Chris Wyatt
Release date(s) April 27, 2007
Running time 100 minutes
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Budget £1.5 million (estimated)

1982, Margaret Thatcher, the Prime Minister of the UK is ready to gain her reputation as the “Iron-Lady” following the war on the Falkland Islands and the death of 258 British nationals (649 Argentinian).  The main character of the film, Sean is a 12-year old pal, living in the grey city of Grimsby. His father is one of the 258 soldiers who lost their lives in the islands.  Like in the song of John Lennon “Working class hero” –

They hurt you at home and they hit you at school,
They hate you if you’re clever and they despise a fool,
Till you’re so fucking crazy you can’t follow their rules,

Sean is hurt at home by a mother trying to stand up in the midst of depression. At school he is a regular object of pick-ons, a loner and an unhappy child with great potential but also great potential of aggression. His life begins to change after his encounter with a local gang of Skinheads headed by the humane personality Woody. Woody and his gang are not at the point of racism yet, they have Jamaican based friends within them and listen to Reggae and smoke joints. For them the skinhead mentality is not an ideology of fascism but more a local-gang, culture stuff. Boots and the hair-cut and the music.

May 26, 2008 Posted by | Film Reviews | Leave a comment

David Lynch Interview

May 25, 2008 Posted by | Film Reviews | Leave a comment

Garage Olimpo – Olimpo Garage

Directed by Marco Bechis
Produced by Producers:
Daniel Burman
Diego Dubcovsky
Amedeo Pagani
Eric Heumann
Written by Marco Bechis
Lara Fremder
Starring Antonella Costa
Carlos Echevarría
Enrique Piñeyro
Music by Jacques Lederlin
Cinematography Ramiro Civita
Editing by Jacopo Quadri
Distributed by Aqua Films
BD Cine
Release date(s) France:
May 16, 1999
Argentina:
September 2, 1999
Running time 98 minutes
Country Argentina
France
Italy
Language Spanish
Budget $3,000,000
estimated.

Info from allmovie.com

Chili-born Italian director Marco Bechis‘s second feature is a political drama based on his experiences with the military regime of Argentina (1976-1980) when he lived there. Maria (Antonella Costa) is a militant activist in an organization that is fighting the oppressive dictatorship. She teaches reading and writing in the suburbs of Buenos Aires in an area of shantytowns. She lives in a decrepit rooming house with her mother Diane (Dominique Sanda), who rents out some rooms. One of the lodgers, a shy young man named Felix (Carlos Echeverria), is in love with Maria. He seems to have come from nowhere and is supposed to be working in a garage. One morning, Maria is kidnapped by a military squad in civilian clothes in front of her mother and is taken to the garage ‘Olimpo,’ one of the many well-known torture places in the city, which operate to the general indifference of the inhabitants. Tigre, the head of the center (Enrique Pineyro) appoints their best man — Felix — to the job of making Maria talk. Felix is overcome by his feelings for Maria, but Maria is determined to exploit the situation for her survival. Tender love scenes between Maria and Felix enhance the story, but the intensity never reaches the heights of some of the classics of the world cinema with a similar theme, such as The Night Porter. Bechis exerts too much control over his characters and narrative to allow an emotional rupture. 52nd Cannes Film Festival, 1999.

http://www.allmovie.com/cg/avg.dll?p=avg&sql=1:180017

May 22, 2008 Posted by | Film Reviews | Leave a comment

El Tren Blanco – The White Train

Directed by: Nahuel García, Ramiro García and Sheila Pérez Giménez
Production: Andrea Bellaba (España) and Claudio Prado (Argentina) [Argentine-Spanish co-production)
Montage: Ramiro García, Sheila Pérez Giménez and Nahuel García
Film Editing: Agustín Demichelis and Emiliano Fabris
Date: 2003
Country: Argentina
Language: Spanish (English subtitles)
Running time: 80’
Country: Argentina

El Tren Blanco, the White train is an Argentintian Documentation on the “Cartoneros” or the cardboard collectors of the capital city, Buenos Aires.

A nice article about the film from Guillermo Olivera

tren-blanco

May 22, 2008 Posted by | Film Reviews | Leave a comment

Gemide – On Board

May 3, 2008 Posted by | Film Reviews | Leave a comment

Afro Samurai

AFRO SAMURAI

Afro Samurai, is a fighter of revenge, “Nothing personally, it is just revenge” as he puts it. When he was a child, his father “The Number 1” was challenged by the “Number 2” and in a dramatic fight, Afro Samurai saw his father’s head chop off and thrown in front of him by the very man who killed him. He also challenged the child AFRO and asked him to come back…

According to the Legend, “The Number 1” is the “God”. No one can touch him but the “Number II”, whereas everyone can touch Number II, and the only way to face Number I and be the god is then to kill the number 1. So the rules are quite simply, it is more like a PC-game, in which the ultimate aim is to reach the last stage.

http://www.mininova.com

have a look maybe u can find a file sharing opportunity .)

May 3, 2008 Posted by | Film Reviews | Leave a comment

Easy Rider Documentary

April 21, 2008 Posted by | Film Reviews | Leave a comment

I’m Not There Film Review

I’m Not There is Todd Haynes latest film (2007). According to imdb.com the plotline can be summarised as ” Ruminations on the life of Bob Dylan, where six characters embody a different aspect of the musician’s life and work” (1) The name of the film derives all the way long Dylan’s basement tapes days. So it was born around 1967 -1975 and the Band was also a family member in its recordings, however the song was never released before.

405px-im_not_there.jpg

the photo is taken from

(1). http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0368794/

March 22, 2008 Posted by | Bob Dylan, Film Reviews | 2 Comments