Blue movie

I wonder what the MPAA had to say about this film that they rated as NC 17 as it has explicit lesbian sex and I wonder what has already been cut. It has already won the Cannes Film Festival however one of the actresses remarked that the director treated her like ‘a prostitute’.

 

the trailer is here:

and speaking of…here’s the website where the different cuts /releases of films are compared.

Reversed Roles

I think it was the second or third day of class where we were shown the “Blurred Lines” music video and we talked about the controversy behind it, on how some people were thinking it was inappropriate and demeaning to women or looking down upon them. Well my friend recently discovered a new singer/group called “Marina and the Diamonds” that she told me to check out and I found this song I hadn’t heard before (maybe some of you have) called “How to be a Heartbreaker.” The song has somewhat of a reversed role than Blurred Lines because in this video, the men are the almost naked ones actually being looked down upon.

In the music video, the men are not wearing much while getting drenched in water showing off their bodies. Like Blurred Lines is thought to be, this is also objectifying the opposite sex. This shows some of the double standards that we have seeing that there are no immensely talked about controversies surrounding this song. In this song the men seem to be much more looked down upon as just objects to be tossed around than in the Blurred Lines music video overall. The song itself is basically teaching girls how in fact be heartbreakers, which is usually the the guy’s department seeing as how it is basically reverse player-ism. It’s teaching girl’s how they can become “players” beating the guys at their own game.

The song talks about rules to follow to be the perfect tease, and not giving guys any respect. However ultimately, it’s to protect girls from the games of boys so they’ll be one step ahead with no feelings involved. But Overall I think the song’s brilliant actually. It’s a fun song that in fact includes some good pointers, especially for girl’s that fall too hard too fast. There’s a two way street, and men aren’t always the bad guys. It’s just about how society sees man’s demeaning behaviour towards women as worse than if women do it. Which song/music video do you think is worse?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vKNcuTWzTVw

More, More, More!

I was scrolling through Facebook and I saw a link from a page I like called “I F*cking Love Science” and so I clicked on the page and looked at their latest posts. I was shocked at one recent post that said people would soon be able to take a Helium balloon flight to the edge of space!

Now, after I thought to myself “OMGOMGOMG I want!” I thought about how crazy it is that this kind of adventure is at our fingertips. This trip costs $75,000 for 7 people (8 including the pilot) and takes you up 19 miles in the sky in 90 minutes where you stay for 2-6 hours before coming back to the surface of the Earth… 19 miles is 100,000 feet. I was thinking “This is the stuff out of sci-fi movies!” and then something clicked in my mind…

As a frame of reference, I had already watched the Russel Brand video another one of our classmates put up for this week’s blog. So, naturally, with the subject of the divide of wealth on my mind, guilt set in. Not so much because of the cost of the adventure, god knows I can’t afford a trip on this aircraft any time soon, but because when I saw this all I could think was how fun it would be and hoping one day I’d be able to save up enough to go ($10,000 is not a ridiculous amount to save over a period of say, 10 years), when there are millions of North Americans (let alone the billions in Third-World countries who are even worse off) who just hope to break even at the end of the month. This saddened me. We have evolved to live in a society where all we want is more, more, more without realizing what we have.

I am not saying that this ride wouldn’t be exciting, nor would I ever pass up the opportunity to go, it just made me reflect a little about how much I have that I take for granted. Have you ever had an experience like this? Feel free to share !

Here’s a link to an article about it, there’s a video worth watching embedded on the page.

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/technology-science/science/take-balloon-ride-the-edge-2486596

Game of Thrones – A Story Masterpiece

The thing that makes Game of Thrones so mesmerizing is that it is unpredictable. Movies and TV shows now a days have become a little bit boring because you know that in the end the main characters can’t die and two people that you think should be together, always end up with each other. This is completely untrue for Game of Thrones though, because no one is safe, even people that you think are “too big to kill off”. This is the glory of the series, it’s unpredictability makes it so different from many other shows out there so became an instant success!

To be fair, the character roster in Game of Thrones is one of the biggest that I have ever seen in a series so it’s a little easier to kill people off when there are so many characters. I think this is also why Survivor is still massively popular 27 seasons later, it’s unpredictable! I haven’t watched many of the TV episodes of Game of Thrones but if it’s anything like the books, i’m sure a good contribution of the shows popularity is due to people that watch it based solely on it’s rather graphic nature. I am told that the show follows the book series fairly closely though, so once you wade through the raunchy content, the story line is nothing short of an epic masterpiece. If you haven’t read the books I would highly recommend them, you won’t be disappointed. As for TV shows and movies now a days, do you find them to be predicable? Or am I the only one that is getting bored knowing that the good guys always have to win in the end?

Piss Christ and Video Game Appreciation.

So I have been contemplating obscenity a lot this week. And to say I was surprised by what we learned in class about how the notion of “obscenity” nearly derailed the comic book industry would be a lie.

This is because I am an early member of the Nintendo Generation, and as such I am no stranger to the idea that a video game is obscene or damaging to a child in much the same way comics were supposedly damaging in the 1950’s. I have personally played some of the supposedly worst titles in the industry. I braved the hyper gory kill animations of the Man Hunt series, I have fought my way with enthusiastic violence through 100’s of sword wielding Knights Templar in Assassins Creed, and I have heard of every manner of hilarious sexual perversion and more while playing the Leisure Suit Larry games, to name a few.

Now having played all these games I can legitimately say that not all of these games are made for children, and that in all fairness and in my opinion of good taste, some shouldn’t be made for adults…sorry Japan but your dating/sex simulators are just way to creepy for this gamer. I would stress one word of what I just said above all others however, opinion.

I don’t like the photograph known as Piss Christ. I am not a religious person but I find it kind of obscene and offensive. I mean it has a great artistic resonance and I have looked at it more than once, but I don’t find the idea of looking at a picture of someones piss appealing, artistic statement or not. This however is my opinion, other people think it is the greatest photograph of the 20th century, where as others still think it is quite possibly the most vile image on the planet, I would say I am in the middle on that one.

I mention the seemingly vast difference in perception of Piss Christ to drive home my point, the difference between obscenity and art is a matter of personal taste, and to make the point that it is in how a medium deals with these controversies that will decide on how it comes through them in the end. Before I say more, you should really watch this video:

So now that you all know a bit more about the controversy that can and often does surround a video game let me tell you a little of my thoughts on obscenity in games.

The obscene is a valid artistic tool, take again for instance Piss Christ, some herald it as an artistic triumph and love it, others hate it and call it disgusting, some like me don’t like it, but respect it as art. And I think the artist knew that would be the reaction, I think any artist who creates something some may call obscene must realize(save a total detachment with reality) that there will be a controversy. It is however in how an artist deals with that controversy that will make the difference between their obscenity being art, and it being trash.

And this makes me sad because so far it seems the video game industry is failing to deal with this controversy in the right way. Game developers cower at the idea of lost revenue, and in this cowering let the tastes of others kill any artistic expression they had faster then you can stab a hooker in GTA. When an artist lets the morality of others kill their expression they lose credibility, and in doing so they fail to be an artist, they are as the video would suggest, a toy maker. Game developers need to be willing to take their deepest thoughts, desires, and fears, and let us dive into them ourselves in the way we would a book, a movie, a painting, or a comic, and if we don’t like it, well to bad, maybe this game wasn’t for us, but it was for someone.

Until video games are willing to embrace and use the obscene properly like other mediums do they will always be seen as an obscene toy, and not as an art that makes us question ourselves. I for one hope that would happen because I am tired of being made to feel like a terrible human because of my taste in leisure activity and artistic expression every time a bad parent gives their child the chance to act out unaddressed violent fantasies.

The Hurricane That Changed My Life

Today was one of the best days of my life!

It started out quite average, bowl of cheerios for breakfast, played with my dog outside and did a little homework… but it was far from average. All of those activities were done with a little more enthusiasm because I was so excited for my 2:30 class. Today, I’d be meeting Lesra Martin. A few of you might know of him; he was the young man who freed Rubin Carter, aka, the Hurricane from jail after 20 years of being wrongfully convicted of murder. Lesra Martin, as of 16 years ago, practices law in Kamloops. Some of you might be wondering why I was SO excited to meet him, but what Jeff and lots of people do not know is that Mr. Martin, has been one of the most inspirational and influential people in my life. (Lesra Martin does not know this either)

Two years ago, when I started university, like most people, I was confused as to “Who I want to be when I grow up”. But, after watching the movie “The Hurricane” there was no doubt in my mind. I wanted to become a defence attorney.

Although Mr. Martin became a prosecutor after law school, it did not sway my decision, I still wanted to defend people and change lives like he had. When I found out that Jeff was bringing LESRA MARTIN to OUR class as a guest speaker, I almost squealed with excitement! I spent the last week reading more about him, watching his documentary, again, and rehearsing the questions I’d ask him over and over. How does this have to do with pop culture? The movie The Hurricane received an Oscar Nomination in the category of best actor in a leading role for Denzel Washington and a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion PIcture, amongst many other nominations and awards. The best thing about all of this and what I was stunned to find about The Hurricane was although the movie was made in Hollywood, NOTHING had been altered. This was fascinating to me because I always knew his story was compelling and extremely interesting but to have Hollywood think the same thing!? Wow! For the first time in my life I was “star struck”; however, he was more than a star! He was a real life person, who had done amazing things and without having to enhance his story had changed the lives of many people. I was completely entranced and have never been more focused in my life.

When I asked him “After your experiences, is there any advice you would give to aspiring lawyers?” He responded “Do not get lost, stay focused but have fun, and most of all GO FOR IT! You can do it and there is plenty of room for new comers, never give up on your dream”. I will never give up, thank you for instilling more confidence and hope in me than I could ever imagine. Are there any words of advice that have stuck with you? Any movies that have changed your perspective on aspects that you did not think could be changed?Thank you Jeff for making one of my dreams come true.

Do yourself a favour, watch The Hurricane.

Hacking the Gate

Steins;Gate is an anime series that deals with the issue of time travel. Okay after reading that sentence you probably laughed at both the words ‘anime’ and ‘time travel’, but that’s fine, I don’t really blame you for that, neither has the best reputation with the population at large. However, Steins;Gate is something special to me, I’ve always been rather fascinated with the possibilities of time travel in narrative (as well as real life, though that’s an entirely different matter) and Steins;Gate handles it very well.

For a little background info: Steins;Gate stars a university student and self-proclaimed mad scientist (his name is Okabe and yes he really does have a few screws loose) who ends up creating a machine that can send text messages back in time entirely by accident. From there Okabe gets wrapped up in not only the consequences of time travel, but also a larger conspiracy and stuggle for the world.

My main love for the show is how well it deals with these consequences. Every change Okabe makes goes entirely unnoticed by anyone else, only he remembers what the world looked like before his meddling. At first he seems to find it a novelty, but with each text sent back his life spirals further and further out of control.

Eventually this climaxes in one of his dearest friends dying repeatedly as he tries every possible way to save her, and yet no matter what he does she seems destined to die. It seems to him the only chance he might have of saving her is to erase every single change he made to the past and turn the world back to the original ‘world line’.

Unfortunately for everyone involved this means another character whose life Okabe unknowingly saved must die when she was ‘destined’ to. Made all the harder by the fact that this character and Okabe have fallen in love. This is all to the backdrop of an evil corporation attempting to use this time travel technology to take over the world of course.

Anyway, themes of destiny and the consequences of your actions for not only yourself but everyone around you are a constant throughout the series. Okabe gets to experience firsthand what it’s like to play God and it certainly does not end up being an enjoyable ordeal for him.

It certainly makes me wonder whether time travel would be worth it, no matter how cool the idea sounds. Perhaps such a power is not meant for mortal hands and mortal minds, for selfish beings such as us. I could even go as far as to wonder if pursuing such technology is ethically sound. What are your thoughts on the matter readers? When should science stop? At what point have we gone too far into the realm of playing God?

Disregard Subliminal Messages

Everyone talked about the VMA’s this year, but who took away anything more than the Miley fiasco? Personally, I was fortunate enough to start watching after her ‘performance’ had aired, and got to see some truly talented artists get the recognition they deserved. What I took away from the awards ceremony was that LGBT awareness and understanding is being tackled by all forms of media – television series’, news broadcasts, and of course, musicians.

Macklemore was an instant hit with his catchy ‘Thrift Shop’ song/video, and is now using his new-found fame to raise awareness about many pressing matters in today’s society. The one which he gained a VMA award for was his song ‘Same Love‘, which I’m sure has been lighting up your airwaves and headphones in recent months. The song and video explore what it might be like for a gay/lesbian person in a certain situation, and the oppression they face from their peers and loved ones.

His award really opened my eyes as to how influential one song can be; if one artist can create such a stir, imagine what an entire industry could do for our culture and future generations. Instead of girls gyrating on sports cars, imagine music videos showing children aspiring to go into politics, or cleaning up our environment, or doing their homework before the night it’s due (ahem what?).

Macklemore, you have gained my admiration and appreciation. What other artists are making a positive impact on our society? These people should be praised and given the media light before other Miley wanna-be’s start rearing their ugly heads.

Russel Brands Revolution

Did Russel Brand become an actor as a stepping stone so he could eventually influence and save the world? that is the million dollar question, I thought Russell Brand was a total fool until just recently when I heard him talking in an interview and expressing what his core beliefs were, he sounded like he was very into issues in our economy and he also seemed undoubtedly educated and very intellectual. I really had no clue that he was so in to politics, he is truly on a mission to make people aware of issues that concern us all. He is using his pop culture fame to relay his message to the public.

Russell Brand believes that our planet is slowly being ruined. He thinks there are legitimate problems that are not being treated with enough importance, or addressed by our political leaders. This interview video has already hit nearly seven and a half million hits since October the 23rd, and is becoming more and more popular every day! Brand succeeded in this interview because it has brought enough media focus onto the issue he was touching on and will definitely need to be addressed by someone. There is a lot to take in, but Brand explains his basic idea like this: ”The planet is being destroyed. We are creating an underclass and exploiting poor people all over the world. And the legitimate problems of the people are not being addressed by our political powers.”

And his solution?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3YR4CseY9pk
 

This one video has had 7,345,516 hits since October 23, and is merely one of the many of the same interview.

 

 

 OR?

Russell i agree with some points, and some are in the air. The current system is broken, and the political representatives are really just looking after themselves. I agree with the stance on voting as well, why would you be choose one of however available candidates when none actually represent us..

What are some of your guys thoughts on this?

I Got a Rock.

In honour of Halloween quickly approaching, I thought I’d discuss one of the most classic Halloween television specials: It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. Growing up, reading Charles M. Schulz’s ‘Peanuts’ series was one of my favourite past times. During past years, I can recall sitting down with my family around this time, and dutifully watching the Halloween special. Although I am aware of and have been exposed to the story numerous times, I can’t help but renew my admiration for Charlie Brown and the rest of the gang upon each reunion with the broadcast.

In It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, we discover Linus’ connection to some unheard of spirit, as he claims that it holds some higher power. There seems to be a sense of religiousness and faith tucked into this episode; Linus chooses to, once again, break the tradition of “trick or treating” with his friends because his beliefs about the Great Pumpkin’s existence are so passionate. He even goes on to convince Sally (Charlie’s younger sister) that the Great Pumpkin truly does exist. Despite his failure to capture a glimpse of the Great Pumpkin in the end, and his over-aggressive older sister making his beliefs seem childish and stupid, Linus remains faithful to his beliefs.

Unfortunately, it is not only Lucy who gets to rag on Linus during this episode. The poor boy is also constantly scrutinized for his “outrageous” beliefs and for not going hunting for candy with the rest of his friends. Let’s face it though: how does believing in some special Halloween spirit differ from believing in Santa Claus or the tooth fairy? Besides, while Linus was off doing his own thing and enjoying his personal experiences at the same time, Charlie Brown was receiving dirty, useless rocks. So really, who wins in the end?

Happy Halloween!