Lost in Translation

OKayyy, so I DID go and see the latest installment of the Hunger Games series: Catching Fire. I won’t give anything away, but it was everything I dreamed of and more. Tons of action, love drama, and suspense.

Now, the books were aimed at bringing to light how countries can be oppressed by government (in this case, the Capitol), and how one girl can make a huge difference in how people think and react to what’s being shown them via media (in the Hunger Games, in the form of public broadcasting). Katniss is a heroin, a person that people look up to for defying stereotypes, especially those surrounding girls. This is a great leap for woman, as little girls have a role model to look up to (in Katniss as well as her actress, Jennifer Lawrence). However, Lionsgate and Cover Girl have merged to produce a make-up line called ‘Capitol Couture’.. uhm what? This seems as though the message of strength, individuality and going against the grain have been lost. The Capitol was the enemy, why would girls and woman want to embody something that they’ve been told is evil?

Very interesting article surrounding the debate, I encourage you to check it out and make your own judgement!

No Spoilers

I have not watched the second installment of the movie “The Hunger Games” yet, but I have heard from more than a few people about its greatness and how I have to watch it. The Hunger Games for those who don’t know is about last man standing competition, to the death, executed by children.

Since this being one of the “movies of the year”, I have a few friends already asking me to go watch it with  them. But just like the first of this series, I chose not to listen to any details about the movie or watch any reviews. This idea is relevant to the topic of meaning we talked about in class. For the past couple years I have gone into movies with no prior knowledge about them and therefore no expectations. I love it. I have enjoyed movies more and it has helped me make my own opinions about them.

One of the better movies I have done this for is Inception. Although it was hard to avoid the buzz about the movie since many people were talking about it, I went not knowing a thing. Whether it was drama or thriller, love-story or fantasy, or if there was a lesson to be learned. This way of viewing movies and all artistic forms (music, television, books) give you a sense of open mindedness in a world where you are always told what to think and what you are supposed to take from watching or listening to something.

What do you think about this? Is it a waste of money? Should we as viewers always know what kind of movie we’re watching, how good or bad it is, and what the major plot points are before we watch anything? Or is being uninformed a better way?

From Paper To Film

After the interview we had yesterday (awesome insight into Horizon by the way!), I was reflecting on the small discussion regarding the Transformers series and realized I’ve never actually read any of their paper media. I fell in love with Bumblebee after the first blockbuster movie came out, and was left (wistfully) hoping my car would someday come to life as well. This realization really got me thinking – how many of the movies I adore originated as comics, graphic novels, novels or series’?

Now, I’ve covered the most basic: Lord of the Rings (including the Hobbit), Harry Potter, and yes, I’ll admit, even The Hunger Games. However, so many of my favorite movies, many of them being Marvel’s work, I have yet to delve into. X-men, Batman, Superman, Sin City – how much have I been missing out on? What internal meanings have I completely missed, by being dazzled by increasingly realistic explosions and fight scenes?

Another thought to ponder – which is better, the story or the screen? I’ll definitely be wearing my critic pants when I go to see the latest installment of The Hunger Games 🙂

someday, I wish my name would be found here; What a man can do… you finish the sentence.

Just today, I woke up this morning to read the news, both home and abroad and I bumped into Forbes’ list of richest singers. I know I am the most introvert person I have ever met but I wanna be a triple threat: singer, dancer and actress. I love entertainment so much and to tell you the truth, the only reason I work out in the gym is just because I want to be physically fit enough for my job as an entertainer. so as I was saying, i ran into Forbes’ list of world’s most paid musicians and the richest were women. All those people who consider gender first or under estimate women should take a look at this list. Women topped men and you can imagine Beyonce earned more than Jay Z last year.

culled from Forbes

1. Madonna – $125 million
2. Lady Gaga –  $80 million
3. Bon Jovi – $79 million
4. Toby Keith – $65 million
5. Coldplay – $64 million.
6.  Justin Bieber – $58 million
7. Taylor Swift – $55 million
8. Elton John – $54 million
9. Kenny Chesney – $53 million
9. Beyonce – $53 million (tie)

See the rest after the cut….

11. Sean “Diddy” Combs – $50 million

12. Sir Paul McCartney – $47 million
13. Calvin Harris – $46 million
14. Jennifer Lopez – $45 million
15. Roger Waters – $44 million
16. Muse – $43 million (tie)
16. Rihanna – $43 million (tie)
18. Jay Z – $42 million
18. One Direction – $42 million (tie)
20. Dr. Dre – $40 million
20. Red Hot Chili Peppers ($40 million, tie)
22. Rolling Stones – $39 million (tie)
22. Katy Perry – $39 million (tie)
24. Tim McGraw – $33 million (tie)
25. Pink – $32 million (tie)
25. Tiësto – $32 million (tie)
                              Well, my only wish is to be here, someday.

 

Infinite

Recently, after finishing with the last of my midterms, I finally got the chance to read the book “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” after watching the movie right when it came out (Since i’m a little obsessed with Logan Lerman).  I’m most likely behind though and many of you probably read it already, possibly in high school.  This book was honestly something like i’d never read before.  It’s not a typical book with a clear conflict climax plot and all that stuff you learn in English class.  It wasn’t even showing a story really, it was a story in itself if that makes any sense.  It basically just follows the life of a misfit boy dealing with adolescent problems told to “participate” or fit in because he’s “different.”  It relates so strongly to what kids go through in high school, but it also goes much deeper than that.  From friendship, relationships, letting loose and just fitting in, all the way to loneliness, depression, drugs, abuse and even suicide.  I feel like this book can relate to everyone in some way or another and the lessons to learn from this book are so strong, that they can have a great impact on kids and even help some through tough times, since high school really can be emotionally tough.  It also teaches how to come out of your shell and see the world for what it really is, a beautiful place if you only look through the imperfections.  It shows that you’re not alone in your problems, others are just like you but you need to stay strong and keep moving on past them.  I just feel like this book or movie even, are very inspiring so I had to share it.  For those that have read/watched this, how does it inspire you?

“Even if we don’t have the power to choose where we come from, we can still choose where we go from there” – Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Did you know in Nigeria, to be an upcoming entertainer, you must pay to be featured in a movie

This is stupid and ridiculous. I know it sounds unbelievable, but it’s fact! A-list Nollywood (Nigerian Entertainment Industry) actors & actresses get paid for featuring in movies, but if you’re an unknown actor struggling to get into the movie industry, some movie producers make you pay to feature in their movies. That’s the new trend now. I’m sure some Nollywood practitioners will come here to deny this but y’all know it’s true. And if you don’t know this already, people need to start investigating this.

If you’re looking to feature in a movie, all you need to do is pay a fee, no audition is required. For minor roles, these producers demand anything from N50k to N100k…it all depends on the role they are giving you. If you want to play a lead role it’s between N500k to N1million. Waka pass people are even made to pay. 

The trick some of these producers use is this; they say they are not making money from these movies because people aren’t buying them so can’t invest all their money in it. They also say finding financiers to pay for the production of a movie is hard, so for these movies to see the light of day, every cast member has to contribute. Thing is, many are eager to pay. Several people told me that it’s the girls they refer to as ‘runz girls’ looking for popularity that started this trend. They would offer movie producers money to feature in their movie so they can refer to themselves as actresses and now it’s become a part of Nollywood.

But let me state here that there are some movie producers who don’t do this…not all of them demand for money. But a lot of them do. Is that OK? What’s your thought on this new trend?

‘Based on a True Story’

Having just made it through another Hallow’s Eve, I’ve been reflecting on some of my favorite horror movies and how one genre has made such an impact on my life. I’m a sucker for ghost movies, and am especially fond/scared to death of ones that include dead children in the plot. These reflections, or musings, got me thinking; what is it about scary movies that leave me wanting more?

I’d consider myself a bit of a daredevil, partaking in sports and excursions that get my adrenaline going. It’s because of this that I crave a more leisurely past-time that will get my heart pounding, I’m sure of it. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy romantic comedies just as much as the next girl, but if I really want a memorable movie night, I head right for the thrillers which promise the most shock value.

Recently, I watched The Conjuring (a must-see, if you haven’t already!), which depicts a young couple who explore the supernatural, and ‘cure’ families/dwellings of spirit possessions and curses etc etc. This movie had it all for me: demons, ghost children, creepy basements and a surprisingly good plot line. And, of course, the fact that it was ‘based on a true story’. Those five words get me excited in a way no other movie description can, and leave me watching the movie from the edge of the couch (or, in REALLY scary spots, cowering behind my amused boyfriend).

Honestly though, how much of the ‘true’ story are they telling, and how much is fabricated in Hollywood? The movie we watched in class describing ratings and what the board dubbed ‘appropriate’ got me thinking as well; what standards are applied to horror films regarding the truthfulness of the story?

Personally, I’d rather not know, and live my life watching out for demons and possessions and little ghost children running around :p we only live once, might as well make it interesting!

Value of a Zero

So the other day I was scrolling through Tumblr and I found this interesting, touching little video that I wanted to share. Now since the video is a bit longer than 10 minutes, you probably all don’t want to watch it so I’ll give you a little summary. It’s a short stop motion called “Zero” which is essentially about discrimination, and inequality. The animations in this video are pretty cute but the story that comes out of it is a deep one.

In the video, everyone in this world is given a number displayed on them, on their skin, which is their very existence ranging from 1-10. 1 being the worst obviously, and 10 being the best. Everyone falls between these numbers except for Zero who’s number is well, a 0. Being a 0 is a very rare number and it is someone who is harshly looked down upon in the society and made fun of, showing the realities of society today and past for example bullying. What’s interesting is that Zero’s skin colour (or yarn in this case) is black, darker than all the rest so it also represents racism in society. After Zero finishes school, he tries looking for a job but no one hires him, and he is again an outcast in the world. Zero gets bullied throughout his whole life and then one day he meets for the first time ever, another 0 who’s a girl and also dark skinned. When Zero meets this other 0, his whole life changes because he for once, has a friend now and a sense of belonging in the world. They start dating and spending all their time together wanting to stay like that for the rest of their life and just when life seems to be good, Zero gets taken to jail because they don’t want 0’s together in case they start making more 0’s, when all 0’s need to be gotten rid of. This however is too late because Zero’s other half is already pregnant. At that moment she has their baby and the baby is born with a number that makes all the numbers, even the 10’s, bow down. The baby is born with the mark of infinity. An infinity sign never seen before in history, beating everyone that felt themselves to always be greater. Although this video is short, it’s very powerful. Turns out in the end, the most disregarded people turn out to be the most special. It Shows that treating people different from you more poorly, does you no good because no one is less important than the other overall. It displays that inequality means nothing and that everyone should behave equal. Will this ever happen in the world? Will inequality live on forever or will we ever be equal?

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

Interpretation of Comedy

One of the things that stood out to me when we were discussing meaning was how does this extend to all forms of entertainment. We talked about the reasons we watch all the forms of entertainment. The one segment that I immediately thought about was comedy. The one thing that can cause a stir is everyone’s different sense of humor. People all have a line that they draw on what they can find funny or not. What if something that is not offensive to some, can cross some others own sense of decency.

Some comedians have made the point that all topics of society are fair comedic game, but even in recent day there has been some people who have come out to say that issues such as abortion and rape are off limits. Controversial as it may be, when we look at meaning, should comedians be allowed to talk about whatever they want.

Comedians are known for their sarcastic approach of retelling stories and events. Can they be put under the same questioning of the artists who create their own interpretation of other present-day or historic events. Filmmakers probably are held to a more accountable standard than a comedian would be. But the question remains, where in our society’s perception of meaning do we hold this standard, and can we look at something like comedy, and not take the words of the comedian too literally and become so easily offended.

Beauty

So after listening to Summertime Sadness, I decided to check out some other Lana Del Rey songs that I hadn’t before.  As I was creepin’ her, I remembered a song I had heard a while ago from a movie I went to see The Great Gatsby, called “Young and Beautiful.”  This Lana Del Rey song just makes the movie.  The lyrics fit the characters absolutely perfectly, because the song is about a love that is hoped to last a lifetime.  Money and parties are main themes in this book turned movie.  From the extravagant clothes, to the elaborate parties, both these themes add up to one thing, beauty.  The characters are also extremely focused on the way they look and the way they present themselves.  Gatsby holds parties every weekend decorating his mansion from top to bottom, hiring singers and performers; all of this hoping one day his old lover Daisy would come to one of his parties so that they can be reunited.  The chorus of the song sings “will you still love me when I’m no longer young and beautiful?”  The message this is sending out is that as you age, the less attractive you become, which are the exact thoughts of the characters in the movie, hence the emphasis on beauty.  Although this song fits a fictional story, the message it sends is not particularly a good one to the real world.  It is basically teaching younger boys and girls that they can only be attractive while they are young, and it’s not certain if anyone will still be attracted to them once older.  The song continues “will you still love me when I’ve got nothing, but my aching soul?” This is saying that looks come before personality, and that the way a person looks matters a great deal more than what they have to offer.  Although brilliantly written, the song portrays narcissism.  This is not a message that seems fitting for children or teenagers who can be easy influenced. This is another example of how the media is portraying the need to be perfect at all times. Do feelings really change when appearance changes?

I hope she’ll be a fool – that’s the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Te11UaHOHMQ