Posts Tagged ‘Adaptation

18
Feb
10

The Internet Is making me retarded

When I think of the internet, I don’t think of a serious place. I don’t think of an information super-highway where top professionals can source any kind of information they want, network with colleagues and like-minded individuals and make informed business decisions, no.

When I think of the internet, I think of one big-ass playground full of kids running around with cake all over their faces.

 

 

I’ll tell you what’s happened. Thousands of years of human evolution have pushed us so far up the food chain that nothing, nothing can fuck with us, except us. Provided you live in a country that’s not wracked by war, famine, pestilence or death and you earn a steady income, chances are you’re so comfortable and bored with day to day life, whether you admit it or not, that you’ll do any fucking thing to escape the hum drum, and THAT’S what the internet has become, a giant escape hatch.

Grown men and women the world over are sending one another FAIL mails, lolcats, pyramid scheme spam (send this to 10 friends in the next 20 minutes and your penis will grow by 3 feet!), and lame joke emails that get sent to you by four different people, the last one being your own mother.

 

 

Don’t get me wrong though, I’m just as guilty as the next guy of indulging in the mindless garbage floating around on the interwebs. I enjoy a FAIL mail just as much as the next guy, but the question I often find myself asking is, What the fuck is happening to my mind?

Do you ever find yourself thinking that? All that junk we consume, all the media we are bombarded with on a daily basis, it all sits in our minds somewhere, and like a mustard seed you swallow into your lung by mistake, it’s growing in the damp and the dark and that can’t be good.

I meet these people with increasing frequency that have very clearly made it their life’s mission to completely discard the things that make them think or feel anything beyond a purely superficial level and I get ticked off when I meet people like that. We have no idea what we are capable of, it’s possibly the best part of being human. You think you know yourself and your boundaries, but you’ll find if you have the courage to step outside of your comfort zone and test those boundaries, they move.

Isn’t that the reason we exist? To grow and learn and gain as much experience as possible? Fuck, this life is a gift, you don’t know how fucking lucky you are to be living it, how fucking lucky we all are to be alive is this world of supreme chaos where in the same day, millions of people will meet and fall hopelessly in love while millions more will stand in mourning over the graves of their parents or even more heartbreaking than that, their kids.

I’m paraphrasing badly from one of my favourite movies of all time, Adaptation. You remember the bit where Kaufman goes to the script writing seminar held by Robert McKee? Well McKee ends up attacking Kaufman after Kaufman makes the statement that ‘nothing much happens’ in the world, it’s brilliant.

 

Nothing happens in the world? Are you out of your fucking mind? People are murdered every day. There’s genocide, war, corruption. Every fucking day, somewhere in the world, somebody sacrifices his life to save someone else. Every fucking day, someone, somewhere takes a conscious decision to destroy someone else. People find love, people lose it. For Christ’s sake, a child watches her mother beaten to death on the steps of a church. Someone goes hungry. Somebody else betrays his best friend for a woman. If you can’t find that stuff in life, then you, my friend, don’t know crap about life!

 

 

And I think this is exactly the problem this modern world of ours faces. We don’t know crap about life. We shut all that stuff out, we focus only on things that make us feel happy and make us feel good because ‘there’s enough shit in the world already’. Here’s a news flash – that ‘shit’ you refer to, that’s LIFE. Running away from the things that challenge us or scare us or force us to really feel something, isn’t LIVING, it’s just killing time and when it comes to killing time, the internet is KING.

I don’t have any answers, yet. All I got is words, fightin’ words and nothing to back them up with except my primal sincerity. Still though, I can’t shake this feeling that we’re being dumbed down, all of us, by the media we consume in nauseating quantities and worse than that, we’re enjoying it.

-ST

18
Jan
10

Movie Review: Where The Wild Things Are

I went into Where The Wild Things Are with high hopes after watching the trailer numerous times and hearing from a lot of people that the book, written by Maurice Sendak and published in 1963, was one of their favourite childhood stories.

 

 

Also, the movie was directed by Spike Jonze, who worked with writer Charlie Kaufman on two of my favourite movies of all time, Being John Malkovich and Adaptation. Besides that, Jonze mainly directs music videos and TV commercials, for which he has received numerous awards.

I have only the vaguest recollection of reading the book when I was young, and as such, went into the movie hardly knowing anything about the plotline or the characters, which was probably a good thing as the original children’s book was only 48 pages long and thus had to be expanded and changed considerably to make up the 100-odd minute screenplay.

Sadly, I found the movie didn’t live up to my expectations. The feeling I got from watching the trailer (which features the epic Arcade Fire song ‘Wake Up’) was that this was a deep and significant piece of filmmaking that was guaranteed to pull at the heartstrings and was loaded with meaning and profundity.

The actual experience of watching the film was very far from being meaningful or profound and I left the cinema feeling like I’d missed something, some kind of vital clue to help unlock this movie for me, because I found it disjointed and largely inaccessible.

 

Where The Wild Things Are tells the story of Max (played by Max Records), a troubled young boy who’s parents have divorced and who lives with his mother and sister, both of whom he has a difficult relationship with. After a huge fight erupts with his mother one night, during which Max dons his wolf suit and bites her, he ends up running away from home and finding a small boat, which he sails to a distant land, inhabited by the large, oafish Wild Things of the story’s title.

At first, the Wild Things want to eat Max and in a scene that takes a nightmarish turn, they surround him and are on the verge of devouring him when he convinces them that he has magical powers and can explode their heads at will. They then decide to make him their king after which he leads the Wild Things on a ‘rumpus’ through the woods that consists of them smashing trees and rocks, tackling one another and laughing all the while.

Yeah, just wait, it gets weirder.

After the rumpus, the Wild Things all collapse in a huge pile on top of one another and go to sleep, happy and content with their new king, who was sworn in on the condition that he would keep all sadness away forever.

The next day Max goes on a tour of the Wild Thing’s island with Carol (the Wild Thing in all the movie posters, voiced by James Gandolfini). Max is shown a model of the island that Carol has built in a secret cave where Carol likes to be alone. This inspires Max to command the Wild Things to build a massive fort, something that brings them all together as they unite toward a common purpose.

 

 

However, before the fort can be completed, Carol’s ‘love interest’ KW brings her friends Bob and Terry (who are owls) to the fort which causes Carol to become angry and overwhelmed with jealousy.

Without explaining the entire plot, let’s just say that relations degenerate even further from this point and eventually force Max to board his tiny ship again and leave the island. Back at home, he finds his mother waiting up for him with his supper, which he eats ravenously while his mother falls asleep watching him with a happy smile on her face.

The End.

My biggest problem with Where The Wild Things Are is the dialogue in the movie. The Wild Things all speak like children, which is understandable as the implication throughout is that the island Max has discovered is based purely on his imagination, however it makes all of the interactions between the characters in the movie really bizarre to the point where you’re never sure what to take seriously or what to dismiss as inconsequential banter.

This becomes a problem when the story approaches its major turning points because for me, none of them felt very significant. For example, Max decides to initiate a big ‘dirt clod war’ in an effort to bring the Wild Things together and encourage them to have fun, which ends in even more in-fighting when KW accidently steps on Carol’s head.

Watching the scene unfold all I thought was, ‘OK, so she stepped on his head and now he’s furious. Huh. Is this supposed to be important?’

At this point I can almost hear you all shouting ‘But it’s supposed to be a kid’s movie! Stop analysing it like an adult!’ to which I have only the following to say, the story of Where The Wild Things Are that Spike Jonze tells is far too laden with sadness, loneliness and melancholy to appeal to most children, trust me, most of the kids in the audience looked like they were about to fall asleep.

 

 

I strongly suspect that Where The Wild Things Are is a film that takes on a much greater significance the second time you watch it, or at least I hope so, because the first time I confess that I think I missed the point entirely.

Max Records’ acting can’t be faulted however and damn! That kid’s gonna grow up to be some kind of tri-athlete – he runs everywhere in the movie and is filled with a kind of wild energy that suits the film’s theme well.

All in all, I would recommend watching this film because it’s so different from other films in its genre, but definitely don’t shell out your hard earned bucks to go and see it at the movies because honestly, I don’t think it’s worth it. Oh, and the awesome Arcade Fire song in the trailer? It’s not in the movie, or even the movie soundtrack. Fail.

Final Verdict: 6/10




A Word From The Kind Folks At Nokia

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