|Title||Comment||Comment Date||Comment Link|
|Movies seen in the last three months of 2009...||
Lots of lovely movies. :) What do you think of State of Play?
|"1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die"||
Hamlet - first and foremost. If there is a single work in literature that one should read to be "cultured" it is Hamlet.
I could go on and on. I'm sure there are lots of books on the list that don't deserve to be there, also?
I certainly don't see any sort of objectivity. I would rank Ulysses near the top of the list...it's one of the finest novels ever written. How is this list organized? What qualifications were used in selection and placement? The author of said book needs to examine literature a little more. Or maybe I just don't understand "good books."
|The Fifty Best Films of the Decade||
I would like to suggest Elephant, directed by Gus Van Sant. It is a chilling, crippling film about a school shooting (paying homage to the Columbine massacre) and is one of the most disturbing but artistically beautiful films I have ever seen. It is an underground film set in Portland, Oregon. There are no professional actors (actually, the students in the film were actual students in Portland) and the script is mostly improvised. On the surface, it is a brutal, grotesque film which shows nothing more than the heartless slaughter of people. I actually felt rather disgusted with myself the first time I watched it. But, it made me think about things beyond just the surface of the film. For one, Van Sant does not criticize the characters who are supposed to represent Dylan and Eric. Instead, Van Sant remains neutral, suggesting that they were not "bad" "evil" people but merely *did* something which is violent and certainly not sanctioned by society. Van Sant seemingly argues that there is no inherent evil, but also no inherent "good" and "divinity" only neutrality, and the ideology of *doing* good or *doing* bad (if this makes sense) The film's bleakness also emphasizes various conflicts, particularly in the struggle with life and death. There's a stark contrast between students who panic, and students who seemingly accept their fates. *When the gunman walk into the library there is no panic until post-shooting, and one of the characters takes a picture.* It is as if Van Sant suggests that we must come to terms with death, because sooner or later it will happen. The film is, therefore, remarkably philosophical, especially in the idea of existentialism versus fatalism. How do we act, both in times of crisis and in times of calm?