Archive for the 'misc' Category

The ‘Krutt-kynslotin’

October 6, 2008

A Guardian article commenting on the rapid decline of the Icelandic economy, says this:

“Older islanders call them the ‘Krutt-kynslotin’ – the cuddly generation. Eco-aware, earnest but pampered, they drift from organic café to bar, listening to the music of Björk and Sigur Rós, islanders who have made it big abroad.”

In the same article, a local Icelander says: “When everyone was extremely rich in Iceland – you know, last month, it was with money that they never have earned. Now those who were extremely rich are just normally rich, but they think they are poor. They were spoilt, spending billions.”

101-Reykjavik is probably the only film I’ve seen about the so-called “disillusioned” Icelandic youth. An interesting film actually, considering that Icelandars are (were?) supposed to be the happiest people in the world.

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La Ceremonie

March 24, 2008

I’ve been holding this DVD for a week now, and still haven’t watched it. I’m simply going to return it to the library today. The same thing happened with Resnais’s Last year at Marienbad. Sometimes I feel like I’m just not ready. I did get to see Chabrol’s Violette, casted with two of my favourite actors, Stephane Audran, and Isabelle Huppert (I would never have realized it was her, were it not for the credits). Chabrol’s sensibility has matured and he approaches the subject carefully without introducing an overwhelming amount of mystery and suspense, which was something I did not particularly like in his earlier works (though with exceptions like Les Biches and La Rupture). I now keep wondering how it would have been if Huppert had played Why in Les Biches. Audran and Huppert make a wonderful pair together, though it’s hard for me to visualize them as mother and daughter.

Baisers volés

January 31, 2008
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Now every time I spread cheese on crackers, I’m reminded of the touching scene near the end of Stolen Kisses, when Doinel, trying to butter a toast breaks the bread and Fabienne  Christine shows him how to layer a piece atop another so it doesn’t break, and then tells him she’ll teach him everything she knows and he’ll teach her everything.

Theme Change

December 29, 2007

It had to be done. I’m usually stringent against changing themes, but I had a nagging feeling about the previous theme Rubric. Anyway, I like this one a lot, especially its column spacing, which was something I didn’t like in the other theme. But applying this also screwed up the alignment of some of the previous posts, so I had to update them as well. The simplicity here really appealed to me, and as much as I hate to change the appearance of the page, like I said, it just had to be done. Oh well.

Identity Crisis

December 22, 2007

ss2.jpgThe Milgram experiment and Stanford prison study have by now become seminal standpoints from which to analyze human behavioral patterns when subjected to authority. They were both controversial and extremely successful in understanding how we as humans behave when given unconditional freedom to exert force or inflict torture on another individual or group, without even first wanting to know the victim’s crimes or any justification for the act. Just the fact that it was an order from above and the “torturers” are given full reign over the environment is enough for them to condemn the victims or make them commit ghastly and demeaning acts.

This video on Google links the Stanford study with the events of Abu Ghraib, which of course means that the Stanford experiment, was with a very high probability, successful in duplicating such real world situations; cases where the people involved don’t quite fathom the power at their hands and wield it recklessly to commit some worse-than-murder acts of violence and terror.

Another interesting aspect to the experiments is how they were a form of mind control. Give enough power to the people and make them believe, even loosely, that what they are doing is right, and they’re ready to do anything you want. Dr. Nils Bejerot later developed another psychological theory, called the Stockholm Syndrome, based on events of a robbery in Stockholm where the hostages actually defended their captors.

I guess it’s highly likely that with the right amount of pressure, even the sanest and most rational human being on Earth can be converted into a member of your terrorist gang or religious cult or anything else that you fancy. Just goes to show there’s simply no such thing as free will.

Funny Games (U.S.)

November 10, 2007

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This is a fantastic poster for Haneke’s upcoming U.S. version of Funny Games. I loved the original (though I consider his earlier works to be far superior to it), and Naomi Watts looks poised to give the most disturbing performance of her career.

Translations

May 15, 2007

This is a nice article on the Guardian that covers the translation aspect of novels. The author also coins a term – “generalizations”, for all those adages and aphorisms that we encounter in some works. One of my favorite ones is also mentioned here – “All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”, from Anna Karenina. Like the author mentions, “Not to read in translation – unimaginable, almost unforgivable”. Isn’t that why we watch foreign films with subtitles, not understanding a word of what’s spoken, the warmth or bitterness of the voice lost into the 26 characters that we constantly read on the screen? It’s for the love of the art and can be for nothing less.