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    • CommentTimeAug 13th 2012 edited
    Not til October, but the trailer for "Tai Chi 0" is out now. The creators of IP Man and Detective Dee have made a
    movie billed as a "Steam Punk Kungfu Throw Down"

    Looks crazy --I'm excited.
  1.  (10691.2)
    Prometheus just got a general release in Japan and it made me dream awesome dreams.

    Super excited about The Avengers coming out as well (godz finally). I'm hoping to love it in all the ways I couldn't love The Dark Knight Rises.
    • CommentTimeAug 14th 2012 edited
    @ Merver Finn: Holy caped frustration! Why the hell is Japan (and Bangladesh (thanks, IMDB)) only seeing The Avengers released now, especially as it's being released on Blu-Ray, in the west at least, in just over a month? Is this the SOP over there?
  2.  (10691.4)
    Depends. Spider-Man and Men In Black 3 got timely releases, but The Hunger Games comes out in September. I don't really understand why some films get held back for so long, but would just say there are reasons piracy exists which have nothing to do with consumer miserliness.

    I'm most frustrated about missing Cabin in the Woods in the cinema. I have been looking fwd to it for two years, and then I move to Japan and it doesn't even have a release date here. I'm going back to London soon, so am hoping that the Prince Charles in Leicester Square puts it on at some point in the distant future, when Whedon is considered one of the greats and they do a retrospective or smth...
    • CommentTimeAug 15th 2012
    Just remembered, I was reading Samuel L Jackson's Twitter feed during the Olympics and he said he was off to Japan for the Avengers' premier but I didn't think he meant premier premier because, you know, it's August.

    In a related note, this:

  3.  (10691.6)
    Cute! Going to see him get into ass-kicking mode in abt an hour and a half. So so so stoked.
  4.  (10691.7)
    Yes of course I see now, Batman is an opera, of the Robert Wilson era. If you have ever seen his work no explantion required.

    manynames I will go back to your long reply. I need to see TDKR again. Right now I am in a furor over Cronenberg and Pattinson putting a knife in the heart of Don DeLillo by going to ring in the bell of the NYSE as publicity for Cosmopolsis. Cronenebrg is such a whore these days and in his pimping of Pattinson is showing him that game. All these directors do is pimp Pattinson's face and all he does is let them. Just bend over Rob. That's what they really want instead kof using your face as face porno.

    Saw Hunger Games again and it is better than the first time. Most political film of the year IMO.
  5.  (10691.8)
    For manynames

    Now I am back to you. If you go to and read my comments on TDKR that will save me some time in repeating. Also my review of darren's review at m0viblog would help. Here's my review of darren's review: and check out the comments as there is a lot there.

    What darren picks up is that TDK is linear, while TDKR is not; it is discontinuous; hence, the incredible chaos, juxtapositions, irregularities and contradictions. Rand is famously noted for saying "contradictions do not exist" which she got form her 2 decades of studying Nietzsche starting at age 16. We can safely say that Nietzsche was IN her as Baudrillard will say that Nietzsche is in him. More like blood flowing through their veins through which all is filtered. And Nolan has read a lot of Nietzsche too.

    TDK gives us the Foucauldian Grid of power/knowledge/capital. TDKR gives us its ratcheting up the ante until it collapses. Nietzsche again and Baudrillard. Lacan in My 68 in France, when speaking to the demonstrators told them that "you will get the masters you want."

    I read Darius and all his criticisms are in The Order of Production; i.e. literal. An inability to suspend belief given the technology flaws, and lack of connection such as how does Wayne come back in a jet. Actually this movie is driven by Events which do not connect, are not linearly progressive and appear to just appear. We are in The Order of Symbolic Seduction through most of this film. It is Simulated Realtiy becoming Virtual Reality. Nolan it seems to me is just getting comfortable with these different ways of thinking involving contradictions that encompass their opposites. I read today that Peikoff's wife/daughter? Amy is recommending Randians see TDKR. So your desire for a theme, a political theme is there but it's not where you are looking. It's about a different way of seeing, of thinking and the consequences of that. Both political extremes can mark it as their own for sure. Now here is where we slide into Cosmopolis territory: DeLillo's novel and Cronenberg's film are mirror images reflected darkly and sloppy, but typical Cronenberg style. TDKR also has resonances with Atlas Shrugged.

    The point being is that capitalism is irreversible as the Order of Production. Marx saw this in his preview work before Capital. It repeats itself, ever and ever expanding. Baudrillard would say it metastascizes. So we have hyper capital, cyber capital or as Zizek says, Virtual Capital, which is what DeLillo is saying. You can imagine my fury that Cronenberg arranges for himself and his boy toy Rob Pattinson to ring the bell for the NYSE yesterday to put a stake through the heart of Don DeLillo.

    When you say the film seems to be reaching, yes. From then on I was with you. Reviews based on psychological interpretation do not work anymore. All that well learned jargon full of ready-mades needs to be tossed under the bus for a new way of thinking.

    One way is to read Zizek's: Living in the End Times and some of his appearances on youtube. They are uneven and he is more difficult to listen to than to read as his Eastern European accent obscures comprehension. His reading of Lacan is crucial as Lacan is running all through TDKR. Comment on my blog or we can continue here to discuss this. I need very much to see it again. For the past few days I have been doing damage control on Cronenberg's Cosmoppolis. It could have been the film of the decade or maybe the age. He sold it out. To do face pornography with Rob Pattinson.
  6.  (10691.9)
    I see how I could have made my links hot. I wasn't paying attention. Sorry. I will do better in the future. Also Nolan is exploring the concept of the big Other and has not yet found his way of making it clearer. As Foucault says, "We must cut off the head of the king."
  7.  (10691.10)
    I just watched the documentary "Last Days Here" on Netflix about the singer Bobby Liebling of the cult metal band Pentagram:

    It's pretty hard to watch at first, but it throws an unexpected curve ball by the end of the film.
  8.  (10691.11)

    Man, I'm sorry, but that honestly reads like it was written by the Postmodern Essay Generator. It's just an utterly impenetrable list of theorists. If a Freshman brought that to me for review, I would tell them to scrap the whole thing and start over from scratch because it is, among other things, 90% just reference to the ideas of others put into a sort of paragraph-shaped list (and then, for some reason, colored blue on your blog. You might want to not make your blog look like TIMECUBE in the future). It is a stunning example of writer-based prose--YOU understand what you mean, but there's no sinew, there's no connective tissue that holds your scattered array of quotes together.

    Here's a thought: can you rewrite that argument without quoting or referencing a single theorist?
    • CommentAuthorMercer Finn
    • CommentTimeAug 15th 2012 edited
    I have some quibbles about The Avengers, which may only be comprehensible to myself (aware I fall into some of the traps pointed out by KeeperofManyNames above...)

    Anyway, I enjoyed the shit out of it. Some moments spoiled by premature exposure, but that's my fault really, isn't it? It's not all time favourite tho, not like Thor and The Dark Knight. Given Whedon's record I was hoping to be wowed a bit more.
  9.  (10691.13)
    Tekkonkinkreet isn't baffling. It isn't difficult to understand and it wont make you question the meaning or the balance of your life.

    It wears its philosophy on its sleeve and this detracted from its appeal at first but it does so in a knowing way. The animation and the sound design are beautifully done and - even though it was made in 2006 - it shies away from the glossy approach of many modern anime. Arias' direction of the film and the animation has a surprising amount in common with Aronofsky's The Fountain [also from 2006]: where Aronofsky chose effects made by organic materials over CGI, Arias chose watercolours over CGI; where Aronofsky had echoing time periods, Arias charts the cyclical progression of a year's passing; Aronofsky has two characters inextricably linked throughout time, so too does Arias but psychically linked; the connections are surprising considering that both films were in production at the same time.

    To say that Tekkonkinkreet is on par with The Fountain would be spurious to the Aronofsky-hard fans and facetious at best but it is important to acknowledge their similarities, if only for an Amazonian 'If you liked The Fountain then you may like Tekkonkinkreet'.

    After I'd accepted its earnest philosophy, I enjoyed the film thoroughly: it was beautifully done throughout and by the denouement, I really cared about the characters - it's also the denouement when Arias brings out the animation he's been waiting to show you. That 5-10 minute stretch alone is fascinating enough for your attention.

    If you haven't, I recommend seeing it.
  10.  (10691.14)
    @Mercer Finn:

    Interesting analysis. I actually kinda wish it was longer--you've hit on an interesting notion here. It's definitely making me reconsider the implications of some of the motifs in the movie...

    Even with Loki's narrow development in Avengers, though, I still think some of the best moments of the film were his interactions with Thor, particularly Thor's repeated attempts to draw him back to Asgard and make amends. The chemistry of those two is great...

    @Slow Films:

    Ben just jumpstarted my memory. 5 Centimeters Per Second is a marvelous little anime in which next to nothing happens, and everything looks heartbreakingly beautiful while that nothing happens. It's worth checking out for the animation alone, and the slow melancholy of the film is really remarkable.

    Oh, and it's been mentioned before, I believe, but Tarkovsky's Stalker is a truly stunning film. It's available subtitled on YouTube from Tarkovsky's Russian distributor last time I checked, along with a few of his other movies.
    • CommentTimeAug 16th 2012
    @Mercer Finn: I shared your quibbles, particularly the way the Hulk finally deals with Loki, but I wonder if Whedon isn't making a point about the self-undermining character of Loki's ideology: if you think might makes right, what can you say when you come up against someone mightier than you?
    • CommentTimeAug 16th 2012
    But when I remember Nietzsche's point that charisma is ultimately produced by fear, the vox pop platitudes at the end of the film leave me with some rather uncomfortable feelings.

  11.  (10691.17)
    I think Whedon tried to undercut Loki's ideology with
    the very gauche gesture where an older German gentleman stands up to him
    , which shows that human beings may be weak and frail, but they still prefer freedom. The fact that Loki gets beaten may not change his basic outlook, it may just prove to him that he wasn't mighty enough to impose HIS will on Earth. Perhaps Whedon could have done more undermining with a deeper exploration of the way
    Hawkeye throws off Loki's influence
    , but I guess there just wasn't enough time for that.
    • CommentAuthorMercer Finn
    • CommentTimeAug 16th 2012 edited
    Thanks. Would say that I was trying to understand the twinges of discomfort I was getting as I watched the film, but the interpretation is definitely NOT the one intended by Whedon. Expanding on the point would probably involve stepping back from the film and discussing the inherent contradictions of the superhero genre, which is a bit beyond me to be honest...
  12.  (10691.19)
    Looking forward to Expendables 2 and not ashamed to admit it!
  13.  (10691.20)
    @Mercer Finn:

    Maybe another way of undermining Loki's ideology could be seen with his interactions with Black Widow? There's some very interesting subtext to her character and her resistance against the manipulation both of Loki and her male allies, at least. This isn't a fully formed thought, mind, and we might just end up stuck again with the problem of Black Widow being the mightier character, as you put it, but there might be something there worth digging into.

    You're probably right, though, that any analysis here would end up just being an analysis of superheroes in general.

    Incidentally, I'm hearing surprisingly good things about ParaNorman. Anyone managed to see it early, or planning on seeing it?