snowpiercer

this is an entry for my thoughts on the move Snowpiercer directed by Bong Joon Ho and starring a stellar cast. I started, like most movies I end up loving, completely unaware of what was in store for me. I came home from school, plopped down on the couch and turned on netflix. Unfortunately I just read a poorly written review on the film (I just clicked on the first one) and have limited my scope on its interpretation. I still feel as if the entire film has allegorical value everywhere, but realize the plot can be seen as just a revolt on a train in a post-apocalyptic future. StIll pretty interesting actually. Tilda Swinton had this really great character that reminded me of Effie from the Hunger Games. 

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle-NOT FINISHED

I was hesitant to write anything about this book because there seems to be an overwhelming amount of adequate and often incisive reviews already posted about this book. Obviously there are varying opinions, but it seems like the majority of reviewers here are ready to jump out of their socks for Murakami’s prose/sympobolism/intricacy. 95% liked it at least, and I’m guessing all the 5 stars are the raving fans previously mentioned? I don’t know where I fall, but I definitely liked it. Only having a day to simmer in the aftermath of The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, I’ve not completely consolidated my wildly dispersed ideas on this considerably large book. Still, I need to write down my thoughts before they drift away, like fragmentary dreams, which compared to Murakami’s books, aren’t all that different. So, what does it all mean? That’s a stupid, but honest question. Uncertainty is what makes Murakami’s books both wonderful and frustrating. Yea, it really dictates everything about his writing. He draws in his reader into the often icy and always dark pool of his story with strange characters/situations set in even stranger settings as his hooks and line. Sometimes it’s not so bad, and you feel like you’re drifting, but other times the author’s approach is more akin to violent drowning, holding off easy answers like the depravation of oxygen. These put the reader into a hyper-aware crisis mode where any and all details matter tenfold, because in all his genius, Murakami frequently incorporates incredibly mundane happenings into surreal and significant events. Personally I relished in the mystery, stumbling across each new connection was fun, albeit rare…  
  I guess I should note here that it took me about 2 months to finish this book, and I know that meant my brain gradually lost bits and pieces of information as the days passed by before I would pick up my Kindle again for another attempt. Granted, I was reading Dune at the same time, it still took long, even with my snail-paced reading -_-. So in answering the question ^^ what does it all mean? I’m sorry, future Daniel (the only reader of this shitty “review”), if I recall things mistakenly.
  What was it with the Cutty Sark?
Before Creta Kano’s extensive backstory, I was sure I had at least a bit of the whiskey explanation sorted out. My initial story went along the lines of the whiskey being a immorality-intoxication and you know, it was a bad thing. Mr. Honda’s package of an empty Cutty Sark box closed off the first book of the novel right? Well this would go along with his warning to “beware of water!” or something. Cutty Sark’s empty container was a repeated warning and premonition for all things ruinous. Whenever Toru visited the dark room with the mysterious lady, a bottle of Cutty Sark always seemed to be there. Maybe I’m oversimplifying things (or overconvoluting?), but it seems like Cutty Sark is a representation of Toru’s passive attitude in life (something mentioned by everyone’s review) and his failure to take initiative/inability to take initiave- like an incredibly drunken, almost disabled man. Near the end of the book, the whiskey is said to be nearly out, like someone had been drinking it, and we know Toru isn’t drinking enough to finish the whole glass bottle. Instead, I thought that the gradual disappearence of Cutty Sark indicated a realization on Toru’s part regarding his passivity and not-solidness. What’s the opposite of solid? Liquidness? That would work out. Toru initially is very liquid-y, a formless man who possesses no personal convictions about the on-goings of his day to day life. As we first meet him, we’re informed of his existence before the page 1, Toru was an office-man (what was his job again?) who came home on time and owned a home with a cat and a wife who (normally) also came home on time, and they would have dinner together. Normal, ordinary, and organized, these seem to be the defining characteristics of Toru Okada’s life before the disappearence of his cat, Noboru Wataya*. <Side note: Noboru Wataya’s (the cat) disappearence out into the world and out of Toru’s insular world, brought into Toru’s world an until then, out in the world Noboru Wataya (the human).> As the book progresses, we witness Toru encounter increasingly bizarre circumstances that throw a seemingly ordinary man into the indeterminate flows of the world. Crazy right? Well through the turmoil, as far as I know, Toru emerges a stronger, more solid person. The toxic liquid has escaped, possibly being expelled/consumed by the Man with a Knife, an entity that’s probably the human Noboru Wataya. His identity doesn’t really matter, just the idea of Toru’s siphoning of (his)darkness into the void matters. I guess without the liquid, all that remains is the glass, clear and transparent, free of surreptitious deceptions, and while fragile, it remains strong in its representation of virtue. But that might be stretching it. 
  What was it with the blue mark?
Okay so this is one of the harder questions for me. What was it with the blue mark? What did it matter? And why? I didn’t want to think about the mark because along with the bat, it bothers me (as the most impenetrable symbols)! I hope to myself that they don’t mean anything and they’re just meaningless details, put there to add a little pizzazz to the story, but I mean it’s Murakami, almost everything has a purpose, let alone recurring pairs of images. Ugh. So what does the blue mark mean? First, I can trace back the beginning of the mark with Toru’s first stay in the well and his first visit to the dark room (I think). I remember a kiss with tongue, a tongue that warmed his right cheek as he passed through the gelatin-y wall. Looking back, maybe the mark was Kumiko’s way of protecting, or warning Toru of something. The mark did set off a chain of events that eventually led to Toru (kinda) owning the Miyakawa’s property with the well, ensuring future visits with the mystery lady in the dark room*. <Often interpreted as the inside of Toru’s mind.> So if this theory if even remotely on it, Kumiko would have to have powers of precognition. I mean that wouldn’t be uncommon in a book that has sisters with psychic abilities. The mark also gave Toru powers, the power that Nutmeg also possessed, a curative ability that seemed to pull at an inner something that resided in all human beings, as Nutmeg explains. The blue color might explain this specific connection, blue indicating spirituality and emotive themes. Beyond these two measly conclusions, I can’t speculate much more without completely bullshitting. If someone could answer, what do you think the mark showcases? 
  What was it with the bat?
Jumping right in with issue number 2 of relative hardness. The bat encompasses the jarring amount of destructiveness humanity has in its capability. Not just plain old violence, but voilence as conveyed through acts of cruelty and demonstrations in mercilessness (right spelling?). Murakami even gives us an instance where the bat might have been a part of an unconscious attack, although psychologically, on a person, hinting at an inherent voilent nature that leans towards death and murder even without us knowing. Now that’s a scary notion. Maybe the bat represented an unrestrained savagery present in all makind as when Toru ruthlessly attacks the Man with the Guitarcase. Tangent: sorry but now doing the whole capitalizing thing twice now, I realize  how stupid it looks….still fun.

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This review was never finished. I had cut a limb from the beast, promising to come back soon to finish the job, but instead, several months have passed and I’ve simply let it bleed out. By now it seems pointless to even attempt a revival. Instead I’m here to end this weeping creature of a review’s life in order to ensure any excess suffering is stifled without wait. Incredible book! Read the WUBC! 

Taxi Driver

I just got finished watching this…classic? I think it’s a classic, I mean everyone mentions it and it’s reputably a….classic. Man oh man-great movie, soundtrack, actors, everything you know. But what was all about? Was I suppose to feel content watching it? Why was the mohawk thing kinda sudden? Manifest content, latent content; can’t they just give us the meaning? Haha just kidding. Lots of red in this movie. Um, sex/passion obvious in some scenes like Iris’s room. In other scenes less so, like Travis’s talk with the Wizard outside that eating place. He confessed to having “bad ideas” maybe eveeel. Connection between Betsy and Iris, look very similar. I didn’t recognize Jodie Foster as a kid until that lunch scene when she’s wearing those fantastic green sunglasses. So what is this, the Electra Complex from the father’s perspective? Women he wants to fuck is not into it, but the girl he wants to protect, like in a dad sort of way, is a prostitute. Irony? Mhmm, so he’s also kind of a hypocrite. In his journals he criticises the moral degradation of the city and then trashes it with dead bodies in a pseudo-heroic attempt to “save” Iris-maybe as a way to rectify his earlier screw-up with Betsy? The whole vigilante aspect of his character was really funny, “you talkin’ to me?”. Bernard Hermann’s score=perfection. Weird contrast between moral content of scenes and romantic/comforting atmosphere of music like the pedophiliac scene between Matthew and Iris. Was that supposed to be sweet, like “Sport”’s words, or disturbing? Movie blurs the line between the two-never has a clear position on the moral questions it proposes. Apparently Scorcese had a part in it? Can’t remember–oh yes! He was the messed up rich husband who was planning to kill his wife. Thanks google. Couldn’t recognize him young either-without glasses and white hair. Man, what else? I’m sure I missed a lot, just kinda watched it passively, didn’t engage in critical thinking while watching. Just enjoyed events and images as it flowed pass. I know-waste of time….well whatever, I’m lazy enough regularly to justify watching movies and writing about it to be some form of productivity. Palantine-attempt at assassination meansss….? Maybe it’s frustration over Betsy’s rejection? After he “saves” Iris, his drive with Betsy seems to end with him being “ok”? Haha I’m not making sense, but what I mean is that he seems content, like “I’m over you” but w/o the bitterness and sass.  So okay, that’s my little spiel-don’t take it seriously

Yeah I don’t really understand it at all. Nice movie.

Leon: The Professional

Hmm. I thought I wrote something for this. I guess not.

So this is a movie that I read about afterwards to substantiate my feelings, because I didn’t want to feel unsure about what I thought. It wasn’t phenomenal. The action is thrilling, haha it’s a Luc Besson thriller, shouldn’t have expected anything less. I gave it 3 stars. I guess the late night Ebert review obscured my memory, I did NOT write anything about this movie. Partly because I didn’t want to just critique. Praise is so much easier (see my obscene gushing over Whiplash below), but dislike should engender greater introspection. Scary quesiton: Is part of my dislike derivative of some kind of repressed xenophobia? Jean Reno, the actor who plays Leon, is wonderful as the naive, but also deadly hitman looking out for the crafty, but also vulnerable Mathilda, played by a young Natalie Portman. Reno’s portrayal of the immigrant’s struggle to adapt in America instigated a possibly childhood resentment towards my own parents’ immigrant struggles at assimilation. Each blunder represented a backwards step away from what my mind desired completely: conformity to an advertised American ideal. Although I’ve long since discarded that artificial ideal, I guess lingering sentiments still cling in my subconscious. Leon’s flaws don’t exist solely in my subconscious though. Watching it, I often felt that the film lacked a foundation or purpose in its developments. The acting was great, and so was the directing. Most conspicously offputting was the relationship between Mathilda and Leon. It wasn’t interesting enough to observe objectively because the movie was so blunt in what it told the audience, leaving no room for interpretation. God I’m idiotic as fuck because there is some nuance to their relation. Just not enough for me to pick up on. All I saw was a little girl with an Electra Complex and a lonely older man who takes up this little girl to fulfill some kind of gap in his heart. Y’know, the honorable desire to father a child or whatnot. 

Increasingly distasteful.  

Watchmen-short review on influences

They really don’t kid when they say Watchmen is the best graphic novel in existence. “They” being the collective unconscious of all of sentient life in this Universe and every other Universe ever. Yes, it’s undeniable, WATCHMEN embodies the apex of artistic achievement in the graphic novel format (says so on the back cover). It’s equivalent in other mediums might be Picasso’s wartime painting Guernica or Bob Dylan’s “All Along the Watchtower” in rock and roll. All three are revered in their respective worlds as works of considerable political and moral content. Guernica manifests, through Picasso’s choice of muted colors, a tragic aspect of mankind underpinned by the unifying spectre of death. The latter, as every fan of Watchmen knows, played a crucial part in the creation of the novel. Consequently, Dylan’s influence on the book and it’s authors imbued in the narrative a consistent theme about the conviction to stand determined against uneven odds. Or as brusque main man Rorschach puts it, to “Never compromise”. The song lyrics illustrate archetypal characters that parallel Watchmen’s lucid portrayal of uninhibited human behavior through its multifaceted and representative characters. The joker and thief of Dylan’s landscape are approaching outsiders opposed to the established power structure of the castle off in the distance, characters in an impending conflict between a stagnant regime and liberal revolutionaries. In the same way, Watchmen’s characters fight against the prevailing structure of disorder and amorality they see as the stagnant regime of their world. Throughout the graphic novel, author Alan Moore (with incredible visual aid by artist Dave Gibbons and colorist John Higgins) continuously develops on themes concerning the human condition and the uncertain nature of morality. I know, sounds like some pretty heavy stuff-but it’s totally accessible and a satisfying experience for all ages. Watchmen is a book with widespread influences and, in turn, widespread influence in our own modern culture where many of its insights still hold significant weight – a fantastic novel for anyone searching for a deeply poignant (and fun!) read.

Cemetery Man

A great visual movie, since some movies are not visual. God I’m bad at describing. I meant to say it has great visual references, and is just a fun movie to watch. The Magritte kissing scene was the best in all the movies I’ve watched. Because there are many Magritte kissing scenes. I meant it was a great kissing scene. God. On a second viewing (did not finish yet) I saw the Isle of the Dead painted by Arnold Blocklin (thanks google) in silhouette. Those are the only two I recognized. 

Besides the references, I loved the movie because it had metaphors on a level easy enough for me to interpret! Yay. It also had a Donnie Darko atmosphere. Whole world of his creation. Surreal events throughout displays this. The weather suddenly changing. Beautiful women seemingly dropping out of the sky. The detective’s complete obliviousness to Francesco’s guilt. The hospital scene with Franco. But the most obvious proof of this is when things in Francesco’s life change. A new mayor, a women’s rejection, a switch to killing the living. These things change and you can see how it effects the MC-and Buffaralo. No evidence rn.

Gnaghi is his alter ego, lives beneath him, in his subconscious. Represents his fear of judgement, public perception paranoia, see how people launch at him to blame for those 7 murders. Francesco loves it when the sky rains. Gnaghi likes it when the sun shines. Gnaghi is more animalistic, eating with his hands and grunting, unable to talk. Anyways, this guy is really insecure. The rumor about his impotence also shows this, as well as the guys who tease him when he comes into town. Francesco’s character is his conscious self, who adopts an indifference and nihilistic veneer as an identity. You can see how Gnaghi reflects this. He is simple, joyful, and possesses things that Francesco lacks. Physical perfection (yes perfection, Rupert Everett is amazing) nope. But he’s clever, constructing the skull with ease and deconstructing it to protect Dellamorte’s frail ego. Ugh

analyze the rest later(there’s a lot), honestly too lazy rn

Making Murakami

From the consulting firm of hard-edged experience and near-death encounters, comes the inspiration needed to get this beast going. Maybe all that glancing and static observation wasn’t for nought. Is that a word? 

Coming soon, frightened expectations and prevailing circumstances (my overall youth and naivete) make for an often disturbing reading and writing time. I can’t know what I’m doing, and I know exactly what I’m doing.  

And we continue. The most basic necessity: a topic. So I’m writing about 1Q84. Books recently browsed. “Browsed” because “read” suggests comprehension and retention.

 1Q84 is a very very recent book by Murakami. It was released around 2009-2010 and the English publication came out in 2011. Murakami writes about the past so well that I believed this was one of his earlier novels. Norwegian Wood felt modern, like it was written in this decade. Ironically it was released in the 80s while 1Q84 which has that feeling of past eras was written in the early 2010s. 

I’m hesitant about going on about the book because I will pause for….ever and never get on with any points. I’ll write about unrelated fodder and delay close eye-to-eye analyzation with the story. I feel weak like a floundering trout. Or bass. Clown fish. Finding Nemo, Dory Ellen Shows Netflix Marathon Breast Cancer Marathon Drugs Chemo Love Hair Loss Bald Walter White Breaking Bad Trailer Money RV Comedy Love Fat Love.