While it might seem like an odd thing to say, it’s possible that we have too much TV on TV.
In 2014, the broadcast, cable, and major streaming (Netflix, Amazon, Hulu) networks accounted between them for 352 individual original scripted programs — and we haven’t even delved into imports like BBC America, along with the entire lineup of PBS, which has scores of shows running at any given time, not just Downton Abbey. That’s a whole lot of television. Even assuming that most of these programmes have runs between 12-23 episodes per series (and sometimes far fewer as in the case of those like Sherlock), it accounts for hundreds of hours weekly and eats up vast numbers of channels — no wonder even the most basic of cable packages in the US now come with a panoply of channels.
Surprisingly, science fiction frequently confronts readers and viewers with questions about the nature of humanity and the existence of God.
What is the nature of faith? What does it mean to have a belief in a higher power, a resolve that God is ultimately just, and that everything happens for a reason? Why are we here? These are questions people have struggled with for millennia, and they’ve been at the root of countless world religious formed to explain the world surrounding us, from early humans drawing on the walls of caves in France to youth marching in the streets today.
What makes a sniper American, exactly?
What makes a sniper American exactly? Being on the right side of a fight? Stencilling “The Punisher” logo on your equipment like a real life Frank Castle? Wearing a baseball cap backwards whilst you slaughter a mother and her son from long range before they can explode a rocket propelled grenade in front of your buddies? Wasn’t that shot lifted directly from “Full Metal Jacket?” And didn’t that make us hate that 12 year old girl’s guts? The sniper in war movies was always the bad guy, a foreign wraith on the battlefield obliterating our favourite grunts before shifting position like the low down scumbag coward they wished they had the decency to be. How does America square this particularly vicious circle?
While Selma is profoundly moving, it points to the need to continuously reevaluate the lens we understand women with.
One of the most compelling scenes in Selma takes place towards the end of the movie. Martin Luther King Jr. is standing on a bridge surrounded by religious leaders of every denomination. They all walk arm in arm towards a crowd of white people at the end of the bridge that have already brutalized and violated previous marchers. At MLK’s directive, the marchers stop. As a viewer, you can’t help but be pulled into the scene, overwhelmed by the immense potential and beauty of that moment. Love standing up to hatred, peace winning over violence.
No matter what people say, Transparent is still a pile of bigoted, transphobic crap.
At Sunday’s Golden Globes ceremony, Amazon series Transparent took two awards: best comedy or musical series, and best actor in a comedy series (Jeffrey Tambor). The world promptly took to the internet to celebrate: at last, a show about trans people being recognised by a prestigious awards committee! This tide is turning! Finally, transgender people have entered the mainstream, and the “transgender tipping point,” as Time put it last year, has been tipped.
“Foxcatcher” is a morbidly complex, American Gothic horror story that chills to the very marrow.
Marcus Aurelius, the last of the Five Good Emperors, commented that “the art of living is more like wrestling than dancing.” What is more tragic than the forlorn shadow of a fallen athlete stalking through an America that has forgotten his past glories on the field of sporting excellence? The jock once so revered by classmates, teachers and horror movies now cast asunder by age and doubt, forced to make ends meet by whoring himself for twenty dollars a pop, delivering ‘motivational” speeches to elementary school students who couldn’t care less.
Jolie offers nothing new or interesting to the genre of WW2 movie making, and that’s profoundly disappointing.
Nobody can say that Angelina Jolie doesn’t love her subjects. Watching Jolie’s Unbroken, a WW2 drama about US soldier Louis Zamperini’s imprisonment in a Japanese labor camp, it was impossible not to admire the beautiful masculinity of the different characters. From the macho shirtless pilots to the evil Japanese commander that spent the entire movie torturing and humiliating Zamperini, the camera showcased lots of close ups and fantastic lighting, so that characters seemed to glow with the warmth of a perpetual orange yellow sunset.
Sometimes it’s best to let sleeping monkeys lie.
Terry Gilliam is famous for his bizarre, fractal, mysterious approach to filmmaking, whether he’s adapting from texts like Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas or developing original content. No matter what the setting and characters, his work is always readily identifiable by a whiff of strangeness, an unsettling feeling that appears within moments of the opening titles; even his work on Monty Python is surrealist. Many of his films plunge deep into dystopia and terrifying visions of the future, including the interlinked Brazil and the star-studded 12 Monkeys, which also happen to be among his best.
What film isn’t improved by a fleet of helicopters?
What is it with back-stories? Every self-respecting superhero seems to need one and preferably the darker the better. The origin of this and the origin of that, why can’t they just be? Who said we needed to head shrink every vigilante who flung on a mask and a cape? What would Freud have given to whisper in their superhuman ears? Did “Birdman” ride that blazing comet to earth, a flaming Phoenix born again to save humanity from itself?
Black Mirror challenges us to think about the technologies around us and how we use them, interact with them, and accept them.
The US is in an ecstasy of delight: At precisely the moment when everyone is done with their families, desperate for a reason to retreat into their bunkholes, and starting to weary of vacation, the internet has delivered. Channel 4’s Black Mirror is available to stream on Netflix, and everyone’s taking advantage of the legal appearance of the hit British show on US soil. While many had, er, already watched the show via extralegal means, an entirely new audience is being introduced to the darkly sardonic, disturbing, and probing programme — just the sort of thing to liven up the holiday season.
Global Comment © 2015 | Design & Developed by : Slate