Trying to arrange a date is an immense task, and some Hollywood films make it appear ever so easy! There's never any issues getting a resturant reservation, nobody gets held up in traffic and no-one walks into the resturant with their blouse inside out (not, that this has happened to me *ahem*). Everything seems to go according to plan and the couple have a great time. It's enough to make you feel just a little bit down. However, don't worry! I have managed to find some pretty awful dates that didn't go well for the characters involved. Happy Belated Valentines Day everyone!
I had a surreal experience watching “The Irishman” (2019). There is a scene of a gangster assassinated while he is eating dinner with his family in a restaurant in New York City’s Little Italy. As I watched I slowly recognized the restaurant and remembered a dinner I had had with my brother and two cousins so many years ago I had forgotten all about it. My memories superimposed themselves on the murder taking place onscreen which I had never known before had happened there. As an Italian American raised in New York one must sometimes wonder, “Have I really been living in a Martin Scorsese film all my life?”
People like to say that original movies are in short supply these days, swallowed up by the onslaught of comic book films, remakes/reboots, and live-action adaptations of 80s cartoons based on toys. Whilst there is truth to this observation, its conclusions are flawed. Not only have some incredibly bold and unique recent films come from pre-existing IP like "The Lego Movie", "Mad Max: Fury Road" and "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse", but so-called “original” films are often just as guilty of recycling and retrofitting the concepts of the past. Quentin Tarantino and Edgar Wright have made their entire careers out of essentially crafting extended tributes to their childhood favourites, communicating their own perspectives and ideas through the lens of pulp genre cinema.
The theater in the 6 p.m., mostly sold out, showing of "Joker" was tense, the air in the room constricted from the possibility of... something. It did not seem like anyone knew quite what that something was, but I was shaking the whole time. I think that there was one possible reason for this: people have been entertaining the possibility of violence during a "Joker" showing. The theaters around me, at least, are taking preventive measures, staffing extra security guards and prohibiting makeup, costumes, masks, and weapons in the theater. The first time I watched "Joker", I attended a private screening, admittedly fearful of seeing it with the general public. But, the second time, I watched it in this packed theater. I must say that my first viewing greatly differed from my second.
A piece of art’s problematic-ness is subjective to the viewer who consumes the art; there is no definite arbiter--or way of deciding--just what kinds of art are inherently, objectively problematic. Only the individual can deem something to be problematic. If certain individuals agree with others, a mass of individuals with like-minds (and nuanced values) come together, then we have a basic form of society. Some things register as problematic because it goes against culture--or the ideas of a particular social group. To suggest that something is problematic because society or culture deems it so would be like suggesting that something is okay just because certain cultures deem it to be so, but I digress.
Is the “Joker” really an achievement in cinematic history or just a deeply dark look into an anarchist, his falling apart life and a city on edge. One thing is sure here, no matter if you loved it or didn’t, it’s a thought-provoking, disturbing two hour long journey, that will haunt you for a time after. The... Continue Reading →