Debug Your Mind

Archive for the ‘fiction’ Category

Here you have films which are fictious in story, but may as well be real, for they create an allegory of the present, or of the future. Watching these pictures, you will understand better the world we live in.

The Dark Rise of the Knight

Posted by Ştefan Alexandrescu on August 27, 2012

Two teachers discuss one with the other:

– Yesterday, I taught my dog to play chess

– Really? I knew the dog is one of the most intelligent animals, but I didn’t think you could teach him such a thing. What does he know until now?

– Nothing actually. I said taught him, I didn’t say he learned.

Probably there is no big surprise for anyone that Christopher Nolan’s new film has rapidly enter top box office [en, php] and Top 250 iMDB [en, php]. There almost seems to be a groove for “dark films”, because they are the “new cool”. The darker, the better.

It’s really hard to judge such a great film for the standard of its qualities: if I admit the film is great, then most will interpret that as a “green light” to go and savour it. But not all great films are meant to be seen, such as not all great songs are meant to be sang.

The prior “Dark Knight” already had some very clear elements of misleading the spectator into believing the milk is black: Batman assumes the fault for Harvey “Two Faces” Dent, to keep the clean image of the public hero; Batman uses intimacy-invasive hi-tech for tracing the enemy. Wouldn’t Obama just love such a figure, which can take the blame for up-scaling the post-Bush war machine?

As if this wasn’t enough, the 7th real life action film of the Batman saga “teaches” us (or, at least, tries to) some very interesting stuff:

  • those imprisoned for life without any rights are confirmed as bad guys by the fact that they all gang up against population, when being freed;

  • Jim Gordon telling the truth, as a police officer, is wrong;

  • Imprisoning people for an abusive decree is wrong, but it’s OK for the ones who did it to go unpunished and without repenting;

  • Batman’s old friends, even though don’t agree with his actions, are more than eager to help him;

  • childrens watching a nuclear bomb detonated just a few kilometers away doesn’t harm their eyes;

  • an atomic bomb being detonated a few kilometers away from the shore does not pose any real problems: It won’t come as a surprise in the next “Batman” we’ll see happy fishers on the shore (Fukushima, anyone?);

  • when you don’t fear death anymore, a mortal jump is OK;

  • In the end, the “good guy” can fly away with a “bad girl”;

  • It seems that nobody told Anne Hathaway that “based on comics” doesn’t mean she’s in a silly comedy – she keeps acting like she’s in one;

  • hope doesn’t come from God, it comes from Batman;

  • faith is broken when Batman is beaten;

  • salute the fire to rise… (maybe soon also off the screens?);

  • starting a new life might become impossible in a “peace time” when all the uncomfortable people are locked in and the key is thrown away;

    • In the movies, the “terrorists” are always scarier than in reality. Bane looks like he could eat Osama bin Laden on toast for the breakfast – by the way, has someone asked the question “how does Bane eat?”

  • if you are aware of all these things, than it’s still OK to enjoy the spectacle of violence.

And on, and on. What wonderful things for your children to learn, isn’t it? The bad news is that in the real life, terrorists are never “blown away” by comics heroes, but they have their phantoms chased

Christopher Nolan proves to be not only one of the best film directors at Hollywood, but also one of the most devious ones. Don’t get fooled by what you see on the big screen. There’s a war on your mind, and that of your children’s. When the Dark Knight rises, your offspring fall.

Making a very good movie is making nowadays critics to shut up.

My rating: 8/10.

The promo text from Warner Bros.: “Warner Bros. Pictures’ and Legendary Pictures’ “The Dark Knight Rises” is the epic conclusion to filmmaker Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy. Leading an all-star international cast, Oscar(R) winner Christian Bale (“The Fighter”) again plays the dual role of Bruce Wayne/Batman. The film also stars Anne Hathaway, as Selina Kyle; Tom Hardy, as Bane; Oscar(R) winner Marion Cotillard (“La Vie en Rose”), as Miranda Tate; and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, as John Blake. Returning to the main cast, Oscar(R) winner Michael Caine (“The Cider House Rules”) plays Alfred; Gary Oldman is Commissioner Gordon; and Oscar(R) winner Morgan Freeman (“Million Dollar Baby”) reprises the role of Lucius Fox.”


Posted in Electronic Surveillance, fiction, World of terror | 2 Comments »

The Ugly American (1963)

Posted by Ştefan Alexandrescu on October 6, 2011

Nominated at the Golden Globes for best actor and best director; nominated for best screenplay by Writers Guild of American.

This is one of Marlon Brando’s great roles. This political drama is based on real facts, but the story has been dramatized in order to send a clear signal for the Americans against the political, economic and military interventionism in Asia. Thailand [en, wiki] has been one of the greatest free nations of Asia for more than 200 years. Even in the XIX th century,then known as the Kingdom of Siam, surrounded by British colonies, it has resisted, keeping the balance between its economic needs and its military protection. To see this film made half a century ago, you can understand the essence of the Cold War, the stakes of the conflict between China and USA and the mechanism of American interventionism.

Although it might be accused with didacticism, the film takes its point across and proves to be a film with documentary and historical value. Not a very good movie, but one well worth seeing, even for the simple reason it is one of Hollywood’s relatively fair portrayals of the Thailand nation.

My rating: 6 / 10 (good movie)


Posted in fiction, politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Hachiko: A Dog’s Story (2009)

Posted by Ştefan Alexandrescu on October 4, 2011

This great film director Lasse Hallstrom is quite impressive. I would recommend it especially for those which want to see a real proof of loyalty (it’s the best movie I’ve seen on this topic). TRUE STORY.

You can watch the movie online here [en, video].

My rating: 8 / 10 (Masterpiece)

I will share with you the trailer and a great song – the original soundtrack score composed by Jan A. P. Kaczmarek [en, blog], one of the greatest contemprary Hollywood composers that will certainly go straight to your heart. Enjoy!

Posted in fiction, full-lenght | 2 Comments »

Priveste înainte cu mânie / Look Forward in Anger (1993)

Posted by Ştefan Alexandrescu on September 30, 2011

I have always considered that sharing with foreigners documentaries about Romanian realities is an act which helps me understand better my own culture by watching their reactions to the Romanian content.

This is not a documentary. It is a fictional story, inspired by reality. Considering this Romanian picture was done about two decades ago, I would say that everything the trailer says is true: it is a film about current day Romania. The profetic nature of the film lays in its first 5 minutes. This is one of the films that any foreigner should see in order to understand what happened to Romania after the 1989 Revolution.

Starting from the drama in the small universe of a family, extending it to the whole city and then to the whole nation, the structure is very powerful. Here we have all the typical characters, but not in a stereotypical manner. They make sense and they do create rage.

The magistral ending tells the story of those who cannot tell their story. Their story, the drama of the survival is only to common for those who are already half dead inside.

I remember I was watching with a friend of mine from Belgium Alexandru Solomon’s Kapitalism, and she was surprised to find out some things which seemed very natural for me.

My rating: 8 / 10 (Masterpiece)

Posted in fiction, Must See, Romanian realities | 2 Comments »

Little Murders (1972)

Posted by Ştefan Alexandrescu on September 28, 2011

Little Murders was conceived as an essay on what I perceived to be going on in America in the mid-1960s…’inspired,’ if you will, by the assassination of JFK and the shooting of Oswald a week later. The post-assassination climate of urban violence made me realize this country was in the process of having an unstated and unacknowledged nervous breakdown. All forms of authority which had been previously honored and respected, on every level of society, were slowly losing their validity.”—

Jules Feiffer

Written by Jules Feiffer based on his gritty, witty, sardonic play and directed by Alan Arkin, one of the best American actors ever, Little Murders is a satire in which the absurd takes over slowly. Easy to compare with Natural Born Killers, Se7en and Fight Club in topic, this is a psychological portrait of the American society half a century ago.

The story builds up from little awkwardnesses to a delirant scene which will shock you. It reminded me of Milgram’s experiments with people going beyond any barriers in mercy to the others and becoming criminals witheout even noticing the difference to a normal life. If you want to undersand how the victim becomes the persecutor, how normal people turn out to become criminals, how unthinkable things happen, this is one of the most brilliat pieces of “entertainment” you will find. An entertainment which will leave you thinking…

My rating: 7 / 10 (great film)

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Rollerball (1975)

Posted by Ştefan Alexandrescu on September 24, 2011

This blogger also remembers the Pro Cinema published top of best SF in the last century. Rollerball, although less known, is one well-worthy of being on the list. It is considered one of the best distopian movies and you will find it on fans’ list acrosss the internet.

The action takes place in a not-so-distant future, where the nations have disappeared and the world is ran by a giant supercorporation, which directs the life of everyone, surveilling everybody. The masses are entertained through a violent game, played as a sport, called “Rollerball”, which has the purpose of discouraging any particular individual’s initiative.

James Caan, a great American actor, plays the role of Jonathan, an expert player in rollerball who has become more famous than the game. At this point, the corporation asks him to step down. Jonathan starts asking questions, which is always a dangerous game in the world depicted by the screenplay and will end up costing him almost everything in his quest for bringing the corporation down.

Another classic story, about how one man fights the system as a hero, the saviour who brings freedom, which everybody waited. Some say that’s dangerous, but looking at Karl Popper’s morphology of the fairytale, it plain universal story-telling basics.

A great masterpiece, it is a great film worth seeing in order to understand some mechanisms of manipulation, which are already starting of being used. Present days are much more similar to the screen than 36 years ago, when the film was directed by the great American producer Norman Jewinson.

My rating: 8 / 10 (Masterpiece)

Posted in Electronic Surveillance, fiction, politics | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »