My saved links (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Movies I've watched recently:

  • Crazy Love (2007) - IMDb 7/10

    2014-11-04 20:43
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    I shan't really say anything tangible about this film as that would ruin the "premise"; having said that, I don't feel the "big twist" in this film was the Big Thing, but rather that the story was It. I mean, the filmmakers are the ones who should be lauded for patching this story together very elegantly. All in all - recommended.

    0.3
  • Mördaren ljuger inte ensam (2013) - IMDb 1/10

    2014-10-26 21:43
    *

    This is a plethora of bad. There are so many bad things about this, apart from the fact that Rapace and Novotny's abilities should be far better utilised. A midsummer's party in the Swedish archipelago, seemingly set in the 1950s; intrigue is everywhere, despite there being a handful of characters there. Nothing bad about this, but where it has been handled subtly in the past - e.g. Woody Allen's "Match Point" - this is a study in treating the viewer as infinitely stupid. Sexual "innuendo" is continuous, and constantly overstated so blatantly that you'd think sexuality was just discovered and has never been used in film before. You really don't care about the characters. Who lives, who dies - who cares? Apart from that, the film *glows*. That's not symbolism; there's an abysmal filter over the film which makes every bit of light look like it's glowing. Incredibly irritating. All in all: avoid, by Jove, and never look back.

    0.3
  • Attica (TV Movie 1980) - IMDb 6/10

    2014-10-26 17:12
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    I think Emma Goldman noted that every civil war is class war. In this instance, that really rings true. One of the characters in the film notes that 60f the inmates in Attica were black and 0f the guards were black. As for the higher-ups of Attica, well, I'll pick my guess at the quotas there. The Attica riot was spectacular: the inmates took over and stood their ground for 22 days until riot police massacred a bunch of inmates and, actually, 10 of the hostages. The film deals with the humane aspects of the take-over in a lot of ways. The legal people mainly think the inmates' demands are valid. The governor is slammed by demands from outsiders, seemingly mainly the people and the police unions. The dilemma is plain to see. I really liked the fact that there's very little soundtrack here. The film ended abruptly, but that's due to the real chain of events. Recommendable because of the humanity.

    0.3
  • Hypnotisören (2012) - IMDb 2/10

    2014-10-19 23:32
    * *

    This is basically like your everyday Beck film, but two things are different here: 1. One actor can actually act somewhat; it's Lena Olin 2. The cinematography is slighly better than during most Beck films; still, the shaky-handheld-cam thing still has Swedish film locked in a vice Apart from those two things, the dialogue is bog standard (i.e. dreadful and unbelievable) and I found no sympathy for the characters, the film or the plot. Do avoid.

    0.3
  • The Trial of Jeffrey Dahmer (Video 1992) -... 7/10

    2014-10-18 17:36
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    The voice-over from the man at the start is *not* rated here; the trial, however, is; naturally, this is a very abridged version as this film is only 90 minutes long, but the most interesting bits about it, I think, are the psychologist's words from having spoken with Dahmer and Dahmer's own words at the very end.

    0.3

First-person view in GTA V: sex with a prostituted person (or: are we still dealing with this shit?)

GTA sexism

Before GTA V, the GTA video-game franchise has been a third-person perspective thing. Starting with GTA V, you can see everything from a first-person perspective.

That should be awesome, but seeing the above video is one of the more distressing things I’ve seen in a long time; I had to skip a lot of it, but I saw more than enough to distil it. And no, telling me that “you can do whatever in the game, so you don’t HAVE to do that” is not worth anything; you kill, con, destroy and do all kinds of shit throughout the game, and I’ve loved doing that, but that video1 is just as appealing and as OK as being the perpetrator of pedophilia, slavery and waterboarding, the last of which actually is included in GTA V; I don’t know about the rest of the offences.

So, another version of GTA where women are subjects, men all commit violent crimes constantly throughout the games? From this piece on GTA V from Wikipedia:

Sam Houser, Rockstar Games co-founder, felt that the development team sometimes overlooked their portrayal of women in Grand Theft Auto games, but that the weight towards male characters “fit with the story we wanted to tell.”

I’ll tell you a story: I won’t be buying your sexist game.

  1. As sexism is, always.[back]
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Bernard Sumner on Johnny Marr

Johnny and Bernard

Here are a few of the texts on Johnny Marr as found in Bernard Sumner’s newish autobiography, “Chapter And Verse“; I recommend purchasing a copy and getting the full picture yourself:

At the same time, Johnny Marr was just emerging from the fallout from the break up of The Smiths. He was pretty burnt out too, but for different reasons: in The Smiths, they’d written a huge amount of material in a very short time, and the break-up itself had been pretty acrimonious. I’d met Johnny when he’d played guitar on a session I was producing for Mike Pickering’s band a few years earlier, and we’d kept in touch. Our respective situations had left us feeling a little like kindred spirits, and it wasn’t long before we started writing music together as Electronic. Electronic was very much a pressure-release valve for the two of us, because we’d both found ourselves in fraught situations. Johnny’s predicament was different from mine in that The Smiths had actually split up, whereas I just needed to get a bit of distance between New Order and myself in order to revive my creative energy and come back stronger to fight another day.

I began working with Johnny on the first, eponymously titled Electronic album during 1988, and it was great: I could play as many synthesizers as I wanted without sensing bad vibes. Indeed, Johnny was actively encouraging me on that score, because he wanted to learn all about synthesizers as they’d been verboten in Die Schmidts.

Johnny and I went into the studio and just dug in. Strange as it might sound, it was probably a good four to six months before we felt truly comfortable in each other’s presence: we were probably both a little bit in awe of each other at first. Once we’d broken through that barrier, however, the work started becoming fun. We had a call from Neil Tennant to say he’d heard about what we were doing and would love to be involved, so we invited him up. It so happened that around that time we’d written the backing track for ‘Getting Away with It’. Neil travelled up to Johnny’s home studio, we finished the track, Neil recorded the vocal and it became Electronic’s first single.

We went back to our hotel in uptown Manhattan, walking through Central Park as the dark blue of the early dawn was seen off by the sunrise. We passed people going to work as New York woke up, dusted itself down and got on with a new day. Our day was just ending, however, at eight in the morning, and when we stumbled into the foyer of the hotel we found Marcus Russell, Electronic’s manager at the time, regarding us with the kind of withering look teachers reserve for disruptive pupils. Johnny and I looked at each other and, in the unforgiving glare of the cold light of day, clearly shared the same thought: what have we done? The interviews started at ten, barely two hours later, so we went to bed for an hour, got up again and, dear reader, this is I’m afraid where the narrative turns into another story involving vomit.

We were in a limo doing the circuit of the New York radio stations and, as the day progressed, we felt, to put it mildly, increasingly unwell. We had a very big, bright green bag with us and, before long, were both using it to throw up into. As my hangover grew progressively worse and the limo pulled up at yet another station, I had to admit defeat. ‘Fucking hell, Johnny,’ I croaked. ‘I’m really sorry, but I can’t move, I’m done.’ ‘Don’t worry, Bernard,’ he replied. ‘I’ll handle this one on my own. You just stay here.’ He disappeared into the building, and the driver said, ‘You guys are on the radio, right? I’ll put it on.’ Much against my will, he tuned the limo radio to the appropriate station so I could hear Johnny being interviewed.

After a few questions and answers, where Johnny was obviously freewheeling a little as he dealt with his own crushing hangover, I heard the presenter say, ‘So, Johnny, we were expecting Ber-nard to be here with you today.’ Johnny started flannelling, trying to buy himself time to think up an acceptable excuse beyond ‘He’s outside in the limo with his head in a bag of sick.’ Johnny, bless him, did his best and actually came up with something pretty good under the circumstances. ‘Oh, it’s really bad news,’ he said, summoning all the gravitas his stinking hangover could muster. ‘Bernard’s spent the night in hospital with his stomach ulcers.’ This was the story we’d put out in Chicago when we’d had to cancel the Detroit gig. Good thinking, Johnny, I thought. But then the DJ said, ‘Really? That’s strange, because we had Seal in just before you, and he said you and Ber-nard were both still partying when he left you at seven o’clock this morning.’ Busted.

I kept up this hopeful reverie until being forced back to my senses at the security checkpoint. When I was the next person about to go through the metal detectors I realized that in my hand I was still holding the big green bag of sick. One of the security guys had sensed my discomfort and was regarding me with a vague hint of suspicion. I thought, If I dump the bag now he’s going to look inside it and assume I’m some kind of lunatic carrying a bag of puke around, or, worse, conclude that I’m carrying a bomb made from some heady cocktail of volatile liquids. My only option, I realized, was to play it absolutely straight, place the bag on the conveyor belt and act as if nothing was amiss. So that’s what I did and – wouldn’t you know it? – the bag passed through without incident. Maybe I looked so crazy they’d kept watching me rather than the screen, but I walked through, picked up the bag of vomit, strolled off nonchalantly as if it contained nothing more than a copy of Newsweek, a packet of mints and a paperback, boarded the plane and started on the road to recovery. And that was it: we didn’t go out again after that. In fact, I don’t think Johnny’s had a drink since.

I still count Johnny among my good friends too, and look back at the times with Electronic with great affection. I think we made a good team, suiting each other musically, temperamentally and socially. He’s a great guy, but I have to say this – and Johnny, if you’re reading this, you know it’s true – he talks a lot. When I come off the phone to him, my ear is hot and bright red and I’ve barely managed to get a word in edgeways. He’s such an enthusiastic person about life, and about music in particular, and is always keen to convey that enthusiasm to you at length. He lives for music, to an extent that borders on obsession.

I did try and broaden his interests a couple of times: I took him on a sailing holiday once, for the entirety of which he talked about music. Then Sarah, Johnny, Ange, his wife, and I went to a hotel in a beautiful part of the countryside where I was delighted to coax him out walking with me in the hills. It was a stunningly beautiful place but as we walked amongst this incredible scenery he stared at the ground and … talked about music. I’ve been for many meals with Johnny in some really nice restaurants over the years where, without fail, he’s … talked about music. I’ve given up now, really, but he has a great sense of humour and is a really decent person. He’s very observant and can sum people up very well (he does some great impressions too), and is far more disciplined than I am: I think he lives on a diet of nuts, seeds, berries and distilled water and jogs something like twenty miles a day.

Johnny is a person who’s always stuck to his guns and achieves what he does through hard work. He’s definitely a grafter. We both did the Lollapalooza tour in South America recently, despite his having fractured his hand just before he left. He told me he’d been out jogging, lost concentration for a moment and the next thing he knew he was on the floor, having banged his face and done serious damage to his hand. The concussion may have affected his memory slightly, because a little bird told me that he’d actually run smack into a lamp post, probably while checking himself out in a shop window.

He’s great to work with and I would never rule out working with him again: we know each other well and, these days, we’re both a bit more comfortable in our own skins. It’s funny, in the later days of Electronic, Johnny would say that I’d become more like him while he’d become more like me. I think it’s even more the case since we’ve stopped working together. One key difference, however, is that you’ll never catch me running full tilt into a lamp post.

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My saved links (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Swedish women work for free from today until 2015

Antifeminism

In Sweden, women earn approximately 86% of what men earn.

This could be translated as follows: from today, the 12th of November, women work for free until the 1st of January 2015.

The gap is predicted by some to narrow around the year 2082.

When will antifeminism be highlighted the way it deserves, i.e. as a danger to society, rather than a female problem (which it is not), and be dealt with as one of the highest political priorities by all?

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