‘ahems and ahahs’

Literature, & Etc.

Miscellany

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So I finished my paper. It turns out it was not a minimum of 20, it was 15-20 pages. Sadly I only managed to get to the end of page 14, but it is a quality paper and I’m pleased. I would not have been able to endure the past week without Miss Erin so a hearty thank you to her, huzzah!

I’m done for the term and now I can relax a bit.

I’ve watched a number of films the past few days, distractions for the paper I did not want to write at the time.

MILK

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Starring Sean Penn and James Franco, this film centers around Harvey Milk one of the California’s first openly gay politicians. Set in the 70’s, the film is entertaining and it does open you eyes, as it should, to the difficulties that minorities face and the type of blatant bigotry and hatred that exists in our society, something we’re still dealing with. I use the word minorities, b/c this film touches on  number of issues (union, feminist rights, racial, etc)  not simply those that affect homosexuals.

This will definitely be an Oscar contender, whether it wins will be another matter all together. Penn’s performance tugs at the heart and he really gets inside of this character. Paul, as much as you hate homosexuals who meet an untidy end, usually through a form of extreme violence and/or degradation of some kind, this cannot be avoided in the film as there is history that they must follow. Harvey Milk was brutally murdered at work one day in City Hall. It is a difficult scene to watch, but I think it’s important to show that this type of thing occurred and still does to that part of our society and we should be attuned to these types of social issues, it effects all of us when it effects any part of our society.

Gran Torino

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Directed and Starring Clint Eastwood, this film is about connections and a clash of cultures.  Clint stars as Wally, a recent widower who is unable to connect with his family, yet somehow through a series of neighborhood events, becomes caught up inside a gang war. His next door neighbors are from South-East Asia and its a film that I think beautifully portrays the misconceptions that people have about other cultures.  Forces you to admit that we all have these social stigmas and bias tendencies towards culture and people that we are unfamiliar with. I want to share more but its a short film and to reveal more would ruin it. This will also be an Oscar contender, though it is unlikely to win. One criticism is that the relationship between Clint’s character and his next door neighbors occurs a bit too rapidly, but for the sake of a film they cannot avoid it without stretching out the length of time that occurs in the film. Worth checking out though, will not be a waste of your money at the theatre, will leave you smiling. One of the best parts is the old 1940’s racial slang that Clint puts into his character Wally, most of it is offensive but in a way that you sort of just grin and bear, as it is from a generation that was much different from ours.

The Day the Earth Stood Still

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Finally a role that allows Keanu Reeves to really make use of his dead-pan stare acting technique. A re-working of a film that probably should have been left alone to begin with, it is still entertaining. There is a large ECO-message that works and yet sort of feels a bit too in your face a times, as if we’re being hit with a hammer to confront these issues. Earth must redeem itself and prove that it is worth saving, this is the essential story line, we must explain ourselves to the aliens who have come to destroy us. The effects of this film are spectacular and its a fast paced thriller, full of action. What to watch out for: Will Smith’s son, Jaden who plays the most horribly precocious child since Dakota Phanning, watching the U.S. Government behave in the most absurd ways, continually making stupid mistake after stupid mistake, oh wait, maybe thats not something thats too far off from the truth. If you’re wanting something fun, its worth checking out, though probably better off waiting for the rental. The best part of the film is sadly the shortest, John Cleese as a scientist, in one of his most serious roles, it’s good times. This film is much like the recent adaptation of H.G. Wells’s War of the World, but wait, while that film was kind of shitty in large part to Tom Cruise’s under-acting, this film has all the fun and action of that film, minus the Cruise, just insert Keannu, and as shitty as he is as an actor he’s much better than Cruise.

2666

Now that the Christmas break is here and I have some time to relax, I shall be jumping into my Christmas Read, and it is a large one. Roberto Bolano’s 2666 a sprawling story of Academics in a hunt to track down a reclusive author along the likes of (Salinger, or Pynchon), interestingly enough this is written in a very Pynchonian way, has some echoes, maybe not as playful, more somber, but still very much a story about lives that cross one another and stories built upon stories inside of stories. Divided into 5 parts, at a massive 896, I’m only about 115 pages in, but loving every moment. To be reviewed later. Cheers.

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