Thursday, July 26, 2007

New Perspective

It sure has happened to everyone, to see things in a different light, to gain a new understanding of things, and so on. Here is some news, this is simply change in the chemical balance in your brain!
UNLESS, you have gained it by long practice, then it is a change in the chemical balance triggered by patience and endurance!

Burn Notice, Damages, and Blow-up!!!

Two relatively new TV series, that I found relatively good:

1) Burn notice on USA [Metacritics reviews -- score 69]

2) Damages, first pilot episode aired this past Tuesday on FX [Metacritics review -- score 78]

3) Mad Men, OK I have not watched it but it has good reviews ...

Watched "Blow-up" , well a five-star movie of "High Historical Importance", "High Artistic Quality", and "High Production Values" according to AMG[Allmovie review], and the commentator mentioned a couple of scenes as among the most well-known scenes in the history of cinema!!! Apparently, it is the Italian director Michelangelo Antonioni's first English-language production and his only box office hit! A beautiful film, but for me, one of the films that I have to be in mood to watch!
Vow, I found this cite with collection of pictures from "Blowup", it is AMAZING!!!!

PS (7-29-07): Michelangelo Antonioni was found dead in his apartment last night ...

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Blogging and TV

Why do I enjoy reading blogs? and even more from writing idiosyncratic comments for some of them?

Why do I prefer TV programs to movies with much better quality... especially TV programs that are interrupted by commercials very 10 minutes!?

Exercise may help in finding the answer to these questions ... hmm, or maybe medication?!!!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Speaking of Faith & more ...

I do not like "Speaking of Faith", nor "Krista Tippett", but I really liked a recent program on "Stress and the Balance Within" which was interview with "Esther Sternberg". It was less B.S. than her (Krista) usual programs. I am also planning on reading her (Esther) book, "The balance within: ... ", she seems to know something!

On a separate note, I heard a very good review of "Richard Yates" book "Revolutionary Road". (Of course, I am planning to read it ... sometime in the future! that's why I put it down here.)

Finally, why people are so frantic about "cancer" ... what about other sources of fatality ... for example, dying from natural causes (aging?!) and accidents. Here are some statistics from "Mind Beautiful", but no one becomes even slightly worried about becoming depressed?!?!!:

  1. Mental illnesses rank first among illnesses that cause disability in the United States, Canada, and Western Europe.
  2. 4 out of 10 leading causes of disability in the U.S. and other developed countries are mental disorders – major depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and obsessive-compulsive disorder (WHO).
  3. It is predicted that by 2010, depression will be the leading cause of disability worldwide, not cancer, heart disease, diabetes, or AIDS (WHO).
I specially like "3"!

PS. See here: [ANAAR - Farsi!] ... MASHALLAH-HEZAR-MASHALLAH how many depressed we have among us [Iranians, I don't know about other nationalities!]

Saturday, July 14, 2007

The Devil's Backbone

Just finished watching it, good film, very good, although a bit rough & violent, but very well made.

[Review on Allmovie] , [Meta Critics]

A very entertaining, unusual, and artistic approach to the horror/ghost movie-genre.

Directed by, "Guillermo del Toro" the Mexican director whose "Pan's Labyrinth" was Academy's favorite this year:

Best Art Direction (win)Eugenio Caballero 2006Academy
Best Art Direction (win)Pilar Revuelta 2006Academy
Best Cinematography (win)Guillermo Navarro 2006Academy
Best Foreign Film (nom)Guillermo del Toro 2006Academy
Best Makeup (win)David Marti 2006Academy
Best Makeup (win)Montse Ribe 2006Academy
Best Music Score (nom)Javier Navarrete 2006Academy
Best Original Screenplay (nom)Guillermo del Toro 2006Academy

Friday, July 13, 2007

Journey

He looked back over his shoulder, into the dark, and felt a chill,
He could not stop, there was no rest, and no way back,
No chance to fix what damages he had caused,

He could only see a vague image of what was in front,
But he could feel the darkness, and the despair, laying out in front of him
And he kept asking himself: Is it worth the effort?

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Dead Poet Society

To me it was OK ... Starting from the strength, the movie plot was faithful to poetry/ literature, it started from a conventional point and interestingly developed into a tragedy, with the usual exaggerations, etc.
The downside for me was a rather childish and repetitive view of the world it offered.
Reviews: [On Allmovie ] , [On metacritic]
It is good to watch it once, but not twice!!!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

History: Credibility and Expertise ... [Iran]

Here are my thoughts after reading this:
http://www.roozna.com/Negaresh_site/FullStory/?Id=41755

History, the last time I heard, is a field of study, and I assume doing historical research, regarding recent or ancient events, needs expertise. I am sure nobody in Iran takes "historians" seriously, as professionals, but this ever-growing confusion about historical aspects of our recent
past, could be the result.

Almost everyone I know, especially among Iranians (my sample is biased toward Iranians obviously) finds him- or herself eligible, or indeed obliged!, to dispute and analyze historical events, usually based on a very small sample of observations.

Anyway, that is why I am becoming sick of all these disputes and individual's reading of history ... there is no way to check the credibility (according to "SOROUSH", "ZIBAKALAM" is a charlatan! ) ... no credibility, no expertise, ... what is going to be the outcome?

Monday, July 09, 2007

Abstraction ... Revelation ... Addiction

A great place for revelations is under shower ... today, while taking a shower, it revealed to me that the most "real" abstraction in life is "addiction" ... of course, I do not know what "real" means here, and furthermore, why "addiction" has such an honorable place in life, but here we go, you cannot argue with revelations, you can deny them or accept them, but nothing comes out of questioning them ...

Real Abstraction: Being dissociated from necessities of life, but not through conceptualization, but in reality! [I guess I am making this up!]
In other words, "real abstraction" is not limited to human-kind with the power of mental abstraction!!!

There are experiments that animals are "addicted" to a source of pleasure, and it is documented that in some cases object would die from self-pleasuring and not eating !!! [See here]
Well, I should be more careful in weaving K-Sher, here is a very interesting, Rat-Park, experiment: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rat_Park
Although it seems that the first view has much more support among academics.

Note to myself: Seems interesting book/website: http://www.peele.net/lib/moa.html

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Notes on a Scandal

I liked the movie ... very much, and the music by Philip Glass ... excellent!

Allmovie: 3.5 / 5
Megacritics: 73/100 [critics' average]
Rotten tomato: 87/100 [critics' average]

Director, Richard Eyre, seems average-good ... well, to be honest I don't know his works much ... Iris seems to be one of his best. Both "Judi Dench"and "Cate Blanchett" performances were great. I did not know Judi Bench, and I had the impression from "Babel" that Cate Blanchett is mediocre! They both nominated for many awards, including:

Best Actress (nom)Judi Dench 2006Academy
Best Adapted Screenplay (nom)Patrick Marber 2006Academy
Best Music Score (nom)Philip Glass 2006Academy
Best Supporting Actress (nom)Cate Blanchett 2006Academy


Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Sufjan Stevens

I have listened to his "Come on feel the Illinoise" (link on Allmusic), It definitely sounds original and after a few times quite charming. [His page on myspace] I recommend it, highly!

Another interesting group: BowerBirds [on myspace], especially I am captured by this tune: "In our Talons" (you can listen to it on their myspace page) from their [ Hymns for a Dark Horse album] .

Monday, July 02, 2007

Strange Music

Clip name: Diazpam-10

Get this widget | Share | Track details


I am not sure about the quality of the music, but it is certainly innovative!!!!
Well, to be honest he sounds a little bit "K-Khol" but anyway ....

Sunday, July 01, 2007

East Asian (Japanese) Gore/Horror Movies

I find the details in this discussion amazing, all about "Gore" movies (featuring extremely disturbing killing, ... scenes):
Link to the discussion
I do not have the stomach for such movies, but the discussion is quite seducing:) !!!

PS.1 In fact, Porn+Gore Cartoons are amongst the most famous cultural exports of Japan! To get some idea read this book:
Snakes and Earrings, also on amazon
It has won many prizes, so it is worth reading, and it is not really extreme, after all, it is only a novel!

PS.2 "Allmovie" description of the"Slasher"sub-genre of "Horror" movies:
Link to Slasher on Allmovie

Sunday Afternoon

On a Sunday afternoon
feeling blue is not news

I look at a happy couple
and it hits me
I hate myself
therefore I exist

I look at the laughing woman
and I think
she would be happy
without the man

Where should I look inside
for a source of love
and empathy
... So lost in my self

* * *

I remember the time
an undergrad in S.U.T.
hungry for attention
for love

I remember raging back and forth
between home and school
this friend and that
many times a day

I remember looking for sympathy
an escape from darkness
a reason to be happy
and calm

I remember
and I think
how simple-minded

I remember
and I wonder
what has changed
in fifteen years

Light Sleeper

Accidentally, this post is also related to sleep, well, marginally! Paul Schrader's "Light Sleeper" is a story being told by a small-time, formerly addict, drug-dealer. A "good" movie, for general audience, but if you can relate to its characters and its music, then it becomes a "great" movie.
Link: http://www.allrovi.com/movies/movie/light-sleeper-v29314

I was in Big-Sky, Montana, a couple of days. A great change: cool (high around 70) and dry. The drive from Bozeman airport (40 miles) reminded me of the opening scene in Stanley Kubrik's "The Shining". The conference was useful, some new ideas and some interesting presentations and discussions, but I could not help being overwhelmed by the "club" environment there and sense of being left-out. Anyway, I am not in a particularly great mood for quite a while, so I am probably biased here.


Body Intelligence

As Lucy reflected on her outrageous behavior of the night before, the memory only served to draw her upward, like a flower toward the sun...