Posts Tagged ‘Film’

Dark Star

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Dark Star: H.R. Giger’s World (2015), at IMDb. Here’s a short trailer.

It seems like a suitable frightday night topic — the film impressively conveys the role of raw terror in producing these images. ‘Perinatal trauma’ according to one voice, although that attains very limited purchase on Giger’s ‘biomechanoid’ obsessions. While biography and psychology are dubious guides into cultural products, the account of the young Giger’s horrified fascination with a museum mummy is highly engaging.

All my problems with Giger come from the surrealism — an aesthetic posture to be rigorously damned as facile. If that level of his work is considered a mere vehicle for more profound (or abstract) inclinations, much remains to explore. The movie explicitly describes his work as a gateway into the dark (nigredo), docked to hermetic traditions. Giger’s techno-prosthetically mummified Egyptian princess manifestly draws him into the crypt of transcendental time.

It’s utter degeneracy, of course — but I’m loathe to say that as if it’s a bad thing.

December 11, 2015admin 14 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Images
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RIP Christopher Lee

A late appreciation.

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I’ve seen many men die right in front of me – so many in fact that I’ve become almost hardened to it. Having seen the worst that human beings can do to each other, the results of torture, mutilation and seeing someone blown to pieces by a bomb, you develop a kind of shell. But you had to. You had to. Otherwise we would never have won. — quoted here.

Outside in has been distracted, and slow to notice how many threads Christopher Lee tied together. Cinematic horror, naturally, and later Hollywood Sith promotion — so he had the dark counts nailed down completely — but the Deep State explorations had escaped my attention (as they tend to). Some indications here:

At some point during the war [Lee] moved from the LRDP to Winston Churchill’s even more elite Special Operations Executive, whose missions are literally still classified, but involved “conducting espionage, sabotage and reconnaissance in occupied Europe against the Axis powers.” The SOE was more informally called — and I can’t believe this somehow hasn’t been made into a movie yet — The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare.

The shadows thicken.

ADDED: Cross-threaded secrecy and horror. (And, for metalheads.)

ADDED: Lee reads Poe.

ADDED: More on the movies.

June 15, 2015admin 7 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Events
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Ex Machina

Half way through, and there’s already more than enough for an enthusiastic recommendation. (The utterly despicable Her already left twitching in the dust.)

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Will report back upon completion.

(This trailer is a cultural treasure for the quotes alone.)

May 16, 2015admin 42 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Review
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Mr. Turner

England’s greatest artist, as portrayed by Mike Leigh:

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Despite the depiction of Turner as a shambling, grunting, snorting orc — perhaps motivated by revolutionary class politics — the movie is not without its strengths. The cinematography is often breathtaking, with a purpose. Watch it just for the art that burns through the screen.

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February 25, 2015admin 7 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Review
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Nightcrawler

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All the stuff everyone else is saying is right. The Lou Bloom character is a creation of sheer genius, and Jake Gyllenhaal’s performance in the role is beyond superb. The movie edges right up to the boundaries of the horror genre, and is also savagely humorous. Nihilism can produce high art, when it’s done right.

Nightcrawler approaches the topical subject of the relationships between the media, business, and law enforcement in a way that eludes conventional pieties. It deserves NRx endorsement just for that. In its darkness are strung subtle threads of possibility, in the working out of abnormal but powerful imperatives — of a supremely cynical kind — comparable in their diagonal subversiveness to a re-animated Scottish Enlightenment on ketamine, with all progressive hope burnt out so radically it doesn’t even register as a question.

These impulses are avatars of what is coming out of the collapse — tough, consummately disillusioned, and exploratory things.

January 24, 2015admin 5 Comments »
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Quote note (#143)

Sailer on The Imitation Game:

Amusingly, the movie portrays estrogen as suddenly making the tech genius unable to program a computer. As two defenders of the conventional wisdom that Turing was hounded to kill himself put it, “And if you take the testosterone away, then the brain will become muddled.” But this bit of unintentional crimethink has evaded most reviewers.

January 10, 2015admin 4 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Humor
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Edge of Tomorrow

(Also via Singapore Airlines.)

Edge of Tomorrow is science fiction Groundhog Day, agreed. (It would make no sense to contest this, some scenes achieve near-perfect isomorphy.) Derivative, then, certainly — but this is a point of consistency. Duplication is, after all, the latent theme. Edge of Tomorrow works better because it has formalized the time-repeat plot-system in videogame terms. Death replaces sleep, as action drama replaces comedy, but the recurrence of time is captured more incisively by the Edge of Tomorrow maxim: “We should just re-set.” Further to be noted: Edge of Tomorrow actually has a story about the basis of its time anomaly — and not an especially risible one — while Groundhog Day doesn’t even pretend to.

We should just reset is not only videogame practice, but also the recommendation of quantum suicide, another practical Electrocene philosophy. The best fictional exploration of QS (of which I am aware) is Greg Egan’s Quarantine.

Videogame ideology and quantum suicide are praxial indiscernibles. In other words, their behavioral implications are equivalent. In both cases, the relation to self is made selective, within a set of virtual clones. Whenever developments — within one of multiple assumed timelines — goes ‘bad’ it should be deleted (culled). In that way, only the most highly-adaptive complex behavioral responses are preserved, shaping fate in the direction of success (as defined by the selective agency).

Recent discussions about Christianity and Paganism raise the question: what does it take for a system of belief to attain religious intensity among Westerners today? (Yes, this could be re-phrased in very different ways.) To cut right to the chase: Could statistical ontology become a religion (or the philosophy of a religion)? Quantum suicide terrorism anybody? This is a possibility I find hard to eliminate.

Edge of Tomorrow, therefore? A more significant movie than might be initially realized. (It’s monsters are also quite tasty.)

ADDED: Thoughts on Post-Rationalist religion.

December 26, 2014admin 27 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Review
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Snowpiercer

Singapore Airlines is awesome to a preposterous degree — a fact that might feed into the recent outburst of reactionary curmudgeonry about mass air travel (which I need to track down). It was an opportunity to catch up on some movies I’d missed. The most notable of these was Snowpiercer (highly recommended).

It’s one of those movies you have to stick with — give up before you’re halfway through and you’ll have no idea what all the fuss was about, but make it to the end and you’ll know you’ve seen something memorable. The genre is becoming huge. It could probably be described uncontroversially as apocalyptic neoreactionary speculative drama. Gibson’s The Peripheral is self-consciously there. One obvious (and striking) movie comparison is Elysium. In its purest form, the genre goes to rightist places nothing else quite reaches.

It begins with a revolutionary-leftist frame, which is eventually broken on the wheel of irony (more or less occult). The more subterranean the ironization, the more comical the result. In this respect, Snowpiercer is more Animal Farm than Elysium — which is to say, a far more overtly reactionary work. “Order is the barrier that holds back the frozen death. … All things flow from the sacred engine.”

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December 23, 2014admin 12 Comments »
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Web Junkie

This documentary movie is superb. It has China, cyberpunk saturation, metaphysics, horror, humor, and the most extreme immersion in absolute sarcasm as a strategy of elusive dissidence ever realized in any medium. Every dimension of production is executed brilliantly, and the screenplay is a masterpiece (it’s a text I’d be almost ready to kill for right now). It’s probably not an easy cultural object to get hold of, but it’s seriously worth the effort.

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December 11, 2014admin 18 Comments »
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Quote note (#137)

SoBL on the Running Man prophecy:

Here is the set up: 2017, world economy has collapsed, natural resources, food and oil are tapped, America had an economic cataclysm, the Big One hit California, a totalitarian police state (Cadre) exists with heavy security at airports, cultural activity is heavily censored except for the broadcast reality competition game shows. Most of America seems to live in squalid, third world conditions, there are political prisoners mixed in with regular prisoners, there are re-education camps, heavily armed helicopters are used to pacify rioters, but there is also a small number of people living a decent life with nice apartments, travel options, and spiffy clothes. There is a play on patriotism. Los Angeles has shiny towers and plenty of squalor with armed police members everywhere, resembling a Brazilian city. That is pretty horrifyingly close to today.

December 8, 2014admin 7 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Chaos
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