Posted on March 2nd 2009, 6:06 am
I'm reserving this post for a review of "a Clockwork Orange," to which I just finished watching. I've been perusing the classics off and on with my Netflix queue and some I've liked. Some, like this film, I haven't.
To cut to the chase, I found this film to be bombastic. Throughout the first half of this film, I found myself wondering what the purpose of it was. I felt the whole first half was just a vehicle to show gratuitous violence, nudity, and brutal sex. The sheer amount of phallic imagery and naked women left me wondering what kind of a man Stanley Kubrick was. The milk shop with a machine that dispenses milk out of a female statue's breast is just one example of blatant sexual objectivity. I was stunned by the misogyny, and while I think the viewer was supposed to associate that with Alex, I attributed it more to the director.
I don't I never once felt connected to the main character, Alex. That trend continued through the film. Despite the first person perspective used to tell the story, the film felt very disconnected. I felt the film was floundering for it's own story the whole time. The message of the film finally appeared about 2/3rds of the way through, but in the end, even that was missed.
I'm still at a loss for what this film was trying to say. Was it trying to suggest that all human beings are evil? Was this supposed to be a redemtion film that failed? I do know that the final chapter of the book was omitted in the US until the mid 1980. That chapter in fact included the redemption of sorts. Or was this just supposed to be a tale of a psychopath? If so...then what was the point?
I felt that Stanley Kubrick's ego shone through throughout the film. It was comparable to watching a Quenten Tarantino film. They both think they're the most amazing filmmakers ever, and that pompousness reveals itself in their approach. Kubrick was mimicking Citizen Kane in many shots throughout the film as if to say...look at me...I one upped Orson Welles. I'm not denying the film looked pretty. In fact, I'd say the cinematography was the best part of the film.
I felt this film to be disturbing and disfunctional, like the group of friends Alex has at the beginning of the film. "Detached" would be the perfect word, which very well may have been Kubrick's goal. He's like the Stravinsky of film. The only difference is that I don't think anyone's thrown vegetables and booed a Kubrick film. Turns out I don't really appreciate the dissonant tones of Stravinsky all that much either. But, in both cases, I can respect that others do.
So, this was my first viewing of "A Clockwork Orange", to which I still have no idea why it's called such. It's also likely to be my last viewing. I have no interest in seeing it again. This film continues a trend for me. I don't really enjoy the classics all that much. I very much respect what they have done for the medium. I find this film to be influential and well done, but I'd never say it's a good film. As it was put recently, the printing press was a revolutionary invention and had an incredible influence on communication, but I'd never want to use one with all the modern tech we have today. I'll leave my thoughts at that.
Stay tuned...er...reading...for a life update in the next post.
Posted on February 28th 2009, 10:25 pm
Today I got really motivated with lots of creative ideas floating through my head. I have solid thoughts about the look of this website and transcending productions website. I know what colors I want to use for this one too. Then I loaded up Adobe Illustrator to get started and that's where the motivation started to fail. The reason being...I know what I want in my head, but achieving it in the design programs is another story. I do my best to come up with the look I want, but I frequently find myself frustrated that I can't acheive it. As I work, my motivation disintigrates into nothingness and I end up disappointed. I'm not sure how to fix this problem. I still want to make my sites happen, but it probably won't be today. I'll keep thinking about them though.
Posted on February 24th 2009, 4:03 am
I can now say I have one unified location for all my past blog posts. Tonight I actually went through the database of my old blog on TransLife and brought every post over to this Wordpress database. So my post count went from about 30 some all the way up to well over 300. You can see all the way back to the beginning of my journey now. There will likely be a few problems in the posts because I had posted photos in some of them. Please ignore the code problems. If you see anything truly out of the ordinary, let me know and I'll fix it. Enjoy the history!
Posted on February 23rd 2009, 4:38 am
Yes, it's been a while. Fair warning...this is a long post. I took a break after the last podcast. First things first, I joined twitter. You can follow me using the username janiukjf. I hope you enjoy all my pointless musings during my average day.
In the time since my last post...I got older. I'm now 28! I feel pretty much the same as I did at 27. I have to say, it was a nice birthday. I took an extra day off from work and had a four day weekend for it. It was very relaxing. My family also took me out to dinner. The food was family style Italian, and it was fantastic. I also got a few meaningful gifts. My sisters gave me a shadowbox picture frame that is really nice. My parents gave me to gorillapods (bendy and flexy camera tripods). It was a lot of fun.
I have to be very vague here, but I spent a year and a half working on a project at work, and it's finally...finally...launched. It feels really awesome to know I saw the project through to completion. Though, its easy to say no project is ever complete in my mind. I also am going to start using something I call the JSI, or Job Satisfaction Index to which I will create an arbitrary color scale to represent my feelings. Today's JSI is orange with yellow polkadots.
While I talk about work, let me mention freelance. The flash project I took on seems to be a bit troublesome. I think I bit off more than I can chew. I learn from examples, and I haven't had anything to launch off of here. I just don't know where to start, and since I'm learning actionscript 3 from the beginning, it's tough. I decided to work with someone on the project, and from there, I'll use that code as an example. I think getting past this project will help me move forward with stuff I've been sitting on. I've felt guilty working on other projects while having this on my plate.
Speaking of other freelance, I've had several meetings regarding the puppet video, and it's been almost all non-stop frustration. It's hard to get through to the other video person that we can't work with the footage we have. So, I've written a script and a rundown for a short video showing the differences between analog and digital video and the progression of technology in video. I'll post it on here when I'm done with it. We're having a meeting in a week to discuss the project. If we can't move forward the right way, I'm not sure I want to be involved with it.
Things I do want to be involved in is the arts organization that I've been connected with lately. I've been asked to produce a 30 minute film with them. They're applying for a grant and production would start in June. It's not a lot of money, but it would be a lot of fun for me and everyone involved. I think it'd be a great portfolio piece too. More on that as it develops.
Jumping back in time a week, Valentine's day, or as I like to call it, Singles Awareness Day, was a week ago. I had a party for all my single friends. It was a huge blast. I made hand tossed homemade pizza for my guests. We played Rock Band and Boom Blox until 3:00 am. In fact, we managed to turn Boom Blox into a dirty game. I haven't had fun like that in a long time. I plan on throwing another event in a couple months probably to a made up holiday. Maybe it'll be the blorthog party Chris and I have been thinking about for a long time.
My friend Tracy, who came to the party, had so much fun that she and I decided to plan a weekly gathering. We're going to do something like bowling or Rock Band. Not sure exactly what yet, but no matter what, it'll be a lot of fun.
Random stuff going on, my friend Adam came over a week ago. Instead of doing geeky things like Rock Band, we did geeky things like build a TV antenna from plans we found online. Amazingly...it works! Better than my powered antenna from Radio Shack. We also started to build a PVC frame for a portable green screen. I finished it to the plans, and it looks like it'll work great. I have a few modications I'd like to make. I also need the green fabric yet. Way to be a nerd, me!
Speaking of nerdish things, I've gotten back into the video game "Okami" of late. It's very much like the Legend of Zelda. I've spent a bit too much time with it lately, but I had some somewhat negative things happen recently. So as usual for me, it was escapism.
I've been kinda sad lately that Conan O'Brien has ended his run on Late Night. I'm a big fan. I know he's going to be on the Tonight Show, but its still sad to see him leave the venue we know and love. I just watched the final episode today. It'll be a couple months until we see him again. I'll be interested to see how Jimmy Fallon handles the reins of the show from now on.
Another show that I've been watching a lot lately is Exosquad. If you don't know the show, it was one of the best American animated series ever made and not seen. It aired back in the early 90s, and it was more like an anime. It was episodic and followed a briliant story arc. They now have it on Hulu and recently added season 2. I've been re-watching it, and it's actually still as good as I remember. There was even a moment that brought tears to my eyes. I recommend it.
Of course, tonight I'm engrossed in a once a year TV production known as the Oscars. I really like Hugh Jackman as host. I love seeing the sing and dance routines. Otherwise, the Oscars are pretty dull this year. I know they've tried to make major changes to bring new audiences and change things up. I think they need to do something else though. It seems too much like every other Oscars. The only thing that is different to me is the switched up order of awards. We'll see how viewership is.
Unrelated, but very interesting...my 10 year high school reunion is supposed to be this year. Since there's been no official communication about it, someone started a facebook event surrounding it. So, it should happen at some point this year. I think it'll be very interesting.
In that same vein, I got an e-mail today from a friend I haven't talked to since High School. He decided to look into old friends and looked me up. He saw everything out there on the web about what I've done in regards to gender and found this blog too. His message was very complimentary towards all my work and what I've done. It was wonderful to hear that, and I found myself inspired. I really need to move forward with personal projects to get myself out there more as a gender activist.
This sparked a conversation with my mother about making a career out of this. She actually thinks its what I should be doing! I have always thought my mom wanted me to do what makes money. She's always said things that suggest that. I think after seeing me speak once back when I was in college, she saw what I can truly do. It makes me happy to know I have the support of my mother.
That means its time. TransLife is going to be my non-profit. Let's get this thing started!
OK...that's it for this novel. Wordpress tells me this is 1336 words long. I don't think writing books is going to be a problem. Until next time...
Posted on February 13th 2009, 5:59 am
This was a long time coming. Since the arrival of the new camera, it's been a little easier, though the new camera doesn't key as well. I look forward to hearing your comments.