30 Sep 2005

i've started watching movies

you've got mail + vertigo + rear window + sin city + mystic river + psycho+ finding neverland + wicker park + batman begins + ice age + madagascar + the emperor's new groove + the wedding crashers + the alphabet + the skeleton key

Roman Polanski

After watching "Bitter moon", i also watched "Death and the maiden". Especially since i have been very intrigued by the title for a while. Because i am a great fan of Schubert's piece, with which i came into contact when playing the role of Maddy Rooney in S Beckett's "All that fall". I enjoyed the movie a lot, and the result was a growing interest in Polanski as a director. this is a page that presents a vision on Polanski, which i found useful and pleasant. I particularly liked one quote i found: “I was very hungry, yes. Eager to define my place in the world. And that’s normal, I think. You push hard, because the future seems never-ending, and not to triumph over it would be too terrible to contemplate. All the lines appear parallel, infinite. Only as you get older do you see them start to converge.”
I also have Polanski's Rosemary's baby and Knife in the Water, which i can hardly wait to watch.

Grafitti in my city

Bucharest stencil archive here.

29 Sep 2005

i watched "awakenings", "the death of mr lazarescu" and "fantastic four", but will comment upon them bit later.

27 Sep 2005

Poisoned moon

"Bitter Moon" (1992), movie directed by Roman Polanski and based on a book by Pascal Bruckner is a masterpiece in my opinion. I took it as a fascinatingly interesting exploration of the psychological implications of a relationship taken beyond the regular meaning of love. Briefly, the movie goes like: he gets fascinated by her, he looks for her, they meet again, they fall in an obsessive love, they double it with sexual experiments, she would do anything for him, he humiliates her like hell, he makes her lose everything; then she humiliates him, then instead of fucking nigel, she fucks fiona(his wife) and gets killed by him, he kills himself, nigel and fiona live happily ever after. i looked over the user comments on imdb and could't actually understand who would perceive this movie as a comedy or a sick perverted joke. I think it's great, i think it manages to present remarkably the consumption brought by such a strengh in feelings, and i consider brilliant the way it presents the life of each of them, once the passion between them had gone to waste. Each of them is so fully aware of the fact that s/he would never ever meet anybody like that, that s/he would never ever feel the same intensity, share the same sensations. The life of the couple, after he gets in the wheelchair gave me shivers. The only way towards freedom is the death of one or of both. Sad, but true.

Long time, no see...a horror

It was about time i got myself to the cinema to watch a horror. I chose Amityville Horror (2005) and was satisfied with my choice. While watching it, i was thinking that horror movies have been developed for ages following basically the same recipe. But still, the movie had an idea, didn't just focus on free sadistic images and was short enough not to get you pissed. i particularly liked the way the beginning of the movie was shot, cause the psychedelic succession of the images that introduced the Defoe murders actually got me into the atmosphere. it also had a bit of most horror classics, without exagerating any. i just wonder up to which point the fact was real.

22 Sep 2005

evening movie

tonight's movie was "The machinist" (2004). bleah!!!

delicatessen and trivia

i've just watched Delicatessen (1991). It's French, it's in French and i certainly think it's worth seeing. It develops a great atmosphere: the way lights are used, the colours and the music, the development of characters and of situations made me think that this movie could never be American. Such a great difference! or maybe i'm being a little subjective, because i like French (the language) so much, that i make the best of every chance that i've got to enjoy it. it's about a place where strange people trade grain for an unusual type of food: human flesh, which is prepared by and taken from their landlord. when a former clown comes to work in the delicatessen, the butcher wants to hold him work for a while and then feed his tenants with him, but the love between the clown and the butcher's daughter destroys these plans. we also have some funny little men acting as subteran rebels. They reminded me of Woompa-Loompas. and there's also a mad woman trying to kill herself in the most complicated ways possible...Long live Domino! Cause during the entire movie, i had a strong feeling that the script writer enjoys dominoes a lot...

and some trivia. if you type "failure" in google search, the first page it founds is president bush's biography. coincidence?

great goodies

here is a great Romanian site about...stuff. it's the official site of a magazine about...stuff. one of the links they show took me to a great animation made on Radiohead's accoustic version of "Creep". i liked "Creep" anyway, so it was great seeing this.
and then there's this nice blog i found (also Romanian)
i am currently reading "Trout on strategy", which i personally find very stupid. It involves tons of repetitions, it has a very deficitary structure and it contains logics errors. However, it's quite ok for a beginner. Most of the statements are truisms and things that are known by the people who actually get something out of life in general. Unfortunately, we can all make mistakes and this very simple book can be a guide we should open from time to time in order to remember the simplest basics of strategy. i don't think i ever will, but that's another story. Plus, he only states the same things he had already written together with Al Ries, in their previous books. i would certainly classify it as a book for starters or for students rather than a professional book. it includes outrageously absurd connections with numerology and psychology, which i wasn't able to forgive. and it also hosts some fairly contradictory and poorly-concept-defined phrases such as: "perception means reality. Don't let facts misled you" (auch! i honestly still didn't get this).
After critising it like this, i think i could also mention the few things i'm gonna keep in mind after reading it (after all, they do say that you can learn something from every book, don't they?)
  • Aristotle would have made a horrible commercial-maker. Pure logics doesn't offer the guarantee of winning a fight (so sad, and yet so true)
  • you can't just write “Scott” on your shopping list, if this name doesn't mean anything
  • the way in which a product is produced can become a differentiating idea (and this made me think of the Heidi commercials, which are very cute and very good in my opinion)
  • when stating your sales, you get to choose your own parameters (which means that you can choose the period that offers you a clear advantage, and that you can make the comparison with yourself, you don't necessarily have to compare yourself with your competitors)
  • use the ratings you get from anywhere in the most aggressive manner possible
  • history - both that of a nation and that of marketing - are written by winners, not by losers.
  • the problem we should focus on is the competitor, not just the consumer. cause, after all, the same consumer is served by lots and lots of companies: ours and those that belong to our competitors.
  • strategy means simplicity - use common sense more than you use research, or interpret research according to common sense
  • the more unpredictable the world becomes, the more people people look for and focus on predictions in order to decide what they should do
  • our society communicates excessively
  • nobody will follow you, if you don't know where you're going
  • keep in touch with reality

21 Sep 2005

old movies

i just watched 2 old movies: 20 million miles to earth (1957) and Them! (1954). Old movies with creatures coming from outer space and with hybrids and mutants. Old typical monster movies. Them! was a little better, and some frames were quite well handled - for a movie of the such, don't get me wrong. this way i also discovered that fingerprints were taken in a funny hardworking manner :)). and the air conditioning in the police headquarters was just a very old and funny ventilator.
i also downloaded some of the first b&w mute movies, among which "A trip to the moon" (Melies), which i have been willing to watch for a while now.
And I watched "The usual suspects" (1995) and "Donnie Darko"(2001), and they made it to my fav movies list. I particularly like the way they were directed and i think i've learnt a lot from them.
Quotes from "The usual suspects":
  • Verbal: What the cops never figured out, and what I know now, was that these men would never break, never lie down, never bend over for anybody. Anybody.
  • Verbal: You think you can catch Keyser Soze? You think a guy like that comes this close to getting caught, and sticks his head out? If he comes up for anything it'll be to get rid of me. After that... my guess is you'll never hear from him again
  • Fenster: The way I hear it, Soze is some kind of butcher. A peerless, psycho, fucked-up butcher.
  • McManus: Old McDonald had a farm ee i ee i o. And on that farm he shot some guys. Badda boom badda bing bang boom.
  • Verbal: Keaton always said, "I don't believe in God, but I'm afraid of him." Well I believe in God, and the only thing that scares me is Keyser Soze.
  • Verbal: The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist. Verbal: And poof. Just like that, he's gone.
  • McManus: There's nothing that can't be done.
  • Verbal: How do you shoot the devil in the back? What if you miss?
  • Verbal: And then he showed these men of will what will really is.
  • Verbal: A man can convince anyone he's somebody else, but never himself.

And, of course, some from Donnie Darko:

  • Donnie: First of all, Papa Smurf didn't create Smurfette. Gargamel did. She was sent in as Gargamel's evil spy with the intention of destroying the Smurf village, but the overwhelming goodness of the Smurf way of life transformed her. And as for the whole gang-bang scenario, it just couldn't happen. Smurfs are asexual. They don't even have reproductive organs under those little white pants. That's what's so illogical, you know, about being a Smurf. What's the point of living if you don't have a dick?
  • Donnie: How can you do that? Frank: I can do anything I want. And so can you.
  • Donnie: Why do you wear that stupid bunny suit? Frank: Why are you wearing that stupid man suit?
  • Gretchen: Donnie Darko? What the hell kind of name is that? It's like some sort of superhero or something Donnie: What makes you think I'm not?
  • Donnie: [in a letter] Dear Roberta Sparrow, I have reached the end of your book and... there are so many things that I need to ask you. Sometimes I'm afraid of what you might tell me. Sometimes I'm afraid that you'll tell me that this is not a work of fiction. I can only hope that the answers will come to me in my sleep. I hope that when the world comes to an end, I can breathe a sigh of relief, because there will be so much to look forward to.
  • Gretchen: ...what if you could go back in time, and take all those hours of pain and darkness and replace them with something better?
  • Dr. Lilian Thurman: The search for God is absurd? Donnie: It is if everyone dies alone.
  • Gretchen: My mom had to get a restraining order against my step dad. He has emotional problems. Donnie: Oh, I have those too. What kind does your step dad have? Gretchen: He stabbed my mom four times in the chest. Donnie: Oh.
  • Dr. Lilian Thurman: If the sky were to suddenly open up, there would be no law, there would be no rule. There would only be you and your memories.
  • Gretchen: Some people are just born with tragedy in their blood.
  • Karen Pommeroy: [to Principle Cole] I don't think that you have a clue what it's like to communicate with these kids. We are losing them to apathy... to this prescribed nonsense. They are slipping away.
  • Dr. Lilian Thurman: What else makes you feel regret, Donnie? Donnie: [suddenly breaking into a wide grin] That I did it again...
  • Karen Pommeroy: This famous linguist once said that of all the phrases in the English language, of all the endless combinations of words in all of history, that Cellar Door is the most beautiful
  • Seth Devlin: Did you fucking call the cops? Donnie: Deus ex machina... Seth Devlin: What? Donnie: Our saviour.
  • Donnie: [reading poem in class] A storm is coming, Frank says / A storm that will swallow the children / And I will deliver them from the kingdom of pain / I will deliver the children back the their doorsteps / And send the monsters back to the underground / I'll send them back to a place where no-one else can see them / Except for me / Because I am Donnie Darko.

And i was very glad cause its soundtrack contained a song i've always liked, but have never paid attention to. The song is "Mad World". Lyrics:

All around me are familiar faces

Worn out places

Worn out faces

Bright and early for the daily races

Going no where

Going no where

Their tears are filling up their glasses

No expression

No expression

Hide my head I wanna drown my sorrow

No tomorrow

No tomorrow

And I find it kind of funny

I find it kind of sad

The dreams in which I’m dying are the best I’ve ever had

I find it hard to tell you I find it hard to take

When people run in circles its a very very

Mad world

Mad world

Children waiting for the day they feel good

Happy birthday

Happy birthday

And I feel the way that every child should

Sit and listen

Sit and listen

Went to school and I was very nervous

No one knew me

No one knew me

Hello teacher tell me what’s my lesson

Look right through me

Look right through me

And I find it kind of funny

I find it kind of sad

The dreams in which I’m dying are the best I’ve ever had

I find it hard to tell you

I find it hard to take

When people run in circles its a very very

Mad world

Mad world

Enlarging your world

Mad world