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    • tamicagoree

      Cancer treatment is make use of surgery, radiation, medications and other treatments  to cure a cancer, shorten a cancer and stop the development of a cancer. The goal of cancer treatment is to complete a cure for your cancer, permitting you to live a normal life period.

      • Kaalia Modelling Agency
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        • Entertainer
          Entertainer published a blog post She's Just a Shadow

          Thumb shadow

          A serial killer in a cop uniform ties up a prostitute, throws her naked body onto some train tracks, masturbates on her (to completion), and then videotapes her as she, wailing uncontrollably, is run over by a train. This is the opening scene in “She’s Just a Shadow,” a grubby Japanese-set crime thriller about a group of pimps and prostitutes who all struggle to remember why they like sex and drugs so much. I think it has something to do with physical addiction and/or psychological dependency, but the makers of “She’s Just a Shadow” have other theories, namely: binging is a way to fill the void caused by a vague sense of one’s own mortality.

          Writer/director Adam Sherman’s apparent disinterest in his characters’ hang-ups is maybe best illustrated by his movie’s aimless plot. Most of “She’s Just a Shadow” follows two narratively related protagonists, though their respective sub-plots never intersect in meaningful ways. There’s Gaven (Kihiro), a sad-sack gangster lackey who wants to kick his cocaine habit and run away with one (or both) of his two disaffected, thrill-seeking prostitute girlfriends, Tanya (Haruka Abe) and Beth (Mercedes Maxwell). But Gaven doesn’t have the money or the will power to do much except hang around, do drugs, have sex, and follow orders. A charmed life; for him, at least. The same is basically true for “tired” (her words) and paranoid madam Irene (Tao Okamoto), who spends much of her time fantasizing about her family’s recipe for poison, as well as, uh, a blue sky and a disembodied pair of blue-tinted chattering teeth.

          There are a number of reasons why Irene should probably be the main protagonist in “She’s Just a Shadow,” chief among them being Gaven’s aimlessly repellent character. She and Gaven are only united by a common milieu and general association with the unerringly selfish pimp Red Hot (Kentez Asaka).

          Still, even though Irene’s story bookends the movie, Gaven is the one who’s constantly telling us what its world is like, especially through unbearably retrograde voiceover narration. “She’s Just a Shadow” belongs to Gaven who, despite repeated claims of being burnt-out, always seems to have enough energy to keep going, even as the above-mentioned killer (Ichi Omiya) continues to slay blissfully ignorant prostitutes.

          Sherman’s emphasis on Gaven over Irene—or any of the other female protagonists—is especially obnoxious given this movie’s leer-y, image-obsessed focus on bubbly, superficial sex workers. Gaven speaks for his girlfriends and their peers when he dons a carnival mask and baldly explains “With the mask on, I can do anything, be anyone. With the mask off, I'm Gaven, an ordinary human being.” A rough start, but still somehow not as depressing as how much of Sherman’s movie illustrates the soul-less detachment of its supporting characters, all of whom tacitly subscribe to Gaven’s way of thinking, like when Tanya explains that there are essentially two kinds of love: “strawberry love” (sweet and immediately rewarding) and “Twinkie love” (non-perishable). Get back to me when it’s time to talk durian and Ding Dong love.

          There isn’t a convincing link between Gaven’s voiceover musings and a myriad of scenes where semi-naked women—often clad in nothing but garishly overdone sequins, wigs, and spray tans—take selfies and inhale drugs. If these women were the objects of either Gaven or Sherman’s sympathy, they should probably be shown thinking or saying something more deep than “It’ll be cool to post this [on social media] later” or “Isn’t everything a digital effect these days?” These women aren’t presented as real people: at one point, Tanya begs Gaven to “please take me away from this horrible life,” but Abe doesn’t sound credibly desperate, just bored. I don’t believe her character, but I do believe that misogynistic dorm-room philosophers like Gaven exist, especially when he thinks to himself “Women: no matter how human they seem—they're not. They're just shadows. But on the other hand, aren't we all?”

          Maybe it’s a good thing that Sherman didn’t saddle Okamoto with more screen-time or dialogue, especially given how wooden the expository dialogue she has to work with generally is (ex: “It was kind of confusing how I took over the black market and sex trade of the whole city”). Sherman periodically reminds us that he knows how out of touch his subjects are, like when Gaven whines that prostitutes are “still girls, with feelings,” to which Red Hot pouts “Yeah, maybe.” But learning that some men don’t really like women is only so insightful, especially in light of migraine-inducing dialogue like "If you have sex with a prostitute, you become a prostitute. Sex makes two bodies one flesh.” Please take me away from this horrible movie.

           




          Original: https://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/shes-just-a-shadow-2019
          By: Simon Abrams
          Posted: July 19, 2019, 1:46 pm

          • Entertainer

            Thumb coincoin 2019 1

            "Bruno Dumont, comedy director" is no longer the oddity it seemed when he made "Li'l Quinquin" in 2014. Back then the thorny French auteur was famous for punishing people and waiting for an absent God to show up and do something about it. Now he’s given in fully to populist impulses and raucous images. From the cannibalistic comedy of manners of "Slack Bay" to the adorable metal musical of "Jeanette: The Childhood of Joan of Arc," the old austere Dumont and his bizarro Calvinist torments have vanished or at bottom gone into hibernation. Dumont’s made a sequel to "Quinquin," which doubles down on the comedic elements from the original miniseries and has done away with all but the faintest hint of spiritual investigation. This is Dumont doing comedy and nothing else.

            Quinquin (Alane Delhaye) is now called Coincoin, probably because Dumont found it funny but also because this new series is obsessed with minor variations, and he’s grown into adolescence. His girlfriend Eve (Lucy Caron) is possibly exploring her sexuality with girls, that’s certainly the impression Coincoin’s come away with, which means Coincoin has to look elsewhere for sexual gratification. Thankfully Jenny (Alexia Depret) is in town for the summer. He and his friend L’gros (Julian Bodard) meet her through her friends and relations who have positions with a local Conservative party. Coincoin’s summer job is hanging up fliers for them and though the show never quite gets a handle on what the candidate wants, one suspects it isn’t good. The show’s political leanings are deliberately and realistically vague, the small town shut away from empathy until it’s forced on them. The miniseries will introduce a series of tests involving seeing oneself as another individual in order to hotwire our empathetic understanding of the world.

            Detectives Van der Weyden and Carpentier (Bernard Pruvost and Philippe Jore, both also blessedly returning from the original series) have a new preoccupation and it once again only broadly involves the title character. Strange puddles of black slime are falling from the sky at an alarming rate. Both men suspect something extraterrestrial and the forensics experts confirm their suspicions. The explanation is both bizarre and unhelpful. The puddles are hosting sites for a strange light that escapes in the middle of the night, possesses whosever nearby, and then forces them to give gaseous birth to a clone of themselves. Soon the small seaside town’s overrun with clones, including Van Der Weyden’s own doppleganger, and no one’s any closer to divining the purpose of the invasion.

            There’s a resolute lack of focus in "Coincoin and the Extra-Humans" except where the next laugh will come from. Dumont doesn’t give Coincoin much to do and what little action at which he finds himself in the center vanishes basically by the third of four episodes. His jealousy about Eva turns out to be something of a put-on and when he admits he’s fine with whatever decisions she makes about her life it’s really rather sweet, betraying the kind heart beneath the strange political affiliations and occasional crimes. Van Der Weyden and Carpentier keep catching Coincoin and L’gros almost committing acts of petty vandalism or driving without a license but thanks to their inept methodology, he keeps getting away. This, along with several other character-driven plot points, is mostly an excuse for sight gags and doesn’t move the nearly vestigial plot forward. Really the film is an excuse to film endlessly funny shots of Delhaye’s mug reacting to wild going’s on and to pit Pruvost and Jore against a conspiracy that outwits them at every turn.

            Pruvost and Jore are a Laurel and Hardy styled comedy team and there’s nary a dull moment when they’re on screen. There’s a sense in which Dumont’s making up for lost time indulging in his cinephilia with the Quinquin/Coincoin project. "Quinquin" began with a "La Dolce Vita" homage and "Coincoin" closes with a parade like the one that wraps up "8 1/2," and along the way there are nods to Buster Keaton, Jacques Tati and the whole film kind of plays like Dumont’s response to Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s "Before We Vanish". A funnel for Dumont’s homages is reason enough to make something when you’ve practically become your own genre in French cinema, but there’s no way to watch the film and think that anything was more important to him than filming Pruvost and More. You’ll hear Pruvost shouting “Carpentier” in your sleep, so insistent a refrain is his reprimanding his subordinate. Everything Pruvost does makes him a figure of cosmic fun. He’s constantly hit with the extraterrestrial ooze that falls from the sky, he can’t make coherent choices about what to do with his clone (which he pronounces “Clown”), he trips and winds up trapped in furniture, and in the best recurring gag in the work, he’s at the mercy of Jore’s driving. The two men re-enter the saga in their car tipped sideways and driving on two wheels. Pruvost always begs Jore not to keep driving this way but he always tips the car up and despite even Dumont’s script insisting the joke will wear out its welcome, the sight of the car tearing down the road on two wheels remains screamingly funny throughout.

            All that’s well enough, of course, but does it mean anything? It doesn’t have to, it’s funny enough to survive its apparent light weight. The alien intelligence cloning people (in the silliest possible fashion, it begs pronouncement) in the strange backwater is Dumont’s attempt to put godlike power into a very real context. Only Van Der Weyden seems the least bit perturbed by the appearance of his look-alike. The rest of the town’s denizens get along pretty well with their alien clones, to the point that the wife of one man spends equal time with the new and old versions of her beau. This is contrasted with Van Der Weyden harassing a gang of friendly African immigrants living in a shanty town on the edge of the community. He wants badly to put them in their place and act tough in front of them, to have done something about France’s immigration crisis, but these men are the nicest people in town as the film wastes no opportunity to remind us. They play a crucial part in the carnivalesque deux-ex-machina and the film is delighted by their presence even if they goad Van Der Weyden, for no particular reason. Racism and other prejudices are eventually condemned by the work but as with the alien invasion, it takes its sweet time. 

            Coincoin’s message of strange shared humanity and seeing ourselves in foreign bodies of all kinds, in learning empathy by force if necessary, unfolds at a deliberate pace. After all, if it was in any hurry we’d miss even one sublime gag involving Pruvost’s unease in cars driving the wrong direction, or literally talking to himself on the phone, and they’re as precious as gold. Dumont hasn’t been a comedy director for very long but it now seems impossible to imagine a world without his endearingly ridiculous sense of humor and his genuine love for his affably weird protagonists. Dumont’s comedies are a gift we were never promised and now they’re something we should never have to live without. 




            Original: https://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/coincoin-and-the-extra-humans-2019
            By: Scout Tafoya
            Posted: July 19, 2019, 1:47 pm

            • Entertainer

              Thumb cooked still1 dr. linda rae murray

              According to local weather experts, the day that this review runs will be the hottest in Chicago in seven years. Every single time the mercury crests 100, I think of the summer of 1995, when a heat wave killed over 700 people in the city of Chicago, a vast majority of them on the South Side. In a timely coincidence, a film about that heat wave and the underlying social issues that impacted the death toll is starting its second week at the Siskel Film Center. Judith Helfand’s “Cooked: Survival by Zip Code” shines a light on the issues of poverty, race, class, and education that underly how natural disasters take lives. It’s a well-meaning but scattershot piece of work that loses focus as often as it drives a point home. Still, there’s value in Helfand’s main thesis, which is that we should reconsider how we define the word “disaster” to encompass the issues that face a community before a heat wave or hurricane hits it.

              Twenty-four years ago, the actual temperature in Chicago stayed above 100, topping out at 106, for five consecutive days. Hospitals and emergency responders were startled as the body count continued to rise, eventually rising as high as 739 deaths attributed to the heat. Of course, the dirty secret that went largely unreported was that the casualties didn’t happen on the Gold Coast or even the North Side – they happened on the South Side of Chicago, a part of the city in which fewer people had air conditioning and crime levels are high enough that people were too scared to open their windows. Looking at how the death toll changed in Chicago as you traveled through the zip codes is not just a morbid practice – as writer Eric Klinenberg, one of the most interesting interviews subjects in “Cooked,” says, we study death in order to better protect life. Asking why so many people on the South Side died can lead to changes that saves lives in the future.

              Helfand is an active participant in “Cooked,” narrating the film and presenting many of its issues via her voice. While her intentions are undeniably honorable, she makes for a distracting, unfocused presence in “Cooked.” She’s either driving points home with the bluntness of a tweet – the statement that poor people finally got to feel A/C when they were awaiting autopsy is an example of how she underlines her ideas with marker – or asking the wrong questions of the wrong people. At one point, Helfand questions federal responders who are preparing for natural disasters about why they’re not doing more about poverty in the communities often impacted by them? She eventually admits that we need both – preparation for the immediacy of responders and city planning and poverty easement – but “Cooked” loses its way several times before she gets there. It feels confrontational in a way that really doesn’t get anyone anywhere. And then in the final part of the film, she goes off on a tangent about food deserts and buses that provide vegetables to the needy. It feels like an issue for another movie.

              The truth is that it’s hard to wrap your brain around the idea of a slow-motion disaster. The 1995 heat wave in Chicago led to changes in terms of preparation like cooling centers and getting into communities to make sure elderly people are getting some relief. But Helfand and Klinenberg, whose book was the basis for part of the film, reveal how superficial a lot of the responses to 1995 were in the long run. Asking how we can stop people from dying this weekend when the temperature crests into dangerous levels is important but asking why people die when it gets this hot is far more complex. That Helfand’s film loses its way a little bit as it digs into the why of natural disaster death is understandable, given how many different elements play a role. It’s important that someone is starting to dig. 




              Original: https://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/cooked-survival-by-zip-code
              By: Brian Tallerico
              Posted: July 19, 2019, 1:47 pm

              • Entertainer
                Entertainer published a blog post Into the Ashes

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                “Into the Ashes” tells a blood-soaked story of violence, betrayal, and revenge that's so familiar that if one of the actors on the screen inexplicably forgot what to say, a viewer could feed them their lines without hesitation. The problem is not that it tells a story that's been done many times before, but that it never finds a new or interesting way of approaching the familiar material. Instead, it merely goes about with the kind of plodding predictability that makes you wonder why anyone involved with the project felt that it needed to be told in the first place. And on the very rare occasions when it threatens to try something different, it only takes a few minutes for it to hurry back to the safety of the well-beaten trail.

                Set in rural Alabama, the film is centered around Nick Brenner (Luke Grimes), a man who seems to have everything that a guy like him needs for a reasonably good life—a steady job, a loyal best pal in Sal (James Badge Dale) and, most significantly, a loving wife in Tara (Marguerite Moreau). As it turns out, Nick also has a secret that he has kept from everyone—he used to be part of a violent criminal gang and stole the proceeds from their last job, taking off as the boss of the group, Sloan (Frank Grillo), was going to prison. Having just been released, Sloan, along with a couple of cohorts, sets off to track his former partner down and in the inevitable confrontation, they take away the most important element of Nick’s world before putting a couple of bullets in him for good measure. He survives and, to quote from the film’s promotional material, “Nick must decide if he will stay on his new path or indulge in his need for revenge and force his enemies to pay for what they have done.” Naturally, I would not dream of revealing which path he chooses but considering the number of people brandishing guns on the poster, the answer should not be too difficult to figure out.

                As you can probably surmise, one does not exactly have to be a walking version of IMDb to realize that “Into the Ashes” is not exactly teeming with originality or innovation. Film buffs could even amuse themselves by watching it by coming up with their own individual lists of films that evidently inspired writer/director Aaron Harvey along the way. However, there is never any real sense of what it was about this particular story that compelled him to make it in the first place. The storyline is fairly superficial, the characters are thinly drawn and the insights that it offers regarding violence and revenge in conversations between Nick and his grieving father-in-law (Robert Taylor), who also happens to be the local sheriff, veer between the empty and the vaguely insulting. There is essentially one sequence in the film where things threaten to become interesting—a sudden cut to the aftermath of a bloody shootout that is both eerie and disconcerting in the way that it simply and quietly observes the result of a few moments of unimaginable brutality without indulging in the expected orgy of blazing guns. Alas, it must have proved to be a little too disconcerting because only a few minutes after this surprisingly subtle touch, Harvey essentially takes it back by inserting a flashback that offers up all the flying bullets and spurting blood anyway.

                “Into the Ashes” is not marginally different from the kind of violent revenge dramas that Charles Bronson used to crank out back in the day. Granted, most of those films were not very good either but at least benefitted from his considerable and often underrated screen presence. Alas, this film rests on the shoulders of Luke Grimes and he simply doesn’t have the presence or pull to make it work. He isn’t bad, per se, but you just never really buy him as a person at any given point—there is no real sense of the happiness that he is supposed to be feeling about the second chance he has been given with Tara nor the sense of rage and helplessness that he is mean to be consumed by after she is taken away. What makes this especially frustrating is that the film contains two actors—Frank Grillo and James Badge Dale—who have both the acting chops and screen presence that could have been successfully deployed but who are instead relegated to supporting roles.

                Every once in a while, a little crime drama will come out of nowhere and impress with its combination of style and originality—that happened this year with a nifty little effort called “The Standoff at Sparrow Creek,” which you should really check out. This, however, is not the case with “Into the Ashes.” To be scrupulously fair, it is not necessarily a terrible movie. (If it had been truly terrible, it might have contained the kind of energy sorely lacking here.) It has been made with some degree of style and Grillo and Dale manage to overcome the cliched dialogue and characters that they have been handed. It's just that "Into the Ashes" never comes to life. 




                Original: https://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/into-the-ashes-2019
                By: Peter Sobczynski
                Posted: July 19, 2019, 1:47 pm

                • Entertainer
                  Entertainer published a blog post A Faithful Man

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                  Louis Garrel was introduced to U.S. moviegoers (for all intents and purposes) as the male half of impossibly attractive, skirting-with-incestuous bisexual twins in Bernardo Bertolucci’s 2003 “The Dreamers.” (The female half was played by Eva Green.) He hasn’t pursued much in the way of a full international profile since (although he will appear in Greta Gerwig’s upcoming “Little Women”) but has nonetheless established a solid rep as one of French cinema’s more sultry leading men.

                  Albeit one with often adventurous taste in roles. And he’s also a French cinema legacy. His grandfather was the actor Maurice Garrel, and his father, Philippe Garrel, is a director and sometimes actor whose moody, often despairing romantic dramas pinpoint the malaises of the children of ’68 with unsparing melancholy acuity. In recent years, father Garrel has used Louis in several notable films, including the epic 2005 “Regular Lovers” (in itself a fascinating “answer film” to “The Dreamers”).

                  Recently, Garrel turned to directing, first with 2015’s “Two Friends,” inspired by a play by Alfred de Musset, and now with “A Faithful Man,” which Garrel cowrote with Jean-Claude Carriere, the redoubtable longtime screenwriter who assisted Luis Buñuel in his magnificent '60s-'70s run of films. One would not be blamed for wondering to what extent Garrel fils is a chip off the old and frequently depressive pere.

                  The answer is yes and no. “A Faithful Man” begins the way many a Phillippe film does: with a little bit of voiceover and then a dialogue in a Paris apartment of a soon to be unhappy couple. “Got a sec?” Marianne (Laetitia Casta, who’s married to Garrel in real life) asks Abel (Garrel). The hapless Abel says sure, and she proceeds to inform him that she’s pregnant … and that he’s not the father…and that the father is a mutual friend … and that she’d like Abel out of the house in ten days so she can marry the guy.

                  This is all said very quietly and all civilized-like, but one doesn’t sense a contradiction when Abel characterizes the exchange as “brutal.” The French, they’re like that. And this scene, with its understated acting, attractive but unfussy lensing (by Irene Lubtchansky, a longtime collaborator with Jacques Rivette), and incipient cloud of gloom suggests that Garrel could run with his father’s torch if he wanted to.

                  But wait. What “A Faithful Man” soon shows itself as is a sly romantic comedy. Eight years pass, and a scruffier Abel learns that Paul, the mutual friend, has died in his sleep and left Marianne a widow. Marianne’s got a precocious eight-year-old child, Joseph (Joseph Engel, funny and a little scary) who’s keen on police procedurals and soon wants to convince Abel that Marianne poisoned her late husband. The late husband’s sister, Eve (Lily-Rose Depp) has been crushing on Abel since she was a kid. She sees his renewed presence in her circle as a chance to stake a claim.

                  This make for a peculiar thicket of a love quadrangle, to be sure. But Garrel disposes of it in a brisk 75 minutes. He shows genuine springy inventiveness as a director, particularly with respect to Eve’s sometimes self-correcting flashbacks.

                  Casta and Garrel generate wary warmth as a couple rediscovering each other, while Depp and Engel provide the comedic ballast. Depp often puts on a facial expression that doesn’t suggest space cadet so much as it does full-fledged extraterrestrial, while young Engel give his character a credible assurance, depicting him accurately guessing the killer at a family outing to the local rep cinema to check out “The Strange Love of Martha Ivers.” The music score by veteran composer Philippe Sarde, who also scored “Two Friends,” is pleasantly melodic and ever so slightly lush, lending the movie a splendid little accent.   




                  Original: https://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/a-faithful-man-2019
                  By: Glenn Kenny
                  Posted: July 19, 2019, 1:47 pm

                  • Entertainer
                    Entertainer published a blog post Luz

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                    Tilman Singer’s “Luz” was one of the most buzzed about titles on the genre festival circuit in 2018, earning raves at Montreal’s Fantasia Fest and Austin’s Fantastic Fest. It’s easy to see why. With echoes of everything from Dario Argento to Peter Strickland, “Luz” is a major announcement of a new talent. Singer has what horror fans look for in young directors – a very strong eye, a unique set of influences, a gift with sound design. His debut work sometimes feels more like a student film than a complete project – and not just because it’s barely 70 minutes – but it’s one of those genre pics that instantly raises the bar for whatever he does next. It may have fallen a bit short of my expectations after its remarkable first 15 minutes and the general buzz the film came with, but I am all-in for whatever Singer does next. Someone give him a blank check to do whatever he wants.

                    Shot on 16MM on only a couple of sets, “Luz” is a Eurohorror nightmare from a filmmaker who clearly admires the Giallo masters of the ‘70s. From the very first shot, an extended, grainy, grimy take in which a cab driver named Luz (Luana Velis) walks into an empty lobby and moves as if she’s in a daze, it’s clear that this is not your typical ‘10s horror film. It shares more in common with Strickland or David Lynch than modern slasher pics or even the work of someone like Jordan Peele. It is about sound and mood more than plot or character, designed to mesmerize you into a cinematic trance. You know how often your dreams don’t make perfect sense? That’s the way to approach “Luz.”

                    With that in mind, a plot recap seems almost silly. In the opening scenes, the hat-wearing, slightly-injured Luz seems lost and confused. Meanwhile, a woman in a bar named Nora (Julia Riedler) chats with the only other person there, a doctor (Jan Bluthardt). We learn that Luz summoned a demon years earlier with a profane prayer at her religious school. And now that entity wants to find its way back to Luz. The opening parallel sequences are remarkable, easily my favorite part of “Luz.” Singer displays a mastery of composition and startling sound design from the very beginning and the first 20 minutes of “Luz” could have made for a great short film on their own.

                    Singer lost me a bit in the mid-section of “Luz,” which gets surreal in a way I wasn’t expecting. An interrogation of Luz starts to feel like experimental theater as lines are spoken in Spanish, German, and English, and Singer plays around with space and sound. Luz seems to be recounting what happened earlier that night in much the same way a theatre major would tell a story to her class, complete with pantomime, but Singer drops in the sounds of what Luz is describing like gear shifts and traffic. It’s all right on that line between “interesting” and “effective.” I was never bored during this stretch of the film, but the mesmerizing impact of the opening scenes seemed to fade away.

                    Singer brings “Luz” in for an effective ending, but it still feels like a movie that just barely works as a feature film, and almost would have been better as a 45-minute, extended short. Still, while this may read like only a mild recommendation for most readers, it is a hearty one for genre fans. We are lucky enough to be in a very strong era for horror, and I have a feeling Singer is going to be a major part of it. 




                    Original: https://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/luz-2019
                    By: Brian Tallerico
                    Posted: July 19, 2019, 1:47 pm

                  • Thumb persona movie one

                    Persona” lives in the darkest corners of 2019 cinema. Ingmar Bergman’s 1966 classic not only influenced how modern filmmakers approach psychological horror, but also foreshadowed modern film culture trends. “Persona” organically incorporates identity politics and contrived personalities. From a 2019 perspective, the Persona Filter can be used to better understand one’s sense of self, and to better understand the complexities of being so detached from reality through social media - also known as “extremely online” behavior. 

                    On the surface, “Persona” appears to be about the power dynamics between nurse Alma (Bibi Andersson) and Elisabet Vogler (Liv Ullmann), a well-known actress. When Elisabet stops speaking - a personal challenge of willpower - she travels to a Swedish cottage with the admiring Alma in tow. The two women bond and seemingly learn to understand each other, yet Alma does all the talking, only to realize she’s being studied. Bergman’s final act suggests that Elisabet and Alma are the same person.

                    Surrealistic montages bookend “Persona,” and imply that the narrator could be a man; someone attempting to process and cope with grief. “Persona” may have a black and white palette, but it can be interpreted in a variety of colorful ways. It depicts the pursuit of an authentic image; a journey to a moment of truth. 

                    For modern streamers, “Persona” may not seem like the ideal viewing option. Bergman’s themes are heavy and complex. The visuals are surreal; the dialogue is cryptic. There’s much to unpack. However, we can use "Persona" to reach small epiphanies while analyzing some of 2019’s most polarizing psychological horrors.  

                    image

                    When applying the Persona Filter to Ari Aster’s “Midsommar,” a fever dream meditation comes into focus. After a devastating tragedy, Florence Pugh’s Dani travels to Sweden with her boyfriend. A college friend invites her to participate in a communal midsummer celebration, one that takes place every 90 years. Upon arriving, Dani meets a local named Ingemar, the brother of host Pelle (Vilhelm Blomgren). Aster has been on record about Bergman’s cinematic influence, so the nomenclature - and the setting - isn’t a huge surprise. 

                    At its core, “Midsommar” focuses on Dani’s search for self. In the vast Swedish countryside, she’s immersed into a cult of relatability; people who laugh and cry together. They share each other’s pain. From act to act, Dani learns to accept basic truths; the writing is literally on the wall. Dani finally lets go and breaks down, with the female locals mirroring her posture and tone. There’s genuine empathy and deeply disturbing behavior depicted in “Midsommar.” And it’s not hard to see a snapshot of 2019 social media culture. Dani connects with others through a shared ritual; she becomes the May Queen. Dani finds her place in the world while setting others ablaze.

                    Performance drives the most unforgettable horror films, and Pugh provides the goods in “Midsommar.” She walks like Harriet Andersson’s Karin in the Bergman classic “Through a Glass Darkly” (1961); she moans like Andersson’s Agnes in “Cries and Whispers” (1972). Pugh doesn’t have many loud moments in “Midsommar,” much like the central leads in “Persona.” These performances build towards an emotional release. Bergman and Aster both meditate on specific modes of behavior; the imitators and the followers. In “Persona,” Ullman excels as the Double; a woman that Alma can’t quite reach. Alma’s push and pull with Elisabet strangely connects to the film’s provocative opening sequence: a boy reaches out towards a female face, one that’s familiar yet distant. With “Persona,” Bergman meditates on two women, but he could indeed be processing his own childhood experiences. In a way, “Persona” documents Bergman’s state of inception, with Ullman and Andersson assisting in the conceptual execution through grounded and relatively balanced performances. 

                    Visually, Bergman emphasizes the distance between the two “Persona” leads, only to slowly bring them together, both literally and figuratively. With “Midsommar,” Aster similarly underlines his lead’s isolation through physical space. By the final act, the May Queen’s dance competition parallels the swirling thoughts in Dani’s head. Within this particular cult of relatability, Dani has almost found her safe zone. In relation to “Persona,” Aster’s final “Midsommar” image complements Bergman’s most affecting fourth-wall character shots. Dani essentially winks at the audience. I see you … do you see me? Like Bergman, Aster copes with personal issues through female character catharsis. Both “Persona” and “Midsommar” are meditative lucid dreams. 

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                    In Jordan Peele’s “Us,” the Persona Filter reveals the Double in the far corner of one’s mind. Whereas “Midsommar and “Persona” are simmering meditations, “Us” functions as a chase for clarity. The Wilson family vacations in California, and the cult of relatability factor comes into play once again. As with the racially-charged and enlightening “Get Out,” Peele explores a cultural divide, all the while underlining a sense of unity. Like “Midsommar” and “Persona,” “Us” can be viewed as a search for emotional resolution while processing traumatic memories. Interestingly, Peele incorporates action and thriller elements to discombobulate the audience. And whereas “Persona” hints at its Double theme, “Us” makes the concept blatantly clear. Once again, the richness and depth of the central female performance allows the director to execution his vision, and build towards a final act magic trick. 

                    In “Us,” Lupita Nyong’o delivers one of the year’s finest performances as Adelaide Wilson and the “Tethered” character Red. When paired with “Persona,” the double concept is disjointed yet fluid; Andersson and Ullman riff back and forth, but they favor restraint over melodrama. And because Nyong’o plays two roles in “Us,” she essentially applies the Persona Filter to create two distinct characters. One represents Adelaide’s roaming mind, the Other is symbolic of past trauma. Like "Midsommar'"s Dani, Adelaide emotionally flees from a cult-ish group, but she’s confronted by an immediate threat, evidenced by Red’s menacing dialogue and unnerving voice, the result of Nyong’o researching a condition known as “Spasmodic Dysphonia.” 

                    Character silence connects “Persona” and “Us.” In Peele’s film, the child version of Adelaide refuses to speak; she’s traumatized by a real-life confrontation with her Double. In “Persona,” Bergman is more subtle. Elisabet refuses to speak in order to establish psychological control over her double, or so it seems. Maybe it’s just a game to pass the time; a way for Elisabet to psychoanalyze herself through Alma. Early on, a female doctor gets straight to the point while discussing “the hopeless dream of being.” She seems to know that Elisabet subconsciously hopes to be “unmasked” or even “annihilated.”

                    Like “Midsommar,” “Persona” is a slow-burn meditation on identity. In contrast, “Us” details the chase for clarity; the act of setting upon a specific persona. For many, an online persona correlates with the cult of relatability concept. Some individuals have purely self-serving reasons for presenting a contrived image, while others merely seek out practical connections. “Persona,” “Midsommar” and “Us” collectively underline one’s search for assimilation and self-acceptance. 

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                    “Lords of Chaos” reveals the dark side of celebrity culture and the cult of relatability. Directed by Swedish filmmaker Jonas Åkerlund, the horror thriller is loosely based on the Norwegian Black Metal scene, specifically the band Mayhem and its co-founder Øystein Aarseth aka Euronymous. In “Lords of Chaos,” the Persona Filter spotlights the main character’s moment of truth, an extension of Midsommar’s meditation and Us’ cerebral acrobatics. Åkerlund pinpoints the dangers of constructing a contrived persona for commercial success. As Euronymous, Rory Culkin doesn’t provide an all-time performance like the aforementioned Andersson, Ullman, Pugh and Nyong’o, but he does indeed embody all the necessary charisma that so many people utilize to sustain a relatable persona, whether it’s online or in real-life.  

                    The behavior of Culkin’s Euronymous mirrors the “extremely online” persona of 2019. Åkerlund’s antihero absolutely understands his crowd; a cult of edgy followers who relate to his music, physical appearance and rebel yells. But Euronymous doesn’t understand himself. Still, this particular character appreciates the beauty of a contrived persona. Euronymous presents a customized image - death metal to the core - but ultimately reveals himself to be a fraud, somebody who actively seeks to manipulate others; a social pariah. When applying the Persona Filter, Euronymous appears to be an older version of the young boy from Bergman’s opening montage in “Persona”; someone trying to understand why he was left behind. In “Lords of Chaos,” Euronymous meditates on a formula for success, and then chases after clarity. In the process, he reaches a moment of truth. Unfortunately, Euronymous is murdered by one of his own, stabbed to death by a musical Double who resents the Mayhem singer’s fraudulent persona.

                    Alma, Elisabet; Dani, Adelaide and Euronymous - these characters battle personal demons in pursuit of an acceptable persona. But as with real life, the main characters in “Midsommar,” “Us” and “Lords of Chaos” shouldn’t be completely reduced to simple archetypes and concepts. There’s always something new to learn, there’s always different perspectives to consider. 

                    To quote Roger Ebert’s 2001 essay on “Persona,” “Most of what we think of as ‘ourselves’ is not direct experience of the world, but a mental broadcast made of ideas, memories, media input, other people, jobs, roles, duties, lusts, hopes, fears.” Much has changed since the beginning of the 21st century, and certainly since’s Roger’s passing. But Bergman’s film remains timeless and timely, and so incredibly important as new cinematic voices emerge.




                    Original: https://www.rogerebert.com/balder-and-dash/viewing-midsommar-us-and-lords-of-chaos-through-the-persona-filter
                    By: Q.V. Hough
                    Posted: July 19, 2019, 1:47 pm

                    • Entertainer
                      Entertainer published a blog post The Lion King

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                      It may be a long time before viewers can appreciate the 2019 remake of "The Lion King" as a freestanding work, instead of judging it against the original. The 1994 version was "Hamlet" plus "Bambi" on the African veldt: a childhood-shaping, Oscar-winning blockbuster, the second-highest grossing feature film of its calendar year, one of the last great hand-drawn Disney animated features (Pixar's original "Toy Story" came out 18 months later), and a tear-producing machine. This remake was controversial long before it opened, mainly because it seemed to take the Walt Disney company's new branding strategy—remaking beloved animated films as CGI-dependent "live action" spectaculars—to its most drastic conclusion. It serves up the same story with different actors, different arrangements of beloved songs and soundtrack cues, a couple of original tunes, a few fresh scenes and sequences, and, of course, photorealistic animals. The latter are the movie's main selling point, so believable that one of my kids remarked afterward that sitting through the film was like watching a nature documentary on mute while the soundtrack to original "The Lion King" played in the background.

                      But here's the thing: the movie is helmed by a Disney veteran, actor-director Jon Favreau, who's great at this kind of thing. And this might be his best-directed film, if you judge purely in terms of how the scenes and sequences have been framed, lit, and cut together. The cinematographer is Caleb Deschanel, who shot some of the greatest live-action animal adventures in movie history, including "The Black Stallion," and this production straightforwardly owns the notion of "realness," modeling its animals on actual creatures, defining character more through body type and ingenious details of movement than through facial expressions, which might've looked kinda creepy here, honestly. (The animals are a little bit creepy at times, though not as creepy as in Andy Serkis' "Mowgli," where you sometimes felt as if you were watching top secret footage of gene-spliced animal-humans.) 

                      Favreau broke into filmmaking with such hip indie comedies as "Swingers" and "Made," then improbably transformed himself into a junior version of Steven Spielberg or James Cameron, overseeing the biggest of big-budget properties, including the first two "Iron Man" films and Disney's recent hyper-real remake of "The Jungle Book." This may be his most daunting challenge yet, or at least his most provocative if you cherish the source material. The very idea of presuming to remake Disney's most financially successful late-period animated film with the latest in computer-generated imagery, while continually reminding people of the original by recycling the same story and music (and many of the same iconic shots and locations, including the lions' distinctively shaped Pride Rock), is as close as Hollywood gets to courting charges of blasphemy. 

                      Visually, the original was 88 minutes' worth of stylized paintings in motion, like a child's storybook come to life, but with expressionistic or psychedelic elements (like the freaky green highlights in the "Be Prepared" sequence, and the stylized hellfire and skewed camera angles during the end battle) that tickled the sensibilities of film-buff parents. In contrast, this new "Lion King" is rooted deeply in the real, from its plain, sometimes drab colors to the animals' intricately rendered bone structures, muscles, and fur. Even when the characters are singing the familiar songs and repeating the familiar lines (or, in one hilarious and oddly postmodern interlude, quoting another Disney movie) the entire crew is working double-overtime to convince you that these creatures exist, that they shed fur and drop scat on the jungle floor. 

                      Favreau and Deschanel's camera (or "camera"—this is a digital movie built from ones and zeros) follows closely behind the animals as they gallop through grasslands, scale cliffs and hills, tumble and wrestle and fight, and romp through water and rain. It's as as if they were real animals with intelligence and agency who allowed camera crews to follow them rather than eating them. (Disney always released animal documentaries in addition to their animated and live-action features, and this one sometimes feels like a very basic one from the 1950s, where an editor would cut to an unremarkable close-up of a bear panting in the summer heat, and the narrator would tell you it was sad because it missed its mom.)

                      It's impossible to deny that this movie represents a technical milestone. We've seen digitized versions of real animals before (perhaps most strikingly in the recent "Planet of the Apes" movies, and in Favreau's "Jungle Book") but they're presented so matter-of-factly by Favreau that if they didn't talk and sing, and if you squinted just a bit, you'd never know they weren't the real deal. And the filmmaking itself adds credibility. The "camera" (again, there is no camera, just CGI) seems to have weight. When it "flies" over "Africa," you'd swear it had been attached to an actual helicopter. When the elder lion king, Mufasa (James Earl Jones, the only actor from the original reprising his part), scales the walls of a canyon to rescue his son  from rampaging wildebeests unleashed by his evil brother Scar (Chiwetel Ejiofor), it's clear that the filmmakers have put a lot of thought into how a 400-pound alpha predator would do such a thing, whereas the original was content with "the lion climbs up the rock."

                      Of course there's something to be said for sticking to "the lion climbs up the rock" rather than proving you that know how to answer the question "How does a 400-pound lion climb up a rock?" The Dad Joke answer is, "Any way he wants to," but animators need more direction than that. It's easy to make a case that lions and hyenas and baboons and hornbills and antelopes drawn with ink and paint, with an eye towards the simple yet daring gesture rather than Nature Channel texture, register as more emotionally "real" than things that might be mistaken for photos, especially when they're doing vaudeville wordplay and delivering sad monologues and singing songs by Elton John and Tim Rice

                      But that doesn't fly, not anymore, because the movie industry has conditioned audiences to think that "reality" and "believability" are the greatest of all creative virtues, and that the live-action blockbuster is the classiest, most respectful way to tell a story. That's why visually daring animated films like "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse" only make a fraction of the box office haul of more literal-minded live-action Marvel movies. And it's why almost every spectacle-driven live action (or "live action") blockbuster, from Marvel and DC to the "Star Wars" franchise and the American Godzilla films, and the Transformers, and even Pixar, are obsessed with making sure that countertops and pavement and glass and hair and skin and fur and fire and water look photographically real, and that everything moves believably even you're watching wisecracking toys or combat droids or city-destroying kaiju. To quote a friend, if you follow this creative impulse too slavishly, it's like using a magic wand to make a toaster

                      Where you fall on this stuff is anyone's guess, if you care about it at all. You might not, and that's OK. But it should be said that even if you're not obsessed with cinema minutia, this film is still a fascinating aesthetic experiment, less reminiscent of Favreau's previous photorealistic Disney animal picture, "The Jungle Book," than of Gus van Sant's 1998 remake of Alfred Hitchcock's "Psycho," a curiosity that wasn't quite shot-for-shot but got eerily close. Watching this new "Lion King" reminded me of seeing the "Psycho" remake in a theater and hearing people scream their heads off at the film's jump scares, even though they were near-exact reproductions of things Hitchcock had done 28 years earlier, with the same music, but in color instead of black and white, and with different actors. 

                      Who deserves credit for inspiring that powerful emotional reaction in 1998? Alfred Hitchcock, for making "Psycho" in the first place? Or Gus van Sant, for realizing that the master's work was so fully realized that if he copied it as closely as possible, audiences would still scream in the same places 38 years later? If you retain as much of an original work as possible while reimagining it, is it a gesture of respect or timidity? Is the result a thought experiment, or just an easy way ("easy" in terms of imagination, not effort) to make lots of money by creating a slightly different version of a thing people already know they like? Maybe films like the new "Lion King" take the phrase "give the people what they want" absolutely literally, and that's the whole (cynical?) point of their existence. But is slavish fidelity to an old text really what "the people" want? Or is it possible—to paraphrase a different showbiz maxim that's equally true—"the people" don't actually know what they want until someone shows it to them?

                      There are parts of the new "Lion King" where that second maxim comes into play, and it's beguiling, sometimes glorious. Like many "live action" Disney remakes of animated movies, this one is much longer than the original, and yet (like Favreau's "Jungle Book," still the best entry in this photorealistic remake series) it uses the extra length to make a statement, creating a sense of stillness. This might sound odd in a review of a CGI-driven 2019 Disney movie, but Favreau often appears to be trying to create a mid-twentieth-century motion picture made with the shiniest new tech—the kind of movie that took its time and gave viewers a bit of mental breathing space, permitting them to contemplate what they were seeing as they saw it.

                      There are times when the movie clears out music and dialogue and just lets you hear natural sounds and watch lions, giraffes, elephants, birds, rodents, and insects move through the frame. This movie uses the motif of "light" more subtly than the original, because it's striving to look "real" rather than stylized, and the result is a great example of how CGI animation can achieve a different kind of poetic effect that's different from the kind that old-fashioned cel animators might attempt. 

                      When Mufasa tells young Simba that his domain is "everything the light touches," the scene is illuminated by a golden, dawn-like glow, and when they have what proves to be their final conversation before Mufasa's death (that's not a spoiler, folks—"Hamlet" is 400 years old) the sunlight ebbs and gives way to darkness, and the sky fills with stars, foreshadowing Mufasa taking his place among the ghosts of kings and queens up above. A sequence two-thirds of the way through takes a brief transitional bit from the original—Rafiki the baboon realizing that Simba is still alive by catching his scent in the wind—and builds a lengthy, chain-reaction sequence around it, with a tuft of Simba's fur traveling, like the "Forrest Gump" feather, from the Eden-like jungle where he's exiled himself to the pridelands. 

                      And while the photorealism of the animals snuffs out any possibility of subtle "human" facial expressions, the creatures' bodies provide more characterization detail than you might expect. Especially impressive is the way Scar's physique contrasts with Mufasa's. The former is angular and raw, a Mick Jagger or David Bowie sort of body that lopes and limps, while the latter is a magnificent bruiser like Dave Bautista or Dwayne Johnson, so thick and powerful that when he moves, you can imagine the air parting around him. When Scar licks his paw and grooms himself absentmindedly as his brother pontificates, the gesture comes across as decadent and contemptuous even though it looks like something a real lion would do. That's filmmaking magic of a different kind than was contained in the source, and it's not necessarily lesser. 

                      What distinguishes all these choices is that they aren't blatantly trying to re-create or pay homage to something that viewers loved in an original work, in order to comfort us and press our nostalgia buttons. That means they can stand on their own two paws, making unflattering comparison harder. When the movie is doing its own thing, you don't think about whether Donald Glover's performance as the adult Simba is better or worse or merely different from Matthew Broderick's Simba (he's different—more internalized and shell-shocked), or whether Beyonce gives a better acting performance as Nala than Moira Kelly (she doesn't, except when she sings), or whether Billy Eichner and Seth Rogen are a funnier meerkat-warthog duo than Nathan Lane and Ernie Sabella (call it a tie, and ties go to actors with Broadway-caliber singing voices). The movie is never less interesting than when it's trying to be the original "Lion King," and never more compelling than when it's carving out negative space within a very familiar property and strutting to the beat of its own, new music. 

                      The worst thing you can say about this movie, and perhaps the highest compliment you can pay it, is to say it would be even more dazzling if it told a different story with different animals and the same technology and style—and maybe without songs, because you don't necessarily need them when you have images that sing. 




                      Original: https://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/the-lion-king-2019
                      By: Matt Zoller Seitz
                      Posted: July 19, 2019, 1:48 pm

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                      “The Gathering” was the kind of evening you’d imagine Bruce Wayne would attend—a tasteful evening fundraiser for a new museum. This wasn’t Gotham, but San Diego’s eclectic Balboa Park, home to the world-famous San Diego Zoo and future home of the Comic-Con Museum, scheduled to open in 2021. The pop-up museum was hosting an inaugural fundraiser, “The Gathering,” in what used to be San Diego Hall of Champions which closed in June 2017. 

                      For this year’s San Diego Comic-Con, the 50th anniversary of what started out as a small event for comic-book fans, the museum inducted Batman into the Comic-Con Character Hall of Fame. There were plenty of Batmans wandering the museum’s three floors. Green-suited Riddlers delighted in meeting Jokers dressed in purple suits. Catwomen stalked the waiters for a few tasty nips of chicken, and a harried journalist named Clark Kent searched for a telephone booth out of Lois Lane’s scrutiny. A string quartet played mostly Batman-related music, but no Batman got down and did the Batusi. 

                      The stage was dominated by a six-foot-tall statue of Batman. Based on Todd McFarlane’s 1988 cover for “Batman” Vol #423, the figure is all about the cape. Sorry Edna Mode. The statue was one of the items auctioned off to help raise funds for the museum and it went for $6,000. The statue is the 100th addition to the DC Collectibles’ Batman: Black & White line. Downstairs, the more reasonably scaled examples of the Black and White line were 

                      With so many Batmen in the crowd of 400-plus, DC Publisher and Chief Creative Officer Jim Lee had to accept on Batman’s behalf. Of the inaugural inductee of the museum’s Hall of Fame, Lee said, “Batman is real in every person who summons the strength and resilience to keep going. That is a superpower. There’s no other way to describe it.”

                      The crowd previewed “The Batman Experience Powered by AT&T,” the largest ever collection of Batman-related posters, drawings, movie props, costumes and vehicles. While this generation may know Batman from movies, DC Publisher Dan DiDio reminded the crowd that the caped crusader started as a published story. “Comic books are the test lab for Batman. It’s where we take chances, where we experiment with new ideas, new concepts and storylines.” He added, “Those experiments in turn inspire other artists, filmmakers, and writers. I love to see stories we’ve worked on become the basis for other media like video games, movies, and TV shows.”

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                      On the first level, besides the Bat-signal, were the Van Kilmer Batmobile from the 1995 “Batman Forever” and the somewhat phallic  Batmobile from Tim Burton’s 1989 “Batman” and “Batman Returns.” The Batman suits were also on display display alongside the villains he faced such as Scarecrow, the Joker, Mr. Freeze and Poison Ivy also made an appearance. The militant missile penguins, Michelle Pfeiffer’s whip and boots from her Catwoman days and some Bat weaponry were also ready to be admired. 

                      “The Batman Experience Powered by AT&T" isn’t just to be viewed. Downstairs a Batcave Gaming Lounge brought generations of Batman video and arcade games to San Diego, straight from the DC archives. New video games were demoed. You could even get into the Adam West era Batman mindset by hitting the punching bag with a famous villain’s face project on it. Projection mapping and lights to trigger classic animations and sounds on screens. Pow! Wham!

                      If you can’t make it out to San Diego for this free exhibit, part of it may come to you. The first ever traveling exhibit from Mondo Gallery in Austin Texas will give you a taste. “Mondo Gallery: 80 Year of Batman” features 19 iconic comic book covers reproduced as screen-printed posters. 

                      The pop-up museum (2131 Pan American Plaza, San Diego, CA 92101) will be open every day of SDCC from 9:30 a.m., Thursday through Sunday. Thursday through Saturday, closing time is 7 p.m. on Thursday-Saturday and 5 p.m. Sunday.  Parking and admission are free. 




                      Original: https://www.rogerebert.com/balder-and-dash/comic-con-2019-batman-inducted-into-hall-of-fame
                      By: Jana Monji
                      Posted: July 19, 2019, 3:02 pm

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                      Marvel comic writer/artist Jim Starlin has created many iconic characters, but only one put on a giant glove studded with infinity stones and snapped his fingers to wipe out half of the universe. Thanos, played by Josh Brolin in the Avengers movies was the first character Starlin created for Marvel and he has developed and deepened the character over the years. In an interview with RogerEbert.com at San Diego Comic-Con, Starlin talked about what it takes to be a great super-villain, the quote from Norman Mailer that inspires him, and what comics can do that movies, even with unlimited computer graphics and the best acting and directing and composing talent, cannot.  

                      What does it take to make a great super-villain?

                      Complexity. There are so many one-dimensional characters, two-dimensional characters out there. If you add layers to it, you add dimension to it. With Thanos, I had 40 years to play with him, and so there’s 40 years of different little aspects thrown in that weren’t there the previous year. He’s become interesting because he’s not your cut-out bad guy. He’s a little off-kilter and his approaches, if anything, are sometimes too direct and horrifying to be acceptable. You know, fifty percent of everybody gone, that kind of throws people off a little. 

                      He thinks he is saving the other half, though, doesn’t he?

                      Well, we’re all heroes in our own story. Why should he be any different?  I don’t think Lex Luthor gets up in the morning and says, “What bad thing can I do today?” It’s more like, “What can I do today to advance my own story?”

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                      Comics are the rare narrative where the characters go on forever, with different artists and writers, endlessly re-imagined, but still, as you said, you’ve had 40 years with Thanos and you have taken over characters invented by others. The characters go on, but the stakes are always life and death.

                      Norman Mailer said, “Every true story ends in death.” But there are other characters that go on, the Roman gods, you could say the same thing; they were the same as the Greek gods and then they diverged off. James Bond, Doc Savage. This is something that comes with the 20th century and the rise of corporations and business entities owning the characters rather than individuals.

                      So how do you keep the continuity but still make them vital and up to date enough to keep the fans engaged?

                      I always take pride in the fact that I think I’m the most self-indulgent artist I know. I do not put into consideration what the fans are looking for.  You play to someone’s anticipation, you’re going do uninteresting stories. I’d rather have a story that I enjoy than one that anyone else will and it seems to have worked out pretty well for me over the years. Readers who get upset because a writer or character did something that they did not want to see happen are not being realistic about what they’re looking for a story on. If they want to stay consistent through the entire thing, they can watch broadcast television. If you want something that’s going to give you a little mental exercise, go for something where you can’t predict what is going to happen. That’s the point where you’re forced to do some thinking and it gives you more pleasure that way.

                      You also created Gamora. What inspired her?

                      She was brought in because the Warlock series was kind of a sausage-fest: Thanos, Pip, Worlock, and I figured I needed something else other than testosterone. So I brought her in. It’s kind of embarrassing how the visualization happened, not the most feminist-friendly source.  

                      I had a friend, Al Weiss, who did very photo-realistic artwork. He had a lot of European skin magazines in his studio. One day I was leafing through it while I was talking to him and I came across this image of a woman in a fishnet outfit with long dark hair, and I thought, “That’s kind of cool!” That was the basis of where Gamora came about. The funny thing was, there was a Spanish artist, Esteban Maroto, and he obviously saw the same photo essay, and then a few months later — they almost came out simultaneously — he had a character in Eerie or Creepy, a horror comic, based on the same pictures. So, a character who became a feminist icon is based on the least reputable source I can think of.

                      For a long time, comics had the great advantage that if you wanted to show superpowers or another planet, there was no place you could get visual images as powerful as those drawn by comic book artists. It would have been unthinkable to try to make a movie about the Avengers until very recently. Is there anything comics can still do better than the movies?

                      We can do thought process better. Those little round balloons with the dots on them. Like a novel, we can do the internal characters better than movies and TV can.  They have to be a surface story with a little bit of depth into the character. But you can’t go completely into a person’s soul in that media without losing your audience.




                      Original: https://www.rogerebert.com/balder-and-dash/comic-con-2019-an-interview-with-the-creator-of-thanos
                      By: Nell Minow
                      Posted: July 19, 2019, 3:09 pm

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                      • நிசான் மோட்டார் நிறுவனத்தின் பட்ஜெட் துணை நிறுவனமாக டட்சன் நிறுவனம், ரெடி கோ என்ட்ரி-லெவல் ஹெட்ச்பேக்களை பாதுகாப்பு வசதிகளுடன் அறிமுகம் செய்துள்ளது.

                        புதிய ஹெட்ச்பேக், தற்போது புதிய வசதியாக டிரைவர் ஏர்பேக், ரியர் பார்கிங் சென்சார், ஹை-ஸ்பீட் வார்னிங் மற்றும் சீட் பெல்ட் ரீமைண்டர்கள் அனைத்து வகைகளிலும் பொருத்தப் பட்டுள்ளது. டட்சன் ரெடி கோ கார்கள், கூடுதலாக ஆண்டி லாக் பிரேகிங் சிஸ்டம்களுடன் எலக்ட்ரிக் பிரேக் டிஸ்டர்பியூசன்களும் இடம் பெற்றிருக்கும்.

                        டட்சன் ரெடி கோ அடிப்படை D 0.8 லிட்டர் வெர்சன் கார்களின் விலை 2.80 லட்சம் ரூபாய் முதல் தொடங்குகிறது. 1.0 லிட்டர் அடிப்படையிலான ‘S’ வெர்சன்கள் 3.90 லட்ச ரூபாய் விலையில் கிடைக்கிறது (அனைத்து விலைகளும் எக்ஸ் ஷோரூம் விலை டெல்லியில்).

                        மொத்தமாக ஐந்து வகைகளில், அதாவது, மூன்று 800cc மாடல் மற்றும் இரண்டு 1.0 லிட்டர் வகைகளில் கிடைக்கிறது. டாப்-ஸ்பெக் AMT இணைக்கப்பட்ட 1.0 லிட்டர் வகைகளுடன் கூடிய மாடல்களின் விலை 4.37 லட்சம் ரூபாயாக இருக்கும் (எக்ஸ் ஷோரூம் விலை).

                        டட்சன் ரெடி கோ கார்களின் விலை விபரம்
                        டட்சன் ரெடி கோ D 0.8 L    ரூ. 2,79,650
                        டட்சன் ரெடி கோ A EPS0.8L    ரூ. 3,33,419
                        டட்சன் ரெடி கோ S 0.8L    ரூ. 3,62,000
                        டட்சன் ரெடி கோ S 1.0L    ரூ. 3,90,000
                        டட்சன் ரெடி கோ S ஸ்மார்ட் டிரைவ் ஆட்டோ    ரூ. 4,37,065
                        2019 டட்சன் ரெடி கோ கார்கள் 0.8 லிட்டர் மற்றும் 1.0 லிட்டர் iSAT மூன்று சிலிண்டர், எரிபொருள் திறன் கொண்ட இன்ஜின் ஆற்றலில் இயங்கும். இதில் முந்தையது 54 PS/72 Nm அவுட்புட்களுடனும், பிந்தியது 68 PS/91 Nm அவுட்புட்களுடன் இருக்கும். மேலும் 0.8 லிட்டர்களுடன் 22.7 Kmpl மைலேஜ்களுடன் 1.0 லிட்டர் iSAT-களின் எரிபொருள் செலவிடும் திறன் 22.5 Kmpl அளவு கொண்டதாக இருக்கும்.

                        டட்சன் நிறுவனம் டட்சன் ரெடி கோ கார்களுடன் 2 ஆண்டு/அன்லிமிடெட் கிலோமீட்டர் வழக்கமான வாரண்டியை கொண்டிருக்கும். கூடுதல் ஆப்சன்களாக 2 அல்லது 3 ஆண்டு/அன்லிமிடெட் கிலோ மீட்டர் எக்டேன்ட் செய்யப்பட்டிருக்கும். இதுமட்டுமின்றி ரோடுசைடு அசிஸ்டென்ட்களுடன் வழக்கமான மற்றும் எக்டேன்டட் வாரண்டிகளும் இலவசமாக கிடைக்கிறது.

                        2019 டட்சன் ரெடி கோ கார்கள் ஜப்பான் டிசைன் தத்துவத்துடன் ‘யுகான்’ என்று அழைக்கப்படுகிறது. பெரிய மனிதர்களுக்கான ஸ்டைல்களுடன் பெஸ்ட்-இன்-கிளாஸ் கிரவுண்ட் கிளியரன்ஸ்களாக 185 mm கொண்டதாக இருக்கும். இந்த கார்கள் ரூபி ரெட், லைம் கிரீன், ஒயிட், கிரே மற்றும் சில்வர் ஆகிய ஐந்து கலர்களில் கிடைக்கிறது.

                        ஸ்பெக்    0.8லி    1.0லி
                        நீளம் (mm)    3429    3429
                        அகலம் (mm)    1560    1560
                        உயரம் (mm)    1541    1541
                        வீல்பேஸ் (mm)    2348    2348
                        கிரவுண்ட் கிளியரன்ஸ் (mm)    185    185
                        திரும்பும் கோணம் (m)    4.7    4.7
                        புட் ஸ்பேஸ் (L)    222    222
                        இன்ஜின் டிஸ்பிளேஸ்மென்ட் (cc)    799    999
                        வகைகள்    D, A, T, S    S & AMT
                        எரிபொருள் செலவிடும் திறன்    22.7 Kmpl    22.5 Kmpl
                        எரிபொருள் வகை    கியோசோலைன்    கியோசோலைன்
                        அதிகபட்ச ஆற்றல் (Ps @ RPM)    54 @ 5678    68 @ 5500
                        அதிகபட்ச டார்க் (Nm @ RPM)    72 @ 4386    91 @ 4250
                        டட்சன் ரெடி கோ கார்கள் மாருதி சுசூகி ஆல்டோ மற்றும் ரெனால்ட் கிவிட் ஆகிய கார்ககளுக்கு போட்டியாக இருக்கும். மேற்குறிய கார்கள் முறையே 800cc மற்றும் 1000cc ஆப்சன்களுடன் இருக்கும். டட்சன் ரெடி கோ கார்களை தவிர்த்து டட்சன் இந்தியா நிறுவனம் கோ ஹெட்ச்பேக்களான ரெட்-கோ மற்றும் கோ+ எம்பிவி கார்களுடன் ஒருங்கிணைக்கப்பட்டுள்ளது. மேலும், இவை இந்தியாவில் குறைவான அளவுகளுடன் 5+2 சீட் ஆப்சன் கொண்ட காராக இருக்கும்.

                         

                      • சுசூகி மோட்டார் சைக்கிள் இந்தியா பிரைவேட் நிறுவனம், கிக்ஸர் எஸ்.எஃப் மோட்டோஜிபி எடிசன் பைக்களை இந்தியாவில் 1.10 லட்சம் ரூபாய் விலையில் விற்பனை செய்ய உள்ளது. (எக்ஸ் ஷோரூம் விலை டெல்லியில்). இந்த பைக்கள் ரேஸிங் ப்ளூ பாடி கலர் மற்றும் சுசூகி எசிஸ்டார் மோட்டோஜிபி குழுவால் கவரப்பட்ட கிராப்பிக்ஸ்களுடன் கிடைக்கிறது.

                        இந்த மோட்டார் சைக்கிள்களின் பக்கவாட்டில் ப்ளூ கலரில் சுசூகி எசிஸ்டார் என்று குறிப்பிடப்பட்டுள்ளது. மேலும் இந்த பைக்களில் அலாய் வீல்களுடன் நேர்த்தியான பின்ஸ்டிரிப்களுடன் இருக்கும். கலர் ஸ்கீமை தவிர்த்து இதில் எந்த மாற்றமும் செய்யப்படவில்லை.

                        2019 சுசூகி கிக்ஸர் எஸ்.எஃப் மோட்டோஜிபி எடிசன் பைக்கள் இரண்டு மாதங்களுக்கு முன்பு 1.09 லட்சம் ரூபாயில் மோட்டோ ஜிபி எடிசன்கள் வழக்கமான மாடல்களை விட 1,500 ரூபாய் அதிக விலை கொண்டதாக இருக்கும்.

                        சுசூகி மோட்டார் சைக்கிள் இந்தியா பிரைவேட் லிமிடெட் லிமிடெட் நிறுவன துணைத் தலைவர் தேவாஷிஷ் ஹண்டா பேசுகையில், சுசூகி கிக்ஸர் எஸ்.எஃப் மோட்டோஜிபி எடிசன் பைக்களை அறிமுகம் செய்வதில் மிகவும் மகிழ்ச்சி அடைகிறோம். இந்த பைக்களின் கலர்கள் கவர்ந்திழுக்கு வகையிலும், பேசன் மற்றும் ரேஸிங் ஸ்பிரிட்களுடன் கூடிய பரம்பரிய ஜிஎஸ்எக்ஸ்-ஆர் சீரிஸ் பைக்களால் கவரப்பட்டதாக டிசைன் செய்யப் பட்டதாக இருக்கும் என்றார்.

                        இதுகுறித்து மேலும் பேசிய அவர், இந்த பைக்கள் அதிக அவுட்புட்களுடன் குறைவான எரிபொருள் செலவிடும் திறன் கொண்டதாக இருக்கும். சுசூகி கிக்ஸர் எஸ்.எஃப் மோட்டோஜிபி எடிசன் பைக்களில் பயன்படுத்துவதற்கு எளிதாக இருக்கும் வகையில் டிசைன் செய்யப்பட்டுள்ளது என்றார்.

                        தொடர்ந்து பேசிய அவர், புதிய சுசூகி கிக்ஸர் எஸ்.எஃப் மோட்டோஜிபி எடிசன் அறிமுகம் செய்யப்பட்டது முதலே வாடிக்கையாளர்களிடம் அதிக வரவேற்பை பெற்றுள்ளது. குறிப்பாக இந்த பைக்களின் கலர் வாடிக்கையாளர்களை வெகுவாக கவர்ந்துள்ளது. இந்த பைக்களை இந்திய மார்க்கெட்டில் அறிமுகம் செய்வதில் மிகவும் மகிழ்ச்சி அடைகிறோம் என்றார்.

                        சுசூகி கிக்ஸர் எஸ்.எஃப் மோட்டோஜிபி எடிசன் பைக்கள் 155 cc, நான்கு ஸ்டிரோக், சிங்கிள் சிலிண்டர் எரிபொருள் இன்ஜெக்சன், ஏர்-கூல்டு SOHC இன்ஜின்களுடன் 14 bhp ஆற்றலில் 8,000 rpm-லும், பீக் டார்க்கான 14 Nm-ல் 6,000 rpm-லும் இயங்கும்.

                        இந்த பைக்களின் இன்ஜின் ஸ்பேசிபிகேசன் மற்றும் சைக்கிள் பார்ட்களில் எந்த மாற்றமும் செய்யப்படவில்லை. இந்த மோட்டார் சைக்கிள்களில் சிங்கிள் சேனல் ஏபிஎஸ்-கள், வழக்கமான பிட்டிங் செய்யப்பட்டிருக்கும். சுசூகி கிக்ஸர் எஸ்.எஃப் மோட்டோஜிபி எடிசன் பைக்கள், ஹீரோ எக்ஸ்ட்ரீம் 200 எஸ் பைக்களுக்கு போட்டியாக இருக்கும்.

                         

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                              Thumb david crosby remember my name

                              A.J. Eaton’s “David Crosby: Remember My Name” was one of the most acclaimed hits at Sundance this year, and I recall what a critic friend told me about the reaction to the film he saw there. “Millennials seemed to love it,” he said with a note of amazement in his voice.

                              His surprise was understandable. Viewers too young to remember the ‘60s have spent their lives so inundated with the mythology of that decade that it’s easy to imagine them reacting to any new evocation of it with a reflexive yawn and roll of the eyes. That “David Crosby: Remember My Name” proves to be such a notable exception to that rule owes, I think, to a felicitous paradox: While the documentary does conjure up the whole sex-drugs-rock ’n’ roll ethos of that fabled time with great flair and pungency, it also movingly probes the hazards and costs of the overindulgence and self-deceptions the era’s lures often entailed. In essence, it serves up the myth and a necessary corrective to it simultaneously.

                              That this blend comes across so powerfully on screen has a lot to do with David Crosby’s complicated charisma. I’ve been interested in—and in many cases, a fan of—Crosby’s work since the Byrds’ “Mr. Tambourine Man” first hit my teenage eardrums way back when. But if Crosby’s musical gifts were always clear enough, his personality was more muddled, a mix of charm and boorishness, cockiness and annoying self-infatuation. Onstage at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967, he embarrassed his fellow Byrds by haranguing the audience with a lengthy spiel about the assassination of President Kennedy. Not long after, Roger McGuinn and Chris Hillman fired him from the band because Crosby had become, as McGuinn put it, “insufferable.” (In another recent doc, “Echoes from the Canyon,” Crosby explains his firing by saying simply, with a rueful smile, “I was an asshole.”)

                              Eaton’s film, which might’ve been titled “The Asshole in Winter,” gives us a Crosby who in many ways is unreformed and unreconstructed, but also, in his late 70s, is reflective enough to be his own harshest critic. And whatever you think of the guy’s character, he is one helluva raconteur. The film is built on a series of interviews, some conducted by Eaton, others by producer Cameron Crowe, who was all of 16 when he first interviewed Crosby for Rolling Stone. These interviews, which were intended to be “brutally honest,” may be the best I’ve ever seen in a rock doc. Partly that’s due to how intelligent and incisive the questions are. But it’s also due to Crosby’s eloquence and willingness to bare his soul to the closest examination.

                              The son of cinematographer Floyd Crosby, whose credits include “Tabu” and “High Noon,” Crosby was Hollywood-centric from the get-go, and seemed ready for the rush of fame and pop-music innovation that erupted in Los Angeles following the Beatles’ arrival in 1964. Alongside contemporaries like the Beach Boys and the Mamas and the Papas, the Byrds turned out a series of distinctive, groundbreaking hit singles that made them cultural icons and wealthy celebrities in very short order. Crosby’s trademarks, established early on, were his pristine vocal harmonies and unusual guitar tunings.

                              Not long after his ejection from the Byrds, he was harmonizing one day with friend Stephen Stills, late of Buffalo Springfield, when a visitor from England, Graham Nash of the Hollies, arrived. What happened next became legend: The third time through the song they were singing, Nash added his high harmonies to the other two voices, and, as Crosby recalls, it took about 40 seconds for the three men to realize that they had hit musical gold.

                              Within months, Crosby, Stills and Nash had a smash debut album and, playing only their second live gig, were one of the hits of the Woodstock music festival. Some hailed them as America’s answer to the Beatles, but of course there was a big difference between the two groups: While the Beatles labored and bonded in early obscurity, CSN came out of the box labeled a “supergroup” and had the super-sized egos to prove it. Once Neil Young was added to the band, the stage was set for a decades-long drama in which strong friendships and creative collaborations were regularly interrupted by fights, recriminations and breakups.

                              The music, though, sometimes made the turmoil worth it. Our present White House occupant notwithstanding, I don’t think any public event has ever angered me as much as the killing of college students at Kent State in 1970, and hearing Young’s searing anthem “Ohio”—as Crosby angrily points at photos of soldiers who were not indicted for the slayings—again brought tears of rage to my eyes. The disc has been called the greatest protest record ever made.

                              To turn from the rock ’n’ roll to the sex and drugs, Crosby’s life contained such a superabundance of both that he probably deserves his own entry—make that two entries—in the Guinness Book of World Records. About his numerous hookups and affairs he sounds especially self-critical and regretful, saying that he was selfish and never loved well enough. At least Joni Mitchell, whom he discovered singing in a Miami bar and introduced to the music world, was able to give him a suitable comeuppance, by singing a song that announced their breakup. The woman who seems to preoccupy him most, though, was his girlfriend Christine Hinton, who was killed in a car crash at age 21, leaving Crosby with an emotional wound that still appears to haunt him.

                              As for the drugs: he did them, and they nearly did him in. The combination of heroin and cocaine made him a hopeless, helpless addict, a bind from which he was released only by a stint in prison in 1986. He supposedly has been clean since then, though his years of high living left him with a host of health problems: he’s had a liver transplant, has eight stents in his heart, etc. Though he now has a happy home life with longtime wife Jan and a bunch of dogs and horses, and recently has had a creative surge working with a group of young musicians, the shadow of mortality hangs over Crosby, and no doubt contributes to the sense in this film that his efforts to get at the truths of his life have a certain urgency to them.

                              There’s something a bit strange about this ultimately, though. From one angle, “David Crosby: Remember My Name” (the title nods to his great 1971 debut album If Only I Could Remember My Name) has the shape of a tale of redemption: Crosby comes to terms with his life and reconciles with those he’s wronged. But that’s not how it turns out. Near the end of the film, he reveals that none of the guys he’s been closest to creatively—Stills, Nash, Young and McGuinn—will speak to him, due to outrages he’s committed against them, some very recently. What outrages? That the film doesn’t tell us must be counted a flaw. (Those interested in this should consult David Browne’s excellent new book Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.) But it’s virtually the only flaw in a work that is otherwise an exemplary piece of documentary filmmaking.




                              Original: https://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/david-crosby-remember-my-name-2019
                              By: Godfrey Cheshire
                              Posted: July 18, 2019, 2:17 pm

                              • Bruce21

                                Summer season trip remains in full swing, and we're soaking up as much outside play time as possible. Parks, beaches, our backyard, patio and front yard have developed into canvases for my kids's play and creativity. I absolutely enjoy having the ability to provide a slew of walkway chalk or paint, and see them produce whatever they 'd like.

                                Simply the other day, while I was nursing the child, the house got extra peaceful. I came out to find an impromptu fort with my kids and their pals, laughing and playing below. Summertime actually is the essence of what childhood memories are made from.

                                Recently, our front lawn has actually ended up being a communal event spot. It's become a place to develop, play, envision and actualize. As the kids have been frequenting our front yard more, I have been taking triggers outside and watching their enjoyable unfold. These easy outdoor activities have been a source of a lot satisfaction, laughter, and joy!

                                Below is a list of our preferred basic outdoor kids activities that we have delighted in again and once again:

                                1. Water balloon T-Ball/ Baseball.

                                Depending upon your kid's capability level, grab either your t-ball set or simply a baseball bat. Pre-fill a lot of water balloons. Put them in a clothes hamper or plastic tub. Head to the park and welcome good friends to play!

                                2. Chalk challenge course.

                                All you need is chalk and some vision. For literate kids, write out an array of gross motor movements in a series, like you would hop scotch. For example: jump like a bunny x 3, hold tree posture on one side, walk on your hands and feet, get on one foot, hold tree pose on the other side, get on the opposite foot, twirl x 2, leap up and try touch the sky x 4.

                                3. Hula hoop race & catch.

                                This is such a basic activity for kids and it's SO fun. You will need multiple hula hoops. Head to an area with great deals of green space, and have the children line up. Holding the hula hoops vertically, roll them with as much force as you can along the ground. Call out each kid's name and have them run after the hoop to capture it. Each time they restore a hoop, throw another one! This is incredible hand-eye coordination practice.

                                Dad and child tossing football to each other

                                4. Sensory scavenger hunt.

                                Collect products you make sure to discover around the park (wood chips, dandelions, leaves, pebbles), attach them to a paper using tape, and have your kids search for those products!

                                5. Toy-made challenge course.

                                Grab hula hoops, a toy tunnel, cones, pylons, and anything else you can think of. Motivate your children to arrange the obstacle course in a fun and tough method.

                                6. Kitchen area utensil bubble wands.

                                Go through a kitchen drawer and gather slotted spoons, fly swatters, spatulas, and anything else that has holes to make bubbles. Make your own bubble solution and after that head out to see which utensil produces the best bubbles!

                                7. "Bake" mud pies and muffins.

                                All you need are some utensils, pans, and imagination.

                                8. Go-Karts.

                                The best way to have fun is to ride on go kart. Visit this popular blog to find a Go Kart for your kid.