Monday, September 14, 2009

Not One Review, But Many

I can spend hours thinking of ways to review films, books, bands, etc., and I never succeed (at least by my own standards).  But I would feel bad if I did not share my joviality with my readers regarding some new film and music news.  Let's get to it, shall we?

First off, I rented the 2008 film "Hunger" starring Michael Fassbender.  It tells the story of Bobby Sands, a young member of the Provisional Irish Republican Army (the violent--some would call terrorist--IRA faction) who leads a hunger strike while imprisoned in the Maze prison in 1981.  The film is one of the best I've seen in recent years.  At 96 minutes long, the film features barely any dialogue, but is directed perfectly.  The most noteworthy scene is near the end in which Fassbender's character is conversing with a Catholic priest about his intent to hold the hunger strike.  The camera does not move, and it is a single 16-minute take.  The entire dialogue between the two is 22 minutes long.  As one of my friends so succinctly put it, "that's art."  Indeed, it is.

The trailer is here.

[Updated: I failed to mention the true brilliance of the film.  There is no established context to the prisoners.  We obviously know that they are in prison for violent acts, but this is never elaborated further.  I feel that the director was giving us the depiction of raw humanity; we can (and do) brutalize, murder, and torture each other.  And for what?  That is the question.]

In music news, I came across the new album--This Is What You Get--the Norwegian (electronic band) Flunk released back on May 11th.  The songs are okay, but I would at least recommend you give "Common Sense" a listen.  It has good lyrics mixed with a catchy bass beat.  On an interesting note, they also covered Radiohead's "Karma Police".  I have mixed feelings about it, but if you like electronic covers, you may enjoy it.

Lastly, I have seen the first six episodes of season one of AMC's Mad Men.  On this, too, I have mixed feelings.  I think I need to finish out the season and render my verdict at that time.  However, from what I have seen thus far, I think it is a superb show that grasps the reality of the advertising industry culture in 1960I appreciate how the characters are extremely dynamic.  One can empathize with a character one instanct, and hate him or her the next.  It illustrates the fact that there is no single way to define an individual.  We are too complex to categorize.  The show is now into its third season, so I need to catch up.

Enjoy Saturday Night Live's take on the show:

Along with Don Draper's Guide To Picking Up Women:

(Both videos are from the Huffington Post.)

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