"See how contented they look."Read More
It’s so hard to summarize all the impressions I’ve been having here over the last two days, but I’ll try. What I do notice more and more that I really enjoy exploring such a big city because there is so much to see and discover, but it also becomes more exhausting each day. I wouldn’t want to live here, as much as I like the city by now. It’s simply too much of everything and the bad parts would depress me soon.Read More
I noticed that looking at older songs is somewhat more interesting than current songs. The problem with current songs is that it is hard to find anything new to say, since most of them talk about the same things in the same way. Which is something I also notice when I look at songs from a particular year, like 1973, but that helps getting an idea for the feel of that time. Anyway, this time I was really struck how similar the themes found in the songs are and how well they fit into that period (and also fit to everything else I am looking at for this theme week). Let’s go!Read More
When I wrote about the Marysville School Shooting two weeks ago, I discovered this list on school shootings on Wikipedia and it fascinated me endlessly. I wasn’t sure why until I started doing research because I wanted to write more about this topic. It’s fascinating to see that while almost all of those incidents are reported in the news, it often isn’t more than the initial “someone has been shooting at a school” report, but rarely any follow-ups. So it’s very hard to learn what was behind those shootings, to read about motives or reactions. I guess that’s not surprising for our media that it is only interested in the shock value of such news and doesn't dare to dig deeper. Still, there are some follow-up articles and as I realized I might get obsessed with this topic because I endlessly wanted to look up everything, I decided to turn this into a series, focus on a couple of incidents and come back to that long, long list again (and again).
David Levithan’s Every Day has a central idea that is so simple and brilliant, that it’s hard to believe no one else has written that book already. It’s the story of A, who wakes up in a new body every day, for one day, since his (or her, there’s no definite gender) birth. He doesn’t get involved too much and just follows along the person’s normal routine until he jumps into the next person. That alone would make an interesting book. He’s sixteen when we meet him and just reading about him observing the people whose lives he joins is interesting enough. But then he falls in love for the first time, with a girl called Rhiannon and suddenly he has to live actively if he wants to enjoy this love. This is where the book becomes really interesting. It’s a really good book, well-written and with one of the best endings I could imagine because until the very end, it’s hard to see it coming. It plays with our expectations and I really enjoyed that. I try to keep it short because I do not want to spoil the book in any way, as I think it’s really worth reading.Read More
Whenever I watch a movie, I always think one thing at the end: Can I write about it here? When I had finished The Conjuring, the answer was a clear “No”. It’s a good horror film, less special than I had expected after hearing so much about it. It is scary at times and relentless at trying to scare you (and more effective than the incredibly similar Insidious), but there is not much that hasn’t been seen before. The camera work is creative (or inspired), using many techniques to surprise the viewer from long takes to Vertigo shots. There just aren’t many surprises in the script as the plot goes mostly where you’d expect it to be. That were my thoughts at the end and that was it. Then I read some reviews and stumbled upon Andrew O’Hehir’s review on Salon.com which calls the movie the “most effective right-wing Christian films of recent years” and parts of it “reprehensible and inexcusable bullshit.” What’s going on here?Read More
Vanishing Point feels like the quintessential 70s movie. “Wait, isn’t that Easy Rider?” Sure, you could argue that (even if it’s from 1969) and there are similarities, but viewed without competitors this movie screams and shouts, “I’m from the 70s!” I picked it randomly for a 70s movie and it fits my parameters perfectly. It shows a lot about its time and has some interesting if extremely strange ideas. It’s not necessarily a good movie unless you like a basically non-story about a driver who wants to bring a car to San Francisco, is chased by the police and makes many police cars crash, while also meeting all kinds of 70s tropes. I can see how it has the potential for a cult movie (which it seemingly is), but that doesn’t make it good. Unless you like to see cars drive off the road or crash into something.Read More
Within my project to watch any movie I’ve missed in the last 7 years (since I've become a teacher and time has become increasingly shorter), I started a new project for myself. Watching a random movie from a certain decade, that I haven’t seen yet, to see how far it represents its time. We start with my favourite decade: the 60s.Read More