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Friday, November 26th, 2010
4:01 pm - Let us call a spade a spade
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-11846906

This is one of the two current issues regarding censorship floating round my head these days and being insistent enough for me to want to blog about them. The other subject is the fact that "Call of Duty: Black Ops" was "flash-indexed" and may well become illegal to sell in Germany pretty soon* (and is already on difficult legal ground), which might well make mne want to write a longer post on the inanity of the German "moral authorities" and the idiocy that is the § 131 of German law.
However, I do not play a great deal of computer games and am not even certain if I have ever played any "Call of Duty"-game full stop, so maybe I should rather discuss things I know a lot about and feel directly affected by every day. (Even if several of the points that need to be made in terms of films also apply to the discussion of computer games).

Actually, my argument is terribly simple: The version of "A Serbian Film" that will appear on UK screens will be missing 4 minutes and 11 seconds of footage, which probably everybody will agree is a significant portion of a normal-length feature film. Why is this footage missing? Because somebody, who believes that they know better than you what is acceptable to you has decided that this material is unacceptable.
This has nothing to do with protecting the youth, as the film would be rated as (18) uncut as it is now, this is supposedly about keeping the moral and order of the country intact. And that's bullshit. The BBFC does not protect the moral fibre of the country and "A Serbian Film" is as little out to undermine what is right and proper as, say, "The Evil Dead" was 30 years ago. This is simply about the comfort level of the members of the BBFC and about their feeling of superiority.
Is "A serbian film" likely to shock viewers? Well, I consider myself a bit of a connoiseur of extreme films and judging by all I have read about the film, yes, I expect that I will be shocked if I ever get the chance to view the uncut version. But I know that and I expect that and, let's be honest here, I want that. Nobody is standing in front of rollercoasters, either, telling you that you cannot go on there because you might throw up after. You go on the rollercoaster because you want to feel your guts and its contents take a round-trip of your whole body, because it makes you feel exhilerated in a way the merry-go-round simply cannot and if you are sick in the process, that is the risk you take. Or not, if you decide that it looks too much for you. But you make that decision yourself and don't let it be made by somebody whose experiences with food, movement and rollercoasters might well be totally different from yours.

*I do realise that a lot of what I complain about here could easily be countered by "Well, there are ways to circumvent the law and get what you want through other channels.". That may be so, but somehow I feel that "Well, you can always turn to crime" is not a satisfying solution in any supposedly civilised society.

current mood: annoyed

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Thursday, November 25th, 2010
9:54 pm - Wise words from the departing
Peter Christopherson
27th of February 1955 - 24th of November 2010


Safe trip, Sleazy.

http://www.factmag.com/2010/11/25/throbbing-gristles-peter-sleazy-christopherson-dies-aged-55/
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QkeGkdxbwzk

current mood: sad

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Tuesday, October 12th, 2010
2:58 pm - MPAA Now Specifically Warning Viewers About ‘Male Nudity,’
I know that it's a long-running and often quoted joke but in moments like these I occasionally wonder whether there might not really be people who believe that looking at a penis for too long can turn a young and impressionable boy gay? :-/

http://nymag.com/daily/entertainment/2010/10/mpaa_now_specifically_warning.html

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Monday, September 13th, 2010
1:34 pm - Writer's Block: Do you want to know a secret?
How do you think personal relationships would change if people could read minds?


The world would be a screaming asylum. The closest thing to what we call "relationships" today would be sudden bouts of extreme violence and/or sex flaring up suddenly and unpredictably, literally in the time it takes you to have a thought.

current mood: pessimistic

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Thursday, September 9th, 2010
5:39 pm - Writer's Block: Homeward bound
How would you describe your dream home?


As designed by H.P. Lovecraft and David Lynch. With a breakfast room styled like the bridge of a Super Star Destroyer.

current mood: melancholy

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Friday, August 20th, 2010
9:43 pm - Mr. Demon Sultan, the pipes please
Happy birthday to you,
happy birthday to you,
happy birthday, H. P. Lovecraft,

F'taghn! IÄ! IÄ!

current mood: jubilant

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Thursday, August 19th, 2010
2:40 pm - This bull will not go down quietly
(link is to a german site but just click on the video and you will receive all the necessary information very visually)
http://www.spiegel.de/panorama/0,1518,712670,00.html

And that's another reason why live events still beat 3D-cinema.

current mood: melancholy

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Friday, July 2nd, 2010
10:42 am - Franz Josef S. wäre stolz
Die Bayern gehen wieder mal ihren eigenen Weg und sorgen dafür, daß die Schulnoten gut bleiben und den Schülern die "Ehrfurcht vor Gott" nicht abhanden kommt.

Weil Kritik an Fundamentalisten ja schon zuviel ist."

current mood: depressed

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Monday, June 28th, 2010
5:47 pm - Das war aber kein Profi
Lieber/Liebe... wer auch immer für die Übersetzung des "Predators"-Plakats verantwortlich war.

Wenn ich Dich/Euch jemals treffe, gibt's auf den Hinterkopf.
"This planet is a game reserve and they are the game" ist mit "Dieser Planet ist ein Spielfeld und sie sind das Spiel" nicht korrekt übersetzt. Wer war das? Ein Hauptschüler auf Praktikum?

http://www.film-zeit.de/xinclude/images.inc.php?size=big&picpath=./bilder_cnt/film/PREDATORS-21342.jpeg

current mood: annoyed

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Monday, June 21st, 2010
3:11 pm - Hellraiser musings
If asked outright and out of the blue, I would certainly claim to be a fan of the "Hellraiser"-films and while I felt fairly blasé about the news of "Friday the 13th" and "Halloween" being rebooted, I am actually quite curious to see how the "Hellraiser"-reboot will turn out if it ever sees the light of the screen.
However, then I actually rewatch one of the proper* films and am reminded about just how flawed they are. "Hellraiser" seems fairly dated and somehow caught inbetween being the creepy, somewhat kinky british film it started off as and the bigger american mainstream film it was turned into. In this case it might actually be interesting to see what a "Star Wars"-style remastering might turn the film into. Keep the stop-motion effects but clean them up a little, give the characters back their English voices and if you must keep Christopher Young's score, at least reinstate some of the Coil tracks written for the film or get Sleazy to write some more. This, however, is never going to happen and maybe it is for the best that way. Certainly, if it's just about production values, you do get these in "Hellbound", which I feel is a considerably more coherent film and certainly the best in the series. Again, it is not without flaws and does show its age (The blond girl always puts me in mind of "A Nightmare on Elm Street 4", and not in a good way.), but here you have a fairly good combination of shocks, effects and glimpses of a non-Christian mythology. Plus, you know, Kenneth Cranham and Clare Higgins.**
"Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth" then jumped the shark and made Pinhead the wisecracking Freddie-clone he should not be, while I reserve judgment on "Bloodlines" until they release the original version.

A factor that excited me about "The Hellbound Heart" and which I feel the movies lacked on the whole was the sense that a) the Cenobites may be cruel and relentless but they are never evil as such. Their special attentions should only be open to those who desire them enough to make the box open itself. Bringing "Hell to Earth" would really be a waste of their skills/good suffering. Frank really wanted to open that box as did Dr. Channard and thus the Order of the Gash attended to them, Maybe somebody's desire is strong and twisted enough to call them and set them onto somebody "innocent" but making them malevolent for their own sake fudges their appeal to me.
I can obviously understand why fairly mainstream american films would not feature a strong sense of sexual desire but by leaving this out, you do make the Cenobites*** a lot more generic and a lot less interesting than they deserve.

*Any "Hellraiser" that actually went on general release at the cinema. I enjoyed "Inferno" and "Hellseeker" but could not shake the feeling that they were actually interesting small films that had been rewritten to crowbar Pinhead and the Cenobites into the story.
** That's another thing last night's rewatching reminded me of: The first two "Hellraisers" (and "Hell on Earth" to an extent if in a more generic way) have very strong and self-determined female characters in a manner that horror is normally considered as lacking.
*** And while he is obviously very enigmatic, the Cenobites can do very well without Pinhead, just as the "Alien"-films can do without Ripley..

current mood: blah

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Wednesday, June 16th, 2010
3:26 pm - Bechdel and the City
Triggered by a listener's email to the "Mark Kermode Show" who suggested that one should be a little less harsh on "Sex and the City 2" on the grounds of it being one of the very rare current films with female leads, I wondered whether the film would actually stand up to the "Bechdel Test". And it would appear that it does.
http://bechdeltest.com/view/835/sex_and_the_city_2/

Not having seen the film myself, I had to rely on this website as well as the opinion of a friend who had but clearly there are conversations between the leads that are about something else than men. (At 150 minutes duration, I would have been more impressed if they really managed to talk about nothing else ;-) On the other hand, the test, though effective, is still fairly basic and passing it still does not make SATC2 anything but a piece of consumerist tripe.
In this context, it might be interesting to consider meta-meaning to dialogue, though. Is a conversation about shoes and dresses really just about fashion or is there a subtext about making the most of yourself, possibly in order to snag yourself the best possible man?

And is there another layer of sexism to all of this inasfar as even as a piece of consumerist tripe aimed at women and gay men, it is no worse than much of the usual Hollywood fare aimed at a hetero-male market, trying to get you to buy products or act a certain way in order to receive the attention of ladies that are "out of your league".

current mood: blah

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Thursday, May 20th, 2010
2:31 pm - Oddly specific
I have resisted the temptation to comment on the recent election in the UK in any major way so far as I have the feeling that I could not really make an informed comment on proceedings anyway. In my mind, I tend to draw parallels to the current German political landscape, which might well not be totally fair on the Brits. The Lib Dems seem to have become a really important force in this election, as well as the party that most people are hoping to make a difference in the years to come. I need to constantly remind myself not to face them with the scepticism I feel after their direct German counterpart, the FDP, has become to all accounts of purposes a sub-faction/bootlicker of the CDU/CSU (Conservatives). As for the Tories becoming the strongest party, I wasn't really surprised. Labour had a good long grasp onto power and after 12 years of doing a less-than-excellent job, it would appear only fair to give the other team a shot again. Yes, I am old enough to remember Thatcher and Major and no, I am not all that keen to see their party back in power but seeing that there really seems to be very little difference between the two major parties at the moment, why not see if maybe the Tories have changed a wee, wee bit and give them a chance? After all, what are they going to do? Invade somebody again?

current mood: annoyed

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Wednesday, May 5th, 2010
2:11 pm - Writer's Block: Cinqo de Mayo
Do you celebrate your country's independence? If so, how?


No. I'm from Germany. We're only allowed to celebrate other countries' independence from us. XP

current mood: crazy

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Friday, April 16th, 2010
5:11 pm - In relation to today's Writer's Block
Peeps,
if you think that mp3 is the way to make the CD obsolete, you really need to start listening to better music. That highly compressed, non-dynamic format may be all well and good for bland pop but if you want to get the most (and that means dynamic treble and bass) out of a piece of music, this simply will not do.
Metal, noise and the sorts of techno and rap I listen need that extra oomph!

current mood: preachy

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Friday, March 19th, 2010
11:15 am - Changing the game
I realise that it's a bit late but still: Was anybody actually surprised when James Cameron's "Avatar" turned out to be the biggest grossing film of all timeup to now? Considering that Mr. Cameron has been making a habit of making films that cost more than anybody else's and wind up making more money than anybody else's since 1991 (that little flick called "Terminator 2: Judgment Day") and considering that his last film on general release was "Titanic", it seemed like a bit of a no-brainer. Admittedly, there was a slight chance that sales would have reached the glass ceiling and just could not possibly be topped, but waiting for 12 years of inflation probably helped a bit, as did charging extra extra! for the longer film and the 3D glasses.
And that's the thing: James Cameron makes expensive films that in terms of production values kick the living shit out of any competition available and oftentimes do things that have not been done in movies before (CGI/Morphing in "The Abyss", CGI/Morphing 1.2 in "Terminator 2", CGI/3D in "Avatar", horse in elevator in "True Lies"), which leads to them making lots of money at the box office. Being able to do this consistently certainly is a skill but it hardly is the "game changer" that it has been touted as. Rather, James Cameron is one of the best players of the old game, and there is always an audience waiting to be razzle-dazzled.

current mood: indescribable

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Friday, March 12th, 2010
1:29 am - And while I'm on the subject....
If you feel that being gay is wrong because "well, it's not natural, I mean, you don't see any gay animals, do you?"....


....please....

take off all your clothes
never again drive a car
stop shaving
stop smoking
stop going to church, for that matter
quit your job
oh, and get off the fucking internet

My dog does none of these things and it's very natural.

current mood: preachy

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Friday, February 19th, 2010
3:21 pm - Jennifer Connelly's developing career (and other bits)
You could never get away with this in Germany. Ah, a woman wrote it. That's alright, then. ;-)

http://www.totalfilm.com/features/the-evolution-of-jennifer-connelly/

Why do we never see her in historic costume? "The Buccaneers" springs to mind.

current mood: tired

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Sunday, February 14th, 2010
1:49 pm - Writer's Block: Guess the love
What are the best and worst love songs of all time? Are there any that have special meaning to you (whether positive or negative)? Why?


Not a single fucking time.
And why should they?
Valentine's Day is in no way a communal or social thing. Even if you don't take the stance that VD is basically just a cheap trick to exploit the insecurities you might be having about your relationship in order to sell you cards, chocolates and semi-dead flowers, this is still not something you can or should wish to share with anybody besides your S.O.(s).
What would you want to express?

"Hey, I'm really happy. Oh, you're not? Well, I am. Happy VD!"
or
"I am so in love, so smitten I can hardly put it into words. Oh, you are, too? Well, that's nice. Let's chat some longer about how happy we both are and how neither of us can really share this experience by using clichés and pre-fabricated sentiments. It's the next best thing."

This is pointless, this is bullshit.
If you have a love, live that love with the appropriate people. But this is nothing that concerns anybody else.

current mood: aggravated

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Tuesday, December 8th, 2009
12:17 am - Halloween II: An open letter
Dear Rob Zombie,
I realise that you love, or at the very least are fascinated by, Charles Manson. I respect that and even applaud the fact that you have managed to slip allusions to Charley's Family into the vast mjority of your ouvre. Maybe I sniggered a bit when you turned Otis from your take on "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" into a Charley-clone for "The Devil's Rejects", but at least it did fit the overall tone of the film.
Giving Michael Myers a big, bushy beard and letting him run around without his mask on for large parts of the film, just so he resembles a huge Manson or possibly just a bigger you was a bit silly, though. And not really helped by the film being boring, predictable, unengaging and lacking killings either nasty or entertaining. And why does Michael grunt all of the sudden? (Surely what was scary about him was his sheer lack of emotion). And will Malcolm MacDowell really do any film for money?
Look, there are some pretty funky dream sequences in this film that remind the discerning viewer of the cool visual stuff you used to do for White Zombie and even "House of 1000 corpses". You are good at that, use that. Maybe even in a film about Charles Manson. But please stay away from Halloween in the future.
Considering it's supposed to be a reimagining, it is sad that it only gets interesting as soon as you use the original Carpenter-music in the sort of hommage to "Psycho" which I had hoped for within the first half hour. Following *that* thread might have made for a cool film.

No love,
Me

current mood: aggravated

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Monday, November 23rd, 2009
11:49 pm - One of my favourite jokes (karohemd is to blame)
The Armenian Radio was asked: "Is it true that comrade cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin won a car during a street fair in Moscow?"

The Armenian Radio answers: "Basically yes, but it was not in Moscow, rather in Kiev, and it was not his car, but his bike and it was not comrade cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, but comrade highschool teacher Gagarin and he did not win it, but it was stolen."

current mood: tired

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