...gonna kick the darkness 'till it bleeds daylight... musings of a hungarian in texas

©2003 by Annamaria Kovacs. All contents of this blog are the property of the author. Use with written permission only.

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

I had a Birthday Party...

...in pink, to boot, on Saturday. Yes, I never had a real girly birthday party (they were not really big in the Happiest Barrack I am coming from, go figure...) so my husband and my bestest friend the Lizard Queen threw one for me with pink balloons, pink cake, pink streamers, strawberry-peach soda phosphates and floats (now that I know the difference between the two, I can die happy)--and, the most important addition to any birthday party, a lot of friends gathering around and having a good time. Thanks to all who came and made this a truly enjoyable way of getting a year older! Yay!

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

The new Riddick movie...

..is good, again, because it makes you think. It moves those little grey cells in your brain, forcing them to click into order, make connections with all kinds of historical, mythological, theological (yes), and cinematographic parallels. In this, it's a direct continuation of its prequel, Pitch Black, and is related to the oft misunderstod Underworld. It's also similar to these in that there are no black-and-white characters. There are no heroes, only protagonists--although one might argue that in Pitch Black there is a character who becomes a true hero at the end (no, not Riddick), and that there is one in the Chronicles... movie as well, even though he is not revealed as such until his final moments (and no, it's not Riddick again).

It's also similar to the aforementioned movies in its complete misunderstanding (or lack of understanding, to be exact) by all movie critics. And this saddens me. Are movie critics no longer required to read or have any kind of education? In the ex-commie Hungary I came from, I grew up on movie reviews that, despite their failings stemming from the limits of the regime they had to be written, carefully exploited all the connections of the back stories, the hidden metaphors, the grey-matter material of any cinematic experiment that went through the censors and got into the black screen. I am more than saddened by the fact that today's reviews lack this, almost completely. I am not going to throw spoilers out here regarding Riddick, but hello, Milton, hello, Dante, hello, Greek tragedies, hello, Shakespeare, hello, Flannery O'Connor (thanks to the Lizard Queen for pointing out the infernal comedy thread that connects the whole movie)...hello, Conan the Barbarian or Excalibur...this movie is a tresure house of themes, homages, analogies....And, besides all of these, there is an internally coherent backstory with a stunningly realized visual world.
I was again appalled by the reviewers' almost 100% inability to understand the plot--this is not rocket science, folks...just need to actually watch and listen and use your brain. And hey, there is Vin Diesel, not only as eye candy this time either (he was good in Pitch Black, surprisingly good, I must admit that I had huge prejudices that I dropped about 15 minutes into the movie)--and he brings out Riddick's development in this sequel strongly. There are some other fine performances in this one (Dame Judi Dench in particular)...so...I don't know. It all goes back to a favorite rant of my household we chewed upon several times: humanities education. It's something that is no longer required, or even encouraged. And as such, a huge part of our own past is inaccessible to many. There aren't so many dedicated teachers out there like my friend the Lizard Queen, who try to smuggle in a bit of WorldLit or WorldHist into their freshmen composition classes. And, thus, most young folks of the 21st century won't be able to understand the concepts of infernal comedy, know who lady Macbeth is, or why that image of Riddick at the very end of the movie is so chilling...
Rant off; The Bunny out; comments are more than welcome.

P.S: By the way- I agree with the Lizard Queen: there is a scene in the movie that really, really should be on everyone's Top 10 Favorite Movie Moments List. Actually, strike that. There are two. Again, I try not to do this with spoilers, but watch for An Animal Thing, and the unique use of a coffee cup and a sardine can opener.

Friday, June 04, 2004

It's Coming...

...that is, my birthday; so, shamelessly, as you can see on my sidebar, Dear Reader, I added my petite wishlist from amazon.com. It's not big, and contains other items besides books and music (Amazon is kinda expanded that way lately). Ya know, just in case someone was wondering...:-)

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Long Time Blogless...

...but, finally, sans bronchitis, which is, to quote the Husband "A Good Thing (tm)".

Memorial Day came and gone: we had seen many friends, and, due to two parties at the same time, missed dear Kashi's surprise birthday party...we hear it was a smashing success, though. Sunday we finally made it to Scarborough Faire, where it was really hot, had much Orange Delight, fruit sticks and bratwurst, walked our feet off in the scorching heat--in other words, the usual stuff one does at the Faire. Monday the Husband and I drove down to West, Texas to pick up kolaches and eat some Czech food.
On the way down, I subjected the poor man to an hour-long rant on the subject of the recently released movie "Troy" which I have not seen yet, I must 'fess, but about which I have heard many things--none of them good. Okay, the spearfight, I am told, is pretty decent. That, however, does not make me want to rush and see it. I will have to, though--otherwise I cannot rant publicly about someething I only know from second-hand descriptions. But it shall be painful, I know. Much painful. I was such a Greek mythology geek (and I still am at heart) that in first grade I made my schoolmates play gods and goddeses of Ancient Greece (in 1978, in Communist Hungary I might add with certain pride); and in freshman's camp I was carrying my battered copy of the Iliad to the amusement of many. So it is painful...but we shall see. Now, the question is: who'd be willing to see it with me?