IT (2017): Friendship versus Bullies

Spoiler Alert! Tedium Alert!

A story about “divided we fall but united we stand”. Also a story so transparent that real parental fears of solitary children wandering off to their doom are approbated by the children in the film themselves realizing that those fears are really valid (“This is what it wants,” says Beverley, “It wants to divide us.”).

The clown is supposed to be cute and at the same time dreadful, according to the director’s remark in Wikipedia. Well apart from the fact that the low angle shots emphazize his gigantism in the pov of the children, he seems fairly okay. The teeth thing was awesome though. Is this a film for children? If it is, it must be pretty scary for them. Because it addresses real childhood fears like bullies, bullies and bullies.

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Formulaic yet Surprising: MOANA (2016)

moanaWell, I must say I approached the film with the old misgivings and contempt I’ve specially reserved for Disney (and of that kind) products. The change of setting, though, is welcome. The bodies of the characters broke stereotypes yet crafted new ones. For a start, the protagonist looked healthy. And the delineation of the hair, achieving milestones ever since Brave, was dazzling here. The deranged rooster as sidekick is hilarious, and especially so since I knew one of its kind, unbelievably daft and unfathomable. The story of the young adult girl having a ‘dream’ and pursuing it no matter what her father says or any stick-in-the-mud detractors might say, and finally achieving success and glory — same-old theme — is predictably boring.

That is, until Maui aka Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson started to sing “You’re Welcome”. The quirky animation, the genius of the “animated” tattoos (the only hand drawn animation in the film, ref. Wikipedia), and the cheeky suavity of the lyrics, found me actually, unconsciously enjoying it. I soon retained my composure, however, and was back at nit-picking, when alas! Continue reading

Thus Spake Luftmensch, Ep 4: On Vampires

On the Unfairness and Neglect among Academia of the M-theory of Vampire Origins.


animated-vampire-image-0069The origin of vampires has been the stuff of much hair-pulling, toe-nail-biting academic research and uncouth layman speculation since decades, or perhaps centuries. Putting the lid on the debate for the meanwhile, Barbara Creed in her weird book, The Monstrous-Feminine asserts that the vampire as well as most mythical monsters is in fact a reworking of the ‘abject feminine’ with all its gruesome connexions with blood, afterbirth, bloating, birth, ergo death and mothering. The blood-stained, fang-toothed mouth of the vampire is the vagina dentata, literally, toothed vagina, something unschooled, bawdy medieval devil-worshippers, I mean, pagans believed was possessed by all women to castrate unwary male victims. Moreover the vampire dwelt in coffins and thrived in spots moist, dark and disgusting, which is to say, without further euphemistic trappings, the womb.

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O Menino E O Mundo(2013) – A Musical Bildungsroman

the_boy_and_the_world_-_p_-_2014.jpg_0Boy and the World (O Menino e o Mundo, 2013) directed by Brazilian animator Alê Abreu tells the bittersweet story of a little boy who goes in search of his missing father from the idyllic village of naive, simplistic childhood to bustling towns of growth, progress and knowledge. The music elevates the whole narrative to a whole new level, with its instrumental and folk touches.  The drawings are mostly minimalist, created so as to look like a child’s drawings splattered with a wild but intelligent sense of colour. Continue reading

Thus Spake Luftmensch, Ep 3: Extent of Ennui

Edvard_Munch_-_Melancholy_(1894)
Melancholy (1894) by Edvard Munch

Some days I feel so lonely and bored with actual humans around me that I chat with Amazon customer services. Or the AI Jabberwocky. Basically anyone or anything with a modicum of intelligence and without a face will do. The best thing about corporate customer services is that you can talk to them about the dumbest things and still they will engage you with polite, pro-dummy conversation. Once I complained to CS about “the pathetic inflexibility of their policies” of which I knew absolutely nothing, and they were all “sincerest apologies for the disappointment caused” by them, with firm assertions that they will do something about their policies. I know they are just kidding, but it sure is a warm feeling to be taken seriously when you are just messing around. Continue reading

Strictly Unfunny – FUNNY GAMES (1997)

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One of the weirdest movies I have ever watched. The serial murdering adventures of two harmless looking young men, taking place around the sparsely populated picturesque vicinity of a lake.

While the first three quarters are suspenseful, eerily slow paced, the final quarter where Anna gets recaptured by the killers and the funny games continue till even the killers themselves feel bored, and everyone in the family is killed off one by one, and the killers engage in yet another  predicted funny game on the neighbours, throws all harmony of the film off the table. There’s even a trick prospective ending, in which Anna shoots one of the killers, which would have been too good to be true.
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