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"Think of these three things: whence you came, where you are going, and to whom you must account"--Benjamin Franklin


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Monday, February 21, 2005

On Blazing a Trail, Tarantino, and "Equilibrium" (Christian Bale)

"Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail... " (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

Delusions -- indeed -- of grandeur are setting in, so stop me before I go too far;-))

point is I chanced upon my article on the deregulation thing on Club Ghana. It was for personal consumption! But hey, it's up there. What can u do? It's, I guess, stupid to assume that anything you post online will not find its way out of your intimate site, and outside the parameters of your "eccentric" or conservative world. It I sjust not possible that it will stay there untouched without the indefatigable google finding its way to it by way of its various spidering techniques:-)

Anyway, this revelation has come as an epiphany of sorts in the sense that I am fast beginning to realise I best watch what I write...clubgh Ghana has founf my site, and may visit it again. However, taking cognisance of this should not mean that I start affecting, or exaggerating, my life: it should quintessentially be about me, and my life--as solipsistic as that may sound:-(

Let me enlighten you a bit about that word. I remember it so vividly being used by a Guardian writer about Quentin Tarantino in 1998. WOuldja believe that a quick search in The Guardian's archive was unable to find it, but I found it!

here it is: the article from Guardian on Tarantino, which I would do good to just cull the first paragraph: "He always knew he'd have a place in history. He's arrogant, precious, pretentious and solipsistic. He's also a bit of a genius. Simon Hattenstone spoke to Quentin Tarantino

Blazing the trail
I am not quite sure that's what I want to do, but I must admit that it is one of the most profound quotations out there. It evokes a visceral desire {yes, my A-Level English literature training coming out rather in the wrong way!} to just to better and pust that EFFING envelope just a bit to make a difference...

I had an interesting weekend, to say the least. I am a new man for the second time. I crossed the line with a friend in a very intimate way, and am seeking to consolidate our friendship. It's a good thing I had always been attracted to her. thing is I never knew she found me attractive, too, so that is just a bit of a major boost in my confidence!

I wrote a rather rambling comment for a film with Christian Bale--"Equilibrium"--that I found profoundly interesting and yes, to borrow from my Dad's favourite word "existentialism". I didn't think I would feel it, but I do miss them, and it's been only a week plus a few days. I KNOW I won't be saying that when they arrive in two days from the Central region!:-))

anyway, here's the comment I wrote for IMDB:
============================================
Equilibrium (2002)
Breath-taking and captivating film..., 21 February 2005


*** This comment may contain spoilers ***

I caught the film from the part when Bale's character Preston runs towards the door and, in full speed, kills everyone in the room in a flash.

I fell in love.

With the film, that is. I couldn't get up to go and have my dinner! Point is, I haven't seen any of the films being referred to -- 1984, Fahrenheit 451, etc -- though I know of the authors behind them. Who can *not* know Orwell? or have heard of the oft-quoted "Matrix". I was never really a science-fiction buff, but having seen this, I may re-consider.

I cannot tell you how the beginning started (that itself is a bit of a paradox!) but all I can say that if you haven't seen this film, then you better go to an outlet and get a DVD of it.

The only words that I could mutter throughout the film was that it was an allegory. Pls let me explain. One dictionary definition of allegory is "a story which conveys a meaning different from the literal one".

I think that pretty much sums it up, though I must preface all that by saying, then again, most films carry a subtext that transcends the literal.

Christian Bale's acting was superb. Add to that the concatenation, or combination, of the fight sequences, which I though were original in their own ways from "The Matrix". The kung-fu styles and the artistic manner in which the fights were choreographed were downright sexy.

Yes, they exuded an originality that I personally didn't find in the Matrix. This film is in a class of its own, and that is why I think I have rambled incessantly.

Cutting to the chase, I would like to add that the idea that we could live in a world where we are devoid of emotion is scary. I don't think this will ever happen. That said, I thought the justification for killing people because they started to feel emotions was credible. In a world where values are tipped upside down, everything is acceptable. But, in so many ways, this film is not just about the future.

It doesn't reek so much of eschatological themes that predominate the oft-quoted "Matrix", "Gattica", to name but two...but more of the reality we are heading towards right here, right now in 2005.

How many of us are impassionate towards the picture of people starving in Africa, or disasters in parts of the world where, as Neville Chamberlain said (paraphrased)-- in 1938 to his UK constituents before the so-called "appeasement" towards Hitler over Czechoslovakia became entrenched in history--of a country we know little of?? How many times have we tried to intervene on someone's behalf when something bad is happening to them, or when someone is in trouble? Some may say we are already living "privatised" lives, and to that extent, we are slowly and surely becoming bereft of the emotions that so characterised life a long time before Reagan and Thatcher botched things up and brought the culture of profit over people as the most important element of human personality.

You could argue that there are elements of a post-911 world in here intermixed with fears of the "Nether" (wasn't that the name of the downtown that the clerics and their enforcers would go to to destroy "contraband"?), but the point is no film is written without the context of the reality of the day, and so if it is that, then it is small wonder.

what is wonderful, however, is the blend of reality, plus the possibility of a future that will never happen, including stunning visuals that help provoke thoughts of what being human is really about that counts.

You cannot watch this film without leaving it feeling something. In that sense, the director and the writers and the people who came up with the theme -- as unoriginal as it may or may not have been -- were successful.

Because in the end, we all felt something, and we were all provoked and thoroughly disturbed.

For me, that is the making of a successful film.

I give it an 8/10

==========================================
Wonder why it's still pending???

Off to lunch now. Press briefing at 3pm on our major conference coming up.

Laters,
E

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