The Cinemologist

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Category Archives: Columns

Wayback Wednesday: Can an Alien be too Real?

Last weekend I did something I don’t do very often.  I actually went to the movies.  Older DVD’s are usually the genesis of my posts, so you’ll have to excuse me if this week’s post doesn’t follow the usual “Wayback Wednesday” M.O.  I promise to return to the regularly scheduled programming next week.  But this week, I went to the movies to see “Paul”.  I’ve been a fan of Simon Pegg for a while, and the trailer really got me excited.  So with a free weekend for a change, it was off to the multiplex I went.  There are plenty of places you can look if you want a review of the movie.  You will not find it here.  I will say that I enjoyed it, but that’s all.  My interest is the technology that brings the character of Paul to life and its widening effect on my enjoyment of movies.

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Wayback Wednesday: Never Mind This Bollocks

Back in high school, I was tasked with the reading of William Faulkner’s southern lit. masterpiece, “The Sound and the Fury”.  I don’t remember a great deal about the characters or the plot of said novel, but I do remember a discussion our class had related to the genesis of the novel’s name.  Faulkner pulled the title from one of the soliloquies in Macbeth.  To paraphrase…..

“Life….is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury signifying nothing”

The class discussion and this line in particular came to mind as I watched the 1986 Alex Cox directed biopic “Sid and Nancy” over the weekend.  Anyone that has seen the movie can identify the connection with the last half of the statement, but it’s the first half that I find the most interesting.  In our classroom discussion we talked a lot about point of view.  The novel jumps back and forth not just in time, but from narrator to narrator.  So it is our responsibility to keep up with who is telling us the story, and how their point of view influences what we are told, and what we are not.  This is a common literary device to engage the reader.  However, we often see films as a whole, without taking into account all the parts that make them up.  So how much does the perspective of a single person involved with a project, influence the overall work?  If the lives of Sid Vicious and Nancy Spungen really are “full of sound and fury signifying nothing,” as the movie I watched would indicate, then the idiot to blame in this case is certainly Alex Cox. Read more of this post