Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Cleansing bath

Baden Baden

                In her feature film debut writer/director Rachel Lang portraits young, reckless and aimless Ana, a 26 year old girl who steals a car from the company she works for to go to her grandmother in Strasbourg for a summer of big changes and decisions. Baden Baden unfolds its story as a series of many funny and some sad vignettes tied together by Ana's redecorating of her grandmother's bathroom, which stands as a metaphor for rebuilding her own life.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Is this love that I'm feelin'?

The Lobster

                Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos has made a name for himself with strange, absurd films, so it's not unexpected that The Lobster falls in the same category. The story is set in a dystopian world where all single people get sent to some sort of hotel where they have a limited number of days to find a partner or they'll be transformed in an animal of their choosing.

Friday, April 05, 2013

2 Become 1

Ursula K. Le Guin - The Left Hand of Darkness

                In the world Le Guin created everything is informed by a principle of duality. There are complementing nations of Karhide and Orgoreyn sharing a continent, both male and female are residing in each individual, there are even lines of a poem evidencing it: "Light is the left hand of darkness and darkness the right hand of light. Two are one, life and death, lying together like lovers in kemmer, like hands joined together, like the end and the way." This principle is disturbed by Genly Ai.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Land of the Free, Home of the Brave

Ray Bradbury - The Martian Chronicles

                Bradbury's The Martian Chronicles is a tale of conquest drawing many parallels with the invasion of America. Just as Europeans came to America and imposed their rules and customs nearly exterminating the natives in the process, so the humans came to Mars and did the same. The parallel is most obvious in "—And the Moon Be Still as Bright" where Spender talks of Cortes' destruction of the Aztec Empire and Cheroke shows empathy for the Martians because of his Cherokee ancestry.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Convergence of the Sexes

Charlotte Perkins Gilman - Herland

                There's an obvious feminist aspect to Herland, but it's just a frame for more universal ideas. The depiction of perfect society consisting only of women clearly strives to show they are no less capable than men, but rather than emphasizing female characteristics, Gilman creates a society in which they are toned down and concentrates on common human qualities. Terry's rant makes it evident: "They've neither the vices of men, nor the virtues of women — they're neuters!"