25 July 2011

Decoding The Shining

Last week, Flavorpill posted a ~20 video on their blog (in two parts) on the psychology behind the impossible set design of The Shining, created by a guy named Rob Ager.

I was fascinated, watched the whole way through, and found myself then reading the text version of the analysis, which is really, really long (currently at 21 chapters). It attempts to parse all of the subliminal messages, themes and symbolism that he thinks run rampant in the movie. Covered are child molestation, alcoholism, secret societies, duality, genocide, animals, cartoons, and a bunch of others. Everything is tied together in a pretty engrossing package. There were definitely times when I thought the author was reaching for straws (he even says, "Before we move on to the next chapter, if you’re not familiar with a lot of the conspiracy theories discussed here then you may well be jumping to a 'Rob’s a bit of a nutter' conclusion" at one point, which made me laugh). At other times, though, the analysis was pretty hard to argue with, which led to a new respect and interest in Stanley Kubrick that I've not had before (I admittedly don't really pay attention to directors). There are ties drawn to Kubrick's other movies, to the making-of documentary of The Shining and its role in the movie's symbolism, and even the dynamics between him and the actors on set.

I guess it's no surprise that I liked reading this thing: what got me into Art History many years ago was a museum tour that took me through some of the hidden meanings and imagery in Salvador Dalí's paintings. I really like the stories behind things – especially the ones that reveal stuff that is right in front of you and you don't consciously realize are there.


24 July 2011

Global English

This beautiful piece of art showed up at our office this week:

Global English

It is called Global English, by James Clar. In his words:
This piece is a reaction to countries such as the UAE where younger generations are exposed more to English language though work, school, and pop culture, and now favour English over their native Arabic.

Every language has rules that allow us to formulate thought and transfer that thought to other people. However, the structure and rules of each language makes certain ideas easier to express in one language as opposed to another. While a global communication medium is necessary, we need to explore what we gain from the use of English and what we lose from it. In this piece, the words 'global english' are phonetically spelled out in Arabic, forcing an Arabic speaker to speak in English.
I didn't know that James himself was the one installing it in our office until Josh sent an email around about the piece. I instantly hit the ceiling, starstruck; I've been a fan of his for a while. Most notably: The Rat Race and the New York Times 'T' Style Magazine logo. I ran over a second time and acted like a silly fan girl. Woops.

19 July 2011

Starkey - Lost In Space

I sadly don't usually read my GBH emails all the way through and click on every single link - it's usually more of a skimming for parties. But when I do click on every video and MP3, I'm rarely disappointed. GBH emails led me to this priceless gem a little while ago, and today was no different. When I started listening, I got into a very nostalgic, summer 2005 mood because it sounds a lot like Hide & Seek. Then the pace picks up a little and the visuals get more dreamy (space aesthetics are oddly present these days).

About halfway through, the thing explodes into a mass of heat and pressure and not being able to breathe. Picture post-rock meets electro. It's like getting rear ended by a car made of fire.

I'll stop typing now. Watch!

17 July 2011

Morvern Callar

A few months ago, Mike recommended a movie called Morvern Callar, based on my post on Drama/Mex. I finally got around to watching it last night, and he was right – excellent.

I won't give anything away, even though all of the synopses do. But I hadn't read a thing before watching it, and I like it much better that way. I was confused for a lot of the time, mostly in the "Now who is this new person/is there context I missed?" way, and also because my television set has lousy sound and the accents in the movie were quite heavy. But again, movies I could watch on mute. The movie brings out a bunch of feelings throughout, from a sense of urgency to a cold snap, carefree breeze and quiet dark.

Listening to the mix tape + cigarette

Getting the job done


No, no message.

The soundtrack is great, too. The theme song seemed to be The Mamas & The Papas' This is Dedicated to the One I Love (is that what it's called?), and it closed with this awesome Aphex Twin song --

So good. Watch it alone, if you decide to give it a shot.
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