Areas of vast silence

One of the functions of art is to give people the words to know their own experience. There are always areas of vast silence in any culture, and part of an artist’s job is to go into those areas and come back from the silence with something to say. It’s one reason why we read poetry, because poets can give us the words we need. When we read good poetry, we often say, ‘Yeah, that’s it. That’s how I feel.’

~ Ursula K. Le Guin

In the beginning, I watched 2001: A Space Odyssey — no, I’m not old enough to have seen it in the theater, thank you — and, in all honesty, I did not understand most of it. Later, I learned about the story, read the related books, etc.. I rewatched the movie and began a long period of wielding my understanding as a badge of pride. (“I understand 2001! Here, let me show it to you. Let me explain it to you.”) I eventually went on to learn to play the Blue Danube on the piano because the piece is so prominent and moving in the film.

… cross-fade …

Very recently, I saw a solar eclipse and I wished someone had queued up Also sprach Zarathustra — whose introduction, by the way, still gives me shivers. It would have been sublime to have had totality begin just as the creshendo strikes in the opening . . .

I digress.

Also sprach Zarathustra is a tone poem and after the eclipse — perhaps in search of that sublime moment missed — I took the time to listen to it in its entirety.

…and that led me to adjust my living room for optimal viewing
…to crank up the volume
…and to cue up 2001.

It was just as awe-inspiring as I recalled. Just as awe-inspiring as I’d hoped.

…and then I read this piece — from the perennianlly stellar Brain Pickings — about le Guin’s conception of art.

Something clicked and I gained a new appreciation for the film: “Yeah, that’s it. That’s how I feel.”

Preemptive: About the movie Tracers

Preemptive: To all my friends. Yes, I know about the movie “Tracers”. No, I have nothing nice to say about it. Imagine Hollywood used a generic formula to paste your favorite thing onto the big screen; Do you think you would enjoy it? Right. It pretty much highlights all the negative aspects of Parkour, and casts Parkour in a bad light. (That’s just my opinion of course.)

Star Wars machete order

Star_Wars_LogoShould you watch the Star Wars movies in numerical order, or released order? Neither – Use machete order: IV, V, II, III, VI

Rod Hilton’s, The Star Wars Saga: Introducing Machete Order:

There are two obvious options for watching the Star Wars saga.

  • Release Order – Watch the films in the order they came out, recreating your experience with the films for someone new to them.
  • Episode Order – Watch the films in the order George Lucas intends, starting with Episode I and going straight through to Episode VI

There are two critical flaws with both of these orders, unfortunately, that prevent either from being appropriate.

Turns out both of those options suck.

Numerical order, (as Lucas’ suggests,) wrecks the greatest movie reveal in history by spending 3 movies explaining it. And release order is also no good because… well… go. read. machete. order.

Seriously. I can’t do Rod’s article justice without quoting the whole thing.

Europa Report

IO9, from Europa Report: At Last, a Space Thriller Worth Taking Seriously:

The brilliance behind this no-nonsense approach is seen the second real problems occur. The first time you witness a member of Europa Ventures (this trip is privately funded) breakdown or let out a tiny yelp, it hits you. Hard. This is coupled by the fact that (almost) the whole movie is filmed from stationary cameras located inside the vessel.

I’m not a big fan of scary movies per se; Scary for scary’s sake? meh. But I do love me a suspenseful, scary space movie. Europa Report reminds me of Alien . . . <shudder>