April 15, 2013 § Leave a comment
i heard about the latest miyazaki movie and having seen almost all of his works, i urged myself to go and watch from up on poppy hill. paddling my bike for twenty minutes under a light freezing rain to the movies, had a hot cider and proceed to the hall.
i saw the movie in japanese with subtitles which created an authentic feeling and at the same time made it more enjoyable, listening to the songs as a continuation of the script instead of an appendix to it.
my first reaction after the movie was finished was, “no magic?! no spirits?! no ghosts?!” and my first impression was “what a cheesy, mélange of bollywood-hollywood, teenage love story movie, it was!” so I was so disappointed, until afterwards, i thought to myself, “wait a minute, hayao was part of the production, it can’t be that shallow! and then i’ve had my uh-huh moment! i realized i lost those subliminal once in a while hints in the movie to the surface story because all the time i was waiting for some magic to happen!
one of the most prominent features that you could see throughout the whole anime was the japanese collectivistic society as well as the inherent giri (burden of obligation) culture, which is in a sense natural to the story; the mother leaving the whole family to go to america to study, the girl’s over-commitment to the household, and so on.
the other part of the animation that deserve some attention, was the part of debasement of philosophy against science — action against over-thinking. it also goes so far to comment that at least science is about action while philosophy is about stagnancy and waste of time. the coolness of science labs and students comparing to the abandoned philosophy shack, holding some old books and underpants, was a bit out of scale.
the nice scenery of the suburban life comparing to tokyo’s depressed and filthy streets. quiet and calm people of the country versus the hectic, tensed metropolitan crowd. and the main plot’s struggle between the modernist demolishers of the clubhouse and romanticist keepers of it that concluded in the victory of the latter, and the glorious and cheerful chanting of the triumph.
all in all, i guess it was an ok animation, maybe goro is better off making movies instead, or he should add some fantasy into his works. i wouldn’t recommend it, if you’re expecting a hayao anime though.
November 27, 2012 § Leave a comment
the age of reason by jean-paul sartre is what i consider a piece of lierature with all the glamours and nuances of a beautifully written one. it is one of the few books i’ve read that carries you through each character’s thoughts, feelings and lines of reasoning. the plot and story line is not the book’s forte, rather the way sartre developed its simple story into a book, which you don’t want to put down, is its excellence.
the book narrates a scholarly-styled life of a philosophy professor who tries to maintain what he defines freedom in his life, in spite of all the events and people that want to force him towards what sartre calls the age of reason. the age at which apparently you should start to be responsible and to care for your deeds as well as the life of people around you. it somehow sounds like a rite of passage, except that the protagonist never passes over. this book is the start of a trilogy called the roads to freedom, however so far the only freedom depicted was the professor’s perspective of it, or better to say his fear of responsibility and commitment. all the rest of the characters seem to have a tendency to intentionally escape this type of freedom.
it’s very hard to tell if sartre’s perspective is a reflection of his own mind or he is narrating a familiar story, for although he explains all the scenes, feelings, thoughts and actions very well, it doesn’t sound to be a real story.
i know sartre as a philosopher, an existentialist, however i recognize this book as just a well written novel and although it is very tempting to label it as an existentialist book, it doesn’t fit very well. in my opinion the concept of fiction/novel defies the fundamentals of existentialism. based on existentialism the story you are reading is not the same story the author wrote!
to conclude, i enjoyed the book and i look forward to reading the rest of the trilogy.
August 27, 2012 § Leave a comment
the curious incident of the dog in the night-time by mark haddon was very addictive and very easy to read. it didn’t have much to say in terms of story, plot, character development and morale, however it had the most brilliant writing style, which was the only reason i finished the book and was happy that i read it.
the book is about a boy with extreme case of autism and his stream of thoughts and feelings. reading the book, you realize that mark knows a lot about autistic children and if you don’t know anything about autism, like myself, all the reactions and behaviours seem to be defined and explained properly and based on an autistic-mind line of reasoning, however there are a few, which he forgets to connect to a cause, like the fact that he does not like to be touched, or his carrying around a swiss army knife, etc.
i doubt the book is very popular among the autistic people, as it sounds debasing and insulting at some points, but i’m pretty sure non-autistic people will enjoy it due to the new style and the fact that it opens a new perspective to the world which non-autistic people will never be able to comprehend.
the only message i’ve got from the book, and i doubt it was the message the author wanted to transfer, was that looking from the eyes of anybody and at the same time walking in their shoes, you will sure do what they were going to do at each moment, and understanding this gives you a world of happiness.
July 22, 2012 § Leave a comment
after i read kafka on the shore, i fell in love with murakami’s books. i finished one of his earlier and most praised novels, the wind-up bird chronicle, which now becomes my second favourite murakami book after kafka on the shore. you start reading the book delving into an ordinary life of an ordinary man. step by step new events and characters unravels and you are presented with a lot of quirky, out-of-this-world situations, and by the end of the book, you are confused as to which and who was real and what was not.
i love murakami’s style, as his books are very much life-like, at the same time full of supernatural events and characters. this quality rejuvenate and recuperate your sense of believing in fairy tales again, especially if you are too deep into the “real” mundane life’s curriculum. like your own book of life, there are various people and events introduced in this book that at first you do not understand the reason, but as you go forward and dive deeper while pondering upon their sheer existence, you seem to be able to connect the dots and unravel their purpose.
the reality of the book, which i call the superficial plot, contains a lot of sad stories happening in parallel, a family destruction, different detailed obscene plots of war and its side-effects, different gore murder/torture scenes, dysfunctional families, etc. and again like the real world you can see all those people are living their ordinary lives, without the need for your sympathy.
the name chosen for the book makes perfect sense. the wind-up bird is the bird that can be heard by only few characters throughout the book and the moment they heard it, was marked as the turning point of their life, like the epigraph of a new chapter. even the protagonist nickname mr. wind-up bird makes perfect sense as the book is all about his life’s junctures. it is as you are hearing the stories from the point of view of this bird.
this book is what i called an outstanding literature, one that you can easily relate, one that you can live and enjoy, even long after you finished it, and at the same time in my humble opinion is a perspective changer.
July 19, 2012 § Leave a comment
living the real life, working the real job, talking the real talk…this is what makes you explore the real valuables in the world
you will know it, when real life happens
the past few days i lived in my dreams.
i showered in the lake and dried up on warm flat stones.
i pumped the water from the lake to the house.
i slept watching the starts and listening to the calming sounds of the waves.
i woke up with the morning breeze and the sun shining on my face.
i drew things.
i read my book.
i helped with the sales at the giftshop.
i drank strawberry house wine.
i explored caves.
i got lost in the forest.
i cleaned the compost toilet after visitors left the island.
i stored food in the basement.
i watered the plants using pails from the lake.
i filtered my drinking water.
i danced in the sun and sang by the water.
i washed my clothes in the lake and let them air dry.
i talked to strangers and listened to their stories.
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April 8, 2012 § Leave a comment
extraordinary dance of colours, elevating orchestral traditional music, full bodied ecstatic content and a total harmonious feast of senses. as if there is no gravity to bound to the ground and there is no bone to limit the movements, the performers were dancing so smooth and gracefully that could mesmerize any living beings. exquisite costumes extended and complemented the flow of bodies.
the name shen yun means divine rhyme and according to ben freed it can be translated as the beauty of divine beings dancing, which relates to what you were witnessing during the show. shen yun dance performances were choreographed based on the 5000 years of chinese civilization, and were carried out chronologically.
founded in 2006 in new york, shen yun is associated with falun gong spiritual practice and throughout the performance there were a lot of hints of falun dafa practitioners being abused by the chinese communist government.
there were also solo music performances by chinese tenors and sopranos.
the show was a complete spectacle and is strongly recommended.
February 12, 2012 § Leave a comment
it’s been such a long time that i haven’t updated this blog, i have a few books open, and i can’t seem to finish any of them. “the plague” by albert camus, “wind, sand and stars” by antoine de saint exupery, “the nag hammadi scriptures”, “the power of now” by eckhart tolle and my favourite which i don’t want to finish it ever “the red book” by carl jung.
i have also seen a few good movies: david fincher’s “the girl with the dragon tattoo“, “garbage warrior” by oliver hodge, “samurai x: trust and betrayal” by kazuhiro furuhashi, and “australia” by baz luhrmann, and of course a few not so great ones.