Sunday, July 24, 2011

Lost in cultural translation...

Everybody must've seen this already but still, it's too good not to share. The background is that Dalai Lama was visiting Australia, but apparently not any pizza shop, and a Channel 10 interviewer decided to tell a joke...

Thursday, July 21, 2011


Perhaps Dear Reader still remembers the opening credits (above) created by Kyle Cooper for David Fincher's film Se7en? What a great sequence for a movie that not all who went to see it considered worth seeing. Somehow, though, the opening fits perfectly to that particular movie. Perhaps equally perfect to other things, too, like fronting what happened on the island of Utøya on Lake Tyrifjorden in Norway and to many other horrors that have happened between humans and will happen in the future, I’m sure.

Presumably, there is something in the human condition that makes us (all?) susceptible to committing such actions – and seeing a hint of menace, beauty or meaning in a sequence of pictures and use of noise or silence. Those two may even be related to each other?

But to stay on the subject... Perhaps the Reader is an aviation enthusiast like me, and would prefer the opening sequence of Stanley Kubrick's Dr Strangelove from 1964, where a B-52 Stratobomber is refuelled in air by a KC-135 Stratotanker. A beautifully designed sequence by Pablo Ferro, beautiful aircraft in a beautiful airborne ballet and such an ugly world that they depict and represent.

It would be difficult to tell which opening sequence would be the best of them all, at least for me, who seldom remembers much details of any film – but, rather, a foggy reconstruction of a story that may or may not resemble what the Director had in mind.

Perhaps the opening of Orson Welles’s Citizen Kane would be the best of them all like the whole movie. Although, it could be said in this millennium that the opening tastes not only great but also – what would the word be – formulaic, is that the word, but only because of the hundreds of films that have come after Citizen Kane. Just like any cliché tastes like a cliché, except when it was started and it tasted fresh and rich of meaning to the first tasters.

So let’s refer to the opening of Robert Mulligan's To Kill A Mockingbird (below) and call that the best of them all. In this clip the creator, Stephen Frankfurt, tells about opening sequence on YouTube. Harper Lee has said that the opening shows how "the film can have a life of its own as a work of art"