WTF?!

How can I do this without spoiling anything?
Ok, let’s try this way, quick and easy…

WHO THE HELL WROTE THE WALKING DEAD 2×10 and 2×11?
GEORGE R. R. MARTIN?! 

I’m really shaken up. And definitely upset.

Please, let’s talk about it. 

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TV Newbies 2011/2012 – Four Suggestions

Homeland
This one is based on an israeli series called Hatufim (Prisoner of War) and it’s about the CIA agent Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes) who – long story short – believes that an American marine, who has been held captive by Al-Quaeda for 8 years, was turned by the enemy and is now a national threat. It is both a spy movie and a psychological thriller. Not only we are taken into the CIA investigation, we also see how the marine and his family deal with the sudden comeback. Also, we get to know Mathison and her weaknesses. So yes, it’s about terrorism and politics. But it is also about double face and human frailty. Overall, I think it is really well written and never banal. Suprising turning points end each episode, so you (or at least, I), cannot help but getting hooked. On Sundays on Showtime, right after our old friend Dexter.

Pan Am
Multi-strand narration about pilots and stewardesses working for the iconic airline Pan Am during the 60s. Lots of romance and drama… exactly what you expect on ABC right before Desperate Housewives. Is there anything better to watch on Sunday nights? Of course there is, on Showtime, on HBO and on AMC. Do I care about that? Nope, because I’m organized. So I can afford to be a silly romantic girl who watches soap-oper-ish series. Aside from sappy romance, anyway, what I love about this show is the historic background. 60s are so fascinating, so iconic. And sometimes, the stewardesses’ stories mingle with true events, like Kennedy’s visit in Berlin on 1963, or France occupation by the Nazis. Funny, light and easy. But worth watching. BTW, I really hope that it’s going to be renewed. Ratings were not that great, but I heard that DVRs are saving the day… Fingers crossed! PS: girlish moment: who is your favorite character? I LOVE Colette!

American Horror Story

I have to thank Fogs for this one. The story is about a haunted house. Do I need to say more? From here, you can picture all the creepy, scary, gory, even kinky stuff that comes to your mind. Sheer horror… Love it. I mean, the show has its flaws and it is definitely not the best horror thing ever. But until now is not boring and there’s lot of blood. The cast is first class: Dylan McDermott (and his perfectly shaped ass, on the pilot), Connie Britton (from Friday Night Lights), Dennis O’Hare (True Blood‘s beloved Russel Edgington) and oh-so-creepy Jessica Lange and Frances Conroy.  The direction is very disturbing. BTW, one of the creators is Brad Falchuck, from Nip/Tuck and Glee. Wednesdays on FX.

Once Upon a Time

What happens after Snow White and her prince get married? The Evil Queen/Wi

tch takes the fairy-tale world and all its inhabitants to… the real world. Right outside Boston, to be precise. And the baby Snow White and her prince had is Jennifer Morrison, House‘s Cameron. As usual, there’s a lot more going on in the series than in the plot I tried to summarize, but this should be enough to give you an idea. The pilot was aired last Sunday and, as it appears, it was a ratings success. I really enjoyed it… It’s kind of Enchanted-like, but darker. It’s actually early to say anything serious (I haven’t “liked” it on facebook yet!), but I hope that the producers are going to keep up the good work.

 

Black Swan (2010)

A great post by Fogs reminded me that there’s an awsome movie out there that should really make an appearance in my blog: Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan. But, since I already have a 8 pages long paper I wrote last year about this film, I thought… Why not? Don’t worry, I’m not going to copy and paste all the 8 pages. Let’s say that this is an edited edition for blogs. Enjoy!

Black Swan conveys disturbing feelings by blurring boundaries on three main levels: on the film genre, merging noir, musical, horror and drama; on the type of narration, eliminating any separation between dreams and reality; and on the characterʼs nature, putting together both the Femme Fatale and the Innocent Woman in just one character. The result is a nightmarish web in which the characters and the viewers are equally caught. But, unlike traditional noir, this time there is no one who can solve the mystery.[…][The opening scene/nightmare] foreshadows the entire movie, continually suspended between Ninaʼs will to be a perfect ballerina – a musicalʼs happy ending – and the “dark creatures” that haunts her, between (what is supposed to be) reality and what is not. Black Swanhas all of the elements to be a self-reflective musical: Ninaʼs desire to be a star, the relation with her choreographer, the rivalry with her colleague Lily (Mila Kunis), the music that suggests feelings and emotions and takes the characters – and us – into another dimension. But all of those elements are so contaminated by noir tropes – night setting, paranoia, violence, ambiguity, morbid sexuality – to the point of becoming the wicked version of themselves. It is the illusion of what could have been – and what we would have expected it to be – that creates a sense of general discomfort. The passage from the first sequence to Ninaʼs bedroom also foreshadows the constant shifting of the story from reality to dreams. As the movie goes on, boundaries between the two worlds get increasingly blurred. […] 

Throughout the whole movie, Ninaʼs double identity is emphasised by the use of mirrors. […] The psychoanalyst defines the “Ideal-I” as the young childʼs identification with his own image. This stage occurs before the babyʼs entrance into the language order and marks the recognition of the baby as an “I”, then establishing and “Imaginary Order” and characterizing the personʼs ego in all its structures, even after the subject enters into the symbolic order. According to Lacan, the “Imaginary Order” leads the human subject to create fantasy of both himself and an ideal object of desire. In fact, the “I” of he baby is defined as “Ideal” bacause it is an incomplete version of the self, a misrecognition that can be filled in by other peopleʼs images, mostly those we want to emulate ad we set up as a mirror for ourselves. So, the Real works in tension with the Imaginery and the Symbolic, which are inextricably intertwined. Applying this theory to Black Swan, we could say Nina needs to emulate Lily in order to become the Black Swan. Lily is Ninaʼs object of desire and, through her, she tries to plug a gap in her own way of being. But, in so doing, she creates a dark “Ideal-I” that she is not able to manage. In this context, reflective surfaces are placed everywhere in the movieʼs settings. Mirrors, of course, but also the stageʼs floor, subway windows and even water. But as we learn throughout the movie, they are also deceptive surface which seems to have their own perspective on the events. Actually, they do not reflect reality. They reflect Ninaʼs sick mind and inner ghosts. At the same time, we – as viewers – are forced to look at the events through two points of view: Ninaʼs perspective and the one of those reflective surfaces. And soon we realize that none of the two perspectives are reliable. Keeping this in mind, it is interesting to remark that all of the main characters are introduced to us through reflections: the first time we see the choreographer Thomas, is when Nina sees him reflected in a mirror of the rehearsing room. And the first time Nina sees Lily, is through the sliding door of a subway train. A posteriori, having finally understood that reflective surfaces should not be trusted, we start to question even the beginning, when everything seemed safe. As for mirrors, one good example is the one in Ninaʼs home, in front of which she uses to rehearse. The mirror is composed by three framed parts, each one supposed to reflect one side of the ballerina. When Nina dances in front of it, we can only see her reflection in the central part. But when she sits, two parts reflect her. At this point, we can see that, as a person, she is already ambiguous. As a dancer, instead, she is just “one” – the White Swan. The fact that mirrors reflects the way she is more than the way she appears, peaks in the final sequence (1:32:50 – 1:42:50). Nina has just danced the White Swan part, and now she is back to her dressing room in order to get ready to become her alter ego, the Black Swan. But in front of her mirror, she finds Lily, putting her make up on and ready to dance. At first, Nina sees Lilyʼs face only through the mirrorʼs reflection. But when the girl turns, and the two of them finally look at each other face to face, we find out that it is Nina herself who is in front of the mirror. It is at this point that (who is supposed to be) the real Nina fully embraces her dark side: she attacks the other one, pushing her into another mirror on the wall and smashing it. Then, taken away by a blind rage, she stabs the other Nina with a piece of glass, who soon turns out – again – to be Lily. What we have just seen in the mirror, is the projection of who Nina wants to be, her ideal “I”. By killing that ideal part of her, and by breaking the mirror, Nina finally embraces “the other” and ultimately becomes the Black Swan.

(From Paola Brembilla, “The Darkest Part of Noir – Black Swan and the Neo-Noir”, UCB 2011 – Film 108)

True Blood – Season 4

Let’s face it: we love vampires. We love vampires since Bram Stoker, Christopher Lee and Leslie Nielsen. We do not love Edward Cullen, but this is another matter since he’s clearly not a real vampire… He can walk outside at daylight and he sparkles, for god’s sake. But we got it, nowadays vampires needs to be cooler than an old and ugly Gary Oldman licking a razor blade or crawling the ceiling like Spider Man (Though I happen to enjoy it, every once in a while).

We thought we found a good compromise in True Blood. Handsome vampires that DO turn into ashes and bloody guts when walking outside at daytime. Seems fair enough. Plus, in the True Blood world, they do not have to hide anymore since they live among humans as a community/minority. So, their seemingly normal lives lead to seemingly normal behaviours, like having sex. Now, let’s be honest: we all watch True Blood because of the two things Twilight lacks: blood and sex. True Blood‘s vampire are hot sex machines, which mostly makes the series a sort of enjoyable and guilt-free soft-porn show. Now… What the hell happened?! I guess that if you’re reading this post, you have seen season 4. Well, let me check if I got this right:

– Jason is in love with Jessica… wtf?! Dear Alan Ball, Ryan is hot and dumb. If he quits fucking random women, we’ll have to listen to what he has to say. No good.

– We spent 80% of the season with a romantic, Bambi-like eyed Eric. Dear Alan Ball, we watch True Blood because of wicked, sexy, heartless, smart-ass Eric. Do you really think anyone cares about Bill and Sookie? Anna Paquin does not fit in Sookie’s shoes as much as she did not fit in X-Men’s Rogue shoes.  Bill wears eyeliner and he’s the closest thing we got to Edward Cullen. This season almost looked like a sitcom. At some point, I wouldn’t have been surprised to see Eric open Sookie’s door, yelling “Honey, I’m home!”.

– Suddenly, all the secondary characters got leading roles. Why? What happened? Eho cares about them? What’s with the fairy that raped Sheriff Andy? What’s with the panthers raping Jason? Seriously… What’s with that?!

– We got it, Alan, you tried to catch up with the season finale. The last five minutes, in fact, were absolutely mind-blowing. Also, you left us hoping that we finally got rid of Tara-pain-in-the-ass. Thank you. Thank you also for episode 4×11, when Eric rips the guy’s heart and drinks it using its aorta as a straw. But what about all the rest? Where was all the rest?

Dear Alan Ball, thanks for having a second thought on the Sookie-living-with-the-fairies thing. But also… Do you remember seasons 1 and 2? We do too. Did you love them? We did too. Unlike seasons 3 and 4. So please, do what you must and be a badass gain.