• A Scanner Darkly

    D is despair, D is desertion, D is finally death, from the head down.

    This is a self-shaded (interpolated rotoscope) tale of psychosis, addiction, split personality disorder, heavy drugs, and conspiracy.

    This is the future? This is a thinker’s film and is stacked closely to my copy of Waking Life and Cypher.

    Bob Arctor is NARC agent; he is also a man slowly falling down the rabbit hole on substance D. A scanner sees all, clearly or darkly? This is only known to those who control the system – although does anybody really control the system? Bob Arctor works for the system but he becomes the subject to its own design. He loses himself and finds strange things, darks things and wondrous unexpected things.

    This is no happy film, it sheds light on our not so distant dark cultural underbelly, glimpses at the mental sewers of those addicted to substance D.

    ” Who am I? And what does a scanner see? Into the head, into the heart, does it see into me? Clearly or darkly? “

    Dark sci-fi by inspired Philip K. Dick’s work of the same name.


  • Ghost In The Machine

    ” There have always been ghosts in the machine, random segments of code grouped together to form unexpected protocols. Unanticipated these free radicals engender questions of free will, creativity, and even the nature of what we might call the soul. Why is it that when some robots are left in darkness they will seek out the light? Why is it that when robots are stored in an empty space they will group together rather than stand alone? How do we explain this behaviour? Random segments of code, or is it something more?

    When does the perceptual schematic become consciousness? When does the difference engine become the search for truth? When does the personality simulation become the bitter mote of the soul?

    – [Dr Lanning] I Robot (movie 2004) inspired by Isaac Asimov‘s short stories under the same name


  • The Fountain

    The Fountain 2006 – Directed by Darren Aronofsky (Pi, Requiem for a Dream).

    This is spirituality 101, life death and rebirth are told here in deep, evocative shades across three interwoven timelines that dance around the spirit. The film’s score (by Clint Mansell) is one of the finest pieces of music I have come across, its haunting meditative flavours are truly penetrating. I have often chosen the score prior to my meditation sessions, it massages the soul and quietens the mind.

    This is one of three favourite spiritual films (see also Tron Legacy, The Big Lebowsky and Winter Spring Summer Spring)

    The use of match-cuts and recurring visual motifs (merging separate scene time lines to tell the same story) is truly mesmerising. This film is intelligent and certainly needs (and deserves) several viewings. The way life, death, life and living, are told through the use of metaphor, metaphysics, meditation, and spirituality is truly humbling.

    The visuals and colours are rich and a treat when viewed in a darkened room with some candles, indeed many of the scenes are bathed in deep warm candle light. Like deep calm waters, the flow of this film is slow and offers no appeal for those seeking action – indeed what’s fundamental to this film is inaction – stopping and looking within, finding stillness and evoking deep contemplation.

    The acting in this is sublime, Hugh Jackman’s performance (as Dr Tom Creo) is the best I have seen – the emotions, despair, guilt, love and loss and ultimately enlightenment are real. The writing is beautifully told and delivered. It would be inappropriate to talk about character development because the very concept of this is what the film is about.

    As for what format makes best viewing I believe DVD gives the best experience, the Blu-Ray version seems overworked, the dynamic colour range is somewhat compressed to compensate for higher contract (the darks are too extreme), also the films score is dampened on Blu-Ray (in my opinion).

    My thinking-mans deep spiritual collection of films is now becoming quite extensive but this remains in my top three, and for the price of DvDs these days this is simply a bargain and something I believe everybody better for seeing sometime in their lives.

    Also reviewed by:

    unpacked thoughts – the ramblings of a grown boy

     


  • Emiliana Torrini

    After years of Enya, Eva Cassidy and Sinead Oconnor, sometime in 2001 I found my new female lead singer, her name Emiliana Torrini. Her first masterstroke to grace my ears – Gollum’s Song from Lord of The Rings – The Two Towers (which oddly enough does not appear in any of her albums – to my knowledge). Alluring and seductive, once she takes hold, hypnotism ensues. This is chillout 101 baby. Lyrics are beautifully crafted, her writing is something of daydreams and long nothings by the sea. Endlessly deep and expressive her vocals carry those mystical Icelandic tones. The voice of Emiliana Torrini is what I imagine my dream lover to sound as she whispers in my ear. She is an often unacknowledged treasure who has been in the industry for many years and is secretly responsible for many of the great chart-topping hits, having written many songs (cor how many times did I just say many – quite a few I think!)

     

    Favourite artist of 2006 Emiliana Torrini:

    Love in the Time of Science

    Fisherman’s Woman

    Me And Armini

    Tookah (new for 2013)

     

    Related Posts:

    Karine Polwart – – Rachel Sermanni – – Emily Maguire

  • Emily Maguire – Keep Walking

    I am not entirely sure how I discovered this artist, but I remember reading about her, there was a lovely story about her – living in a small wooden hut somewhere in the outback of Australia just in tranquillity writing songs and being at peace. It took me a long time to acquire this album and I have been unable to get her other albums (having only 2 or three), I found it hard to find her works in typical mass-music shops such as HMV and landed up purchasing through Amazon. It’s a melodic mixture of folky warmth, beautiful acoustics, and haunting emotive vocals.
    Other titles include:

    Emily Maguire – Keep Walking 2007 (featured)

    Emily Maguire – Stranger Place 2008

    Emily Maguire – Bird Inside A Cage 2013

     

    Related Posts:

    Emiliana Torrini – – Rachel Sermanni – – Karine Polwart

  • Featured Band 2014

    Half Moon Run

    – Dark Eyes album

    Sitting in my car ready to begin another uneventful day. My ears were greeted by a band named Half Moon Run – the track Full Circle. Without warning I was propelled down a rabbit hole of emotions and feelings. When a band can evoke spiritual stirrings, summon sympathy and shape a mood, I know I am onto a good thing. The band has an engrossing freshness, haunting and delightfully original and something entirely unexpected from typical chart radio one daytime airings. Suffice it to say that I was quick to “youtube” their works – subsequently resulting in my purchase of Dark Eyes album.

    Follow them on Twitter @halfmoonrun

    Follow them on Facebook