Cinema with Korean Roots

In keeping with reading about late 19th century Korean history I watched a movie about Empress Myseongseong called The Sword with No Name. The account is fictional and highly dramatized. I went into the film with no previous knowledge of the director or any of the actors, so I had no idea what to expect.

In a number of places the film fluctuated between scenes intended to build up a realistic atmosphere and CGI sword fights. The quality of the fight scenes demonstrated just how far computer graphics have come, and were breathtaking in their own right. Unfortunately it almost seemed like the director was nervous about filming normally choreographed duels. Immediately at the onset of the first confrontations between the hero and his nemesis, the medium shifted from regular camera work to computer generated effects. The stark contrast may very well have been intentional, but I was left wishing the director had used traditional methods to present some of the action.

The Sword with No Name did manage to create the atmosphere of an epic. The nationalistic treatment of the subject matter was magnified a great deal, but the degree to which it defined the movie is open to personal interpretation. The historical feelings surrounding Empress Myseongseong's assassination imparted a soda-pop patriotism reminiscent of Red Dawn's purpleganda, yet did not ruin the movie. The CGI fight sequences also threatened to impair the flick, but the romanticism of the fictional relationship between the queen and her defender managed to rescue it from the bin of deeper mediocrity.

When it was all said and done The Sword with No Name managed to remain a good way to forget about the real world for a while. The cinematography was very beautiful in a number of places. Su-Ae is a knockout, and Cho Seung-Woo fills the role of her gallant defender very well. Worth watching.

Notable Music

té is an excellent post-rock instrumental band from Japan. Their live shows are said to be phenomenal, but their recordings deliver a huge amount of energy. The sound is intense, with recurring wall-of-noise guitar soundscapes and intense drum work. They have some of the longest album and song titles around. It Is A Thought To Try To 'Sing' The Realistic Sound From The Deeply Resonated World and If that is what is being thought, liberated sound talks the depth of 'musical' world are the names of two of their albums. They've been around six years, but like a lot of great musicians from Japan they have not made great commercial strides in the United States. Here is the iTunes on It Is A Thought. If you like it, please try to support the band.

Also, the complete works of Richard D. James thoroughly exemplifies the current trend of modern musicians to hyper-productive and insanely prolific. He has released work as Aphex Twin, AFX, Polygon Window, Power Pill, Caustic Window, Gak, and a few other names. If for some strange reason you like music that pushes the envelope on the capabilities of electronic devices and you haven't heard James, then you really should. His music ranges from breakcore to noise to Gabber to acid beat, and from analog to deep house and straight techno. I recently listened to everything he ever did. I think I may eventually be okay again... one day. Here's the Amazon link on Chosen Lords, the best of the Analords series.

[I think the Analords Mediafire link was set to a blank space. Ah well. At least he can't be sore about the chances of someone stealing his music.]

Offhand Remarks

It could easily be said that few people want to read about the mundane flow of everyday life, but there are always exceptions to generalities. Something written to recreate that flow with a transcendant hyper-realism might gain attention and be considered enjoyable. Of course there really is no accounting for the tastes of everyone. Some people might even enjoy reading about an author who copes with chronic pain by manipulating the emotions of his readers with constructs of near reality. One just never knows.

Last week in Eunice was a normal, peaceful experience. There was a small, quiet, private party. Those in attendance would not have chracterized it as a wild event. With the exception of a reunited couple using a bedroom they did not realize contained an extra occupant in one corner, nothing extraordinary happened at all. There are those people in the world who may have enjoyed reading about long hours of silence during which an author read about current events and occasionally ate a pretzel and sipped cold water. The odds are against that sort of narration being noteworthy or enjoyable, however.

The goal of what appears here fluctuates over time. Ultimately this would be a failure if making an emotional impact no longer motivated the posts. The goal of the preceeding post was to project an atmosphere of fun and enjoyment without many of the trivialities of an average vacation, while at the same time make the fun seem extraordinary, yet steeped in triviality at the same time. Such a goal has become easier to accomplish over time.

Overlooking the Mississippi River from the fifth floor of the State Library of Louisana always helps put things in perspective for this author. Rowdy events perhaps should not be surreptitiously glorified, with an eye to the greater good of those who can still be influenced by random peripheral social discussion. To pretend that thinking or reading about a party that sounds slightly out of control gives more entertainment than about people eating tiny hunks of cheese and sipping wine is patently absurd. And so there it is.

To be honest, it feels really good to be healthy, responsible and mature. It doesn't hurt to have left behind, in real life, the vacuous pomp and circumstance surrounding alcohol and smoking. That doesn't mean it wasn't good while it seemed like the fun thing to do.

In further honesty, severe chronic pain will lead some people to take pain pills and self medicate, regardless of what anybody may think. This post goes to proving that the topic was not approcached flippantly. Certain members of the medical establishment believe it's better for former addicts to suffer through horrible pain than receive the medication that makes life bearable. Perhaps some cosmic realization will strike such people one day. Maybe one day they'll know what it feels like. Until then, c'est la vie.

Swamp [Updated]

Cruising down 190, westbound through Lottie and then into Krotz Springs, in the dark, cool Louisiana night, all the years of absence fell away. It was like there was nothing about swamp lore to be forgotten in the first place. There's simply not much out there but mist and rutting animals, some of them human. Nothing changed between the last time I was there and tonight. Well, almost nothing.

It never ceases to be amazing how the greens of the vegetation become so deep so fast, in April, they seem they could almost swallow a person. The bird calls and whistles rival the depth of the greenery for what natural feature simply must have the most human attention Unfortunately, anyone driving through the rural areas should probably keep their eyes peeled for speed traps, because such things are very lucrative in this part of the world.

[Appearance: It's been a long time since I actually looked at the blog page. The giant, orange crocheted god's eye caught me completely off guard. Yep, completely forgot about that, er, unfortunate picture.]

Baked Seizure

Had to annihilate Ambrosiac. Something about how it was legitimate sung poetry made me break out in hives and heave bile from my innards. It was desperately in need of a complete sound baking process. It's called Ambronesiac now. It sort of sticks to the ears like pine tree sap. What. LOL.

Cheerleaders and Dirty South Beats:
The weather in Baton Rouge has been beyond gorgeous. Every day has been like a little piece of paradise. Working on a tan had been extremely uneventful, until Saturday.

One of my companions in the gorgeous weather cranked up a few South Louisiana gangsta cd's yesterday, which coincided with the end of a cheerleading competition at the River Center two blocks away. There were many upset and flustered mothers escorting their cheerleading daughters to vehicles, let me tell you, and shortly thereafter about a 2 million percent increase in the number of police cruisers making my block. Ha. I have never before seen so many people interested in my tanning spot.

Curiously, despite being an outspoken advocate of equal rights for all men and women, of all kinds, I don't know any LGBT people. Support for lesbian and gay rights still makes a lot of people angry. I've taken public scorn for my views in the past, and again recently, and I don't intend to back down.

Considering some hardcore homophobes seem prone to violence, I feel it necessary to say I will defend myself in a big way. Don't try to make me a victim of your fears. I'm not the one.

I just chunked 25 pages of work, again. File 13 has seen a lot of activity lately. I kept the good parts. Sometimes writing makes me feel like a word vigilante. The words hurt me... they must prepare to be SMASHED! I've done well not to smash my keyboard into a million pieces over the years. I just have to keep telling myself, "It's not the keyboard's fault."

I'm dying to write about politics. It's so much easier than fiction. I'll probably start again soon. Late at night I start feeling the need to spew political satire like a cheap whore who swallowed one too many times without something to wash it down. Yep, that's how I feel about political writing. *____*

The sun awaits. I really got a good deal with the Latino skin complexion. I love the sun. Have a great Sunday afternoon!
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Related written works at Angelfire, Sex Symbols, Cymbals of Silence.Repent or Die