‘The Fisherman and his Soul’ Part Five

‘The Fisherman and his Soul’ by Oscar Wilde

Part Five
And after the third year was over, the Soul came down to the shore of the sea, and called to the young Fisherman, and he rose out of the deep and said, ‘Why dost thou call to me?’
And the Soul answered, ‘Come nearer, that I may speak with thee, for I have seen marvellous things.’
So he came nearer, and couched in the shallow water, and leaned his head upon his hand and listened.
And the Soul said to him, ‘In a city that I know of there is an inn that standeth by a river. I sat there with sailors who drank of two different coloured wines, and ate bread made of barley, and little salt fish served in bay leaves with vinegar. And as we sat and made merry, there entered to us an old man bearing a leathern carpet and a lute that had two horns of amber. And when he had laid out the carpet on the floor, he struck with a quill on the wire strings of his lute, and a girl whose face was veiled ran in and began to dance before us. Her face was veiled with a veil of gauze, but her feet were naked. Naked were her feet, and they moved over the carpet like little white pigeons. Never have I seen anything so marvellous, and the city in which she dances is but a day’s journey from this place.’

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Batman Day. What you need to know.

Batman Day
Batman Day

Saturday is Batman Day. Maybe you didn’t know that.

Like Cheeseburger Day or National Bow Tie Day, Batman Day is not a highly recognized national holiday and it is questionable whether we should be setting up so many national or international days. Many of them seem more like publicity stunts designed to create business. The creation of business in itself is not bad, but we might hope for more inventive ways of creating business at the very least. Would it be too much to ask for better products and services rather than just better publicity?

But back to Batman Day. Batman is a service and a product and a great one. Most of the time, the character is a compelling and engaging product, so do we need a Batman Day? Probably not, but that shouldn’t stop us from celebrating. By celebrating I just mean enjoying the character in his various different forms. Let’s read a story, watch a film, play a game. You don’t have to buy anything, just get your Batman on.

Is there anything we need to know?

Some comic shops and libraries have signings. There are a couple of celebs you can go and see. Maybe some cosplay. A photo-op or two. You might to check local press for details or check out DC’s Batman Day activities.
Otherwise, put on your best Batman t-shirt and have a great Batman Day.

The Line-Up: Coherence

1416878686850Coherence: an important characteristic to have in any form of communication, but also the title of a film.

The cast is comprised of a group of vaguely recognizable actors, which is not completely accidental. The premise takes on a parallel universe, déjà-vu quality. The only exception to the cast might be Nicholas Brendon who used to have a reoccurring roll in the Buffy TV show. However, you might remember more recently from an alcoholic string of misdemeanors for trashing hotel rooms (hoteliers of the world beware) and most recently walked off Dr Phil. Even more interesting, did you know this guy had a twin brother? Kelly Donovan.

Back to the movie Coherence and to the guiding principle of Coherence which was not necessarily what the director was after having no actual script. Instead, the director/writer had a 12 page summary of characters and events and each day gave the actors a page of notes for their character only. More of a thought experiment than you might expect from your average film, especially as it would then lead to the movie having a more significant effect on the on the actors when they watched the film than the actual audience.

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‘The Fisherman and his Soul’ Part Four

‘The Fisherman and his Soul’ by Oscar Wilde

Part Four
And after the second year was over the Soul came down to the shore of the sea, and called to the young Fisherman, and he rose out of the deep and said, ‘Why dost thou call to me?’
And the Soul answered, ‘Come nearer that I may speak with thee, for I have seen marvellous things.’
So he came nearer, and couched in the shallow water, and leaned his head upon his hand and listened.
And the Soul said to him, ‘When I left thee, I turned my face to the South and journeyed. From the South cometh every thing that is precious. Six days I journeyed along the highways that lead to the city of Ashter, along the dusty red-dyed highways by which the pilgrims are wont to go did I journey, and on the morning of the seventh day I lifted up my eyes, and lo! the city lay at my feet, for it is in a valley.

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‘The Fisherman and his Soul’ Part Three

‘The Fisherman and his Soul’ by Oscar Wilde

Part Three
And after a year was over the Soul came down to the shore of the sea and called to the young Fisherman, and he rose out of the deep, and said, ‘Why dost thou call to me?’
And the Soul answered, ‘Come nearer, that I may speak with thee, for I have seen marvellous things.’
So he came nearer, and couched in the shallow water, and leaned his head upon his hand and listened.

And the Soul said to him, ‘When I left thee I turned my face to the East and journeyed. From the East cometh everything that is wise. Six days I journeyed, and on the morning of the seventh day I came to a hill that is in the country of the Tartars. I sat down under the shade of a tamarisk tree to shelter myself from the sun. The land was dry, and burnt up with the heat. The people went to and fro over the plain like flies crawling upon a disk of polished copper.

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Kaboom on the big screen: Flops, Disasters and Bombs

Everyone loves a disaster, except when you’ve paid fifteen bucks to sit in an uncomfortable room with too much trash on the floor and too many people eating too much popcorn. If you want to know the top ten box office bombs, check out Wikipedia, they even have the contentious box office revenue formula that means a film loses money if it takes in more money than it cost.
Unfortunately for films, the bottom line is the dollar sign. There are few other art forms when the revenue made is such an important sign of success or failure. It is only really films where profits are advertised so freely. Books can be bestsellers and music top of the charts without specific details of profits being advertised.
As a concept, the blockbuster throws millions of dollars at a movie with the expectation that a mere 25% profit will run into hundreds of millions of dollars. When that profit doesn’t appear we have some of the most interesting cultural and creative scenarios around. We have Disney disasters, good ideas poorly delivered, comic book catastrophes, Tarantino pet-projects and supernatural martial art KOs.

47 Ronin (2013)
A big budget supernatural martial arts film set in the time of the samurai starring Keanu Reeves. What is most interesting here is the box office fluctuations of Keanu Reeves. The year before 47 Ronin, Reeves starred in the smaller budget Man of Tai Chi which only took in a fifth of its budget. The next year, the budget of 47 Ronin was ten times Man of Tai Chi. The year after 47 Ronin, Reeves starred in John Wick. Obviously someone learned a lesson and with a budget a 10% the size of 47 Ronin and John Wick made double 47 Ronin.

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