How Victor Hugo Helped Create the Joker
Of course, no one in the film stands out more than Gwynplaine, played by the famous actor Conrad Veidt, formerly the star of the The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. Veidt portrayed Gwynplaine with a permanent distended grin that did not look so much like a deformity, as it did a violent madness, even in the scenes where he was simply being sad.
Being a comic book nerd, I guess I always assumed that it was common knowledge that the Joker was heavily visually inspired by The Man Who Laughs, but this is worth taking a look at if only to see just how creepy Conrad Veidt was in that movie.
Review: The Legacy of Luther Strode #4
In an effort to try to more regularly write stuff to fill in gaps between my comics, I thought I would do a quick review of a comic book I read this week that I thought was worth taking a closer look at. If you haven’t been reading Justin Jordon, Tradd Moore, and Felipe Sobreiro’s […][…]
Solar System May Have Nine Planets After All
Orbital calculations suggest that Planet Nine, if it exists, is about ten times the mass of Earth and swings an elliptical path around the Sun once every 10,000–20,000 years. It would never get closer than about 200 times the Earth–Sun distance, or 200 astronomical units (au). That range would put it far beyond Pluto, in the realm of icy bodies known as the Kuiper belt.
Sorry, Pluto, you’re still out.
On the Violence and Masculinity of ‘The Revenant’
The Revenant isn't full of plot twists, it isn't a Hollywood blockbuster and it won't conform to the comforting set of rules that you'd assume would be present with an Oscar-nominated film. Instead it's unapologetically violent, brutally realistic and above all, unbelievably beautiful to look at.
This is a pretty good article defending the violence in The Revenant. I mostly agree with it, but I do think there’s some valid criticism in calling the movie “masculine,” and not just because of the violence.
I saw The Revenant a couple weeks ago with my wife, Kelly, and we were both struck by just how brutal the movie was. Admittedly, violent movies aren’t exactly Kelly’s preference, and I’m pretty desensitized to such things. So it isn’t surprising that I really appreciated the film while Kelly did not. But thinking about it later on, I realized just how geared towards men the movie really was.
Though there isn’t a ton of dialog in the film to begin with, I don’t think a single word of english is spoken by a woman. In fact, there are only two female characters in the entire movie; and though they play fairly important roles, their screen time is minimal. Add this to the brutal violence, and it’s no wonder that some have called the movie “aggressively masculine.”
That isn’t to say the movie is bad; quite the contrary. I thought it was extremely well acted across the board and just incredibly beautifully shot. It also doesn’t mean that women can’t also appreciate the film. But it is a “masculine” movie, full of male characters acting aggressively. That’s just the nature of the story the filmmakers set out to tell.
I don’t think there should be any shame in admitting a movie isn’t for everyone. The Revenant certainly isn’t for everyone. My wife, for example; but also anyone who isn’t prepared for the movie’s unflinching brutality, be they a man or a woman. It’s obvious that The Revenant wasn’t made to appeal to the widest possible swath of people, and that’s OK.
Where the problem truly lies is Hollywood’s general target of appeal tends to skew heavily white and male. Taken on its own, The Revenant isn’t necessarily problematic itself, but rather part of a troubling tapestry of homogeneousness. So while it’s OK to appreciate The Revenant as a pretty great achievement in filmmaking, it’s also OK to point out its placement as part of a bigger problem. It’s a problem that won’t go away until everyone acknowledges that the problem even exists.
‘Venture Brothers’ Creators Say Goodbye to David Bowie
Doc Hammer: He’s more than a human being; he’s this thing that we’ve all had since childhood. None of us got to call him up and have lunch with him and stuff. And that hasn’t changed. That will never change. The music and what he did to style and our hearts is untouchable. There’s so much of David Bowie that lives in us that never goes away. I think his influence that is immortality. He lives in anybody who has a fucking idea about culture. At least we have that, and we always have that. He gave that to all of us.
My thoughts exactly. Rest in peace, Mr. Bowie.