Misogyny in Bladerunner?
Mar 2012 17

Bladerunner is my favourite film. By a mile.

But there is something that I’ve always found a little disturbing, and that’s its portrayal of women and their deaths.

The two female replicants, one a ‘pleasure model’, the other an erotic snake dancer, are hunted by Deckard throughout the film, as are their male counterparts Roy Batty and Leon Kowalski. However, where Leon’s death is quick and simple, and Roy’s is a glorious and dignified ‘fade out’, Zhora and Pris are both seen as excuses for a highly elaborate slowmo, ‘romantic’ death, lingered over, with neither wearing much in the way of clothing.

Undeniably, Zhora’s desperate lunge through plate glass shop window displays, surrounded by primary colour neon and fake snow is a beautifully constructed (and re-constructed for the Final Cut version) and shot scene. But is the bikini clad slow mo necessary? What does it add?

Zhora’s Death Scene

When Deckard tracks down Pris in the ruined building in which she’s been hiding out, there is a brief physical tussle before again, Deckard dispatches her with a couple of shots from his gun. Her thrashing and screaming is ended only by the second gunshot, which sends her body flying into the air, again in slowmo:

Pris’ Death Scene

I would change nothing about Bladerunner. But I do wonder on its comment about the worth of women, or the perception of them in the future. Heck, even the ‘love scene’ between Deckard and Rachel is a male-dominant scene in which Rachel ‘obeys’ Deckard’s commands to adore him.

Perhaps it’s got something to do with the era in which the film was made, a sign of the 80s more than anything else. But then Ridley has never chosen to change the elaborate images of his female replicants demises in the numerous updates of the movie.

Just saying, that’s all.

NP

Death Troopers
Mar 2012 16

This book has been out for over a year now and no one has optioned the film rights. I want someone to film this bad boy!  If you haven’t read it and you like zombies and Star Wars then buy it today.

Mar 2012 16

Great talk on creativity and the way modern society looks after its creative people.

Mar 2012 16

This made me smile so much I though my face would break.  A true Genius.

Tron Legacy Dancers
Mar 2012 16

Love this awesome dance routine from a group in Japan decked out in Tron Legacy gear.

Dance Routine

NP

When Columbo got ‘Lynched’
Mar 2012 15

As a genuine fan of Columbo, the original ‘daddy’ of the detective tv series, I have seen every episode. As is widely known, Columbo established a narrative based not on the whodunnit model, but the howdunnit model. Each episode starts with a murder being plotted, or at least the build up to an impulsive killing and the subsequent well thought out cover-up.

As soon as our crumpled, cigar smoking hero appears, squinting in the California sunlight, the game of cat and mouse begins. Which clues will he pick up on, where did the killer get it wrong? It’s a format of repetition, and hence why it was so successful.

However, one episode stands out from all the rest, a curio in the vault, that is such an oddity, it has to be highlighted. Episode 6 of series 5 (1976) titled ‘Last Salute to the Commodore’ is a bizarre addition to the Columbo collection. Directed by long time collaborator on the series, and star of iconic 60s series The Prisoner, Patrick McGoohan, it is almost unwatchable. And yet, for Columbo enthusiasts it’s a must, if for no better reason than seeing their favourite detective appear as he doesn’t in any other episode.

From his opening swivel in a porch doorway, to his rowing off on the ocean in a small boat, Falk plays Columbo as a kind of raving madman. He shouts and gesticulates his way through the episode as if possessed by some demonic drunkard, standing in bizarre poses and spewing crazy lines. The narrative flings open a new approach by cutting to a dead body with no sign of murder and flips things on their heads by asking us to revert to the whodunnit formula.

Every role in this episode is a caricature, mostly mumbling incoherent drunken lines to one another or giggling, or yelling. You’re never quite sure what’s happening as minutes are spent talking about inane facts that have nothing to do with the plot. The whole thing, if played straight in traditional Columbo style, would be done in 20 mins. This lasts another 70.

It’s not that the episode has no redeeming features, it does. I’m just not sure what they are. I can only describe it as Columbo as if David Lynch had got involved.

So here’s to ‘Last Salute to the Commodore’ a genuinely glorious, odd and almost unwatchable piece of 70s television.

See it.

last salute final scene

NP

20120318-112417.jpg

Mar 2012 15

So the Computer Graphics Group of Berlin have developed a throwable Panoramic Ball Camera, which also happens to be the name of the camera in question:

I’m sure it’s not the catchiest product name that you’ve ever heard, and I’m also sure that they’ll work on that. But it is definitely a great concept and very cleverly engineered. I have to confess that I can’t ever imagine using it more than once or twice if I ever got one though, so I am unsure of its long-term success. The company’s website is here, and they’re still trying to get things off the ground, so why not check it out and boost their numbers?

TA

Mar 2012 15

This must have taken ages to complete and how they didn’t get stopped by the old bill I will never know.

Mar 2012 15
Something refreshing before you take on the Deathstar?
Mar 2012 15

Gizmodo run a Gif of the day, and todays being Star Wars themed and this site clearly having massive Star Wars love I thought this would be a great little link for people to look upon!

http://gizmodo.com/5893344/gif-of-the-day-princess-leia-hands-luke-skywalker-a-cold-beer

 

Enjoy,
Ben

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