Monday, October 23, 2017

 

10 years of work in Common, Jacques, Ivan, and Serban


THE RANTING BEAUTY OF RAVING MAD



The present has to be blown up (a famous film indeed) and the immediate surroundings in which we live have to be just discarded: back to Homo Sapiens in Africa some 150,000 years ago!


Dr. Jacques COULARDEAU
& Ivan Eve




Friday, October 20, 2017

 

Notre atout, notre trump card, c'est une crise cardiaque par apoplexie colérique


LES 2 SEULES FAÇONS D’ÊTRE SPIRITUEL DANS NOTRE SOCIÉTÉ DE FRUSTRÉS

Tout ce qu'on peut souhaiter savoir sur Michel Caubet, ou  Michel Caubet et l'écartèlement de la spiritualité



Versions alternatives
et

Il faudra plus que de l’humour, même noir ou chicano, pour se débarasser de ce poulpe


Pieuvre géante que seuls les « Travailleurs de la Mer » pourront éliminer

LE SPIRITUEL OU L’EXTENSION DE L’IMAGINAIRE

Dans le monde qui est le nôtre depuis l’an zéro où les eaux retrouvèrent le niveau normal d’après glaciation il faut savoir rendre – toujours – ce qui appartient à César à ce César lui-même, que ce soit une pièce de monnaie, une citation ou une fin brutale.
Et pour métisser l’Anglais qui dit « there is always a general who tries to outcaesar Caesar » et le Français qui prétend qu’il y a toujours quelqu’un qui « est plus royaliste que le roi » nous pourrions être spirituel et nous demander quel est ce césarien qui se veut plus radical que la dernière césarienne venue.
En ces temps de Brexit on ne pense plus à une seconde venue future qui pourrait nettoyer la planète mais bien plus à en revenir à un état de pureté et de grâce anciennes et délaissées – à jamais – dans la saleté et la crasse du passé qu’il me souvient. Le mythe des paradis perdus n’est peut-être pas très futé mais il est spirituellement rassurant pour les esprits qui n’ont pas d’empathie existentielle.
Il y a plus dans les mythes de la chute de Babylone et de la Tour de Babel que dans toutes les jérémiades des nostalgiques d’un temps béni qui n’a jamais existé ailleurs que dans leur esprit un tant soit peu racorni. Raison de plus quand le changement vital fait que le roi d’hier qui n’utilisait que son œil droit ou son œil gauche pour saisir la réalité expérientielle se trouve confronté à un prétendant qui sait lui se servir de ses deux yeux avec en plus des implants magnifiants.
Et pourtant ils ne nous font pas rire. Il faut une sérieuse dose de spiritualité de cirque pour voir les esbroufes d’un Trump ou d’une May comme des morceaux choisis de comédie et de farce, bien que ce soit d’effrayantes pitreries de hâbleurs tragiques qui avec leurs pantalonnades nous feront perdre nos culottes, petites ou grandes, avec bretelles, ceinturons ou jarretelles, qu’importe pourvu qu’on ait le string avec « garters » pour enfants gâtés.


Dr Jacques COULARDEAU

 

Philippe Jaroussky, tel Salomé, nous offre Handel sur un plat d'argent.


PHILIPPE JAROUSSKY – ARTASERSE – THE HANDEL ALBUM – 2017

Bien sûr que nous regretterons que ce ne soit pas des opéras complets, mais comme ces arias sont tirés d’opéras “moins connus” ces opéras ne sont pas montés, n’ont pas été produits, bref n’existent pas entiers et en plus s’ils l’ont été, ils ne l’ont pas nécessairement été avec Philippe Jaroussky.

Moi qui suis né dans une époque où les opéras de Haendel étaient plus qu’inconnu dans un pays qui avait perdu la tradition ancienne des contreténors, que d’ailleurs ce pays n’avait jamais eue après les castrati disparus au milieu du 18ème siècle. Nous étions portés en ces temps anciens par le ténor héroïque des Allemands et des Italiens, de Wagner et de Verdi, simplement couplé avec la soprano d’autant plus clairement définie que mezzo-soprano, alto et autres voix féminines légèrement plus basses renforçaient la suprématie féminine de la soprano.


Les Anglais avaient gardé la tradition des contreténors dans l’absolue désir d’avoir des chœurs d’hommes dans les universités et dans les églises. Ces chœurs d’hommes devaient avoir les voix les plus hautes pour équilibrer l’architecture du chant choral. Les jeunes garçons étaient aussi utilisés, toujours dans la tradition des chœurs de chanteurs masculins. Benjamin Britten après la deuxième guerre mondiale a souvent utilisé des chœurs de garçons pour ses opéras et ses compositions chorales. Mis à part les chœurs de jeunes garçons et ados dans la tradition ecclésiastique, les scènes continentales européennes avaient perdu ces voix hautes d’hommes.

Cela avait réduit le répertoire de Haendel qui utilisait deux, trois, voire quatre castrati dans ses opéras et autres compositions chorales. Haendel était ainsi réduit à sa musique instrumentale ou bien on donnait des versions réécrites pour des ténors ou pour des mezzo sopranos. Ainsi le Messie survécut-il à cette absurde censure artistique. Mais les Anglais ont eu le dernier mot car à partir des années 1960-1970 les contreténors anglais font leur apparition sur les scènes continentales, grâce entre autres en France à Jean Claude Malgoire qui utilisa souvent James Bowman. Je me souviens même d’un concert du Deller Consort avec Alfred Deller en 1964 ou 65 dans le foyer du Grand Théâtre de Bordeaux. Il est vrai aussi que certaines institutions de programmation et de production d’opéras, dont les festivals, jouèrent le jeu et programmèrent des œuvres qui n’avaient pour la plupart pas été jouées depuis deux siècles. Haendel renaquit de ses cendres de phénix.

Et vint enfin Philippe Jaroussky qui conquit une victoire de la musique dans son domaine du chant d’opéra en tant que contreténor. Il put alors dire que cette voix était enfin reconnue comme une voix à part entière et ce ne fut que justice. Mais on ignore encore trop de l’œuvre de Haendel, soit pas jouée du tout, ou jouée dans des réécritures iconoclastes.


C’est pourquoi cet album est probablement capital dans notre redécouverte de cette musique du 18ème siècle qui n’était pas que celle de Haendel, mais qui régnait sur l’entier de l’Europe qui utilisait les Castrati de façon très systématique, et nous pourrions parler de Mozart, bien que la Vienne de son temps n’étaient pas des plus créatrices. Heureusement qu’il y avait Dresde entre bien d’autres en Allemagne, sans parler bien sûr de l’Italie et du débat avec l’église qui semblait vouloir interdire ces castrati comme étant des êtres de perdition, diaboliques en quelque sorte, et bien sûr la France et l’Espagne ont aussi donnéleur contribution à cette forme d’art vocal.

Cet album donne une vision de Haendel que peu d’entre nous connaissons, et que Philippe Jaroussky en soit remercié. Des opéras inconnus, peu connus, jamais produits dans leur authenticité – autant bien sûr qu’un contreténor se rapproche d’un castrato mais ne saurait l’égaler – vont être découverts pour la première fois par ce choix d’arias de très grande qualité et d’une variété d’expression, de coloration et d’émotion qui montre combien cette voix de contreténor peut exprimer des facettes plus que multiples des passions humaines de l’amour à la haine, de la guerre à la jouissance paisible, de la tristesse à la joie, du recueillement à l’affliction.


Il est bien sûr que Philippe Jaroussky y est pour quelque chose car sa voix, la texture de cette voix, la coloration de ses intonations sont d’une très grande, peut-être immense variabilité, flexibilité, ondoyance et versatilité, cette voix est capable de passer d’un registre à un autre, d’un genre à un autre, et elle est surtout d’une profondeur sensorielle et sensuelle sans égal. On a là un artiste qui laissera sa marque sur notre monde et qu’on regrettera nostalgiquement si cette voix se tait un jour et vient à disparaître.


Dr. Jacques COULARDEAU

Thursday, October 19, 2017

 

Copyright and Fair Use, a reasonable union


Universal Copyright is indispensable in this global world



GUTENBERG AND FUST (and Schoeffer)

The sorry tale of Gutenberg and Fust: 1450-1457. How it all started and how printing was a business from the start and the books were just one asset among others of that business: the obvious “copyright” on the Gutenberg Bibles was not attached to Gutenberg, the inventor but to the machines, the fonts, the owner of these and the owner of the paper. All the rest was romanticism, though superbly fundamental for the existence and protection of cultural creativity, of creative intellectual property. Hereafter is that sorry story.

“When Gutenberg accepts a loan of 800 guilders in 1450 from Johann Fust, a rich burgher in Mainz, pledging his printing equipment as security, he is no doubt delighted to be able to continue his experiments in an exciting new craft. But the relationship is one which will bring him disaster. 
“In 1452 Gutenberg receives another 800 guilders from Fust, accepting him now as a partner in the business. And on the technical side, the business is going well. By 1455 printing is well underway of Gutenberg's ambitious Bible. When the first copies are ready, in 1456, funds will begin to flow into the business. Either this knowledge or perhaps a personal quarrel must lie behind Fust's action of 1455.
“Fust demands his money back, suing Gutenberg in 1455 for 2026 guilders - representing the loan plus accrued interest. In November a court finds in favor of Fust. Gutenberg loses all rights in his presses, his type, his premises and the sheets already printed of his Bible. Fust takes on the business with Peter Schoeffer, Gutenberg's foreman, in charge of the presses. 
“Fust and Schoeffer publish anonymously the superb 42-line Bible in 1456. History, with justice, refers to it as the Gutenberg Bible. But the magnificent Mainz Psalter of 1457, work on which must almost certainly have started before Gutenberg's removal, features the names of Fust and Schoeffer.
“Gutenberg is still in Mainz in 1457 but thereafter nothing is heard of him until 1465 when he is given a post in the court of the archbishop of Mainz. He dies in 1468. By then Fust too is dead, a victim perhaps of the plague on a bookselling trip to Paris in 1466. 
“Peter Schoeffer inherits the business and in 1467 marries Fust's daughter, Christina. He continues to run the Mainz presses, with considerable success, until his death in about 1502.”

That was the sorry story of the beginnings of printing and copyright. The word, the concept will be invented in England and it is only in the 18th century that the concept of Intellectual property will be devised and discussed for the first time in the House of Lords. And that was the beginning of the IP rights of authors. And still today in the world we do not have a uniform conception and protection of this Intellectual Property and of authors.




The 18-page synthetic presentation of both the Kindle 210 pages of personal notes, reviews, discussion and presentation of the documents available in free open access at academia.edu on one hand, and the said 550-page volume of documents on academia.edu on the other hand.

It contains the two introductions and the two Tables of Content of the two volumes and some illustrations on the very subject of Copyright, Fair Use and the Freedom of Expression.




Editions La Dondaine
8 rue de la Chaussée
63880 OLLIERGUES
(33)473955917

© Dr. Jacques COULARDEAU, 2017
The moral right of the author has been asserted
All rights reserved

Cover Illustration
© Annunzio Coulardeau & Jacques Coulardeau
The moral right of the authors has been asserted
All rights reserved


Product Details

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US$5.00 - €4.68 - £4.19



This volume only contains the author’s commentaries and personal opinions and presentations of the various documents. The documents themselves are mostly available on the Internet but you can access them all in one open access volume at






Tuesday, October 17, 2017

 

White Anti-gay Sex-obsessed Protestant


CONNIE CORCORAN WILSON – THE COLOR OF EVIL TRILOGY SERIES – 2017
REVIEW AND COMMENTARY
Dr. Jacques COULARDEAU


AN ALL-WHITE MIDWESTERN COMMUNITY
WHERE GAYNESS IS EXCLUSIVELY PEDOPHILE
AND LETHAL

Color Blindness is Evil White Supremacy
  

It is always fun to read a trilogy which in this case seems to have become an opportunistic trilogy, one volume after the other, so that even the third volume does not bring to submission, in a way or another, the very first Khaki or green-grey aura holder, Pogo the clown, of the very first chapter. He sure is in the epilogue of the third volume but he is not defeated though he was reduced from a main murderer and killer to a very banal ranter and raver. Not inoffensive but just ineffective and as impotent as chicken-fart.

These three short novels are for old teenagers and young adults for sure and they deal a lot with the relations of high school students with their parents, among themselves, at school, in the street, in sports, in the daytime or in the night, dreaming nightmares or experiencing wet dreams, desiring adventures or just running away from repulsive elements, but the Midwestern community they live in is not fully described, assessed, and that explains why there are only a few Latinos, legal or not, in one distant neighborhood, imported like chattel to work in the meat packaging factory. We are among white Americans practically all the time. No Blacks. No Hispanics to be really noted. Colorblind, but because there is no color to see. A vague historical background with the Vietnam war but that’s all and it is surprising for novels published under President Obama that the traumatic Iraq and Afghanistan never-ending wars are not mentioned, especially among young people in a high-school that must be visited by some military recruiting units or have a team of ROTC visiting the school to recruit some students for information and pre-enlisting at least, especially among seniors who are over 18 years old and plan to go to college.


[ . . . ]

Saturday, October 14, 2017

 

One case, essentially, in ten episodes: excellent unity


BOSCH – FIRST SEASON – 2014

This series is based on two crimes or two criminals and one victim for the first one and many victims for the second one.

The first one will manage to escape the police and any prosecution because of the twenty or so years that elapsed between the crime and the present possible prosecution, and other small technicalities. The murderer walks free out of custody.

The second one – and main one – is playing with the police, with Bosch himself to little by little makes it a personal chase, hunt and to attract Bosch into a place where he will be shot dead because of the gun he is pointing at the detective, though afterward the gun will be revealed as being empty, not loaded, hence harmless.


We actually know the end of both cases from the very start, at least if we know a little bit about American law and American justice. We must also know a little bit about profiling. A serial killer is finding his pleasure in his murders and in his escaping the police and justice, hence direct scrutiny though he enjoys media coverage. That’s the main difference with a mass murderer who wants his actions to be seen and himself to be seen and admired, or hated, it does not really matter which. So a serial killer who starts begging for being recognized and seen and who then enters a systematic and total chase and hunt, a sort of competition with the police or one particular individual in the police, has to be caught because he wants to be caught and he wants to be killed by the police because that’s true sacrifice that justifies his whole quest. He does not enjoy killing anymore but he enjoys the perspective of being killed by the police in his last stand against the world. He is a predator caught in his very last stand against the hunters who have been tracking him.

But this series is a little more complicated at other levels. We are in Los Angeles and this is one city that is crucial in modern times because it is a big microcosm that may explain the macrocosm of the USA.


First, we have the inner functioning of the police department of this city. The top chief of police is appointed by the mayor of Los Angeles, and this one is elected by the people. Hence the Chief of police or the one who wants to be the chief of police has better be on the side of the winning mayoral candidate. That reveals that such top jobs are politically dominated. This is in many ways a mistake but it is the way it works over there. Note it is slightly better than having the chief of police, or sheriff or marshal elected by the people since then it is populism and demagogy first with the majority “group” in the population, be it racial, sexual, economic or whatever.

Second, the inside functioning of this enormous machine is the very negation of any logic and reasonable conception of things. It is ambition everywhere. It is social climbing all the time. And on the other side it is constant menace and endangered defense on the side of the underlings and of course the constant attempt to just do what will satisfy the sharks on top who are constantly after you because in such a situation a “chief” can only work if he has an “enemy” in front of him or her. We are dealing here with a perverted hierarchical two-tier system: you are at the top or you are nothing since just plain under. And that works at all levels of this hierarchy.


Third, though this is more or less secondary, the justice system of the USA appears at this level of state justice, hence local justice and not federal justice, as being thoroughly perverted by some regulations that enables any judge to reject some evidence just on the basis of any technicality either in the nature of the evidence or in the police work that led to getting this evidence to the court. The second absolute dictatorship of this system is the compulsory jury in most criminal cases or even civil cases. Then the prosecutor or the defense counselor have to think twice before any question or act since they have to satisfy the jury and that comes with a fair amount of populism and flattery. That gives to the District Attorney an enormous power though he has to be elected and that requires a lot of ^popular flattery to the people and all juries come from these people and represents them.

You just add to this the particular divorced life of Bosch and the growing pains of a nearly fifteen-year-old daughter and you can imagine the mess of this Bosch in such a cesspool of a professional and family life.


The action then is just nicely dynamic and sufficiently violent to be slightly gut-gripping. Bosch as the son of a single mother who was a prostitute who was killed when he was twelve throwing him into foster care and other juvenile punishing institution with what he calls the “trunk” where rebellious incarcerated children were systematically beaten. That leads to the worst possible vision of humanity. We are dogs and in us, we have two different dogs. One is good, the other is bad. The one you feed in the end is the one who wins. And then Bosch can explain that he and the serial killing psychopath he is chasing since both were incarcerated in the same juvenile institution with the same trunk, they diverged in the end: he, the detective or police officer, chose the good dog; the serial killing psychopath chose the bad dog. That’s primitive thinking and a barbaric social vision. But that’s how Trump sees the world. I just wonder what is the trunk in which such binary, “bipolar” people have been locked up when young to produce such a caricature of life.

But that is in total agreement with the theme song of the series “Can’t Let Go” by the group Caught A Ghost.


Corn sugar and caffeine
I feel my body in two different places
Still playing for both teams
Sometimes it feels I was born with two faces

I feel the smoke climbing up my cheeks
I hear the jokes and I smell the punchlines
I lay broken in my bed for weeks
My room's too dark and my bed's on the fault line

I got a feeling that I can't let go
I got a feeling that I can't let go
I got a feeling that I can't let go
I got a feeling that I can't let go
I got a feeling that I can't let go
I got a feeling that I can't let go
I got a feeling that I can't let go
Can't let go

Sing a song about heartbreak
What do you know about the sweet taste of sadness?
I got a name for each one of my headaches
What do you know about the thin line to madness?


I need a new part with new lines
Anything if it's good for your head
You can donate your heart to science
But it won't bring you back from the dead

I got a feeling that I can't let go
I got a feeling that I can't let go
I got a feeling that I can't let go
I got a feeling that I can't let go
I got a feeling that I can't let go
I got a feeling that I can't let go
I got a feeling that I can't let go
Can't let go

You'll find the sweetness
You'll find the sweetness
Like me
Sweetness
Like me
Like me


Songwriters: Jesse O'Brien Nolan
Can't Let Go lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.
Caught A Ghost is an indie electro-soul band based in Los AngelesCalifornia; The band is a new project from Los Angeles singer, songwriter, and producer Jesse Nolan and kindergarten classmate Stephen Edelstein on drums. Their debut album, Human Nature, was released 1 April 2014.

That’s what happens when one is entirely dominated by if not enslaved to one’s own feelings, convictions, unthought and unthinkable deeper motivations that do not listen to any reason or reasonable and sensible elaboration but only to the gut feeling that is the basis of all racism, supremacy and supremacist behavior. Let such a person capture a majority of the electorate and you have a dictator in the making, a white tornado or hurricane building up in the community, in the country.

Dr. Jacques COULARDEAU



Wednesday, October 11, 2017

 

They are coming tonight from the other side of reality


STEPHEN KING – FRANK DARABONT – THE MIST – 2007

It is not a great masterpiece but it is a good film.

You will recognize all King’s main ideas. First, after a storm during the night, on the following day, all the damage is measured and checked and there is a lot. The main family, the father is an artist, have been severely impacted and they foresee some problem with the next door neighbor because one of his trees has destroyed their wooden pier on the lake. They discover then that from the other side of the lake a mist is rising. They nevertheless go to the town to get some groceries. The father and the son go and they take the next door neighbor who is black and whose car was destroyed by one of his trees. We will learn later on he is a New York Lawyer.

When they are in the store the mist arrives and something inside that mist attacks person and the store.


The film emphasizes a lot some reactions, particularly the reaction of a lady who is claiming she is the vessel of God. At first she is more or less disregarded, neglected even rejected, but after the first attacks or signs of the beast in the mist she will manage to make the majority of the customers in the store believe it is the punishing hand of God and she will manage to orient the anger of these people into a galvanized hatred of some individuals requiring some punishment, purification and then human sacrifice, and more particularly of a child, the only child in the store, the son of the artist. Stephen King has always been vocal against religious fundamentalists, but here Darabont seems to have increased the trait.

The second feature you will recognize is that this mist is caused by some extreme research of some armed forces close at hand in a base doing some research on the forms of life in parallel worlds and their attempt to open a window between our world and theirs. The storm was so violent that it disrupted the security and protection and the window became an open door and the mist brought along a whole set of some kinds of giant predators of insect or alien types. Flying insects, running and crawling insects, giant monstrosities in which many species are crossed from insect to octopus exhibiting the practice of the famous cinematographic Aliens that lay their eggs in living organisms that will die when the eggs hatch. That’s more or less added to Stephen King’s novella.


The third element is the systematic supremacist approach of many, most people in this crowd against the only black man, the only artist, all those who have witnessed the first attack in the back and pushed it away with one victim, a bag boy, who was dragged away. These supremacists just pretend this is irrational and absurd, a lie and a bad taste prank. It is not white supremacy that is dealt with here but the general state of mind of many people in a fearful and frightening situation: they look for the minority people around them and accuse them of being responsible for the problem. The worst supremacist in this crowd is, of course, the female guru and preacher announcing the apocalypse and reading the Book of Revelation. Anyone who is not on her side is against God and all those who are against God are responsible for the anger of God and have to be sacrificed, purified, etc.

This supremacist ideology is used by some to capture influence and power but it can only develop on the basis of some frustration and fear, mostly as a collective mood. This is marvelously developed and demonstrated in this film. Here again, it goes probably slightly farther than what I remember from the original novella.


But the main change is the end. In Stephen King’s novella, everything went back to normal in the morning, more or less, but here certainly not. The presence of military forces to recapture the territory by burning it all and rescuing the few survivors is in line with some Kingian elements but it is pushed farther than even what King does in The Stand. I won’t tell more about it: you have to discover it yourself.

The film is very good as for most of the special effects, even if some props seem to be a little bit cheap. The creatures are perfect and have so many designs and structures that they are in many ways effective, or would be with any younger audience. All animals that are despised and rejected by humans out of fear or disgust are used here, small and big. What do I say, big, giant of course is the proper word, out-worldly? Some are marvelously creative.


Entertaining and yet also dense with meaning. This film will entertain a moonless night of yours when a tempest has cut off power and the next door river or lake have submerged the ground floor of your house. Take refuge in the attic on the third level and use your satellite dish to get the film from the cloud and a small generator to get electricity. Be prepared in one word. Just build a four-yard-high translucid wall of some indestructible fiber all around your territory to keep undesired aliens out. And just have some kind of dome on top that can be raised when necessary. If you have one or two cubic meters of liquid oxygen, you will be able to survive more than a week.

In other words, VIVA LA MUERTE! But for people outside your tribe only.


Dr. Jacques COULARDEAU



 

When psychosis becomes manipulation


MICHAEL DOUGLAS – SEAN PENN – THE GAME – 1997

Do not try to reduce this film to only one meaning.

It is obviously a film centered on the relationship between an elder son and his father when the father commits suicide in front of the child’s eyes when he is 48 and the child is about six or eight. The case is made more complex with the fact that there is a younger son who the elder son took care of as his brother, which is natural, but in a way oppressive in the absence of the father. Even trickier is the fact that the elder son has taken over the family estate (and business), has been married but is divorced and lives alone on the estate with the housekeeper of long ago, of the time when he was a child, hence who has known his father, though she is either older than she looks, and hence too old to take care of such an estate, or she was very young at the time of the suicide and hence cannot really remember much about the father. That connection to the past is rather loose since Ilsa should be at the least 20 at the time of the suicide and should have been hired when she was eighteen. But that is young for a servant who is now the housekeeper and has been for a long time. Otherwise forty years later she should be at retiring age and should have entered that service when she was rather 25 or 28.


The second element is the rivalry between two brothers in the absence of the father who spectacularly stepped out of life. Then the whole shebang being devised by the younger brother, it is a very perverse way for him to remind his elder brother whose forty-eighth birthday is celebrated today that their father committed suicide on exactly the same occasion by jumping from the top of a high chimney onto the flagstones of a terrace behind the family estate. Perverse and morbid if not even worse than morbid. With a suicide note supposedly signed by the elder son, Nicholas or Nick, saying “Like my father before me, I choose eternal sleep.” Note this suicide note is slightly bizarre because of the present tense directed at Nicholas himself in the game. But it is supposed to be read after the death of the suicidee, and that is hyper important for the suicidee who would use the preterit, the past if you prefer, because he is before committing his suicide projecting himself mentally into what is going to happen after his suicide is in the past. And in the past, it would even be worse because the effect would be multiplied on Nicholas since it might mean for Nicholas in the game he is dead. This rivalry is enacted to the very end of the game: harsh confrontation of the two brothers in the night in some San Francisco street stairs; the “accidental” killing of Conrad, the younger brother, by Nicholas on the roof of the skyscraper from which he is going to jump (or he would have been thrown over by one actor, if he had not jumped by himself), reenacting his father’s own suicide; and the new confrontation of the two after Conrad’s rebirth, resurrection and Nicholas great fall like some Humpty Dumpty. The last touch on the two brothers will be some kind of reconciliation when Nicholas suggests sharing the bill and Conrad accepts.


So far that is banal and that would only make a good psychological melodrama, a drama with a good ending. But it is so much more.

First, it is a game but the game is played in the real world with real means and with as little visible cheating as possible. All the bullets have been changed to blanks, though the gun Nicholas uses is from the “To Kill a Mockingbird” copy hiding a very powerful handgun (at the top of the library in the family estate), and at the end the actress playing Christine will have to convince Nicholas that his gun has real bullets whereas all the other guns used in the game only had blanks. This is slightly hard to believe for us because the shooting of a gun from the game punctures a tire in one of the chasing episodes, and the machine guns, or so, used by the CRS posse when they try to neutralize him when he gets berserk at Christine’s do make many holes in the setting. Of course, it is nothing but a cinema scene, so everything is fake but in the film, it is a real situation that probably explains the price of the game because of all the hundreds of bullets holes that have to be exploded artificially to make Nicholas believe the CRS agents are using real bullets. We, of course, can see the treachery at every corner in that labyrinthine plot, but Nicholas is not supposed to see it though at times it is slightly too obvious. Some scenes are even comical and emphasized as such by some comment from Nicholas like “Dinner for two, please” when Christine and Nicholas emerge from the two dumpsters behind a Chinese restaurant. As some would say, too good to be true.


Second, we are projected into a world where crazy adventures can happen virtually but as if they were real. The film is a metaphor for virtual reality and games in that virtual world, virtual reality games that are so true that we believe they are real life. What is surprising is that several times, often to save their skins, some actors reveal it is a game, to the point that Nicholas believes it and wants to step out, to pull the curtain, to stop the game. And he discovers he cannot, and he also discovers the actors who have revealed it is a game are still in the game and still working for it, even when they are supposed to be in their own private life. An effort is even made to prove to Nicholas the main CRS man, Jim Feingold, is a simple family man with children visiting the zoo. A metaphor that could mean in the future (of the film as well as our own future) reality will be a blend of virtual reality and real reality and the divide between the two could be difficult to capture all the time.

Beyond this idea of a metaphor it could also be considered as a real description of the mind of a person involved in some kind of psychotic episode (I will not say schizophrenia because psychiatrists are finally realizing schizophrenia does not exist and is only an extreme form of psychosis) when the real reality of his/her experience cannot be easily disentangled from the virtual reality of his/her second personality, the two sides of this split personality not being clearly separated and distinguishable for the subject him/herself. And a few times Nicholas thinks he is getting “crazy” and some of the characters, like his lawyer, Sam Sutherland, plays the game by insisting on his having to be worried or not, or the clerk at the hotel who plays surprised when Nicholas does not remember the night before there, though he did not come to that hotel on the night before. Why on earth do they have his credit card at the reception counter?


The fourth approach is what some people insisted upon: it is a demonstration of how easily we can be manipulated by people; organizations, criminal or not, political or not; social networks or other “neutral” organizations of the type; not to speak of the media and the manipulators of the media, politicians, advertisers, and other gurus or preachers who want to influence the people into believing this or that, into doing this or that. The film, of course, shows that such a game requires hundreds of people being hired to play the game in very simple and ordinary structures, including the police and other security institutions, lawyers and businessmen or businesswomen. If we push aside this “game” concept and just consider the “manipulation” we can say this film reveals how easy it is to make someone believe in anything at any time with some immediate reactions from these people who are being manipulated, reactions that can be irreversible or quasi-irreversible. It is such manipulations that enable some political organizations to become powerful in spite of the unethical arguments they use in the shape of fear and anger. It is through such channels that racism, white supremacy, sexism, genderism and many other ideologies targeting a certain type of people they want to be ostracized and segregated against manage to make their opinions valid.


Consider the case of Catalonia where only 40% or so of the people voted in an illegal referendum giving a majority, but if we consider that all those who would have voted no decided not to vote at all since the vote was illegal, 95% of 40% is only about 38% of the population. Even if we consider a 20% abstention rate we do not have a majority. This explains then that the President of Catalonia decided, probably under strong pressure from Europe and some countries like France, to go on negotiating with Madrid towards more autonomy but not secession. It is obvious when a situation like this referendum is dramatized by courts, governments, political organizations and businesses into some kind of civil strife that could lead to a civil war, people are pushed into corners and very strict and strong opinions and actions that do not represent reason or any sensible approach.

As such this film should be pondered upon and meditated.

Dr. Jacques COULARDEAU



One pill makes you larger, and one pill makes you small
And the ones that mother gives you, don't do anything at all

Go ask Alice, when she's ten feet tall

And if you go chasing rabbits, and you know you're going to fall
Tell 'em a hookah-smoking caterpillar has given you the call

And call Alice, when she was just small

When the men on the chessboard get up and tell you where to go
And you've just had some kind of mushroom, and your mind is moving low

Go ask Alice, I think she'll know

When logic and proportion have fallen sloppy dead
And the white knight is talking backwards
And the red queen's off with her head
Remember what the dormouse said
Feed your head, feed your head

Written by Grace Wing Slick • Copyright © Universal Music Publishing Group





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