Urban Decay at it’s best

I couldn’t think of anything to post, but I then I got to thinking about the genre of movies we have been doing and there it hit me! So I literally googled “urban decay” to see what I would get, and BAM…this pops up:


Apparently, this idea of urban decay has not only influenced film, but art as well. The website has 25 of the best urban decay photographs. It was interesting to see how one could find beauty in even the worst situations.

I find it amazing actually! the photographs look beautifully taken, and really allow for the audience to see a difference perspective. The photographs are both enlightening because they show how some parts of not only the country, but neighborhoods both past and present, out of state or around the corner can change over time, as well as entertaining and enjoyable to look at. It’s a modern day twist on the phrase, “when life hands you lemons, make lemonade.” The things is, in relation to these films, I feel like these photographs could have been settings for each story. Take a look:

Couldn’t you picture this in “Se7en” as a setting for one of the deadly sins scenes?  Or these:

This photograph (left) screams “The Warriors.” Those two lights at the end look like trains in a tunnel, like when Swan and Marcy were running away from the cops underground.

I don’t even know exactly what this on the right is, but in some way I feel like its color and lighting have this resounding affect similar to the “After Hours” was filmed.

The thing is that these photographs also relate to other genres we touched on this semester.

When I first saw these pictures (bottom) I thought I was having deja vu or something. They reminded me so much of the nuclear anxiety films we saw not too long ago. We definitely saw similar scenes in movies like “The Day After”.”

Take a look at the website…which is your favorite? Why? Could you see it in any of the movies we discussed this semester?

P.S. do you like the urban decay that is my post? 😉

Citation: all photographs were taken from the link posted above.

Calvin and Hobbes Make War

So I love Calvin and Hobbes, always have…and when I saw this I had to post it. It is funny how Calvins says they can’t play Peace because there aren’t enough role models…hmmm interesting…then he goes on and calls himself the American defender of liberty and democracy (i have heard that one before) and then naturally Hobbes would have to be the evil godless (because if you don’t believe in god you’re automatically evil) communist oppressor, i love how godless communist and oppressor go hand in hand. And then finally in the end they both die anyway…nuclear warfare anyone? To quote Plato (well technically General McArthur): “Only the dead have seen the end of war.” That is all.

P.S. citation- http://all-thats-interesting.tumblr.com/post/499738698/calvin-and-hobbes-on-war

don’t want to go and get sued or something

Brainwashing and Terrorism

So I chose to write about brainwashing and its affect on the advancement of terrorism, at least in this day and age. I had seen these extremely troubling videos, which are posted below, a few months ago and well, they were just ridiculously shocking. They reminded me of both the Timothy Melley article, “Brainwashed! Conspiracy Theory and Ideology in the Postwar United States,” as well as The Machurian Candidate. The videos that follow offer a new type of brainwashing that is going on. In Melley’s article, he touches on the effects of brainwashing in the same way it is portrayed in The Manchurian Candidate. He writes about how those brainwashed lose their free will, or as Edward Hunter states, “[brainwashing could literally] change a mind radically so that its owner becomes a living puppet-a human robot.” The same idea is shown in The Manchurian Candidate where we are given Staff Sergeant Raymond Shaw, who when everytime he sees a queen of diamonds playing card it triggers in him brainwashed orders, in his case, assassinations. The difference between that style of brainwashing and now is that these days the brainwashee still has to an extent some free will, however as Meerloo in the Melley articles states, “the panic of the ‘brainwashee…is the total confusion he suffers about all concepts.” Melley goes further stating that “brainwashing could ultimately cause ‘great confusion…in the mind of every observer, friend or foe. In the eend no one knows how to distinguish truth from falsehood,” which I feel is what’s happening today. These children, as you will see in the video, are being raised and almost programmed to eat, sleep, and live this ideology of hate. There is still no escape, but it all stems from this misconception of the truth, this misinformation being funneled into their brain from the beginning of life. Instead of there being triggers behind their actions, instead they are fueled by misunderstandings, and misallocation of resources. There is this growing confusion over what is right and wrong. The brainwashee only knows the world they are thrown into, and anything otherwise is wrong.


These were the first videos I saw. They show two young children who were brainwashed to not only hate Jews and other infidels, but call for their genocide. It is so scary just the thought that there are some misguided extremist groups raising their children to be terrorist, to be mini-Hitler’s. One can only imagine what this could mean for our future. What is to come? What can we do? We have a saying here in America that “children are our future,” now what kind of future are we supposed to have when there is so much hate?

This video deals with even more ways that these children are being brainwashed. Not only are they getting it from their parents and those around them, but now there are cartoon characters being created to teach these kids how to hate. What kind of cartoon character tells children about eating Jews? About killing infidels? It fills me with so many emotions; it is coming to a point where hearing about a suicide bomb is normal, where I secretly look around my surroundings when I am at a well known or crowded place. Even sadder though is the way these extremist make the rest of the Islamic faith look. It is not fair to those who follow the true teachings of the Quran, not this hate-filled attack on all those who are different from them. Not only is this fear felt within in our country, but within the Middle Eastern countries as well. I watched a play, Aftermath, last year which dealt with Iraqi refugees fleeing from the Iraq war and government. The play was amazing, and I would recommend watching it. Ben Brantley wrote a review for it in the New York Times here: http://theater.nytimes.com/2009/09/16/theater/reviews/16after.html.
null take a look.

The Departed sure were scared, anxious, and paranoid alright

The DepartedIn Martin Scorcese’s 2006 crime film The Departed we are introduced to William Costigan, played by Leonardo DiCaprio, who is an undercover cop working for Frank Costello the Irish Mob boss from Boston, played by Jack Nicholson. Then we also have Colin Sullivan, played by Matt Damon, who acts as Costello’s inside man in the police department. Throughout the film each of these characters elicit fear, anxiety and paranoia. The character that most strongly feels these emotions is DiCaprio’s William Costigan. Costigan is introduced to the dark, demented world that is the Irish mob. Every day he fears for his life, thinking any minute it could be his last. His anxiety and paranoia strengthens so much so he begins going to therapy and taking prescription drugs. He feels that either Costello is going to find him out or that his own police force is going to give up on him and allow him to rot in the depth of the criminal underworld.

As for Sullivan, Damon’s character, his only concern for most of the movie is keeping Costello happy. Costello is a sociopath and at any minute can flip. If Costello demands something Sullivan needs to get it done, no questions asked. There are several times where we see Sullivan struggling to not only keep up his charade with the police, but also keeping up with Costello’s orders. It all leads up to the climax of the film at the construction site where Sullivan finally kills Costello because of Costello’s past as informant…in other words Costello has been known to use his informants, his “rats,” on the inside as scapegoats if he is ever caught by the police.

Costello, as I stated before is a complete sociopath who trusts no one. His only confidant was Frenchie, ironically enough, once Frenchie died Costello soon followed. Costello is a force to be reckoned with, yet by the end of the film we see that he brings on his own demise through his paranoia…he doesn’t allow for anyone to get close enough to him. I can understand that it is hard to trust people, especially in a business like his, however the extent to which his paranoia led him brought on isolation and solitude. He ran the mob with fear, terrorizing his own men to keep them loyal.

The Departed, a remake of the 2002 Chinese film Infernal Affairs, does an amazing job uniting the three themes of fear, anxiety, and paranoia. I actually watched Infernal Affairs a few  year ago (my best friend’s dad loves Chinese and Japanese films, all types) before The Departed and it was really good…it’s no wonder why The Departed has had so much success. It’s on Netflix for DVD rental and I think if you have the time you should really take a look at it. It is a little different from Scorcese’s film but great nonetheless. Scorcese ties in these intricate, complex characters and weaves them together to form this masterpiece.

[kml_flashembed movie=”http://www.youtube.com/v/S4R3nHkqyfM” width=”425″ height=”350″ wmode=”transparent” /]

P.S. There is a chase scene in The Departed through a Chinatown in Boston that is very reminiscent of the scene at the end of The Lady from Shanghai by Orson Welles.

The Departed

Fritz Lang: Behind the Scenes

Hey guys, so I found this, I don’t know article? post? not sure, today about Fritz Lang, the director of “M” and “Metropolis” and i figured I share it with the class. It just has some background on Fritz Lang and his life. Here’s the link: http://www.fanboy.com/2010/02/fritz-lang.html