Saturday, 22 June 2013


I am working on the premise i have invented a new word or term. Negonym. That is, a hononym that has a modern precedent of having racial , sexist or homophobic connotations, and as such is no longer in wide use, or is in the process of vanishing. Negonym is a combination of negation and hononym.

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Subtext in the film 'Leon The Proffessional'. Pedophile themes?-rought draft.

 I read a film article on the Luc Besson directed action film 'The Professional' known as 'Leon' in America.
The article linked to a jpeg of a section of the script that dealt with the relationship between Mathilda and Leon in which the two become lovers.
This scene was never filmed. But Luc Besson the director wrote the screenplay .
However if memory serves the film does have an uncomfortable relationship between the young girl and the Asperger like Leon.
With the man taking her to restaurants, giving her alcohol,

 sharing a bed. And having her sing 'Happy Birthday Mr President' to him in a Marilyn outfit with lipstick and make up. Marilyn famously sang this on stage to President Kennedy when they were in the midst of an affair.

 Or wearing adult underwear  with make up for Leon.

Mathilda even confides to a hotel clerk he is taking her upstairs to have sex in one scene.

The Americans cut all this out for fear it would effect ticket sales, this was only in the European version.

It's worth noting a few of the posters enlarge Portman, or shoot her at angles that make her look older. Look at the height difference between her and Jean Reno in this film still, versus the poster.

Portmans character has her ever present teddy bear throughout the posters and in many of the publicity shots.
What can be going on?
Her choker and silent movie star hair cut might provide some visual evidence. Leon supposedly loves old films, who can Mathilda look like?
Well, she could pass for Louise Brooks a famous silent movie star.

And what is with the plant symbol Leon carries around , it seems to mirror Mathildas Teddy Bear. They both dress alike, carry a visual security blanket. Many times Mathilda and Leon seem to be reflected in mirrored surfaces.

Reflective surfaces are often used in  more complex films to indicate repetition , internal thoughts visually reflected or duality. Is Mathilda a reflection of Leon?

I read director Besson had a relationship with a young girl (i will post more details) so that line of inquiry may prove enlightening.
I found out all Bessons girlfriends and juxtoposed their ages when Besson met them, his age at the time and when he dumped them. Like a lot of Hollywood rich men Besson likes his girlfriends to be no more than early two mid twenties, while he ages.

 Mila Jojovich (21-24 years)- Besson 38
Mai-wenn (16-21)- Besson  33
Anne Parrillaud (26-32) 27.

Lots of fans seem to identify with Mathilda. Fan art depicts her almost always post pubertal.

In any case, this is an extremely rough draft of an idea, and over the coming days i shall investigate further to see if there is anything in all this. I shall have to watch the film , since i only saw it once on the telly.

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Media coverage of Pussy Riot versus Artists coverage of Pussy Riot.-Work in progress

Most people around the world by now have heard of Pussy Riot, the Russian politically motivated all female punk band that caused controversy by staging a concert inside an orthadox church. The band were soon arrested and their show trial exposed the greed and hypocrisy both in the Russian Orthadox church and within Russian society itself. I was more interested in the coverage of the bands trial by the media who focused almost exclusively on one of the members, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova. At the expense of the other two visible members (the others are anonymous) Maria Alyokhina and Yekaterina Samutsevich.
 Indeed if you just typed Pussy Riot arrested in to Google you might be forgiven for thinking it was a solo act.
Since the band chooses to wear balaclavas to hide their faces so the media cannot make such simplistic sexist divisions and judgements, now the faces are revealed so is the media tactics to sell papers and to reinforced status quo.

In curiousity i then wondered if artists themselves would focus on Nadezhda .And , even though it was not an exhaustive search that artists protesting the Pussy Riot arrest focused on the band, their music and messages and the group as a collective, not reducing the group to one member. The artists i saw , just from image search depicted the band with balaclavas on, as the band themselves orchestrated their own image. The image being quite a powerful one anyway.

Mainstream media will always reduce debate to its most simplistic level, often bigoted or sexist in nature its power to sell papers depends on exposing and aggravating our fears and prejudices. An image of an axe murderer always sells more than a story about why the murder exists in the first place. In reducing the group to a mass of photos of one member because she is photogenic reduces the bands message, their bravery in exposing the corruption and hypocrisy in their society and is ironically in opposition to their stance on the way mainstream media depicts women. As things to be looked at, as objects, as commodity. That the only reason a woman has value is if she is photogenic, and that is her only value and supersedes any contribution she may make to social or artistic debate.

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Jack the Giant Slayer -'Slaying Royalty' subtext.-rough edit.

While watching the 2013 film Jack the Giant Slayer i could not help but notice some oddities that , at least for me, made it more interesting and gave me a chance to exercise, and show the benefit of, critical thinking . The first thing i noticed, about what i assumed was just a standard action/romance film was that the lead giant resembled famous German actor Klaus Kinski.
There is no denying it, since i was familiar with Herzog films.
Specifically the giant is modeled on a character Kinski played in the Werner Herzog film 'Aguirre , the wrath of God'.

The film is about a ruthless Spanish conquistador called Aguirre and his obsessive quest for  El Eldorado or the mythical Aztec city of gold.In the film South American natives are murdered for blasphemy because they do not recognise or bow to the bible.The film has heavy themes of obsession, religious corruption and religious motivated violence and hypocrisy.


In Jack the Giant Slayer however, the giants fighting the king have strong Irish accents, (which has to be intentional)  the second in command giant also has a curious ethnic looking face, that could be black or Australian aboriginal.All these particular groups have suffered at the hands of an expansionist British Empire.

The toffs have bizarre uniforms with pretty obvious wings attached. Aristocracy and religion (remember the bowing which we will see later) all tried to link their own position to  supernatural abilities, the idea your position was due to divine power.  (Worth sticking with, and reading the whole article).

This is easier when most of your society cannot read of course.
From the back Ewan Mcgregor's toff knight gets wings too.

The King from the back with ermin trimmed angels wings.

Aside from the odd mix of historical costumes and inaccuracy we also have this odd Kaiser character who seems to be modeled after the last German Emperor Wilhelm 2nd.He was the grandson of Queen Victoria (European Royalty are all inter bred, before the first world war our Royal family was called 'The Sax Coburgs, it was changed to Windsor after the first world war for fear it would stir up anti royal feeling).

The film script has an obsession with crowns, with characters bowing to the crown, caring little for who wears it.  In the final scene, one of the giants drops a giant catapult as he bows, the children's toy divides the scene, effectively suggesting bowing to a crown is a childish act.

In fact the giants themselves lose their anger in seconds when faced with a crown, bowing and scraping, the King and the toff knight exchange a cheeky grin when the giants bow.

The end of the film Jack , now married, is telling a story to his children, the camera adopts a curious path. Closing in on this story book next to a Faberge egg.Originally made for the Russian royal family.Russian royalty ruled over a serf system (slavery).
We next see, while Jack reads a fairy tale to his children, a prolonged process of the making of the Crown Jewell's.  Jacks narration about fairy tales is linked to the making of this ostentatious looking crown.Then we cut to a group of children on a visit to Windsor castle.
A straggler writing in a notebook finds time to look at the crown and laugh knowingly, the implication being; a schoolboy gets 'the joke' why don't we?
The film ends with a big panoramic shot with the ancient castle nestled in a corner of the modern 2013 city of London.Panning up eventually to the giants city above it all.

The visual metaphors in the film are a bit clunking and the script is poor, but the subtext is pretty clear, the film is using the Jack and the Beanstalk story to show the ridiculous social phenomenon of royalty and crown worship.

This hidden subtext  made the film more interesting.

I might do a post on using critical thinking at some stage, since its benefits far outweigh the effort it takes.

Thanks for taking the time to read, if you have any comments or questions please leave some, i always reply.