Arts – Music – Movies


So, I came across this game. It’s called Samorost and it is the first creation of a very small creative team from the Czech Republic called Amanita Design.

I have one word of advice to anyone who happens to come across this post – play the game. Whether you normally play games or not makes little difference, my partner who has only played tetris in the past, had a blast. So will you.

No need for any specialised software either, just click the link and play away.

PLAY THE GAME

This video reminded of A History of Evil in terms of style.

The Internet has allowed for the emergence of some truly prolific comics. These aren’t the “sunday funnies” of your local newspaper, which are becoming duller by the passing week as the paper medium itself slowly fades away.

I have to rank Sinfest and The Perry Bible Fellowship as the top two webcomics. I’ll allow Tatsuya Ishida of Sinfest to speak for himself:

I have discovered a way to live life in a state of perpetual orgasmic ecstasy, unbothered by the cruel vagaries of life. It’s perfectly legal, no drugs involved, no crazy meditation regimen, no change in diet or beliefs or lifestyle. It’s healthy, no side effects, no hangover, just pure bliss round the clock, 24/7. Problem is, I can’t articulate the secret method in words. There’s no verbal way to demonstrate how I’ve achieved this state. As much as I’d like to disclose the mystery to you all it resists all known forms of communication. Except one. The comic strip. I can transmit my esoteric knowledge through my comic strip and through my comic strip alone. There’s no other way. So you must keep reading, every day, all the time, forever. Buy all the books at least four times. Reminisce on particular strips in your free time, learn punchlines by heart, impress your friends with your knowledge of Sinfest. Whatever you do, you must keep reading. But now for a limited time eligible women can receive my wisdom through special tantric exercises with me as their personal guru. After only ten, twenty sessions of intense hands-on nude full-contact sensual massage therapy you too can experience The Super Duper Tatsuya Joy. Act now! Operators are standing by.

That may sound exhagerated but he’s right. You must visit Sinfest daily (and go through his archive) for the Zen of Tatsuya or else there will be no enlightenment for you!

I especially appreciation his portrayal of God as a hand in the clouds manipulating puppets (usually of the devil), as well as his beautiful version of Buddha. 

Sunday, April19, 10pm ET/PT

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, April 2 /PRNewswire/ — From Amazon jungles to the American Plains, British mental wards, Swiss labs, New York mansions and Grateful Dead shows, the history of hallucinogenic drugs is as fantastic as the visions the drugs produce. Wade Davis, is a modern-day anthropologist, author (“The Serpent and the Rainbow”) and protege of one of psychedelia’s most intrepid forefathers — Richard Evans Schultes. Davis traces Schultes’ life’s work as one of the greatest botanist-explorers of
the 20th century and reveals an illustrated history of the world’s most mind-altering plants and substances in: PEYOTE TO LSD: A PSYCHEDELIC ODYSSEY.

Winner of the prestigious 2008 CINE Golden Eagle Award, the documentary follows the career of Schultes, who journeyed into far-flung areas in search of ritualistic healing medicines known to produce powerful visions: Peyote, mushrooms, Ayahuasca. Davis, a former student of Schultes at Harvard and author of Schultes’ biography (“One River”), travels to the exotic locations Schultes once voyaged to, seeking the same experiences. Along the way, set to the music of the Grateful Dead and featuring input from experts such as Dead co-founder Bob Weir, plus Dr. Andrew Weil, and LSD inventor Dr. Albert Hofmann, the documentary reveals how hallucinogens got from jungle shamans to the hippie generation. Questions arise about the attitude toward psychedelics: their great potential benefits versus perceived harmful side effects. Why is it that so many ancient cultures consider hallucinogenic plants — a medicine given from God, while in today’s culture they are outlawed, and even reviled. PEYOTE TO LSD: A PSYCHEDELIC ODYSSEY is a long, strange trip that began decades ago, but is probably nowhere near its end. Even now, new uses for hallucinogens are being sought and tested by leading universities and medical institutions.

PEYOTE TO LSD: A PSYCHEDELIC ODYSSEY is produced and directed by Peter von Puttkamer of Gryphon Productions Inc. along with producer Sheera von Puttkamer and co-producer Wade Davis. Executive Producer for The History Channel is Michael Stiller.

An exhibit of Richard Evans Schultes’ photographs will run at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural Historyin Washington, DC, April 16 – November, 2008.

lluminated is a new animated series being created by some of the people behind GNN (Guerrilla News Network), Phong.com (Eminem’s “Mosh”), Pod Collective, Broken Saints, and ConceptArt.org.

Set in the not-too-distant future, planet Earth is being ravaged by rampant environmental change and collapsing economies, as widespread social movements triggered by online interaction are reshaping the face of world politics. Saturated by media, people have lost their ability to dream and plug into a sophisticated communication system each night called the DreamField, which gives them access to a virtual dream-state, networked with the rest of the world. Online, dreams have become just another kind of media, and a group of dreamstars have emerged as the culture’s new celebrities. Coming from an established political family, Aya is one of the most popular dreamstars, and millions plug into her dreams every night to experience her adventures through a hyper-dimensional vide-game reality, live as they sleep.

The series charts Aya’s coming of age as she travels with her guru, Shen, on a transformational journey to visit the most spiritually charged places on Earth – re-connecting with the wisdom-keepers of the planet and re-learning the ancient spiritual traditions to evolve her consciousness and fight to restore humanity’s ability to dream.

tr040607.gif

039_43014heath-ledger-posters.jpgThe good news is that Jude Law, Johnny Depp and Colin Farrell will appear as Heath Ledger’s character in unfinished film The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, directed by the ever brilliant Terry Gilliam.

The bad news is that few are picking up on the fact that Ledger died from an accidental overdose of six different types of prescription drugs in his New York apartment. So it goes.

Via BBC

The Knight recently posted a short video of Alan Moore being interviewed on his magickal views. Unknowingly he reminded me of an insight I have gained last year from reading V for Vendetta, one of Lana Moore’s masterpieces.

Alan Moore is an English author, most famous for his work on comic books such as The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, V for Vendetta, Watchmen or From Hell. Some of his more famous works have been adapted into films, with varying (lack) of success. Alan Moore does not limit himself to writing comic books, among his other areas of study are literature, poetry, music, drama, occultism and magick. His occult interests interest me as they are one of the prevalent influences evident in his literary work.

do what thou wilt

V for Vendetta deals with a dystopian future in which an anarchist fighter who calls himself V wages an uncompromising war on a fully totalitarian British government. This parallel reality gives us a view of a Britain whose citizens have very little personal and political freedom left, most of it being given away by themselves in return for personal security as a result of a brief nuclear war and a subsequent coup d’etat by a fascist group offering immediate protection to the citizens.

One of the reasons why V for Vendetta (both in the film and comic book versions) gained such popularity in recent years is the way that individual security and personal freedom have been changing in recent years, closely resembling the story told in V for Vendetta. The so-called ‘war on terrorism’, (a war, which should be noted, by definition can’t be won) has been given as an excuse both in America and Britain to pass legislation that takes away more personal freedom than most people realise. Personal and political freedom is being quickly exchanged for perceived security from a danger that can’t be protected from, or if you are more cynical, does not exist. Leaving us…
V is an anarchist, he doesn’t believe that it is necessary to give away freedom to receive security. He doesn’t believe in chaos and disorder either. His beliefs can be summed up by a quote from Aleister Crowley: ‘Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.’ V agrees with Aleister Crowley that it is possible to know one’s True Will, True Will being the true calling, potential and will of an individual, rather than needs, desires or wishes that are constantly experienced and which control most personal decisions and choices. V calls this process of discovering one’s True Will ‘escaping the prison’. He ‘escapes the prison’ of his perceived needs, wishes and desires by being physically imprisoned in a concentration camp, where he and numerous other ‘test subjects’ are infected with a chemical virus, which apart from V kills all its recipients. He is physically imprisoned and lacks control over what happens to him, which makes it possible for him to awaken the parts of him, which can’t be controlled by anyone but himself. This episode gives V the intelligence, strength and knowledge to escape his prison and ultimately single-handedly challenge the government.

My favourite part of the comic book plays out on pages 148 – 172, where V puts another person, his disciple if you wish, or a girl he met by chance if you prefer, through a similar experience in order to produce the same effect, the same process of awakening. Perhaps the most revealing way of describing the effect would be to copy the last part of their conversation:

V: Welcome home.
Evey: You. You did this to me. You did this to me, yuh-you. Oh god. Yuh-you hit me, and cut off my hair… it was you. It was you all this time… You… tortured me… Oh, you tortured me…
V: Because I love you. Because I want to set you free.
Evey: Because…? Set me free? D-don’t you realise? Don’t you realise what you did to me? you nearly drove me mad!
V: If that’s what it takes, Evey.

Evey: I hate you. I hate you because you just talk junk and you think you’re so good that you don’t have to make any sense! Nothing you say means anything. You say you love me, and you don’t because you just frigten me and torture me for a joke… You say you want to set me free and you put me in a prison…
V: You were already in a prison. You’ve been in a prison all your life.
Evey: Shut up! I don’t want to hear it! I wasn’t in a prison! I was happy! I was hu-happy here until you threw me out.
V: Happiness is a prison, Evey. Happiness is the most insidious prison of all.
Evey: That’s warped! That’s warped and evil and wrong! When you threw me out I went to live with somebody. I… I was in love with him. I was happy. If that’s a prison, then I don’t care!
V: Don’t you? Your lover lived in the penitentiary that we are all born into, and was forced to rake the dregs of that world for his living. he knew affection and tenderness but only briefly… Eventually, one of the other inmates stabbed him with a cutlass and he drowned upon his own blood. Is that it, Evey? Is that the happiness worth more than freedom?
Evey: H-how do you know? How did you know what happened to Gordon?
V: It’s not an uncommon story, Evey. many convicts meet with miserable ends… Your mother. Your father. Your lover. One by one. Taken out behind the chemical sheds … and shot. All convicts, hunched and deformed by the smallness of their cells, the weight of their chains, the unfairness of their sentences.. I didn;t put you in prison, Evey. I just showed you the bars.
Evey: You’re wrong! It’s just life, that’s all! It’s how life is! It’s what we’ve got to put up with. It’s all we’ve got. What gives you the right to decide it’s not good enough?
V: You’re in a prison, Evey. You were born in a prison. You’ve been in a prison so long, you no longer believe there’s a world outside.
Evey: Shut up! You’re mad! I don’t want to hear it!
V: That’s because you are afraid, Evey. You’re afraid because you can feel freedom closing in upon you. You’re afraid because freedom is terrifying…
Evey: I can’t feel anything! There’s nothing to feel! Leave me alone!
V: Don’t back away from it, Evey. Part of you understands the truth even as part pretends not to. Woman, this is the most important moment of your life. Don’t run from it.
Evey: I don’t know what… you’re… Oh god. Oh god. I can’t… breathe… Asthma. Whuh-when I was… a little guh-girl…
V: Good. You’re almost there. Go closer. Feel the shape of it. Your mother died. They took your father away. There’s a little girl, Evey, and she’s screaming…
Evey: A-huh… aa-huhh… Oh, make it stop. Mummy, daddy, please make it stop. What… are you doing to me? Oh, I can’t breathe…
V: You were in a cell, Evey. They offered you a choice between the death of your principles and the death of your body.
Evey: Oh. Oh, I can feel it… oh, what is it… oh, I’m going to die, I’m going to burst…
V: You said you’d rather die. You faced the fear of your own death, and you were calm and still. Try to feel now what you felt then…
Evey: I… uhhh. oh god… I felt… huhh… I felt… like… an angel… Oh god, I’m so scared, I’m so cold. What’s happening to me?
V: The door of the cage is open, Evey. All that you feel is the wind from outside. Don’t be afraid. Try to stand. Try to walk. The lift will take us up to the roof.
Evey: To… the roof…? Outside…? I don’t want… to be blindfolded…
V: No, Evey. No more blindfolds. All the blindfolds are gone.

The most common way of understanding V for Vendetta is as a social and political commentary. After reading the comic book I was left with the feeling that that is only the very top layer of the meaning that V for Vendetta seeks to convey. V’s awakening and Evey’s initiation are both very powerful episodes in the main plot, explaining where the knowledge and information needed in order to understand oneself, not to mention knowledge needed in order to transform society is to be gained. Consequently, I find it difficult to limit the importance of V for Vendetta to its political and societal message. For me it is primarily a story of the individual, explaining the true meaning of the word. We build our own prisons.

nines_poster.jpg Someone once expressed the opinion that ‘Butterfly Effect’ is comparable in quality to one of my all time favorite films, ‘Donnie Darko’. I disagree and have been waiting for another film to outdo it. Perhaps my hopes were too high for ‘Southland Tales’ and although it is a great film, which I await to see again in better quality, it had failed to capture the same essence of ‘Donnie Darko’. Richard Kelly’s first film will always have a special place in my heart, but I think it may have found a new contender.

‘The Nines’ is sort of like ‘Donnie Darko’ meets ‘The Fountain’ with a modern and quite timely twist. And for those of you who are fans, it’s quite Grant Morrison-esque. Not wanting to spoil the experience too much with my already excessive praise, I must mention that the film also defies genres, leaving the viewer in expectation of what could possibly come next.

This film is executed perfectly! If you like the ideas on this blog then you’ll LOVE this film. Do not read any synopses or reviews… just go out and see the film! Go!

P.S. Look For The Nines (or 23, to each their own)

Update: If the film wasn’t cool enough already…

The director of the hit 2007 movie ‘The Nines’ says he’s been monitoring BitTorrent for its inevitable leak: “Sony, Interpol and the MPAA will do their best,” he says, “but as the guy who made the movie, I honestly want people to see the movie. If the only way you’re going to watch The Nines is illegally, so be it.”

Via Torrent Freak
Download: The Nines Torrent

I remember the very first time I used bittorrent. It was 2004 and I was at a prominent university in the USA, which I quit after a few months.

It wasn’t until reflecting upon Steal This Film that I realized how much the acquisition of copyrighted material influenced my life. This is not just because PC games, films, and music brought me countless hours of entertainment. It’s because the time spent searching for ways to download these forms of media exposed me to new information and more importantly, taught me how to find the information/data I seek. Being able to distinguish between fake sites from real sites, being able to find information pertaining to a computer error, the latest news regarding the pharmacology industry or some esoteric literature- I owe my abilities to the hours I spent searching for the latest warez release of a computer game when I was a teenager.

What does this all mean? To paraphrase Douglas Rushkoff: “The Internet is not a information revolution, it is a communications revolution!”

I have yet to see a documentary that expresses this so well as Steal This Film Pt. 2. The first part of the film is pretty good too, but the second part (produced a year later) is in a league of its own. It includes interviews with top intellectuals and academics from around the world and is a MUST see.
Part 1

Part 2

Happy Holidays! And enjoy your stay on the pale blue dot.

Next Page »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 34 other followers