Monday, October 26, 2009

Cesaria Evora - Besame Mucho

Besame Mucho

Besame mucho
Como si fuera esta noche la ultima vez
Besame mucho
Que tengo miedo pederte, perderte otra vez
Quiero tenerte muy cerca
mirarme en tus ojos
verte junto a mi
Piensa que tal vez manana yo ya estare lejos
muy lejos de ti.
Besame mucho
Como si fuera esta noche la ultima vez
Besame mucho
Que tengo miedo pederte, perderte despues

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Bruce Willis in "Surrogates"

Even thought "Surrogates" is not a brilliant movie, it has some strong points especially through the performance of Bruce Willis (more visible from both perspectives - surrogate and the human), make up and music.

The context: an utopia, an ideal world where people are living in the safety of their homes while surrogates are living their outdoor lives, no more dangers, no more threats. The outdoor world seems almost perfect, yet, the emotions are only showed and experience indoors. At some point something goes wrong - murders are committed against surrogates but has the effect of killing the operators (humans behind the machines).

The action: one human tries to solve the murders cases, discovers the plot behind it, fights it and change the course of history or, at list, make everyone ask themselves if a world with surrogates is a future choice or not. And, yes, people leave their homes or rooms where they lived so far. One of the human's wishes was to see his wife not her surrogate, understanding at some point that, that was not a life he was living. His wish come true at the end of the movie.

The best part of the movie was when the main character enters the outside world and faces the world as it become. There you can see Bruce Willis how disoriented he was getting in touch with a motion world and how different his character's figure is from all the others, showing some emotions. Even though the adaptation to this new reality is too fast (non realistic) it can be accepted considering it is a movie and the facts should occur to a faster level so that the audience not to lose interest.

The movie has its little humor even though hardly noticed. Agent FBI Greer (Bruce Willis) returns as a human at the place of work. A remark of one of his colleagues made me smile. I do not remember the exact line but the idea was Greer was looking bad (not in good shape as all his colleagues were used to).

Of course, as in every social or political aspect of every day life, there are the main movement (the surrogate world) and a small group of humans that oppose to the phenomenon. If this part was more emphasized or developed as a subject, the movie would have been more credible in spite of the commercial aspect.

Maybe with the advance of technology today it is not that hard to image a world like the one in "Surrogates". Yet, it was incredibly surprising that the robots were not thinking on their own. I guess, as an idea of a future robotized world, Asimov's "I, robot" make more sense but, on the other hand, it is more comforting knowing that the machines were not having a will of their own and they were controlled by the humans behind. Still, it links to the title very well if I think at the fact that a surrogate means something alike but not as qualitative as the one that replaces. One question haunts me even in this context: what if there were on the "hands" of an eaveler characters than the ones in this movie?

Well, I have to admit, as mentioned at the beginning, I loved the make up which was so great for all characters involved - surrogates and humans. You should see at list some photos from the movie. Too bad that on the official site of the movie I could not find more information on this or the music, except one video clip with Breaking Benjamin - 'I Will Not Bow' which you can see it below. Before letting you enjoy a piece of music / soundtrack I have to say I could not leave the cinema till all the cast and every details were over only to hear the music. I guess it was the part I enjoyed most.

Troy - Out There

Saturday, October 17, 2009

"Pfitz" by Andrew Crumey

"Pfitz" is a mistake, a misunderstanding but, as all things are happening for a reason this leads to contradictions but also to learning the truth, finding out the real circumstances and facts and helps to clear things up.

Some paragraphs from the book are very suggestive from the point of view of things are not appearing as they seem to be.

"... It still haunts me the believe that everything is false in a certain sense, and every trying to understand and theorize the world and our condition within it is destined, even from the beginning, to be full of contradictions. ... I begin to suspect that the meaning is not a characteristic that can be reached through a process of reduction. It is something emergent, something that comes up in a manner impossible to be reduced to the sum of it's part. ..."

"... I know everything on this world constantly deceives me, with its subtleties, with its complexity that surpass the power of understanding and because, in reality, it is part of an uniform whole that is incapable of reduction and coverage. I know, as well, that the mind that works in this body is deceiving itself in the sense that creates images that are, if not false, anyway, hopeless deformations of a world that was not made yet to be inhabited of them. ..."

It is a book with overturning of circumstances and believes, a book with a few good ideas, a book that can be easily read on a break, on the way back home if you do not have time to read it on your spare time.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

"The nightingale and the rose" by Oscar Wilde (II)

She  said that she would dance with me if I brought her red roses," cried the young Student; "but in all my garden there is no red rose."

From her nest in the holm-oak tree the Nightingale heard him, and she looked out through the leaves, and wondered.

"No red rose in all my garden!" he cried, and his beautiful eyes filled with tears. "Ah, on what little things does happiness depend! I have read all that the wise men have written, and all the secrets of philosophy are mine, yet for want of a red rose is my life made wretched."

"Here at last is a true lover," said the Nightingale. "Night after night have I sung of him, though I knew him not: night after night have I told his story to the stars, and now I see him. His hair is dark as the hyacinth-blossom, and his lips are red as the rose of his desire; but passion has made his face like pale ivory, and sorrow has set her seal upon his brow."

"The Prince gives a ball tomorrow night," murmured the young Student, "and my love will be of the company. If I bring her a red rose she will dance with me till dawn. If I bring her a red rose, I shall hold her in my arms, and she will lean her head upon my shoulder, and her hand will be clasped in mine. But there is no red rose in my garden, so I shall sit lonely, and she will pass me by. She will have no heed of me, and my heart will break."

"Here indeed is the true lover," said the Nightingale. "What I sing of, he suffers ¬¬ what is joy to me, to him is pain. Surely Love is a wonderful thing. It is more precious than emeralds, and dearer than fine opals. Pearls and pomegranates cannot buy it, nor is it set forth in the marketplace. It may not be purchased of the merchants, nor can it be weighed out in the balance for gold."

"The musicians will sit in their gallery," said the young Student, "and play upon their stringed instruments, and my love will dance to the sound of the harp and the violin. She will dance so lightly that her feet will not touch the floor, and the courtiers in their gay dresses will throng round her. But with me she will not dance, for I have no red rose to give her"; and he flung himself down on the grass, and buried his face in his hands, and wept.

"Why is he weeping?" asked a little Green Lizard, as he ran past him with his tail in the air.
"Why, indeed?" said a Butterfly, who was fluttering about after a sunbeam.
"Why, indeed?" whispered a Daisy to his neighbour, in a soft, low voice.
"He is weeping for a red rose," said the Nightingale.
"For a red rose?" they cried; "how very ridiculous!" and the little Lizard, who was something of a cynic, laughed outright.

But the Nightingale understood the secret of the Student's sorrow, and she sat silent in the oak-tree, and thought about the mystery of Love.

Suddenly she spread her brown wings for flight, and soared into the air. She passed through the grove like a shadow, and like a shadow she sailed across the garden.

In the centre of the grass-plot was standing a beautiful Rose-tree, and when she saw it she flew over to it, and lit upon a spray.

"Give me a red rose," she cried, "and I will sing you my sweetest song."
But the Tree shook its head.
"My roses are white," it answered; "as white as the foam of the sea, and whiter than the snow upon the mountain. But go to my brother who grows round the old sun-dial, and perhaps he will give you what you want."

So the Nightingale flew over to the Rose-tree that was growing round the old sun-dial.
"Give me a red rose," she cried, "and I will sing you my sweetest song."
But the Tree shook its head.
"My roses are yellow," it answered; "as yellow as the hair of the mermaiden who sits upon an amber throne, and yellower than the daffodil that blooms in the meadow before the mower comes with his scythe. But go to my brother who grows beneath the Student's window, and perhaps he will give you what you want."

So the Nightingale flew over to the Rose-tree that was growing beneath the Student's window.
"Give me a red rose," she cried, "and I will sing you my sweetest song."
But the Tree shook its head.
"My roses are red," it answered, "as red as the feet of the dove, and redder than the great fans of coral that wave and wave in the ocean-cavern. But the winter has chilled my veins, and the frost has nipped my buds, and the storm has broken my branches, and I shall have no roses at all this year."
"One red rose is all I want," cried the Nightingale, "only one red rose! Is there no way by which I can get it?"
"There is away," answered the Tree; "but it is so terrible that I dare not tell it to you."
"Tell it to me," said the Nightingale, "I am not afraid."
"If you want a red rose," said the Tree, "you must build it out of music by moonlight, and stain it with your own heart's-blood. You must sing to me with your breast against a thorn. All night long you must sing to me, and the thorn must pierce your heart, and your life-blood must flow into my veins, and become mine."
"Death is a great price to pay for a red rose," cried the Nightingale, "and Life is very dear to all. It is pleasant to sit in the green wood, and to watch the Sun in his chariot of gold, and the Moon in her chariot of pearl. Sweet is the scent of the hawthorn, and sweet are the bluebells that hide in the valley, and the heather that blows on the hill. Yet Love is better than Life, and what is the heart of a bird compared to the heart of a man?"

So she spread her brown wings for flight, and soared into the air. She swept over the garden like a shadow, and like a shadow she sailed through the grove.

The young Student was still lying on the grass, where she had left him, and the tears were not yet dry in his beautiful eyes.

"Be happy," cried the Nightingale, "be happy; you shall have your red rose. I will build it out of music by moonlight, and stain it with my own heart's-blood. All that I ask of you in return is that you will be a true lover, for Love is wiser than Philosophy, though she is wise, and mightier than Power, though he is mighty. Flame-coloured are his wings, and coloured like flame is his body. His lips are sweet as honey, and his breath is like frankincense."

The Student looked up from the grass, and listened, but he could not understand what the Nightingale was saying to him, for he only knew the things that are written down in books.

But the Oak-tree understood, and felt sad, for he was very fond of the little Nightingale who had built her nest in his branches.

"Sing me one last song," he whispered; "I shall feel very lonely when you are gone."

So the Nightingale sang to the Oak-tree, and her voice was like water bubbling from a silver jar.

When she had finished her song the Student got up, and pulled a note-book and a lead-pencil out of his pocket.

"She has form," he said to himself, as he walked away through the grove ¬¬ "that cannot be denied to her; but has she got feeling? I am afraid not. In fact, she is like most artists; she is all style, without any sincerity. She would not sacrifice herself for others. She thinks merely of music, and everybody knows that the arts are selfish. Still, it must be admitted that she has some beautiful notes in her voice. What a pity it is that they do not mean anything, or do any practical good." And he went into his room, and lay down on his little pallet-bed, and began to think of his love; and, after a time, he fell asleep.

And when the Moon shone in the heavens the Nightingale flew to the Rose-tree, and set her breast against the thorn. All night long she sang with her breast against the thorn, and the cold crystal Moon leaned down and listened. All night long she sang, and the thorn went deeper and deeper into her breast, and her life-blood ebbed away from her.

She sang first of the birth of love in the heart of a boy and a girl. And on the top-most spray of the Rose-tree there blossomed a marvelous rose, petal following petal, as song followed song. Pale was it, at first, as the mist that hangs over the river ¬¬ pale as the feet of the morning, and silver as the wings of the dawn. As the shadow of a rose in a mirror of silver, as the shadow of a rose in a water-pool, so was the rose that blossomed on the topmost spray of the Tree.

But the Tree cried to the Nightingale to press closer against the thorn. "Press closer, little Nightingale," cried the Tree, "or the Day will come before the rose is finished."

So the Nightingale pressed closer against the thorn, and louder and louder grew her song, for she sang of the birth of passion in the soul of a man and a maid.

And a delicate flush of pink came into the leaves of the rose, like the flush in the face of the bridegroom when he kisses the lips of the bride. But the thorn had not yet reached her heart, so the rose's heart remained white, for only a Nightingale's heart's-blood can crimson the heart of a rose.

And the Tree cried to the Nightingale to press closer against the thorn. "Press closer, little Nightingale," cried the Tree, "or the Day will come before the rose is finished."

So the Nightingale pressed closer against the thorn, and the thorn touched her heart, and a fierce pang of pain shot through her. Bitter, bitter was the pain, and wilder and wilder grew her song, for she sang of the Love that is perfected by Death, of the Love that dies not in the tomb.

And the marvelous rose became crimson, like the rose of the eastern sky. Crimson was the girdle of petals, and crimson as a ruby was the heart.

But the Nightingale's voice grew fainter, and her little wings began to beat, and a film came over her eyes. Fainter and fainter grew her song, and she felt something choking her in her throat.

Then she gave one last burst of music. The white Moon heard it, and she forgot the dawn, and lingered on in the sky. The red rose heard it, and it trembled all over with ecstasy, and opened its petals to the cold morning air. Echo bore it to her purple cavern in the hills, and woke the sleeping shepherds from their dreams. It floated through the reeds of the river, and they carried its message to the sea.

"Look, look!" cried the Tree, "the rose is finished now"; but the Nightingale made no answer, for she was lying dead in the long grass, with the thorn in her heart.

And at noon the Student opened his window and looked out.

"Why, what a wonderful piece of luck!" he cried; "here is a red rose! I have never seen any rose like it in all my life. It is so beautiful that I am sure it has a long Latin name"; and he leaned down and plucked it.

Then he put on his hat, and ran up to the Professor's house with the rose in his hand.

The daughter of the Professor was sitting in the doorway winding blue silk on a reel, and her little dog was lying at her feet.

"You said that you would dance with me if I brought you a red rose," cried the Student. "Here is the reddest rose in all the world. You will wear it tonight next your heart, and as we dance together it will tell you how I love you."

But the girl frowned.

"I am afraid it will not go with my dress," she answered; "and, besides, the Chamberlain's nephew has sent me some real jewels, and everybody knows that jewels cost far more than flowers."

"Well, upon my word, you are very ungrateful," said the Student angrily; and he threw the rose into the street, where it fell into the gutter, and a cart-wheel went over it.

"Ungrateful!" said the girl. "I tell you what, you are very rude; and, after all, who are you? Only a Student. Why, I don't believe you have even got silver buckles to your shoes as the Chamberlain's nephew has"; and she got up from her chair and went into the house.

"What I a silly thing Love is," said the Student as he walked away. "It is not half as useful as Logic, for it does not prove anything, and it is always telling one of things that are not going to happen, and making one believe things that are not true. In fact, it is quite unpractical, and, as in this age to be practical is everything, I shall go back to Philosophy and study Metaphysics."

So he returned to his room and pulled out a great dusty book, and began to read.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

"The nightingale and the rose" by Oscar Wilde

With Marius Manole as the narrator, this story is performed at the National Theater in Bucharest.

It is not a classical play, I might say it is a recite of the one of Oscar Wiled's fairy tales for children. Though, no children in the audience.

It was in fact a spectacle of image, gestural dance, fairy tale decor and recite, everything minimized but sending a strong, emotional message. It was about love and sacrifices, obstacle, the barriers people put in the way of their happiness and the superficiality human nature posses in some contexts, as well, conditioning the future events.

Even though the light was not very well studied, the general impression was "it worthed seeing the play". The whispers, the feelings transmitted to the audience had a great impact on most of us. I think Marius Manole did it well this time too and if you have not seen him performing yet, try seeing this story and "The heart of a dog" after Mihail Bulgakov, also on National Theater in Bucharest.

Still more to come. :)