Ingredients needed for an action film:
1x Hollywood star
1 x chase sequence (minimum)
Yelling and unloading a machine gun
Two dimensional villain - preferably foreign
Cheesy one liners
2tons of explosives
Enough damage to bankrupt a city
Freeze frame ending
Now, you chuck these all in a bowl and 8/10 times you’ll pull out a dam good action film….I mean critics will pan it, but it will give cinemagoers their regular fix of ‘action heroine’. Action films are the Ronseal of film genres. ‘they do exactly what they say on the tin’. They’re an easy sell. All you need is a cool looking trailer, with lots of explosions, a cool soundtrack and pinches of all the ingredients above, and audiences will be sold. It’s easy and simple to digest, requiring no further research into what its about, making them an easy choice when cinemagoers are propositioned with up to 5 new films releasing every weekend. Just look at Taken 2, a truly dreadful film, but even it’s poor reviews couldn’t put action film fans and general audiences off.
Action films are rarely feats of cinematic or storytelling genius, and I don’t think any action film has, and ever will, win Best Picture at the Oscars. However if there was an award for ’ film that entertains audiences for 90mins, requiring little or no attention to understand’……action films would win hands down year in year out. They allow audiences to switch off, disengage from the real world and for 90 mins have their minds numbed and senses blown away. Because sometimes we don’t want intellectual or thrilling. We want senseless violence, epic gun fights, more explosions than the blitz and hot girls firing guns!
Saturday night I relapsed. That’s relapsed, not prolapsed. My arse didn’t fall out. I mean I had an action fix. I’d been clean for over 3 months. But there’s one action franchise, no addict can resist. Die Hard. It’s like the Blue Crystal (for you Breaking Bad fans) of action addict. You just have to have it! And like a cold beer on a warm summers day it felt so right!
The Die Hard Franchise is hands down the ultimate action film franchise, and there is no one on earth who can argue with that. It was the film that perfected the action film recipe above. The first 3 films were classics. I mean Bruce Willis made white vests cool, and since him only Ryan Atwood has been able to wear the ‘Wife Beater’ with such coolness.
The 4th instalment was, a good ‘action’ film, but not a great Die Hard film. It was never going to sit too well with the Die Hard fans. It just didn’t have the same grit and rawness of the first 3 from the 80s and 90s. So A Good Day to Die Hard was going to have to pull a rabbit out the hat to sit well with fans of the orginal. But you know what, I don’t think it should sit alongside the previous films. The first 3 should sit as a separate entity, with the last two as a franchise in themselves. On it’s own A Good Day is a great action film. Nuclear weapons, Russian villains, an epic car chase and some brilliant gun fights. Bruce Willis is visibly older, but he still gets shit done, fucks things up and delivers a ‘Yippe Kay Yay’ with the same impact as he did in 1988.
Hollywood is waiting for the next big action film star. We’ve got the golden oldies of Willis, Schwarzenegger, Neeson and Stallone still doing their bit making, great, cheesy action films - with the help of a lot of CGI and a little Botox. Jason Statham and Dwayne Johnson are trying, but their films are almost trying too hard, and as a result don’t have the same feel or memorable one liners as the action films from the 80s and 90s. I think we’ve seen the end of an era, and A Good Day to Die Hard proved that it’s impossible to recapture the action glory years of the 80s and 90s. They made a good action film, but not a great Die Hard…..
….’Happy Trails’ Die Hard
Good Day to Die Hard - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wVkzZD92cMQ
Where it all began - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-qxBXm7ZUTM
Golden Oldie - 160 Arnie Quotes - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pDxn0Xfqkgw
I think it’s best to get right to the point. Facebook has become increasingly annoying. My newsfeed is increasingly being filled with mundane dribble, mainly from people I don’t really care about. Out of the 500 or so friends I’ve got I probably don’t interact with about 90% of them even once a month. But it seems to be this 90% who are filling my newsfeed with this dribble, meaning I don’t see updates from people I actually want to. I’ve considered doing some Facebook cleansing and deleting the people I met once on a night out or once said hello to on the tube, but I can’t quite be as brutal as I want to be. I just don’t have it in me.
But I’ve got to ask. To all my ‘friends’ on Facebook. Why do you continue to commit these Facebook sins and make it so hard for me to like you??
1. Posting photos of food/drink
Now unless you attempting a challenge on the level of Man vs Food, or your waiter has just put a lions head stuffed with kangaroo testicles on your plate, I do not want to see a picture of it. That includes pictures of your roast dinner.
2. Attention seeking statuses - ‘Vaguebooking’
Urban Dictionary defines “vaguebooking” as the following:
“An intentionally vague Facebook status update that prompts friends to ask what’s going on, or is possibly a cry for help.”
3. Pictures of girls on the toilet
When the hell did this start? I just don’t get it!
4. The girls pre-night out photoshoot
I get it, you want some evidence that you looked lovely before you went out, as a picture of you with vomit on your dress, pulling some Lyle and Scot wearing, pencil tash douchbag, doesn’t make the greatest of profile pics……..but do you really need 30 pictures before you go out? It’s not a photoshoot!
5. Gym + exercise bragging
Thank you for letting me know that you are going to the gym……again.
I’m sure everyone on FB was happy to hear that you just benched 80kg.
Thank you so much for sharing with all of us how well you new protein diet is treating you and how it’s playing havoc with your bowels!
Never have 4 letters arranged in such a way pissed me off so much as these four have.
7. The ‘Selfie’
Defined as a picture taken by yourself involving nobody else. It’s vain and became unacceptable the day you stopped using MySpace.
8. Breakup statuses or publicising anything private
This includes private or sensitive matters involving family, friends and loved ones.
Although one thing I do find hilarious is when someone ‘likes’ a breakup status. We’ve all seen the guys who jump all over a girls breakup status with likes and comments saying ‘you can do so much better’ or ‘if you need to talk…’.
9. Poor spelling
This immediately discredits anything you’ve said or are about to say. This is especially amusing when trying to insult someone as my mate Craig demonstrated recently:
10. Twitter sync & #tagging
Why? Just why?
And please stop don’t use it for every word in a sentence or for annoying things like #letsgetmessey or #gettingfuckedwiththegirls
7 years ago my mum suggested watching a DVD, and suggested the new Batman film, which to be honest I hadn’t really heard of. I’ve always been a fan of Batman, ever since I was a little kid and me and brother would dress up in our Batman and Robin costumes, myself as Batman and my brother as my wise cracking sidekick, and we would protect our street from the villages evil villains….. we kept the street clean! Anyway I agreed, and myself, my mum and brothers all sat down to watch it. Little did I know the impact this film would have on me, and how much I would regress back to my childhood and rediscover my love for Batman.
Fast forward 7 years and two films later and I’m sat in the Odeon Leicester Square, watching the final instalment of Christopher Nolan’s Batman saga. I’m on the edge of my seat, gripped and mesmerized, when I feel a sinking feeling beginning develop in my stomach. A heart-warming, but at the same time heart wrenching thought dawns on me. I am watching the last few minutes of a film trilogy that has kept me entertained, capsulated and excited for 7 years. It was the realisation that this was the end of an era, the closing of a chapter in my life, like the end of school or uni, or the feeling during the last few days before an old friend leaves you or a loved one moves on.
Christopher Nolan rescued and saved a superhero that was drowning, on its last breath and need of the kiss of life to save it. The way in which he has rebooted this franchise is incredible. Nolan swapped the heavy use of CGI for traditional stunts, scale models and the use of thousands of extras to create ‘real’, believable and jaw dropping action scenes. (See link at bottom). He has single handily reinvented the superhero genre, with a darker and more intelligent, in depth telling of one of the best, if not the greatest, superhero stories.
If we look at the wider superhero world, before Batman, filmmakers had always played it safe, creating easy to watch, one dimensional stories which focus more on the action, superhero powers and the superhero themselves, and their triumph in saving the day, rather than the emotional and psychological story of what the heroes have to go through. With all three Nolan films Batman’s victories are always short lived, he’s always the fall guy, a vigilante, and Nolan focuses the story on the human side to our hero and the personal torment and loneliness Batman has to suffer in order to do what he believes is right for the city he loves.
Unlike more recent reboots like the very poor The Amazing Spiderman, which tells the same boring and predictable story, with one of the most appalling villains I’ve ever seen, (and was simply made so Sony could hold on to Spiderman for 2 more years and keep it out of Disney’s grasp), Nolan gave the story a complete makeover moving away from the cheesy, predictable and un-emotional story and instead, presents new portrayal of how Bruce Wayne became Batman in Batman Begins. Showing a darker side to Batman, telling the story of how Bruce Wayne, driven by the grief of his parents channelled his anger and need for vengeance into becoming a symbol of hope for those who couldn’t help themselves.
And this sets the tone for the franchise and when the Dark Knight returned in 2008, the films reached a whole new level. Heath Ledger’s Oscar winning performance as the Joker, pushed Batman to the limits of his strict moral code and caused him to question what he may need to become to defeat a man who had no agenda, and nothing to lose, and simply got his kick out of being an agent of chaos and watching the city turn on itself and burn itself to the ground. And you could see a slight shift in focus here from Nolan, as Batman took a bit of a back seat and the Joker took a more leading role in the film.
The Dark Knight Rises has more rounded focus with several characters sharing the focus and it picks up the story 8 years on after Batman took the blame for Harvey Dent’s death. The task of protecting Gotham has been left in the hands of Commissioner Gordon, who has brought peace to Gotham, with the passing of the Harvey Dent act, leaving no need for Batman. Old and haggard, requiring the use of a walking stick Batman is all but retired.
But as Selina Kyle whispers to Bruce, there is indeed a storm coming in the shape of Bane, a savage (and enourmous) terrorist who’s determined to fulfil the League of Shadows work to destroy Gotham in order to ‘save’ it from itself, which forces Bruce to don his cape once again. But Bane provides a new challenge. Unlike the Joker’s who looked to kill the Batman psychologically by destroying everything around him, forcing him to question whether he was doing the right thing, Bane simply see’s Batman as a small hindrance, an annoying fly who just needs to be swatted out the way. Bane proves to be Batman’s most physical test. After being lured down to the sewers by Selina Kyle (Catwomen, although not referred to by this name in the whole film) Batman gets a brutal and savage beating, breaking his mask and his back in the process. A clear demonstration of his physical dominance and for the first time you see a vulnerable, weak and broken Batman.
While Batman is exiled to the prison in which Bane grew up in to watch, helpless while Gotham falls. After isolating the city by blowing the bridges and trapping the police in the sewers. Bane keeps the city hostage with the threat of a nuclear bomb, and he and his army proclaim to take back the city, built on a lie, and give it back to the people. While at the same time not telling them that in 90 days the bomb will explode anyway, destroying the city and killing everyone.
This all leads to the dramatic climax, where after numerous failed efforts, with the fear of death hanging back over him, Bruce escapes and Batman rises to save Gotham from the brink of nuclear destruction, and for one last showdown with Bane on the steps of Gotham.
The brilliant thing about the Dark Knight Rises is the ending. It’s perfect! It has a very Inception feeling about it, answering enough questions to keep you satisfied but leaving enough open, to keep you wanting more.
The twist with Miranda, really brings the whole, Bane, Ra’s Al Ghul story together, and was completely unexpected. The return of Selina Kyle to save Batman from Bane’s execution left you wandering if she really had turned a corner and was hoping for a fresh start? And the emergence of John Blake’s first name after he picks up a bag left by Bruce, as Robin was genius and left me excited as to where the studio will take the story next.
But the real ‘Inception’ moment (is he dreaming or is it reality?), is just before the end and is the big question to come out of the film. Is Batman dead? After scarifying himself by flying the nuclear bomb out into the harbour for it to detonate, you assume the worst, especially after an emotional Alfred buries Bruce next to his parents. Mourning and alone, we see Alfred in a Paris cafe, where an earlier memory is alluded to in which Alfred tells Bruce about his hopes for his happiness. Alfred looks up and across his table and see’s Bruce, and a woman who appears to be Selina Kyle. They acknowledge each other, saying nothing, and Alfred leaves. Was this actually Bruce and Selina? Had Bruce faked his death? Or as someone at work interestingly pointed out, is it simply a metaphor for Bruce having found peace, and happiness in death? A typical Nolan ending. Open to interpretation which will fuel discussions for some time to come.
Nolan’s Batman trilogy has not only given superhero story telling a new, darker genre, but it reengaged not only it’s loyal ‘fan boys’ but also the wider general audience that had become slightly tired of the traditional superhero film. Batman gave them something new and fresh, and re-energised the superhero genre. It will be interesting to see the influence he has on the Superman reboot (Man of Steel) which he is involved in. But for now as I look back over the trilogy, I’m stuck between a sense of happiness and sadness that it’s over. Batman will be back, but I doubt whoever takes the reins will ever reach the heights of the Batman we’ve just let go.
HE’S THE HERO WE DESERVE,
BUT NOT THE ONE WE NEED RIGHT NOW,
HE’S A SILENT GUARDIAN,
A WATCHFUL PROTECTOR
A DARK KNIGHT…..
Dark Knight Rises Featurette - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wdGQm4MV_LI
Batman Trilogy Trailer http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1T__uN5xmC0
How would you define something interesting? Is it something that grabs your attention? If so, how does it do this? Is it because it is the same as everything else? Works and acts in the same way?
Probably not. In fact this is completely the opposite way you would describe something interesting.
Something interesting is in its very nature different and unconventional. It grabs your attention and keeps you hooked. Yearning for more. Original, fresh, bold, daring and unfazed by people’s opinions of it. So how come when it comes to people, in particular kids, someone who may be classed as ‘interesting’ gets cast aside because they ‘aren’t like the other kids’ or are classed as a problem child?
Society with its misunderstanding and narrow minded thinking, put pressure on these kids to suppress their differences, which is the very aspect of them that makes them interesting.
A perfect example of this is in Wes Andersons (Fantastic Mr Fox) Moonrise Kingdom that tells the story of two kids who have been labelled as ‘difficult, problem kids’ by their parents/foster parents. Alone, they find comfort in each other, and run away with each other. What ensues is a brilliantly funny and heart warming story that involves a search and rescue across the island with the islands police chief (Bruce Willis) and the islands armed scout group led by their scout master (Edward norton) in hot pursuit. If you haven’t seen it, I would highly recommend you do.
But what this film highlights perfectly is that society is too quick to label kids who are ‘different’ and don’t ‘fit in’ with societies ideals of how a person should be.
Telling them ‘you need to be like the other kids’
And worse still, diagnose them as having some social or psychological disorder. Giving up on them. At one point in the film the social services lady recommends that the boy has electrical shocks to his brain to help him! He’s nothing more than a Geeky boy scout, not a psychopathic murderer!!!
But this kind of behaviour isn’t confined to the stories of films. It’s rooted deep in our society. We’re happy with inanimate objects being different. They’re interesting. Pleasing on the eye. Art. We even love animals being different. Ingenious in their design. It’s nature at its best!
But people? Oh no, not at all. No, no, no!
It starts very young. At school, if the kids aren’t beating it out of them the teachers are teaching it out of them.
‘Maybe you should do so and so like all the other kids?’.
It doesn’t stop there. If they make it through their school life, with their identify and differences intact, some people, naive, sheltered and unsatisfied with themselves will attempt to take the persons differences, trim them down, and fit them in mould of what they see as ‘normal’.
If these kids aren’t cast aside, they are moulded into what people see as normal. Instead these kids need to be guided gently, keeping them on ‘the straight and narrow’, while allowing them to discover who and what they want to be.
There’s nothing more depressing than a room full of ‘normal’, indifferent people. No one remembers the people who ‘fit in’. They remember the people who are willing to go against the status quo. Stand out amongst the wall flowers and embrace what makes them ‘different’.
History has proven that ‘difference’ breeds success, new thinking and creativity. Einstein. Darwin. Zuckerberg. Jobs. Burton. Even Gaga.
We shouldn’t forget that. The kids have it tough enough today. Give them a chance. Let’s not write them off.
I was excited to pop my IMAX cherry, and what better mistress than Ridley Scott’s Prometheus…………..or so I thought.
After four of us survived a scrum to get in, that would have been a challenge to come out of alive for even the burliest of rugby players, we battled our way forward like soldiers, past a cinema worker, calling on her radio for back up like a solider pinned down and out numbered ‘I need back up, there’s too many of them, there’re breaking through!!!’, and made our way to the back to secure our primly located seats and declared victory over our seat-hunting-rivals below.
That excitement soon turned to boredom and like any lady of the night will tell you, ‘the ride becomes boring and unsatisfying the longer it goes on’, especially after 2 hours.
I won’t give too much of the story away (as I know a lot of people wouldn’t have seen it). But the story opens with the ship ‘Prometheus’ arriving after a 2 year voyage, at a planet which possibly holds the answers to the origins of mankind’s creators. This is where we first meet David (David Fassbender) who plays a robot which resembles Robin Williams Bicentennial Man so much, you wonder if it isn’t actually Robin Williams in makeup. The story then crawls along at snail’s pace, briefly explaining why they’re there, mixed in with a heavy dose of ‘goo’, a lot of bad acting (on the part of Logan Marshall-Green and Noomi Rapace), and leaving a truck load of questions unanswered, before we eventually are treated to a bit of action and short lived excitement.
Firstly Charlie Holloway (Logan Marshall-Green), one of our lead scientists gets unknowingly infected, and then partakes in a bit of space age baby making with his presumed girlfriend Elizabeth (Noomi Rapace)………oh yes it’s what you’re thinking.
We then ‘tragically’ loose our Charlie Holloway, well I say tragically it was more of a relief, like the relief you get when you wash chilli out of your eyes. Charlie is followed by two more deaths, before the most laughable scene of the film, the alien birth (well DIY Alien C-section). It was laughable. Predictable, and uninventive. I was gone, and my mind had wondered to my mum’s reheated bolognaise I had waiting at home.
After awaking the aliens, who surprisingly didn’t seem like talking, the alien’s subsequently disposed of the inferior humans, leaving Elizabeth fresh from her alien C-Section to somehow return to earth. After teasing the audience with several climaxes, only to tease us further and prolong the inevitable, the end finally came and was greeted by a sarcastic cheer from the audience.
Despite the incredible trailer, which promised so much, Prometheus delivered so little. Leaving so many unanswered questions throughout the film, simply left me confused and slightly used, like a guy who realises he’s been married for his money and never gets any of the good stuff (maybe the occasionally Wednesdays night blowjob).
If you do feel like taking a gamble, make sure you see it in IMAX or at least on a massive screen. As a colleague pointed out to me, felt like a set up for a sequel, but based on the reaction of the audience, Prometheus won’t be delivering anymore alien babies anytime soon.
In September 2008, on a warm Saturday afternoon I arrived at my halls in Coventry. Recharged after a year working and travelling I was excited to begin the next chapter of my life. I was flying the nest and I couldn’t wait to start!
4 years later, on a Monday morning at the end of May. I was coming to the end of my final 3 hour exam, when suddenly, just as I was beginning to answer the last question, it dawned on me…this was going to be the last ever exam question I will answer.
I felt a sombre mist descend over me, and my university life flashed before my eyes; epic parties and nights out, 9am lectures, late night coursework stress, back garden water slides, Pro Evo drinking, headers and volleys. For a second I took a minute to mourn the end of an era. And then from the back of mind, through the sombre mist, a question began to make its way to the forefront of my thoughts.
Was it really worth it?
A few of us talked about this over a pub lunch. We worked it out that we had spent well over £20,000 over the past 4 years, some of us a lot more in terms of money and time. Now the time thing doesn’t really bother me. My time here has been incredible, 3 years at uni in Coventry (not the liveliest or most eye pleasing city by any stretch of the imagination, but the student life was brilliant and I wouldn’t have changed it for the world) and the best year of my life in London. And to be honest the money doesn’t really bother me too much ether. The thing that bothers me more is, do employers still value a degree qualification as much as they did 10 years ago?
Questioning the value of my degree wouldn’t have crossed my mind before this year. But having spent the last 3 months searching for a job I had to question whether employers really paid any attention to someones degree? I know the majority of employers use it as an initial search filter, to wheedle down the numbers of applicants, but beyond that what’s its real value?
Every entry level job I have looked at (Marketing in the Film Industry) places emphasis on experience. ‘2 years experience required, experience in……required, experience managing….…required’. Prior to uni it is drummed into you that everyone needs to get a degree. That’s what employers look for. Your parents tell you stories of how not having a degree has hindered promotional opportunities for Uncle John and Auntie Dawn (who’s not your actual aunty, more a friend of the family). However as soon as you finish uni, the doors that you think may now be slightly ajar, are immediately slammed shut in your face due to that one reoccurring reason. Your ‘lack of experience’.
How is a graduate, fresh out of uni suppose to have any experience? They’ve been studying the 3 or 4 years!!! Yes they can spin it round in the interview to say they learn quickly, have a brilliant work ethic blah, blah, blah. But that’s only if they even manage to get that far.
Uni focuses on theories, and the application of these to the real world. But the real world is very different to a classroom. The theories don’t always fit. Uni places emphasis on exams, revision, referencing and coursework and little or no emphasis on developing student’s working experience. And this is where I think universities are to blame for the devaluing of their own qualification.
For those who do 3 years of solid study, they come out of uni with a ‘perceived’ knowledge of their industry but no experience working in it. What use is that to an employer? That’s the equivalent of saying ‘I theoretically know how to do the job, but I don’t have a frigging clue how I actually do it.’
Uni’s need to readjust their whole strategies. Enforcing placement years isn’t really viable or workable. There just simply aren’t enough companies who take on interns to cater for every student in the country. However uni’s need to place more emphasis on students taking placement years or at the very least undertaking work experience through out their studying, because when students graduate, a CV with no work experience on it is like a gold Christmas coin, looks good but is worth fuck all.
Shift the focus away from theories and utterly boring PowerPoint presentations, that simply regurgitate text books, and use real life scenarios and get industry leaders to lecture. Teach based on the latest industry developments, which are round the corner and are shaping the future industry landscape, not text books that are already out of date by the time they are printed.
I was lucky enough to get a placement at Walt Disney Studios in their marketing department working on new releases. It didn’t come easy to me; I had 6 months of rejection from everyone from BMW to Kraft and spent countless hours on applications. At first I wasn’t too keen on doing a placement, I didn’t want to delay finishing university another year after already taking a Gap year before uni. Eventually I decided it would be a good idea, as it would give me some solid experience and give me a better idea of what I wanted to do. To date, it was the best decision I have ever made.
The only reason I got considered for roles I applied for was because employers were interested in my time working at Disney, and the only reason I have the job I have now is a result of the work I did on my placement.
Without it I would be another number added to the under 25 unemployment figures, faced with uncertainty, and knowing that I faced a dogfight to secure my future. Fresh faced, degree in hand and £20,000 worse off, battling it out against candidates with experience pouring out their pockets with their degree stuffed, screwed up, in their back pocket, quietly confident it won’t be needed.
Without a shift in focus, universities are in danger of producing a generation of future employers, underprepared, disillusioned and at risk of being overlooked and overshadowed. £20,000 is going to triple to £60,000 in coming years and students are going to have to ask themselves some major questions and decide:
Is it really worth it?
Released in January 2012, Steve McQueen ‘Shame’ was the official selection of the 2011 Toronto and London film festival. I‘d read a lot of positive things about it, in particular the performance of Michael Fassbender. Mesmerizing and tense throughout, long uncut shots drawing you in, with an uneasy tension simmering throughout, Shame certainly didn’t disappoint.
Brandon (Michael Fassbender), is a 30 something, successful senior employee of company, which is never specified, who lives in a modern, but cold and sterile, New York apartment. There is nothing sexy about McQueen’s portrayal of sex addiction, and instead proves hard hitting, powerful, edgy and dark in places. The Guardian sums this up perfectly:
‘Steve McQueen likes long takes: he stays on a image for a lot longer than other directors would, so it feels like you’re forced to be there. For that reason, the sex scenes are difficult to watch. They don’t come across as erotic; they’re more mechanistic: we see a series of grimaces on Brandon’s face, and the faces of the women he has sex with. These people look as if they’re in pain.’
The opening scene paints the perfect picture for the theme and tone of the rest of film, cutting between Brandon intensely, but coldly staring at a woman on the subway (who turns out to be married), with only one thought on his mind, and his apartment where he entertains a call girl. One wank, and two full frontal shots later you jump back onto the subway and get a brief taste of the guilt that travels along with this story.
A woman who you hear in the opening scene leaving estranged messages, turns out to be his sister Sissy (Carey Mulligan). They share an uneasy sexual tension, and I half expected it to take a slightly darker and dirtier turn. Sissy is the polar opposite of Brandon, emotionally giving and vulnerable, dependent on her brother, and their relationship is volatile and you sense that they share some dark secrets from their past. But with the story not offering any easy answers throughout, offering no root of the causes of Sissy and Brandon’s problems, the audience is left to infer from the spats of anger and uneasy sexual tension……….all signs point towards a dark and sinister crescendo.
His relationship with his sister aside, Brandon’s life may seem on the surface of it appealing and envious to some guys. Why wouldn’t it? Successful at work and loved by his boss by day, and sleeping his way round New York by night. But as we get a deeper insight into his life, we begin to see, his behaviour, his addiction, as a scab covering a wound that has become to shape him. As we scratch away at the scab, we see a wound that runs deep. A virus that has consumed him. Shame.
Shame is a topic rarely talked about. Why would it be? Shame in its very nature is something we want to hide in a box and bury underground. Shame is easily confused with guilt. But guilt is talked about all the time. Guilt is associated with behaviour, I wish I hadn’t done that’, ‘I feel bad for doing that’, and as humans we always talk about guilt, it’s what makes us feel better about what we have done. Guilt is a defence mechanism used to protect ourselves.
But shame is something much deeper. Shame focuses on the self. Shame is that voice in your head reminding you of your biggest insecurities, rearing it’s ugly head just as you’re about to take a risk, put yourself out there, be vulnerable, take a leap of faith. ‘You’re not good enough’, ‘You can’t do that’.
Sex addiction is an illness of intimacy. The shame Brandon demonstrates throughout the film, isn’t so much the shame of the sexual act or sexual pleasure he urns for, it’s the shame not being able to be intimate or develop a relationship with anyone, stemming from the insecurity of thinking he’s not good enough for anyone else.
Not being good enough. Let’s consider that in a more general sense for a minute. Is that sentence not our greatest fear? The one thing that restrains us from putting ourselves out there, taking that risk or simply saying yes? But why? If we quiet down that voice, and look it in the eyes, 99% of the time that voice is our own. We’re our own biggest critic.
‘It is not the critic, who sits there and points out how the doer could have done things better, who counts. The credit goes to the man in the arena, whose face is marred with blood, sweat and tears. When he’s in the arena at best he wins, and at worst he looses, but when he looses he does so daring greatly’
Shame not only highlights the dark and lonely life a sex addict leads but also demonstrates the crippling effect shame can have on someone if they live with it silently, letting that voice in their head dictate how they live their life. Shame is a must see, but a word of warning, it’s defiantly not one to watch with the family.
Silence the voice of shame, and walk into that arena daring greatly.
Brene Brown – Listening to Shame – TED: http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/en/brene_brown_listening_to_shame.html
Bill Gates recently gave a speech at a High School about eleven 11 things they did not and will not learn in school.
He talks about how feel-good, politically correct teachings created a generation of kids with no concept of reality and how this concept set them up for failure in the real world.
Rule 1 : Life is not fair - get used to it!
Rule 2 : The world doesn’t care about your self-esteem.
- The world will expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself.
Rule 3 : You will NOT make $60,000 a year right out of high school.
- You won’t be a vice-president with a car phone until you earn both.
Rule 4 : If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss
Rule 5 : Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity.
- Your Grandparents had a different word for burger flipping: They called it opportunity.
Rule 6 : If you mess up, it’s not your parents’ fault, so don’t whine about your mistakes, learn from them.
Rule 7 : Before you were born, your parents weren’t as boring as they are now.
- They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes and listening to you talk about how cool you thought you were: So before you save the rain forest from the parasites of your parent’s generation, try delousing the closet in your own room..
Rule 8 : Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life HAS NOT.
- In some schools, they have abolished failing grades and they’ll give you as MANY TIMES as you want to get the right answer. *This doesn’t bear the slightest resemblance to ANYTHING in real life.
Rule 9 : Life is not divided into semesters. You don’t get summers off and very few employers are interested in helping you FIND YOURSELF. *Do that on your own time.
Rule 10 : Television is NOT real life. In real life people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.
Rule 11 : Be nice to nerds. Chances are you’ll end up working for one..
If you can read this… Thank a Teacher.
If you can read this in English… Thank a Soldier!
And for life and everything else you have… Thank your parents!