Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Movie Trailer - INTO THE WILD (2007)

From what I understood so far, I think that Sean Penn's movie (based on real life events and a book) "Into the Wild" is about a young man who's tired of his everyday life in his cozy house but apparently, the life he is leading with his family, who seem to be the rich and pretentious type (?), isn't the one he wants to live and after fetching himself a car, he finally starts his adventure in a new world he wants to discover. This story seem to be about finding ourselves and thanks to the trailer, I understood that maybe the man's goal is to go to Alaska and finally find the answers to the question that had been bugging his whole existence. Of course, during his travels he meets different people and experiences a lot of breath taking experiences that makes his life worth living.

If I had to relate this movie to 2 notions, I'll pick "Myths and Heroes" first because the main character seems to be the brave type of guy who wont hesitate to make his dreams come true. He's like a role model to us because he looks like he's trying to tell us to follow our dreams no matter what chains us behind and, to reach our limits by doing so; The second notion would be the "Notion of Progress" but in my opinion, instead of progressing forward the main character takes a few steps back because after starting his travels, he burns his money and rips his credit cards which means that he is separating himself from our society. Of course, he ends up in the category of the good salvage because he won't be influenced by materialistic thoughts and concentrate himself on true values. This way of thinking can also be related to Jean-Jacques Rousseau's book about the good willed salvage.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Free Post : My Own Art

Free Post : My Art :

I had a hard time picking a subject for this post but after talking with my classmates and hearing their opinions, I decided to do something about a theme which i hold dear to me : drawing.
I'm not the greatest artist out there but I'm not half bad either I guess. I started drawing when I was 3 or 4 years old I think... since I never got to go to kindergarten and make friends my age, I was bored and lonely by myself at home. One day though, my older sister gave me a book full of drawings and told me to try to copy them all (if could)  just to spend the time. After that, I spent my whole days drawings and wasting a hundred of papers (who could have been used for a better cause instead of some kid's doodles) and I improved a little over the years. 
My teachers used to tell me that I was pretty talented so I continued to draw everyday and now, here I am. I came a long way I supposed ? Well, I like what I do and I like drawing so everything is well.
I usually draw on my tablet or on my copybooks but I mostly do them on my Bamboo tablet. It looks rather easy but drawing is so hard I almost destroyed my computer when I first got it. Now things are, fortunately, going smoothly. I've been drawing on a tablet for 2 years anyways !

Well, to finish my post, I would like to say that I take art seriously even though I can't draw landscapes or realistic stuff but its fun to draw cute little people even though they don't look like real people. Everything is about having fun and if you think that you're enjoying yourself, everything is good !

Some drawings: 

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Locations and Forms of Power - 71 Into The Fire (MOVIE):

The 71 student-soldiers in front 
of P'ohang-dong Girl's Middle School.

Oh Jang-Beom, one of the student-soldiers 
(the protagonist).

71 Into the Fire is a Korean War Drama Movie filmed in 2010 and directed by the movie director Lee Jae-han in Korea. The movie was based on real-life events and was made as a commemoration for the student-soldiers that fought during the Korean War between South Korea and North Korea in order to raise awareness and show how important the sacrifices of those young people brought to the country.

 P'ohang-dong Girl's Middle School.

The movie is shown through the eyes of a South Korean student-soldier called Oh Jang-Beom who had to deliver supplies and bullets during the battle inside Yeondeok (North Gyeonsang Province) and since he was an under-trained and clueless soldier, he was terrified and completely lost, not knowing what to do or where to stand.  During that battle, the North Korean soldiers outnumbered the South Korean ones which meant that the South Korean side had to retreat from the battle, that’s how Oh Jang-Beom, the protagonist, was saved by one of his superiors.
Unfortunately, while everyone tried to save themselves from the enemy, said superior was harshly hurt protecting Jang-Beom from a North Korean soldier. Feeling guilty for not being brave enough to save him, Jang-Beom stays by his superior side until the end and holds his hand until said man lets out his last breath. Deciding to keep the bullet who was supposed to save his superior from that north Korean soldier as a memento, Jang-Beom was chosen as the leader of the troop of student-soldier in the era of Pohang and their mission was to protect P’ohang-dong Girls’s middle school because it was a strategic point for safeguarding the Nakdong River from an North Korean assault. Nakdong River was an important battle because if the South Korean army loses against the enemy there, the war is over for them; that’s why the student-soldiers were used as a shield made of human flesh in order to slow down the approach of the North Korean backups towards Nakdong River.

To sum up the whole movie, the story is about how Oh Jang-Beom tries to lead the group of student soldiers but most of them (everyone) didn’t know how to use weapons and they never fought in a war. They thought that they could crush the enemy easily because the US army was on their side, but they were just a group of young people who never held a gun. 
A trio of thugs who aren't soldiers joined the battle because they wanted to “kick some communist behind” and because of the arrogance of those three (whose leader is a man called Gu Kap-Jo), Jang Beom has a hard time leading the student soldiers.


I decided to pick this movie for the “Notion of Power” because its one of my favorite movies and I also think that the Korean war is pretty important in our lives because it’s still an actual conflict nowadays and we can also see how the army can be desperate and irresponsible to the point of sending out a group of teenagers and students, who were supposed to be the country’s future, fight against a group of brutes ready to die for their countries. We can also see the power of brainwashing in the South Korean troops because they told them that the North Korean were monsters that had to die, but once they met them in real life, they were normal people just like them; the only difference was the reason they were fighting for. 
In other words, the war controlled its people and wasted the lives of hundreds of them because of different ideals. Everyone had a future but all their capacities and dreams were shattered because of different influences that touched both sides of Korea. The North Korean who were communist and wanted to unify Korea as a communist country; and the South Korean soldiers who were against such ideas and who were supported by the US army.



Oh Jang-Beom last meeting with his mother.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Notion of Power : REDACTED by Brian de Palma

This movie directed by Brian De Palma in 2007 tries to sum up the events of the war in Iraq by the American soldiers in the Iraqi grounds. It deals with a really hard and strong subject and this movie denounces the gruesome acts of the American government by sending their soldiers to terrorize the Iraqi populations. They try to defend themselves by saying that all they did was right but thanks to this movie, we know what exactly happened and how horrible those soldiers were by behaving in a mortifying way with the population.

The way the movie was filmed makes us think that one of the American soldiers was filming the whole events with his camera which makes the scene look more real and striking to the viewers. It is supposed to be a movie based on real events and the director tried his best to make it look like they were shooting videos and pictures of archives. It is a critic of the US government and it enlightens the world about the events that happened in Iraq at that time. The US soldiers weren't "saviors" but monsters for those people (see video 2). It is a really hard movie because you can't believe such atrocities really happened and the way it was filmed makes it unbearable for the watchers to watch it with a straight face. 

This movie can be put in relation with the notion of power because the US government obviously uses the hard power in Iraq and the soldiers abuse of their power on the population without holding back, which makes them look like the lowest scums ever. Its an abuse of power and they won't stop because they know that their government wont judge them because they are "doing the right thing for America" and "Iraq is the enemy anyways."


Synopsis : Rotten Tomatoes

Director Brian De Palma turns his lens on the Iraq War with this "fictional documentary" about the experience of U.S. soldiers involved in the conflict. Based on a news item about the rape of an Iraqi schoolgirl by wayward grunts assigned to patrol a checkpoint, the film depicts a scenario not unlike the one De Palma covered in Casualties of War. Shot on high-definition video, Redacted also addresses the ever-evolving manner in which war is covered by the media by focusing on such journalisticinnovations as blog coverage and web reporting. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

Review by :  MesopotamicA from United Kingdom - IMDb

An IRAQI's Comment (Who witnessed the war) 

I would give this movie 10 stars for the courage that the producers had shown to reveal the truth about was going on there in Iraq.

First of all I am an Iraqi who witnessed everything that happened since the first moment the war took place. I am not an American who is in favour of certain political wing or party. And it is really frustrating to hear those voices picking holes in De Palma's movie and accusing him of being biased or not knowing how the army operates or..or ..or ..etc. You don't need to know anything to be human!! and to stop killing, supporting, or covering for the killing of the innocents.

It is not about elections and politics!! it is about hundreds of people getting killed daily by different groups whether Al-Qaeda, the militias, death squads, or the coalition forces themselves!! The movie was so touching in every single aspect for an Iraqi who had lived there and witnessed the war. The combination of bad and good soldiers is so true. And choosing Sammara rather than any other province or city was so wise since the pressure and threat that the soldiers are under there is not the same for soldiers who are in rather safer areas like the Northern part of Iraq. Also the psychological pressure that most of those soldiers are under has been made clear in this movie; as well as, the negativity, hostility and racism of some soldiers..If you are an Iraqi who understands English, you can understand what the American soldiers mumble or yell about every time an Iraqi approaches them. You can tell from the look whether that soldier is a good or a bad one. Something that has been successfully shown and well presented in that movie.

Like most of the people who support the American army there and consider every Iraqi or Muslim a terrorist or "desert nig**r" or "rag head", most of the Iraqis and Muslims consider every troop a thief, raper, and occupier who is after money, oil and damaging or destroying Islam. But does that mean that they are right? they are both wrong!! All the movie did is that it put the reality of what is going on in Iraq in to cinema cause not all people follow the news or know which media to be trusted; moreover, it didn't say that those stories or characters are true or ever existed. And you don't need De Palma or the Fox news to tell you that!! May be it is true that they might not know a lot about Iraq, but what makes you think that you know better than them about Iraq??!!..

Another true and clever thing about the movie were the videos posted on the internet whether for the insurgents, soldiers' wives, or the people who oppose such disgraceful crimes. Also how, in the end, the innocent soldiers were the ones who pay for the crimes that their teammates commit whether physically (Salazar) or psychologically (McCoy).

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

MADtv iRack Video

After watching this video, I think that the notion most fitting with its context has to be "Progress & Notion of Power" because we can definitely see the idea of power in this video.
Steves Jobs is presenting a new iProduct whose name is "iRack" and the first thing that we think about after hearing this name is Iraq, the country. We can immediately relate the events of this video with the actions George W Bush decided to make after the tragic events of 9/11, who were to fight terrorism and attack Iraq based of speculations like "Ben Laden is hiding there" and what not. Eventually, Steve Jobs represents W.Bush/America in this video and he keeps putting products on the iRack who, obvious, are soldiers, and the spectators are against it because they don't want to see Steve Jobs (aka America) invade the "poor iRack". Eventually, Steve Jobs doesn't hear their pleads and continues stuffing the iRack with objects until it blows up. The people who are against this "act of violence" can represent the European states against Iraq's invasion, or, the American within the american state who're against such violence. In other words, the Notion of Power can definitely be used in this case because "Steve Jobs" doesn't hear everyone's opinions and keeps doing whatever he wants thanks to brutal violence and his own and personal opinion.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

POST 3: Individual Work on "The Idea Of Progress"

Facebook Home : "Airplane"

After a long time trying to figure out which document I should pick for my presentation, I ended up choosing one of the most cliché topics to ever bless our generation: Facebook.

Like I said previously, this document is a video I found on YouTube and it’s a Facebook add that promotes its qualities and characteristics. The main character has to be the gentleman boarding his plane and checking his profile before the plane launches in the air. It is a comical commercial because the man in question, after looking at his friend’s updates on his phone, feels like he is sharing those moments with them in real life even though they are apart. It’s funny how we see people randomly appearing out of nowhere in the plane. Obviously, no one seems to notice those visions because everything goes through the main character’s brain, and it feels like he is traveling twice because we can see him physically going somewhere through the plain and mentally swimming in his imagination thanks to his friend’s Facebook updates.
The video ends with a hostess who asks the man to stop using his phone so the plane could launch in the airs. Before doing so, he checks his profile for one last time before drifting in his passenger seat with his friends updates still in memory.

Thanks to our new technology, in this case, Facebook, we can get in touch with people we lost contact with and we can even chat and share memories together through a thin screen that can be our telephones or laptops/computers. Nowadays, talking to people who live miles away is extremely easy if we have internet or phones, so now we can even meet new people we never met in real life or talk to persons with lost contact with through the years. Finding said people is extremely easy when we just have to remember their names and enter it on our Facebook “search” page.
Facebook is used by almost everyone, and it has a lot of accounts. We can say that it’s a huge community and having someone in front of you doesn't seem to be a necessity ever since we have the internet. It can be used for a lot of things like sharing pictures, messing around with your friend’s profiles, playing online games and of course, talk to people.

Personally, I’m not a “Facebook addict”. I hardly get online. The only time I go there is probably about the homework is missed or I simply “stalk” my friend’s pictures (not like it would change my life, but it’s a good way to pass time). I might be skeptical towards Facebook but it can be pretty useful for people who can't talk to their friends because of geographical reasons. It’s always nice to see people reunited thanks to that mainstream social media, so I shouldn't spoil their fun even though I don’t agree with the statement “Facebook it’s the greatest thing ever”.

High technology is improving really quickly and it tries its best to make our life easier, and by easier, I mean:”not leaving your house just to talk to people.”

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Post 2 : Videos

1. Mr. Too much Technology Gadget Guy


This video is structured around two main narrative voices and a character illustrating what the voice-over says while a singer often simply repeats what's just been said.

The setting is a Christian home and church, so this particular context is particularly meaningful. We can notice on various occasions that the main character is addicted to high-tech products, mostly smartphones. He is shown as a family man unable to communicate with his wife, except through texting. He is also shown as a church-goer incapable of attending worship  without all his phones vibrating all the time, marking him look like he's full of the holy spirit.
Finally, he is depicted as a computer geek whose life has become extremely complicated instead of having been simplified.

Basically, this video means that high technology has become a religion for many people, even Christians who are not supposed to be materialistic. 
=> Then, in a christian lifestyle, quite a few church goers and believers tend to focus more on materialistic issues rather than spiritual ones. 
=> We can add that technology reigns supreme for many people who revere it as a God enlightening his followers. 
The question is, is this a real progress for mankind ? 

2. When Technology is too much / OR : Missing SAT Question :

Two people are stuck on an elevator in a place that seems literally empty.
The man looks annoyed. He might be an office worker walking to his job.The woman claims that she is already late, so for her, this is the last straw. At one point, she's about to cry and asks for a phone. 
In short, they both look helpless and even hopeless.

 We can relate this situation to a fairly common one in real life : getting stuck on/in an elevator. The difference is, however, that in this situation, people have the right to fell panicky whereas on an escalator, there is no reason whatsoever to be panic. 
This video points out the increasing dependence of human beings on technology. If it goes missing, it is as if a crutch had been taken away from, so these two people cannot even climb the stairs which would be the normal thing to do. We could think  that technological progress makes humans lazy or at least less prone to taking initiatives by themselves.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Post 1 : A Cartoon by Chappatte

This drawing is a cartoon published in the International Herald Tribune and drawn by Chappatte, a rather famous cartoonist. The exact date of its publication is unfortunately unknown.
This cartoon which seems like an innocent attempt to provoke laughter in the audience actually holds a striking and important message that tackles a really important issue going on nowadays in our media-obsessed world. It is a much debated topic because the theme of pirating movies or music (in this case : a movie) is tackled and so frequently used that some people even consider it as "normal" thing when it should be illegal.

This cartoon is made up of 3 main characters that catch our eye from the start, it also includes a dialogue bubble, a red carpet and a huge sign that reads "Cannes". Among our main characters, we have a young a stunning lady, standing next to a young man who looks like a movie director and that said man is signing an autograph for a young teen who says "I love your movies, I've pirated them all". On his t-shirt, we can see the "@" sign, and that tell us that the blond boy is the representation of the internet.

The Cartoonist Chappatte is aiming to tell us that people nowadays tend to download movies on the internet instead of purchasing them. This cartoon raises our consciousness because it makes us aware of how deep we are in the pirating world because downloading movies illegally is an act of thievery towards the people who spend their gaining in other to achieve their goals.

Overall, this cartoon is trying to show us the way our century works by reminding us that we can find everything on the internet by "stealing" it from their rightful owners. To us, it doesn't mean anything, but for the ones who made those things, its a whole new story. It is amazing how people can download illegally and still get away with it (most of the time).

This document is not really original but at least, it gives us a simple but accurate summary or this situation. I personally find it convincing and effective because things pretty much work like this nowadays.
I have to agree with this message even though i tend to download movies from the internet most of the time (but i also go to the movie theater 99% of the time!) and i think that the cartoonist was right to choose this topic because i'm sure a lot of people will feel concerned when they see it.

This whole subject and cartoon makes me think that the progress of the internet and our technology are going a little too far. Now, people can download those movies, put them in CDs and then sell them in their shops.  I hate it when people do that because its like they are claiming all the rights of the movies for themselves, and it pains me to know that some people to these kind of pirating conspiracy in my home country. People should stop doing that and start respecting other people's hard work instead.