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Latest Articles

Latest Topics


Virtual Reality and the Web, The Movies and the tube.

What is the media landscape like right now? What can we expect from the up-and-coming art form of virtual reality? Considering the dominance of the internet as a legitimate source of entertainment, should we re-define the words "movie" and "cinema?" Finally, is narrative losing its importance to us as a form of media to be consumed? Basically, an article pondering the topic of where we came from, and where we are going.

  • I like the ambition of this, but I want to say that this is too vague/broad to tackle in one go. To redefine "movie", "cinema", refocusing "narrative" and to try and pinpoint the timeline of where we are currently in the media landscape is a task. Where who is exactly? Which form of media? Is this referring to the U.S., non-Western Cinema, mainstream vs. cult, high culture or pop culture? These all need to be defined in this topic before advancing because to cast a really, really broad net is going to cause a problem for this topic. I am also curious what role Virtual Reality is playing in your topic, as it isn't addressed, but it is focused on in the title. I love think-pieces, but this needs to be trimmed down before some real critical thinking can happen! – John McCracken 6 years ago
  • There's a lot of speculation on what is possible with VR movies and the cinematic language it will use. For example, there are many VR experiences in which the protagonist is the player/audience member wearing the headset - yet these are scripted movies. Could this be a new genre of movies that feel interactive though are not? – Kevin 6 years ago

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Latest Comments

Agreed. All creators should envy the sheer depth of intimacy of the original series.

Otaku as Artist: Hideaki Anno and Neon Genesis Evangelion

Leon, I agree with both ad and Dillon about the order of viewing, but i would like to clarify Ad’s point about having an open mind while watching the original television show.

First, don’t worry about Neon Genesis being over-hyped like Sword Art Online. It isn’t. To put it mildly, the two shows are polar opposites in terms of both artistry and fundamental mindset. While SAO both exemplifies and panders to some of the baser inclinations of anime culture, Neon Genesis still crests the very highest tier of artistry both within that culture, and possibly within the larger sphere of art cinema as well. While Sword Art was designed purely as an escapist experience (and yet due to muddled decisions in its execution, falls relatively flat as that for more jaded viewers) Neon Genesis stands as a fascinating work of art that also happens to be a masterclass in, well, all flavors of entertaining.

It’s masterfully paced, for one thing. The characters are immediately relatable yet richly textured and multi-faceted. The series as a whole is structured and directed like “the best monster-of-the-week show ever” (in the words of an anituber of old), but juggles an entire breadth of emotion over the course of its run, from lighthearted rom-com to thrilling procedural, from atmospheric art-house straight down to avante-garde psychological horror. I think Geoff Thew, a great anituber, made an excellent point about tonal shift being the most interesting thing about SAO. Well, imagine that, except so effective it’s like the show is dancing on air. At times stylishly, at times gracefully, always with sublime precision.

However, (this is the open mind part) I should warn you that NGE is also an incredible work of art, and like all incredible works of art, it is uncompromising.

From the beginning of the show, Anno makes it very clear what kind of story he wants to tell, and the level of performance with which he wants to tell it. He never once strays from these intentions, nor does he sacrifice them for baser commercialistic purposes (i guess you could say his team made the designs too iconic and cool, or something. ) Every moment, whether it’s a briskly paced badass mecha fight or a nuanced, slow-burn exchange of looks, is drenched in emotion and dense with meaning.

And the show doesn’t always give itself to you, either. Just look at the characters, and how audiences have responded to them since the show premiered decades ago. Shinji has in large part become a meme because doesn’t fit into the classical hero mold, though decisions to withhold themes of actualization like this (in this specific way) is one of the biggest reasons the show has endured for so long. That’s the difference between an easily digestible, well-liked memory and an iconic long-standing work. The first serves its narrowly defined purpose, and is gone. The second thrives on friction to go far.

But i think i’ve gone on long enough. Lol this was supposed to be a short comment, but the didact in my took hold.

Otaku as Artist: Hideaki Anno and Neon Genesis Evangelion

Inside Out is to me the most important movie that Pixar has ever made, and they couldn’t have released it at a better time than they did.

For many reasons, I have a feeling that 2015 was an emotionally turbulent year for a lot of up-and-coming youngsters at the tail end of Gen Y.

Without getting into detail about all the political, racial, and economic stuff going on then, I generally remember being taught, implicitly or otherwise, to suppress my negative emotions about everything in favor of a persistent positivity. Speaking from personal experience, it was kind of intimidating trying to socialize in environments where you feared being isolated because you gave off the wrong jubies, or where you felt inferior for having these negative feelings in the first place. I suspect I wasn’t the only one.

In this sense, I think Inside Out spoke to a lot of people, particularly the scene where Riley lost the ability to feel anything after shunning her personal right to sadness again and again. And the final conceit that emotions work best together is illustrated through what I feel to be a beautiful metaphor.

To tie this better into the article, I believe FilmCritHulk said it best when he said that “REASON IS NOTHING MORE THAN THE LEVEL OF COHERENCE BETWEEN OUR VERY REAL EMOTIONS.”

I mean, people will argue this point back and forth, but as a work of art that provides catharsis if only in the here and now, I think it’s kind of a beautiful message.

Anyway, that’s my piece. Great article ha ha. It’s funny because I’ve been thinking a lot about spiritual stuff recently, in relation to the emotions. Everything from Buddhist Psychology to Aquinas’s treatises on the nature of the universe shed a surprising amount of light on the nature of humanity. I mean, speaking as a person who didn’t take religion seriously until recently, there is a surprising amount of overlap between what doctrine says about the soul and what the sciences say about our the workings of our psyches.

Inside Out and St. Thomas Aquinas' Philosophy of the Emotions

Great article. Secret of Nimh rocks and the flower scene from Brave Little Toaster is one of the saddest things I have ever seen. Nothing beats Walt’s first three in terms of sheer force and majesty. Disney never quite recaptured these two qualities in quite the same way, even as they ventured into other, equally compelling routes.

Also, I think it was Hideaki Anno who said that children should be exposed to the harsh realities of the world as early as possible, right about when Eva started doing that to people (lol.)

Lastly, does Adult Swim count? Heh heh.

Should Children's Films be Dark or Light?

A great Dragon Ball Z style celebration of feminism, family, and love in its many many forms…

Also, Steven Universe is probably the best kid’s show about sex and intimacy ever made.

Masculinity in Steven Universe: A Matter of GEMder?