• Hello,Welcome to Play.com.  . (Not youSign in?) | Register
  • 0 SuperPoints
  • Your Account
  • Help

Product Reviews

Reviewer:
lascenara17
Reviews:
0
Votes:
105 (66% helpful)

Page 1 of 0

  1.  sad, enraging, haunting, appalling, rippling

    Posted: 

    'The Beauty Myth' is the last true polemic of modern feminism. These days the movement has petered out so much, is lacking so many stand alone landmarks like 'The Beauty Myth' and has been appropriated by reactionary female journalists in the right-wing media that one can feel very jaded to call it a 'movement' at all, much less join its cause.
    Wolf is an exemplary voice for the movement, because, as her book demonstrates, she is devstatingly adept at fusing the statistical and factual destruction wrought against women worldwide with a believable sense of personal, human rage at these injustices. She's skillful towards her main point: the book starts with opening chapters on innocuously strraight-forward subjects such as 'Work' and 'Culture', but it eventually becomes clear that Wolf is going beyond mere statistics by examining the nature of the words 'Violence', 'Hunger' and 'Sex' and how every context, metaphorical, literal, cultural etc is covered by the evil of the beauty myth. One can easily feel overwhelmed at the escalation of atrocities recounted, and the comparisons Wolf makes that at first seem grandiose, but her strength comes from the constant grounding of her whole thesis in facts that are backed up by figures, quotes and testimonies from a range of identities within the myth, and this is what makes every realisation feel like a sledgehammer blow, because one remembers that this is all real, it's not a hypothesis or an opinion or speculation, Wolf is retelling real life and it makes for some ghastly truths to be confronted.
    Ignore the review below, because that reader obviously read the book without any interest in Wolf's thesis or feminism in general. There are no 'self-contradictions', no 'weaknesses'; Wolf is pointing out how damaging the patriarchal societies are in their cultural, financial and social misogyny and psychological control and programming of women. The reader below implies Wolf is countering misogyny with her own misandry; this is extremely untrue, in fact she never assigns blame to anyone for the beauty myth, except the forces of market capitalism, which everyone at this time in history can agree is intensely destructive wherever it infects. The fact that those in power are men is both a coincidence and an inevitability, and Wolf speculates how different and better a more feminised world would be, and, frankly, it's difficult to disagree with her. Wolf includes men just as much as women in her thesis, it's just that women are the primary target and are way more affected by the beauty myth than men are (even today, 21 years later).
    At the end of the day 'The Beauty Myth' is about how women are mercilessly attacked, physically, socially and mentally, by an aggressively money-obsessed system that exploits the beauty myth to every extreme with the dual goals of making an obscene amount of wealth over so much suffering and death, and to keep one half of the human race away from the mechanisms of political, economic and social power beneath the jackboot of enormous perceived physical inadequecy. You don't need to go by Naomi Wolf's painful, angry book alone to see those forces still going strong and still making hundreds of millions of women's lives a misery, but the book helps to get underneath that deeply troubled psychology, on both sides of the struggle.

  2.  Go ape

    Posted: 

    Terry Gilliam is infamous for being more hit-and-miss than even the latter day Francis Ford Coppola, but even his detractors will agree that when he gets it right he creates dazzling, mesmeric cinematic canon.
    Working at his best with vast and infinite themes, Gilliam feels comfortable and innovative with the subject of time-travel and the circular placement and references to visual and aural motifs. Throughout the film tiny bits of information are highlighted as remnants of the past, or the future, but ultimately they never really explain anything. Instead, we, as groups or individuals, must make up our minds about everything that happens, from the smallest to the largest of events.
    Taking time travel and altering realities as contextual touchstones, the film mainly concerns itself with the human reactions to madness. Bruce Willis' 'Cole' and Madeleine Stowe's 'Kathryn' begin to exchange their mental states repeatedly throughout the film, whilst Brad Pitt's clearly mental 'Jeffrey' at times seems the only one who has a set direction to travel in. These actions throw up the debate about whether realities are conjured in some or all of the minds of the characters or whether they're living in the real world, as manufactured by someone else.
    Heavy and confusing stuff, but with a powering narrative the audience is encouraged to combine their thoughts with new ones conjured by the extraordinary visuals. Granted, most of the film takes place in a mundane Philadelphia but the sudden bursts of dirty futurism, coupled with queasy and intruding camerawork totally offbalance any comfort in watching without being challanged. Gilliam's mantra has always been to rile and incite the audience to think actively and this is exactly how he constructs the film.
    Performances in such a movie are usually built to order. Pitt is reliably committed to being the most genuine nutcase this side of 'Cuckoo's Nest', while Willis shines as the mentally fractured convict 'Cole' who slowly starts to piece a realistic future for himself. Stowe is also an underrated talent, riffing off both Pitt's craziness and Willis' fragile humanity.
    As a final touch the film alludes to many facets of pop culture, albeit in sly, covert ways that prick on the occasional intelligence one might posess. The most obvious example is the homage to Hitchcock's 'Vertigo', complete with green suit and red lighting, perfectly mirroring that film's own analysis on the elastic extremeties of the human mind.
    This is not a film for anyone hungering after entertainment, or for fans of either Willis or Pitt. This is a film for fans of intellectually strong and meditative films that dare to question issues outside the picture screen. And of course, it's an assured must for Gilliam fans themselves. One of cinema's true Chinese puzzle boxes.

  3.  Typically manic but still warm and funny

    Posted: 

    This is a very funny comedy, a warm-hearted family saga and a typically Japanese road-movie all rolled into one! The animation is brilliant and Tokyo comes alive as a murky underworld reminiscent of New York in Taxi Driver, though far less pessimistic. I disliked how there seemed to be a few too many 'coincidences', but with such a likeable bunch of characters and an upbeat story (for once in an anime) it's hard not to like the film. Thumbs up!

  4.  That's 'You and Me' to you and me

    Posted: 

    A remarkable film in many ways. It sensitively highlights a pratically invisible problem in Britain and shows just how narrow-minded and racist we actually are. I felt disgraced after watching this disturbing story, and enraged that this problem has been blamed solely on the immigrants. That said, the film is a sad and poignant tale that gives life to something that is the butt of jokes and presents these people as decent humans who, like anyone, just wants to have a better life for themselves and their families. A fantastic and haunting tale, and something that this country's government should be thoroughly ashamed of watching

  5.  Pure cinema

    Posted: 

    Pather Panchali: The best film I have seen in a very long time, this is a beautiful work and peaen to humanity, shot with crisp and exquisite photography. There are a few twinges of melodrama, but throughout this is an absorbing and touching insight into a world of poverty, and how the innocence of childhood unconsciously endeavours to overcome it. Scored with a funky soundtrack of traditional Indian ragas and instruments this is a wonderful film about life that can be appreciated by any society. Magical.
    Aparajito: Ray's exploration of the beauty of life shifts in this film from a general concept onto a particular individual, the young boy Apu. Here his life proves to become increasingly challenging but he grows into his own with a new thirst for knowledge and to make something of himself. Though not without heart-wrenching tragedy, 'Aparajito' is nonethless a sublime sequel to 'Pather Panchali' and is replete with all the cool music, beautiful cinematography and warm humanism of the first film.
    The World of Apu: Ray's monumental trilogy comes to a close with the most dramatic of the three films, this time looking at Apu's troubled life as an adult. At first bullied into an arranged marriage, he finds it a blessing in disguise, until cruel tragedy again interferes in his life, and it seems this is one pain too many. But, as Ray shows, life is just a balance between joy and sorrow and it is something we all must come to terms with. Less artistic but just as human and emotional as the previous two films, 'Apur Sansar' is a fittingly upbeat conclusion to an incredible series of films and seals Ray's reputation as an underrated master of cinema.

  6.  Good and polished silent effort

    Posted: 

    This is a beautiful film, both emotionally and visually. Stunning set design and a sultry, sexy atmoshpere drench the film in a noirish haze. The melodrama is perhaps too thick for modern audiences, but women always love a good love story and Betty Amann's irrresistibility will certainly keep men watching. Overall, a vivid and pretty film to watch, just its over the top story keeps it firmly in the 1920s

  7.  The saddest film ever made

    Posted: 

    A stunning film for many reasons. It graphically and angrily depicts lives devastated by war. It shows the Japanese to not just be a simple-minded race of suicidal warriors, but everyday people from any walk of life. And it chronicles a tragic and overwhelmingly sad story of a boy and his noble but foolish and futile efforts to provide for himself and his sister. Believable characters, beautiful animation and heart-rending music, this detailed and eloquent film is undoubtedly saddening and unsettling but it is bravely human and it is passionately pacifist, something rarely communicated convincingly in an anti-war film

  8.  The saddest film ever made

    Posted: 

    A stunning film for many reasons. It graphically and angrily depicts lives devastated by war. It shows the Japanese to not just be a simple-minded race of suicidal warriors, but everyday people from any walk of life. And it chronicles a tragic and overwhelmingly sad story of a boy and his noble but foolish and futile efforts to provide for himself and his sister. Believable characters, beautiful animation and heart-rending music, this detailed and eloquent film is undoubtedly saddening and unsettling but it is bravely human and it is passionately pacifist, something rarely communicated convincingly in an anti-war film

  9.  It's not overrated!

    Posted: 

    This is a masterful examination of identity, of who one is and who one really wants to be. It's an exploration of relationships, of being unable to get what you want, of how strong love can be. For a British film, this is outstanding, using the locations of grey Northern Ireland and murky, seedy London to marvellous effect. But the best thing about this film is the acting, with the quartet of main characters perfectly embodied by their respective actors, particularly Stephen Rea's unsure Fergus and Jaye Davidson's vulnerable Dil. A taut, punchy thriller with profound questions about love, violence and trust, just about overcoming the misjudged and unnecessary final scene

  10.  It's not overrated!

    Posted: 

    This is a masterful examination of identity, of who one is and who one really wants to be. It's an exploration of relationships, of being unable to get what you want, of how strong love can be. For a British film, this is outstanding, using the locations of grey Northern Ireland and murky, seedy London to marvellous effect. But the best thing about this film is the acting, with the quartet of main characters perfectly embodied by their respective actors, particularly Stephen Rea's unsure Fergus and Jaye Davidson's vulnerable Dil. A taut, punchy thriller with profound questions about love, violence and trust, just about overcoming the misjudged and unnecessary final scene