When I was much younger I remember seeing a website called ‘Hollywood Jesus’ (and I won’t provide a link to it because you can basically Google it, and it really isn’t what it used to be) that proved that you could literally get anything out of basically any movie whatsoever. Okay, that was a Christian website pretty much pulling Christian content out of pretty much all of the movies out there (with, maybe, the exception of Debbie Does Dallas). What that made me realise that even with the most mindnumbing of movies there is something in it that we can take away.
It is been over a year since I have returned from Europe and I realised that I haven’t yet written about Macbeth. Actually, there are quite a lot of things that I have been meaning to write about, both on this blog and on my travel blog, that I simply haven’t got around to doing just yet. I guess a part of it is because there is an awful lot of stuff that I could write about, and also with work and with other things that have got in the way, the amount that I have been able to write has been limited. However, of late I have only intended to post one post a week (and one post a fortnight on my travel blog), and there has been plenty of stuff for me to post that I guess letting a number of things drift isn’t all that bad. However, I did see Macbeth, and I should at least put some time aside to write about it.
We recently finished reading Dracula at our bookclub, and while I have already written a review on the book, I felt that not only was there much more I could say, but I simply cannot leave the book at simply the book because of the huge amount of influence that it has had on our society. For instance, people have said that after reading the book as young person they so fell in love with it that they ended up carrying it everywhere and regularly consulting it (I have a problem – what will Dracula do?). Well, I’m actually not all that sure whether Dracula can be considered a practical guide to life in the way that the Bible is, but also I am not surprised that there are such reactions to the book.
As I was sitting in the theatre watching this play a part of me was wondering if there is actually much more that I could write about this play than the obvious – racism, feminism, and maybe homosexuality. In a way these three aspects seem to dominate the Merchant of Venice, with some critics simply writing it off as some anti-semetic rant of Shakespeare’s. In a way I can understand why people see it that way because our Jewish anti-hero does come across as vengeful, greedy, and quite unforgiving.
Well, that was rather fortuitous that Christopher Nolan released a movie about the evacuation at Dunkirk almost a year after I had visited the place, which basically gives me an excuse to actually write about my experience at the museum. Mind you, there actually isn’t all that much in Dunkirk, and don’t expect a place swarming with tourists or anything, it really isn’t that sort of town. Sure, it does have a beach, but that is basically about it. In fact, when I was sitting in the hotel lobby with a beer and my laptop, at least two couples approached the concierge and asked them if there was anything to actually do (at least at night). Mind you, the hotel that I stayed at was pretty shocking, and they also double-charged me for my room, so not surprisingly I gave it a pretty low score on Yelp.
Well, if you haven’t read the first part of this post then I recommend that you do, namely because I explore the history of the nude, and also how the concept changed in the early 20th Century as we moved from the public to the private space. The other thing is that I am running through is the idea of where the line is drawn, and what we would consider offensive. One idea has suggested as to whether the image is sensual or not, yet there are works of art hanging on the walls of art galleries for everybody to see that are incredibly sensual. The other thing is that we are probably much more relaxed with regards to the naked body that the British of the Victorian era were, who were renown for being rather prude.
There is probably very few things more controversial in art than the idea of the nude. Sure, artists have been painting, sculpting, and creating nude images for millenia, yet there is always this debate over whether it is right to display the unclothed human body, and whether we should prevent the young from being exposed to such images. The question always comes down to where one draws the line between art and pornography. Mind you this line is actually a pretty subjective line, and is also a line that isn’t necessarily set between gender identities – there are women who consider pornography to be fine, while there are men who are absolutely appalled by the industry.
After seeing Cats I thought that I had seen all of the musicals that I wanted to see (with maybe the exception of Jesus Christ Superstar, though I don’t really have any huge desire to see Phantom on the Opera, though some Gilbert and Sullivan might be a goer). However, one day last year I discovered that they were advertising The Book of Mormon on the trams, and a part of me suspected that it was coming to Melbourne. Well, it was, but ironically they had started advertising the musical a year in advance, which quite surprised me because I didn’t expect that it would need such a long period of advertising, that is until I asked a friend who pointed out that the show is incredibly popular, and you simply can’t walk into the theatre and buy your tickets because the shows end up being booked months in advance. As it turned out this was the case here in Australia – well, not quite, but the show that I saw had sold out.
You know, I could analyse some of the modern films, and in a way I do, but one of the things that I have discovered while spending too much time watching Youtube videos is that basically everybody does that anyway. Honestly, you really couldn’t believe how many write-ups there are of Tenet when it came out, and that is not to mention other films such as, well, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. Yeah, sure, all of the established media companies will have multiple write-ups about them (along with reviews), but so will countless numbers of bloggers and Youtube channels. In a way, it is a crowded marketplace, and I am only one of many.
There certainly were quite a few museums along that stretch of road on the southern bank of the Mainz, and it was always going to be a bit of a toss up as to which ones we would end up visiting. As I suggested previously I was somewhat glad that the World Cultures Museum was closed because, well, the more I thought about it the more I realised that I wasn’t particularly interested in seeing a museum focused on world cultures – I personally prefer to experience them first hand as opposed to in a museum, though I have written a post on Australian Aboriginals since there was a room dedicated to them at the Museum of South Australia.