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.
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.
It seems as if there is a resurgence of interest in the plays of George Bernard Shaw, though when I say resurgence I am referring to having seen three plays of his over the past three years, which is significant because I pretty much haven’t seen any of his plays previously. That probably has a lot to do with not actually knowing about him, or having any appreciation of his work prior to purchasing a copy of Pygmalion and proceeding to read it. The other problem is that the lack of options when it comes to theatre in Australia, but then again it does teach me to keep my eyes open. However, the stage on screen series that are now being played at various cinemas around Australia helps a lot as well. So, when I discovered that Saint Joan was going to be one of the films shown I took the day off work, made my way down to the Palace Brighton Bay, and began to treat myself to another play that I am not expecting to see again any time soon.
I must admit that when I first saw this film years ago, back in the days that I was in Youth Group, and had a pretty one-eyed view of the world, I would have probably have had a heart attack upon realising that not only would I be writing a blog post on this film, but I would also be praising the film as well. I guess when one does have a pretty black and white view of the world and is blinded by the fact that people aren’t supposed to like Madonna (despite the fact that she still sells lots and lots of records, and people still flock to her concerts). However, here I am, and I guess the reason that I now see this film quite differently is because with age, comes wisdom.
I should start off by saying that it is a real shame that this film flopped as badly as it did namely because not only do I tend to quite enjoy films by Guy Ritchie, but he also has this ability of adding his own personality into his productions. While his first forays into the world of mainstream cinema tended to be stories that he had created, of late he has been exploring more popular topics, in particular Sherlock Holmes. In fact his portrayal of everybody’s favourite Consulting Detective was the impetus for me actually going back to the original works to see what they were like. However, I will leave any further comment on Sherlock Holmes for another day as today it is King Arthur’s turn.
Ah, yes, advertising – a pet hatred of mine, yet it is one of those things that capitalism seems to need to produce in order to survive. In my mind the concept of advertising (and marketing in general) is to convince somebody that they need something that they don’t want, and to then make them part ways with an extraordinary amount of money to possess it. The other aspect is built in obsolescence, and I have to admit that I cringe every time I hear a sales person mention that the product I just bought will need to be replaced in around two years (though my laptop is currently four years old, as is my desktop computer, and at this stage I see no need to replace either).