Thursday, January 29, 2009

My Cool

Happiness, Maverick, Sarcastic, Intellectual, Love, Mystical, Insight, Understanding, altruistic, Heart Dropping, No Fear, Beautiful, Morally Ambiguous

Monday, January 26, 2009

New York, Green Lantern, Pink Floyd and Daria!

I personally am wrapped up in nostalgic cool. I spend my weekends reading about times past because I find them interesting. On an average day my mind soars from Greenwich Village, New York when Bob Dylan first came there in 1961 to being on the set of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid . The next moment I may be nose deep in my favorite comic, Legends of the Dark Knight, that I started collecting as a kid. I have also started collecting the dishware Royal China Blue Currier & Ives that my mom once collected because it holds sentimental attachments when I collect it. I am hung up on the nostalgic cool. One of my favorite hobbies is the king of nostalgic cool: Antiquing. Oh yes, it is an art! I spend my time sorting through what others have once treasured and have now decided to pass on for a price. I come across things that were once marketed for their coolness such as a NO. 91 DC Green Lantern Comic or a record of Pink Floyd's The Wall. Each of these treasures holds the possibility of nostalgic cool depending on a person’s background. Some might think that antiquing is the nowhere close to being cool, but I bet that if they went and saw a treasured item from their childhood that they would change their tune quickly. I may be a little biased because only the collecting of certain things can be considered cool. I assume that most of what I collect such as old comics (mainly DC), vintage vinals, and classical country dishware of the 50's is cool. The main stream may relate this to older generations, but I believe there will be a change in tone in the next few years.
A great example of cool that I do truly enjoy is the MTV series Daria. She was a character that was wrapped in sarcasm. Her delightful point of view made her an outcast or a “brain” as they called her at school. She was a transcendent cool; she was so far from the norm. Her commentary alone helped me to understand what good sarcasm was. She was my hero in high school.

Hagrid, insanity, mimes and cool

When we first started discussing film in motion and the metaphor I would use to describe it I thought of a cherished book: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. At the end Hagrid gives Harry the moving picture of his family and it seems so life like; that I believe is how I would have tried to described them.

As we read in the article Ways of Seeing by John Berger, “The relationship between what we know and what we see are never settled.” Movies must have been such a valued reassurance to reality. Before movies there may have been doubts as to whether what we see is real or an illusion on a mass scale. Then there is the other side of the penny. A magician by the name of Georges Méliès wanted nothing more than to push the boundaries of sight with film by the art of cutting film. My favorite of the tricks that he did was L'homme orchestre. So there is a duality of sort. Just as soon as someone proves that what you are seeing is a reality someone else is showing you that it is not. It is enough to drive society crazy!

The next clip that I would like to turn your attention to is The Great Train Robbery. It was interesting watching how early movies were made. I like the overly drawn out deaths and the fake doubles. I am not scrutinizing them, I actually do like that movie theatrics were so simple. In movies today the plots have to be so thick, and the story line must have enormous layers of depth. I guess this is a sense of nostalgic cool coming over me. I love movies or I would not have taken the class, but I do appreciate the entire ruff that film had to go through to get to where it is today. In classical film actions had to tell a story without the aid of words. So the actions were exaggerated so that it was clear what was happening all the time.

Early movies were much like mimes, which apparently had a lot to do with the early history of film. How many of us today can say that our actions transcend words? That is a big claim. I believe there is something key to "cool" there. The art of cool acting hinges on the ability of the actor to portray a person whose whole being transcends words. That is cool!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

He doesn’t get older he gets meaner

I was just thinking about the definition of cool and one of the first people that does come to mind, for me at least, is Clint Eastwood. Last night I returned from his new movie Grand Torino and I was very impressed. The movie was notable and surprising because it was not the typical role for Eastwood. The thing that made me mad was the misinterpretations that came from it. As I walked out of the theater I heard many middle aged, good old boys saying things that were just wrong.
The movie pictured Clint Eastwood as a racist old man, and he was, but not to the degree that people thought. He grew up in a time when making a crack about a person's ethnicity was nothing because someone could make the same crack about your ethnicity. His character never did correct his language either. He was old and set in his ways, but he did value the manners, kindness and charity that others showed. His racist remarks, as we would call them, were more of how things use to be. The time that he grew up in was one of acceptance, you were free to make remarks about others race just like they were able to make comments about yours. No one took offence to that because it was more in a manor of jest. That does not make it right, but it sheds light on what people may misunderstand.
The greater meaning behind it all is that people are never to old to change, understanding always supersedes hate, and violence is not what makes a man. What truly makes a man is the kindness he shows others and that sacrifice speaks louder than any statement of hate or violence. Clint Eastwood is cool because he is 78 and still intimidates others. His age has never been a limitation, but an advantage. No matter what his character has done in the past he is able to conquer that and prevail in the end. He is always willing to sacrifice himself for those he cares about. Oh yeah, and he always gets the girl!
Clint Eastwood is a dissident cool, he has put himself far away from the society he lives in. What he comes to realize is that he relates more to the people around him then to his own family. His characters main confliction with society are the values that he still holds true. He stands up for his values because his is an outsider looking in. At one point he recognizes his values in his next door neighbors children. The neighbors children become his main source of happiness and pride. In the end he sacrifices himself for them. And that is what makes Clint Eastwood’s character cool.
I encourge you to watch the trailor if you havent.,10360603-700-wmv-s.73929002-,10360603-1000-flash-s.73929011-,10360603-1000-wmv-s.73929005-,10360603-100-flash-s.73929006-,10360603-300-flash-s.73929007-,10360603-700-flash-s.73929008-,10360603-100-wmv-s.73928996-,10360606-10300-qtv-s.73929021-,10360606-2700-qtv-s.73929014-,10360606-6800-qtv-s.73929017-