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About Ran

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  • Birthday 05/06/1978

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  1. Eighth Grade has an R rating from the MPAA and a "6 or older" in Luxembourg. Do people in Luxemourg hate or abuse their children when they show them this film? Does France hate or abuse children because they rate Cuties a film suitable for a general public? I certainly think young people will benefit from watching it, and hope they do, but with an adult accompanying them seems perfectly reasonable as a general suggestion (though I would have no problem having my nieces watch the film without adult accompaniment; I think them both mature enough to get the message). But more significantly, I think the film is certainly important for adults to watch and think about in regards to the society they exist in and the messages it sends to young people. Parents of young boys and girls in particular may find it valuable. Yet the important point is none of these nations consider this material obscene or pornographic. Because it's not. So this attempt to use the idea that some yahoos in the US mostly getting the vapors over a film they haven't watched and which they don't understand being some sort of signifier of obscenity feels unserious and non-productive.
  2. It's not and never was a film for children, no more so than Capernaüm, City of God, or The Painted Bird are. What is your point?
  3. The problem is not "depictions" of sexualized children. The problem it addresses -- one of them, in any case -- is the way that modern society has left young people learning most of their lessons from a bombardment of social media and mass media that depicts certain images of what it means to be "cool", what it means to be "popular", and indeed what is necessary to matter or be important. And then children emulate this because they are trying to be "cool" and "popular" and so be seen as "adult". But this is not why the actresses do what they do in the film. They are being directed, with some care (see interviews in which the director notes a child psychologist was involved in helping the children, both during filming and now after it to deal with whatever scrutiny comes their way), to pretend to be these kind of children, and so they are pretending to be children pretending to be adults, knowing full and well that there is a meaning to what they are doing that is not at all the meaning that their characters think it has. The film shows us the problem, and creates a kind of morality tale around it. It does it by, yes, being deliberately uncomfortable or provocative, because it makes you confront and think about these things in a way that you wouldn't if they just cut away. The "reception" part of the argument is neither here nor there, IMO, since the fact is that this film is legal in the US, in France where it was made, and indeed everywhere else that has sane laws and sane societies that are not wrapped up in paranoia. This film is in no wise pornographic, nor obscene, and that is, simply, that.
  4. Because they "matter" only in the sense that people are afraid of pedophiles getting off on it. But they will get off on kids on the beach, they will get off on kids in the park, they will get off on whatever. We do not and should not live in a society that hides kids away out of paranoia, and we should certainly not live in a society that decides that paranoia trumps art and artistic commentary. Does Cuties have artistic merit? If yes, then as far as I'm concerned everything else is misguided concern-trolling and not to be taken seriously.
  5. No children were harmed in making this film, thus you cannot make a comparison. Moreover, the intent of the work was not to do harm to them, and so again, there can be no comparison. The children, with the full knowledge and consent of guardians and whatever French and EU guideliens there are for the protection of young people in the film industry, participated in making a work of art that provided a way to make an incisive commentary. A successful one, as far as that goes. The children were not exploited, is the thing. The film is fine. The children are fine. The message is fine. The world is a slightly better place because Cuties exists.
  6. No, it strengthens the message because it makes you confront and think about it. That is the exact intention behind what the director and performers are doing in the film. No one would care about it if it were animated. Get real. The film is fine. The idiots yammering on claiming it's child pornography or made for pedophiles are, well, idiots.
  7. The Hades + Soundtrack edition, already with a 20% discount, gets knocked down from about $25 to just under $9 with that coupon. The discount on Hades alone does fall under the guideline, but, eh, Supergiant's music is pretty good anyways. Think I'm going to pull the lever for that one, it's too good a deal.
  8. They think ”rockerboys” are just for show? Weirdos.
  9. The creator of the thread left the board and wanted all content removed, which by EU law we need to do when asked.
  10. I think that's actually wrong. Accounts come out from survivors, veterans, etc., almost inevitably come out in time. No Gun Ri became public knowledge (but not widely, and denied) a decade after the fact. Individual cases may be lost, yes, but general trends appear when things happen enough. It could be a failure of my reading, but I've just never heard of anything suggesting the behavior depicted in Lovecraft Country has any sort of historical attestation for the Korean War, vis-a-vis US soldiers (South Korean soldiers, yes).
  11. Watched Da 5 Bloods, Spike Lee's latest, a Netflix release. It's lesser Lee, really, with some very flabby bits in the writing and direction of the performances, particularly in the early going. It felt like they had little time to rehearse and limited time to film, so maybe it was a lot of one-and-done scenes which were just accepted as "good enough". Which is a shame, because the talents they brought to the film -- especially Delory Lindo and Clarke Peters, as well as the late Chadwick Boseman (RIP) and Jonathan Majors -- could have really done more if the material and direction was up to it. It's not a bad film, just an over-stuffed and sometimes incoherent one. Many of the stylistic choices -- having the actors portray themselves 50 years earlier in the Vietnam sequences rather than having younger actors, changing between boxy 1.33:1 for the flashbacks and ultrawide 2.39:1 for present day action, some of the over-the-top violence -- worked very well, showing that on that level Lee still has it. Intercutting with flashbacks to "Hanoi Hannah", as well as archival footage, was also very good and to the point. It had a lot to say, perhaps too much for a single film. Best moment in the whole thing was probably Delroy Lindo's soliloquy in the jungle. Very powerful, very Lee, worth an acting nomination by itself, IMO. Speaking of Jonathan Majors, also saw the latest episode of Lovecraft Country. I can understand the controversy over it. I feel like the writers took a big gamble with a choice they made regarding Tic's past, without really thinking through how to contextualize it. Thematically, everything fits, and the performances were fine, but... I don't know. And I question the historicity of that moment.
  12. Having followed Weigel's commentary in the past, I think you're misconstruing what he's saying. Most of the pundits he's referring to are of course right wingers, and then there is, I guess, the "doomer" wing of the left who have as a prior that there's no way Biden can win, and therefore they read every event in that light as being a thing that will contribute to their prior. Weigel's very much an inside-baseball guy and his perspective is very different -- and much more cynical, really, about punditry and politics -- than that of the electorate. I don't think he's intending to suggest complacency at all, merely that pundits who keep trying to find evidence that Biden's going to lose from headlines are making an unforced error.
  13. She incorrectly claimed that the text did not specify Hermione’s skin color, as I noted. That she clearly concieved the character as white, wrote her as such, and then essentially gaslit her readers by claiming she never did is the thing that seems self-aggrandizing. Perhaps she regrets that she specified Hermione’s white face. Perhaps it was a slip of the pen that got past her and her editors ans she genuinely did not remember. She could have said that, but instead what we got was a false claim which she attacked people over when they pointed out it was false.
  14. Her tweet was definitely not "death of the author": Which just isn't true, since "Hermione's white face" is a direct quote from The Prisoner of Azkaban, and there were numerous other instances of the text indicating she was pale (lots of references to her blushing, IIRC). But to bring it back on topic, Rowling's tend to aggressive defensiveness when corrected came up there -- she misstated what the text said ("Hermione's face turned white", she claims is what people were telling her, which she said they were misinterpreting) and called those who pointed it out a bunch of "racists". No doubt some were, perhaps even many, but you don't need to be a racist to scratch your head over the author contradicting her own text, and her painting everyone who questioned her with the broad brush seems, alas, typical behavior when criticized. Her last word on it was that she had no objection to Dumezweni's casting and the idea of a black Hermione... which is what she should have said from the start, IMO, and there would have been no real controversy to speak of as far as her views on the matter went. She might even have made a nod to the idea that she regretted having limited the diversity of characters, and found the play a useful corrective or some such; a little self-flagellation always goes well on social media. I tend to agree that she had very limited conscious political commentary embedded in the HP novels, and a number of the ones people seem to see are more a matter of the choice of setting than deliberate messaging. That said, there's certainly unconscious choices, biases through which her creative process filters to the text.
  15. Agreed on the entrance. It reminds me from earlier this year the report that the Better Call Saul team seriously considered getting the "Lawrence of Arabia lens" to film an important desert sequence on the show, but got nervous about potentially damaging it so they used something else. I assume they mean the one-of-a-kind lens Panavision made for Lean and Young, shown here at the start of this video:
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