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Posts Tagged ‘Kubrick

“Gentlemen, you can’t fight in here! This is the War Room!”*

 

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In “Dr. Strangelove Dr. Strangelove,” Kristan Horton imitates the glorious satirical film Dr. Strangelove, using common household objects to re-create the world created by Kubrick—silverware become an airplane, plastic and coffee grounds become the sky…

sky

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radar

The sublime, recreated with the mundane: “Dr. Strangelove Dr. Strangelove,” via the ever-illuminating The Morning News.

See also the “3-D Rooms Project.”

* Peter Sellers as President Merkin Muffley, one of three roles he played in Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, produced, directed, and co-written (with Terry Southern, very loosely based on a novel by Peter George) by Stanley Kubrick

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As we ride it down, we might recall that it was on this date in 1883 that the volcano at Krakatoa (Krakatau) erupted with full force.  The sound was heard over 2,000 miles away (that’s over 7.5% of the earth’s surface– the equivalent of an explosion in New York City being heard in San Francisco); tsunamis caused by the great blast killed 36,000 people in Java and Sumatra.

But there was another sense in which Krakatoa was importantly “the sound heard ’round the world”:  While news of Lincoln’s assassination (only 18 years earlier) had taken almost two weeks to reach London,  Europe and the U.S. knew of Krakatoa in about four hours.  In the years between 1865 and 1883, there had been three interrelated developments: the global spread of the telegraph, the invention of Morse Code, and the establishment of Reuter’s news agency… and the world had become much smaller.  (C.F., Tom Standage’s marvelous The Victorian Internet for the details– both remarkable and altogether resonant with today.)

As big as the explosion was, it was not the biggest in history: experts suggest that Santorini’s eruption in 1628 BCE was three times as powerful.

300px-Krakatoa_eruption_lithograph source

 

Written by LW

August 26, 2020 at 1:01 am

“Film lovers are sick people”*…

 

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An overview of how film works, the different types of film, and its place in the world of modern digital storytelling…

* François Truffaut

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As we tell truth at 24 frames per second, we might send beautifully-composed birthday greetings to Stanley Kubrick; he was born on this date in 1928.  A renown film director, screenwriter, producer,cinematographer, and editor, Kubrick got his start as a teenaged photographer for Look Magazine.  In 1950, he made the move to cinema, going on to direct 16 films, produce 11, write 13, shoot 5, and edit 4– among them, Lolita (1962) and Dr. Strangelove (1964), 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), A Clockwork Orange (1971)Barry Lyndon (1975), The Shining (1980), Full Metal Jacket (1987), and Eyes Wide Shut (1999).  most of his films were nominated for Oscars, Golden Globes, and/or BAFTA Awards.

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Written by LW

July 26, 2016 at 1:01 am

That’s why they call it work…

It’s May Day– the occasion for fertility festivals, Soviet pride… and in over 80 countries, International Workers’ Day.  So it’s a nifty moment to revisit the observations of the young Karl Marx.  Living in Paris with his new wife in 1844, Marx first became acquainted with the conditions of the working class. He observed that they were “utterly crude and unintelligent” but also that “the brotherhood of man is no mere phrase with them, but a fact of life.”  This early piece was not published until 1959…

It is true that labor produces for the rich wonderful things—but for the worker it produces privation. It produces palaces—but for the worker, hovels. It produces beauty—but for the worker, deformity. It replaces labor by machines—but some of the workers it throws back to a barbarous type of labor, and the other workers it turns into machines. It produces intelligence—but for the worker idiocy, cretinism.

The direct relationship of labor to its produce is the relationship of the worker to the objects of his production. The relationship of the man of means to the objects of production and to production itself is only a consequence of this first relationship—and confirms it.

When we ask, then, what is the essential relationship of labor, we are asking about the relationship of the worker to production.

Till now we have been considering the estrangement, the alienation of the worker only in one of its aspects, i.e., the worker’s relationship to the products of his labor. But the estrangement is manifested not only in the result but in the act of production—within the producing activity itself. How would the worker come to face the product of his activity as a stranger were it not that in the very act of production he was estranging himself from himself? The product is after all but the summary of the activity of production. If then the product of labor is alienation, production itself must be active alienation, the alienation of activity, the activity of alienation. In the estrangement of the object of labor is merely summarized the estrangement, the alienation, in the activity of labor itself.

What constitutes the alienation of labor?

First, the fact that labor is external to the worker, i.e., it does not belong to his essential being; that in his work, therefore, he does not affirm himself but denies himself, does not feel content but unhappy, does not develop freely his physical and mental energy but mortifies his body and ruins his mind. The worker therefore only feels himself outside his work, and in his work feels outside himself. He is at home when he is not working, and when he is working he is not at home. His labor is therefore not voluntary but coerced; it is forced labor. It is therefore not the satisfaction of a need; it is merely a means to satisfy needs external to it. Its alien character emerges clearly in the fact that as soon as no physical or other compulsion exists, labor is shunned like the plague. External labor, labor in which man alienates himself, is a labor of self-sacrifice, of mortification. Lastly, the external character of labor for the worker appears in the fact that it is not his own, but someone else’s, that it does not belong to him, that in it he belongs, not to himself, but to another. Just as in religion the spontaneous activity of the human imagination, of the human brain, and the human heart operates independently of the individual—that is, operates on him as an alien, divine, or diabolical activity—in the same way the worker’s activity is not his spontaneous activity. It belongs to another; it is the loss of his self.

As a result, therefore, man (the worker) no longer feels himself to be freely active in any but his animal functions—eating, drinking, procreating, or at most in his dwelling and in dressing-up, etc. And in his human functions he no longer feels himself to be anything but an animal. What is animal becomes human and what is human becomes animal.

– from Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844. 

[Via Lapham’s Quarterly; photo (from Chaplin’s Modern Times) via Dr. Macro]

On a more contemporary note:  economist Gary Shilling and financial journalist Henry Blodgett on the “Marxist” answer to today’s economic conundrum.

And on a lighter note, check out Cosmarxpolitan.

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As we punch in, we might send well-composed birthday greetings to two authors:  Joseph Heller was born on this date in 1923.  His darkly-comic classic Catch-22 is rightly celebrated as an antiwar novel… but might well also be praised for its scathingly satirical look at organizational life.

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 And Terry Southern was born on this date one year later, in 1924.  Best remembered as a novelist and screenwriter–  Dr. StrangeloveThe Loved OneThe Cincinnati KidEasy Rider, Candy, and The Magic Christian, among others– Tom Wolfe credits Southern with inventing New Journalism with the publication of “Twirling at Ole Miss” in Esquire in 1962.

Southern, photographed by Stanley Kubrick

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Written by LW

May 1, 2013 at 1:01 am

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