Haiku #347 - Halloween


Written on 4:55 PM by Jack B.

Dressed up like turkeys
Asking Santa Claus for treats
On All Hallow's Eve

Apophysis: Bramma Waves


Written on 12:34 AM by Jack B.

Apophysis: Half-Wing


Written on 10:06 PM by Jack B.

Apophysis: Caverns


Written on 8:22 PM by Jack B.

Luc Besson's "The Messenger": How NOT To Make A Film Based on a Historical Personage


Written on 8:19 PM by Jack B.

Back in August, The Mad Monarchist had a review of a truly terrible film, Luc Besson's 1999 purported biography, The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc. It's well worth reading (and if you haven't seen the film and may one day be considering it, please do so - it'll save you 2+ hours of your life).

As someone who loves Joan of Arc and believes, much like that legendary cynic Mark Twain, that she was "by far the most extraordinary person the human race has ever produced" I find the film nauseating and disrespectful and don't want to waste time explaining it. But it is a foremost example of what NOT to do if you are planning on making a film on a historical person.
When you have to begin your movie about one of the most chronicled people in pre-modern history (we know more about Joan through her trials and re-trials than virtually any other person in medieval history) with a gigantic lie - that of her sister (who DID exist and was NOT murdered) being murdered and raped all because the filmmakers could not imagine Joan actually being motivated by anything so "silly" as patriotism or religious sentiment then you know the movie is not worth it. And it doesn't help when you pretend your main characters is Joan of Arc when it's really someone you made up - the thing about Joan was (and this struck people at the time) is that all the while she said God had sent her she was very normal, plain-spoken, even keeled, she was even very witty, smart and sharp (read some of her testimony and see what I mean). Milla Jovovich portrayed her a screwed-up manic religious fanatic - not the kind of person that could have scared the English or inspired the French.

Filmmaker/writer Ron Maxwell wrote an in-depth takedown of "The Messenger" when it first came out that points out virtually everything wrong with the film.  And Virginia Frohlick's Saint Joan of Arc Center website has the lowdown on the "real" Jehanne la Pucelle (Joan the Maid).

Apophysis: Roses Bloom


Written on 8:17 PM by Jack B.

The Playoffs are Here!


Written on 10:55 AM by Jack B.

So the baseball playoffs are starting. I haven't really blogged throughout this season if only because - as a Yankees fan - I was just expecting my team to make the playoffs. The fact they lost to the Rays for the American League East title doesn't really mean anything these days (sad but true). Wild Card Teams have gone on to the World Series. THIS is when the season really begins. THIS is why Brian Cashman (and every other GM) stockpiles players with zillion dollar contracts who don't do much in the regular season (yes, I'm looking at you AJ Burnett). THIS is the time to start paying attention - because in a limited series anything can happen and any pitcher can shut down a team and anyone can get a lucky bloop hit and POOF! the series is over and the underdog has won.

Sooo, having said that.....GO YANKEES!