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Kraggh's Works ♫♪



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Let It Go

Posted by Kragghle , in Movies, Music Feb 02 2014 · 177 views
Disney, Frozen
:kaukau: Just when I thought I couldn't love this film more:

 

 
I think that this goes to show the standard Disney holds its films to.  That it's been tailor-made for 25 different countries and dialects shows that their movies truly are event films.  They are universal, and they unite people.  Looking back at what Disney himself said about his films, I feel that the company has used their animated movies to continue the spirit of Disney animation, which is to be to promote good standards, find quality entertainment that doesn't sacrifice anyone's innocence, combine both realism and idealism, bring people (especially families) together, discovering the brightest possible pictures our imagination can conjure, bringing out the best in people, and being a source for good in the world.  I all of these, I think that Frozen excels.
 
Furthermore, I am always amazed at the TLC they put into their animated movies.  They always feel full and complete, and so solidly made that they almost always become classics, though they are never mentioned within anyone's lists of classic movies.  It would make sense, of course, that if each and every frame is to be painstakingly animated, the filmmakers would make literally every frame count, and every single moment of the story live up to its best possible potential.
 
I find it odd how people often neglect to mention Disney movies when talking of some of the great movies that are released these days, as if animation is somehow an inferior means of storytelling and merely some form of sub-culture.  Yet, when people talk of the best films of the year, which ones are they going to watch with their children, maybe even without their children, repeatedly on VHS Blu-Ray?  I think that should be a clear sign of the quality of the film.
 
Congratulations to the makers of Frozen for winning my heart and making the best film I saw in all of 2013!
 

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Man in Black

Posted by Kragghle , in Wisdom, Music Oct 01 2013 · 52 views

 
:kaukau: For some time my favorite Johnny Cash song was "A Boy Named Sue" until in 2010 my history teacher introduced me to this.  Mr. Lehman wasn't a very sentimental person, but he was very sincere about a lot of things.  Behind all that cynicism was a man who cared a lot and, in spite of his low opinions of everyone, valued them dearly and believed in doing the right thing.  In a similar way, I balance an ongoing disappointment with humanity with a belief in its fundamental worth.
 
I wrote a story a while back.  For those who haven't read it, I won't advertise, but basically I made indirect reference to this song in some of the dialogue, particularly through a character who was supposed to represent me.  I realize that sometimes there's a time for ethics and philosophy, but depending on your point of view you either have to take a step back from this or step in a little to take a good look.  In any case, sometimes in order to see things as they really are you have to stop examining it, and you have to stop trying to feel it.  What you need is to simply believe in the whole point to morality: to care and to love other people.  In order to understand it you have to do it.  Don't try to experience it - act on it.
 
Perhaps I'm fortunate to have grown up in an unsentimental town, filled with stoic Iowans sitting silently in their Calvinistic pews.  We weren't looking for an experience.  Of course, you could say that we didn't act on our ideology either.  Then i went to a Pentecostal church where people were huge on experiencing righteousness, but their supposed good deeds ultimately didn't come out of love and I ultimately had to question whether they were loving people.  I would like to come to the defense of my cultural background and say that the Iowa Gothics have it right and the Armenian hippies had it wrong, but I can't quite say that one person was more loving than the other.
 
If anyone got it, it was Johnny Cash.  I like to call myself a Johnny Cash Christian.  If you don't believe in the things I believe, fine; call me a Johnny Cash American or Johnny Cash human.  I prefer to attach his name to my faith because that's what's most important to me.  In any case, I'm a person who's lived in a lot of silence and has gone through some rough times.  There's another song that described it quite well, one I will write a completely different essay for later, that really explains the internal decay we share in common.  What I understand about John is that he's a person who went through rough times, and he saw the ugliness of the world.  For whatever reason, that's what it took to also see its beauty.  Here he is, a broken man, and by seeing his brokenness and neediness and helplessness, he managed to see it in others and had compassion.
 
Growing up, I suffered depression.  I still do.  It's never gone away, no matter what I've tried to do.  Even when it all seems okay, my positive feelings stand in front of a backdrop of profound sadness.  Things went horribly wrong in my life, and I tried and failed to fix them.  Some of that was out of my power, some of it was.  I'm not sure which is more despairing.
 
I have found this to be somewhat of a truth: true sadness cannot exist without having known true happiness, and true happiness cannot have existed if not for true sadness.  They are both necessary, in order to know either one intimately.  So perhaps I have been blessed, because I am not depressed for no reason.  Rather, I have never lost sight of what constitutes for true joy.  I have never taken it for granted, and joy remains precious and real to me, even if it is distant.  At least I can be still and know it exists.
 
Now, having known this darkness, and having looked left and right and realized that in the humility it brings the world seems much bigger all of a sudden, I cannot look at others without feeling some degree of compassion.  I want the best for them, better than what I have for myself.  Perhaps they don't suffer depression like I do, but I want them to all know true joy.  I want what is right for them.  I waited for a long time, hoping for someone to come along and hold me when I was not enough, but there came a time to put that waiting aside.  Since I know what joylessness feels like, I cannot wish that upon anyone else.
 
This isn't a grand exposition of morality and ethics.  I'm just, for a moment here, being completely human, and sometimes it's difficult to find the words to express that.  Morally speaking, it's very simple: Do unto one another as you would have done unto yourself.  Somehow, though, I don't say this in moral language.  I just know what I want done for me, and I realize I can't have it, and in order for there to be something right in this world I have to give it out to other people.  Pretty soon my pain becomes not my own, but that of the others I want the best for, who lack the best.  I'm not thinking of whether or not it's moral, and it isn't an experience.  I'm a slave to grace.  That makes sense, somehow, but I'm still trying to figure out what that means.
 
What matters is that I'm sincere.  No, that doesn't matter.  It's important, but it's secondary to the real thing that matters.  What reallymatters is that other people hurt, too, and we should all be a little more selfless and sympathize with their wounds.  We have to deliver on the promise of a better world, and not out of some blind idealism, not because we're preaching morality or because we want to be better people.  I don't care how good I am.  I'm not looking at myself.  Helping others doesn't make me feel better, and at this point I've stopped caring about how I feel.  What do I feel?  Variations of depression, my only real friend.  It's unfortunate, but I've learned to love myself in spite of it, whether I succeed or not in helping others, and whether my failures are within my control or beyond it.
 
Love.  It's really that simple.  There's a stoic way of saying it; that's intellectual.  There's a hippie way of saying it; that's emotional.  I just want to see the doing done.  I want to see genuine love come from a person's spirit, even if it's imperfect.  Love everyone; yourself, in spite of your flaws that you know all too well, and others, even when they don't live up to your standards.  Don't even think about standards.  The only reason you should apply them is because it's for the food of the people you hold them to, and they will be healthier if they act lovingly as well.  Not everyone's life is going to improve.  That's okay; it's all the more reason to love them.
 
To the people I love dearly, who mean a lot to me, who I have been praying for and hoping for, to the people I have had to comfort, and to many others who are hurting and not even knowing it, I'm on your side, and I dedicate this entry to you.  I will never give up on you.
 

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Schindler's List Theme

Posted by Kragghle , in Music Sep 26 2013 · 44 views
John Williams

 
:kaukau: When Steven Spielberg approached his longtime partner John Williams to compose Schindler's List for him, John Williams said he would need a better composer than him.  "I know," said Spielberg, "but they're all dead."
 
For one, it's interesting to hear John Williams, composer of all composers, to say something so humble.  I've put him up on a pedestal before, and I continue to do so, but then I'm reminded that there are things in life bigger than one person's greatness.  For example, saving a person's life.
 
Perhaps someday I will find the words to explain what this movie means to me.  Until then, I can only express myself with the music readily available.  Perhaps that's all that needs to be said - nevertheless I would like to have the appropriate words to accompany it.
 

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The Man

Posted by Kragghle , in Music Sep 15 2013 · 22 views
John Williams

 
:kaukau: For some time my favorite Johnny Cash song was "A Boy Named Sue" until in 2010 my history teacher introduced me to this.  Mr. Lehman wasn't a very sentimental person, but he was very sincere about a lot of things.  Behind all that cynicism was a man who cared a lot and, in spite of his low opinions of everyone, valued them dearly and believed in doing the right thing.  In a similar way, I balance an ongoing disappointment with humanity with a belief in its fundamental worth.
 
I wrote a story a while back.  For those who haven't read it, I won't advertise, but basically I made indirect reference to this song in some of the dialogue, particularly through a character who was supposed to represent me.  I realize that sometimes there's a time for ethics and philosophy, but depending on your point of view you either have to take a step back from this or step in a little to take a good look.  In any case, sometimes in order to see things as they really are you have to stop examining it, and you have to stop trying to feel it.  What you need is to simply believe in the whole point to morality: to care and to love other people.  In order to understand it you have to do it.  Don't try to experience it - act on it.
 
Perhaps I'm fortunate to have grown up in an unsentimental town, filled with stoic Iowans sitting silently in their Calvinistic pews.  We weren't looking for an experience.  Of course, you could say that we didn't act on our ideology either.  Then i went to a Pentecostal church where people were huge on experiencing righteousness, but their supposed good deeds ultimately didn't come out of love and I ultimately had to question whether they were loving people.  I would like to come to the defense of my cultural background and say that the Iowa Gothics have it right and the Armenian hippies had it wrong, but I can't quite say that one person was more loving than the other.
 
If anyone got it, it was Johnny Cash.  I like to call myself a Johnny Cash Christian.  If you don't believe in the things I believe, fine; call me a Johnny Cash American or Johnny Cash human.  I prefer to attach his name to my faith because that's what's most important to me.  In any case, I'm a person who's lived in a lot of silence and has gone through some rough times.  There's another song that described it quite well, one I will write a completely different essay for later, that really explains the internal decay we share in common.  What I understand about John is that he's a person who went through rough times, and he saw the ugliness of the world.  For whatever reason, that's what it took to also see its beauty.  Here he is, a broken man, and by seeing his brokenness and neediness and helplessness, he managed to see it in others and had compassion.
 
Growing up, I suffered depression.  I still do.  It's never gone away, no matter what I've tried to do.  Even when it all seems okay, my positive feelings stand in front of a backdrop of profound sadness.  Things went horribly wrong in my life, and I tried and failed to fix them.  Some of that was out of my power, some of it was.  I'm not sure which is more despairing.
 
I have found this to be somewhat of a truth: true sadness cannot exist without having known true happiness, and true happiness cannot have existed if not for true sadness.  They are both necessary, in order to know either one intimately.  So perhaps I have been blessed, because I am not depressed for no reason.  Rather, I have never lost sight of what constitutes for true joy.  I have never taken it for granted, and joy remains precious and real to me, even if it is distant.  At least I can be still and know it exists.
 
Now, having known this darkness, and having looked left and right and realized that in the humility it brings the world seems much bigger all of a sudden, I cannot look at others without feeling some degree of compassion.  I want the best for them, better than what I have for myself.  Perhaps they don't suffer depression like I do, but I want them to all know true joy.  I want what is right for them.  I waited for a long time, hoping for someone to come along and hold me when I was not enough, but there came a time to put that waiting aside.  Since I know what joylessness feels like, I cannot wish that upon anyone else.
 
This isn't a grand exposition of morality and ethics.  I'm just, for a moment here, being completely human, and sometimes it's difficult to find the words to express that.  Morally speaking, it's very simple: Do unto one another as you would have done unto yourself.  Somehow, though, I don't say this in moral language.  I just know what I want done for me, and I realize I can't have it, and in order for there to be something right in this world I have to give it out to other people.  Pretty soon my pain becomes not my own, but that of the others I want the best for, who lack the best.  I'm not thinking of whether or not it's moral, and it isn't an experience.  I'm a slave to grace.  That makes sense, somehow, but I'm still trying to figure out what that means.
 
What matters is that I'm sincere.  No, that doesn't matter.  It's important, but it's secondary to the real thing that matters.  What reallymatters is that other people hurt, too, and we should all be a little more selfless and sympathize with their wounds.  We have to deliver on the promise of a better world, and not out of some blind idealism, not because we're preaching morality or because we want to be better people.  I don't care how good I am.  I'm not looking at myself.  Helping others doesn't make me feel better, and at this point I've stopped caring about how I feel.  What do I feel?  Variations of depression, my only real friend.  It's unfortunate, but I've learned to love myself in spite of it, whether I succeed or not in helping others, and whether my failures are within my control or beyond it.
 
Love.  It's really that simple.  There's a stoic way of saying it; that's intellectual.  There's a hippie way of saying it; that's emotional.  I just want to see the doing done.  I want to see genuine love come from a person's spirit, even if it's imperfect.  Love everyone; yourself, in spite of your flaws that you know all too well, and others, even when they don't live up to your standards.  Don't even think about standards.  The only reason you should apply them is because it's for the food of the people you hold them to, and they will be healthier if they act lovingly as well.  Not everyone's life is going to improve.  That's okay; it's all the more reason to love them.
 
To the people I love dearly, who mean a lot to me, who I have been praying for and hoping for, to the people I have had to comfort, and to many others who are hurting and not even knowing it, I'm on your side, and I dedicate this entry to you.  I will never give up on you.
 

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Flying

Posted by Kragghle , in Music Aug 29 2013 · 53 views
John Williams
:kaukau: At the insistence of Tekulo, I present to you this music for the day:
 

 
It's okay, BZPower.  It's perfectly normal if you all start feeling like children again.
 

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Summon the Heroes

Posted by Kragghle , in Music Aug 27 2013 · 45 views
John Williams
:kaukau: Some music for the moment:
 

 
I know, awesome right?
 

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New Math

Posted by Kragghle , in Nerd, Music Aug 20 2013 · 129 views
youtube, Controversy!!!
:kaukau: If I am going to set precedent and post a video on this blog, there is one and only one video on all of Youtube worthy of being the proverbial golden spike.
 

 
One day, I promise, I will write a song stylistically similar to this dedicated to the derivation of the quadratic formula.  And I will use it as a love song to flirt with the woman of my dreams.
 

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Les Miserables Review

Posted by Kragghle , in Reviews, Movies, Music Dec 26 2012 · 170 views
Les Miserables, musical and 1 more...

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:kaukau: I was really excited for the movie and it made for a wonderful way of celebrating Christmas.  When I walked into the theatre, it was packed, and that was saying something considering that it was a big theatre.  It was a good thing I claimed my seats early.
 
Regardless of this film's quality, I formed some opinions beforehand.  First, any Les Miserables film is better than no Les Miserables at all.  It's a story that needs to constantly be retold, and I can live without seeing my dream version realized onscreen so long as good versions come out to refresh this story's place in our super-paced international culture.
 
That being said, this is a version of Les Miserables, not the version.  It lacks a full, comprehensive sense of grace and elegance as it takes on the monumental task of translating the musical's nonstop singing from on stage to on screen.  I wasn't a fan of how the camera was constantly on the faces of the actors with extreme close-ups, nor how the only time it wasn't handheld was when it was making sweeping, creative shots similar to the artistic style of Baz Luhrmann, which didn't make for the quintessential Les Miserables experience.  There were far too  many times when I was conspicuously aware of how creative the director was getting with the camera, particularly during character songs.  The place where it fit the most was with the Thernandiers, with which is became delightful fun and the style came to some fruition.
 
The characters also took times to speak, as seen in the trailer, but contrary to what the trailer suggests, the movie is actually incredibly faithful to the play.  Essentially all the songs remain, and some are even added.  I was honestly expecting the director to cut several of them in order to create for a smoother film.  It looks like he couldn't bear to part with them, which is just as well, because I doubt 99% of the audience could, either.  The consequence of this is the afformentioned problems with trying to make it all fit into a graceful screenplay, hence the comparisons to Baz Luhrmann instead Tom Hooper's previous film, The King's Speech, with which I would have preferred more stylistic similarities.
 
There were times when this style realy worked, though.  Whenever there was a character with heavy makeup on, such as the Thenardiers and the prostitutes, it worked wonderfully and it felt like an appropriate translation of a stage production into a cinematic piece.
 
Then there were any and all scenes involving Fantine.  I was, of course, aware of Anne Hathaway's presence, but she brought a lot to the role, and she could sell to me that Fantine looked like her.  I realy like her as Fantine, especialy after she cut her hair in realtime.  As a side note, it was also really cool that they kept her hair cut for when she appears to Valjean as an angel instead of depicting her Hayen-Christianson-as-Anakin-Skywalker-style.  In general, she was a brilliant highlight for the film and my favorite version of Fantine.
 
The Thenardiers were also very fun.  Sacha Baron-Cohen was perfect for the Mr. of the couple and fit into the role in the way I had always seen it in my mind's eye.  He's another favorite to come out of this film.  Helena Bonham-Carter, meanwhile, fit into her role and might be someone's favorite, although I've seen enough renditions that I can think of an actress whos performance I have liked better.
 
However, if we are to nitpick, the beginning of the film has its problems.  The singing at first didn't initially seem to fit.  Far too much of it was directed in such a style that it seemed Tom Hooper didn't want it to sound like singing, but...Come on, it's a musical.  Far too often, Valjean sounded a bit more hoarse than he needed to be.  It made sense, but at the same time, it was done in such a way that it robbed the character of some of his power.  Javert, meanwhile, was a stark surprise when he first started singing, but his voice was something I got used to fast by the time his next song came up.
 
The style of the film continued to suffer with trouble finding a visual grace that matched that of the music until sometime after Valjean received his pardon from the Bishop of Digne and broke his parole, somewhere in the second act.  Before I move on to that, though, let me take this time to praise Colm Wilkinson as the dearly beloved Monseigneur Myriel.  Not only is he my favorite Valjean, but he's also my favorite Bishop of Digne.  He brings a lot to the role, an amazing sense of grace, and there's a little bit more to the role by the end of the movie where he's played up just a little more than past renditions of the character.  It fits, considering the profound impact he had on Valjean.  I can't tell anyone exactly what little extra bit they did with the character; it would ruin the surprise.  But I loved it, and it helped complete the experience for me.
 
Anyway, the filming style was still awkward at that point.  Then Valjean sings into the camera, which follows him around while simultaneously employing creative angles and extreme close-ups.  Then it performs a dramatic zoom to Javert as the movie flashes forward.
 
And then it finds its way with Fantine.  Yes, I believe that's where the film comes to some maturity.  It got better as it got along and the style found itself.
 
Meanwhile, some of Javert's explanation on the supposed discovery of Jean Valjean isn't explained in song, or at least not fully.  The song after the real Valjean lifts the cart isn't fully explained.  This isn't a widely popular song, though, so having that cut just a little short doesn't hurt anybody.  The scene where Valjean confessed his identity before the court lacked a bit of grace.  The story was good, but the director was really straining himself.
 
Then Fantine sang about Cosette and I cried.  The last time this happened to me during a movie was six or seven years ago when I watched Schindler's List.  Hathaway's chemistry with Jackman really brought out something in his performance, although Jackman had yet to fully grow into the role.  That much didn't happen until he picked up Cosette, refused to be fooled by the Thernandiers, and sang the original song "Suddenly".  Then the movie skips ahead several years, and he's definitely Jean Valjean.
 
Don't get me wrong.  I really wanted to be convinced by Hugh Jackman, and I had confidence in his acting.  However, due to the directing where the camera tried to tell the story and other factors, it turned out that it took a little longer to accept him in the role than I would have liked, and Jean Valjean doesn't really, truly come to life until the third act.  Other people might interpret the acting in a different way, although, and perhaps others will find it more powerful than I did.  There's a buzz, after all, of this performance being Oscar worthy.
 
Now, at to the third act, I congratulate Samantha Barks on her breakout role.  I also commend the lesser-known actor who played Marius Pontmercy.  Amanda Seyfried, however, doesn't have much to bring to the role of Cosette as an actress.  It was a lovely role, and I found myself liking her, although it had nothing to do with Seyfried's acting.  She just didn't screw it up with bad acting.  Her singing, however, was quite good and had a certain quality about it that really sounded right for the character, and I can see why she was cast.  Between her, Marius, and Eponine, this love triangle forms some of the greatest singing in the movie.  Enjolras was also a great singer, another with a classic voice that adds some of the play's elegance to this screen epiction.

 
The third act also fully immerses the film in the world of musicals.  That world opens up, broadens, and brings together its full cast, from the central characters of Jean Valjean and Javert to the next generation of characters who fight in the student uprising.  The sets get more use, and the characters are given more freedom to act during scenes of revolution.
 
From here, I really have no qualms with the style that haven't already been said, but at least at this point they've all settled in so that they fit as naturally into the story as they can.  Valjean dies, and boy is it a death.  I really have to give this a lot of credit for being a great movie ending.
 
So at the end of the day, what is my analysis of the film?  Those faults in directing style don't upset me much.  I personally really liked the new faces of Hathaway and Baron-Cohen in their respective roles.  Others might find favorites in Bonham-Carter and Crowe in theirs, who each did their parts justice.  Jackman, meanwhile, is presumably a better singer than the style of this movie lets on and should have been given the opportunity to really let loose and give Valjean's voice the operatic grace it was meant to have in order to give the role its true power.  He was good during songs such as "Who Am I?" where he let his voice go free, but was more restrained during the beloved "Bring Him Home" prayer.  Still, he managed to play Jean Valjean and channel the role.  The same goes for Crowe, and both of them definitely deliver good acting performances that will be remembered more than their singing.  I don't realistically see a ton of Oscars around the corner for this movie, although it will certainly get nominations, with a Anne Hathaway having the greatest chance of winning one.
 
This is a film version.  It's frozen in time.  It can be used as an official standard, should people use its unchanging nature to those ends.  However, it won't.  People who see this as a stage production will discover that it's the medium where it's the most powerful.  This is just another version of Les Miserables, and I was expecting something new, so to heck with the timeles standards.  I have to appreciate Tom Hooper for taking huge risks with this movie, and though in places I don't think the style lived up to hopes, the story was solid.  This is Les Miserables we're talking about (I would have put those words in italics for emphasis, but seeing as they're for a title, I already have), and in whatever form it comes in, it makes a perfect Christmas present with a great story about redemption, compassion, and the special worth of all human life.
 
Speaking of which, before the clock strikes midnight, Merry Christmas!
 

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Stuffy Bilbo Baggins

Posted by Kragghle , in Music Dec 19 2012 · 214 views
Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit

:huna: 

Stuffy Bilbo Baggins lived in the Shire

And frolicked in his ign'rant bliss of Smaug's hot burning fire

Wise old wizard Gandalf loved that hobbit fluff

And brought him Sting and daring acts to make his life real tough

 

Stuffy Bilbo Baggins lived in the Shire

And frolicked in his ign'rant bliss of a land most very dire

Stuffy Bilbo Baggins lived in Bag End

And frolicked in his ign'rant bliss of Gandalf's other friends

 

Together they would travel on a very scenic trail

Twelve dwarves had a very good time drinking dwarven ale

Elven kings and wizards would help the dwarves reclaim

Erebor into their hands and bring good Bilbo fame

 

Stuffy Bilbo Baggins lived in Middle Earth

And frolicked in his ign'rant bliss of his Took side's greater worth

Stuffy Bilbo Baggins lived by Hobbiton

And frolicked in his ign'rant bliss of treasures to be won

 

A Baggins lives forever, but it doesn't bring him joy

It's all in debt to that One Ring, and now his life's destroyed

One birthday it happened, wizard Gandalf breached his door

And stuffy Bilbo Baggins, he dropped it on the floor!

 

He'll never come tomorrow, it caused him too much pain

Bluffs no longer held their weight when guilt had wracked his brain

Without his precious friend, Baggins began to crave

And Stuffy Bilbo Baggins sadly sailed across the waves

 

Stuffy Bilbo Baggins lived by the sea

To live in peace he'd long since missed past the gates of Pelóri

Stuffy Bilbo Baggins lived by the sea

To rest in the Undying Lands and set his soul a-free!

 

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Bringing People Together

Posted by Kragghle , in Movies, Music Nov 15 2012 · 99 views

:kaukau: I'm listening to the soundtrack to Star Trek: First Contact, and something strikes me about the music. There's something iconic about it, but more than that, it essentially goes through a medley of familiar themes, each a tribute to all that Star Trek ever was up to that point. Each was beautiful in its own way, but what was especially surprising was how each theme seemed to belong with all the rest, how overall this music formed one giant family.

Then I began thinking about what music means to me, especially within the context of movies. Jerry Goldsmith is dead and gone now, and it won't be long before an era ends with John Williams. Looking into the future, what will music be like. Have these icons truly changed music and left their impact, or does their era die with them? From the way things are looking, I would guess on the latter. Names such as Hans Zimmer and others are on the rise, creating a new contemporary style with a heavy emphasis on creativity and atmosphere. The philosophy seems to be that if the notes go together well, then the music is good. Indeed, I love these scores as quality study music when I'm not listening to Beethoven, Bach, Mozart, and the other classic named from over a hundred years ago.

Yet, what is good music, and what is a good movie? Not too long ago, I wrote a list of absolute recommendations for ten movies that would be most beneficial to an individual, and although most of them were for the insights into humanity they provided, I tacked onto the number ten position The Princess Bride for completely different reasons, because even though it didn't bring any special insight, it brought out humanity in its viewers. It brings people together.

So that's it. That's my important philosophy and what I really want to keep in mind if I ever go into film making. There are plenty of acclaimed movies and soundtracks out there, but the ones that I think deserve it are a select few. Imagine the power that music wields over people, and imagine if it can be played for the purpose of bringing people together. That's what I think Star Trek does, from its original sci-fi space music to its grand anthem to the lesser known pieces that to me speak of friendship and love. There's something very soulful and constructive about it. It builds people up. I would say the same for films such as The Wizard of Oz, M*A*S*H, Superman, Star Wars, Harry Potter, Toy Story, and animated Disney films. Beyond music, there's the style to the cinematography and the way scenes are presented, which need an atmosphere that helps to bring about that humanity in the audience and that sense of communion with each other so that when they walk out of the theatre they feel right with the world and right with their friends and/or, presuming that they watch movies with friends and/or family. I believe in the power of music and the power of story to move people and bring about the best in them.

There were times in cinematic history when people went to movies just as a recreational thing, as something that would of course entertain them, but also affect them. Perhaps it would serve the purpose of enhancing a first date, or just creating a good date in general. It wasn't all about what was on the screen. There were a lot of things going on in the seats and back at home. Nowadays the new expectation is to be awed. I wonder, "Why can't we have both?" Which is where movies like Star Wars come in, because they fill people with wonder but also create a community. I have very high prospects for the upcoming Les Miserables for this reason.

There are also types of cinema I would try to avoid as a writer or, should fate have room for it, a director. There are popular films now that do not bring people together. They inspire awe, but what value are they if people isolate their hearts in their enjoyment? If they don't create families, how fond of memories do they create? I think of The Dark Knight and Prometheus, both of which are awesome in their own right, but could they have done better? Batman is about isolation, and when people speak of him representing the best of humanity and using him as their role model, there's just a tint of selfishness in there, like they've actually isolated themselves. Then there's Prometheus, which I absolutely love for it's Space Odyssey feel, sense of cinema, knowledge of its genre, and its large questions, which certainly put it in the spotlight of relevance. There's actually no reason why it shouldn't bring people together, because back in the day watching horror films was another form of recreation, but people aren't looking for that anymore. People want the movie to entertain them and they want the movie to be good, and it's great that they get immersed in a movie and wish for it to do itself justice, but there's less thought about how well we are with our friends. In spite of their large themes, I think The Dark Knight trilogy and Prometheus could have done better in building up communities within the theatre-going audience, but they get caught up in what's happening on the screen.

So what do I think now? I said it before and I'll say it again. Movies and music should bring people together. This still shows up, but in the current climate of the cinematic culture, directors are getting caught up in all the other exhausting prerequisites for making a good movie. It shows up less often. That sense of artistic vision is replaced by hundreds of other bits of movie-making philosophy that's true but not the main point. I'm not sure if bringing people together is the main point, but it sure is important. I think it's one of those things that a director needs to consider if he's to truly have vision. People throw that word around a lot, but I think a director has to have an idea for what the movie means beyond just the screen in order for me to give them that compliment, because being a visionary is about more than just being a filmmaker. It applies everywhere in life and to all society. I want to be a visionary. I want to change the world, and not just the style of a generation of movies. So I put myself in the shoes of a director and imagine a hypothetical future where I'm calling the shots and I'm required to have vision. What sort of movies do I choose to make? What sort of composer will I hire, and what sort of muse do I want him to be? How to I marry image and sound and the audience all together to create something altogether not just cool, but beautiful?

Food for thought. Well, I guess I'll have to discover that as I go along and just put my heart into it. Presuming, of course, that I ever direct a movie. Presuming that I do not, then I at least wish this voiced opinion to be heart by someone who does make a difference.

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P.S. On a tangent, I will also take this opportunity to advertise to the people of this Bionicle community my upcoming web serial, The Adventures of Mary, which I will be updatig regularly all throughout 2013. It is my sincerest hopes that I can entertain you and, true to my philosophy, bring people together through the joys of science fiction.






Me

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Username: Emperor Kraggh
Real name: N/A
Age: 20
Gender: Male
Heritage: Half Dutch, 25% Hungarian, 12.5% Swedish, 6.25% German and Irish
Physical description: Looks like the eleventh Doctor
Favorite food: Chicken, turkey, and beef.
Least favorite food: Vegetables of any kind
Favorite band: Queen
Favorite singer: Billy Joel
Favorite song: American Pie
Favorite movie: Schindler's List
Favorite TV show: Smallville & Arthur the Friendly Aardvark
Favorite play: Les Miserables
Favorite color: Silver
Second favorite color: Brown
Favorite board game: Risk
Favorite athlete: Michael Phelps
Lucky Number: 53
Past-times: Writing, reading, politics, drawing
Political party: Republican
Religion: Christian
Language: Not English, but American.

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