Black is Amok – 27.02.13

So for this weeks title I had to look up what the hell Amok means turns out it means to behave uncontrollably making my eventual title choice inadvertently poetic, one can not complain with the way that has turned out.

Deadlines are now looming, until the end of March every week will have a new a cut off for my writing assignments, this coming Wednesday is the turn of my magazine writing unit, which I only just started today because it took me a while to realise how close the deadline actually is. Despite it being only a week away and me having not done anything towards I’m completely relaxed as always, writing this blog post with some punk playing and a cuppa waiting for time to pass. In fact today the main thing that’s been on my mind is not the forthcoming deadlines but the fact that next term when lectures are pretty much over that me and my housemates are going to have the time to work on a film of our own. Pretty much proof that my mind is probably not in the right frame for the problems at hand. Still I’m sure I’ll tick along nicely, have a few late night panics and get everything just about in on time, not to worry.

Amongst all the work I will be sure to still fit in as much film watching, music listening and game playing as is humanly possible, as I have this week. I kicked things off with my latest cinema trip to see This is 40. Which was swiftly followed by my thoughts on the debut Atoms for Peace record, Amok. Then it all came to a rushed halt with my opinion of the second series of Black Mirror. This week there’s not a massive amount that I’m looking forward to, but don’t worry I’m sure there’ll be plenty for me to talk about.

I’m going to leave you with a laugh:

Black Mirror – Series Two

black-mirrorWell the second series of Charlie Brooker’s dark futuristic visions, Black Mirror came to it’s close on Monday and if you’ve read my review you’ll know how much I loved the first series. Series two saw three new ideas of how technology is going to ruin the world. Episode one told the story of a girl grieving the death of her husband or fiancee, I can’t remember, but she finds out about a service which collects all the data he left behind online and create a fully functioning online version of the deceased, as she gets more and more attached to the fact that she can talk to him she moves up in the levels of this idea eventually experimenting with this new technology that makes a fully human version of  her loved one resulting in a deeply disturbing series of events. Episode two took a slightly different outlook. Starting at in a somewhat 28 Days Later style setting with a girl waking up a strange world that seems to have been taken over by murderers and faceless watchers who do nothing but film her on their mobiles. I won’t give away the twist but it turns out to be something much darker than you would expect. The concluding part of the trilogy was about comedy cartoon character, Waldo, who ends up becoming a political figure due to the way in which takes the piss out of existing politicians and his ‘fuck-everything’ mentality.

It must be said though that I found this series a great deal less insightful and original than the first.  The best episode was definitely the best in this series, and that, really, was just a modern day Frankenstein but it was done very well and managed to put a new, thought-provoking spin on the idea. Episode two was much the same, the twist at the end was excellent but there were too many scenes that I felt like I’d seen before, as I mentioned earlier it really was very similar to 28 Days Later. And the final episode, I thought, was the worst one yet it didn’t seem clear in what it was trying to say and when it came to the end I wasn’t sure what I was supposed to think. The trailer for the episode threw me off to as I was getting very excited by the bit about Waldo being the perfect assassin but in the context of the episode this line made virtually no sense.

It’s still a whole lot better and much more thought provoking than almost any other tv show but series two of Black Mirror lacked the originality of its predecessor, ultimately feeling like a more rushed series that bears its influences to close to the surface making them all too noticeable. Still definitely worth a watch though.


Pretty Lincoln in the Mirror – 13.02.13

Well another week has gone by and this week in terms of media consumption has been one of the most interesting for me in a while. I decided it was time to give manga a go. So far, as a beginner, I’ve been reading the first volume of Death Note which has literally blown my mind and I’m only halfway through the first book! I’ve also watched Ghost in the Shell for the first time and intend to get through all the spin-offs and sequels as well and tonight Akira is on the cards. But all this immersion in a new form for me has already begun to inspire me in new ways creatively. It’s these moments that make me wish I could draw but all I’m going to say on here is that I’ve got an absolute killer idea for my own graphic novel/manga series, I guess keep your eyes peeled because as I come up with more developed ideas for the story I’ll out some extracts on here, so keep watching this space.

This week has also been a hectic one since my first deadline of the semester is next Wednesday, unfortunately motivation has been at an all time low, but fortunately for you guys it has meant that I’ve had plenty of stuff to write about on here. My first review was of Spielberg’s Lincoln. Then in advance of series two starting on Monday I gave my views on the first series of Black Mirror. And finally a big discovery for my iPod was realised this week in the form of Pretty Lights and I felt compelled to share the discovery with you on here, go check it out.

So in terms of a video this week I think I’ll leave you with this huge song:

Black Mirror – Series One

BLACK_MIRROR_LOGO_1269Well series two of Charlie Brooker’s Black Mirror begins this evening and luckily I watched series one just in time. The three part series tells three separate stories all centring around the idea of technology and how it’s taking over our lives. The first episode is probably the closest to home being the one set in the modern day. It tells the story of a girl being held hostage and the Prime Minister being forced to shag a pig on live tv as a ransom for her return. The speed of video uploading on the internet is how the word of the situation spreads around the world in a matter of hours prompting everyone to be wondering if the Prime Minister really going to go to such humiliating lengths to save the girl. The episode takes a lot of influence from The Thick of It, it’s clear to see and there are moments of humour to counteract the truly bleak plot-line and Brooker’s characteristic razor sharp writing lends itself perfectly to the situation.

Episode two takes us into the future in a bland world where people live in rooms with nothing to do but stare at the screens that surround them, they work cycling on machines to earn credits to pay to watch or play more when they’re back in their cells. The biggest programme is an X Factor style talent contest where judges and viewers alike supposedly make contestants dreams come true. When our hero spots a new girl with an amazing voice he buys her an audition but is sickened when he sees what they do to her after putting her through and he is moved to do something about it. The episode really tells a lot about Brooker’s fears of reality TV and how this X Factor culture is affecting the way people interact with each other portraying a bleak possibility of where it all could lead.

The final episode of the series offers perhaps the most intriguing concept. Set in the future again the premise here is that everyone has a chip behind there ear that records all of their memories. in the opening we see that a security guard at the airport rewinds a persons memory to check what they’ve done in the past week before letting them on the flight but this episode focusses more on a personal level of what this invention could do to us. The protagonist becomes obsessed with the idea that his girlfriend has been lying to him about an ex boyfriend and the ability to be able to analyse certain events drives him crazy.

All of the episodes are some of the best written drama I’ve ever seen on television and they all pose serious questions about the way in which culture is going let’s hope nothing ever gets bleak but let’s the ideas are just as good in the new series.