The wild ramblings of an avid chemistry student, computer savvy geek, fine purveyor of steampunk, self-deploring fangirl, photographer and writer.
There is a conclusion I have reached over the past week or so.
The Daily Telegraph is such conservative tabloid drivel, and I find it telling this is the paper that the University of New South Wales has decided to purchase for its students this year.
the meds kick in and you start cleaning and organizing everything in in house, instead of doing your homework
It is speculated that current Prime Minister Tony Abbott has successfully attained immortality. The North Shore resident, budgie smuggler aficionado, and master of the Dark Arts has become only the second person in history (following former Young Liberal President Lord Voldemort) to split his soul into seven pieces.
Words added on pinwords.com
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory – Soundtrack
Record Label: Hip-O Records
Release Date: June 30 1971 (Film) / October 8 1996 (Soundtrack)
The term nostalgia is thrown around a lot nowadays, but the dictionary definition of the word means “a wistful or excessively sentimental yearning for return to or of some past period or irrecoverable condition,” which basically amounts to missing something from the past and being attached to something that you grew up with. As an album reviewer, I tend to review a lot of newer releases, but I do manage to review some “nostalgic” releases as well. TV and movies are a medium of entertainment that I haven’t reviewed, but have always interested me, nonetheless. I have favorite movies and favorite TV shows, whether they’re from the present, or the past, so I thought I’d start reviewing some films a la in the vein of the Nostalgia Critic. He’s a reviewer that ultimately inspired me to review films, and while I don’t know too much about film, I’m certainly willing to learn a lot more and get into a lot more movies.
The first movie I thought I’d start out with is my favorite film – 1971’s Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Aside from being a “nostalgic” film for myself (even though I’m not too old), it’s a film that just gets better with age. Well, as life would have it, I wasn’t able to review the film, due to things happening that put it on hold. I did review the soundtrack (and indirectly, the film itself) for 2011’s The Muppets, starring Jason Segel and Amy Adams, along with the Muppets themselves. It was quite different from what I normally reviewed, but I love the film, and love the music within it. I managed to find a copy of the soundtrack for Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory a few months ago, but never reviewed it. Now would be as good of a time as any to finally take a look at it, because it’s still my favorite film, even though I’m much older now.
As a little kid, part of what really appealed me to the film was because of the chocolate factory and the candy that Willy Wonka was making as he was showing the kids, along with the idea of having “golden tickets” in candy bars. As I got older, however, I started picking up on the social commentary within the film that also existed in the book. A comparison to the children’s book that it was spawned from is inevitable, because this is an interesting adaptation, in the sense that it does and doesn’t follow its source material. There are some things they added, and some things they completely left out, for the most part, it does follow the story nicely. Even though most people know the story quite well, the film/story is mainly about a boy named Charlie Bucket. He is a kid growing up in an unnamed part of the world, as well as being in a rather poor family. He gets a job delivering newspapers to help his mother out with the bills, and supporting his two sets of grandparents, Grandpa Joe, Grandma Josephine, Grandpa George, and Grandma Georgina. At the same time, Willy Wonka has reopened his chocolate factory, and starts a promotion to let five lucky children inside, by inserting golden tickets into bars of his chocolate, throughout the world. As luck would have it, Charlie finds a ticket and goes with Grandpa Joe, to the factory for the adventure of the lifetime, as well as meeting four other god-awful kids and their parents, who didn’t raise them quite right, and being taught lessons in how children should behave, along with how parents should teach their kids important manners.
The premise alone is rather interesting, especially for a children’s film. Every kid loves candy, and I doubt there were many kids who didn’t, let alone dream of visiting a chocolate factory. At first glance, that’s what it seems the film is about, but it’s not just about candy. This is a film where everything comes together to make for a very cohesive picture; the actors are great, the scenery and sets are great (albeit very outdated), the characters are great (despite most of them being very broad), and the story itself is really creative and unique. My favorite parts about this film, though, are easily both Gene Wilder as the title character, and the “moral” of the story. Wilder as Willy Wonka is an example of the perfect casting. His character is zany, odd, silly, over the top, but also very clever, intelligent, and clearly has an idea of what he’s doing. He also knows how to run a very successful business as well, despite being such a madman. And the story is also what really sells this film for me as well; not only are there lessons for kids to learn (such as don’t be greedy, don’t watch too much TV, don’t overeat, don’t chew too much gum, etc), but for adults as well. Dahl’s parental characters are used as examples of how not to raise children, and that can be a bit insulting to parents, but it’s a very honest way to look at it and talk about it, even if it can be rather harsh and mean-spirited at times, especially Wonka himself. The film is a masterpiece, though, and has since become a staple in pop culture.There are a few differences in the film and book (not counting the Tim Burton remake film, however), but none of these differences truly impact the film, so they’re not worth really talking about, especially within the music.
I’ve purposely left out the music, because that’s my other favorite part of the film as well. When I was younger, I didn’t quite care for most of the music, since I was never too much into music. It’s crazy, I know, but as I’ve gotten older, I’ve become to appreciate it more, not only for the lyrics and the songs themselves, but how they’re crafted and just how catchy and interesting they are. Most of the songs on the soundtrack really hold up, but there are a few that I’ve always loved, mainly “The Candy Man” by Aubrey Woods (the Candy Man), “Pure Imagination” by Wilder (as Wonka), “The Wondrous Boat Ride” also by Wilder, and the Oompa Loompa songs sprinkled throughout the film. These songs represent the best of the film, really. “The Candy Man” is a nice song merely about what it says candy, and how Wonka is the best person for making candy. I found out that Woods appeared on an episode of Doctor Who after making this film, which was really exciting to find out. Both songs I mentioned by Wilder are also great. The former is a track that is literally pure imagination and is the most memorable track from the record, but the latter one is the darkest and creepiest. This song comes with the scene where they ride in the boat throughout the factory and Wonka creepily sings the song and scares everyone as they go down the frightening tunnels. The Oompa Loompa songs are great, mainly because they talk about the “lessons” in the film, and what the kids did wrong, which is nice for both parents and kids to pick up on. Despite the differences in the film and book not being too noticeable for casual audiences to pick up on, the only major difference in the music is that the songs in the book aren’t like the ones in the film, but rather much shorter and straightforward. It doesn’t hinder them too much, but that’s a noticeable difference in reading the book and watching the film.
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory is a film that’s been incased into popular culture, since its release over 40 years ago. It didn’t do quite well at the box office, but when released to home video in the 80s, it became a cult classic, not just in terms of kid’s films, but films in general. It’s a wonderful film, for both families and casual moviegoers alike. It’s still my all time favorite flick, and the soundtrack is just as good, too. Every actor and actress can sing quite well, or at least tolerably, and the songs are well written and constructed. This film is technically a musical, but it still holds up today. These songs aren’t your generic and boring pop songs, and even though all but one of them was specifically written for the film, they’re still nice songs. They’re fun to listen to, and even watch as the movie goes on. The songs work all by themselves as well, which is a good thing for a soundtrack to achieve. Honestly, if you love this flick, get the soundtrack, too. You won’t regret it.
Overall rating: 9.5/10
I love this film. So much commentary on classism.
People with ADHD tend to have multiple, competing thoughts that can distract them from the topic at hand.
Dr Steve Dawson
Loving a man with ADHD (smh.com.au)
(via xkcd: Spirit)
[W]hen I say I don’t want children, the response is often shock, followed by denial…They don’t come right out and say You’re the girl. You’re supposed to have children, but it’s the subtext behind every word. You have a uterus for a reason.
(or why “Frozen” left me cold)This actually explains a lot. Everyone who’s raved about Frozen should read this.
Interesting look at “Frozen” and some of its themes and how it portrays them.
This article brings up a lot of good points about Frozen. I don’t know if I agree with exactly everything, but a very good look at the movie.
This is honestly the most comprehensive, well-thought out critical analysis on Frozen. It’s definitely worth the read.
Everybody need to read this. It needs more notes.
So, here’s a thing that happened: Alex Dally MacFarlane had the temerity to suggest that non-binary gender is an actual thing that deserves to be represented in SFF, and certain persons lost their shit, citing a variety of ill-informed reasons that can basically be summarised as “non-binary gender doesn’t really exist, but if it did, we’d still think it was icky and unimportant, and also you’re just a liberal fascist trying to make us sympathise with imaginary humans as part of your nefarious agenda to destroy all men”. And as such persons are apparently incapable of performing a basic Google search before spouting bigoted nonsense all over the internet, I’ve decided to make things easy for them, and compile a handy A to Z of non-binary gender identities in the modern world and throughout history. This is by no means an exhaustive list; for a more comprehensive synopsis of non-binary gender and sexual orientation, this amazing excerpt from Amara Das Wilhelm’s Tritiya-Prakriti: People of the Third Sex is an excellent starting point.
In compiling this list, I’ve tried to avoid including words that are actively used as slurs or which refer primarily to sexual orientation rather than gender identity, so please – if a term is listed here that you think shouldn’t be, or if I’ve missed out something that merits inclusion, let me know, and I’ll update accordingly.
D – Dalopapa
E – Eunuch
G – Genderqueer
H – Hijra
J – Jogappas
K – Kathoey
L – Lhamana
N – Nàdleehì
O – Oyama
P – Pangender
Q – Quariwarmi
R – Rebecccas*
V – Virgjinesha
X – Xanith
Y – Yirka-laul
Z – Zenana
*I know this one is a specific historical incidence of crossdressing rather than an actual gender identity, but I’m compulsive enough that the absence of something starting with R was irking me, so there you go.
|Me:||Okay, I think I'm ready to finish writing That Thing now!|
|Me:||*Reviews what I last wrote in order to refresh memory*|
|Me:||...I don't actually think I'm ready to finish That Thing... Maybe I should just wait a couple of days|
Here’s why, sometimes, shows & stories with comparatively few problematic elements and a whole lot to recommend them otherwise end up being the subject of as much, if not occasionally more, angry deconstruction than shows & stories which are problematic all over:
Imagine a friend invites you to go swimming with sharks. Straight away, it’s obvious this is a dangerous activity, but sharks are majestic and beautiful, and it would be a hell of an experience - plus, it’s something your friend really loves, and it’d give you something special to share with them. Nonetheless, there are risks. You’ll be in a steel cage, at sea, underwater, breathing tank oxygen, surrounded by wild carnivores - there’s a lot that can go wrong. But the point is, if you agree to do this thing, it’ll be in full knowledge of the danger. You’ll have time to back out, time to prepare yourself. It might still end up being more than you can handle, but that’s OK - you’ve braced for the possibility. You understand the risks. And then the day comes, and it’s terrifying, but also sort of awesome. The steel cage protects you, and as soon as it gets overwhelming, you’re able to go home again, safe and sound.
Now imagine the same friend asks you to babysit their new dog. They tell you it’s a gorgeous, harmless puppy; they tell you how sweet and friendly it is. You say sure, bring it over! And your friend does so, and you’ve got this sweet-looking, roly-poly dog in your home, and you’re all geared up to relax, to play with it, to have a good time. But then the dog turns nasty with no provocation. It bites you, hard enough to draw blood. And you’re shocked, a little frightened, angry and betrayed. Sure, it’s a puppy, and puppies can be a little unpredictable, but now you’re injured, and your friend swore blind the dog was safe.
One of these incidents is potentially life-threatening, but under controlled circumstances and with proper preparation, it becomes an adventure. The other is potentially life-affirming, but under bad circumstances and with false advertising, it becomes a betrayal.
Or, to put it another way: some shows, like Supernatural, are shark tanks - there’s so much that’s potentially wrong and damaging there that, if someone just came and dropped us in without any warning, we’d be at a very high risk of injury. But when we know beforehand about the danger - if we accept the risk before watching - then we can just get on with enjoying what’s there to be enjoyed. Other shows, like Sleepy Hollow, are puppies - there’s so much about them to love and cuddle and cling to that we invite them into our homes, into the spaces of ourselves nominally reserved for intimacy and trust and self-care, so that when they turn and snap at us, the betrayal cuts to the quick.
The problem with shark tanks, in terms of critical analysis, is that we become so used to their dangers that sometimes, we forget to even discuss them, preferring to focus on the positive elements. After all, you can only point out the predatory nature of sharks, their ripping teeth and fearsome jaws so many times before the exercise starts to feel redundant - because sharks will always be sharks. You can build stronger cages, put up more signs warning about their presence and do everything in your power to make swimming with them a safe, friendly experience, but at the end of the day, they’re still killers. Puppies, however, can be trained. They’re young, still learning; so when they turn on us, there’s a real preventative value in decrying the failure, assessing the damage, examining how it happened. And it’s also very necessary, because these are creatures that live with us, that can hit us when we’re vulnerable - why wouldn’t we want them to be as safe, respectful and well-trained as possible?
This isn’t a perfect analogy. I’m implying a straight binary when it’s really a continuum, all types of stories surround us rather than existing at a remove, and of course narratives can change radically over time, whether for better or worse. Nor am I trying to excuse the horrendously deep-seated and pervasive problems inherent to various narratives under the guise of ‘it’s an adventure, and it’s OK if you’re properly prepared’. What I’m trying to say - clumsily, because it’s late and I’m hella tired - is that there’s a reason why we vehemently call out the stories we love, even when they’re already miles ahead of the competition, and an explanation - though not necessarily a justification - for why we sometimes neglect to get similarly outraged about more problematic material.
Because sometimes, there’s so much wrong with a thing that even the possibility of trying to deconstruct it all feels exhausting and futile; it’d be like yelling at a mountain and expecting it to fall, or tremble, or do anything other than just sit there, absorbing our words without change or comment. And so we make a choice: to either abandon it altogether, or just accept the problems as background noise and focus primarily on the things it does right. The thing is, though, that the ability to make the latter choice is a form of privilege: something we can only do if we’re not the ones being targeted, or if our mental/emotional security net is strong enough to take up the slack if we are. Expecting everyone to be able to just set these issues aside and go with the flow is like shoving them into a shark tank without any preparation and telling them to have an adventure, and that’s something we need to be aware of when making recommendations.
Anyway. I think that made sense? I hope that made sense.
I need to sleep.