Riese: A Girl and her Wolf
I recently ran across a new web-only action/adventure production called Riese. The eponymous main character, played by Christine Chatelain, is fleeing from a tyrannical regime in the steampunk kingdom of Elysia. I like the Mad Max look of the costumes and the Dr. Horrible like semi-pro abandon with which the series is being edited and shot. The general premise, good kingdom overtaken by evil cult; heir(ess) on the run… is as old as the stories of Theseus and Oedipus. The show has an appealing during/post apocalypse sense which puts one in mind of A Boy and His Dog, Mad Max, especially the third installment, Beyond Thunderdome, V for Vendetta, Children of Men, The Handmaid’s Tale and many others. However it is a nice place from which to explore good versus evil, individual versus society and such tropes. The heroine has at least one supernatural seeming ability: to keep her eyeliner and eyeshadow lipstick and foundation pristine and unsmeared despite being pursued through the woods while wearing goggles and bleeding from a side wound and then engaging in a rather clumsy knife fight with several Mad-Maxian attackers.
I am generally happy with people taking their vision directly to web rather than letting it be ground up and homogenized by the “entertainment” industry.
Whether it be “Star Trek Phase II”, Star Wars Revelations, Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, lonelygirl15, or the semi-professional docu-humor of Michael Moore or Morgan Spurlock, such efforts can be good even if writing/acting/scripting/editing are not all that they could be because they are fun and true and come from the heart.
So bon chance to Riese. Here’s hoping it is not too horrible.
Copyright © 2009 Henry Edward Hardy
Miss Teen USA 2007 – South Carolina answers a question
Q (Aimee Teegarden): Recent polls have shown that a fifth of Americans polled can’t locate the US on a world map. Why do you think this is?
A (Miss Teen South Carolina, Lauren Caitlin Upton): I personally believe the U.S. Americans are unable to do so because some people out there in our nation don’t have maps and I believe that our education like such as in South Africa and the Iraq everywhere like such as and I believe they should our education over here in the U.S. should help the U.S. or should help South Africa and should help the Iraq and Asian countries so we will be able to build up our future for uh.
I personally believe
…but don’t be offended if you don’t agree…
the U.S. Americans are unable to do so because some people out there in our nation don’t have maps
Why can’t the “US Americans” locate the US on a map? They don’t have maps! Brilliant!
This next part is strange and difficult.
and I believe that our education
She seems to be rallying here…
like such as in South Africa and the Iraq everywhere
Those are countries, on maps, somewhere, everywhere… good…
like such as and I believe they should our education over here in the U.S. should help the U.S.
but they are foreigners, we should help educate our own people first (?)
or should help South Africa
Or maybe not, maybe we should help African nations like such as… South Africa… that’s like such as in Africa, right?
and should help The Iraq and Asian countries
The Iraq is another country on maps, I know because there’s a war there in The Iraq called “The Iraq War”, and its on maps, and, like such as, the Asian countries like such as, um, the Asian countries…
so we will be able to build up our future for uh.
Time is running out, end on a positive and inclusive note. Don’t forget to smile at the camera!
This video has been viewed around the world more than 12 million times. US Americans, the world isn’t laughing with us, they are laughing *at* us.
This girl clearly has all it takes to be President!
Copyright © 2007 Henry Edward Hardy
‘Children of Men’ is a Thoughtful, Provocative Science Fiction Drama
Children of Men
Universal Studios, 2007 (Widescreen Edition)
by Henry Edward Hardy
Children of Men is a brutal and provocative vision of modern society stressed beyond its breaking point. It is 2027, and no children have been born for 18 years. Theo Faron (Clive Owen) is a civil servant and former radical now working for the totalitarian civil administration in Britain. Theo is played with shell-shocked stupor by Owen. Theo fails to react visibly as a nearby shop blows up and a woman runs out screaming, holding the remains of her arm in her remaining hand. Owen’s best friend is broadly portrayed by Michael Caine, who channels John Lennon in his character of aging hippie “Jasper”.
Theo’s life of quiet desperation is shattered when his ex-wife-turned revolutionary, Julian (played by Julianne Moore), has him kidnapped and bribes him to assist in smuggling a young woman out of the country. Britain stands alone as much of the world descends into terrorism and anarchy–but it is a future Britain with much in common with dystopian novels such as George Orwell’s 1984.
Children of Men has much of the immediacy of a hand-held camera or a first-person view. A six minute sequence, apparently filmed continuously, represents the harshest and most realistic-appearing combat footage in cinema since Saving Private Ryan. The computer effects are undetectable; everything looks harshly, painfully real.
Children of Men is full of eclectic references, from Pink Floyd’s Animals to Banksey to Picasso to The Godfather to TS Elliot. When Theo and his companions enter a immigrant detention facility, one man in a metal cage stands in the Christ-like pose of the hooded man from the infamous Abu Ghraib photos. They are inducted to the detention facility through a metal series of aisles like a cattle corral over which hangs a sign reading “Homeland Security”.
Children of Men can be viewed as a futuristic road movie, a dystopian science fiction parable, or as a harsh and stinging attack on the repressive anti-terrorist and anti-immigrant policies of today. It is refreshing to see an action scene in which the hero or anti-hero doesn’t pick up a gun or use violence to resolve the situation. Director Alfonso Cuarón has produced a cataclysmic tour-de-force worthy of consideration and repeated viewing.
Copyright © 2007 Henry Edward Hardy
A version of this review was previously published by Current.
I stare at this paper and don’t know what to say
I don’t feel right saying “happy memorial day”
I don’t find anything happy in the price you’ve paid
We’re both just pawns when this game called
war gets played
My body came home but my spirit just stayed
That hot Iraqi day when you were slayed
Watching my back so I could sleep unafraid I
heard the explosion from where I laid
And instantly I watched the skies go grey
I watched my life just float away
How could things go this way
You were my brother in arms and you took my place
But not like the way that car bomb took your face
And blew off your limbs
When I think about it my head starts to spin
I get noxious when I think of your family
I want to tell them I truly am sorry
I’m sorry your son died protecting me
This isn’t the way things were meant to be
You see that day your son took my duty
Your brother sacrificed four 4 hours of sleep
So he could go guard a gate for me
Your fiancée took my fate from me
I’m sorry your father took my place for me
I’m sorry I can spend memorial day with my family
Today should have been a memorial for me
At least then the survivor could have lived guilt-
–Cpl. Cloy Richards
When Tina Richards, the mother of Corporal Cloy Richards, who is returning to Iraq for a third tour, encountered Representative David Obey (D-WI), Chair of the House Appropriations Committee, Richards mentioned her son was a Marine who was returning to Iraq and that she had just been to Obey’s office to drop off her son’s poem, “Survivor’s Guilt”.
Obey became infuriated and went into a tirade against, “idiot liberals” who call for an immediate cutoff of war funding:
It doesn’t. The President wants to continue the war. We’re trying to use the supplemental to end the war, but you can’t end the war by going against the supplemental. It’s time these idiot liberals understand that. There’s a big difference between funding the troops and ending the war. I’m not gonna deny body armor. I’m not gonna deny funding for veterans hospitals, defense hospitals, so you can help people with medical problems, that’s what you’re gonna do if you’re going against that bill.
When Tina Richards and the other members of the Occupation Project, an anti-war group, suggested that all that was necessary was not to pass any more war appropriations, Obey seemed to become unhinged, accusing one man of “smoking something illegal” and pointing to his empty inner coat pocket and almost-shouting, “do you see a magic wand?”
Obey’s office has been one of several around the country where anti-war sit-in’s and other forms of non-violent protest have been taking place.
Obey’s Tirade youtube link from Grassroots America
See also: Congressman’s video blunder shows Democrats split on war Washington Times
Tina Richards, A Mother of a US Soldier Crosses Paths With Rep. David Obey Al-Jazeerah
Protests target state’s lawmakers: Activists urge Obey, Kohl to vote against funding for war Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Copyright © 2007 Henry Edward Hardy