• Get Lamp, Complaints Choir, Where The Wild Things Are (246/137)

    by  • 5/17/2011 • movies • 0 Comments

    GET LAMP (DVD) – This one has a couple different documentaries on it; the main general documentary, a short doc on caving, and a feature on the history of Infocom. Makes me want to play through Hitchhiker’s Guide again…

    GET LAMP itself which looks at ‘interactive fiction’ as a whole. How exploring caves compares to / lead to Adventure and a lot of lost work hours. I especially enjoyed the perspectives given by the blind interview subjects; where one jokes that he’d never really given it a thought that he’d ever need a lamp to see things.

    EXPLORE BEDQUILT – A short documentary on cave exploring. There’s something of a line drawn in the main documentary between the hobby of caving and the first version of the game.

    EXAMINE INFOCOM looks at the rise and fall of text adventure publisher Infocom. This is where the meat of the story is for me, especially the bit where they tell the story of Douglas Adams showing up on their doorstep.

    There’s a ton of small bits on the second DVD, and I only checked out a handful so far – including spoilers for some of the games.

    COMPLAINTS CHOIR (DVD) – “Two finnish artists travel the world. They collect complaints and make them into a song.”

    At some point in the recent past, I saw a trailer for a choir that sang songs of people bitching of how things are unfair, how trains smell of pee, and other big and small complaints. Especially the Singapore version, where there’s something of a culture where public complaint is not something that’s encouraged.

    The songs may have phrases that don’t flow very nicely at all times, but there’s something more than just the choice of wording. It’s about the listener hearing your complaints. At the end of this film, I’m left with the feeling that the Chicago and Singapore choirs were contrasted because there are serious, real complaints in the Singapore version, while Chicago comes across as a bunch of bored rich white people who got the wrong entree at the restaurant.

    Seriously, the Singapore choir can’t even perform publicly thanks to the lack of free speech in this “free and democratic” society. As one of the complainants says about Singapore “anything that is not expressly permitted if prohibited.” One of the best scenes on the DVD is in the “bonus complaints” section with Shai, who is writing her complaints down; political and social complaints where she’s expressing very liberal thoughts. The camera man calls her a revolutionary woman, and she gets wide eyed, and says “Don’t say that!”

    WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE (DVD) – I never read this book, so I have nothing to compare this film version to. All I know is that Max is a jerk of a kid. Though, maybe that’s the way a lot of nine-year olds come across… Max runs away after having a fight with his mother, and he sails off to an island that is home to monsters that are petty jerks, just like Max. Bullying, mean, petty, horrible, monsters. One of them is nice to him, but for the most part they’re only nice to him because he declares himself King. As a child’s fantasy place to be, with people who do what he wants, play his games, etc, this would be great. As a film with a story and characters that I’m supposed to connect to? Not so much. Looks nice though.

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