Sunday, October 12, 2014

This Last Lonely Place Movie Review

Every now and then, there is a beautiful piece of cinematic art that catches the attention of the people, there is always a niche on the independent cinema that will attract viewers to new proposals on the audiovisual entertainment.

This Last Lonely Place, has that  aspect on the audiovisual narrative as well as in the story, that can captivate audiences, much as the Golden Era of Hollywood movies. Such as The Maltese Falcon or Casablanca, movies that set a trend and gave a romantic glamour starting Humphrey Bogart, Mary Astor, Ingrid Bergman just to name a few;  or even the old Dick Tracey short and 1945 movie; where a dark environment and shady characters played a pivotal role in the movie narrative.

Even the title of the movie pays an homage to the old noir movies, specially In a Lonely Place where Humphrey Bogart was the main star along Gloria Grahame. The movie was financed by a successful Kickstarter campaign and the Humphrey Bogart Estate , Jeff Marchelletta and Josh Mandel of Industry Standard Films produced the film along with writer/director/producer Steve Anderson of Santana Films.

The movie follows three individuals Sam Taylor, a taxi driver (played by Rhys Coiro); Frank Devore, a shady investment banker (Xander Berkeley) and Faye Gardner, Frank's lover (Carly Pope); whose story begun by a mere casualty after Frank called for a taxi and Sam was the closest one to be on his proximity.

The movie plays homage to  Humphrey Bogart cinematic legacy towards the noir genre, as well as breaking certain conceptions of the genre itself by presenting Carly Pope's character in a mix of the femme fatal but with more altruistic characteristics that makes her character unique towards the women of the noir films, as Faye tends to act according to her own motives; but not only Carly's character (Faye Gardner) is well developed, as there is a complexity shown towards the characters motifs  along the movie that gives them a dose of realness,

The complexity of the characters is quite unique, because it makes me wonder, how far would you go to achieve your goals.? And how much would you sell your ideals? In order to conquest what you want without even thinking on the damage and the people you would use. Nobody knows but it is part of the human nature, such as Faye trying to gain money for herself or Sam who was trying to gain money for his family in Hawaii.

How do you know how far someone will go.? It's difficult to know, almost as a Kafkaesque Metamorphosis just to explain human nature. The movie as it was mentioned on a previous paragraph brings noir elements from Humphrey Bogart cinematographic legacy, as there is as mystery element in the movie that gives the viewer a feeling of old Hollywood movies.

The movie itself is reminiscent German Expressionist films, much as the work of Fritz Lang movie named M; where the city plays a part on the story, but also there is a beauty on how the scenes are carried, as if it was a movie from the Golden Age of cinema.

If any of my readers have the chance to see This Last Lonely Place, I would totally recommend it because it's a fine piece of cinematic product; with really fine acting and shows a quality of cinema that is almost absent on today pieces of audiovisual storytelling, an amazing story that was produced in an indie fashion, that will place the viewer in their seats from the beginning to the end.

If you want to see the movie you can click here where for USD$8 as well support independent filmmakers.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Donde El Miedo Yace, La Sombra Nace

Donde El Miedo Yace, La Sombra Nace

Por: Gustavo Calvo

Chiyo estaba sentada en la fuente de los cuatro leones que quedaba en el parque municipal por donde vivía. Con su metro cuarenta de estatura, no parecía que tuviera 24 años, no aparentaba mas allá de 15.
No era la primera vez que caminaba dormida y se sentaba en la fuente, siempre en la misma posición, mirando hacia el norte y con un puñal que nunca usaba. Cuando despertaba, le entraba algo de miedo y volvía corriendo a su casa que quedaba cruzando la calle. Aquella casa estilo campestre que estaba junto aquel edificio de 15 pisos, pero atrás de la iglesia que estaba junto al parque.
Todas las noches, era lo mismo, la misma historia, para despertar a las 4A.M. cuando el celador de la iglesia salía a dar su ronda antes que los feligreses llegaran a la misa de seis.
Ella nunca se acordaba como llegaba a la misma posición, pero cuando se despertaba por completo, no podía recordar a sus padres; más que un par de imágenes difusas, luego cuando entraba a la casa todo se hacía borroso.
Se preguntaba ¿Por qué no la habían asaltado ó violado.? Pero no podía dar con ninguna respuesta. En vez de volver a la casa, decidió dar unos pasos y dar una vuelta para ver la fuente con detalle.
El agua estaba corriendo, quiso mirar su reflejo pero se dio cuenta que su reflejo reflejaba otra realidad; en donde sus pelos estaban alborotados y se estaba mirando al espejo, la habitación donde estaba era la de un sanatorio. "San Pablo" fueron las palabras que le llegaron a su cabeza.
El reflejo siguió mostrando mas imágenes, a medida que se miraba unos sujetos bastante fuerte empezaron á arrastrarla de nuevo hasta su camilla, donde la amarraron. La imagen de horror que su otro yo dejo gritar, la asustaron; empezó a pensar en la felicidad que tenía cuando vivía cerca el Parque de Los Leones, hasta que asesino a sus padres, y el celador de la Iglesia de Nuestra Señora del Socorro la entregó a las autoridades.

Siempre solía ir al parque a pensar, y ver la bahía; hasta que toda su realidad se volvió un simple espejismo en el agua de la Bahía de las Animas.

Friday, October 3, 2014

The Importance of Being Banksy, and Why He Is Need it as Symbol of the Counter Culture

Bansky Migrant Mural 2014
With today oversensitive people as well governments who see terrorists on every corner, and even in their national borders, is almost impossible to do a form of protest without having the cops all over the protesters and accusing them of perturbing the order. At the end, what the hell would be a protest where the national order as well the world order is questioned to achieve an equal treatment.

Recently as 10/03/2014 a mural of Bansky, the one depicted in the upper graphic was erased in the town of Clacton because it was hurting the sensitives of the people, as some people complaint that it was racist and offensive.

But, racist and offensive are two realities that are lived in England towards immigrants from Africa as well Asia; and we can relate to North America, within the message of the graffiti, because there is a sentiment of supremacist that immigrants from Latin countries, as well Africa, Asia and Oceania aren't welcomed, because they are foreigners.

"Keep the worms to us" is a slogan that can be adapted into one that we'd seen here in North America "Keep jobs to Americans", the birther or national sentient that has invaded the most red demographics shows how wrong the country has turned; and also it goes for England and other first world countries that suppress any individuals who are aspiring for a dream and to make a life that they couldn't achieve on their birth countries.

The bird on the right, is relegated to be by him or herself; because adapting to a society that is full of prejudice can be problematic; but yet, the problem goes beyond because who dares to fight against the status-quo can expect the worse.

Why do we need Bansky, or people that are centered on the ideology of counterculture and subversion.?  Because otherwise there won't be any form of expression that can move the masses; there won't be communication, it will be suppressed, and problems such as racism, political suppression or the perpetuation of the status-quo that no one would be able to become someone because of the socio-economical status that they were born; it's quite a complex topic, but yet this form of free speech, mixed with street art and social activism hits on the fiber of society, because if you don't offend no one, then you are not doing your job well.

The sensitive aspect of the counterculture goes into placing the problems everyone else ignores, or takes as taboo into the public spotlight. Probably that's the reason why Banksy has become an such an icon worldwide and also one of the many symbols of the ideological revolution that is looking for a better change, or maybe at the end just some exposition to spread his message... I would love to meet the person behind the art one day, to interview him or her.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

No Le Abras La Puerta A Las Palabras De Los Muertos

No Le Abras La Puerta A Las Palabras De Los Muertos

Una historia corta por: Gustavo Calvo
El cuarto estaba completamente cerrado; las paredes estaban cubiertas con fotografías de sus hijos y habían varios juguetes tirados en el piso. Ella no tenía nombre, pero era la matriarca de una familia que hace mucho tiempo había dejado de existir, al menos en su cabeza todo pretendía estar perfecto.
- Papá, ¿me recuerdas.? Ha pasado mucho tiempo, pero te rescatamos, esa vida tan horrible que tenías por esa decisión que tomaste.
Samuel Caballero estaba atado en una silla que estaba empotrada, al piso; con sus dos metro de altura y 200 kilos, estaba perfectamente atado, no podía moverse. Trato de reanimarse pero no podía, sentía que lo habían drogado. Trato de gritar pero se dio cuenta que estaba amordazado. Se pudo haber donde estaba, y se dio cuenta, que estaba en un edificio que había sido dejado a medio construir, y no estaba lejos de su casa.
Estaba en el barrio de Manga, en la Carrera 72 con Calle 20. Trato de empezar a gritar, pero a penas trato de abrir la boca recibió una cachetada, cuando reacciono que no estaba solo y que la única que estaba con él en la habitación era una mujer de escasos metro y sesenta centímetros. Su piel era tan blanca como el marfil de los elefantes negros Norafricanos, su pelo estaba teñido de rubio, sus ojos eran grandes y café que los hacían parecer casi una caricatura.
Pero, lo que le llamó la atención, fue esa sonrisa tan grande y solo unos pocos dientes que aun estaban en la boca. La mujer volvió a repetir las mismas palabras - Papá, ¿me recuerdas.? Soy tu mamá, te rescatamos, teníamos miedo en perderte, hicimos esto por tu bien.
Samuel, entró en pánico, y trató de zafarse una vez mas pero la mujer le pegó un puño y casi lo noquea. Pero quedó con algo de conocimiento como para empezar a tomar notas mentales sobre donde estaba.
La mujer tenía un vestido de esos que los niños usaban en los años sesenta, uno de los babydoll, era una imagen tan extraña, porque tenía cara que estaba en sus sesenta pero al tiempo aparentaba estar desquiciada.
Al final del cuarto había una mesita de noche, de ahí la señora sacó unas tenazas para cortar cables. Samuel empezó a sudar de miedo.
- Papá, vamos a jugar un juego, te encantaba de chiquito. ¿ Te preguntas cual es.?.
Ella le quitó los zapatos, y Samuel empezó a sudar, y tratar de dar gritos, pero no lo  salían.
- Este cochinito, fue al mercado. Cuando terminó la rima le mochó el meñique en menos de un segundo, mientras sonría y cantaba la rima. Samuel empezó a dar gritos de dolor. Y ella solo le dijo que si se sentía mal podía ir a la cocina y tomarse un Dolex.
Él estaba desconcertado, porque no entendía ¿porque lo habían secuestrado y como había llegado ahí.?
Empezó a pensar en sus padres por un segundo, pero al final lo único que le preocupaba era su propia seguridad.
La señora empezó a escribir en las paredes, "Te extrañamos, mas nadie te nos va a quitar." Una y otra vez, hasta que se acabo el espacio. Luego se le acerco, y le murmuro al oído. - Nadie puede escapar de las memorias, son como las palabras de los muertos que quedan escritas en la piel. Por más que trates de huir siempre te perseguirán, y esos serán tus demonios. ¿Me entiendes verdad.?
- Y, como las memorias, ahí siempre estaré para atormentarte, porque nadie, absolutamente nadie, puede escapar de los recuerdos.

Sacó una Glock 19 y le disparo en la sien, Samuel realmente no supo que o quien fue que lo mató, mas allá de las memorias que no pudo escapar, porque no importa a donde correas, no importa si está escrito o tallado en una mirada, la muerte siempre estará, como el amor eterno de una madre.

Friday, September 26, 2014

The Pretty Legacy of Pretty Guardians Sailor Moon

Once in a lifetime something beautiful happens; and Naoko Takeuchi imagined the legacy her magnun opus Sailor Moon would have around the world and over time as well with different generations that embark different cultures.

The last time the world saw the original run of the manga, was on April 4th 1997 and the television show on February 8th of the same year. There has been numerous adaptions of the show from two anime's (the recent one Sailor Moon Crystal aired on 2014), a live action series, three O.V.A.s as well countless of stage adaptions and video games over the years.

I do not even remember how I landed with this show back in 1995, as it was airing for the first time translated in Spanish in Latin America. I think it was on T.V. Azteca, where I saw the first season of the show for the first time. I got hooked as I never saw a "girly" or bishojo that I could enjoy from the beginning to the end.

Neptune and Uranus kiss
The appeal of the show and manga lays on how transgressive it was for the early 90's as well as it's for today, such as including a power couple that was also composed by two women, Uranus and Neptune, which at the beginning of the 1990's it was taboo to place a LGTBQ on the mainstream television albeit not uncommon on the reading materials.

It's difficult to place Uranus and Neptune in an era that not only in Japan but worldwide, LGTQB were facing discrimination world wide due the AIDS pandemic and the association due some backlash political speech, that placed the population into a problematic zone, as if they were responsible's of the emergence of the virus.

The 90's was an extremely conflicted era, but also one that was the transition from the Generation X to the Millenials; besides Sailor Moon, I always remember The Gulf War, Paris is Burning and the musical revolution in the hands of the Viacom corporation with the creation of the Music Television or as is better known as MTV and how they manage the inception of giving the LGTQB a face as well people living with HIV and AIDS thanks to the late activist Pedro Zamora. Those were my memories of the 90's, and how essentially the envisioned my first decade of life, as well having in my hands through the Internet the stories of Armistead Maupin.

Sailor Moon in all of the versions of the show has given a break from how terrible reality can be, by showing some positive examples not only by adding the Sailors couple, but also by around the other characters that surround them; maybe that's the pretty legacy of Sailor Moon, that even if the world is in peril there are always ways to fight to make the world a better place, and that's why the show has an ever lasting appeal.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Games for the iPad Goblin Sword Review

When I first saw Goblin Sword on the Apple Store, my first thoughts were "This game is cheap, I am going to get it." I can't regret getting the game, because is old school almost in the same reminiscent as the Nintendo and Sega platforms; and has that replay value, that those games had.

Why to play with nostalgia as a factor.? Because the X Generation as well a segment within the Baby Boomers are technologically keen, and they were users of the Nintendo, Playstation as well other first generation consoles almost 20 and 30 years ago; which games as this one appeals to that demographic.
The player takes the role of an unnamed hero, as the story place the player in an unnamed land that has been barred with hordes of monsters. Through the different world, the hero will uncover treasures as well upgrade his weapons and house.

The game difficulty is quite hard for being a side-scroller, 2D platform; it could be also on the sensitivity of the controllers as they are linked to the touch screen of the iPad; albeit the difficulty factor involves mostly with the bosses as not much it is with the different scenarios.

The Samurai Roman Soldier Werewolf 
The pattern of the bosses attacks aren't difficult to figure out, but yet the speed as they move can be quite tricky to give them a proper hit to damage them, they will hit you back really fast.

The scenarios are quite spectacular, they have that old school charm with the simplicity and difficulty, making them treacherous to navigate if you don't have the proper equipment.

Goblin Sword is highly recommended for the iPad users, because for a really well made game is also price wise cheap one, only ¢.99 and it's long enough to keep the players amused.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Brett Gleason Album Review

Brett Gleason Album Cover
His voice is just delightful and unique, as well as his stage presence.  There is something about Brett Gleason's voice, that is distinctive, is raspy and deep, it is easy to identity and enjoy.

Brett's music is really of his own, some people had compared him with Tori Amos, probably on the use of the piano and the execution of melancholy tunes.

The resonance of his music strikes on the inner conflicts of human being, and the personal battles everyone faces with society and with our own self. Music as a form of a art, let the listener see the struggles and emotions of the composers.

Layer after layer, with the warped organ and the melancholic tones, but yet powerful melodies that show the inner emotional struggles. Humanity always dabbles in between social interactions and personal moments. There is always a struggle in between our own mind and soul, about the place what we have in this planet, as well who we are.

As an artist, there is a rich meaning behind his lyrics as they show some of his humanity and what he had lived. Below are the track list of Brett's album; as well in the link, you will be redirect it to buy his album:

Track list:

The Worst Part
I Am Not
The Thawing
Futile and Fooled
Idealize the Dead