Lion King 3D, Emotional Intelligence, Poongsan, Suspiria

While I may have slammed 3D movies in one of my rant posts last week, I was curious to see whether Lion King would be a given a decent 3D treatment. Unfortunately, it only managed to showcase some minor depth of field and that was usually reserved for objects that were the top layer of the frame. This takes nothing away from how great it was to see Lion King on the big screen again. For those of you who love the film, it’s definitely worth checking out again for that wistful, nostalgic touch.

Last week I also had to do a group presentation on emotional intelligence in the workplace. It all went off without a hitch, thankfully, and using Steve Carrell’s character, Michael Scott, from the US version of The Office as a case study proved to be quite a hit with the audience. Emotional intelligence, for those of you not in the know, refers to the ability of individuals to understand and perceive emotions – even their own – so they can identify, interpret and  interact with situations in a way that is contextually appropriate. (D’Agostino, 2011)

Hell yeah I made my own definition. What you gonna do about it, scholarly folk? Have an ethics hearing? Form a committee? Guffaw and scoff into your tea and scones? You damn right you will. I’ll be here not giving a damn while you fill your boots.

I should perhaps provide some context. As I’m currently writing this, I’ve just undergone the first phase of a root canal. Mind you, I had no idea I needed one until while trying to sleep on Monday night…

P A I N ! (And then came the hurting. Oh, the hurting…)

..and so I pondered, “Hmm. This cannot be good. I shall have to investigate, post-haste.” I did say that in as calm a fashion as represented here, to myself, at approximately 4:30am in the morning Tuesday. I swear. No cuss words or nothing.

(This is invalid if you were hanging out within a 5m radius of my bedroom window at 4:30am on Tuesday… Freak.)

You know that Melbourne must have a sense of humour when driving on Hoddle Street anytime after 3pm is infinitely more painful than a root canal. On top of that my dentist said that it was only logical that the J-Kev peck must have caused tremors that lead to the earthquake in Bali today. It’s hard to laugh at dry political humour while your mouth looks like this…

But I’ll be damned if I didn’t chuckle to my heart’s content. Then while filling up my car with petrol post-canal work, the attendant asked how my day was. I replied that I’d worked from 7am-3pm and just had a root canal done, so there wasn’t much of a chance it was going to get worse.

For whatever reason, when I found out I was going to be needing a root canal, I couldn’t help but think of this disturbing scene from Outrage, Takeshi Kitano’s latest yakuza-themed film. If you have already clicked the link before reading this sentence, you may not want to go to the dentist for at least a year.

Back to last week, though! Freakin’ segues getting in the way and the… segs (?!)

Poongsan

A Korean film that, well, had that thing that Korean cinema loves to have – tragedy. Show me a Korean film with a happy ending and I’ll guarantee that at least three people died before the happy ending. The gist of it is – mute guy works as a courier that makes runs across the DMZ. Messages between family, items of value and even people get couriered across. (That’s the first time I’ve looked at the word couriered and thought, something’s not right there. So many vowels!)

Korea’s intelligence community gets wind of this and decide to enlist his services, only to then cross him. Without going into more detail than that, basically the guy gets screwed over by various parties and the whole time all they want to know is which side he’s on.

A political reading of the film could suggest that the reason the protagonist is mute is because he represents the voice of the Korean people suffering on both sides of the fence. Silenced by the machinations of their respective homes for the sake of, well, maintaining a status quo.

The pacing of the film was a bit off, with the first hour dragging a fair bit. But true to form, the second half of the film delivers and rewards you for being patient. Well worth checking out.

Suspiria

After getting one dose of Argento last week with Tenebrae, I couldn’t miss the opportunity to check out Suspiria as well last week. The colour palette and the soundtrack in Suspiria are amazing. The film was nowhere near as entertaining as Tenebrae, though. There was one thing I found particularly curious about the dub of the film – the dialogue. I can’t really put it into words, but perhaps excessive exposition is a neat term for it.

Imagine that you have just walked into my house. There are two people sitting on the couch. Our conversation follows as such…

“Hello, Person. Welcome to my house. It’s very good of you to come, as I’ve been waiting for some time for you to arrive or visit. I’ve just finished boiling some water and am planning to make some tea for everyone. Please be sure you have some as I have just imported the best tea leaves from around the world and have decided to sample them all tonight. This is Name. Name, meet Person.”

“Hello, Person. I am Name. I am visiting from another town not so far from here, but far enough for it to be important enough for me to tell you. I will sit down now and think about the delectable teas we will be consuming later.”

“Thanks, Name. See, Name is a very lovely person, aren’t they? Allow me to introduce you to my other friend, Them. Them, come here. Sorry, they are being cheeky, like a scamp. Them, I’d like you to meet Person. Person is visiting us today as well.”

“Greetings, Person. I am Them. I do things like play badminton and go to the town centre for the party that Everyone goes to.”

That’s not an exaggeration by any means. If you ever have the chance to watch the film, please take note of this. You get just about every character’s backstory when they’re introduced, even though it’s being told to the protagonist by another character WHILE the character they’re talking about is standing right there just sort of smiling all goofy-like.

OK, so that doesn’t happen EVERY single time, but it happens often enough for me to notice.

But since watching two Argento films, I’ve decided to track down some more of his films to watch and get more of a feel for his brand of cinematic shtick.

And for a completely random change of topic – check out the lead vocalist on this a cappella cover of Bruno Mars ‘Grenade’ here. Awesome.

Wait, why am I talking about singing? More to come on that later…

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