Archive | November 2015

The Lobster is not about seafood

"The Lobster" by Source (WP:NFCC#4). Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:The_Lobster.jpg#/media/File:The_Lobster.jpg

“The Lobster” by Source (WP:NFCC#4). Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:The_Lobster.jpg#/media/File:The_Lobster.jpg

The Lobster is not a film about animals. It has been described as ‘an unconventional love story’ and ‘an achingly dystopian rom-com’ but I think it is far more than that. It asks how we must conform, how we must knuckle under, to survive. Then, The Lobster examines our attitudes to those who do not ascribe to correct behaviour, the other.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w7aW_SW621o

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w7aW_SW621o

The Lobster, directed by Yorgos Lanthimos and co-written by Efthimis Filippou, is about relationships, though not necessarily about marriage. It is about politics; rules, conventions and the law. It is about expectations, survival and truth.

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A man, David, finds himself single after his wife leaves him for another. He travels to a comfortable hotel of repartnering (a luxurious hotel in Ireland) taking his brother (who is now a dog). There are many regulations and his brother is a constant reminder of failure.

http://www.mtv.com/news/2262963/the-lobster-movie-trailer-colin-farrell/

http://www.mtv.com/news/2262963/the-lobster-movie-trailer-colin-farrell/

The Lobster is rather sweet and whimsical at first but quickly slides into a nightmare for the protagonist. He knows he has limited time to find a suitable partner. When he fails, as he probably will, he will be turned into the animal of his choice, a lobster. Most people want to be turned into a dog, which is why there are so many dogs and why most other animals are endangered. Whilst within this system he becomes part of the police and must track down and recover outsiders to buy extra time to seek that one special match.

https://www.google.com.au/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwjEguPxxqXJAhXh5aYKHTFpB7EQjB0IBg&url=http%3A%2F%2Fconcreteplayground.com%2Fmelbourne%2Fpinboard%2Fconcrete-playgrounds-handy-guide-to-whats-in-melbourne-cinemas-this-month%2F&psig=AFQjCNGNIeffUs9GMbptqudvmQcO1PBCPg&ust=1448333925994751

https://www.google.com.au/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwjEguPxxqXJAhXh5aYKHTFpB7EQjB0IBg&url=http%3A%2F%2Fconcreteplayground.com%2Fmelbourne%2Fpinboard%2Fconcrete-playgrounds-handy-guide-to-whats-in-melbourne-cinemas-this-month%2F&psig=AFQjCNGNIeffUs9GMbptqudvmQcO1PBCPg&ust=1448333925994751

After some horrible events David switches allegiance and finds himself amongst the hunted in the Woods. Here life is equally overburdened with rules and his attempt to find loopholes by creating another language is heavily punished. Finally, he must curtail his own freedom to survive. He damages himself in order to conform.

http://blogcritics.org/53rd-nyff-review-the-lobster-starring-colin-farrell-and-rachel-weisz/

http://blogcritics.org/53rd-nyff-review-the-lobster-starring-colin-farrell-and-rachel-weisz/

This is a black and white world. The characters are as careful as poker players as they attempt to avoid confrontation. Their neutral speech is that of robots as they struggle to protect their dissembling from discovery.

http://www.jimlepariser.fr/the-lobster-1984-version-couple/

http://www.jimlepariser.fr/the-lobster-1984-version-couple/

The final scenes are set in a cafe next to a highway full of busy criss-crossing roadbuilding trucks. Further questions arise from these pictures. What price progress?

The Lobster’s layers of fantasy and magical realism embrace cold naturalism and swing it into another world. It’s not a comfortable world. Nor is it dystopian because it is impossible in the way of Brazil or The Bothersome Man or A Zed and Two Noughts. It is like Pan’s Labyrinth in that there are certainly strict and forceful methods of dealing with outsiders. As I understand dystopia that grim future may be possible, such as in The Handmaid’s Tale, 1984 or The Road. The films I listed above, such as The Bothersome Man, are more like The Lobster as allegory or parable and were made specifically for film, the visual media, and not adapted from novels.

http://blogcritics.org/53rd-nyff-review-the-lobster-starring-colin-farrell-and-rachel-weisz/

http://blogcritics.org/53rd-nyff-review-the-lobster-starring-colin-farrell-and-rachel-weisz/

The Lobster asks many ethical questions of the audience. How are we to live our lives hamstrung by nonsensical conventions? Who makes up the rules? Why should we go along with the majority and worse still, assist in policing rules we don’t understand and don’t need to follow?

In order to partner with someone, to return to the city and a somewhat ‘normal life’ in a steady relationship, there must be a match in identifying characteristics. Is this how we now live our lives on the internet? We are aware of information shared by those we agree with. Is it possible that in the days of newspapers and television that edited truth provided a wider view than that which most of us choose to see from our ‘tribe’? If all we ever know is what we already know, then how can we even begin to imagine what life is like for others?

Taking an even wider vision from the film, our society is divided.Why should some people be better than others? The show of force from stronger and stronger police, armies and surveillance must be examined. Which laws exist to protect us? Who is us? Whose side are you on?

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Like the sunshine …

When I remarked upon the Pope’s encyclical, I had not seen George Monbiot’s passionate piece about love for nature. He’s right that economical arguments around the cost of environmental damage do not appear to be successful. Time to try something else. Like our emotional response to nature.

http://top10for.com/top-10-best-health-benefits-of-sunlight/

http://top10for.com/top-10-best-health-benefits-of-sunlight/

I have also commented upon the increased interest in getting children outdoors in order to increase that love for nature. And now we have an added incentive. Chinese children are increasingly myopic. It’s not just Asian kids. How to fix that short sighted crowd? Get them outside.

http://www.scmp.com/lifestyle/article/1858791/if-you-dont-want-fat-and-short-sighted-kids-let-them-out-more

http://www.scmp.com/lifestyle/article/1858791/if-you-dont-want-fat-and-short-sighted-kids-let-them-out-more

Give the young long sight – a vision. How else will they learn to love nature and protect it?

http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/health/sunliught-reduce-high-blood-pressure-study-article-1.1586791

http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/health/sunliught-reduce-high-blood-pressure-study-article-1.1586791

I’ve been diagnosed with low levels of Vitamin D – and I walk the dog every day. You need Vitamin D for strong bones and teeth. And skin conditions. To heal infections. And possibly to prevent diabetes and obesity. And ricketts. And lower your blood pressure!

http://www.thesleuthjournal.com/dietary-chlorophyll-helps-us-captureuse-sunlight-energy-groundbreaking-study-reveals/

http://www.thesleuthjournal.com/dietary-chlorophyll-helps-us-captureuse-sunlight-energy-groundbreaking-study-reveals/

Remember the tv show Northern Exposure? There were numerous references to SAD and the need for sunlight in Alaska.

Chris builds the Northern Lights in Northern Exposure http://alaskanriviera.com/2014/12/09/4-18-northern-lights/

Chris builds the Northern Lights in Northern Exposure http://alaskanriviera.com/2014/12/09/4-18-northern-lights/

There’s no debate about the need to get outside to help depression. Sunlight triggers serotonin. Even the World Health Organisation says so. When you are outside you feel better, you love nature, you will protect it. It’s common sense. How strange that our response to nature swings to extremes – sun burn – cancer – sun screen – indoors – deficiency – short sightedness …

Is this guy lighting a cigarette? Tevs. http://top10for.com/top-10-best-health-benefits-of-sunlight/

Is this guy lighting a cigarette? Tevs. http://top10for.com/top-10-best-health-benefits-of-sunlight/

Clearly everything in moderation – where I live – 15 mins three times a week is fine. Between eleven and three get under a tree or wear sunscreen, hat and sunglasses.

The reason for Facebook friends? They post things like this:

BY WENDELL BERRY

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

Even in the dark we can still love nature!

And I apologise in advance for this dodgy footage. But …

<iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/FLbKVOPzweg?rel=0″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>

How do you feel about that?

http://www.theguardian.com/sport/2015/nov/03/red-cadeauxs-melbourne-cup-injury-not-life-threatening-but-horse-retires

http://www.theguardian.com/sport/2015/nov/03/red-cadeauxs-melbourne-cup-injury-not-life-threatening-but-horse-retires

Recently there have been many news items of interest to those of us who consider ourselves animals. The Melbourne Cup racing day, of course, injured at least one and killed a couple of horses – one assumes Red Cadeaux’s days are numbered.

http://theconversation.com/trans-pacific-partnerships-toothless-environment-chapter-gets-the-wikileaks-treatment-22135

http://theconversation.com/trans-pacific-partnerships-toothless-environment-chapter-gets-the-wikileaks-treatment-22135

The Trans-Pacific Partnership has been unveiled and is regarded as dangerous territory for those wishing to protect the environment.

http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/bill-shorten-refuses-to-back-pacific-island-calls-for-moratorium-on-new-coal-mines-20151104-gkqy5e.html

http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/bill-shorten-refuses-to-back-pacific-island-calls-for-moratorium-on-new-coal-mines-20151104-gkqy5e.html

In Australia, the Leader of the Opposition refuses to support Islanders’ plea to assist with climate concerns by lessening support for coal.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/spain/11961010/EU-cuts-subsidies-that-support-Spanish-bullfighting.html

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/spain/11961010/EU-cuts-subsidies-that-support-Spanish-bullfighting.html

And the European Parliament voted to cut subsidies from Spanish bullfights. Well, that is good news. But humans still eat, factory farm and slaughter millions, nay, billions of cows without thinking about it. As you know, I believe at least the bullfight means humans have to face their actions. Let us be conscious of what we do.

In casual conversation with a woman waiting for a meeting the other day, an acquaintance, no more, we covered some of these topics. She sighed and looked out of the window, ‘Oh, I just can’t go there’.

What did she mean? This is a highly educated psychologist explaining that thinking about environmental news of the day is too much for her. She finds considering our relationship to nature too depressing to even contemplate. She feels overwhelmed. She feels hopeless.

This is one of my preoccupations. I even tried writing a short story about it once. I fear that the great beneficiary to human destruction of the environment is what they call ‘Big Pharma’.

http://www.davidicke.com/headlines/tag/big-pharma-criminals/page/3/

http://www.davidicke.com/headlines/tag/big-pharma-criminals/page/3/

There are a great number of cynical pharmaceutical companies who are laughing all the way to their annual company meetings, patting their shareholders on their drugged shoulders. We are talking billions of dollars. Clearly many folk are assisted by taking antidepressants. But for those who are concerned about our life on Earth? The more depressed people become about the environment, disappearing species, cruelty to exported livestock and mining companies dredging The Great Barrier Reef (UNBELIEVABLE!) the greater the drug companies profit.

http://theconversation.com/calls-for-climate-action-as-great-barrier-reef-suffers-major-coral-loss-9922

http://theconversation.com/calls-for-climate-action-as-great-barrier-reef-suffers-major-coral-loss-9922

Instead of getting angry, taking to the streets, writing/phoning their representatives; DOING SOMETHING, ANYTHING, people take the meds, click on Change.org or thepetitionsite.com, or Aavaz.org and feel their protests have to be enough to assuage their enormous hopelessness before they look away.

I wish we could all wake up, start feeling and take action but I fully comprehend those overwhelming feelings of belittlement and weakness we all face. That said, perhaps it is time to examine the big picture and follow the money. Who is making money from your emotional well-being? What would make you feel better?

Perhaps we can trust in the angels.

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http://climacts.org.au/tag/climate-angels/

http://climacts.org.au/tag/climate-angels/