"(...) Although her father had told her of the nature of the one who waited for her, she could not control an instinctual shudder of fear when she saw him, for a lion is a lion and a man is a man and, though lions are more beautiful by far than we are, yet they belong to a different order of beauty and, besides, they have no respect for us: why should they? Yet wild things have a far more rational fear of us than in ours of them, and some kind of sadness in his agate eyes, that looked almost blind, as if sick of sight, moved her heart (...)"
Friday, April 15, 2016
BY SIEGFRIED SASSOON
Soldiers are citizens of death's grey land,
Drawing no dividend from time's to-morrows.
In the great hour of destiny they stand,
Each with his feuds, and jealousies, and sorrows.
Soldiers are sworn to action; they must win
Some flaming, fatal climax with their lives.
Soldiers are dreamers; when the guns begin
They think of firelit homes, clean beds and wives.
I see them in foul dug-outs, gnawed by rats,
And in the ruined trenches, lashed with rain,
Dreaming of things they did with balls and bats,
And mocked by hopeless longing to regain
Bank-holidays, and picture shows, and spats,
And going to the office in the train.
Thursday, April 7, 2016
So, um, yeah, almost a year without posting anything... Strange as it may seem, the thing is that I've had loads of topics in my mind to discuss about but... Er, yeah, I suck at updating entries regularly, never mind!
Today, I wanted to recommend three films that I've watched during this academic year, as they've become in some of my favourite ones. They are three 20th and 21st century British films which discuss different social issues and struggles, definitely worth watching.
The first one is: KES
Kes (Loach, 1969; novel 1968) is a film that shows the marginalization and mockery of a very troubled young teen, Billy Casper. Billy Casper suffers bullying at school as well as by his half-brother named Jude, who has a bad life, devoted to theft and street fights. Billy begs for money, smoke cigarettes, daydream and has no positive interest in school. His greatest fear is ending up working as a coal miner, but has no way out of what seems to be his destiny. Billy comes across as an emotionally neglected boy with little self-respect. His mother refers to him in the film as a "hopeless case." Nonetheless, he becomes passionate about falconry and begins raising a kestrel which named Kes. Through its new partner, Casper begins to see life with more enthusiasm and feel that can be useful in society. With training and discipline, he teaches the falcon fly, becoming an expert in falconry. However,...
The second one is: IT'S A FREE WORLD
Ironically titled social-consciousness drama It's a Free World (Loach, 2007), discusses the problem of exploited immigrant labor from the perspective of one taking advantage. Angie is fired from a company whose mission is selecting temporary workers and, after being sexually harassed by one of her superiors, she decides to stop working for others and, along with her roommate Rose, and with the help of the manager of the bar she frequents, sets up her own temporary employment illegally until she can deal with the legalization of the company. Thanks to her knowledge, contacts and strong character achieves several foreign workers willing to work for hours or days, and place them in various construction companies or manufacturers; while Rose puts up a website and mission statement to give the operation a distinct veneer of class and idealism. As Angie flaunts her body and unabashedly uses the lure of sex to attract new clients and business, she ignorantly fails to acknowledge warnings that she may be headed for dangerous waters. Meanwhile, family problems erupt when Angie's extremely dysfunctional and misguided 11-year-old son, Jamie, gets in trouble for severely beating a classmate, and Angie's unionist father grows utterly horrified when turns up one morning to watch, he finds the sight disgraceful, saying, “I thought those days were all over”. While her company is consolidating, Angie has to face different ethical conflicts, such as dealing with employers who propose treatment outside the law, or do not comply with the agreement, whether to accept illegal workers, the thin line that separates helping to exploit immigrants, emotional involvement with their workers, even where is she willing to go to succeed professionally, or her relationship with her child and her parents...
The third one is: TESS OF THE D'URBERVILLES
Tess of the D'Urbervilles (Sharp, 1998) is a film that tells us the story of the life of Tess, a free-spirited yet naive country girl that is caught between her wealthy, manipulative "cousin" Alec, and the handsome, educated farmer Angel Clare in this Victorian tragedy from novelist Thomas Hardy. Unfairness dominates the lives of Tess and her family to such an extent that it begins to seem like a general aspect of human existence in Tess of the d'Urbervilles. Tess emerges as a powerful character not because of this symbolism but because "Hardy's feelings for her were strong, perhaps stronger than for any of his other invented personages". Nonetheless, as in almost all Hardy's novels, happy endings are not too conventional and predictables...
I consider them a must see for all people who is interested in having a view about how ordinary people lived ages ago, or even if you want to simply kill the time. They will leave you with some important reflexions because despite of the time, they could be even related to our contemporary world and way of living.