Posts tagged: alex MacFadyen
This week at The Gutter: Editor alex thinks about “Naked Woman (Steep Hill)”
One night, when I was poking around on the internet for something mindless to play, I stumbled across a game called Naked Woman (Steep Hill). The description: “Control the fate of a naked woman riding down a steep hill. 20 options decide her doom. Feel free to suggest any other fates she can face!” My response was something akin to watching a horror movie between your fingers – I had a feeling that I’d wish I hadn’t seen it but I couldn’t quite bring myself to look away.
Screen Editor Alex looks at flaws, failures, Raising Arizona and Run Fatboy Run:
I feel like there’s a lesson in a thousand quirky movies that I, in my struggles to do my absolute best at all times, never quite seem to learn: our limitations don’t make us less lovable. They may drive us crazy and make us more irritating, but being flawed is something we all share. We’re all good at this and suck at that. It’s one of the roots of compassion.
It’s also why I’m fond of movies like Raising Arizona or Run Fatboy Run.
Screen Editor alex considers Dolly Parton and Elvis Presley.
"Dolly Parton and Elvis Presley. Two cultural icons born a decade apart, both grew up poor in Tennessee and became musical legends. They also both have major tourist attractions dedicated to them – Dollywood and Graceland – but the big difference there is that one of them is still alive and owns part of it. Well, that and the roller coasters. I’m intrigued by the difference between an attraction dedicated to a living person vs a dead one, although I suppose that only applies if you don’t believe any of the Elvis sightings."
Screen Editor alex watches The Eyes of Tammy Faye (2000):
As someone who spent most of my teens and twenties struggling with depression, it took me a long time to arrive at the realization that I am an optimist. It was a fact that was obscured by my overall misery, as well as an aesthetic that involved a lot of skulls, listening to melancholy music, and reading sad books to make myself cry. My mother asked me to play guitar and sing at a few of her dinner parties, but after a round or two she looked at me hopefully and asked whether I didn’t have anything less bleak in my repertoire. (In case you’re wondering, the answer was no.) I didn’t feel like someone who believed that everything would work out until proven otherwise, but looking back I can see that being optimistic was one of the things that saved my life.
image via Ghosttowns.
Screen Editor alex looks at contagion and epidemiologically-driven narratives from 28 Days Later and Alien 3 to Resident Evil and Newsflesh.
It’s inside you.If you’re talking about blood or cookies, that’s a good thing. You definitely want those inside you. If you’re talking about aliens or zombie viruses, not so much, right? Well, 99% of the time the answer is probably ‘Hell, no!’ but the other 1% makes it a much more interesting question than it appears at first glance.
Xenomorph facehugger anatomical drawing by Dave McGinty.
Two of Screen Editor alex’s favorite films are disemboweled before his very eyes:
Once upon a time, long, long ago, when Netflix and TiVo were just a twinkle in the ether, there was a boy who loved going to the video store. His usual haunts were small, dark independent stores tucked around corners or in basements, stocked with an eclectic mix of classics, oddities and trash. But sometimes, when he was feeling tired and lazy, he’d slouch around the corner to Blockbuster.
What the boy didn’t know was that there was a hidden artistic price for his sloth. Although Viacom/Blockbuster does not edit their movies, and this particular boy has no idea what they currently do, in this long ago time they did order “edited for content” versions of movies from studios. This is a lesson the boy learned the hard way, at the cost of watching two of his favorite films disembowelled before his eyes.
Screen Editor alex takes a look at two new iterations of Sherlock Holmes:
There’s something about the way Benedict Cumberbatch plays the lead role in the BBC series Sherlock that seems like it could be Holmes’ fantasy version of how a brilliant detective behaves. In the episodes I’ve seen he’s twitchy and neurotic, but also cool and proficient with a performative quality that left me thinking the series could turn out to be a dream sequence where the last episode ends with young Holmes waking up in his bedroom, or an older version playing it all out in a psychiatric ward. Or for another twist on that cliche, the audience is seeing the whole series of events through Holmes’ own distorted self-image, a sort of Jekyll and Hyde split where Watson is his alter-ego, penning his own narrative.
image via the Denver Public Library.
Every April we mix things up at The Gutter. This week Screen Editor alex writes about video games and failure:
When I was a kid, my parents got me a later model Radio Shack Trash 80 (TRS-80) computer, but what I really wanted was an Atari. All my friends had them, so I spent hours in other people’s basements, pushing that one red button and twisting the joystick as we navigated pixellated characters through two-dimensional landscapes. I didn’t realize it at the time, but in addition to having fun I was also learning something about handling success and failure. In some ways, sitting down with my friends now and playing the Lego universe games (Lego Star Wars, Bat Man, Indiana Jones) takes me back to those days.
Screen Editor alex considers the implications of anti-climactic endings, beginning with The Lord of the Rings:
When I was about 12, my parents took me to see a stage version of Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings performed with life-sized puppets. As Frodo was agonizing over pitching his precious ring into the fiery pit of Mount Doom, Sam, exhausted from the epic journey but determined to help his beloved friend, inched out onto the rocky promontory. He reached his puppety arms out to relieve Frodo of his burden, they both fell into the fires of Mount Doom, and the curtain came down.
Screen Editor alex wonders just when exactly he can no longer enjoy the art because of the artist.
This, in combination with the homophobic media bumbling of several San Francisco 49ers players prior to Superbowl XLVII, left me pondering the dilemma of bad people making good art. If someone is a reprehensible person, what does it make me if I find their creations beautiful? At the low end of the spectrum, readers might have enjoyed my writing, blissfully unaware that during the process I broke a toy, a promise, possibly a toddler’s heart, and barely resisted tossing my 19 year old cat out into a snowbank. More serious are the ever-popular examples of Wagner’s anti-Semitism or Ezra Pound’s proto-fascism, and somewhere in the middle of the road lies my ability to appreciate the athleticism of football players even when they don’t support my access to equal human rights.