A theory of perception can be considered complete if it can provide a thorough account of two phenomena, perceptual properties, and perceptual processes. Common accounts of perceptual properties and processes can be divided into two varieties.
By Roderick Heath Around the middle of this year, I found myself awake late at night watching the oldest films ever made on YouTube—that place where everything resides now, the whole memory of the technological age of art.
It felt like an act of cabalism, looking beyond the fringe of living memory at people recalled from the dead, hovering in a void.
What genius of the day it took to create such an art form.
What genius lets me watch it today with a click of a button. Around the same time, I went to a cinema to see Suicide Squad. The experience was an ordeal, from the film itself, a work that might have been fun but which had been rendered close to intolerable by poor editing and witless handling, to the multiple irritations of the screening itself—the overly dark picture, the teenage jerks in front of me insisting on filming part of the movie and uploading it to the vague interest of their friends.
In fact, it might be more vital, in both senses of the word, than ever. Cultural heroes have departed us with dismaying regularity, and the less said about certain political twists the better.
Which is, of course, not to say that the age of franchise filmmaking is at an end, not when Marvel and Lucasfilm are raking in cash hand over fist.
We still want great sagas and epics. But we want them done well, and finally audiences seem to be voting with their feet more effectively. Little Sister Suitably, a certain battered, whatever-it-takes terseness has defined many protagonists this year, with most keeping their hands on the wheel and their eyes on the road.
The themes of besiegement, whether literal or spiritual or psychological, and of the fraught gathering of tribes only to find their axis has broken, have been obsessively touched upon. Resurgence, emphasised the damage and premature gravitas imbued by survival. The Legend of Tarzan presented its never particularly talkative hero in battle with historical evil and deeply personal threat.
Marvel came close to its finest moment in pitting its roguish gallery of heroes not against a great enemy but against each other, in Captain America: Civil War, which dramatized the very process of larkish venture shading into bleak and hateful interpersonal combat over deeply personal definitions of pain and history.
The clash of titans in Batman v. Dawn of Justice employed the same motif but with a different slant, presenting a battle of id and superego allowing ego to run rampant—a motif relevant in its own way. Meanwhile the pilgrims of Paths of the Soul engaged in their arduous, infinitely repetitive journey to try to redeem the whole world.
The patriots of Anthropoid set out to kill a monster with the fixated nihilism of the intensely dedicated; those of Allied found themselves forced to question whether the profoundest loyalty is political or personal.
The hero of Hacksaw Ridge endures ostracism, disdain, and finally war at its most savage without protection. The inhabitants of the Cemetery of Splendour contended with randomly cruel illnesses and multiple zones of reality. The film struggled to find its feet with sometimes literal big signs announcing its themes and some familiar chestnuts of the Euro-director-goes-US mode, but the last half-hour sang with its eruptions of violence and genuinely ambivalent coda.
Jane Got a Gun tried to bring a feminist tilt to the table, but failed to also offer an effective story or any pulse of excitement, playing out on all levels with strenuous inevitability. Suicide Squad was the grunge-tinted, contemporary variant on The Magnificent Seven, as a mob of variously low-rent, half-mad villains were pressganged to fight for…well, something or other.
Resurgence Nonetheless, the superhero genre is definitely the modern-dress version of the western, following very similar templates—heroes with an edge over ordinary folk forced to answer their questions of the nature of justice and the meaning of community whilst fighting variations of the same essential moral dramas over and over.
And yet for all the huffing and puffing, the movie it wanted to be still only finally emerges in the last few fleeting minutes. The result was at its best when simply having larkish fun and fell flat with the big picture game. Eternal rival Star Trek also had an entry this year: The script, co-written by cast member Simon Pegg, actually understood how to pace and shape an adventure story and grasped the essence of the Trek brand, particularly as it pitched its heroes into amusingly generic Trekian locations.
But it was also weighed down by a plot that bashed together concepts from the last four Trek films, including yet another quasi-terrorist villain with a grudge against the Federation.
Abrams, but also offered jarringly hard-to-read action scenes. The film was dotted with moments of cleverness, some vivid visuals and fun performance from Benedict Cumberbatch and Tilda Swinton, but it foundered on its derivative and tony annexation of a more mystical wing of the Marvel realm, and failed that most basic of tests for this genre: And yet it was the kind of curative that hurts more than the disease, a wad of collected internet memes passed off as antic cool.
Karyn Kusama bounced back from lacklustre blockbuster experiences to make the tense and smart The Invitation, which imagined the touchy-feely precepts of La La Land encounter culture as prelude to cathartic mass carnage.
But it went on far, far too long and went down so many blind alleys before reaching its true reckoning that much of its minatory power evaporated. Ford evinced surprising gifts for generating suspense and envisioning pivots of horror to a degree that suggests he might eventually make a good noir director.
Terrific performances from the perpetually underrated John Goodman and Mary Elizabeth Winstead helped.
Kudos in particular to the late Anton Yelchin and the marvellous Imogen Poots. Although his The BFG was clearly personal and intriguingly muted, it felt weirdly flimsy and miscalculated, a gigantic project couched in intimate whimsy that desperately lacked a meaty story and compelling, detailed characters.
Far from legitimising such adaptations, Warcraft instead described just about everything wrong with modern filmmaking, from pulverising its good cast into a lump of indistinguishable blandness to failing utterly to convey any feel for fantasy cinema, offering something more like a gamer convention promo reel gone berserk.
For all the hype and hate, the actual movie proved about as thrilling as a bucket of warm spit, a total failure of wit and invention sporting an array of tepid pseudo-improv comedy, weak heroes and villains, and empty, characterless special effects. Kate McKinnon and Chris Hemsworth did more for the film than it did for them.
Blakeson, whose debut, The Disappearance of Alice Creed, was so impressive a few years ago, returned at last, helming the eye-twistingly silly YA actioner The 5th Wave.Marvin One Too Many Here Comes Sun, Simon Nina, Nina Simone Handprints Little Chart Stickers, School Specialty Publishing, Carson Dellosa Publishing A Book of .
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I watched Thomas Edison’s first stuttering shorts with their subjects dancing or fighting.