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Talking About It

About Mostly Inadvertent Offences

Previous Entry Talking About It Aug. 20th, 2008 @ 02:53 pm Next Entry
Iain Stasukevich has interviewed me about Venia's Travels for CHUD.com--you can read the interview here. I'd never been interviewed by phone before and it's kind of interesting how it came out in text transcription form. It's sort of interesting, too, seeing what bits Iain chose to include and how he formatted them. It sort of reminds me of Andy Warhol's tomato cans--the naive might say, "Hey, Warhol didn't invent the tomato can." But the art is in the presentation, the decision of what to show and where to show it. So don't take your entertainment industry interviewers for granted, folks.

I did go onto Second Life some time after eleven last night. I played one quick game of chess, then signed off and finally watched Lust, Caution. I mentioned Vertigo and Notorious as being influences on me in the CHUD interview, so it's kind of interesting to see that the two Hitchcock films seem to've been an influence on Ang Lee's newest film. Or so it seems to me. Actually, although it's rated NC-17, the movie's a far more innocent tale than either Hitchcock film. It most closely resembles Notorious as it features a woman making love to a man in the course of her mission as a secret agent to undermine his security and work.* But the title of Notorious refers to the fact that Ingrid Bergman's Alicia Huberman was viewed as a "certain kind of woman" for whom making love to someone under false pretences would not be objectionable. Notorious is about someone who would seem to be bad, is called upon to do bad things, and yet is clearly good. While Lust, Caution is about an innocent student who finds herself doing things she would consider to be bad and wondering if she's still a good person underneath. It's not the breathtaking high wire act Hitchcock managed, but it's still a wonderful film.

The film's Bernard Herrmann-ish score reminded me of Vertigo, as did Wong Chia Chi being made over in both clothing and character by powerful men to accomplish their goals. Notorious had a little of that, too, but not as extravagantly as Vertigo.

Roger Ebert's review of Lust, Caution makes note of the film's languor, which is a deviation from the Hitchcock mould. And although it's a positive review, Ebert observes Lust, Caution is not among Ang Lee's best films; "It lacks the focus and fire that his characters finally find." Which is also true. More than any other Ang Lee movie, this one seems to exist just to be pretty a lot of the time.

My favourite scene featured Wong Chia Chi singing in Mandarin to the man she was deceiving in a private room of a Geisha house, which I suppose said something about how the characters' essential Chinese nature came through even in the midst of the Japanese occupation, but mostly it was just sort of lovely and strange.




*Ingrid Bergman's character defines herself as a Mata Hari and she did know what she was talking about.
Current Location: A dressing room
Current Mood: contemplativecontemplative
Current Music: "What Difference Does It Make?" - The Smiths
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From:spacecoyotevega
Date:August 20th, 2008 10:22 pm (UTC)
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Oh wow, you have a name. And an interview column. Kick ass. XD
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From:setsuled
Date:August 20th, 2008 11:11 pm (UTC)
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Oh wow, you have a name.

I consider Setsuled my name, but I knew Iain in high school (when he went by "Mat", incidentally), so I can see why he still prefers to call me Adam. I prefer people call me whatever they want, as it actually matters very little to me. Trying to force people to call me by a certain name has always struck me as a kind of pathetic self absorption. Anyway, I'm not going to argue with free publicity.

Kick ass. XD

I'm rather happy about it.
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From:spacecoyotevega
Date:August 22nd, 2008 07:11 am (UTC)
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I'd always kinda got that impression from you, actually. About your name, I mean.

(I'd say I wouldn't know you from anyone else, but I do, you're Setsuled. Hi Sets.:) )
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From:setsuled
Date:August 22nd, 2008 07:26 pm (UTC)
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Hi Sets.:)

Hiya.
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From:rmg
Date:August 20th, 2008 11:01 pm (UTC)
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Fancy!
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From:setsuled
Date:August 20th, 2008 11:13 pm (UTC)
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I'm pleased with it.
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From:stsisyphus
Date:August 21st, 2008 02:12 pm (UTC)

Influences

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"...Calvin and Hobbes..."

huh. I never really cognitively recognized it, but I think I see this. I actually think I see it in your writing, the voice, more than the art style. Unless you count the integrated utilitization of color, which I think you've got in spades. I was just thinking of Mr. Watterson the other day...
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From:setsuled
Date:August 21st, 2008 09:33 pm (UTC)

Re: Influences

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I never really cognitively recognized it, but I think I see this. I actually think I see it in your writing, the voice, more than the art style.

I'm not surprised. Calvin and Hobbes is one of the things etched in my subconscious.

Unless you count the integrated utilitization of color, which I think you've got in spades.

Thanks.
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