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Archive for August 1st, 2016

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by Sachin Gandhi

Many ideas in Science fiction films may appear far fetched when the film is first released yet over time, some of those ideas end up becoming far more believable due to technological advances or changes in our society. For example, 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY depicted computer devices which allowed one to read information from around the world, including newspaper articles. Such a device may have seemed unbelievable back in 1968 when the film was released but now laptops and the internet are commonplace. Similarly, the immense popularity of a reality tv show as presented in THE TRUMAN SHOW didn’t seem that plausible back in 1998 even though there were a few examples of such shows that already existed when the film was released such as MTV’s THE REAL WORLD. However, THE TRUMAN SHOW appeared to take the idea of a reality show too far. The film depicted a young baby born and raised entirely in front of the world via a 24 hour non-stop television show created by Christof (Ed Harris). 1.7 million people witnessed the birth of Truman Burbank and the audience kept climbing as Truman grew up into an adult (Jim Carrey). Truman lives and works entirely in the world’s largest constructed TV set, a fictional town called Seahaven, where all the other inhabitants are actors and extras employed with the sole purpose of assisting Truman as he goes about his ‘real’ life. When the film first came out, it appeared unrealistic that people would devote hundreds of hours watching Truman do mundane everyday tasks. But now in 2016, THE TRUMAN SHOW appears to have foreseen our current television landscape which is populated by hundreds of reality tv shows which depict ordinary people going about their daily activities or in some cases, taking part in a contest on a constructed set. On top of that, the rise of social media and smartphones has allowed far more reality to be presented non-stop either as entertainment or a form of news. Today, reality is always available, in one shape or form.

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Woody’s latest, “Cafe Society”

by Sam Juliano

The summer officially goes into the winding-down stage when the calendar hits the first of August, and as they say with resignation it is “all downhill from here.”  On a personal note my own stint as literature and writing instructor for the summer program concludes this coming Friday, so I have my four week vacation upcoming.  We are still planning some day trips for that span, though not yet firmed up.

The science-fiction countdown is moving along nicely and we are now one-quarter the way through it.  Thanks so much to those who are supporting the writers with great comments and likes -John Grant, Jamie Uhler, Jon Warner, Peter M., Frank, Tim, Stephen, Duane, Robert, and others have been Johnny-on-the-Spot and oh those writers.  The essays have been uniformly excellent.

Aside from one visit to the theater, I’ve been mainly immersed in my ongoing viewings and daily conversations with Allan, and again it has been a glorious week of discovery and discourse, artistic immersion and entertainment, and some successful catching up. The week has been occupied with another run through Japanese cinema and some other assorted European goodies.  I watched seventeen (17) films at home and the single title in the theater – Woody Allen’s Cafe Society, which turned out to be one of his better films of recent years.  Favorite sequences – when the abusive next door neighbor was abducted by gangsters and ensconced in a cement slab and the wife lamenting her kin’s downward arc: “First he is a murderer, now he’s become a Christian.” (more…)

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