Amy Pond defines love

“You know when sometimes you meet someone so beautiful and then you actually talk to them and five minutes later they’re as dull as a brick? Then there’s other people, when you meet them you think, “Not bad. They’re okay.” And then you get to know them and… and their face just sort of becomes them. Like their personality’s written all over it. And they just turn into something so beautiful. Rory’s the most beautiful man I’ve ever met.”

I feel the same way about falling in love. I have never wanted to date someone just based on their looks. Not to sound cliche, but it’s what’s on the inside that counts. Remember that ladies, and gentlemen, let yourself fall in love with someone who you can love forever. Don’t just love the beautiful surface that will fade away so quickly. Ok, that’s my tiny lesson of the day that I got from watching a lot of Dr. Who.

Experience Something Extraordinary: A Portrait of the Artist as a Game Studio

I don’t usually get excited about video games. I also don’t really pay attention to them all that much, so maybe I’m behind the times. A friend of mine shared this article on the aesthetic progress of thatgamecompany: from flOw to Journey. The screen shots from Journey awakened that childlike sense of wonder and adventure in my heart that the adult world has been trying to squash out of me. I could really get lost in a game like that, I thought. And, isn’t that why we play games and read good books, to take a break from the everyday and experience something extraordinary?

“While we often see the evolution of artists working in old media, ever-shifting technical terrain tends to obscure videogame makers’ aesthetic trajectories. In Thatgamecompany’s pathbreaking and gorgeous games for the Playstation 3, we get the rare chance to watch these artists at work against a fixed technological backdrop.”

A Portrait of the Artist as a Game Studio

You should read this amazing article about Thatgamecompany who created flOw and Journey.

“In independent games, wherein we must hope that aesthetics drive creators more than commercialism, creative evolution often takes place in tentative ways, in forms far less refined and mature than the videogame console that serves as the medium’s equivalent to the cinema or the first-run hardback…. the artists who work in game development for its beauty before its profitability typically don’t get to choose the most public of venues in which to experiment and come of age artistically. Thatgamecompany’s new title Journey is an exception.”

Eyes Open but Ears Shut

Eyes Open

Wow! I just heard Taylor Swift’s new song “Eyes Open” that she wrote for the Hunger Games movie and I am sorely disappointed. I have been looking forward to seeing this movie ever since I finished reading the book a couple of weeks ago. The story is made up of dark, very emotion packed scenes and this song comes out sounding like a high school freshman’s first day of school. I don’t get the feeling that it’s about a girl in her late teens who is being hunted by other teens and controlled by an evil Capitol.

Taylor says, “…it was actually refreshing to put on someone else’s emotions and draw from them, instead of from my own.” Well, Taylor, I think that this song sounds like all of your other juvenile songs.

What do you guys think? Let me know, cause I’m curious.

I Saw John Carter: And This is My Short Review

“John Carter is a product of a simpler time, when sense of adventure was paramount, and the film has this in spades.” Tim Martain.

That sentence pretty much describes to movie. The movie opens to a battle between two groups of humans in flying machines: one wearing bright red and the other in blue. It had the quality of an old black and white pirate style movie. This romanticized adventure feeling is probably because the movie is based off of a book published in 1912. Most of the movie ended up being long talking scenes interspersed with over the top fighting scenes. And for a movie about war there was very little blood. (I’m not saying that I enjoy a bloody and violent movie, but this movie is not at all realistic when it comes to the battle scenes.) A lot of people are saying that the movie felt long and tedious. I would have to agree, especially in the first 30 minutes or so, pretty much until John got to Mars. The section of the movie on Earth should have been cut down drastically.

I think that the romance was pretty much unbelievable as well. The guy falls in love with the girl because… well, I’m not exactly sure why, except that she was the first human he found on Mars. She apparently fell in love with him because she knew in her heart that he was a hero even though he kept wanting to go back to Earth. Well, that’s pretty much how romance goes in movies these days anyway. It’s almost as if Hollywood types have forgot what love really is…

Overall, I think that if you enjoy a fun, almost innocent, adventure movie with a happy ending than this movie is for you. If you’d like something more serious and not so straight forward than you’d better pass on this movie. I give it a “B” for fun adventure.

The Truth About Photography

What do you want to see in photography: truth, beauty, or something else? Have our feelings toward photography changed since the camera was invented? Does what we see affect who we are? Or does who we are affect what we see?

In the beginning when photography was first invented people were amazed. Finally people could record what really is: i.e., the unequivocal truth. Painting had been the only way to record pictures up to that point. A painter can use his artistic license to change reality to show whatever he wanted to be reality. He could make the subject younger or the sunset brighter or the victory more heroic. But you could not do that with photography, right?

From the get go, there was a Civil War photographer by the name of Matthew Brady who would drag bodies from the field of war and prop them up in positions that he found more aesthetically pleasing.

The viewers would see and feel what Brady wanted them to see and feel about the Civil War. These feelings would then affect the way that those viewers saw the war. Art is powerful. An artist can change the world for better or worse. He could make you believe in heroes or cowards by the positioning of his props: the freshly made corpses.

Now take a look at the main forms of entertainment today: movies and video games. These artistic mediums strive for the best graphics: the most “realistic” pictures of their fantasy worlds. When you spend time looking at these idealized worlds full of adventure and amazing sights, you may start to feel a little sad and underwhelmed by what you see in real life. So you have to keep going back to these forms of art to escape from your dull real world.

What about plain, old photography? All the “best” photos are Photoshopped these days. Just look at any of the award shows for photography. Don’t believe everything that you see. And don’t let what you see define you. Enjoy the beauty in nature; there are some amazing places to visit on this planet even if they don’t have plants that glow at night like on Pandora. And especially don’t let what you see define who you think you are. (I feel an additional blog coming on: stay tuned for Beauty Defined Throughout Art History.) You can be beautiful without being model sized. You will be most beautiful as your healthy self: with a big smile, of course.

An Artist’s Review of the Hunger Games (book)

I admit that I originally picked up this book after I saw the trailer for the upcoming movie. I am a busy senior at a university so I do not have time to read as much as I used to. But I was pleasantly surprised when I read this book. I couldn’t put it down. I literally read it all in a Friday evening. You, like I did, will immediately fall in love with the characters. Suzanne Collins knows just which words to put on the paper to let you know exactly what the characters are thinking and feeling without being overly wordy. The plot was also amazing. Even to the last chapter I did not know who was going to live and who was going to die! There is one particular scene towards the end that made me cry, but I’m not going to give that part away just yet. If you read this book, be prepared for a plethora of emotions. And don’t forget to throw on The Civil Wars Barton Hallow CD while you’re at it. This folksy music will really add to the dark story.

When I saw the trailer I thought, that that’s a plot that I could really get into! It is about a girl living in a “district” under an oppressive government. Now I’m going to have to stop here and explain this oppressive government called the “Capitol.” It is filthy rich. That’s about it. The citizens spend all their time getting dressed up in what all the other districts see as obsurd costumes. They strive to be the hippest, most fashionable by even dying their skin. Collins describes how these people all have surgery to manipulate the way they appear and that they can nearly reverse aging. However they do not share these amazing technologies with people who cannot afford them, like almost everyone in the 12 districts. This country called Panem which is run by the Capital is a country designed for the rich. Only the rich have enough to eat. Only the rich have safe places to live. Everyone else is working ridicoulous hours at horrible jobs and they are starving to death. Be careful citizens that you too do not get caught in this deep net of shallowness.

Now I know that the United States isn’t exactly that bad; far from it actually. But are we not heading in this direction? Are the rich (the “job creators”) not pushing our government to pay less taxes and doing away with much of the government regulations? Panem is where that leads. When the government doesn’t stick up for its people and turns towards the rich and tells them that they are free to do with their money as they want, then they are not going to create beautiful work environments for 1000’s of people so that these people can provide for their families. They are going to take their jobs to countries like China and have those poeple work so hard and get paid so little that they are jumping out of the windows in order to kill themselves so much that they have installed nets at the factory dorms instead of improving the working conditions! Do I think that rich people are looking out for me? No. So, I think that my government should.

Wow, that was a tad of a rant. Sorry about that. Back to the story. Katniss Everdeen grows up in District 12 which is based in the Appalachian Mountains. I can relate being as I spent most of my life in the foothills of Appalachia. Collins does an amazing job here making you feel the hopelessness of District 12 and thickness of the coal dust drenched air. Katniss’s father died in a mining accident leaving her to hunt in order to provide for her family. But sadly when her sister’s name was chosen to “play” in the bloody Hunger Games (a yearly ritual that the Capital set up to let the other district know that they cannot fight against the powerful Capitol) Katniss volunteers to play and die in her place.

The story follows Katniss as she journeys to the Capital with cameras and an entourage very much like a reality show today. She is disgusted by the utter waste at the Capital. They have so much and care so little that everyone else is starving to death. Now I don’t want to give away the ending so I’ll just say that Katniss plays in the Hunger Games, she befriends a few people, one dies in her arms, and she falls in love with someone. You just have to read the book. My rantings are in no comparison to the book itself.

So in conclusion: READ THE BOOK!

Check out my related posts.
The Civil Wars
My Bow and Arrow

Also I have just finished reading the 2nd book in this series: Catching Fire. Expect another book review from me soon. And if you disagree with my assessment of the book feel free to leave a comment. I love discussions that are in good taste.